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.

Pratfall – A Circle, Week 3, Epic

Rebecca was just far too blown away, by the reveal of a known liar, for her to win. Seaburn picked the confirmed catfish, over an actual ally. Who cares if Adam was in love with Rebecca, a catfish – or not? That’s the whole point! Why would Seaburn go in as a catfish, if he couldn’t handle the real-life connections, that would naturally occur, if his catfish persona succeeded? Seaburn really messed up here.

Seaburn is really young and has only been with his current girlfriend, in his entire life, it seems. He wasn’t in the dating scene for very long, before he met Rebecca. Seaburn’s flirtation game was very weak, on the show. But at least he wasn’t as bad as Adam. The game was really difficult for Alex – and what Adam thought was flirting. Alex also had a huge inferiority complex over his perceived hotness level. It was Adam versus Alex.

Seaburn even talked to the Circle differently, from how he talked to everyone else – in real life. He was much more dialed in, than anybody else. He wasn’t lying – he truly believed in what he was saying. He based Rebecca on his actual girlfriend. It’s a long-term relationship and he hasn’t had many relationships. Everything fit for Seaburn. Plus, people inexperienced at flirting, usually oversell it.

The Super-Influencer was the sole vote for blocking one candidate – and that vote was allowed to be anonymous. The rankings also weren’t revealed immediately – giving people ample time to blow up their games. This situation also gave people more time for a video message to give someone more rope to hang themselves with – just like how Antonio destroyed Mercedes’s game. The twist was that the Super-Influencer had to do the blocking in person, an interesting downside.

Sean was the fakest one, out of the bunch. She laid it on so thick and she was fishing for so many compliments. It’s a game show; get over it. Sean came in late; did she really think she could win? Keep telling yourself you’re the real winner, Sean. Her whole story was one giant eyeroll. She was a one-dimensional character: she absolutely reduced herself down to a single concept.

Like I said, last week, the new people were added too late – for it to matter, for the audience to even care. This made for an easier set of strategic decisions, for the original cast. Once production added Ed and Bill, viewers were just exasperated. There was no way for these rookies to win. They were like mere trainees, up against established singers, who had already debuted. Sean, Ed and Bill were no more than early boots and cannon fodder. The Circle suffered from too many fresh players entering, too far along, in the game.