Yumeko Jabami is a character from a quite famous anime called “Kakegurui.” Just like any other anime girl, she is drop-dead gorgeous, she looks entirely innocent, and she has a soft, cuddly voice. But what hides behind this very naive-like interior is actually a highly cunning and intelligent woman. She plans everything ahead, she plays with others as if they were mere marionettes, and she always wins. So who is this school-girl? And how does she do it?
Jabami Yumeko — The Most Popular Anime Gambler Girl
In Kakegurui, Jabami Yumeko is the most crucial character — nearly everything revolves around her. However, being the protagonist, there is not much that we, or other characters in the anime, know about her. What we do know is that she’s a transfer student who happens to like the academy and its many odd ways.
The one thing I like to say to people who have just started watching anime is to stop trying to find reason in them — it won’t happen. Anime TV shows take on a lot of alternate universes, magicians, wars on different planets, gods and goddesses, and of course, gambling. So you won’t be least surprised once you find out that the plot of Kakegurui takes place at Hyakkaou Private Academy. It might sound as regular as it gets, but this academy hides a lot of very dark secrets.
Once you first look at it, it is just an academy for children of the richest members of the Japanese society. Most of the students who enroll are sons and daughters of ministers, ambassadors, and other important society members. Although you would think that the academy is after the children’s money and academic achievements, it really isn’t. The only standard according to which Hyakkaou enrolls its student is whether they can gamble or not. It decides who to accept based on their cognitive abilities and how good they really are at tricking others without being caught.
Moreover, there’s a hierarchy in the academy. All students who regularly win eventually find their way to the top. And those who lose too much end up becoming slaves. And being a slave at this academy is not something one should wish for. Other students use you as a chair, a table stand, and you have to clean everything. Being a slave lasts until you repay your debts to the academy. So it can be anything from a week to two years. The higher your debt, the longer you’re a slave.
Yumeko Shakes the Hierarchy
Once Yumeko transfers to this school, she seems as if she is entirely unaware of how things really work around here. She pretends to be oblivious to the fact that the students gamble and that some of them are slaves to others.
Although she may have fooled everybody else in the school, the student council president, Kirari Momobami, saw right through her. This becomes obvious the moment she remarks how a snake has slithered into her garden. Interestingly enough, the president of the class Yumeko joins is a slave to his classmate, Mary Saotome.
Ryota Suzui became a slave as he gambled too much money away without realizing that most of the students were cheating. He’s also the first person to have met Yumeko and not noticed what hides behind her naive-esque behavior. But he’s also the first one who realized who she actually was — a compulsive gambler. When he starts to tell her about all the horrific ways of the academy, she begins to experience a nearly orgasmic epiphany.
Yumeko and Her Confusing Character
Although Yumeko charms everyone with her divine beauty and down-to-earth character, this is merely her exterior. Deep inside, Yumeko is what a lot of characters in the Anime said about her — a freak. Now, as insulting as this may sound to you, that’s not how our protagonist sees it. This is a gambling girl anime, which means that Yumeko needs to be depicted as strong, independent, and brave. She doesn’t really care what anyone says about her — in fact, she is determined to accomplish everything that pops to her mind.
Most importantly, though, Yumeko is a perfect example of what a real compulsive gambler thinks and behaves like. It is not too long before all the other characters in the school begin to realize that Yumeko doesn’t care about money at all. Moreover, to her, it is just a tool for something much bigger. This girl is in it for the thrill. Risk gives her the rush — every time she gambles with something big, she looks ecstatic.
A lot of people admire this aspect of the anime and the way it portrays Yumeko. It’s like the writers sat down and spoke to a problem gambler so they could figure out how they think.
In addition to that, Ryota believes that Yumeko knows exactly what she’s doing for nearly half of the season. So you can probably understand his shock once he finds out that his friend never has a plan on how to win.
On one occasion, Yumeko plays the game of Russian Roulette with one of the council members who adores playing it regularly. And she enjoys the thrill of putting her life at risk just as much as the Roulette-obsessed girl. Betting on your life appears to be the highest of the highs when it comes to betting. It’s like giving heroin to a drug addict.
Not Everything Is Sheer Luck
Although the creators are wisely trying to convince the viewers that Yumeko is all about Lady Luck, this isn’t exactly the case. See, there is one thing that she realizes from the first episode — most of the top students in the school are cheaters. And the hierarchy works as if it is a game of chess. There are top students who are quite rich and have their own slaves, but their cheating games are generic. Yumeko even gets bored of this and figures them all out in a split second.
So she moves on to the main characters — the members of the council. They are the wealthiest, and you could even call them billionaires. Given how they have a lot more money than regular students, their treacherous games are even worse and more ingenious. At one point, Yumeko even loses a game on purpose so that she would become a slave. This is due to the rule which says that a slave can challenge a member to a match. And if the student wins, their debts are forgiven.
This anime gambler girl makes a horrific revelation at one point — that she enjoys figuring out cheating opponents. So the whole time, she knew very well that student council members were nothing but intelligent cheaters, and she loved it. So she embarked on a quest to breaking their games, and with it, breaking them as well.
Yumeko stubbornly survives everything that was thrown at her with comedic ease — although, this might be because of the audience. The anime can get significantly dark at times, and comedic moments and facial expressions certainly help lift this gloomy atmosphere. The audience always needs a light joke.
Reality vs. Anime
Yumeko is a compulsive gambler by all definitions, but there’s a crucial difference between her and actual problem gamblers. As a gambling anime girl, Yumeko has all the funds to support her obsessive gambling. Unfortunately, this is not the case with real obsessive gamblers — more often than not, they waste all their money and homes away. They also take down their families along with them, while Yumeko supports her mentally ill sister.
The point here is, if you’re not a billionaire with secret bank accounts like Yumeko in Kakegurui, try to control your gambling urges. Gambling is a hobby, and that’s how it was always intended to be. Should you overdo it, you will spiral down — just like with anything else in life.