As I have the honour of once again writing for this week’s Waifu Wednesday, I’m now starting to realise that I am making my personal preferences for fictional characters quite apparent. What can I say? I love supporting women’s wrongs.
Such is the case for Yumeko Jabami, though I must say I actually quite disliked her on first impression, initially dismissing her character as a rehash of popular Cute and Psycho character archetypes from recent years. The more I watched, though, the more I came to admire this exceptionally charming anime protagonist.
This write-up contains very mild spoilers for Kakegurui’s first few episodes.
Who is Yumeko?
Yumeko is second-year transfer student at Hyakkaou Private Academy, a school that evaluates its students through their social status, rather than any academic prowess, resulting in something of a caste system. It’s completely possible for one to elevate their status, though – namely, through gambling. This is quite the coincidence, as Yumeko happens to be a compulsive gambler herself!
Yumeko’s entire life is gambling – for her, high stakes and low stakes are equivalent to good and evil. She is obsessed with the luck of the draw, experiencing near-orgasmic pleasure from any sort of risk. While her perception and memory skills are near-superhuman, she’s not immune to losing – even when bankrupted and reduced to a “Housepet” (the lowest rank a student can be) she takes it with a smile. Now that’s dedication.
Why we love her
Though Yumeko clearly has a slightly affected view of the world and morality, I admire how fastidiously she sticks to her principles, even when in literal grave danger (it’s not just money that’s gambled away at Hyakkaou – other stakes include dignity, body parts, and lives). She’s not in it for the cash – she’s in it for the sheer thrill of the gamble.
On multiple occasions she has been seen to forgive debts and give away money, albeit primarily to show her appreciation for a good game. She even suffers cheaters gladly, often giving her opponents advice on how to cheat better. The only things that piss her off are uninteresting matches, opponents who gamble for “selfish reasons”, and quitters.
I also adore her intensity. When she’s enthralled in a match, Yumeko’s eyes glow red, a sign of her ferocious spirit and undying passion. While she is for the most part very friendly easy-going, she is quick to read a bitch to filth when necessary.
Why you will love her
Yumeko’s most extraordinary ability – both in Kakegurui and in real life – is how she is able to endear herself to almost anyone, even if they initially despise her, and even if they have lost their life’s fortune to her in a gambling match.
Of course, Yumeko is beautiful, playful and very touchy-feely, which is probably enough to get any ecchi fan’s motor running. But when you watch the show, you may find yourself falling in love with Yumeko for her sunny disposition, her fierce loyalty and her dedication to living (and possibly dying) exactly how she wants to.
If we’ve piqued your interest, Kakegurui is available to watch now on Netflix! The show contains two seasons, but there is also a live-action show you can get involved with if you find yourself bitten by the gambling bug.
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