Top 5 Anime Shows About Gambling

What’s catches your interest in an anime show? Sure, well-written characters who have interesting interactions are a part of it, but another, even more important part is the feeling that something’s at stake. It’s only when you know exactly what the characters stand to lose if they don’t come on top in a scene that this scene keeps you on the edge.

Coincidentally, this is the same type of fun that gamblers are seeking. So even if you’re not the type to check out the Raging Bull review and go to an online casino to risk your hard-earned cash, it may be fun to combine these two worlds. That said, here are the top five gambling-related casinos to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Usogui

This is an anime show about Madarame Baku known as Usogui or The Lie Eater. As you may deduce from his nickname, Madarame has a supernatural ability that would make any gambler envious, he can tell lie from the truth at a drop of a hat. This is a very important part of the main hero’s journey in this story as he takes on a dangerous crime syndicate, but not head-on. He meets the criminals at the gambling table.

The catch is, it’s your regular game where the bet is a sum of money, no matter how big. Madarame’s foes are ready to bet their own lives on the outcome of a poker game. To beat them, The Lie Eater should respond with a similar bet and risk his own life every time he wants to beat his opponent.

The game with the highest stakes imaginable is what makes every episode of Usogui so tantalizing. But there is a lot more drama waiting for the protagonist when his foes inevitably want to take their fight away from the gambling table out to the street. The show is going to be quite graphic here as it involves the mafia so beware if you don’t like seeing violence.

Akagi: The Genius Who Descended into Darkness

Akagi is an old-school manga with the first volume released back in 1991. The ending was only given to the audience in 2017. The anime show was released in 2005 and covers only the first couple volumes, serving more like a bait to read the manga than a full adaptation. However, the anime show itself is good enough to check out, though it does feature quite an uncharacteristic artistic style.

As you may know, in Japan, mahjong is not only a nice family game but also a game loved by gamblers. In the 1960s where Akagi is set, it’s especially popular among gamblers and the mafia. It’s also the game that could a man his life. The story starts with a guy owing 3 million yen to the yakuza family. The gangsters dare him to win back the debt by betting his own life on the game.

As he begins to lose, a kid stumbles into the gambling parlor and is allowed to stay. He introduces himself as Akagi and quickly proves he’s a skilled mahjong player. Akagi who’s just 13 at the time wins back the man’s debt and goes on to challenge the mob boss.

What’s next for the prodigy? He’s going to have to battle not only with the yakuza gamblers but with his inner demons as he descends deeper into the criminal world.

The Legend of the Gambler: Tetsuya

Tetsuya had less of a run than Akagi, being published from 1997 to 2005, and getting an anime adaptation in 2001. Like the previous title, it’s set in post-war Japan and follows the story of a mahjong gambler who becomes a living legend. However, unlike Akagi which has a cult following, Tetsuya isn’t as well known. If you’ve already seen all the popular gambling anime shows, this is going to be a new gem for you.

There’s also one key difference between the two series. In most other gambling animes, the protagonist is a genius who either knows the game at an expert level or can easily read the opponent’s mind. Tetsuya, however, is different. The guy simply cheats to win!

But he’s not cheating unfairly, despite how ridiculous it may sound. Every other pro in the game cheats as well, so for the protagonist, it’s the matter of cheating the cheater. The show is rather melancholic in tone, though it does have a fair share of funny moments.

Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji

This manga is created by Nobuyuki Fukumoto, the same man who created Akagi, and it shares the same style. It’s incredibly popular in Japan, having sold over 20 million copies. It’s been running since the mid-1990s and is still going, so there’s a lot to read. The latest volumes also share the name Kaiji, but if you want to check out the first manga or anime, go for Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji.

The story follows a compulsive gambler named Kaiji. As the story starts, Kaiji owes an exorbitant amount of money to the yakuza, which is never a good thing. The young man is given two options: either he spends the next ten years of his life repaying his debt or he boards a gambling ship in the hope of winning back the money he owes. But Kaiji’s misadventures do not stop at him winning on the ship — he’s a compulsive gambler after all. The protagonist goes in and out of debt for the duration of the anime.

Kakegurui

The premise of this anime show seems light-hearted at first. At a luxurious private school for the elite, it’s gambling that determines your status as a student. Those who win, get to command those who lose and order them to serve their every wish. It could make for a pretty silly shonen anime, but the writers decided to give the show a darker theme. The students who can’t clear their gambling debts by the time of graduation must pay with their lives.

The hierarchy is disrupted as a second-year student is transferred to the school. While others gamble because they want to get promoted in the social hierarchy, she gambles for the fun of it and has incredible skills when it comes to reading her opponents. This soon leads the protagonist to a conflict with the head of the school.

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