The Inspiration for Kakegurui’s OP

(Spoilers up until Kakegurui episode 7 in this review)

Once again, a certain YouTube channel has beaten me to the punch talking about an anime OP. But I’ll also be talking about episode 7 while providing a rudimentary analysis of Kakegurui‘s OP, so maybe that can compare to his supposedly detailed video. I didn’t actually watch it because I don’t want to steal people’s ideas!

While Yumeko is having her match with Midari, Mary is having a talk with Kirari who has offered Mary a spot at the Student Council. Before giving Kirari her answer, however, Mary asks about the livestock system Kirari has devised and enforced.

Kirari’s response is to point out the fish tank in the room. She then proceeds to talk about how it’s actually survival of the fittest inside the tank and how gathering “the lowest of the low” will generate a pecking order where there are ones that are even weaker than the rest. But, Kirari muses, sometimes the weakest will beat out the best. So what if this contrived metaphor applies to humans, Kirari wonders out loud. It’s all very intriguing to her, she admits.

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What I got from Kirari’s speech is that

a) she enjoys the possibility of upsets
b) she sees livestock as truly subhuman (which Mary takes as an insult and is one of the reasons why Mary rejects Kirari’s offer)

Back in episode 1, when Kirari first received screentime, the camera focused on her through the fish tank. Upon reading the name listed on the profile of the new transfer student (Yumeko), Kirari notes that a predator has entered their paradise.

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With that in mind, the OP for Kakegurui (“Deal with the Devil”) features plenty of fish imagery and people turning into bubbles as if they were all the tragic heroine in The Little Mermaid (which is probably not relevant at all to this discussion). In fact, the entire OP seem to take place underwater.

I guess this makes sense considering Kirari’s thinking process. If we were to follow that logic, then Yumeko is a distruptive predator who has arrived to cause mayhem. And she has indeed started to stir up trouble by defeating bigshots in gambling.

Is Yumeko doing the right thing? Can she even be considered a hero? Does Kirari prescribe to some sort of subset of Darwinism? I don’t know the answers to these rhetorical questions at all. I merely just wanted to talk about fishies.

As for the rest of the episode, it’s as follows:

  • Mary turns down Kirari’s offer and grips a hairclip of sorts while fuming over Kirari’s nerve to look down on her. I have no idea whose hairclip that is.
  • Somehow Yumeko was able to smear lipstick down the barrel of her revolver, so that’s how she knew that the gun Midari was aiming at Yumeko was hers.
  • Again, this extra action of Yumeko’s seems like a cop-out since it’s literally revealed out of nowhere. There was no scenes showing Yumeko tucking lipstick away into her pocket or anything.
  • Midari then takes a trip down memory lane as she talks about how she gouged her own eye out to settle a debt with Kirari. Said act caused Midari to find pleasure in pain or even death. Kirari then promised to kill Midari one day which convinces Midari to join the Student Council. It seems like this masochistic yearning of Midari has caused her to go mad since she looks towards Yumeko as a substitute for Kirari.
  • Yumeko declares that she’ll make this match end in a draw. Midari thinks there’s no way Yumeko can do this.
  • Suzui desperately tries to give an advantage of Yumeko and uses the same card order as the one Yumeko used in round one. To his relief, she gets all 5 right while Midari gets 2 wrong.
  • Yumeko picks up a revolver and pulls the trigger. Nothing happened.
  • It turns out that Yumeko could sense she picked up her empty gun because she didn’t feel the extra weight of the bullets. Midari rightfully calls her senses superhuman.
  • For the last round, Suzui sees that the image on his screen is now a mirror image which causes him to panic. As Midari threatens to shoot Yumeko as she counts down, Suzui slaps down cards in a random order.
  • This apparently got Yumeko extremely angry since she loads two bullets into her revolver. Midari does the same.
  • Midari flips her cards over and muses to herself that she won. However, she got all 5 wrong.
  • Yumeko reveals that she knows everything that Midari is thinking – everything in the first two rounds were reversed (and she could tell from how Suzui was dealing with the left hand instead of his right). In the last round, however, that wasn’t the case. There was more, but I really found it all to be convoluted and poorly explained.
  • The bottom line is that Midari was hoping to die and rigged everything against herself (with Suzui as the dealer and all). Yumeko tells her, in no uncertain terms, that she hates people who try to aim for death and that this match isn’t gambling and is more like a plea to be murdered. Yumeko leaves in disgust as Midari reaches out to her in lust while begging for Yumeko to kill her.
  • Yumeko makes a small gamble with Suzui – heads means he pays for the food they’ll eat at a sweets buffet and tails means she’ll pay. She is truly a compulsive gambler.
  • Suzui admits that he panicked and merely played without thinking and hope that she would notice that. Yumeko seems thrilled with his answer. I have no idea why.
  • All in all, Kakegurui continues to be either incredibly overt (Midari reached sexual climax at least once while Yumeko pointed a gun at her) or tight-lipped (more like stingy with the camera directing. So many explanations just seem like cop-outs). Truly a show where ugly faces reign supreme. Despite that it’s shaping up to be only a thriller, the show is at least sort of interesting and entertaining to watch.

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