Kakegurui Collector’s Edition: A Brief Review

Originally making its debut on Netflix in 2018, the release of the Kakegurui Collector’s Edition has been highly anticipated by fans of the bonkers high school gambling show. This unique series, which my fellow reviewer Darkstorm rated highly at the time, offers a thrilling and stylish anime adventure that is sure to leave a lasting impression. With an all-new dub from Sentai, the question arises: Does this insane series still hold up and deliver the same level of excitement? Let’s dive in and find out!

Kakegurui is set in the prestigious Hyakkaou Private Academy, a school renowned for molding the future leaders of Japan’s political and economic spheres. However, the students’ success isn’t solely determined by academic achievements. Instead, the school’s open culture of gambling plays a pivotal role in shaping their social standing and power dynamics. Under the watchful eye of the ruthless student council president, Kirari Momobami, the most skilled gamblers occupy the top rungs of the school hierarchy. On the other hand, those who fall victim to heavy debts find themselves labeled as “pets” and subjected to a life of servitude.

Our protagonist, Ryota Suzui, becomes one such pet after being defeated in a game by his classmate, Mary Saotome. While most pets struggle to repay their debts, Ryota’s fortunes take an unexpected turn when he encounters Yumeko Jabami. Yumeko, a beautiful and highly intelligent girl, harbors an insatiable gambling addiction and a penchant for taking enormous risks, regardless of the consequences. As she immerses herself in the school’s gambling culture and pulls off a series of astonishing victories, Yumeko captures the attention of the student council. They perceive her as a threat to their power and embark on a mission to eliminate her. Yet, unbeknownst to them, Yumeko’s ultimate goal is to challenge the student council president herself.

Kakegurui embraces its status as an absolutely insane show and executes it with finesse. The story may seem ludicrous and over-the-top, but that’s precisely what makes it work. The series knows exactly what it is and fearlessly embraces its unique qualities. Viewers are treated to manic scenes where characters go all-out during gambling bouts, exhibiting exaggerated reactions. These moments often feature ahegao-style shots, with characters salivating and dripping with intensity, or contorted expressions of determination and anxiety.

While not conventionally pretty, the animation by MAPPA leaves an immediate impact. The visuals combine a grotesque and provocative style that perfectly complements the show’s essence. Some scenes may be unsettling or gory, prompting a quick look away, but they add to the overall experience. Kakegurui thrives on its disgustingly sexy and brilliantly grotesque aesthetics, which contribute to its unique charm.

With its fetishistic angle and penchant for fanservice, Kakegurui delivers a visually titillating experience. The unabashed embrace of its naughtiness enhances the wild and pleasurable ride it offers. The show knows it looks and feels naughty, evident in scenes such as Yumeko swaggering with wet clothes unbuttoned. This unabashed approach contributes to the overall sense of fun and enjoyment.

At its core, Kakegurui presents a seemingly straightforward narrative. Yumeko faces opponent after opponent, climbing the ranks as she works her way toward challenging the student council president. Each couple of episodes delves into a particular game, most of which are adaptations of real-life games with modified rules. While this format could have become monotonous, especially for those not particularly interested in casino games, Kakegurui manages to captivate with its intricate strategic plays. Audiences are drawn into the complexities of each game, trying to decipher the players’ strategies and anticipate their moves. Occasionally, the characters explicitly announce their actions and motivations, which can curtail some of the suspense and deductive fun. However, the series compensates with its compelling characters and their interactions.

The cast of characters is where Kakegurui truly shines. Yumeko Jabami takes the spotlight as the audacious and thrill-seeking protagonist who revels in gambling for the sheer exhilaration it provides. She possesses a surprising depth, demonstrated through moments where she helps other students who have been unfairly trapped by their debts. These instances not only reveal her compassionate side but also allow the show to touch upon the negative consequences of the school’s gambling culture. It’s worth noting that Yumeko doesn’t always emerge victorious, and her losses, while sometimes deliberately orchestrated, are occasionally determined by pure luck. While this can feel like a cop-out at times, it adds a sense of unpredictability to the narrative.

The supporting cast is equally captivating, each character bringing their unique quirks to the table as Yumeko confronts them one by one. The student council members, in particular, stand out with their insane personalities and idiosyncrasies. Some characters provide shockingly grotesque moments, such as Itsuki’s penchant for ripping off people’s nails, while others reveal deeper layers beneath their seemingly outrageous facades. Characters like Yumemi Yumemite, who despises her fans, and treasurer Kaede Manyuda, driven by an insatiable lust for power, add depth and complexity to the story. Among Yumeko’s allies, Mary’s journey of redemption and resilience proves to be an interesting narrative thread. On the other hand, Ryota’s role as the voice of reason and occasional helper to Yumeko falls somewhat flat, as his character lacks the same level of intrigue and charisma.

Voice acting plays a pivotal role in bringing the characters to life, and the Japanese voice cast deserves commendation for their outstanding performances. They fully embody their respective characters, seamlessly transitioning between sweet and deranged, and delivering the necessary emotional depth. Notable voice actors, such as Saori Hayami as Yumeko, real-life idol Yuu Serizawa as in-anime idol Yumemi, and Tomokazu Sugita as Kaede, contribute to the overall quality of the Japanese version.

On the other hand, the English dub of Kakegurui has sparked some controversy surrounding this release. Sentai Filmworks opted to produce their own English dub instead of using Netflix’s version, resulting in a noticeable difference in voice talent. While the script remains largely faithful, some characters sound too mature for their age, with Yumeko, in particular, sounding much older than her teenage self. Overall, the English dub struggles to capture the essence and original intent of the Japanese version. As such, if you prefer a dubbed viewing experience, it’s recommended to stick with Netflix’s version.

The sound design in Kakegurui is truly exceptional, with an electrifying soundtrack composed by the Japanese electronica group TECHNOBOYS PULCRAFT GREEN-FUND. The score predominantly features a blend of sassy jazz and hard-hitting electronic beats that perfectly align with the intense gambling action. Both the opening theme, “Deal with the devil” by Tia, and the ending theme, “LAYon-theLINE” by D-selections, excellently complement the series’ themes and contribute to the overall experience. As previously mentioned, these musical choices are not devoid of powerful fanservice-heavy moments, further immersing viewers in the show’s audacious world.

The home video release of Kakegurui Collector’s Edition includes all 24 episodes of the series spread across four Blu-ray discs. Additionally, it features a range of bonus content, including clean opening and ending animations, Japanese promotional videos, and trailers. The collector’s edition also comes with a 40-page art booklet, showcasing character designs and concept art, as well as an exclusive set of 10 art cards featuring key visuals from the series. This comprehensive package is a treat for fans and collectors who want to delve deeper into the world of Kakegurui.

In conclusion, the Kakegurui Collector’s Edition delivers a thrilling and stylish anime adventure that fully embraces its over-the-top nature. With its audacious visuals, intense gambling battles, and eccentric characters, the series successfully captivates audiences with its unique charm. While the English dub falls short of capturing the essence of the Japanese version, the exceptional Japanese voice acting and electrifying soundtrack compensate for it. Whether you’re a fan of the original series or a newcomer intrigued by the premise, Kakegurui Collector’s Edition is a must-have for any anime enthusiast seeking an exhilarating and visually captivating experience. Get ready to place your bets and dive into the chaotic world of Kakegurui!

We bring out some of the most well-known Kakegurui collection, all of which are available at reasonable costs. Visit our link now if you are interested in the Kakegurui collection

Kaori Kaoruzaki,Kirari Momobami,Kokoro Aiura,Kumagusu,Kurara Kurokura

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *