This is a Story About a Woman Called Yumeko…

Midari and Yumeko

Yumeko understood Midari (Russian roulette, Zener ESP card deck), who lost a pretty ugly bet to Kirari. Most people write Midari off. I even wrote Midari, off at one point. I feel guilty about that now. But Midari has a good heart. She saved Yumeko, in Ep. 4, of Season 1, and she didn’t want Yumeko to face Kirari and endure the same fate she did.

Basically, if the Debt Swap game was about wrongs committed in between the genders, then the episodes about poor Midari’s story are about wrongs that women commit against each other. Obviously, however, there is no perfect world.

Midari and Yumeko are similar, but not the same. Midari is formidable because she has less fear, making her immune to several motivations most people have. Midari is a genius, a gambling One Punch Man. However, the weak side is sadness and ennui. Thus, her motivation to feel something, with the things most people fear most, is an uncommon motivation – but still a motivation.

Yumeko was able to exploit this. If a person has one motivation, once that motivation is figured out – however obscure that motivation is – their moves become predictable and the game has no risk. Hence why Yumeko became truly upset because the ESP game wasn’t gambling. Yumeko hated that Midari’s game had no risk, because even with scams, Midari rigged it so that she would lose.

0% or 100% probability are not your friends. If you eliminate all risk, even at the last second, you lose all reward. A world without risk is a world without change: a perfect world, but also a dead and frozen one.

To the uninitiated – compared to someone like Mary – Midari and Yumeko might as well be the same. I like Midari and Yumeko. I like that they don’t hold back their feelings of pleasure. They claim them and own them. You can afford to have a lot of fan service if the story is strong. Yumeko is empowered, and everything she does is consensual. She is happy and having fun with her life, naturally. That makes an enormous difference; that’s the difference, not the fan service itself

Kakegurui is so sexualized, that it’s funny. It’s fan service and it’s funny spicing up a show that would normally bore most people with probabilities and gambling math. It’s also sex positive. The women are owning their own sexuality. You can tell; there is a difference. All of this also fits with Yumeko’s confident, take no prisoners mentality.

1) Strong women owning their sexuality is good, like I said. 2) If done tastefully, and subtly (or in an obviously absurd way, like Kakegurui does), not all fan service is bad; some of it is fun. 3) Spicing the more theoretical gambling parts up, with desire, makes sense.

How are Midari and Yumeko different? Midari constantly always focuses on the end result – which is better than most people – but Yumeko also is concerned with the probabilities to get to the result. This is the mark of a true gambler.

Following the dual theme of each episode, Yumeko and Mary both end up separately being the Woman that Refused (more Yumary shipping). Midari tried to protect Yumeko from the darkness of Kirari – who is dark, (except for when it comes to Sayaka and Batsubami) – but Yumeko is strong enough to face Kirari on her own. Midari was just trying to protect Yumeko from Kirari.

Every game has had a scam in it and Yumeko easily sees through the scam and wins or ties, under both the constraints of the game and the scam. Yumeko is fiery. Plus, you don’t get enough genius or gambler female characters. Yumeko never underestimates anybody. That’s her real secret to winning.

I just wanted to see the hand in the $100M betting war. Three of a kind, jacks. An amazing game. I love poker, so I understand a little bit how Yumeko feels, how risk – and reward -excite her. Yumeko’s hand wasn’t even a full house – but she just needed it to be stronger than a 3 of eights. Nice.

Yumeko didn’t even need the Opposite Day twist to win; she won with the normal hand rankings of poker. Manyuda doubled down on just having the right to choose. He should have folded. When he chose to play with the normal hand ascendancy, he still lost, to a middle tier hand.

The Genius: Season 1 – Seonggyu and Eunji

Kyeongran (경란) Eonni (언니) was onto Seonggyu (성규), from Episode 1. He seemed all jolly and happy, like Charlie, on Lost – but there was an exceptional and crafty mind, beneath that cheery veneer, beneath the mask.

Seonggyu won the Expression Auction. He granted Sangmin (상민) Oppa (오빠) immunity. Then, Jinho (진호) Oppa, who lost, picked Eunji (은지) in the Death Match. It was the mercenary, Jinho Oppa, versus Eunji, the lone wolf.

Eunji should have never given Seonggyu 8 garnets, at the beginning of the episode. Even Sangmin Oppa was aghast. Seonggyu should have gotten 2 and Sangmin Oppa, 1 – that’s it. Why did she give Seonggyu 8 garnets, and then Sangmin Oppa 6, and then another 2, to Seonggyu?

Seonggyu wasn’t even grateful. 48 Laws of Power. Never try to win people over by holding people in your debt. Never appeal to graciousness or mercy. Always appeal to greed and self-interest. Seonggyu didn’t owe Eunji any favors.

Seonggyu, and his producer, wanted to run the second horse race, in Episode 10, with their huge amount of garnets, and trick the other teams, with false bets. This created a real underdog situation, for the other teams. Karma did Kyeongran Eonni a solid, in helping her team win immunity.

Seonggyu tried to buy the race, by buying up all the expensive hints, but Sangmin Oppa’s loyalty was to many other people, in the game, than to just him, and he lost the Main Match and went home, after losing in tactical yut nori (윷놀이).

Buying the expensive decks, in Open, Pass, worked – but Sangmin Oppa, was only loyal to Seonggyu, in the beginning of the season. By Episode 11, the rising tide of Kyeongran Eonni and Jinho Oppa, could no longer be denied.

By spending too much money, too early, Seonggyu put a huge target on his back. He became the one to beat, instead of the dark horse. This happened to Eunji too, before her final Main Match.

She immediately began wasting her assets, on paying off people, like Seonggyu. At the end of the episode, she didn’t have enough garnets, in Indian Poker, to save herself, and Jinho Oppa eliminated her.