English Dub Season Review: Kakegurui Twin Season 1 Part 1

“Kakegurui Twin Season 1 Part 1” is a captivating anime series that serves as both a spin-off and a prequel to the original “Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler” series. Based on the Japanese Manga series written by Homura Kawamoto and illustrated by Kei Saiki, it delves into the story of Mary Saotome, a transfer student who enters the notorious Hyakkaou Private Academy.

In this prestigious academy, the students are immersed in a high-stakes gambling system that consumes their lives. As Mary becomes acquainted with the school’s twisted gambling culture, she quickly adapts to the rules and strategies, which ultimately lead her down a path of intense gambling addiction. The series explores whether a seemingly ordinary girl like Mary can navigate this treacherous world of wit and luck, making friends and surviving without falling into insurmountable debt.

The animation for “Kakegurui Twin Season 1 Part 1” is expertly handled by the renowned animation studio MAPPA. The director, Kaori Makita, along with chief director Yuichiro Hayashi, brings the captivating storyline to life. Shigeru Murakoshi skillfully crafts the scripts, while Manabu Nii takes charge of the character designs. The music, including the instrumental intro, is composed by Technoboys Pulcraft Green-Fund, and the ending theme song, “Queens Bluff,” is performed by Iris.

Kakegurui Twin Unveils Trailer, New Key Visual, and August 4 Premiere -  QooApp News

The heart of the story revolves around Mary Saotome, who finds herself in Hyakkaou Academy, a place where each day passes with someone losing a piece of themselves. In this cutthroat environment, anything can be wagered as a prize—whether it be money, virginity, or dignity. The only thing that matters is the end result of gambling. Throughout the series, Mary’s triumphs, along with the support of her newfound friends, feel like challenging boss battles in a video game. Her motivation stems from a deep-rooted defiance against the corrupt authority figures within the school. Mary’s transformation into a gambling genius driven by sheer spite against those who seek to exploit her is a compelling aspect of her character. Kira Buckland delivers an exceptional vocal performance, further enhancing Mary’s role with her acting abilities.

What sets the gambling aspect of this school apart is not just the lack of intervention from teachers or the headmaster’s turning a blind eye, but the fact that the student council, responsible for promoting and encouraging this behavior, is predominantly comprised of petty and corrupt upper-class mean girls. These individuals ruled through underhanded tactics that went unchecked and unchallenged until Mary’s arrival. They thrived in their elitist classism, perpetuating cruel tier-systems that dehumanize individuals unable to pay their debts, labeling them as “Housepets.” The allowance of cheating within the games further exacerbates the already twisted nature of the school. The show often hinges on characters exploiting conveniently contrived loopholes in the rules, resulting in victory or defeat being determined by transparency, ignorance, or underhandedness rather than intelligence or strategic prowess. The constant unveiling of characters’ inner monologues outlining their plans or schemes serves to foreshadow their eventual downfall, creating a recurring pattern throughout the anime as it seeks to continually escalate the stakes.

Kakegurui Twin review: A great psychological anime worth seeing

In its entirety, “Kakegurui Twin Season 1 Part 1” proves to be surprisingly watchable, although not without its flaws. The animation quality is impressive, capturing the essence of the intense gambling moments. The music effectively complements the narrative, enhancing the overall viewing experience. While the series tones down some of the weirdness and brutal violence of its predecessor, it incorporates LGBTQ and BDSM undertones, adding a unique flavor to the story. However, a notable downside is the lack of a proper ending, as the post-credits cliffhanger in the sixth episode leaves viewers craving resolution. This is a consequence of Netflix’s business model of splitting seasons into parts, resulting in delayed releases. Despite this drawback, viewers eagerly anticipate the arrival of Part 2, willing to take a gamble on its continuation.

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Rei Batsubami,Sachiko Juraku,Midari Ikishima,Anzu,Aruka

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