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Why Mary Saotome Was Best Girl All Along

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Mary Saotome

Mary Saotome: Yumeko is the protagonist of Kakegurui, but Mary Saotome has by far the most intriguing character journey.

Kakegurui, a popular shonen anime series, puts a new spin on the high school anime genre. The protagonists are students at the exclusive Hyakkou Academy, where they learn how to handle the perils of high-stakes gambling and games of chance. Yumeko Jabami is the protagonist, yet she isn’t always the Best Girl.

Yumeko is a vibrant and intriguing heroine, yet her character journey is quite brief. Mary Saotome, on the other hand, might easily be named Kakegurui’s Best Girl, as she ticks practically every box, from her persistence and courage to her seamless plot arc and strong presence in the series.

Mary Saotome’s Underdog Character Arc In Kakegurui

Mary Saotome

Despite the fact that she is not the main character in Kakegurui, Mary Saotome has the arc of a real shonen protagonist, beginning with her loss at Yumeko’s hands. Mary was content in her position in Hyakkou and coasting on her middling success when she first debuted in Kakegurui.

Her defeat pushed her to the bottom of the ladder, where she found herself with everything to gain and practically little to lose.

Mary evolved as a gambler and a person during her journey to not only recapture her prior standing, but to surpass it and reach the pinnacle of the industry. Mary became a more well-rounded character as a result, marked by more than simply her cocky confidence.

Mary felt more vulnerable after she began this arc, and she had to push herself to grow stronger and better, as well as be more honest about her powers and status in Hyakkou.

This character journey also made Mary recognise that her goal isn’t to follow the rules of the student council, but to dismantle it and destroy the complicated yet delicate power system it sustains.

Throughout this arc, Mary faced hope, crushing disappointment, optimism, victory, intense tension, and more, all while conquering her fears. Mary also demonstrated that she is brave and ambitious, but not nasty, and that she is no longer interested in playing petty power games. Surprisingly, becoming an aspiring rebel made her gentler, further rounding out her character.

Position of Mary in the Story

Mary Saotome is distinguished by her relationships with her friends and competitors, Yumeko Jabami and Ryota Suzui, as well as her shonen-style character arc and evolution.

Ryota is an afterthought to Mary, a classmate who occasionally assists Yumeko without recognising it. Mary doesn’t think much of him, but she’s prepared to play games with him to show that she’s not a complete outcast at this dog-eat-dog school. More importantly, Mary’s connection with Yumeko Jabami, who is both her greatest friend and toughest opponent, defines her and brings out the best in her.

Mary prefers order and rationality, whilst Yumeko prefers anarchy and spontaneity, making them similar to the Joker and Batman, and they work well together. This fascinating interplay, however, fleshes out Mary’s character more than Yumeko’s, because Yumeko is simply being herself, whereas Mary’s intense but healthy competitive side is brought out by her very nature.

Mary earned the title of Kakegurui’s Best Girl by declaring Yumeko her friend and opponent, and by maturing as a person while assisting and plotting Yumeko’s demise.

Throughout this character development, Mary is many things at once, from a rival and schemer to an ally and teammate, but most importantly, she is Best Girl. When Yumeko and Ryota entered her life, she blossomed, and she’ll go to any length to become Hyakkou’s best pupil — and a better human being, as well.

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