Table of Contents
Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler is a long-running series written by Homura Kawamoto and illustrated by Tōru Naomura. Since it was first published by Square Enix in 2014, it’s spawned 14 volumes, two seasons of an anime, two light novels, and even a live-action drama. It’s also had a film adaptation, with a sequel set to be released sometime this year, and a short-lived video game adaptation. To say that it’s popular is an understatement, and its release on Netflix has made it more visible to anime fans around the world.
Kakegurui revolves around Yumeko Jabami, a student who has just transferred into Hyakkaou Private Academy, one of Japan’s most prestigious schools. Unlike in normal schools, however, a student’s ranking is determined not by grades and attendance, but by their gambling winnings. By day, the school teaches a regular curriculum that includes history, math, literature, and the like. However, at night, students are trained to become high rollers. They are taught not just the basics, such as poker hand rankings and what to do when two hands of the same strength go head-to-head, but also sleight of hand and how to manipulate others into making risky plays. With many of the students at the school being part of the world’s richest families, most games are high-stakes, and whoever makes the most comes out on top.
Unlike most other students, Yumeko doesn’t play to win – she plays for the sake of playing. Her time at Hyakkaou sees her meeting several unique characters, all with their own gambling styles. Here they are, ranked in order of gambling skill:
5. Kaede Manyuda
The Treasurer of the Student Council, Kaede is good at math, and this is something that he relies on extensively while he gambles. He plays it safe, but is excellent at reading people, and his knowledge of statistics and probabilities have allowed him to come out on top.
4. Yumemi Yumemite
Yumemi doesn’t gamble much – her aspirations lie elsewhere: in becoming a Hollywood star. She’s amassed quite the following and plans to use the connections she makes in Hyakkaou to find success as an entertainer in the US. When she gambles, however, she leads her opponents to believe that she is the underdog before using underhanded tricks to take them down. She doesn’t cheat – not directly – but she does have a way of using her fanbase to her advantage!
3. Yumeko Jabami
The main character in Kakegurui, Yumeko gambles for the sake of gambling. She enjoys the thrill and is willing to risk everything on a good bet. Her gambling style is reckless, and this is what makes her stand out amongst the other students. Considering that she has just transferred to Hyakkaou, Yumeko quickly adapts to life at the school and starts taking down some of its most elite players. When she loses – and she does — she shows resilience and adapts to the circumstances, making her one of the students to watch.
2. Mary Saotome
Mary was the top winner in her classroom before Yumeko transferred into Hyakkaou, with a winning streak that made her quite notorious amongst other students. Like most other students in Hyakkaou, Mary cheats. Unlike most others, though, Mary learns from her mistakes. She learns from watching Yumeko and adapts her play style to suit, making her one to be reckoned with.
1. Kirari Momobami
It’s hard to argue against Student Council President Kirari’s prowess. In fact, you wouldn’t be remiss to say that she’s the reason that Hyakkaou runs the way that it does, as she made gambling compulsory when she beat the previous President. Kirari always plays to win – and she plays at extremely high stakes. She takes a more psychological approach to gambling and treats the other students as pawns and playthings, but she is undeniably the best gambler in Hyakkaou.
In Hyakkaou, there’s more to success than just making good plays – there’s a lot of manipulation and psychology involved, too. These characters use their unique skills to take other students down, making them the five best gamblers in Kakegurui.
Interested in more character rankings? Click here to read about the Top 10 Best Characters in Bleach.