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Top 5 Gambling Anime – Which is the Best
Anime, derived from the English word ‘animation’, is hand-drawn computer animation with its root originating from Japan. Its history goes way back to the 19th century where movies/shows such as Momotaro: Umi no Shinpei (1945), The Tale of the White Serpent (1958), and 1968’s Tetsuwan Atom (Astro Boy) debuted with the latter being the first popular series produced.
Its inception was initially focused on Japan’s culture and over the years, more cultures have also been included in the new-generation anime programs. To date, Anime has gained a lot of popularity around the world thanks to the ever-improving graphics, images, different styles, captivating storylines, and the different styles and themes incorporated.
The evolving nature of technology has also helped the anime industry gain more success. By 2019, according to The Association Of Japanese Animations, the industry was worth $19 billion. Currently, Anime has tailored content and programs for everyone. Whether one is a toddler, child, tween, teen, or adult, there is something for you.
For now, different Anime genres have come about catering to the different styles viewers may prefer. From high school genres, horrors, epic, psychological, to thrillers, there is flexibility. This also points to the growth of the industry that has seen the production of over 11,000 entries in the anime catalog. Among the popular shows familiar with many include;
- Dragon Ball.
- Death Note.
The industry has also incorporated gaming and gambling niche in their genre which is a major score to the players. A point to note, however, is that gambling in Japan is prohibited except for a few forms of sports betting.
This guide takes a deep focus on the gambling-themed anime that gamblers would love to watch. The shows have focused on the various aspects of gaming from the gambling thrills, the risks, dramas, the highs, to the lows.
Here are the top 5 gambling anime including the best (in our opinion).
Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor
- Year Aired: 2007-2008.
- No of Episodes: 26.
- Themes: Psychological, Thriller, Game, Seinen, Gambling.
- Where to Watch: Crunchyroll.
This show has to rank as the crème de la crème. This is a manga series (Japanese comics or novels) based on a comic book. The story dates back to 1996 when the first part was published by Nobuyuki Fukumoto.
The Anime is based on Kaiji Itou, a young man, who finds himself in a fix. Kaiji comes out as a lazy man who is always inebriated and gets to steal everything that comes along the way. Through his ill-intended acquaintance, Kaiji accrues huge debts forcing him to sober up and join a cruise ship voyage with the illicit yakuza underground gambling ring to help him solve his problems.
He takes the deal that seems fair and as gambling goes on and on, few confrontations happen prompting him to adapt to a life of lurking danger. The plot of the story is about character change and provides a dose of inspiration to anyone who wishes to battle life problems.
Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler
- Year Aired: 2018 – 2019 (Season 1 and 2).
- Episodes: 24.
- Themes: High School, Drama, Psychological, Game, Shonen, Gambling.
- Where to Watch: Netflix.
This is another top gambling anime and with this, there is the modernity sense in it. This is yet another manga series created in 2014 by Homura Kawamoto with Toru Naomura as the illustrator. Its debut was in 2018 and its storyline focuses on social status, pride, security, the good, and the bad side of gambling.
The show takes us to Hyakkaou Private Academy, a school for the privileged, where during the day, normal schooling activities go on but as soon as the dark creeps in, the school is turned into an underground gambling den. There exist two groups, the Council, who are the ‘Elites’, and the ‘house pets’. One learns how to gamble till he/she can rival the elites and if one manages to beat them, he/she is welcomed to the Council. If defeated, he/she becomes a ‘house pet’ who can be tortured and humiliated by the Elites.
We are introduced to Yumeko Jabami, a beautiful, shy girl who has just transferred to the school and hides a dark secret. She is a compulsive gambler who gambles for fun and not social status’ in the school. This threatens the school’s hierarchy as she unearths tricks and poses a threat to them. They are focused on shutting her down but Yumeko still prevails. The show goes on to show the worst side of gambling including addiction. Certainly a show you wanna watch!
Legendary Gambler Tetsuya
- Year Aired: 2000 – 2001.
- Episodes: 20.
- Themes: History, Gaming.
Debuting as The Legend of the Gambler: Tetsuya, the show was televised between 2000-2001 as Legendary Gambler Tetsuya and this is yet another manga series. The series is written by Fumei Sai with Yasushi Hoshino illustrating it. The storyline is about hope and despair while also focusing on beating the challenges through gambling.
Tetsuya is a young man who is super talented in the field of playing mahjong. The setting is during the post-World War II period where everyone is feeling its consequences thus resulting in gambling to get money. Tetsuya cheats his way to easily blow away his opponents and makes a lot of money. In the show, he states, ‘It’s only cheating when you get caught. Until then, it’s a winning strategy.’
He goes on winning until one day, Boushu-san beats him. It dawns on him that he knows little in mahjong and dedicates his time to learn and sharpen his skills before going back to gambling. Yet another masterpiece to watch!
Touhai Densetsu Akagi
- Year Aired: 2005 – 2006.
- Episodes: 12.
- Themes: War, Game, Gambling.
- Where to Watch: Netflix.
Akagi is so reminiscent of Legendary Gambler Tetsuya with a slight difference as we shall see. This is yet another gambling-themed anime and another manga series written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Fukumoto. Akagi translates to ‘The Genius Who Descended Into Darkness’. The storyline is poised to spread the hope of a better tomorrow thanks to Akagi, a street urchin, who makes his life better through his clever minds in the mahjong game.
The setting is also post-World War II and like Tetsuya, the main protagonist, Shigeru Akagi, is gifted in playing the mahjong game. The only difference is that Akagi uses his clever mind to blow the opponents away. The 13-year-old faces the Yakuza members and beats them. It is not until rescuing Nangou, a compulsive gambler that has a debt accumulating to three million, that he realizes his talent. To clear his name, Nangou goes head-to-head with the mafia after betting on his life against beating them.
Akagi appears on time and gives Nangou strange advice that sees him beat the mafia and clear his name. People start to realize his gambling prowess after defeating the mafia group. In a twisted turn of events, Akagi comes out as a boy running away from the police and he must fight his way for survival. Get to Netflix and see this story of hope and talent gambling!
- Year Aired: 2008 – 2009.
- Episodes: 25.
- Themes: Sports, Game, Gambling, Psychological.
- Where to Watch: Crunchyroll.
One Outs closes our guide of the top 5 gambling anime. This is a baseball manga show that combines both sports and gambling. One Outs was published by Shinobu Kaitani from 1998 to 2006. In 2008, the series relaunched and was aired the same year up to 2019. The story is based on Toua Tokuchi, a top-rated player on the baseball game, One Outs, and a gambling master.
He comes out as the leader of the worst team in the country, Lycaons. He is tasked with helping the team in an attempt for the championship. However, this is hard and the manager is not focused on winning but gives a strange deal proposal to Toua Tokuchi. In the proposal, every time Toua pitched, the manager had to pay him $45,000, and every time Toua lost, he had to pay the manager $455,000.
This now becomes a game not focused on the opponent but a game between the manager and Toua Tokuchi. For great strategy, planning, and mind games, this is a perfect show for you!
Other Top Anime with Gambling Themes
The list does not end there. Though gambling doesn’t take center stage on most of them, a variety of other shows have had a taste of gambling themes. Some of these anime that may thrill any gambler include;
- Joker Game.
- No Game No Life.
- Death Parade.
- Alice in Borderland.
- Death Note.
- Food Wars.
Questions always arise and with this guide, it remains incomplete without looking down at some of the most frequently asked questions on gambling anime shows. Here are some of them;
What is gambling anime?
As stated in our guide, gambling anime are those shows that have their storylines based on gambling. Whether it is casino gambling, sports gambling, or poker, the bottom line is the gambling theme. Also, it is important to remember that anime originated from Japan and they are computer-made animations.
Why Kakegurui is a bad gambling anime?
While Kakegurui rates as one of the top 5 gambling anime, there is the dark side of it that makes us view it as a bad gambling anime. The show somewhat encourages gambling big and the losses do not seem to hurt them. Remember, this happens in a school attended by teens from privileged families.
Where gambling anime is the most popular?
Anime generally originated from Japan and it’s only obvious that gambling anime popularity is high in the country and region. However, with gambling becoming a global activity and anime incorporating other forms of gambling in different regions, gambling anime is also enjoyed in regions such as the US, the UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, among others. Remember, most of them can be streamed by popular online platforms such as Netflix thus making it easy.
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