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Why Midari From Kakegurui Is Such A Polarizing Character For Fans

Since joining Netflix's growing catalog of anime, high school gambling series "Kakegurui" has steadily grown in popularity among the streaming service's subscribers. At the heart of "Kakegurui" is a girl named Yumeko Jabami, a transfer student at Hyakkaou Private Academy. Hyakkaou is unlike a normal high school in that social standing among its students is determined through various forms of gambling.

Yumeko, as it turns out, is both addicted to and highly skilled at gambling, making her a perfect fit for this unique high school. In fact, paralleling Yumeko's rising popularity among the Hyakkaou student body in the show's fiction, she's also the predominate fan-favorite character among the series' viewerbase.

Over the course of the two seasons of "Kakegurui" released thus far, Yumeko faces off against some of her fellow students, each of whom possess some sort of character-defining quirk, in typical shonen anime fashion. Among Yumeko's competitors is Midari Ikishima, a character who has recently proven controversial among some "Kakegurui" viewers.

Midari is an extreme character that fans either love or hate

One user recently shared a post to the "Kakegurui" subreddit titled "I hate midari UnU," consisting simply of a meme image insinuating that, while Yumeko joyfully consorts with fellow series protagonists Mary Saotome and Ryota Suzui, Midari feels angry about being left out. Midari first engages in a life-threatening gamble with Yumeko in Season 1 Episode 6, after which she develops an obsession with Yumeko, hence her jealousy.

For what its worth, commenters responding to this post then shared a wide variety of opinions about Midari. For example, one comment reads "Me, alone in the post comments, literally absolutely loving Midari: hhhh." This is the most-upvoted comment in the thread, suggesting that, contrary to the post's claim, many of their fellow viewers are likewise Midari appreciators.

User courtesanfromhell, meanwhile, attempted to rationalize the strong reactions to Midari's character. "The way that Midari is a masochistic yandere on a FEMALE protagonist, people think she's creepy. But if she's a yandere on a male one, they would lose their s*** making a perfect waifu out of her. (I never like yandere.) I love her as a device/character. I hate her as an in-world psycho," they wrote — yandere referring to a particular stock character type (via TV Tropes) that aptly describes Midari.

In essence, then, Midari not only sports a hyperbolic personality, but subverts a well-known character archetype, hence the strength of viewers' feelings toward her, both positive and negative.