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Fans Think Kakegurui Is The Perfect Example Of This Classic Anime Trope

Being a student in school is already hard enough with a myriad of cliques, social anxiety, and outward pressure to perform. The popular anime "Kakegurui" takes this a step further, focusing on a prestigious school for the children of the rich and powerful. What makes this particular school different from other elite institutions is that the school operates on a cutthroat system of gambling, where the winners are elevated to high-status members of the student body, and the losers are referred to as "Housepets" and are forced into a kind of servitude. As if navigating young adulthood isn't already precarious without a system of high-stakes betting that determines social standing!

Currently streaming on Netflix, "Kakegurui" tells its story through the main character Yumeko Jabami (voiced by Saori Hayami), a recent transfer student to Hyakkaou Private Academy who is introduced to this new normal by current Housepet Ryota Suzui (voiced by Tatsuya Tokutake). According to IMDb, there are 24 current episodes of "Kakegurui," and it seems that, after watching all of them, some anime fans are pointing out a rather interesting and prevalent trope in the show on Reddit. According to these eagle-eyed fans, it definitely seems like the common anime plot device is dialed up to 11 in "Kakegurui."

Kakegurui leans heavily into the all-powerful student council trope

Starting the conversation on the r/Kakegurui subreddit, u/jeff2-0 kicked off an April 2020 thread with the comment, "Let's not forget who's in charge here." To make their point, they posted an image of a pyramid that puts the working class on the bottom, followed by wealthy elites, the U.S. government, the Illuminati, and, at the very apex, student councils in anime — the joke being that the student council on "Kakegurui" wields an absurdly large amount of power that makes them an entity more powerful than some real-life groups. This makes perfect sense within the context of the show because the student council at Hyakkaou Private Academy, led by Kirari Momobami (voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro), pretty much calls all the shots, considering that the school's hierarchy is beholden to the gambling games of power that are ever-present.

Student councils in anime usually have tremendous power, so much so that TV Tropes lists several animes that share this similarity, like "Ai Ore! Love Me!" "Anime-Gataris," "Best Student Council," and "Chrome Shelled Regios," to name just some of the examples. Redditor u/Elipses_ noted that the trope is entirely appropriate for "Kakegurui," adding, "Though it's kind of justified in 'Kakegurui,' considering that Kirari is also the leader of what seems to be the equivalent of the Illuminati, a zaibatsu, and a bunch of clans that would fit into a Naruto Ninja Village." U/shingucci_saihara stated that they love "Kakegurui" but wondered if there are any actual teachers on the show, to which u/reigenpsycho jokingly replied, "We see a teacher when Yumeko first arrives, and the teacher asks someone to show her around." One thing is for certain: "Kakegurui" highlights just how much bonkers influence a student council can accrue.