Action-packed adventures, inspiring plots, stunning animations—no wonder anime has become a global phenomenon of the 20th century. If you’re both an anime and gambling enthusiast who can’t get enough of the action, you might be asking; is there an anime about gambling?
At first thought, gambling might seem like a boorish topic for a show. However, there are a ton of gambling anime and movies you can watch right now. You don’t even have to worry about the language barrier as they are being translated into many languages. They are also more accessible than ever, thanks to Netflix and Amazon.
In case you’re wondering why anime is so popular, here’s the thing. Anime is fun to watch because of its exciting storylines, humor, and creativity. Dubbed as “Disney of the East,” the term “anime” is derived from the English word “animation.” While foreigners think of it as Japanese-style cartoons, it’s a Japanese multimedia art form that refers to various animated media. That includes anything from hand-drawn to computer animation worldwide.
Is There an Anime About Gambling?
Anime comes in different genres that cater to a wide variety of audiences. You can find themes for kids and young adults as well as more mature ones that depict violence, romance, or horror. And, of course, you can also watch a variety of anime about gambling.
Gambling anime takes a simple betting scenario to the logical extreme. It lets you see an animated version of your favorite pastime. You can watch high-tension, high-stakes matches and follow stories of characters betting on their lives for a more abundant future. Kakegurui is one of the most popular gambling anime series. The story revolves around rich private school pupils engaging in high-stakes games of chance.
What Is the Best Gambling Anime?
Modern Japanese animated filmmakers produce inspirational gambling anime that will change how you view the gambling industry. Below is a list of gambling anime to add to your to-watch list. Each one teaches certain morals and how to overcome obstacles.
Based on a gambling manga series by Homura Kawamoto, this Netflix original follows the life of Hyakkaou Private Academy students. But it is not your usual high school TV show. Here, pupils are evaluated according to their ability to win in various gambling games. Each student brings their money and either goes home a winner or loser.
To spice things up, you’ll meet Yumeko Jabami, a transferee and compulsive gambler who carries a dark secret. Kakegurui has become a hit among gambling anime enthusiasts. In fact, it has been renewed for a second season.
In this psychological thriller gambling anime, you’ll witness what it’s like to fall into debt. An ill-meaning acquaintance of protagonist Kaiji Itou tricks him into racking up a massive debt, eventually forcing him to join an illegal underground cruise ship ring. You’ll feel all the darkness and despair that comes with that experience. It shows us that life is not all sunshine and rainbows and that even protagonists can lose.
Another well-loved gambling anime is One Outs, which starts with superstar batter Kojima Hiromichi heading to Okinawa and meeting baseball prodigy Tokuchi Toua. He urged Tokuchi to sign a contract with his team. Every out pitched earns him ¥5,000,000, but he loses ¥50,000,000 for each point he gives up. Talk about reckless gambling.
Mahjong is a game you play with your friends and family, but you’ll also see it in the darkest places of society. In this gambling anime, you’ll meet Nangou, a compulsive gambler with an accumulated debt of over ¥3,000,000. Desperate to clear his record, he wagered his life on a mahjong game with the mafia. The stakes feel realistic in every episode of this mahjong-themed gambling anime.
Spawned from the short film Death Billiards, Death Parade is a dark gambling anime that features an exciting conflict. Decim is a bar attendant that challenges dead people to a Death Game, where they bet their lives and reveal their true selves. You’ll get a nice look at how humans work under pressure.
Legendary Gambler Tetsuya
Down on their luck and with hardly anything to buy necessities, some Shinjuku residents turn to gambling to survive. Tetsuya spends his time dominating mahjong parlors until he meets highly-skilled Boushu-san. That’s when he figured he still got so much to learn.
Rio: Rainbow Gate!
Set in a vast resort, Rio: Rainbow Gate! treats you to a breathtaking battle against rival dealers. Gamblers across the globe gather at the Howard Resort Hotel to try and take home huge fortunes. Each aspirant aims to collect 13 gate cards to become an MVCD or Most Valuable Casino Dealer.
Dorei-ku The Animation
Dorei-ku The Animation introduces you to the Slave Control Method (SCM) concept, which lets you enslave another SCM user. It features a bunch of games that all have one stake: losers become a slave. Now that’s one of the severest consequences you could experience as a gambler.
Hikaru no Go
In quest of money and treasure, Shi Guang stumbled upon an antique Go board in his granddad’s home. Upon touching it, the spirit of ancient Go master Chu Ying enters his body. While possessed by Chu Ying, Shi Guang gradually developed an interest in the game of Go.
Mudazumo Naki Kaikaku: The Legend of Koizumi
This mahjong-themed gambling anime will prove to you that gambling shows can be humorous too. Watch the main character clash with famous world leaders in a mahjong game. And upon deconstruction, you’ll notice that this gambling anime is some sort of a social commentary.
March Comes in Like a Lion
While gambling per se is not the focus of March Comes in Like a Lion, its premise focuses on the background of Rei as a pro shogi player. It’s not as high-speed action as other gambling anime. However, it has a beautiful slice-of-life theme and some excitement through shogi.
Yu-Gi-Oh! is a gambling anime about trading card gaming. It’s a kid show, so this is probably the most lighthearted show on this list. You won’t see the reality of crippling debt and loans here. But if you wish, it has a more adult version, Yu-Gi-Oh! Season 0, which is heavier on gambling. Get ready to see death matches.
C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
Living in a nation whose economy is in shambles, Kimimaro Yoga knows that money is power. While he’s struggling to make ends meet, his peers are enjoying relatively comfortable lives. C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control isn’t a blatant gambling anime. However, gambling also involves putting lives and freedom on the line.
It’s human nature to take risks, but in the world of gambling, people are willing to do more to win. In this gambling anime, gambling is so widespread that there’s an organization called Kagerou, which consists of unbiased referees who ensure nobody cheats. Genius gambler Usogui risks his life as he battles against psychotic foes in deadly psychological games.
Mahjong Hishouden: Naki no Ryuu
Another mahjong-themed gambling anime, Mahjong Hishouden: Naki no Ryuu, is a well-loved series. The main character Ryuu, aka Crying Dragon, is a mysterious person who usually competes with gang members. The only way he wins is by “ron,” a move where you have to wait for your contender’s tile to complete the victory.
While gambling is heavily regulated in Japan, viewers are a sucker for high-stakes stories. The list above is only some of the best gambling anime released. You can find dozens of other anime about betting and manipulation.