Anime Characters that Love Poker
Gambling has historically been a favorite pastime of many people across the globe, regardless of race or culture. Even old stories will often utilize gambling as a plot device or theme, and today’s entertainment industry is no different. Movies and anime that show us the world of gambling are some of the most popular stories to tell.
When it comes to anime, the gambling you see will often be games like Chō-Han and other traditional Japanese games. Although not as popular as these traditional games, many anime series portray poker, a decidedly western game. Below are some of the most popular characters you will find playing poker.
Number one on our list of poker-loving characters is Kaiji, the protagonist of the popular gambling-themed anime Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor. Kaiji is a down-on-his-luck loser that has hit rock bottom. He spends most of his days getting into trouble, stealing, drinking, and gambling. His bad luck persists, when a coworker tricks him into co-signing for a loan and promptly absconds with the money.
Kaiji is then left with massive debt and no real way to pay it back. The loan shark involved, Yuji Endo, gives him the option of becoming a laborer for ten years to pay off the debt, or board an illegal gambling cruise ship to join a high-stakes poker game. The anime series follows the story of Kaiji as he navigates this new and dangerous world.
Throughout the series Kajji finds himself playing many different games, including Rock-Paper-Scissors, Steel Beam Crossing, Pachinko, and One Poker. The One Poker game he plays is a variation of many popular poker games.
The next poker-loving character on our list is Sora. The 18-year old protagonist of the fantasy and science fiction anime: No Game No Life. Sora and his stepsister, Shiro, are unrivaled experts in the world of online games. Together, they are unstoppable, whether it’s chess, rock-paper-scissors, poker, or any other game you can think of.
As long as they know the rules involved, victory is almost a guarantee. One day, they unwittingly accept a challenge to a chess match by Tet, a god from another dimension. Though not a normal match they manage to win. Upon their victory, Tet offers to transport them to a world where games dictate everything, and as a joke, they accept. Soon they find themselves in Disboard, a world where conflict is resolved through games and rewards or punishments enforced by magic.
Sora and Shiro traverse through this new world towards their goal to conquer all to challenge Tet. Sora excels at strategies and reading tells, making him unbeatable in poker. Remember true poker players live by the maxim: play your opponents not the cards. Over the course of the anime series, Sora plays poker on many occasions.
3. Yumeko Jabami
Another poker-loving character you will find in the anime world is Yumeko Jabami. The main protagonist in Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler, is on the surface, an intelligent, cheerful, and beautiful girl that recently transferred to the exclusive and elite private school, Hyakkaou Private Academy.
Deep down under that surface, Yukemo is a compulsive gambler that simply loves the thrill of high-stakes gambling. She loves, just about, any game that involves high-risk stakes, including the poker, which she is particularly good at. What makes things even more interesting is that the school she just transferred to is actually an environment where academics or athletics does not determine students’ social status.
All that matters is their gambling. With her keen intellect and exceptional observation ability, she can pierce through any cheating scheme or method. Yumeko couldn’t have found a better place to hone her skills. On many occasions, Yumeko plays poker, especially a unique two-card version of poker popular in Indian casinos.
4. D-Agency Spies
Rounding out our list of anime characters who love poker is a group. The D-Agency spies from the anime series: Joker Game. This darkly intense anime series is set during World War II and follows the story of a group of spies trained in harsh conditions to become master manipulators. A large part of their espionage training is the game of poker. Their favorite variation of poker, which they dubbed “The Joker Game,” has a unique set of rules.
The Joker Game is not about who has the highest hand. Instead, it is about who can convince the most people in the game to cheat others out of the game while not saying a word. This plays heavily into the plot of several episodes of this amazing anime series.