Every single decision that we make in life is more or less of a gamble. In fact, even deciding to watch an anime can be a gamble. Most inexperienced viewers would just dive right into a show without giving it two thoughts in the hope that what sounds so good may actually be what they expect it to be. Meanwhile, seasonal viewers would be more cautious and would first look up the episode line to get a fair idea about it. But at the end of the day, both of them pay the price in one way or the other and learn lessons of their own; everyone suffers for their ignorance. This is exactly what ‘Kakegurui’ is all about and it pretty much sums up how you’ll feel after you watch its season 2.
‘Kakegurui’ is based on a manga that goes by the same name and it’s mostly known for its wicked thriller gambling story. When you think of a gambling movie or TV show, what comes to your mind is all the insanity that will be involved in its story, characters and ideas. But is ‘Kakeguri’ able to live up to all the hype around it? The answer to that is not too simple. To begin with, it is one of those anime that will make you go “WTF” with its intensely weird moments. So for obvious reasons, ‘Kakeguri’ is not an anime for beginners and only the ones who have previously seen some other uncanny shows like ‘Kill La Kill’ will find it accessible. The first season of the show offers something really unique that has never been seen before and though it only has an average overall rating on most platforms, it did manage to get more than enough attention from fans.
Season 2 of ‘Kakeguri’ is again kind of interesting but the biggest problem with it is its repetitive story. While this season is again able to retain all the strengths of season one, it is almost like watching the first season all over again. Anyone who dives into this version with high expectations of watching something new will certainly be disappointed. The story seemed great in the first season because it presented something refreshingly new but watching the same thing all over again is very disappointing.
Season 1 ends with an anti-climatic conclusion and gives no sense of direction towards what will happen next. For the ones who actually enjoyed watching it, this was good news as it gave green flags for a sequel. But from the beginning itself, season 2 again jumps right back into its gambles featuring the sexiest anime girls and the craziest facial expressions of the characters.
Speaking of the characters expressions, this might sound downright stupid but it’s these expressions that actually save the show. Studio MAPPA is quite well-known for shows like ‘Zankyou no Terror‘ and ‘Yuri!!! on Ice‘ but one thing that they stand out for is the amount of insanity they bring into their characters a lot of times. The visual part of ‘Kakeguri’ is its biggest strength and surprisingly, even the CGI has substantially improved since the last season. Now getting back to what I think about ‘Kakeguri’ Season 2, it is still kind of a tricky question for me because though I really found its repetitive story quite boring, I can’t help but admire how it conveys exactly what it wants to and the creators of the anime are not at all afraid of portraying something very different and weird.
Kakegurui Season 2 Release Date:
‘Kakegurui’ season 2 premiered on January 9, 2019 and came to an end on March 27, 2019. During this span, 12 episodes of the anime were released with each of them being 24 minutes long. If you want to know more about the future of the anime, then make sure you read our preview on Kakegurui Season 3.
Kakegurui Season 2 Plot:
Schools don’t usually prepare you for the real world and most things that young students learn at schools are pretty much forgotten as soon they enter the world outside. But Hyakkaou Private Academy makes an exception to this and its sole motive is to give its students a small streak of all the difficulties that they may face in the future, once they’re out of school. Money is power and the one who lacks the knowledge of dealing with it shall eventually suffer. This is the analogy adopted by the school and though it is a normal school during the day, it turns into this terrifying gambling den at night. The school has taken upon itself to educate its students about the art of dealing with money and also manipulating it at times. Just being good at studies is not enough here and only those who emerge somewhere on top of all the gambling games at school will eventually be considered the top student at the Academy.
Yumeko Jabami is another such student who is seemingly naive about how things work. But unlike others at the Academy, she does not play for the money involved and is not really interested in being the top student. She only gambles for the thrill of it and that gives her an edge over most other students. Her love for gambling reaches a point where she almost gets sexually excited when a lot of risk is involved in the game. Soon, everyone at the Academy starts to notice her presence as she brings in a lot of insanity to the table that has no one has ever seen before. Apart from all the winning, Yumeko is also able to look past all the gambling scams at the Academy and soon begins to question the intentions of the Student’s Council. As she gets more popular at the school, the student’s council feels more threatened by her presence and what follows is a battle between her and the members of the council who are all determined to bring her down.
Kakegurui Season 2 Review:
The story of ‘Kakegurui’ is quite simple but at the same time, extremely entertaining. The whole plot of Season 1 is enough to keep you at the edge of your seat at all times and while season 2 offers the same stale story, it differs slightly with its graphic depictions of all the extremities involved in these games. Chopping fingers, poisoning and a whole lot of deaths — all these together just make season 2 a lot more intense than the first one. And with so much going on, the stakes are much higher this time around. The story of season 2 really suffers a lot of times because of its repetitiveness but at the same time, it still manages to keep things somewhat interesting with its complex games and gambles that throw you a new twist at every corner.
The series introduces various characters and a few of them are also forgotten in Season 2. While many of these characters are not properly fleshed out, one thing that is great about all of them is their mysteriousness. You can never really guess what a certain character may be up to and pretty much everything that the main characters do come off as a surprise. The story of the anime can be predicted very easily but it is the characters who make up for this with their dubious personalities.
The animation is beyond impressive and from the beginning itself, it becomes clear that MAPPA Studio went all out with this one. ‘Kakegurui’ is known for its depiction of extreme human expressions that show borderline insanity of all the characters. The art style of the anime can simply not be ignored and adds so much more entertainment. It’s a crazy world out there in the show and it is very well represented with extreme gore and violence. Even the soundtracks and voice acting are better than most other average anime shows, especially the theme songs that involve catchy piano tunes and eerie beats. The background scores during gambling matches are just perfect and fit right in with the terrifying environment of the show. Even the talent behind the voices of the characters needs to be appreciated as it is unlike any other anime out there.
Overall, ‘Kakegurui’ makes an attempt to sell itself out with its visuals and other technical aspects but in the end, its story falls flat and fails to impress. Even then, the positives of the show are enough to draw most viewers towards it and it successfully manages to promote its source material. I would give Season 1 a rating of 8 out of 10 but season 2 only gets a flat 7 because of all the efforts that have been put into its animation department. Also, I appreciate the fact that it never forces irrelevant themes into the story. ‘Kakegurui’ certainly deserves a chance and as mentioned earlier, only experienced anime viewers will be able to appreciate it for what it offers.
Kakegurui Season 2 English Dub:
The English Dub of ‘Kakegurui’ is available on Netflix.
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