Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler Vol. 1 Review

142175Title: Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler
Author: Homura Kawamoto (story), Toru Naomura (art)
Publisher: Yen Press
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Chapters: 4
Pages: 238
Genre: Shounen Drama

Hyakkaou Academy is a unique academy to say the least. There is a ranking system among the students with the student council, naturally, at the top of that ranking system, but the way the rankings are decided is what makes this academy special: it is all decided by gambling.

The students at Hyakkaou Academy belong to the upper class of society as a whole. They gamble their fortunes away in order to gain social status. Those who cannot win become the pets of those who are richer. If you a boy, you are known as a Pochi and if you are a girl, you are known as a Mi-ke.

One day, a new student transfers to Hyakkaou Academy named Yumeko Jabami. Ryouta Suzui is a student who has become a Pochi after losing a huge bet to the top gambler in his class, Meami Saotome. Yumeko asks Ryouta to show her around the school and it is here that Ryouta tells her about the school’s gambling practices, which Yumeko finds interesting… perhaps a bit TOO interesting as she kind of has a gambling problem.  Yumeko seeks to leave her mark on Hyakkaou Academy by taking on some of the best gamblers the school has to offer, however, as she does, she discovers that the best gamblers all have something in common.. they like to cheat!

Soon, Yumeko finds herself in the crosshairs of the student council and it’s up to her to make sure she doesn’t become a pet like those who have failed before her!

Final Word

The manga seems interesting, however, I think the whole cheating aspect is a bit overused here.  There doesn’t seem to be much variety to any of Yumeko’s encounters outside of the type of gambling game they are playing.  Perhaps in future volumes we’ll get a better variety of contests, but so far, it sees as if the author is focusing on one central theme. I just hope it doesn’t become a crutch.

As for the characters themselves, they seem a tad on a cookie cutter side where each one has their own personalities, but they are nothing new that you haven’t seen before.  The upside is that while the personalities are a tad generic, they’re not too forceful in which they’re not enjoyable.  You can still read them and not feel annoying by the glaring tropes they’re built upon.  This manga reminds me a lot C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control which had avatars battle each other in order to receive funds from the loser’s bank account. It was a different form of gambling which was a decent series in and of itself.

I guess I’ll need to wait and see how this plays out before reserving any judgments as this was only the first four chapters.

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About The Author

Josh Piedra

Josh (or J.J. as some have come to call him), is a long-time geek culture enthusiast with a deep passion for anime, manga and Japanese culture. Josh also has a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and is a creative writer who has created original content for over 20 years! He is also the author of the original English light novel Final Hope.