If you love anime and you love gambling, why not enjoy them both in the form of gambling anime on a boring day? Today we’ve made up a list of gambling anime filled with some amazing titles that will make all days a lot more entertaining. The anime gambling series you will find here are both old and new, being released between 2000 and 2017.
There are plenty of episodes of anime about gambling to binge on and they will definitely spark your interest in checking out more exceptional anime titles and, maybe, even your interest in gambling and playing some demo slots, poker or other casino games. But before we jump right into the top 10 gambling anime, let’s make sure that you know the history of anime!
Short Guide to Understanding Gambling Anime (and Anime in General)
Anime is an animation created with the computer or drawn by hand that usually follows a story involving Japanese characters as this form of art first appeared in Japan in 1917 (though they have been in production or more than a century before we could actually see this modern result).
Animes usually have beautiful illustrations, many different themes, HQ graphics and memorable characters. They grew so much in popularity that they are now not just appreciated by the people of Japan, but by people from all over the world.
There are many kinds, styles and even age groups for anime. There is so much variety that chances are that no matter what type or sub-genre you are looking for you will find it. Even gambling school anime or something even more specific than that.
You can find them subbed, you can find them dubbed, you don’t even need to know Japanese anymore to be able to watch your favourite anime series. Would it help? Probably, but it’s not a requirement, just as it’s not set in stone that you need to know every casino game to be able to enjoy slots or poker.
Like an episode of Gintama puts it: a life without gambling is like sushi without wasabi (which isn’t that great to be honest); so let’s get on with the best gambling manga ever made.
Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor
Kaiji gambling anime is one of the most appreciated and popular anime to watch for gambling lovers. It first appeared in 2007 and finished in 2008 and has 25 episodes you can binge. The reason for its popularity is that it has epic interaction, animation and, of course, storyline. There can be no list of anime about gambling without Kaiji. Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor might be the very best one.
Our hero is Kaiji, an unemployed alcoholic, who seems to always get in trouble. He is forced by a loan shark to pay his ex-coworker’s debt that’s a whopping 3850000 yen. Since he’s unemployed that’s obviously impossible so he is forced to go on a weird cruise to gamble his way out of this situation.
If he will win he will pay off the debt and also leave the ship with a 20000000 yen profit, but if he will lose he will have to do forced labour for 2 years. So the gambling anime Kaiji will show you some of the most intense gambling scenes you’ve ever witnessed. Not just in anime, but like ever.
There’s psychological tension, different kinds of pressure, huge success if you win, huge problems if you lose. The cruise is a sort of circle of Hell (think Dante’s Inferno) and his own personal kind of torment as he will play against greedy, cheating, horrible people to try and save his freedom and even his body (be ready for a bit of gore).
The anime was written by the same brilliant author who wrote Akagi, another epic gambling anime on this list, and you will soon see just how well he can do his job. It was first written by Nobuyuki Fukumoto in 1996 as an amazing manga series (called Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji), but since its transformation into anime in 2007, it was also given a live action movie in 2009 and a sequel in 2011.
Definitely a must watch if you’re into this genre, you just can’t skip.
Rio: Rainbow Gate
Ok, let’s talk about casino anime because Rio Rollins, the hero of Rio: Rainbow Gate, is actually a famous casino dealer who works at Howard Resort Hotel. She is named the Goddess of Victory because she brings a lot of good luck to all the players around how and even teaches them how to win at slot machines (talk about big slot payouts).
While in the real world no casino would ever hire a dealer that makes everyone win because that would be really bad for business, Rio: Rainbow Gate, the 2011 gambling anime series with 13 episodes is actually super fun, easy to watch and just relaxing.
An epic combination of gambling and sports, One Outs ran between 2008 and 2008 and featured 25 episodes. It’s actually a sports gambling anime about Toua Tokuci, a really good pitcher who spends most of his time playing a simplified version of baseball that’s called, you guessed it, One Outs.
The story begins with the fact that a baseball team called Lycaons was doing really poorly.
Desperately trying to save the team, a batter, Hiromichi Kojima, recruits Toua Tokuci. But things couldn’t have gone straight up so you get a plot twist because the team manager, Saikawa, doesn’t really want to see the team victorious and he proposes a weird deal to Toua.
Every time Toua wins, the manager will pay him 5,000,000 yen as a reward. But every time Toua loses, he will have to pay 50,000,000 yen to Saikawa. This is where Toua’s gambling brain comes into play because he has to try to not lose but also outsmart the manager, play, strategize and play some serious mind games.
Kakegurui (Compulsive Gambler)
Kakegurui (Compulsive Gambler) has 12 episodes and was aired in 2017. This one is a highschool gambling anime. The action takes place at Hyakkaou Private Academy which is definitely not an ordinary school. This is the perfect place for students who come from politically powerful and rich families of Japan. Gambling is super important here as it defines everything about you, including your status, socially speaking.
Yumeko Jabami is a transfer student who will spice things up and challenge the status quo with her extraordinary gambling abilities. Things are not as simple as they seem because this anime is all about psychological battles between students because no one wants to lose everything and become a house pet (pretty much a slave).
You get a strong female role, but also violence, profanity, and even some nudity, so if you’re looking for something a little more light, maybe skip to the next one. Oh, and remember to practice responsible gambling unlike these teens that take it way too far.
Akagi: Yami ni Oritatta Tensai
This series ran from 2005 to 2006 and you get 26 thrilling episodes. The plot line is super interesting: Nangou owes 300000000 yen to the yakuza and might lose his life. But that’s when Akagi shows up and saves him, even though he is a mahjong newbie. While he might not know how to play mahjong, he is naturally gifted and has some amazing gambling talents.
While mahjong might not be exactly the gambling in game you had in mind, here it is as things get surprisingly heated with high stakes and serious gameplay. And if you don’t know how to play the game, don’t worry because the rules will be explained in this elaborate anime about gambling.
Legendary Gambler Tetsuya
Legendary Gambler Tetsuya is another classic. It ran for 20 episodes between 2000 and 2001, but it’s still popular to this day, especially among mahjong players. The setting is quite interesting as you are taken back in time to Japan after the 2nd World War. salaries are small, life is hard and the only way to survive is to gamble. Tetsuya is a very talented player who survives by gambling illegally.
The problem is that one day everything falls apart as he loses against a cheater and is left penniless. That’s when he decides to learn to cheat and continue to learn to play, to become an even better mahjong player. Serious, simple and filled with life lessons, Legendary Gambler Tetsuya is a really nice anime.
Uogui is not an anime series, but an OVA (a term used in Japan to refer to animation that’s directly released to the market without going through a theatrical release or a television broadcast) that appeared in 2012. Usogui is based on the manga with the same name and tells the story of illegal gambling in Japan where people even bet their lives so a brutal organization called Kagerou takes over to try to control the players.
The main character is Baku Madarame who is also known as Usogui (the Lie Eater). He wants to take over Kagerou and be the one controlling everything. While the OVA is pretty short and doesn’t have enough time to explore everything that happens in the manga version, it’s still an epic ride that’s worth watching.
Launched in 2009, this gambling anime series has 25 episodes and is another mahjong centered anime. The story is about a girl named Saki Miyanaga who hates mahjong because she has some bad memories of it from her childhood. A friend invites her to be a part of the school’s mahjong club and that’s when everything changes. The series is light-hearted, kawaii and just plain fun. If you were looking for a nice gambling anime that’s not too dark this one might be it.
Mudazumo Naki Kaikaku: The Legend of Koizumi
Mudazumo Naki Kaikaku: The Legend of Koizumi is a three episode long gambling anime that is super unexpected. That’s because George W. Bush, Kim Jong-Il and Vladimir Putin , so basically insanely powerful world leaders, play mahjong and the loser must do anything the winner asks. There are a whole lot of political jokes and insane humor as well as some really unexpected plot twists.
Imawa no Kuni no Alice (Alice in Borderland)
Imawa no Kuni no Alice (Alice in Borderland) is a very interesting anime that combines gambling and an RPG video game. This anime about gambling is three episodes long as well and appeared in 2014. You will witness the story of a high-school student, Ryouhei Arisu, as he and his friends are transported into a magical world called Borderland.
The thing is that the only thing that can increase or decrease their chances of survival is luck. They have to draw fortune slips and solve some insanely hard math problems. A wrong answer will bring a huge amount of burning arrows which can kill them. Who said you will never use math outside of highschool?
Other Epic Gambling Anime Titles You Can’t Miss
While the top 10 you’ve just seen is definitely amazing, it doesn’t mean that those are the only great anime with a gambling theme. You can also try:
- No Game No Life
- Death Parade
- C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
- Mudazumo Naki Kaikaku: The Legend of Koizumi
And there are others that only lightly touch the subject of casino gambling such as even the popular Naruto where Tsunade the world’s strongest kunoichi and the greatest medical-nin who also becomes the Fifth Hokage also loves gambling.
If you want to try it the other way around and gamble playing slots with an anime theme, you can do that as well in your free time to make sure that you are never bored. You’ll find plenty of amazing anime slots on our website, all you have to do is use the search function and you’re good to go.