Gambling may not be the most common subject for anime to address, but when it does come up, it makes for some fascinating stories. One of the most popular gambling anime is Kakegurui, a series that focuses on wealthy private school students engaging in high-stakes games of chance. While this recent smash hit ranks among the best, it's not all there is to the world of anime about gambling. There's also One Outs, a psychological thriller about betting large sums of money on baseball, and Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor, a show about a directionless man suddenly thrust into the world of underground gambling.
Which of these gambling anime are you adding to your to-watch list?
Kakegurui is the most recent addition to the pantheon of gambling anime. It centers on the students at Hyakkaou Private Academy, a school that serves the children of the rich and famous. During the day, the school offers a standard curriculum, but at night the school turns into a casino. Students bet large sums of money - and things like fingernails - on games of chance, in the hopes of attaining high status in the school's pecking order. Those who win are treated like gods, while those who lose are barely considered human. The whole system is disrupted when an exceptionally skilled - and exceptionally sadistic - transfer student arrives on the scene.
On Earth, siblings Sora and Shiro are an accomplished gaming team known as Blank - they're almost completely unbeatable. Despite their refined skills, they have little hope of a happy life, because they're too afraid to go outside, and their skills don't translate into anything meaningful When they're transported to the land of Disboard, that changes dramatically. In Disboard, everything is determined through games. including political decisions and a whole species ownership of itself. Through a series of bets, Sora and Shiro rise to the top of their new world.
Toua Tokuchi is a professional athlete who spends his time playing One Outs, a simplified version of baseball. When he's scouted by a member of a pro baseball team, the Saikyou Saitama Lycaons, his future seems assured. But the owner of the team doesn't exactly see Toua's involvement as a financially solvent solution. Toua convinces him by offering him a deal - for every out he pitches, he'll earn 5 million yen, and for every run he gives up, he'll lose 50 million. A single game could ruin Toua completely - but the thrill of risking everything is what he lives for.
Death Parade offers a truly unique take on the concept of gambling. The participants might think they're making genuine bets, but the games are only an excuse for Decim to judge them. Decim is an arbiter in charge of deciding whether souls are reincarnated or obliterated. It's through watching how people behave when they think that everything is on the line that Decim understands what kind of people they are, and decides the fate of their souls. But over the course of the series, he begins to question the validity of his methods.