Kakegurui Manga versus Kakegurui Anime
Kaiji Gambling Anime
The episodes in Kaiji are more focused on the emotions that run through the course of the game and player dynamics. Players can work together, cut deals, cheat, or backstab each other and the temptation is hard to resist when offered the possibility to clear their debt. As the games progress, we wait to see if players will help or hurt each other. With their lives, and large sums of money, on the line, winning the jackpot can tempt even close friends to betray each other. Under pressure as the games progress, Kaiji is shown to be an analytical thinker, finding loopholes and new strategies, helping his fellow players survive the games, though not always without injury.
Which is the best anime?
Kaiji, on the otherhand, is a much darker series, with many emotional highs and lows as the players experience the adrenaline, the cheating, the treachery and the powerlessness that go on during the course of the game, with the price of losing often being injury or death. While Kakegurui episodes will explain and complete a game within one or two episodes, Kaiji will spend several episodes on just one game and it has much more dialogue relating to the emotional and strategy-based decisions that Ito Kaiji must make. The weakness of Kaiji, is that Ito Kaiji, while described as a loser in his personal life, is often able to cleverly analyze the games, strategize, and inspire his fellow gamblers to work together and win big, so it can be hard to believe that someone so successful in a tough situation wouldn’t be successful in their regular life as well.
Both series have their merits and we suggest that you give them each a try. Kaiji is for someone who really wants to immerse themselves in the mindset, emotions and risks of gambling, especially with the interesting group dynamics that develop amongst the players (for good or bad). Kakegurui is for someone who likes learning new games, thinking about betting (and cheating) strategies, and game design - and enjoys that mix of compulsive gambling and Sherlock-like skills of analysis that Yumeko Jabami brings to the series. They are both two very different styles of anime, so if you don’t like one, you may like the other.