First Look: Kakegurui Twin

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Alternative title(s): Compulsive Gambler Twin
Manga Adaptation by MAPPA
Streaming on Netflix

Premise

First-year student Mary Saotome has one goal: to rise to the top as the pretty and popular gambling prodigy of the infamous Hyakkaou Private Academy. However, she soon discovers that she’ll need to up the ante if she really wants to gain the attention and accolades of her peers. Now, with an old classmate-turned-housepet by her side, Mary is determined to gamble (and cheat) her way to true fame and fortune – even if that means taking on the student council.

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Artemis’ verdict: Playing Its Cards Right

Here for the crazy anime faces and oversexed high school students? Congratulations, Kakegurui once again delivers in spades. There’s honestly not much to say about this one beyond “If you liked Kakegurui the first (and second) time around, you’ll probably like it again now. If you didn’t, you won’t.” Sure, Mary isn’t exactly the most compelling cast member of the overall series, so I was wondering how a prequel show following her as the main character would pan out. However, despite Yumeko honestly being a lot more interesting (and this anime takes place prior to her transfer to Hyakkaou Private Academy, so don’t go in expecting to see her at any point), there are plenty of other familiar faces, including the ridiculously over-the-top Student Council and their hilariously exaggerated antics. Beyond that, viewers should know exactly what to expect from the franchise by now, especially with the same director and MAPPA back at the helm – so as you’d imagine, very little has changed here either in general style and tone or visuals.

The only other thing of note is that Netflix has dropped all 6 episodes of this anime in a single batch, so it’s very bingeable if you’re after some late-night shenanigans. Personally, I do think the series works pretty well as a binge-watch rather than a one-episode-per-week format, but to each their own.

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Jel’s verdict: A few cards short

On paper, yes, this is more Kakegurui, and if this was the first episode of the series then I probably would have enjoyed it well enough. It’s not though, and after two seasons of escalation, episode 1 of Twin felt downright pedestrian, maybe even boring. It doesn’t help that Mary and the new cast are pretty dull by Kakegurui standards, and you could say the same for the first game they choose to play. As with many spin-offs, it feels like they’re just squeezing every last drop they can get out of the franchise, and for Kakegurui there’s not a lot of substance there to begin with.

It sure looks nice though.

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