Kakegurui Episode 1 First Impression Review

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Eyes, Lips and Legs, lots, lots of Legs. And oh man, those eyes, I mean, they look really good… and I imagine, really expensive to do. Hyakkaou Private Academy. An institution for the privileged with a very peculiar curriculum. You see, when you’re the sons and daughters of the wealthiest of the wealthy, it’s not athletic prowess or book smarts that keep you ahead. It’s reading your opponent, the art of the deal. What better way to hone those skills than with a rigorous curriculum of gambling? At Hyakkaou Private Academy, the winners live like kings, and the losers are put through the wringer. But when Yumeko Jabami enrolls, she’s gonna teach these kids what a high roller really looks like!

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Manga reader here! First of all, I would like to say that Mappa had their own artstyle here. For example Suzui here looks/feels more like your generic light novel battle harem protagonist. In the manga he looks/feels like a house pet. One more thing, as you know, this anime (feels good to write that) has a dark atmosphere. That why I was worried how it would turn out in the adaptation now they had to work with colors. I’m not sure if it happened in the manga, but when the main game started, the students closed out the curtains to have that dark atmosphere. Good technique I guess!

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The artstyle I pictured was close to what I’d imagine Death Note would look like if it’d been released recently, and saturation aside, I’d say it was a good pick. The freakeries that they’ve made out of Saotome’s face in this episode is pretty telling of just how ideal the choice was, and I’m curious to see how well are they going to be able to pull this off with other characters. I was extremely dubious in the pick for VO up until Jabami laughed. That was the point I was sold on Hayami. Of course, it only got better as the episode went on. The way she goes from clueless, naïve girl’s voice to psychotic, insane dominant was about as impressive as I expected. The picks for other characters seem OK for the moment, but we’ll see. The ending, well, I didn’t pay much attention to it. I tabbed out when she was fully dressed and when I tabbed in again she’d lost half her clothes. I couldn’t say that the ED was fan service for the sake of fan service, but perhaps all those bust and butt shots were not quite necessary.

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I am, however, worried that as the show goes on they decide to play up Jabami’s sexuality instead of her madness, which would be absolutely shameful. Not only that, but there are several characters whose VO is going to NEED a wide registry to pull them off, and in that sense, the VO work needs to be pretty much flawless. They did remove a few things from the manga, which makes sense if they wanted to put the Jabami /Saotome match frontline. As for the story, they have faithfully adapted everything so far. Which is nice. Why is Saori Hayami so good at what she does? Another wonderful performance from her. Really, really like the art style too, the way the girls seamlessly switched between being graceful and beautiful to ugly and sadistic made me shiver. The OP was killer as well. Definitely going to continue watching this.

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