Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

10 Most Popular Kakegurui Characters Ranked

First shown in 2017, "Kakegurui" is a highly addictive anime about compulsive gambling. The show follows the exploits of the students at the prestigious Hyakkaou Private Academy, a storied school attended by the children of the rich and powerful. Because they are destined to enter the high stakes world of finance, the students are judged by their gambling ability and routinely ranked by their winnings. With the promise of fame, status, and, of course, bundles of money waiting for those who rise to the top, it's every student for themselves when it comes to cleaning up.

An adaptation of Homura Kawamoto's manga of the same name, the show was acquired by Netflix in 2017 and ran for two seasons on the streamer. There's been a spin-off series since then (2022's "Kakegurui Twin"), but fans are still waiting for some solid news on "Kakegurui" Season 3. Lack of intel on a continuation of the main series hasn't damped enthusiasm for it, however. The show boasts a number of memorable characters, each with a unique approach to student life and to gambling. It's difficult to decide who is the strongest, smartest, or the overall best gambler, but the trail of popularity isn't hard to follow.

With plenty of the students making enemies out of each other, fans have lapped up the drama — as well as the glimmering moments of friendship — since the show first aired. Now it's time for us to lay our cards on the table: We're ranking the most popular "Kakegurui" characters from worst to best.

Itsuki Sumeragi

Kicking off "Kakegurui" as one of the show's main antagonists, Itsuki's complex character makes for great entertainment from the get-go. As the wealthy daughter of a prominent Japanese toy company magnate, she uses her money and her impeccable gambling skills to get exactly what she wants. When Itsuki is first introduced in the episode "A Boring Girl," she actually comes across as a nice person to begin with, but her seemingly friendly nature quickly gives way to a cruel and twisted personality. She seems to care little for the thoughts and feelings of others, but Itsuki's conniving ways soon pay dividends.

She's a girl that's always ready to take risks, making her a memorable character throughout the show's two-season run. The reason she's at the bottom of our list is that she has no problem with cheating to win. That, and she has a very creepy fascination with fingernails. She gets a real kick out of taking the nails of her opponents (and we mean the whole thing, not just clippings), amassing quite a collection through her various wins. She even rips out her own fingernails during one high-stakes game, her most memorable scene in the whole series.

Midari Ikishima

Whether you've been a fan of "Kakegurui" since the beginning or you're just joining the fandom, Midari's explosive presence is hard to ignore. Always fantasizing about the macabre, her impulsive tendencies mean she shows very little self-restraint. Midari can be both persistent and overbearing, with her weird sense of self taking center stage among the other students. She's so loved that she's even the focus of her very own manga, "Kakegurui Midari," which often ventures into the more disturbing side of the franchise. However, there's a lot more to Midari than just dark and wacky behavior; there's an element of academic intellect to her character, too. In fact, she is shown to have won numerous school awards through episodic flashback scenes.

What's interesting to note about Midari is that she shares a number of similarities with the show's star, Yumeko Jabami. Both are firm believers that money is no object, letting their gambling skills and the importance of the game shine through. Their friendship also shows off Midari's light-hearted side, with the pair often humorously sparring when one of them loses. Dangerous games are what make the world of "Kakegurui" spin, and the eyepatch-rocking Midari always makes sure she's at the heart of the action when the stakes are high.

Yumemi Yumemite

As the Student Council's head of public relations, there isn't much Yumemi doesn't know about. Dreaming of becoming a world-famous actor, Yumemi's two-sided personality makes for a stark contrast to her often disturbed peers. Seemingly sweet and cheerful at first glance, her arrogance frequently makes itself known. In hot pursuit of her wish to be famous, Yumemi's temperament is often calculated and manipulative, providing plenty of drama among her fellow students. She's even been known to trash a dressing room in a violent rage after being insulted.

They say that you should never meet your heroes, but for Yumemi, it proved to be a blessing in disguise. In fact, the experience she has helps to flesh out her multifaceted personality and turn her into a fan favorite. After an encounter with idol Kawaru Natari (the biggest Japanese actor working in Hollywood in the world of the show), Yumemi learns to develop a more humble side. Instead of ruthlessly fighting for things in the future, Yumemi is able to be happy with what she already has, including the people around her. After being introduced in "A Boring Girl," Yumemi's growing appreciation for the support system she already has in place is a joy to watch.

Kaede Manyuda

Cold, ruthless, and calculating — what other qualities would you want in a show about gambling? As a former Student Council treasurer, Kaede Manyuda is exactly that. Often retreating into his mindful persona, Kaede's natural talent for observing is what makes him a fantastic competitor in this high stakes world. Taking the time to predict his opponent's next move, he creates drama and tension, which makes him come across as prudent to both his opponents and us as viewers. While his fellow students are quick to dismiss each other, Kaede's considered character makes him more vocal in his appreciation of others, something of a rarity in the "Kakegurui" universe.

When we meet him in the second episode of Season 1, he's quick to make it known that rich girl and fingernail obsessive Itsuki Sumeragi recommended that he join the Student Council. Even though the students of "Kakegurui" don't often doubt themselves (you don't get to Hyakkaou Private Academy without a little arrogance, after all), there's a humble and insecure side to Kaede that makes him extremely relatable. He appears to have a deeper fear of being seen as worthless, particularly after he loses against Yumeko Jabari. Frequently swinging from highs to lows, fans do eventually see Kaede bounce back from an indifferent student to a high-spirited, thrilling player. And who doesn't love a comeback kid?

Ryota Suzui

With so much violence, trickery, and disturbing goings on in "Kakegurui," it will never be long before fans need a change of pace. Enter Ryota, a kind and friendly student who naturally blends into the background. After losing a match to Mary Saotome in "A Woman Named Yumeko Jabami," he becomes a so-called "housepet" at the school, a fate feared by students. Starting with little self-confidence in his opening episodes, he begins to grow out of his shell after befriending Yumeko, who ups his social standing by giving him the money he needs to pay off his debt and end his subservience. The pair become friends after that — in fact, Ryota is Yumeko's first and arguably best friend at Hyakkaou Private Academy.

While his peers often act irrationally and in their own self-interest, Ryota always remains level-headed and seems unable to hold a grudge against others, despite the competitive nature of the school. Being caring is a rare trait in the world of "Kakegurui," but Ryota has it in abundance. Constantly worrying for Yumeko's safety because of her daring nature, he is willing to gamble alongside her in the face of more intimidating students. Over the course of the two seasons, Ryota's gambling skills continue to improve, as does his confidence. By the end of Season 2, Ryota and Yumeko have become the greatest of buddies, and their co-gambling has become incredibly heartwarming for viewers.

Mary Saotome

Everyone loves an underdog, and when you arrive at Hyakkaou Private Academy without a huge fortune behind you, that's exactly what you are. Mary quickly makes herself known in a world of wealthy students. Arriving at the school on a scholarship, Mary's natural talent for gambling propels her to the top. Before long, she has a reputation as being one of the most gifted students of the bunch. Avoiding both the Student Council and The Hundred Devouring Families, Mary is just doing her own thing, and — rather satisfyingly for us as viewers — she's doing it incredibly well. However, she's far from humble when it comes to gambling.

We meet Mary in the first episode of Season 1, during which she immediately turns Ryota into a housepet and displays what is, quite frankly, a sadistic nature. Even before she loses to Yumeko, she's known to openly mock her opponents to throw them off their game, definitely not afraid to play dirty. There's nothing more satisfying than a fall from grace, and Mary is quickly humbled by experiencing school life from the perspective of an outsider. We watch her grow to care about Ryota and Yumeko after losing everything, developing a hatred towards the Student Council that's ripe for tasty revenge. Her character journey might be guided by force, but Mary's journey from zero to hero (and back to zero again) makes her one of the most popular "Kakegurui" characters in the show's history.

Runa Yomozuki

Every good drama needs middle ground, and referee Runa is an enthusiastic addition to the "Kakegurui" cast. As one of the most bubbly and charismatic students, Runa is very easy to like. Her orange rabbit kigurumi makes her stand out from the crowd, as does her kawaii personality. Like many students in the real world, she's not the biggest fan of the day-to-day drudgery that comes with education, often getting bored with school outside of gambling and not taking her responsibilities seriously. Her childish looks and sweet demeanor let her get away with most things, eating sweets and playing video games when nobody's looking.

Though fans enjoy the light relief, Runa's character can also turn very quickly. Her cruel streak makes itself known while humiliating Mary over her life plan, and in the way that she openly enjoys the school's cruel housepet system. It's an unexpected character trait, but one that makes for some delicious twists. Her contempt for her fellow students is jarring given her sweet appearance — she shows particular disregard when Midari plucks out her own eye. That being said, Runa always knows where to draw the line, and she considers cheating and foul play to be totally unacceptable.

Sayaka Igarashi

As the current president of the Student Council, Sayaka naturally holds a lot of power. She's one of the more serious students out of the bunch, leaning on her intelligence rather than any violent or disturbing tactics. Her loyalty to the Council is what makes her such a great team player. Starting out as a shy and nerdy girl in middle school, Sayaka's brains make her increasingly popular with her peers. She's brave, too — brave enough to challenge the school's degrading housepet system, especially when it concerns Kirari, who she has a huge crush on. In fact, "Kirasaya," as they are collectively known, is one of the most popular ships in the whole "Kakegurui" fandom.

While fans would never have guessed it during her early appearances in the show, Sayaka later proves that she can be just as menacing as the rest when the situation calls for it. Pulling up Jun Kiwatari on his debt, Sayaka's calm and reserved nature goes out the window. She's also prone to bouts of jealousy where Kirari is concerned, letting the green-eyed monster take over on occasion. It's this unexpected personality clash that makes Sayaka exciting to watch, with viewers never quite sure which version they are going to get on any given day.

Kirari Momobami

The OG antagonist of "Kakegurui," Kirari always means business. As the 105th Student Council President and the person responsible for the systems in place at the school, her reputation precedes her. Kirari's ladylike composure is at total odds with her narcissistic behavior, often choosing to belittle everyone around her. Everything fans love about the show is thanks to her; she's the reason things are so tense and competitive all the time. Whether she's asking Mary to join the Council or using Sayaka's love against her, Kirari firmly believes that outcomes don't matter, only entertainment, which is exactly what viewers are guaranteed when she's on the screen.

Even though she generally comes across as inhumane, there are a few significant relationships that bring out Kirari's softer side. Sayaka's devotion to her leads to a strained push-pull dynamic that will only end in tears, but Kirari's sister Ririka helps her to develop some compassion. At the same time, a cautious friendship with Mary proves she could well have more allies at school than she thinks. Though these moments are fleeting, the cold, callous personality that Kirari has is enough to hold attention and favor with fans of the show, who can't get enough of her.

Yumeko Jabami

With most of the "Kakegurui" drama revolving around her, the top spot for most popular couldn't go to any other character than fan favorite student Yumeko. As a second-year transfer student, she begins as an upbeat and charismatic persona, attracting the affections of all those around her. Yumeko's character often looks to uphold the straight and narrow, with her eyes turning blood-red when she notices an opponent cheating, a terrifying sight. She is perceptive enough to assess her peers' strategies, but also shows no remorse on the road to feeding her gambling addiction. Though her senses seem superhuman at times, her character is not — particularly when she becomes a housepet after creating a huge debt following a loss to Yuriko.

It's Yumeko's ability to take any situation in her stride that makes her such a fan favorite. Unlike other students, she never loses her sense of empathy, maintaining close friendships with Ryota, Itsuki, and Kaede in particular. In true popular school girl fashion, she's even able to befriend those who previously disliked her. When she's finally able to feel guilty for the ruthless matches she played at the height of her frightening gambling addiction, Yumeko's full circle journey is not only rewarding, but just as perceptive as her own game. After all, this isn't just a show about the thrill of gambling — it's about the dangers of gambling addiction, too.