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Thursday, 3 August 2017
Manga: Compulsive Gambler Vol 1
Compulsive Gambler Vol 1
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
Hyakkaou Private Academy. An institution for the privileged with a very peculiar curriculum. You see, when you're the sons and daughters of the wealthiest of the wealthy, it's not athletic prowess or book smarts that keep you ahead. It's reading your opponent-the art of the deal. What better way to hone those skills than with a rigorous curriculum of gambling?At Hyakkaou Private Academy, the winners live like kings, and the losers are put through the wringer. But when Yumeko Jabami enrolls, she's gonna teach these kids what a high roller really looks like!
The premise for Compulsive Gambler sounded amazing, a school for gamblers?! I eagerly dived in to this and I wasn't disappointed! This is one of my favourite manga of the year so far, it's brilliant. The atmosphere of this book is so creepy and puts you a little bit on edge, and then each game has tension that you can feel building. The art is completely brilliant too, right from the start with its colour pages, and all the way throughout the volume.
I really liked how the characters where drawn looking all cute and pretty the majority of the time but when it came to the uglier aspects of the school and the games, the desire to win, the need to win, the money and the nastiness, the characters expressions would be drawn a lot differently and definitely uglier. It was a nice touch especially as this manga portrays the darkness of society throughout. Not to mention the unfairness.
As soon as we start reading, we meet Mary Saotome, one of the nastier characters. I instantly hoped Yumeko would take her down but by the end of the volume I couldn't help but feel a little bit sorry for her. As we read, we get a building sense of dread about the student council and their president until they finally make their appearances. They're pretty much a corrupt dictatorship in charge of everyone. Things get very interesting when they make their entrance and I'm intrigued to see how things are going to play out with them.
I love Yumeko! She's such an interesting character, she appears at first to be a nice, 'gentle' girl, but it quickly becomes apparent that she's a little bot sociopathic you could say, when it comes to gambling. She's quite a badass to be honest, and she's a little bit scary. She's incredibly intelligent and uses that to win and uncover everyones cheating methods. I got some Sherlock vibes in the way she uncovered and talked through each of the cheating methods and how it was done and so on.
Suzui, Yumeko's unlikely friend and our POV, would be the Watson to her Holmes. I really felt for him, the poor guys the most normal kid there from what I can see and he's experienced the full crappiness of what can happen at his school. I'm interested to see where this friendship is going to be honest, they seem to me like quite an unlikely pair.
I got so on edge and tense during the first gambling match, it was so cleverly done with the tension building and the way Mary played it and then the reveal happened and I got so excited for this series. I quickly became addicted to this, reading it as fast as I could. The tension is built up for each game, you think Yumeko's gonna figure it all out and win...but does she always? There's moments when you think she's done for, but she mostly pulls it back...sort of. I loved reading about the different games and how they're played, and the cheating methods being used. It was so interesting and Yumeko would be such a badass with the reveals. She's a bit crazy but I really, really root for her!
I'm so excited for the next volume to see her face off with the student council president and see what she's going to do after the results of her last match, not to mention see how Suzui fits in to everything, is he just there to be our view point or is he just there to be her sidekick or is there more to it? This is going to be such a brilliant series, and I'm going to be eagerly awaiting each new volume!