The anime adaptation of Kakegurui (Compulsive Gambler) debuted in Japan again in July 2017, however Netflix held it of their vaults and didn’t distribute it exterior of Japan till February 2018. With that lengthy wait, you’d assume that Netflix didn’t have a lot hope for this sequence; if that was their worry, then it was unfounded as since then, the sequence has taken off and has change into considered one of their hottest anime licenses. Not solely with two anime seasons, but additionally dwell motion J-drama sequence, dwell motion films, and now we’ve got the unique internet animation, Kakegurui Twin, based mostly upon the manga spin-off, of the identical identify. However with the unique anime season not completed, what does Kakegurui Twin have to supply?
Going down an entire college yr earlier than Yumeko Jabami transfers to Hyakkaou Academy and shakes the muse of the college perpetually, Mary Saotome joins as a primary yr of the academy by way of a scholarship programme. She’s a sensible woman however not from a rich household, so she’s at an enormous drawback when she enters the college’s distinctive system: a hierarchy determined not by one’s smarts or athletic prowess, however one’s means to gamble. The richest and luckiest (or those that cheat and get away with it) stay on prime, while the poorest and unluckiest change into home pets: servants to these with all the ability. Mary loses her first try to gamble however she’s not going to let her lack of wealth or luck cease her from reaching the highest. Fortunately, she has her mates to assist her: childhood pal Tsuzura Hanatemari, and literary membership president Yukimi Togakushi. However will Mary discover a technique to conquer the system? Or will she ultimately succumb to it?
In the event you’ve seen or learn the opening of Kakegurui, you’ll know the reply to the final line of the above paragraph and know what the long run holds for Mary, however as an previous saying goes: it’s not the vacation spot that issues however the journey. That’s the attraction of Kakegurui Twin: a have a look at the distinctive college system from a distinct set of eyes, means earlier than Yumiko got here into the image, and to see the place Mary’s story began earlier than she turned the loopy villain turned eventual reluctant assist for Yumeko. The manga Kakegurui Twin nonetheless is at the moment at 12 volumes, and the anime Netflix launched in August is just 6 episodes, so it’s in no way an entire journey, however extra of a peek into Mary’s life main as much as her eventual downfall. And since every episode is just 25 minutes every, the journey again into Hyakkaou Academy could be very temporary however nonetheless pleasing.
In the event you’re questioning what makes this sequence so completely different from the unique sequence, admittedly the construction of every episode (or in some circumstances, two-parters) is identical as Kakegurui: heroine is challenged to a sport with uncommon guidelines and distinctive stakes, the heroine tries to play the sport pretty however finds themselves in a state of affairs the place their opponent is profitable, and it’s by way of the heroine’s personal smarts at determining how their opponent is dishonest that they ultimately come out on prime. Kakegurui Twin could be very related, however as a result of the viewers coming into this may have most certainly seen Kakegurui, Twin noticeably has far more elaborate video games that usually have the hazard of the principles, and by extension how the opponent is stacking the deck of their favour, much more sophisticated than beforehand. Admittedly there have been occasions the place my eyes glazed over as a result of the monologues of how the villain of the week is profitable went on a bit too lengthy. That’s to not say I used to be fully misplaced although, as I nonetheless discovered myself impressed at how gorgeous the animation is at making every sport, even easy ones like rolling cube, as participating and visually interesting as doable, and Mary’s conquer every one, nonetheless temporary, is satisfying all the identical.
One factor that does make Twin really feel very completely different from Kakegurui is the primary protagonist. Mary and Yumeko are very completely different in appears, personalities and the folks they select to encompass themselves with. Yumeko, in what we’ve seen within the authentic anime to this point, is extra of a cypher, an untouchable goddess with more cash than sense. She solely seeks the pleasure of the playing thrill, regardless of what’s at stake, and even within the few episodes the place she is a home pet, she doesn’t really feel worry or disappointment on the state of affairs. Yumeko additionally doesn’t actually have mates per se, extra like individuals who admire her and select to assist or comply with her. She’s quite a lot of enjoyable to look at, however not one to really feel hooked up to or see your self in, if that is smart. Mary, alternatively, is far more of a personality; she has rather a lot to show as a result of she received into the college by way of a scholarship, not due to privilege, and subsequently should combat for her place within the college. She has ambitions, and who she trusts means much more to her each emotionally and financially as she can not afford to lose any video games as changing into a home pet IS an enormous deal in her place. This doesn’t imply that Mary is a greater protagonist, it simply signifies that watching Kakegurui Twin goes to be a distinct expertise than watching Kakegurui, although they’ve quite a lot of the identical components.
Regardless of happening in the identical college, Twin additionally has distinctive characters to this sequence. The childhood pal Tsuzura Hanatemari could be described as somebody who fell in love with the paintings for Revolutionary Woman Utena however fully missed the purpose of the present; she sees Mary as her ‘prince’ and it’s her naïve and utter devotion to Mary that’s each candy but additionally like watching a automotive crash unfold in gradual movement – she’s not within the authentic sequence so SOMETHING should have gone all the way down to make her go away Mary’s facet, and also you simply need to know what. The literary membership president Yukimi Togakushi struggles to face out within the anime total, as she’s largely enjoying the ‘shy bookworm’ in these episodes however she grows on you by the top of season. We’re additionally launched to new pupil council members: Aoi Mibuomi is an effective addition to the sequence who comes throughout as the everyday ‘Good Man’ however slowly reveals his misogynistic facet because the sequence progress. His fiancée Sakura Miharutaki can also be an fascinating member, being much more easy and logical, so she bounces off the opposite extra psychotic characters properly. Then we’ve got Sachiko Juraku, who’s just like the snake within the crew, whispering in different ears what she desires them to listen to and hoping to sway them to the facet she desires them on, so she’s additionally fascinating to look at.
As this sequence is (to this point) solely on Netflix, the English dub includes of the Netflix forged so just a few of the returning characters, like Kira Buckland for Mary, return for Twin. New additions are nice too: Amber Lee Connors virtually purrs Sachiko’s strains and Natalie Hoover as Tsuzura can also be a great casting.
MAPPA return to animate the sequence, and it’s nonetheless as properly animated and finely crafted as the unique sequence. Additionally they do a shocking job of the opening (with instrumental piece by the sequence’ composers Technoboys Pulcraft Inexperienced-Fund) with hanging shadows, and use of angles to provide this sequence’ opening a novel edge. The ending theme is supplied by Iris; it’s a cute pop quantity, however doesn’t stick in your head like different songs from the franchise.
Kakegurui Twin is a enjoyable, fast dive again to the college of playing we all know and love. I hope, nonetheless, that that is only a small taster of extra Kakegurui (Twin or most important sequence) to come back, somewhat than a final burst of anime earlier than they drop it perpetually.
Kakegurui Twin is now streaming on Netflix; it’s obtainable in Japanese, English, Polish, German and lots of extra audio and subtitle choices, relying in your area.