Kakegurui is set at a fictional high school for the children of the ultra wealthy elite who control business and government. The school has normal classes, but what sets it apart from normal institutions of learning is the way every after school activity involves massively high stakes gambling. From poker to roulette to far stranger and more dangerous games of chance, Hyakkaou Private Academy’s real goal is to ready these up and coming future titans of politics and industry for the tense, high stakes situations they’ll face in the real world.

Coming in to this frankly bizarre setting is transfer student Yumeko Jabami. If this were any other show, Yumeko would beat back the all powerful student council who controls every aspect of school life. She’d be an unimpeachable white knight outplaying everyone in this den of vipers. Instead, though she is friendly and has good morals, Yumeko is, in some ways, the most ruthless and gambling crazed of all the academy’s students!

Yumeko doesn’t so much as bat an eye when her fellow students look down on her or others. She doesn’t care if the student council has made having gambling debt at this school akin to being a slave to your fellow students. She doesn’t give a second thought to people trying to literally take control of others’ entire lives. All she wants is the most exciting, tension-filled gambles possible. The higher the stakes the better. The few times we ever see Yumeko angry is when someone tries to intentionally lose. She doesn’t care if you cheat as long as the base rules of the game are fair as she’ll always find a way to outplay you. But rig a game so that she is sure to win? So that she doesn’t get the thrill of being on the knife’s edge of victory and defeat? That’s her biggest turn-off and she might never speak to you again!

“Deal With The Devil” the opening song for Kakegurui’s first season, is a blast. This fast paced, upbeat, jazzy number is filled to the brim with edgy, double entendre lyrics all relating to gambling. Raising the stakes. Seeing through an opponent’s strategy. Having an unbeatable hand. Etc. It’s gotta be Yumeko singing here, and she is in full control of the situation! The song is the perfect opening for a show that is, itself, wild and edgy. “Deal With The Devil” rarely if ever comes into play during the show. It seems satisfied to open each episode along side its deviously suggestive bits of animation then wait for its chance to impress all over again next episode. Speaking of that animation, it is filled with spoilers for both the first and second season. The best kind. The kind that only make sense once you watch the show. Until then, the frantic pacing of the music will more than keep you occupied.

For a long time, I thought “Deal With The Devil” was a song whose speed and lyrics stuffed with double meanings would be all but impossible to fit into English. There doesn’t seem to be enough time to convey everything as the music zooms to the next line and next verse in the blink of an eye. Boy was I wrong! Kayli ‘Kiyo’ Mills did an outstanding job of creating a completely original cover for the song that lives up to its fast paced power. My one complaint, which seems a bit embarrassing when I say it out loud, is that she fails to meow at the appropriate time! But you know what? For a show as slyly suggestive as Kakegurui… that kind of thinking is absolutely perfect!