Top 5 Must-Watch Gambling Anime That Will Captivate You

Anime is a captivating form of entertainment that has captured the hearts of millions of people worldwide. With an array of shows to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide what to watch. In this article, we will explore the top five must-watch gambling anime that will keep you glued to the screen. These anime series are perfect for both gambling enthusiasts and those looking for captivating storytelling.

1. Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler

Title: Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler
Aired: Jul 1, 2017 – Sep 23, 2017
Episodes: 12
Theme: Game, Mystery, Psychological, Drama, School, Shounen, Gambling School, Compulsive Gambling
Available to Watch On: Netflix

Out of all the gambling anime out there, Kakegurui hits the mark perfectly. This Netflix series is based on the gambling manga series written by Homura Kawamoto. The story takes place at Hyakkaou Private Academy, a high school where students are evaluated solely on their gambling skills.

The academy’s unusual goal is to produce future leaders and professionals based solely on their ability to beat their peers in various gambling games. Students bring their own money to the school and either succeed or fall into ruin, becoming subjugated to the rest.

Enter Yumeko Jabami, a beautiful first-year transfer student with a dark secret. She hasn’t joined Hyakkaou for gain or social status; she’s a compulsive gambler who finds genuine pleasure in gambling.

No matter the form or risk, Yumeko simply wants to keep playing. Her passion for games of chance threatens the established hierarchy at the school, making her a target for the student council. But Yumeko has too many tricks up her sleeve to be shut down easily.

Without a doubt, Kakegurui is the best gambling anime on Netflix, with two exceptional seasons already released.

2. Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor

Title: Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor AKA Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji
Aired: Oct 3, 2007 – Apr 2, 2008
Episodes: 26
Theme: Game, Psychological, Thriller, Seinen, Gambling, Gambling Debt
Available to Watch On: Crunchyroll

Kaiji, first created as a manga by Nobuyuki Fukumoto in 1996, tells the story of Kaiji Itou, a down-on-his-luck no-good who spends his days inebriated. When an ill-meaning acquaintance tricks him into incurring a massive debt, Kaiji is forced to sober up and join an illicit underground gambling ring on a cruise ship.

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With gambling and physical confrontations aplenty, Kaiji must adapt to his new danger-filled lifestyle. This gripping anime is a must-watch for anyone looking to clean up their act and find inspiration in Kaiji’s character.

3. Legendary Gambler Tetsuya

Title: Legendary Gambler Tetsuya AKA The Legends of Gambler: Tetsuya
Aired: Oct 7, 2000 – Mar 24, 2001
Episodes: 20
Theme: Game, Historical, Shounen, Gambling, Cheating
Available to Watch On: N/A

Legendary Gambler Tetsuya, adapted from the manga series The Legend of the Gambler: Tetsuya, follows the story of Tetsuya, a gifted gambler in post-World War II Japan who plays mahjong in Shinjuku City. Tetsuya is willing to employ all his talents, even cheating, to secure a victory. This anime captures the gritty realism of post-war Japan, where illegal mahjong parlors offer false hope to a ravaged country. Legendary Gambler Tetsuya stands out as one of the most riveting gambling anime of our time.

4. Touhai Densetsu Akagi: Yami ni Maiorita Tensai

Title: Touhai Densetsu Akagi: Yami ni Maiorita Tensai AKA Akagi AKA Akagi: The Genius Who Descended into Darkness
Aired: Oct 5, 2005 – Mar 29, 2006
Episodes: 12
Theme: Gambling, Mahjong, Game, Psychological, Gambling Strategy
Available to Watch On: Netflix

Akagi is set in the period after World War II and centers around the story of Shigeru Akagi, a young boy who defeats Yakuza members in a game of mahjong at the age of 13. Akagi’s talent catches the attention of Nangou, a compulsive gambler drowning in debt. As Akagi helps Nangou clear his debt with his extraordinary skills, he proves to be a prodigy destined to become one of Japan’s most respected gamblers. This anime is a thrilling gamble of wits and suspense.

5. Saki

Title: Saki
Aired: Apr 6, 2009 – Sep 28, 2009
Episodes: 25
Theme: Gambling, Gambling Strategy, Mahjong, Gambling School, School Girl Gambling, Psychological
Available to Watch On: Crunchyroll

Saki combines elements from Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler and Akagi to create a captivating gambling anime. Saki Miyanaga, a schoolgirl who despises mahjong due to its negative impact on her life, is inadvertently drawn into the school’s mahjong club by her friend, Kyoutarou Suga. Saki’s extraordinary talent for pattern recognition and gameplay soon catches the attention of the club president, Hisa Takei. Despite her initial reservations, Saki develops a new goal for herself – winning national mahjong competitions. Saki is a light-hearted and enjoyable anime ranked among the best gambling animes of all time.

The Origins of Anime and Its Popularity

Anime is one of Japan’s most significant cultural phenomena, capturing the attention of people worldwide. The roots of the industry go back to the 19th century with the advent of lantern shows, creating the illusion of moving pictures. The first anime movie, Momotarō: Umi no Shinpei, was released in 1945 during World War II. Since then, the industry has flourished, with anime catering to a wide range of tastes, from horror to epic sagas to high school dramas. As of 2019, the anime industry in Japan was worth $19 billion annually, with thousands of series and episodes captivating audiences.

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More Animes Where Gambling Is Explored

While there aren’t as many gambling-focused anime as one might hope for, gambling and chance often play a role in the plot of various series. However, anime offers a vast array of well-crafted shows, even if they don’t revolve solely around gambling. Here are a few notable mentions:


Title: Naruto
Aired: Oct 3, 2002 – Feb 8, 2007
Episodes: 220
Theme: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Super Power, Martial Arts, Shounen
Available to Watch On: Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, Funimation

This beloved anime follows the adventures of Naruto Uzumaki, a young ninja-in-training, and his friends and foes. Although gambling isn’t the main focus of the show, one of the characters, Tsunade, is a compulsive gambler, adding a unique element to the story.

Death Note

Title: Death Note
Aired: Oct 4, 2006 – Jun 27, 2007
Episodes: 37
Theme: Mystery, Police, Psychological, Supernatural, Thriller, Shounen
Available to Watch On: Netflix, Hulu, HBO

Death Note is a thrilling anime that explores the battle between good and evil. A high school student named Light Yagami discovers a supernatural notebook that grants him the power to kill anyone by writing their name in it. The series delves into mind games and strategic gambles as the main characters, Light and the eccentric detective L, try to outwit each other.

One Outs

Title: One Outs
Aired: Oct 8, 2008 – Apr 1, 2009
Episodes: 25
Theme: Sports, Psychological, Seinen, Compulsive Gambling
Available to Watch On: N/A

One Outs combines Japan’s love for baseball with gambling elements. The protagonist, Toua Tokuchi, is a professional athlete and a reckless gambler. Recruited by the Saikyou Saitama Lycaons, Tokuchi’s exceptional skills in the game of One Outs offer a chance for the struggling team to rise to the top. This anime promises twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

In Conclusion

Gambling-themed anime offers a unique perspective on the human inclination for risk and reward. While the focus may not always be directly on gambling, these shows provide gripping storylines and engaging characters that keep audiences captivated. Whether you’re a gambling enthusiast or simply looking for a thrilling anime experience, the above recommendations are sure to leave you entertained. So, sit back, relax, and let the games unfold.

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