The Best Gambling Anime — Top Picks You Must Watch

Rewind to the 20th century – Japanese animation was virtually unknown in the West. But today, anime is one of the most popular mediums. They do a fascinating job of covering a plethora of topics and plots, which include gambling! If you’re looking to get into this genre, we have some recommendations for you.


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Gyakkyō Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor

Kaiji is a manga series written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Fukumoto. It was serialized in the Weekly Shonen Magazine and eventually adapted into an anime television series. Airing on Nippon Television between April 3 and September 25, 2008, it has a total of 26 episodes.


The story revolves around Kaiji Itou, whose life turns upside down when a co-worker’s debt falls into his hands. Pressured by relentless loan sharks, he is forced to participate in increasingly dangerous gambling games with his life on the line. Kaiji finds out the hard way how the ugly sides of humans manifest when driven by greed, paranoia, and the sheer will to survive.

Touhai Densetsu Akagi: Yami ni Maiorita Tensai

This is another manga-turned-anime created by Nobuyuki Fukumoto. It follows Akagi Masasuke, who, as a young boy, enters a game parlor in an effort to hide from the police. There, small-time compulsive gambler Nangou is in the middle of an intense life-or-death game of mahjong with yakuza members. 


With his chances of winning rendered slim, a desperate Nanguo hands the game over to Akagi after teaching him the rules. It soon turns out that Akagi is a natural-born gambler, one who is destined to become a mysterious, legendary figure in Japan.


In addition to being a compelling series about an aloof and brazen genius, this anime about gambling also offers valuable insight into how the traditional Japanese game mahjong works!

Legend of the Gambler Tetsuya

This story, written by Fūmei Sai, takes place in 1947 in the down-on-their-luck neighborhood of Shinjuku. With little to no money for food and basic necessities, people have resorted to gambling in order to find a means to survive. 


A young man working at a munitions factory, Tetsuya Asada, learns to gamble from a colleague’s uncle. Soon thereafter, he starts spending most of his time at Mahjong parlors, boldly defeating his adversaries. All seems to be going smoothly until one day when he meets the extraordinarily-skilled Boushu-san. With the game changed forever for Tetsuya, he begins to wonder if he has what it takes to become a legendary gambler.

Kakegurui — Compulsive Gambler

Kakegurui is an anime adaptation of a manga series by Homura Kawamoto and Toru Naomura. It was first serialized in 2015. 


The main character of this anime about gambling is Yumeko Jabami. She’s a high school student who recently transferred to Hyakkaou Private Academy, an elite school with a student hierarchy developed through gambling. Yumeko, who on the surface appears to be a naive and cheerful teenage girl, is revealed to be a compulsive gambler, one who does it simply just for the thrill. This is in contrast to the rest of the student body, who gamble for financial or social gain.


Yumeko disturbs the hierarchical structure of the school with her unpredictable and borderline crazy methods, which would soon prove to land her into more trouble than she bargained for.


Conclusion: Gambling Animes Must Watch

As you can see, there are many different types of gambling anime out there. Some given focus on the thrill and danger of the game, while others take a deep dive into the psychology behind it. What they all have in common is that they will keep you on the edge of your seat with their high-stakes action and suspenseful plots!


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