Gambling anime usually has gambling games, many with serious consequences, involving fame, fortune, life and power. In this article, we will see a list of the best anime for gambling, betting and mind games.
In these animes, the characters use words and actions to manipulate others psychologically. In some of the anime in this article, the characters are forced or choose to play a special type of High Stakes Game: you play to win or you die trying.
Whether for fun, for an advantage or for darker purposes, the characters in these anime use manipulation to achieve their goals. Bets and rules can be agreed by the parties involved or imposed by an outside force.
Kaiji - Play to survive
In this anime the protagonist Kaiji is in debt to the Mafia, in order to pay it he gets on a ship where games of chance happen that test his mental abilities. The game has a very large psychological plot, the bets are getting more and more deadly.
This one wins the first position in betting games, but many stopped watching because of the traits that may be anything but charismatic at first. I ignored it for years because of this, but when I gave it a chance, I loved the anime!
In Kakegurui they practically do a Kaiji repetition, only without strategy, and without real tension in the games. If you really want to feel what Kakegurui tried to go through in your work, watch Kaiji without fail. It's two seasons!
Kakegurui - Compulsive Players
Shiritsu Hyakaou Gakuen is a prestigious private school attended by upper class students and from the political and business world. In addition to famous, skillful athletes and others who stand out in front of society.
In this school there is a great war and hierarchy based on games of chance, where the winners live like kings and the losers are placed in the wringer. The story shows a newcomer named Yumeko Jabami who shows how to really play.
The young protagonist has an enormous desire to play against the members of the Student Council, as they use strict methods, in which they also put the gambler's life at risk, leaving Yumeko Jabami excited because she loves taking risks and danger.
Liar Game - Lying to win?
Unfortunately there is no anime by Liar Game, but we have a manga and drama, both are good that I want to put on that list. The premise is similar to Kaiji's, the difference being that money and debt are involved instead of life itself.
The games are made to win on the basis of lies, but the innocent protagonist cannot lie, she distorts the entire objective of the game, but in the end everything works out because of the genius of another protagonist. It is really a very good drama.
The manga has a very dark atmosphere, the games are well designed and intelligent, I even wanted to make these games in real life. The work is full of mystery and holds you from beginning to end. Make an effort to watch the drama or read Liar Game.
No Game no Life - The world of trivial games
This anime manages to use clichés, ecchi, fan service without being appealing and maintaining the intelligence of the characters. This work of art made by a Brazilian shows two brothers entering a world where everything is solved with trivial games.
An anime and Light Novel of great success worldwide that also won a very exciting film, is also available on Netflix and shows how to make an anime of games and betting. You have probably watched it, if not, I recommend it!
I don't want to give too much spoiler of this work of art, but let's say that the protagonists need to lead the simple and weak human race to win over other races that have superhuman powers, strength and skills in territorial disputes.
One Outs - Baseball Manipulation
One Outs is not just another sports anime, it is totally different, the protagonist is a myth of psychological games, manipulating enemies and applying these mental games in baseball matches during 25 episodes.
The anime is a little old, unknown, but it stuck me from beginning to end, even though I'm not a sports fan. I feel a great absence of anime of the psychological genre, it reminded me a lot of the climate present in Kaiji.
The story begins when Kojima Hiromichi, the best hitter of the Lycaons, goes to the south of the Japanese island of Okinawa to train. There, he meets Tokuchi Toua, a pitcher and undisputed leader of a form of baseball game called "One Out".
Akagi - Mahjong Betting
On a stormy night, a desperate man finds himself playing Mahjong with yakuza bandits; the prize is your life. He is losing, and death seems certain, until a teenager stumbles out of the darkness and into the rain-soaked Mahjong room.
With permission to watch, the boy soon offers to play in the place of the marked man, and that night, a legend is born. After his first taste for Mahjong, Akagi Shigeru finds himself entangled in the dark underworld of Mahjong: for money, reputation and lives.
The anime is by the same creator of Kaiji, you will see similarities in the features and style of the work. Get ready for a lot of gambling and psychological terror. I highly recommend this anime, although patience is required to learn Mahjong.
Death Parade - Bet Your Destiny
When two people die at the same time, they are sent to a place that is neither heaven nor hell: a luxurious bar between worlds where the stakes are high and the rules are simple: if you win, you live again, if you die, you are gone forever.
Decim is the bartender in charge of serving the souls who enter Quindecim. He can prepare a petty cocktail, but his real profession is to play the role of arbiter: a judge who determines whether a soul is worthy of reincarnation or not.
To help their judgment, the bar's customers are forced to play simple games mixed with sadistic twists designed to bring their true nature to light. For Decim, the trial has always been black and white - this is until he meets a young woman ...
Danganronpa - Kill and be innocent
The anime is based on a successful Visual Novel game and has more than 3 seasons, with a lot of psychological terror. Hope's Peak Private Academy is a super-exclusive institute that brings together the best and the brightest students.
The school provides them with world-class education and propels them into whatever career they desire. At least it was meant to be, since the only way to “graduate” is by murdering a colleague and deceiving everyone else in a trial that determines life or death!
In this anime students are arrested in a school where people are murdered and everyone must find out who the murderer is in a kind of trial that takes place in a court. If the killer goes unpunished, all students die.
Btooom! - Kill to survive
Ryouta, 22, is a worthless unemployed person who spends his days living at home and playing Btooom, an extremely popular online game that has sold over three million copies worldwide.
Along with other teammates, Ryouta fights with others using powerful bombs and sonar that can reveal hidden enemies, and his dedication earned him the title of best player in Japan.
But soon, Ryouta's hobby becomes a terrifying reality, as he and many others are played on a tropical island and forced to play Btooom - but this time in real life. Now he and the rest must fight to the death using whatever means are necessary.
Other Life Betting Anime
Sword Art Online - Despite falling into the genre of Isekai MMORPG, it is worth mentioning that in this anime people struggle to survive in a virtual world. It's kind of like a game for life.
Mirai Nikki - In this game 12 people try to kill themselves to see who will become the new God, using simple diary apps that share an individual skill for each player.
Tower of God - An anime where people try to climb a tower going through several challenges.
Higashi no Eden - The protagonist is involved in a game of life and death linked by missiles that hit Japan.
Phi Brain: Kami in the Puzzle - An anime about dangerous mind games and puzzles in which failure can lead to death.
Mondai-Ji Tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu yo? - The masters of this world host the Games of the Present, in which extraordinary prizes can be won and lost by gods, spirits, monsters and people of extraordinary abilities.
Darwin's Game - Players fight each other using superpowers called Sigils.
Deadman Wonderland - A prisoner must fight against other prisoners using a power that manipulates blood.
More anime about Betting, games and manipulation:
- Rio: Rainbow Gate!
- Tobaku Haouden Rei
- Gamble Fish;
- Dongwa Gwolleyok;
- Mardock Scramble;
- C: Control
- Shichisei in Subaru;
- Code Geass;
- Yakusoku at Neverland;
- Death Note;
- Great Pretender;