Our first manga review! Yay! Now I’d like to preface this review by saying I don’t read much manga. What little I do read is mostly the romantic ones. So bear with me a little and don’t maul me. (Punny!)
Before I started the manga, I knew the anime was trashed a lot, but after reading the premise, I thought to myself (*in my deepest voice* what a wonderful world) “this sounds good!”. After reading the manga I have no doubts. This really is a great manga, don’t think otherwise because of the anime reviews.
Kakegurui is a gambling-focused (duh) manga, set in Hyakkaou Academy, a school full of rich and influential students, with a tradition of prioritizing gambling over everything else, building their students’ people skills: the manipulative kind. The story focuses on Yumeko Jabami, a new transfer student who is a compulsive gambler, and her ‘friends’.
Visually the art of the manga is gorgeous; detailed faces, clothes and even backgrounds, make it very appealing. The drastic change in background style, font and expression also added to it, especially in the case of Yumeko, when she shifts from her simple girl face to the gambling addict face.
Although the story focuses mostly on gambling, the characters are interesting and well developed. Their backstories are concise and interesting, telling us precisely what we need to know; their actions are directly linked to their motives, and understandable. Even Yumeko’s opponents get enough backstory and development, making their motives clear and avoiding the DBZ syndrome.
Yumeko herself is a pretty interesting character. Her simple mindedness and childishness make her adorable on normal days, but her compulsive gambling, her cunning, and her sharpness in spotting cheaters make her an intimidating figure. Yumeko can see through any schemes by her opponent and her absolute trust in her friends makes her an interesting character. Normally a character with such smarts would doubt even her friends until they proved themselves, but Yumeko trusts people easily and makes them trust her (sometimes forcefully). The most unique aspect of Yumeko has to be that, although she can detect people cheating and can/will cheat herself, it is all to even the odds. Unlike everyone else, she doesn’t have a hunger for winning; she’s hungry for gambling itself.
The story of this manga can be weird at times, ignoring a few basic things but covering other things in great detail. The narrative focuses so much on the high-stakes gambling that you tend to forget these are just high school students. Betting a billion yen on a match? Deciding people’s life for them? All that makes the games really interesting, but what parent would give their child a billion yen or let them die because of a bet? In all the story is not bad if you don’t think about it too much. The pacing is a plus. It’s well-paced, and so keeps the excitement up between the chapters instead of beating around the bush and adding fillers to increase the suspense to a point that you forgot what you were waiting for.
I’ll continue this manga even after this review, it’s really interesting and sometimes gives you the chills.
Visuals are really interesting and the changes in style is good for punctuating some moments
Good character and good development
You definitely won’t read this for the overall story.
The original games were unique and really interesting.
A good binge read, ‘coz you can’t stop reading once you start.