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“Double the Trouble as a Twin” Added as a Prequel to the “Compulsive Gambler” Series

“Double the Trouble as a Twin” Added as a Prequel to the “Compulsive Gambler” Series

How many times have you heard someone say, “The book is better than the movie,” only to confirm later on your own that is the case?  Fans of the popular manga series, Compulsive Gambler, which is known in Japan as Kakegurui (賭ケグルイ) will soon get a chance to judge for themselves.

Beginning March 26, Amazon Prime Video in Japan will release the big-screen adaptation of the prequel called Kakegurui-So Twin (賭ケグルイ双・ツイン).  There will be a total of eight episodes with two programs made available to Amazon Prime Video subscribers in Japan every Friday for a month beginning at the end of March. You can watch the official trailer in Japanese on YouTube.

Official press release for the prequel to Compulsive Gambler called Kakegurui-So Twin to be released in Japan on March 26, Image Sourced from Just Do It

The Story

Compulsive Gambler depicts the trials and tribulations of the students at the ultra-exclusive private school, Hyakukao Gakuen (百花王学園). The children of Japan’s political and business world elite attend this fictitious school which was founded over a century ago.  It is, however, not a normal school.

The students are not evaluated based upon either their academic or athletic prowess.  What matters is only whether they are any good at gambling. The competition is intense. The losers are made to suffer and are treated no better than farm animals.

“Shall we gamble?” Newest series of Compulsive Gambler Launching in March, Image Sourced from Just Do It

The plot revolves around the fierce gambling battles of female high school students known simply as “JK” in Japanese (abbreviation for the Japanese term, joshi kosei (女子高生)).  The main character is a mysterious transfer student named Mary Saotome who is a compulsive gambler.  Those familiar with the manga will also recognize the main character’s side-kick and occasional adversary, Yumeko Jabami.

In the prequel, we learn about how Mary Saotome establishes herself at school and how she becomes both Yumeko’s rival and also, her best friend.

Behind the Scenes

There are many people responsible for this latest edition of the Compulsive Gambler series.  The original manga was written by Homura Kawamoto and illustrated by Tōru Naomura.  It launched in print format in March 2014.  The prequel spin-off was first published in September 2015.

Popular actress Aoi Morikawa, Image Sourced from Livedoor

The cast is a virtual who’s part of a new breed of up-and-coming actors and actresses.  The main character, Mary Saotome, is played by Aoi Morikawa (森川葵) who is a rising 25-year-old actress, model, and former “Miss Seventeen”.

The character Mary Saotome played by Aoi Morikawa, Image Sourced from Gyakuten Isshan Log

She is joined by a famous singer from the idol group, Nogizaka46.

Japanese idol singer Erika Ikuta, Image Sourced from JJ

24-year-old Japanese idol singer, Erika Ikuta (生田絵梨花), from the Nogizaka46 group, plays the character, Sakura Miharutataki.

The character Sakura Miharutataki played by Erika Ikuta, Image Sourced from Ameblo

Aficionados of Compulsive Gambler are also eagerly anticipating the performance of male characters.

22 year-old Hayato Sato, Image Sourced from What’s in Tokyo

22-year-old heartthrob and member of the boy band, “M!LK”, Hayato Sano (佐野勇斗) plays the character, Mibu Omiaoi.  He is certain to attract the attention of many fans.

The character Mibu Omiaoi, Image Sourced from Manga 1001 Dot Com

Putting aside the curiosity about how well a big-screen version will stay true to the original manga, marketing efforts in Japan have gone into over-drive to promote the theme song called “Running Counter” or Gyakko (逆行) in Japanese.

18-year-old musical prodigy Soshi Sakiyama, Image Sourced from Baycamp

It is from 18-year-old sensation, Soshi Sakiyama (崎山蒼志).

You can hear one of Sakiyama’s most recent hits, “THE FIRST TAKE”, on YouTube to get a taste for the new music.

High Expectations

Fans cannot wait for the release in a couple of weeks.

Ryo tweeted, “The newest Compulsive Gambler starring ‘Wild Speed’ Aoi Morikawa is going to be terrific…I cannot wait to see Hayato Sano, Erika Ikuta, Mirei Sasaki, and others in the additional cast.”

It appears as though many of the cast members were selected based upon the extent to which they resemble the characters in the manga.

ALES tweeted, “Compulsive Gambler will soon be made into a new drama.  I cannot help but look forward to seeing the wonderful performance from the main series perfectly reproduced–even as twins!

Given the escalating hype in Japan, the coming release of the prequel to Compulsive Gambler, called Kakegurui-So Twin, may rival the original manga.  It just might turn out to be one of those rare occurrences when the movie is, in fact, just as good–if not better–than the book.

So, feel free to roll the dice and be certain not to miss it on March 26.

By the way, it is not clear whether the new drama in the Compulsive Gambler series will be made available by Amazon Prime Video outside Japan.

Link to Japanese Source:

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