Ironically, resisting a binge on Kakegurui — Netflix’s original anime about a gambling addict — probably makes you feel about the same way as our protagonist Yumeko Jabami does indulging in her vices.
Kakegurui came back for a second season (Kakegurui xx) on June 14, a highly anticipated return after the show’s high-energy high-stakes debut. If you haven’t yet watched the first season, I highly recommend you invest time in that before getting into the second season, because the first episode of the sophomore installment throws you right into the middle of a very high-risk gamble. (And if you don’t mind spoilers, it involves a guillotine.)
Eye in the sky, remind me what happened last time?
After thoroughly disrupting the status quo of the distorted school hierarchy of Hyakkaou Private Academy, Yumeko continues to make waves with her irrational compulsive love of gambling coupled with her incredibly rational logic. Just as in the previous season, Ryota Suzui’s perspective leads most of the story, and he for the most part remains safe in Yumeko’s shadow. When we first met Yumeko in season one, she seems the new, nice, and naive student on the block, but the moment she is challenged to a bet, she completely destroys and is utterly victorious.
Confident competitors continue to risk their money and rank to thwart her supposed beginner’s luck, but Yumeko wins again and again unabated. News of Yumeko’s success reaches higher and higher up the student government hierarchy, facing off against the student government president Kirari Momobami in a final showdown — and that basically brings us to the second season.
Kakegurui Season 2 ups the ante
In this season, President Kirari Momobami decides to bait everyone’s inner-gambler — setting up a free-for-all “presidential election” for the entirety of Hyakkaou Private Academy. For the victor of the election, Kirari not only promises her seat as president of the student government (which, as we’ve learned from season one, can play an incredibly influential role in politics) but also her rank as the heiress of her clan conglomerate. The rules? Everyone starts with one vote chip (not surprisingly designed like one from poker), however in typical Hyakkaou-style, everyone is also free to gamble their votes to obtain more.
With Kirari’s titles up for grabs, several new transfer students suddenly show up at Hyakkaou’s door — and guess what? Their last names all end in “-bami.” We learn they’re all distant relatives of Kirari, different in every way but with the same core love of gambling. They become this season’s adversaries, planning to conspire and win Kirari’s privileges, but unbeknownst to them, they’ll be played by Yumeko, who (hint, hint) also has a last name ending in “-bami.”
Take a deep breath of relief: Kakegurui xx is absolutely not a let down in comparison to the first. Kakeguri xx keeps the same quality of animation and voice-acting. Plot-wise, we get to see beloved characters from the first season and meet new characters, and we get a little more about Yumeko’s mysterious backstory. And of course, as always, the gambles the students hurl themselves into are intriguing, thrilling, and probably not what we would risk in real life.
Double down for these gambles
As everyone in the show is, we’re all-in — for the fun and games, at least. Admittedly, the games of this season are a little less complicated and easier to follow than season one, but they are all nevertheless thrilling to watch.
My top three favorite gambles of Kakegurui xx? Below:
Nym Type Zero
Four players are given four cards out of a 40-card deck that contain 10 sets of the numbers 0, 1, 2, and 3. For each round, players place one card from their hand down onto the table in a counterclockwise fashion. The number of the card they reveal is the value of the card — these values are summed to an overall table total. The objective of each round is to not go past the summative value of 9; exceeding 9 will result in the loss of a player. — In this game, Ryota joins in on the fun, and we even get to see Mary Saotome later on!
The Greater Good Game
Five players are provided five coins at the beginning of each round. During a turn, a player is led to a separate private room, where the player can either deposit however many coins into a ‘personal fund’ box or a ‘tax contribution’ box. A round ends after all players have made their coin deposits. Those coins that are placed into the ‘personal fund’ box goes to a player’s overall pool, while ‘tax contribution’ box coins are counted at the end of the round, doubled, and then distributed evenly among all players, regardless of individual contribution.
This game is played for a total of four rounds; at the end of the game, players must have accumulated at least 40 coins in order to win. There is a one-time-use elimination mechanism built into the game: Before the beginning of each round, players have a few minutes of discussion period. If at least three players agree to kick another player out within this time, said player is removed from the game. — For this gamble, we revisit two characters from the first season, Itsuki Sumeragi and Kaede Manyuda.
Grin It and Bear It Death Macaron
Two players are provided three macarons to eat in a given order — the catch? One of them has very spicy habanero filling. The opposing player observes their opponent eating all three macarons and guesses which macaron was the one with the tongue death sentence. — Our participants for this game are pop idol Yumemi Yumemite, teamed up with Yumemko this time around, versus one of the -bami clan members.
Kakegurui Season 3? Or is Yumeko officially in the black book?
The second season of Kakegurui continues in the same fashion as its first, settling us into the situation and making us feel as tense as the participants in the gamble. Perhaps most uncomfortable for us was that, at the end of twelve episodes, we are still left hanging on Yumeko’s eventual fate. We see flashbacks of Yumeko’s sister living within the clan’s estates before she was hospitalized, and we know that Yumeko’s love for gambling is essentially part of the clan’s DNA. The presidential election is never concluded in season two, and we still have yet to see what comes of the disorder Yumeko has caused the clan. This can only mean one thing: a third season.
And I’d bet a finger on that.
What gambles could you see yourself getting into from Kakegurui xx? And at what risk? Also what the chances that Netflix titles the third season as Kakegurui xxx? And do we want to know what the Google searches for that will look like?
Let us know in the comments below or tweet @geekgalsco your answer! Get your gambling freak on!