Category Archives: Joker Game

Joker Game – 2

Unable to find evidence, it’s time to commit seppuku, that’s definitely how it works for anything you fail at in Japan.

Ok, so obviously the stakes were raised for Sakuma, as Miyoshi and the others have used his life as the ultimate sacrifice in their game. Luckily, Sakuma figures out what is going on before ending himself – the american spy had his contraband and ciphers located in a spot that was previously undiscovered by the previously unknown first round of searching.

By following the logical string of thought and extrapolating what this means, it is clear that Sakuma was set up in some fashion. Eventually tracking it back to his superior and cornering him, he ends up finding he has more in common with the spy agency than originally thought. To Miyoshi and his superior, it is clear that Sakuma is more than what they expected and clearly is more than just a common soldier.

Maybe I didn’t pay enough attention to the first episode but I wasn’t extremely clear on Sakuma’s allegiance and relationship with Lieutenant Colonel Yuuki/Colonel Muto compared to the agency, so the implications of “Why did he send us to search this place if he had already done so?” didn’t hit me quite immediately. On second examination though, things line up – just make sure you’re paying attention, unlike me!

It’s hard to say whether or not we have a “formula” in place yet for Joker Game – I can only imagine that much of the action is going to revolve around espionage and mystery; that is to say, we may see much more of the “retracing our steps” segment that we saw today.

It’s worth noting that Joker Game’s source material does not fall into one of our three typical candidates for an anime: It is in fact a typical novel. Without a light novel or manga to pave the way, there is something to be said for every decision that the anime makes given that there is no strict rubric as we know it for this story’s source material. Pay close attention to the direction and what it chooses to focus on, as if done well it will starkly contrast with what we’re used to.

Joker Game – 1

Joker Game is a show about eight ostentatious fucks that enjoy cosplay so much they’ve made it their professional hobby.

Well, I’m just having some good natured fun. For a first episode, this shows a lot of promise. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Taking place in the 1930’s just before World War II (an uncommon setting for anime, even if it may not be for movies), Japan has prepared the training of several spies. These spies are not soldiers but men of above average intelligence from nearby universities. The end goal is for these young men to assimilate in the far reaches of the world and provide intel from their positions for the good of their home country – a very Japanese sentiment.

The men utilize their free time by playing card games with the card game being a front – the real game is who can essentially get the other “non-combatants” to sell out another’s intel for their own use. May seem like cheating, but such negotiation is often involved in war itself (and also something that might get me in trouble when I play risk with others).

Quite rare for an anime to not only star an all-male cast in such a mature setting, but to nary crack a single joke in order to keep a tense atmosphere of a country on the brink of war. That takes not only guts but integrity.

The weeaboo who’s house they raid is loud and annoying, but well prepared. Eh, I don’t care how, but I hope someone kills him in the next episode. Hey, I don’t ask for much!

I’d assume the meat and potatoes of this show is going to focus on a few themes:

1) The rules of the game (What is fair, what is not fair)
2) How do we, as humans, make use of what we have?
3) Typical anime “Your beliefs are wrong!”

That’s still pretty remarkable considering the first point is relatively unexplored. I await the inevitable endless slew of “your life is a game” metaphors that I’m sure this show will have in store for us. We’ll see.