Hyakkaou Private Academy is an institution for the elite of society with a very special curriculum. These students are the children of the wealthiest people in the world, but they won’t need athletic prowess or book smarts for a successful life, they will need to know the art of the deal and how to read people. So instead of traditional classes, this school features a curriculum of rigorous gambling where the winners live like kings and the losers suffer. However, they haven’t seen anything yet until they meet new student Yumeko Jabami.
There is only so much fun to be had in a gambling anime if done wrong, but with the way the masterful manipulation and intrigue is presented in Kakegurui, it has a way of drawing you in for the ride right from the first episode. So if you want more high stakes living, then these anime recommendations are sure to titillate you.
For Fans of High Stakes Gambling
Kaiji Itou is a thug in the truest sense. With his days spent drinking and stealing hubcaps, his world is turned upside down when a co-worker tricks him into taking on a huge debt. In order to pay it off, Kaiji takes up a shady offer to participate in illegal gambling on a cruise ship that is filled with even worse scumbags than him.
Kakegurui soared right up there alongside Kaiji as one of the finer series that is specifically all about high stakes gambling. However, there are a few key differences. Kaiji has more of a male cast unlike the distinctly female cast of Kakegurui. Kaiji also has a slower pace, but more complex games. Furthermore, Kakegurui is more about reputation and money rather than money and life.
After death, there is no heaven or hell, but there is a bar that decides whether you reincarnate or disappear into oblivion. Pairs of the recently deceased must play a random game which decides their fate.
One of the first similarities you will notice between these two is the art styles. However, while they have different settings, they both have games that touch upon human morality and imperfections. Despite being high stakes for the player and no risk for the audience, both shows are also masterful at engaging the viewer and eliciting an almost emotional response as well.
Rio: Rainbow Gate
The Howard Resort Hotel is an entertainment destination. In the casino, a dealer named Rio Rollins is known by patrons as the Goddess of Victory. However, Rio aims to get closer to her mother, a legendary dealer. In order to do so, she must play to gather 13 legendary gate cards. Can this Lady Luck achieve her dream?
There are actually very few differences between these two series. Both Rio and Kakagurui feature high stakes gambling done by beautiful women. However, Rio has more of a kitschy overall goal where the motives behind Kakegurui are not so clear-cut.
For Fans of Genius Manipulators
Light Yagami is a high school prodigy and genius. However, he has an ever-increasing boredom and disdain for the rotten violent world. One day, he happens upon a notebook, called a Death Note, which states that if you write a name in it, the person will die. To his surprise, the notebook’s claims turn out to be true. This Death Note, the property of the Shinigami gods of death, gives Light the power to change this world and he decides to become its new God by executing all criminals.
If you like Kakegurui not so much for the gambling, but rather how the characters try to play each other, then you can definitely get a lot of enjoyment from Death Note. The whole show, despite having a more supernatural bint, is about characters trying to manipulate each other, it is just without the guise of a game.
Toua Tokuchi is an athlete and a gambler. He makes his money with a serious fastball and a simplified game of baseball called One Outs. However, one day he is approached by a veteran slugger and asked to join his long unsuccessful team, but the owner of the team doesn’t want him to threaten the money that he makes by losing. Toua, being the gambler that he is, eventually settles that for each out he pitches, he gets 5 million yen, but for each hit, he loses 50 million.
One doesn’t imagine that baseball is much of a thoughtful game, but if you watch it through the eyes of One Outs, it becomes just as intense and thoughtful as those playing the game in Kakagurui. Furthermore, they added an element of gambling to One Outs that makes it extremely similar.
Kaito Daimon is an exceptionally average student, except for his demonic ability to solve puzzles. He is so good that when asked to take a special test of his ability, he suspects that the test is a different sort of test. Suddenly, he finds himself caught up in the lethal Philosopher’s Puzzle, a murderous maze of traps where one failed puzzle means a horrible death.
Although Phi Brain doesn’t have the gambling element of Kakagurui, it does have a series of intense puzzles that draw you in. Furthermore, the puzzles themselves also have high stakes involved in the form of life and death. Both shows unexpectedly draw you in and kind of keep you there.
For Fans of Overpowered Main Characters
No Game No Life
In the real world, siblings Shiro and Sora are NEET shut-ins. However, in the virtual world, they are the legendary gaming duo. One day, after a strange email, they find their reality taken away as they are transported to the realm of Tet, God of Games. Here, Shiro and Sora must play games to defeat the sixteen races of this world as well as Tet in order to become the new gods.
Overpowered is the keyword of both of these series. In their respective games, all main characters involved are almost perfect at it. While this sort of perfection on paper seems boring to watch, both shows do a great job at keeping you interested even when you ultimately know the outcome. The thrill is really watching them get there.
Yukiteru Amano likes to imagine himself as an observer. He spends his days keeping a diary on his cell phone, but not about himself, about everything that goes on around him. At home, he spends his time conversing with his two imaginary friends, Deus Ex Machina, the God of space and time, and Murmur, his assistant. However, one day he discovers his friends are not so imaginary when they imbue him with the power of a diary that tells the future and forces him into a bloody survival game with godhood on the line.
What is more high stakes than life or death? While Yukiteru is certainly not OP, Yuno is definitely the Yumeko of Future Dairy. However, the distinct different in Future Diary is most certainly the setting as well as the fact that it is not so much about gambling as it is being in a game of survival.
Ever since he was a child, Souma Yukihira helped his father cook in his restaurant, constantly challenging him to cook-offs in anticipation for the day when he would finally win. However, when his father suddenly decides to leave to go on a trip around the world, Souma is sent to the Totsuki Culinary Academy, an elite cooking school where only the top 10 percent graduate. Here, Souma learns that not only are some of his classmates top-tier chefs, but they also engage in intense competitions called ”food wars”.
Yes, Food Wars is mostly about the food, but the fact that there are cooking competitions within the school with high stakes makes Kakagurui heavily reminiscent of it. Both are set in an off-kilter school, and both schools employ a hierarchy that surrounds these sort of high staked competitions.
Do you have any more anime recommendations like Kakegurui? Let us know in the comments section below.