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

The Most Dangerous Gamble In Kakegurui

"Kakegurui" is an interesting anime, to say the least. It's a pure decadence with a cartoon filter. Pretty much all of the Seven Deadly Sins — especially greed, envy, pride, and lust — have such a strong presence in the show that it's about as subtle as a sledgehammer. And all of this is taking place within the context of a prestigious high school academy where winning at gambling is the most important lesson of all.

The teens on the show play a variety of gambling games, from rock, paper, scissors to a regular five card draw, and more. But right in the middle of Season 1, they play such a dangerous game that it spans the majority of two episodes back-to-back. The rules are complex, and the mind games each player uses to try and outsmart the other are even more so. But in the end, the audience gets an unexpected result. 

The ESP card game isn't about money — it's a risk of life and death

To make a long story short, if you took the mental gymnastics featured in the battle of wits from "The Princess Bride" and combined it with Russian Roulette, you would have the ESP Game. First, two players have to load up a revolver with as many bullets as they see fit, then drop the guns in a box which mixes them up and spits them back out randomly so that neither player knows which gun is whose. Then they have to guess which cards their dealer will pick. Whoever gets the most correct guesses gets to shoot first. And the prize they're playing for isn't money — it's their own lives.

Midari, a second year student, challenges Yumeko to the deadly duel because she has a borderline erotic fetish for pain. Her problem, though, is that nobody will engage with her and her attempts at fulfilling her desires because she goes to such dangerous extremes. At the end of the game, Yumeko outsmarts her and instead of giving her the ultimate pleasure of death, verbally accosts her for being "a waste of time."