A look at Mary Saotome, one of Hyakkaou’s top gamblers

At Hyakkaou Private Academy, Mary Saotome is an overconfident gambler who eventually broke her hot streak when she challenged Yumeko Jabami to a game of jankenpon. Following her humiliating defeat, she was temporarily relegated to the status of a house pet. The reputation Mary had prior to the events in Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler raises the question of how she ascended the ranks to become a top gambler.

Kakegurui Twin depicts Mary Saotome’s first year at Hyakkaou and how she built her reputation. Her newly transferred status as a first-year student enables her to thrive at her new school, two of which she is already well known for in the main series: intelligence and the ability to take calculated risks. Mary’s third quality is her ability to make allies with whomever she chooses and play whomever she believes will benefit her.

All three of Mary’s best qualities are demonstrated in Kakegurui Twin when she accepts challenges from her classmates, including members of the Student Council like Aoi Miboumi and Sachiko Juraku, the primary antagonist. As Mary plays every game, she is extremely adept at calculating various probabilities in her head and taking calculated risks based on which numbers give her the best chance of winning. Naturally, Mary also does not play by the rules and always cheats in order to increase her chances of winning.

However, despite Mary’s winning confidence, she cannot account for how her opponents and even the game moderators will cheat despite her knowledge of cheating techniques. While she does consider all cheating possibilities, she is rarely correct in her assessment of her opponents and moderators, which is why she consistently loses the first round before rebounding in the second. This fatal flaw can be mitigated by forming friendships and other alliances at the school.

Due to Mary’s determination to win at all costs and avoid getting into debt, she will befriend and work with anyone she believes will provide her with an advantage. On her first day at Hyakkaou, Tsuzura Hanatemari, her former classmate from primary school, sports her some money to help her defeat another student who initially beat her in the first round. Also, Mary becomes friends with Yukimi Togakushi, a girl who is seriously indebted to Sachiko. In the beginning, Mary and Yukimi are rivals in the world of gaming with the latter losing her gambling den in the process. Mary accepts Yukimi’s friendship initially as part of her strategy to win large sums of money.

During the couples game, which required a team of five girls and five boys, Tsuzura becomes Mary’s best friend and most trusted companion. Mary, ironically, was also quick to turn on Sachiko when she successfully gaslighted her into believing she had betrayed her, resulting in a major loss for her. The moment Mary uncovers who the true traitor is within her team, she is relieved to discover Tsuzura has never betrayed her loyalty and has never questioned it. Particularly important is this when both Sachiko and Aoi become highly interested in her and attempt to manipulate her gambling skills to their advantage.

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Since she won Yukimi’s gambling den, Sachiko had been interested in keeping Mary as a house pet, and each time she became more and more intrigued by her. As part of a scheme to oust Sachiko as president of the Student Council, Aoi is also interested in recruiting Mary to the Full-Bloom Club.

Although Mary is not interested in becoming subordinate to either Aoi or Sachiko, she is willing to play them whenever it is in her best interests. She participates in Kakegurui Twin’s scavenger hunt game in which she is competing against Sakura Miharutaki, Aoi’s fiancée and student council executive.

Mary is often outclassed by Sakura, who is also a highly skilled gambler. It is well known that Sakura uses cheaters’ own methods against them, which is how she was able to get Midari Ikishima to repay the Student Council her massive debt. If Mary had not been assisted by Tsuzura and Yumiki during the scavenger hunt and executed her winning strategy in the following game, she would have easily lost; Sakura excels at winning without assistance and never does second rounds one of the only things Mary relies on since she often loses first rounds.

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