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Gambling Character Names in Anime through the Years Posted Nov 28, 2020

We track the history of anime and all the characters big and small that show up in anime shows and movies. That means we delve into some pretty obscure stuff sometimes here and pick up on nuances and themes the casual viewer might not have noticed. If you are looking for a trend to pay attention to that you probably haven’t thought about in anime before, then we suggest delving into how gambling names show up in anime from time to time.

Gambling Character Names in Anime through the Years

The Baccarat Characters

Now, baccarat is a classic game of chance that is popular in online gaming circles and is a gambler’s game of choice. It makes sense that it shows up in anime, but you might be surprised at some of the weird ways this globally recognized game makes its way into your favorite anime.

Did you know that there is an anime character named Baccarat? We know that there is so much anime out there that some of them seem to be running out of names when picking out monikers for their characters. How else would we end up with names like Hellscythe Eucliwood, Belle Cranel or Krul Tepes? The answer is creator desperation. You don’t want to copy what other people are doing but you also want a good name, and sometimes the two goals aren’t achieved with character names. Baccarat is a good example of that.

He shows up in ACCA as a minor character, but that name is just too on point for this theme for us to not recognize it and give him a small callout here.

No, we didn’t forget about the One Piece concierge named Baccarat; we just thought it would be fun to mention the character most people don’t associate with the name first. Now this villain has a skillset that ties in with the name. Baccarat the game is primarily about luck and how the fates decide your winnings each round. The character has the power to affect the odds or the luck of a person she chooses. More specifically, she steals their luck and makes herself luckier, so if she hangs around casinos all day, it’s understandable.

Black Jack

This 1996 film about a surgeon with no medical license is an interesting watch. Why is he called Black Jack? It could be because he gambles with people’s lives. I mean, he usually comes out on the other end of each situation with a good deed done and little recognition for it in the manga, but it is still a gamble. The game the name comes from is one of both chance and skill, but since so few cards are involved most of the time, it’s more a game of luck than anything else. It’s easy for someone who has good luck to beat a skilled player at blackjack occasionally just because of how luck based the game is.

Quackenpoker

This Pokémon character has a subtle gambling name, with “poker” hidden in his last name. He showed up in The Wacky Watcher as a wacky looking character, and he was a Pokémon watcher for 50 years, according to the episode. What you might not know about him is that he is based on the American comedian Groucho Marx. For those not sporting grey hair, that would be a physical and stand-up comedian who played numerous roles in comedies in the middle of the 20th century. He has been dead for a long time, but his legacy lives on in characters like these as he is fondly remembered.

What does Quackenpoker have to do with gambling, though? Well, I think it is fair to say that all of Pokémon is one big gambling sport, what with the fights of chance, even if some skill is involved. Just like in poker where you put your cards on the table and hope you win, Pokémon handlers put down their fighters and hope for a favorable outcome.

That’s all for this short list, and you could probably find plenty more, but I think it’s pretty interesting how gambling games show up in anime in character names. Gambling is such an integral part of Japanese culture that it’s understandable it has permeated the anime naming conventions.

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