Mary Saotome (also often referred to as Meari Saotome) is a deuteragonist from Kakegurui and also the main protagonist of the spin-off series Kakegurui Twin. She's a student at Hyakkaou Private Academy and a classmate of Yumeko Jabami and Ryota Suzui. She is the first character in the entire series that challenges Yumeko and loses against her.
Mary is a girl of average height with long blonde hair styled into two ponytails that are tied with black ribbons and dark yellow eyes. She wears the standard Hyakkaou Private Academy issued school uniform. A red blazer with black trim around the cuffs and collar and gold buttons. Beneath the red blazer, she wears a white button-up shirt and black tie. She wears a gray pleated skirt, black colored stockings and regular brown loafers with black soles.
At first, Mary is shown to be incredibly sadistic and twisted such as how she treats Ryota Suzui, her classmate after he turned into a “housepet”, due to his low social status within the academy and is shown cruelly taunting her fellow opponents during their gambling matches. She's also shown to be extremely egotistical both in and out of matches, often being confident in her victory. Mary also possesses a habit of mocking her opponents and laughing at them, especially when match seems to be her win.
After losing to Yumeko Jabami and experiencing the life of being a housepet, Mary became desperate to regain her status within the academy, having no other goal in her mind. Soon after being humiliated Mary eventually lose her pride, having a mental breakdown during the match against Yuriko and falling into the state of grief and shame. After regaining her status, she seems to no longer be this arrogant and cruel, sometimes being only nettled by Ryota's cowardice or Yumeko's reckless behavior. But she does care for her new friends now. She is still as cunning and intelligent during matches though. She now also hates the council even more and wants to make them pay for not treating housepets as human.
It was hinted that she has feelings for Ryota, which may be the reason why she was treating him this horribly. Mary also seems to be jealous of Yumeko, as her growing popularity was the cause of challenging her in the first place. Her reaction when Ryota confessed his feeling towards Yumeko during their match against Kirari Momobami, only confirms that she has a crush on him.
In Twin, it is revealed her family is not wealthy and she is attending Hyakkaou Private Academy on a scholarship. Her goal has always been to become a true winner in life. She feels great pride in her intelligence and gambling abilities and hates when people look down on her for her financial status. During the prequel, she's noticeably less ruthless. Since Tsuzura is absent from the main story, Mary is shown to still keep her hairpin and holding a grudge against the Council. She seems to be sad and angry about whatever happened between the end of the prequel and the start of the main story. Her mean and arrogant demeanour might have possibly be to supress her sad feelings.
Kakegurui - Compulsive Gambler
Mary is seen at the start of the series winning a poker match against Ryota Suzui, who ends up owing him a debt of 5 million yet. Unable to pay it, Suzui instead becomes her pet in the end and treats him in an inhuman manner as she is seen commanding Suzui to bring her food and using him as a footstool when she says that her legs are worn out. When Yumeko Jabami transfers into their class, she is instantly healous of her popularity and her getting close to Ryota. She pretends to challenge her to a simple friendly game she called Vote Rock-Paper-Scissors. But Mary was actually cheating and wanted to turn Yumeko into a housepet.
When Yumeko bet only small amounts she left the results up to chance, but when the stakes got higher she used her cheat to win. She was amused by how naive Yumeko was betting and looked forward to destroying her. However before they played their final cards, Yumeko revealed that she figured out how she cheated. Although Mary was a bit unsure now, she was still confident enough to win. But Yumeko managed to win against her. Mary is extremely desperate and states she can't repay her. Yumeko says its fine and she gives up the debt, since the game was so fun. But everyone already lost some respect towards Mary. Unfortunately for her the rankings of how much each student donated to the council were revealed the next day and Mary ranked in the last 100 due to her recent loss.
So the next day at school, Saotome's desk is seen ruined with graffiti and has a broken doll on her on top of it that resembles her. Concerned, Jabami questions what happened to which she tells her to shut up and it all happened because of her losing to Jabami. She is still full of anger, but already gets ordered around by her former friends to clean up. She feels pity for herself and cries why this has happened to her. As a last effort Mary gambles against Yuriko Nishinotouin, hoping to be able to repay her debt. Near the end of the game, Yumeko just happens to come by, angering Mary even more. But she loses and owes the Council even more money which has now completely ruined her. She knew that she probably would have been able to repay her previous debt, but just had to take the risk.
She also receives a lifeplan, which the Student council arranged for her. It states that she must marry a politician. When consulting Runa Yomozuki about this, she just laughs. Mary is furious and doesn't want to accept it, but has no choice. Mary then enters the Debt Settlement game. Although the pairings for the game (Two-Card Indian Poker) seem to be random, Mary curses that her assigned partner is Yumeko Jabami, who recently became a housepet in one game. However the two concoct a plan to get out of debt by switching their declarations and working together during the game itself. During the game against Jun Kiwatari their plan works perfectly and he didn't look through it until the end. Mary wins and is able to free herself from her position.
Mary then becomes better friends with Yumeko and accompanies her to most gambles and cheers her on. At first she is embarassed to admit, that she had fun playing with her especially when Yumeko gets a bit too close to her. But she does start to like her even if she still believes her risk taking to be reckless.She then talks to Kirari Momobami, stating that she wants the housepet system to be removed. Kirari points out that she hasnt always been thinking that way and treated other housepets badly herself.
Yumeko is excited about the election and Mary tries to warn her about the Momobami Clan and how they are probably dangerous. But Yumeko doesn't listen, which Mary expected. Mary later bumps into the Vice-president. Ririka wants to gamble with Mary. Mary wins and gains Ririka's votes. However she wants to fight alongside Mary in the election. Mary does not trust her and believes that she simply follows Kirari's orders. But since Yumeko is in danger, she then helps out Ryota and Yumeko in the Nym Type Zero game.
Ririka now follows her around wherever she goes, much to Mary's annoyance. Mary wants that Ririka acts out of her own will for once and not just because of her sister. Mary wants to gamble with her and only if Ririka wins, will she accept her as a partner. She did win which bugs Mary. But steadily they do develop trust in each other to the point, where Ririka actually takes her mask off in front of Mary. Mary is also invited to the auction and takes part in it. She is determined to win a lot of votes and also figured out that the other Momobamis were secretly participating. When Yumeko challenged Rei to a final gamble, she realized there's no point in stopping her. But she too was relieved when nothing happened.
Right after Mary joins the academy, she runs into one of her old classmates, who is now a housepet. She quickly learns the rules of the academy and secures her first gambling victory against another student. She also later takes control of Yukimi's gambling den. She also piqued the interest of Sachiko Juraku, the Public Morals Commitee chairwoman at the time. Sachiko soon becomes her main enemy in the school. Together with Tsuzura and Yukimi they get the den running and are already succesful. Mary also feels sorry for Tsuzura and her goal is to free her of her rank.
Aoi Mibuomi, the student council executive finds out about Mary's talent and recruits her in taking down the president Kirari. Mary joins and they work together. She and her friends soon take part in a couple gamble together with five boys. She realizes one of the girls is a traitor and suspects Tsuzura at first, but she finds out it was another girl. They expose the cheating and only have to go to lunch with three of the guys.
Aoi introduces her to his group called Zenshoukai. All of the members also oppose Kirari. Mary is cheered on by the rest of them, but is somewhat unsure and does not want to join yet. Aoi's fiancé does not like Mary being around him so much and challenges her to a gamble. Mary wins and Aoi insults his future arranged wife. This leads Mary to realize that he isn't that good of a guy actually. Later in the library, Ouri Shimotsukiuri introduces herself to them. Kokoro then organizes a game, planning to make Mary win and through that then socially destroy Mary. But she sees through it and beats Kokoro. When everyone starts mocking her, she stands up for her.
Mary starts to really care about her friends and their gambling den is still thriving. She has made a name for herself so a lot of students want to challenge her. The boys from the couple game show up but along with them appears Sachiko. She quickly defeats all the guys and then takes on Mary herself in the same game. Mary is sure she is cheating, but Sachiko assures her she is not. Mary is crushingly defeated and has to chose between becoming a housepet or join Zenshoukai. Of course she joins Aoi. Soon Aoi sends two of his underlings, Naoko and Houko to challenge Mary. Ouri also joins in and wants to beat all of them. But Mary wins and also forms a bond with Sachiko's housepet Mikura.
A girl from the couple game, Kurumi Kurume shows up and wants to join their gambling den in order to get closer to Mary and find out about her. Mary rejects her at first since she believes she is too much on Aoi's side and she still dislikes him. But Kurumi bribes her way in and Mary's friends immediately accept her. The school festival is taking place and Kurumi wants Mary to come with her. Mary is annoyed but gets dragged along to Kurumi's friend, Nadeshiko Rurichou. She plays against her and when the stakes get too high, she is about to leave but is convinced to continue. She then wins and goes back to her den. There her friends, Eneru and Shimizu wait for her and they play together. Later two other members show up and play against her.
Mary's surname Saotome (早乙女) translates to "young girl," it's literal translation can mean "young female rice planter" as well. The first Kanji in her name (芽) translates to "bud" or "sprout," with the following kanji's meaning: (亜) "Asia," "to rank next." The last kanji in her name (里) meaning "village," "parent's home," or "league." Her first name has no determinable reading as the Kanji's were used simply for their pronunciations of her name.
Kakegurui - Compulsive Gambler
- A Girl named Yumeko Jabami
- Boring Girl
- The Slit-Eyed Girl
- The Girl Who Became a Pet
- The Girl Who Became Human
- Tempting Girl
- Refusing Girl
- Love-Dancing Girl
- Dreaming Girl
- Selecting Girl
- The Girl Who Bets Her Life
- The Girl Who Gambles Compulsively