Kakegurui Twin review: A great psychological anime worth seeing

Mary and her best friend in Kakegurui Twin (Image via Studio MAPPA)
Mary and her best friend in Kakegurui Twin (Image via Studio MAPPA)

Kakegurui Twin is an anime spinoff of the Kakegurui series that recently aired six episodes on August 4, 2022, and it definitely has its merits as an enjoyable show. Of course, it's worth looking into what this show does and doesn't do. After all, not every anime fan can unanimously agree on whether they like a show or not.

Everybody has a different taste, so this review will cover various aspects of the show that may or may not appeal to certain people. Reading the manga is not required to enjoy the anime. Likewise, it is not necessary to watch the original series to fully understand everything that's going on here.

Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views, and it will include some minor spoilers. Those curious enough to watch the show can find it easily on Netflix.

Reviewing Kakegurui Twin: The newest gambling anime out there


Anybody who loved the original Kakegurui anime is likely to enjoy its spinoff, Kakegurui Twin. It follows a similar premise of having characters gamble at Hyakkaou Private Academy, where gambling is the only thing that matters. Many familiar characters return in this spinoff, including:

  • Mary Saotome
  • Kirari Momobami
  • Midari Ikishima

Mary Saotome is the main protagonist in this spinoff, and Yumeko Jabami is nowhere in sight, which makes sense since she, according to canon, shows up a year later. While viewers can see familiar faces like Kaede and Ririka in the background, they're merely background characters in this spinoff. It's the plethora of new characters who get most of the screen time here, many of whom are interesting in their own right.

What this anime is about, and who it's not recommended for

This is about as much visual fanservice as you'll get in this show (Image via Studio MAPPA)
This is about as much visual fanservice as you'll get in this show (Image via Studio MAPPA)

Kakegurui Twin is a fun anime, but it's worth looking at its target audience. Here are some general reasons to watch it:

  • It's a spinoff of another well-liked anime
  • Noticeably less lewd compared to the original series
  • The animation is great in most scenes
  • The audio — music, voice acting, and sound effects — is superb
  • There are only six episodes, so it's an easy series to finish
  • Characters are likable
  • Many of the gambling games are interesting in execution
  • It largely follows the same scenes shown in the manga

Here are some things that some readers should be wary of:

  • Everything is done through gambling, so don't expect combat
  • The beginning is a little rushed, which may disappoint some manga readers
  • Although there are shipping moments, it's not a romance series
  • Some of the characters can come across as too simple
  • While six episodes are nice for a quick watch, it also means that the series ends a little too quickly
Mary Saotome is the main protagonist (Image via Studio MAPPA)
Mary Saotome is the main protagonist (Image via Studio MAPPA)

Its strengths are good enough to make the series a worthwhile watch, even if somebody might not have seen the original series this spinoff is based on.

One part that made some original Kakegurui fans uncomfortable was Yumeko liking gambling a little too much, not to mention several of Midari's questionable antics in the bathroom. And though there are some mature themes brought up in Kakegurui Twin, it's noticeably more tame by comparison.

Another huge benefit is that viewers can easily understand the main protagonist's motivations in this series, whereas a different lead character like Yumeko Jabami was largely an enigma.

Summary of the anime

This animation sequence only lasts for about two and a half minutes (Image via Studio MAPPA)
This animation sequence only lasts for about two and a half minutes (Image via Studio MAPPA)

This anime only covers the events of the first 14 chapters of the manga, which is only a small portion of the currently-existing reference material. The show starts with Tsuzura Hanatemari offering a brief recap of what this school is all about and how gambling is the only thing that matters.

The animation during the introductory recap is reminiscent of what one would see in Star vs. the Forces of Evil before it returns to the traditional animation that fans expect from Studio MAPPA. It's a cute start to the series, but it does skip the majority of Kokoro Aiura's first gamble with Mary Saotome, which is a bit disappointing.

The interesting "Coupling Party" gamble (Image via Studio MAPPA)
The interesting "Coupling Party" gamble (Image via Studio MAPPA)

This exclusion lessens the impact of seeing how Mary and Tsuzura's relationship first starts and how Mary used to detest her back in the day. Though anime-only fans miss that, the rest of the Kakegurui Twin's first few episodes aren't anywhere near as rushed.

Kakegurui Twin's anime keeps Mary's gamble against Yukimi Togakushi in the gambling den before proceeding to the Coupling Party arc. As of August 4, 2022, there are only six episodes, with the final episode ending with Sakura and Mary's gamble against one another.

The psychological aspects of Kakegurui Twin

Kakegurui Twin is all about the psychology of gambling and its many intricacies. It's not too in-depth to the point of becoming educational, but it is interesting enough to capture a viewer's attention. Likewise, the many different gambling games are unique to the point that they make the viewer wonder how each character is going to cheat (if they cheat at all).

Ultimately, this anime is well worth a watch for anybody who wants a school setting with some psychological aspects to it. It's the prequel to the original series in the lore, so anybody who watched Yumeko's crazy antics in that one should love this spinoff too.

Kakegurui Twin isn't a masterpiece per se, but it's absolutely an anime that some people won't regret watching. It's fun, short, and is part of an underrated series that more people should check out.