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Top 8 Most Extreme Gambling Anime

Money rules the world. It provides power, safety, and permits to satisfy all of our desires. However, most of us focus on living a simple, set-in-stone and sound life. In many countries, politics create safety nets for their population, and some even heavily regulate the economy.
But if there is one practice that isn’t hampered by the mere thought of safety, it has to be gambling. It seems that to make it big, people are willing to discard or to risk a lot.
And gambling works pretty well hand in hand with animation. Stakes are played and raised, and rivalries fuel some spectacular faces and expressions. Here follow 8 anime series about gambling, as extreme and engaging as it can get!

1) One Outs (2008)

Gambling Anime

“One Outs” is a derivated version of what is the core of baseball, between a pitcher and a catcher. For Toua’s love in life is to gamble, he plays this game and manages to win 499 times without one loss, though only being able to pitch a textbook fastball going at around 140 km/h. One day, he encounters the path of Hiromichi Kojima, a member of professional baseball, which he considers sacred. Ensues an epic duel, as Hiromichi succeeds in recruiting the mind-reading pitcher. The both of them now set out to win a championship, alongside their team, the Saikyou Saitama Lycaons.

One Outs does two things with talent, one of which is to offer its viewers an epic setting for gambles and mind games; the other one, as the seinen genre may confirm, is to portray realistically the world of professional baseball, something few other anime manage to do as well, with perhaps the exception of Gurazeni (2018). Between a skillful pacing and an exemplary use of pressure, One Outs winds up a breeze to go through, not feeling at all like the 12 hours or so it lasts.

  • Episodes: 25
  • Genres: Psychological, Seinen, Sports
  • Studio: Madhouse

2) Kaiji (2007)

Gambling Anime

Kaiji Itou, a freeloader wasting his life away drinking and stealing car hubcaps to satisfy both his envy and frustration, ends up a victim of a former co-worker’s scheme. In the end, suddenly finding himself indebted, he is forced to engage in out-of-law gambling on a cruise ship. However, the true nature of this gambling turns out hellish! Only thanks to his luck and wits can he manage to play along each game, continually meant to twist the chains of mental psyche, just to survive.

With two seasons and a spin-off, Kaiji’s universe has 76 episodes to offer you some of the most epic gamble out there. Often compared to Akagi (2005), from the same author Noboyuki Fukumoto, Kaiji is like the polished version of the latter, that would be diamond-in-the-rough material. Other than that, what to say? A peerless thriller execution, with overall darker tones than what the medium tends to portray.

  • Episodes: 26
  • Genres: Game, Psychological, Seinen, Thriller
  • Studio: Madhouse

3) Death Parade (2015)

Gambling Anime

Quindecim is a bar tended to by Decim, also an arbiter to the deceased. Those that visit the place are to play a random game, betting their chance at reincarnation, or at neant. Regardless of the game played, the true self of each player will be explored, between core personal memories and the repetition of their conditions of death.

The two inspirations Death Parade seems to tackle are a place similar to the Christian purgatory, and the belief in reincarnation, perhaps related to Japan’s second national religion, buddhism. In the end, it turns out to be a mature and peaceful take, kind of relaxing in spite of its nature. At first episodic, it then displays the daily life of the arbiters, divine beings facing the existential effusions of countless persons.

  • Episodes: 12
  • Genres: Drama, Game, Mystery, Psychological, Thriller
  • Studio: Madhouse

4) C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control (2011)

Gambling Anime

As an Economics university student, Kimimori Yoga understands the state of his country’s economy, himself barely scraping by as his peers live in comfort. Some night, however, a stranger donning a top hat knocks at his door, changing his life forever. Masakaki, this mysterious person, asks of him to go to the Eastern Financial District, where riches can be exchanged with one’s “future” as an economical stock. Hesitating, Yoga finally accepts. Accompanied by his Asset, Msyu, a horned girl able to control fire, he winds up weekly dueling in “Deals”, wagering his future and tempting fate.

C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control possesses two peculiar appeals. First off, it’s a metaphysical take on economics, flavored so as to cater to an anime demography. A kind of similar world building is used in Doga Kobo’s Luck & Logic (2016). Secondly, it portrays people in misfortune as they fight each another, carrying the atmosphere of gladiator fights, and dramatizing pain and violence.

  • Episodes: 11
  • Genres: Action, Mystery, Super Power, Thriller
  • Studio: Tatsunoko Production

5) Akagi (2005)

Gambling Anime

Nangou, a gambler heavily in debt, winds up betting his life on mahjong against the mafia. However, far from winning, he is only gradually heading towards death… Until Akagi Shigeru enters the game parlor, fleeing the police. Hopeless, Nangou lets Akagi play in his stead, even learning him the rules. This turn of event seems so unlikely the mafia grows confident, till they learn to fear Akagi’s lack of concern towards death. This story is the start of Akagi’s journey, fated to achieve the status of legend.

Akagi, though possessing the thriller genre, isn’t executed with a fast pace. Instead, it takes things slowly, similarly to the game it’s based on. Do not fear if you don’t know a bit about mahjong, as the narration goes into sligthly too much detail to explain what is happening on the screen. Regardless of its pacing, the one flaw this series possesses, Akagi manages to excite a few times, and is a good introduction to the greatest anime from the 2000s has to offer.

  • Episodes: 26
  • Genres: Game, Psychological, Seinen, Thriller
  • Studio: Madhouse

6) No Game No Life (2014)

Gambling Anime

The legendary gamer “Blank” dominates many rankings and play many games. Much rumors talk about it; one even tells that Blank could be a combination of more than just one player. Shiro and Sora, two NEET siblings, from this mysterious gaming duo. One day, they receive a mail, asking them whether they think they fit in this world, or not. Responding, they’re suddenly thrown in another world by Tet, a god. In Disboard, games rule over every conflict. This show illustrates how the siblings adapt to this new universe.

Because of its cheerful and bright nature, this anime on this list might contrast a bit. But it does belong, for the first reason this series is even a thing is a gamble. Accepting Tet’s proposition, only gambling permits the siblings to survive. As the stakes continually increase, so do Sora’s shenanigans, illustrating confidence at its most jerkish.

  • Episodes: 12
  • Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Ecchi, Fantasy, Game, Supernatural
  • Studio: Madhouse

7) Kakegurui (2017)

Gambling Anime

Hyakkaou Private Academy is an elite school where students belong to some of the richest families in the world. During the day, its teaching is quite regular. But comes the night, gambling is taught, meant to educate its students in manipulation, of people and money alike. The dubious Student Council regulates internal gambling and debts. Everything is about to change as Yumeko Jabami, a beautiful transfer student, arrives. For, though she appears naive, her personality when gamble is on the line changes incredibly. To merely win does not interest her: rather, it is the thrill she seeks, and Kakegurui depicts her chase as she takes on the Student Council itself, considered the local gamble elite.

Though Kakegurui, that may be translated by either “compulsive gambler” or “gambling confusion”, depicts a world gone crazy, with elites betting money like it’s nothing, compulsive gamblers being maniacs, and apparently limitless stakes, it might aim too high. Because of how ambitious it is, its drama must be powerful, and in order to do so, it must be relatable. However, Yumeko is as relatable as every Mary Sue is… Its advantage over most series on this list is that it’s recent and possessed quite the budget; but pointless sexualization is already an obvious hint of this series’ hollowness, hence its seventh place.

  • Episodes: 12
  • Genres: Drama, Game, Mystery, Psychological, School, Shounen
  • Studio: MAPPA

8) Shokugeki no Souma (2015)

Gambling Anime

Since his earliest days, Souma Yukihira helped his father working at the family’s restaurant. Growing up, Souma loved to cook bold and innovative stuff for his customers’ sake. His dream was to become the head chef of this place. It is no surprise, then, that as his father closes the restaurant to begin a challenging world tour, he sends off Souma to Tootsuki Culinary Academy, a cooking institution with an only 10 percent graduating rate. Shokugeki no Souma relates the story of Souma and his schoolmates as he adapts to this ruthless world, where cooking is everything.

The reason for this anime to belong here is a key mechanic of the academy: the eponymous “food wars”, high-staked and harsh cooking competitions between the most talentful students. Not only that, but the rough graduating conditions make attending the school itself a gamble, for graduation means incredible opportunities ahead.

  • Episodes: 24
  • Genres: Ecchi, School, Shounen
  • Studio: J.C.Staff


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