From its humble origins in Japan, anime has risen over time to gain a global following. This saw the industry estimated to be worth $19bn in 2019 and it is sure to have grown further since. With its signature hand-drawn computer visuals and interesting storylines, this is not really a surprise. The range of choice when it comes to anime is also a big plus and means that there is a suitable series out there for everyone to enjoy.
This is certainly true for casino players who might like to watch anime inspired by gambling and the games they love. Of course, casino gaming is itself seeing something of a renaissance and this is certainly true for online casino play. Top iGaming sites, including skycitycasino.com, are flourishing right now and are part of a sector that brings in multi-billions per year. With this in mind, the inspiration anime takes from casino gaming makes perfect sense. This becomes even more obvious when you think of the drama, action and thrills that gambling-based themes offer to anime studios.
But which are the top five casino-inspired anime to catch?
Rio: Rainbow Gate!
When you look at what anime involves, it seems that casino games make the ideal subject matter. Shown in 2011 and containing 13 episodes, this series was a real gem from producers Xebec. With the sharp animation and striking visuals you would expect, it also has an interesting storyline to fall into.
It centers around Rio Rollins, who is a famous dealer at the Howard Resort Hotel casino. Also known by her nickname of ‘Goddess of Victory’, she brings luck to any players she is near and shows them how to win big on slots. Fun and light-hearted, this is a refreshing change from casino-inspired anime, which can often be darker in tone.
Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor
If you are looking for the casino-inspired anime that many consider to be the best, this is worth considering. First aired in 2007/08, it was a series of 26 manga-inspired anime episodes, based around casinos and gambling.
It tells the tale of Kaiji Itou, who must play at an underground casino-style gambling ring on a cruise ship to clear his yakuza gambling debts. Although this is a cautionary tale in many ways, it highlights the importance of responsible gambling and how it is possible to overcome general problems in life.
If darker casino-inspired anime is your thing, look no further than Death Parade from the Madhouse Studio. This was released in 2015 and ran for 12 episodes in all. The casino vibe comes from the game of roulette, which plays a central role to the story.
The general plot sees those who have died find themselves in a bar where they have to spin the roulette wheel. If they lose, eternal darkness awaits but a win sees them reincarnated. A clever anime, it leaves you wondering if the roulette wheel really decides their fate or if it is the moral choices made in life.
No Game No Life
Madhouse struck another home run with this casino-flavored anime released in 2014. Also lasting for 12 episodes, it features stepsisters Shiro and Sora. They don’t really fit in where they live but do possess awesome gaming skills. This prompts the god of games to bring them to where he lives in Disboard.
In this dream-like landscape, all political problems are resolved by playing games – including some casino games. Full of sharply drawn characters, smart humor and high-stakes casino gaming fun, this is a real winner.
Kakegurui (Compulsive Gambler)
Coming in at 24 episodes over two seasons in 2018/19, producers MAPPA got it spot on here. The story revolves around the impact transfer student Yumeko Jabami has on Hyakkaou Private Academy. Although the school seems pretty normal by day, it turns into an underground casino-style gambling den for the rich students at night. Students must play to become one of the school’s ‘elite’ students and enjoy the privileges this offers. Jabami has unknown gambling skills, though, which are a threat to the school hierarchy and we see her undertake a thrilling journey in this show.
Casino-inspired anime rocks!
Anyone who knows anime well understands how powerful, fun, exciting and engaging it can be. This is certainly true when you look at series like Berserk season 3 or the best anime series inspired by casinos. As the examples we have looked at above demonstrate, casino games and gambling are a rich source of inspiration for anime studios.