From nationwide popularity in Japan, anime fans are now spread far and wide, and just like gambling, it’s grown from cult culture to mass popularity as globalization has taken over, leaving no corner of the world untouched. So whether you’re a die-hard manga fan or just starting out, there are some fantastic gambling animes out there that’ll capture your attention and maybe even teach you a thing or two (or perhaps not). If you love fast-paced entertainment, as much as laying a bet or spinning the reels of a slot, then these are the best gambling animes to watch!
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Top 10 Gambling Anime List
- Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji
- One Outs
- Death Parade
- Legendary Gambler Tetsuya
- The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
- Rio Rainbow Gate
- Mahjong Hishouden: Naki No Ryuu
Let’s dive a little deeper and take a closer look at the top 5!
1. Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor – “More Than Luck, More Than Skill”
- Episodes: 26.
- IMDB Score: 8.3.
- Running Years: 2007-2011.
- Adapted from: Manga by Nobuyuki Fukumoto
This anime tells the story of Kaji Itou, a light criminal who spends his time mostly addicted to drinking beer. However, when Kaji is tricked into co-signing a loan for an old co-worker, which goes unpaid, he is left with one option by which to make up the debt – taking part in an illegal gambling cruise, which if he wins, he’ll walk away with 20,000,000 yen profit (after settling his debt). Still, if he loses, he’ll face two years of hard labor. Kaji needs “more than luck and more than skill” to survive this head-long descent into the worst side of humanity, but the best side of entertainment. Before we give any spoilers away, we’ll stop. Suffice to say; this is one of the best gambling animations of all time. It debuted as a manga in 1996, was published in print till 2017, has been recreated as a TV series, which has a sequel, and is also a film trilogy with the final installment due in 2020 – it doesn’t get better than that. Get a taste of Kaji and the epic journey he undertakes; watch the trailer.
2. Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler – “Live. Bet Your Life On It”
- Episodes: 12.
- IMDB Score: 7.2.
- Running Years: 2017.
- Adapted from: Manga series by Homura Kawamoto
Kakegurui is a gambling anime that you can watch via Netflix. The plot centers on Yumeko Jabami, the heroine of the tale and black sheep. Yumeko attends Hyakkaou Private Academy, which has a somewhat odd methodology for success as it’s a high school where the students’ future potential is based solely through gambling aptitude and the ability to beat their class members at real money matches, leaving some broke and others the country’s leaders to be. Yumeko refuses to play ball with the school’s hierarchy, and as a true gambling lover, she threatens to bring the whole system down in her attitude to play and risk. Many are against her, but will her love of compulsive gambling carry her through? You’ll have to watch the series to find out! Kick things off with the trailer for our #2 top gambling anime:
3. One Outs – “Nobody Wins, But I.”
- Episodes: 25.
- IMDB Score: 8.3.
- Running Years: 2008-2009.
- Adapted from: Manga by Shinobu Kaitani
- Trailer: https://youtu.be/J9NnyFXbqcM
Sports bettors, listen up as this one is for you. Meet Toua Toguchi, a passionate gambler, professional baseball player, and One Out (simplified baseball with great bets) player on the side. Toua is recruited as the last-ditch attempt to save the failing baseball team, the Lycaons. He is so confident in his ability that he makes an odd but irresistible side bet with the manager. For everyone out he pitches, the manager has to pay Toua 5,000,000 yen, but for every run Toua lets go, he will have to pay the manager 50,000,000 yen. What follows is a twisted tale of ego, deception, sports skill, and psychological tricks. How does it go? Who wins, who loses? You’ll have to watch it to find out, as we’ll give no spoilers here! Start with the trailer to get a taster:
4. Death Parade: “In This Game, Your Lives Are on the Line.”
- Episodes: 12.
- IMDB Score: 7.9.
- Running Years: 2015.
- Adapted from: based on a short film, Death Billiards, by Yuzuru Tachikawa.
It doesn’t matter what you do in life. All that matters is how you play the game, and the stakes are as high as they come in Death Parade. Die, enter the bar, spin the roulette wheel, and discover the game that will seal your fate, but let’s hope it’s one you know how to play because the stakes are enormous: you’re gambling on heaven or hell. The proposition is simple: lose, and your soul goes to hell, win, and you’ll be reincarnated. It sounds simple, but it all hangs on how you play the game. We can’t say anymore without hitting up those spoilers, but trust us, this gambling anime is well worth watching. Check out the trailer, and start your stream:
5. Legendary Gambler Tetsuya
- Episodes: 20.
- IMDB Score: 7.5.
- Running Years: 2000-2001.
- Adapted from: Manga by Fūmei Sai
This one’s a bit older and aired from 2000-2001 but is still hugely popular today and deserves a place on anyone’s top 5 gambling anime list. The story initially debuted in manga form and was published from 1997-2005, but it’s the TV series that we recommend watching. The main protagonist is Tetsuya, a skilled gambler in post-WW2 Japan, where life is hard, wages are small, and the only way to make money is gambling. His game of choice, classic Mahjong. His favorite strategy, cheating, or at least after he loses to another cheating player and realizes it’s the only way up. Best suited to Mahjong lovers, you can get a feel for this anime before deciding which of our top 5 or top 10 you want to dive into through watching the trailer:
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