Posted on 24 June 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, Currently Watching:, Joker Game, Reviews by AidanAK47

When experiencing the wave of new anime each season it can get rather tiresome to notice all the teenagers fighting supernatural forces while gathering a harem through seer luck or similarly tired concepts. So when something like Joker game comes along and takes a road less traveled with it’s story, naturally I am well on board. However the sad thing about entertainment is that even if you try something new, if you don’t succeed it amounts nothing more than a show which had a good idea and a lesson for others to not brand out from their tired concepts. In that regard I truly lament such anime but unlike them I don’t think Joker Game will remain as a lesson for others, for to do so it would have to be memorable. An idea with such promise, a tale about a team of Japanese spies sent out to gather info in the time right before World War II broke out. You could spin quite a tale with that setting but sadly Joker Game settles for a much more simplistic level.

The first problem with the show is it’s episodic format and it truly limits the plot when each episode’s story needs to be resolved in a short time frame. Each episode has a brand new cast and a brand new setting. This essentially prevents the viewer from becoming attached as there is rarely anything consistent to latch on to. But most importantly in episodic shows the show is often held up by the characters and their interactions. However Joker Games protagonists are completely interchangeable with little in defining characteristics. No matter the episode the main character plays the role of the super spy who never fails and in that regard is mainly a plot device. When looking over the story, Joker Game is style over substance and merely a spy power fantasy. The writing lacks the nuance to weave a compelling narrative around international espionage and often resorts to contrived or trite developments in order to make the protagonist look as good as possible. The villains in each episode range from the over the top evil to inconsequential, often any threat they pose is completely undermined by episodes end. The writer holds his protagonists in too high a regard which ultimately makes this a show about the triumphs of several Gary Sue’s and how much better they are than other people. It don’t take long for this aspect to wear on you and through the episodes the victories of the D-agency spies become less compelling and more boringly anticipated.

Through while the writing can reach unrealistically silly levels as the D-agents display skill bordering on the supernatural, you can still find some interest here. The show never truly drops to a level of becoming bad and to some they can come to enjoy the exploits of the spies and their missions. I found three or four episodes to have above average value and the show remains consistently watchable. However it never truly excels and in episodes can become quite boring as you wait for the inevitable cop out win of D-agency. The episodic structure continues right up to the end where the show simply stops instead of ends. The art and animation remain consistently good and the soundtrack is rather catchy and nostalgic of Noir fiction. Joker Game is a show that lacks the high points to be recommended and the low points to be outright hated, it’s middle of the ground which made the score of this series rather appropriate. Joker Game is a series destined to be lost to the ravages of time, soon to be forgotten.


Posted on 23 June 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Joker Game

Upon finishing yet another rather uneventful episode of Joker Game, I began to wonder just what this series had planned for its finale. “How best to top off a rather mediocre series such as this?” I thought to myself. However when looking over general consensus over the episode I found out that I seen the finale of Joker game, and this was it. I was truly shocked. Nothing in this episode felt final or conclusive, not even an after credits scene or a simple affirmation that yes, this was indeed the end. In some ways it’s fitting, as Joker Game is a series without an impact so to bow out before anyone notices you are gone is somewhat poetic. However i must wonder why this particular story was chosen as the finale. When compared to other episodes of the series it is a much somber and simple affair. A spy is killed under the watch of a D-agency spy and he must investigate just what happened. Naturally he finds out what happened easily and decides he is unfit to be a D-agency spy. For he actually has human traits worth caring about.

It is rather funny that this was the first Spy to make me somewhat care about him and at least showed some level of humanity. Yet when the episode ends they get rid of him because he is far too human to be a part of the team. It really is a testament to the utter lack of defining traits these boring supermen have that they see any some shred of personality as a weakness. This is the author pretty much saying that because this man was lead astray by his memories of a girl in his past that he was no longer “cool” enough to be a part of the big boys club. Also got to love the casual sexsm of Yuuki stating that the reason the D-agency doesn’t have women is because they are far too temperamental and in less control of their emotions. Considering the time period it’s not all that surprising for Yuuki to think this but considering how much of a super spy he is, I would have thought he was too smart to believe such rubbish

Frankly I don’t have much to say about this. I have long beaten the problems of this show to death and seeing as it just repeated those problems it’s just left me reiterating points like a broken record. There’s really nothing here, a man dies, the spy finds out why he dies from offscreen info and decides he’s not fit to be a spy anymore because he feels love. Only real point of note is when the man of the episode got bent out of shape when the D-agents were reporting to hm. Yuuki pretty much gave him full authority on the mission which is likely because he knew what happened and figured he would let the man be in control of his last mission. With an episodic series like this you could have chosen any episode to be the finale and there are certainly better episodes to end on. Ultimately I think I will have a hard time recalling this series in a year’s time, in fact I still don’t even know anyone’s name. Besides Yuuki. Maybe because he was the only real consistent character in the series.


Posted on 16 June 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Joker Game

Sometimes I wonder if Joker Game is intentionally trying to kill my sense of disbelief as it really does pull out some mind numbingly dumb things from time to time. Today’s “What!” moment comes right at the start of the episode when a young Yuuki escapes imprisonment by blowing up a live grenade in his hand. That’s a rather suicidal way of going about things and I am not even sure just how he managed to get away alive. We do see Yuuki swung around the pillar and apparently used it to block the explosion but I say that’s just impossible. For one that pillar looks clearly wooden and I am not even sure how it’s still standing. Even humoring this assumption, the man someone managed to block out the pain of blowing off his arm and ran out into the snow. Through some miracle he didn’t bleed out or die of hypothermia. But yes that was the protagonist of the weeks first encounter with Yuuki and it took me a while to realise that was a flashback because the protagonist happens to have a subordinate who happens to look exactly like him in the flashback. Plus he somehow gained a prominent tan over the time.

Putting that aside, it’s nice to have an antagonist now who is close to Yuuki’s level as in today’s episode he managed to figure out and plan accordingly to counter him. Naturally Yuuki was one step ahead but it still nice to see someone coming close to giving the D-agency some competition. In some ways I find him more intriguing that our actual protagonists. Another surprise this episode is that this is the first time a D-agent died. Throughout the episode I was waiting for the reveal of the agent not being dead and somehow just playing dead. But the end of the episode seems to confirm that this agent is indeed dead for good. Though I still think there’s a possibility of him somehow showing up later. Now this may sound like the thing that proves these agents are not superhuman gods which I have been asking this series to provide but it’s not quite the case. This proves that D-agents can die but it doesn’t prove that they can make a mistake. I feel like the author was trying to address the criticism of the D-Agents being too inhuman so he had one die. However he still has far too much favoritism for the D-Agents so he has him die in an unpredictable accident. Even in death a D-Agent performs his duty without error and dies with a smile. Yes, this felt like the author was trying to have his cake and eat it too to which I give a dejected sigh.

The episode was mainly about the new antagonist trying to uncover a D-Agency spy from a trainwreck while all his subordinates are busy telling him there are no spies. In another show those subordinates would have a point as it is unrealistic for a spy to cover his tracks this much. Leaves aspirin on the floor, clearly planned. Doesn’t bother to dust the inside of drawers, clearly planned. In any other show you would just brush off the colonel as just being overly paranoid. Most of his supposition is based more on a hunch and feeling that this man is related to Yuuki. It’s good to have someone who can also peek at the script but lastly he isn’t in D-Agency and if you aren’t a D-agent then you don’t win. Yuuki manages to get away with a microfilm detailing all the spies within D-agency, which makes me wonder why he even had such a thing in the first place. I wouldn’t be surprised if Yuuki got them to commit it to memory. as opposed to having physical evidence. Not sure why he would even give such a thing to an agent in the first place. Either way the end of this episode is the same as all previous, D-agents win and leave the opponent to revel in awe of their majesty. Taking into account Japan’s position during WWII, I wonder if the D-Agents would make better villains than heroes?


Posted on 10 June 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Joker Game

Today we have an episode about the past of Yuuki, finally a time to see how the man came to be the ultimate spymaster and superhuman extraordinar. Well maybe because at the end of the episode we can’t even be sure if the backstory was made up or not. Because Yuuki apparently figured that someone would connect his name to some kid at a military academy and pretty much set up a massive fake backstory for the servants to tell anyone who happened to look into it. I am beating a dead horse here but bloody hell perfection is boring. The minute I started this episode and seen this guy attempt to pry into his past I knew exactly what was going to happen. For Yuuki is a fellow who likely has seven contingency plans for when he runs out of toilet paper when on the can. Let me go off on a tangent for a moment and bring up batman. Do you happen to know what is one of the most highly regarded Batman graphic novels?(Comic arc?) One that often appears on a best of list is Frank Miller’s Batman Year One. It is a story not about Batman facing off against a member of his famous rogues gallery but rather a tale about Batman’s first days of stopping crime. In it Batman is more inexperienced, less confident and more clumsy. Batman makes mistakes and even against low level thugs he has a hard time. One of the best scenes from it that I recall the most is Batman fighting desperately on a fire escape against three men. At the end of it all Batman slumps down and thanks god that he got lucky and won. That is why this comic is so well regarded, as it shows the grown of a man who would become legendary within comics.

Now let’s fast forward to Yuuki here as he effortlessly excels at everything. He absorbs information like a sponge, he rarely fails and all the girls fall for him. This episode didn’t humanise Yuuki in the slightest but rather made him even more Alien. Even assuming of course any of this story is true. Before we saw Yuuki as a top level spymaster and now we just see he was exactly the same when younger. Almost as if the moment Yuuki exited the womb he planned out his life to the finest detail so that he could become a badass Japanese spy. That to me isn’t a interesting person for to them excel is normalcy. I praise the carpenter who sheds blood sweat and tears to craft a perfect chair and not the machine that tosses chairs out enmass on an assembly line. I would like to see the thing that gives Yuuki an emotion besides calm indifference and a smug smile.

So our tale today is that a man tried to look into the origins of Yuuki and in doing so was fooled into a trap while the D-Agency passed themselves off as Military police and stole his wedding ring. Why the wedding ring, well that’s because his wedding ring contained a microfilm of all his contacts and informants. How did D-Agency know this? Hell if I know. Dolphins likely told them. I originally thought his wife was going to turn out to be working for Yuuki but the end of the episode says otherwise. So our protagonist of the episode gets stripped of all his info he gathered over years but everything is alright cause Yuuki let his wife know where to find him. Another day, another win for D-agency.  We have reached the tenth episode and unless this show has a secret second cour that means that this show has been for the most part a waste of my time. Neither laughable horrible or exceling in an area, just forgettably mediocre. Which as you can likely tell by the post size, makes for hard to review episodes.


Posted on 2 June 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Joker Game

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at this outcome, after all the idea that this story would let anyone outshine the D agency for long is rather foolish when you consider everything so far. Wind agency certainly didn’t last long and you could foretell their fate right at the start of the episode. I certainly did as I noticed that while Wind agency was moving in for the kill, not a hide or hair was seen of D agency. For a show that puts them on so high a pedestal that that you could call it a tower of babel that is certainly very odd. I had firm suspicions of the houseboy and old man that appeared in this episode and I turned out to be completely right. To me this episode symbolises everything that’s wrong with Joker Game, in that it loves its protagonists far too much. D agency is  can do no wrong and is always smarter, stronger and better than everyone else. D agency is perfect and isn’t that just dreadfully boring? With Sakamoto desu ga the premise of someone being perfect at everything is a joke and that joke works because it turns that joke up to a thousand. But here we have prefect superhumans played straight and it expects us to root for them. I expects us to be interested in a battle were the outcome has already been decided. There is no tension nor suspense, just the inevitable victory of D agency.

With the introduction of wind agency I was hoping for the D agents to finally face conflict. Something to challenge them and reveal that despite their master over a particular set of skills, they are still human. But instead we had an episode trying to put Wind agency as a potential threat, only to have them get completely demolished in the very next episode. They were never a threat to begin with, everything was according to the keikaku. I am glad to see Yuuki again because he’s pretty much the only D agency member I can recognise but his berating of the wind agency captain for even attempting to top D agency was just self congratulatory to the point of being sickening. I found the wind agency’s methods to be truer to that of a real spy and having Yuuki berate them as wannabes just makes me angry. Killing is the worst mistake a spy can make because it compromises your identity when an investigation is started to look into the death? Hogwash. Revealing your face and identity to people is far more compromising and the D agents certainly make themselves look as suspicious as possible. To add insult to injury, the boss of Wind agency is so shamed by Yuuki that he ends up killing himself and that’s irritating. I actually want to start cheering for the bad guys now as it would be satisfying to see someone take D agency off their high horses.

Half of this episode was dedicated to Yuuki schooling the Wind agency captain on how he screwed up his mission. While he did indeed make grievous errors, I think Yuuki was being a bit too smug for his own good. After all part of your plan to inform Shirahata was apparently to get an attendant to ring him to say his houseboy was goaded into getting drunk which apparently is a massive red flag for him. Not sure why that’s a red flag, was the identity they made for him that he wasn’t a drinker. Then it would make sense but still it’s a lot of faith to pack up and leave because of a phone call which could very well be a misunderstanding. I am certainly regretting picking this up to blog as much like Gangsta it feels like a great idea was wasted because it wanted to appeal to a general demographic. Not that my second choice to blog Mayoiga faired any better but at least that is entertainingly bad. This show however is just competent and boring at this point. I am tired of seeing D agency win no matter what nonsensical method the author comes up with to let them do so. Conflict is entertaining when both combatants are on even terms. A one sided slaughter is no fun for anyone watching.  The animation is nice and the music is quite stylish but the plot leaves much to be desired.


Posted on 26 May 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Joker Game

Well Joker Game managed to pull a twist I didn’t see coming and what makes it rather amusing is that it did it unintentionally. For you see it took the entire episode for me to figure out that I wasn’t watching the antics of another spy of the D-agency only to figure out that this was in fact another spy from another spy agency. The wind agency who have a motto completely opposite of that of the D-agency. We now have an arch enemies for our team, whom are willing to go to any length to accomplish a mission. be it using blackmail or murder. So to put it simply, wind agencies spies act more like actual damn spies. I did think that for once it looked like D-agencies spies were being spies for once only to have the rug pulled under me and have him to be revealed to be an evil spy. This sure makes the D-agency a massive bunch of hypocrites in the first episode when they laughed off  Sakuma’s honor code in the first episode. I guess we are supposed to cheer for the D-agency for being morally upright spies and boo the evil wind agency spies who resort to any means necessary to get the job done. It’s all black and white, even though by nature a spies job is morally grey the writer resorts to this simple clash of good and evil with no middle ground.

The story this week is simple. The spy needs to find evidence to implicate a British diplomat is involved with the military and passing on information. However he hasn’t made any communication whatsoever and it’s looking that he’s in the clear. The spy of the week decides to blackmail the butler into drugging the guards and letting him in to investigate the safe. After investigating we see another example of Joker games immensely poor writing as he somehow figures out that the man has been sending out messages through a hollowed out umbrella his wife takes with her when going out. All because of a relatively normal comment about asking her to take the umbrella he bought her with her. This isn’t the stop of the silliness as when the man and his wife come down to investigate at the moment they turn the door handle our spy somehow stuff the documents back in the safe, replaces the painting and gets outside the house. Um…somehow.It really wasn’t made clear just how he managed to get outside. It just shown him in the house one minute and then bam! He Houdini’s outside. All while checking the umbrella on the way I suppose. If Joker Game expects me to take it seriously then it really needs to stop pulling stuff like this. Spies are not Batman and only Batman could pull off such a feat without question. Speaking of which another thing was brought up this episode which is equally ridiculously. Namely that the spies of D-agency were trained for only a year. Due to my habit of skipping openings after seeing them once I happened to forget that detail but now having seen the superhuman level of the D-agents I must point out just how absurd that is.

A year ladies and gents. A year to turn ordinary human beings into perfect people who know everything about every and the deductive reasoning of Sherlock Holmes with the power of precognition. In a year a single man managed to teach a number of people the kind of skills that would require several year college course just to learn one of these subjects. This guy should give up the spy business and just go into teaching kindergartners. After a year those kids would have the knowledge of a college professor. Perhaps I should have seen the danger signs of the writing sooner. The presentation remains insultingly simple as the man comments about him not letting his guard down and very obviously shifts his eyes to look at the safe hidden behind a painting. A stranger tries to spy on the man by standing outside looking in through the gateway because that’s how you can learn information. By being completely obvious. Meanwhile super spy uses his magic eagle vision to spot that the man doesn’t have a tan on his head from across the garden on the second floor. Thus he must be a military policeman as that requires a hat for the job. And not say a construction worker, firefighter or postman. Maybe the guy fell asleep while tanning with a towel on his forehead? Quite honestly I am just losing all interest having made it this far into the series. This should be a turning point for the show as we now have a main antagonist but the only thing I am concerned about is whether I will be able to tell whose on which side.


Posted on 19 May 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Joker Game

You know, I am beginning to wonder just how do those lessons go at the D-Agency. Is it something like “Ok, class. Today I will teach you how to summon dolphins with a whistle. After that we will go over the magic rituals of Aleister Crowley and finally have a refresher on the finer points of Capoeira.”? Because it’s just becoming utterly absurd with how many talents these agents have. The first episode gave the impression that these men would primarily be remaining undercover for the rest of their lives so for what possible reason would you give them such a ridiculously extensive curriculum? Well for today’s episode I feel that Joker game is really starting to waste my time as this feels very much like a rehash of the last episode. Except instead of a train, we have a boat. Instead of a informant we have someone trying to sneak into the country. And instead of letting the murderer get away this time he gives them over to the authorities. Other than that we have essentially watched the same story beats of the last episode. The only major difference here is that it looks as though the D-agency spy plans to take care of the woman’s daughter and dog. Perhaps he plans to take her back to japan with him and she will end up treating the D-agents as surrogate father figures and learn spy talents from them. Frankly that sounds far more interesting than our current story. The things that caught my interest were related to the enigma machine and the motive for the MI6 agent is that he purposefully sacrificed a ship by leaking intel in order to use it to help decode the enigma code. Which is worthless because the machine is set up in such a manner that even if you could use that to decode the message it would only be worthwhile till the end of the day. Once the day ends, Germany changes the machines settings and anything you decoded is completely moot. That’s what made the machine such a monster in the first place as the effort required to decode the machines settings would take more time than a day. At most this man’s plan would give them a little headstart on decoding but unless he plans to sell out a ship every single day that plan is just not cost effective. It would be broken by a man called Alan Turing(Though I hear a mathematician called Gordon Welchman helped out) who essentially had to design a machine of what could be considered part the basis of the modern computer programing to figure it out. However I am not a historian so don’t take my word on that.

I may be going off tangent more than usual but if this show plans to repeat itself then I certainly see no reason to do the same. But as it continues I notice the writing is getting lazier and more nonsensical. For example, It’s revealed that the murderer shouted to her dog in the beginning because the dog was getting close to the british spy she was deemed to kill. The reason why she panicked about this is because she keeps a photo of her husband and the man in the dog’s collar…wait what?! Why? For what reason would you put a photo in a dog’s collar and what made you think the man would find it if the dog came up to him? Personally I would consider it a much bigger problem that you drew attention to yourself because the man should know who you are! He attended your husband’s funeral and talked to you directly! You didn’t wear any disguise or even bother to put down a false name. And you are worried about the dog giving you away? If I was the man I would be wondering why the wife of a British solider I doomed to death just so happened to be on my escape ship. You could argue that maybe he doesn’t remember her because it happened a long time ago but based on the little girls age it’s a few months at best! Of course mister super spy happens to figure out she’s the one that did it because the victim mentioned Cerberus, Cerberus is a hound that guards the underworld, this woman has a dog…of course! Well he happened to know the name of the woman’s husband and looked up her name in the ship manifest but still. Lets not forget the two MI6 spies discussing top secret information at the top of their lungs that’s related to the widow’s husband. Real smart guys. Our episode ends with the murderess leaving her child in the hands of the man she has had a maximum of two conversations with and knows absolutely nothing about. The end result here is the same as all the other episodes up to this point, the D-agents show everyone how amazing they are though the power of knowing the shows script. If I wasn’t blogging this show I would consider this the dropping point as if Joker Game does have some greater story in the future I say it’s come too little too late. It gave the impression at the beginning that it would be presenting something of more class but has only settled for a poor power fantasy. I have lost all patience for it to become anything but.


Posted on 12 May 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Joker Game

The problems I have with Joker game continue to be an issue as we have another episodic story about how amazing the D-agency spies are. After a overly long minute and a half showing of a train we are shown the plot of today’s episode. Put simply, a D-agent must obtain a newspaper with information encoded in an article from an informant. However the informant is murdered before he can pass on the information. Through some manipulation of some kids on the train, the spy finds out who murdered him and why. Then he knocks them out and…lets them go? Yes, on top of being super amazing spies, our team have a no killing policy which just makes me wretch. Spies are a moral grey area in their job and by effectively making them good guys, you kill part of what makes spies so interesting. I am reminded of the not ninja’s of Naruto or the Bodacious Space Pirates who were pretty much pirate in name only. Of course you can argue that the space pirates acted more like genuine real life pirates but that is the aspect that people love about them. Remove the aspect that makes the occupation interesting and you remove the very purpose of the occupation. If Joker Games spies are always going to be morally in the right then it’s not just uncharacteristic of spies but boring in general.  But back to the episode and I tried to look at this from another standpoint. At the moment looking for depth is a fool’s errand and whatever suspension of disbelief gets shattered once the show pulls something utterly ridiculous. (Where in the hell was he keeping that carrier pigeon?) So I am attempting to find a mindset with which I can enjoy this series more. Much like say adopting a mindless approach as I do with High school of the dead, where I just switch off my critic processes and enjoy the chaos. I find it difficult to do this here however as their looks to be clear intent for the show to be taken seriously. I try to treat it like a James bond film but it lacks the camp and charisma. I try to treat it as a thriller but I am thrown off by the jumps in logic within the writing. I try to look at it like a action movie but there is far too little action and no real threat. Truly, who is this for?

I do like how in this tale the spy made use of the children while making it out to be a simple game. The way he hid his true intent and gave them an incentive to play along was pretty clever and even how he managed to get them away by getting them to spill a glass to attract the attention of their mother. However once we encounter the murderers plot things get weaker as the spy somehow manages to lay down the entirety of the enemies plan with little to no evidence. Based on what was shown in the episode, there is no possible way he could have come to these conclusions. One of the most important aspects, that the informant was traveling with a woman, was completely omitted from the viewer. Why is it that even when things don’t go as planned, they still go exactly as you planned? The level of assumption in his conclusions is ridiculous and there’s no way he can declare this with so much certainly like he read the script beforehand. If I was to get interested in this story then at least make it feel as though some risk is involved. When our spy finds the informant dead his only reaction is akin “Oh well, guess it’s time for secondary plan 47”. When the character themselves displays no real worry over the situation then how is it that the audience is supposed to instead? It would be far more interesting if the murder caught him off guard and he was nervous while sitting trying think things out. That would show that he’s human. But he’s just sitting there, cool as a cucumber while everything just works out in his favor. That’s just not engaging entertainment and kills any reliability these spies have. Despite my griping I must reiterate that Joker game isn’t bad by any means, nor is it good. It’s passable but frustrating when you consider that the story could be so much more. I am hoping that the after credits sequence is an indicator of this episodic format getting replaced with a more interesting ongoing plot but it looks like it will be a while before that happens.


Posted on 6 May 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Joker Game

One of the things I wished for joker game to show me was that the spies of D-agency were not superhuman demi-gods who can handle anything. This episode nearly accomplishes that as one of the spies of D-agency is found out and captured. However it falters in that the spy was purposefully sold out and a ridiculously convoluted escape plan was ready for him. Even the highest most professional people don’t use plans that depend on a massive amount of pure coincidence and luck. Let me get the plan straight, you trained recruits to resist amnesia and truth scrum and decide to purposefully sell out an agent. Then instead of giving him a clear plan of escape, you give him the novel robinson crusoe and hope that he just so happens to make a connection between a single character in the novel and a symbol drawn on a door. A door which he can only find if he makes a mistake and follows the maps he was allowed to see. Thus when the soldiers come to check on him a sleeper agent will falsely report that he didn’t find him. For an agency that laughed off the idea of killing someone to hide your tracks because it’s too risky, why is it that your alternative is even riskier? There are dozens of things that could of went wrong here. What if they didn’t get him to send false info back to Japan? What if they asked him different questions during interrogation? What if he didn’t follow the maps because as he said before, they were likely a trap? What if he didn’t spot the symbol? What if he didn’t know what it meant? What if someone rubbed the symbol off? What if they did a second sweep of the area and the sleeper agent was assigned to a different part of the building? For super amazing spies this plan sure seems like it wasn’t thought out. Thus the biggest problem of the show remains, the D-agency is far too overpowered and all knowing. That truly diminished what effect this episode could have had as I never truly believed that he was abandoned and it just became a matter of how he would escape. So I didn’t have much attachment to the events on screen as I didn’t believe their was any real risk.

The design of the villain of the week was most outrageous this time around as we have a man with a head of Megamind interrogating our spy. Since last episode our villains have been getting more comic book villain styled while our heroes appearances make them difficult to tell apart. In fact personality wise is their any difference between our heroes? All of them seem to be around the same skill level and don’t really have any defining character traits. They for the most part are interchangeable and while that is a useful feature for a spy to have, it makes our protagonists seem unremarkable. The solider from the first episode had more character than all of them combined as at least he had perspective on his job and values. The spies don’t seem to hold any feelings regarding their job or have any personal aspirations. Which again makes for good spies but utterly dull characters. If the goal of this episodic format is to show the differences between the spies and their methods then it’s failing greatly for what one spy can do I can see any of the others do exactly the same. I can’t even remember their names or match the faces so it might as well be the same main character for all these short stories. Normally in a episodic show the first episodes sets up a group of dynamic characters and gives them a vague goal to strive towards. Cowboy bebop, hand in a bounty and get money. Samurai Champloo, find the samurai that smells of sunflowers. Mushishi, investigate mushi incidents. The strength of such a series is the ability to place a character in any situation imaginable, be it realistic or not. However here there are no consistent characters, nor is there a defined goal. Which makes these last episodes feel rather pointless. There’s no interesting characters, the spies goal is only revealed in the final minutes of an episode and whatever situation is easily resolved by episodes end. So I must ask, why should I care? I don’t think Joker Game is a bad show but if this is going to continue then I must be given a reason to care about what’s happening on screen. I need investment and you gave me that in the first two episodes but  since you removed the two characters I do give a damn about I have found my interest slipping. I pray this is all leading up to something, perhaps that story promised in the synopsis, but it’s possible that once Joker game finally does decide to kick into gear that I will have lost all interest in it.


Posted on 28 April 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Joker Game

I am starting to get a little worried about Joker Game. After a very strong start it’s gone down in quality once it revealed it’s episodic format. This episode marks the lowest point of the series so far though I still don’t think of it as bad. Rather than focus on a member of the D-agency, this episode instead is about a newly appointed officer who is tasked by a superior to track down a spy in the military police. I do prefer this over focusing on the spy members as in the last episode they have proven to be far too overpowered to be interesting. Here we have a vulnerable man chasing after a dangerous suspect but sadly this story turns out to be far less interesting when things come to light. In truth this episode was basically a retread of the second episode in that it turns out the superior officer was completely corrupt and staged an attack to keep his illegal dealings from coming to light but the execution was far worse. This episode plays out like a mystery but never gives the audience a chance to figure out what is going on. The mystery itself is dull and not a lot actually happens. Our red nosed protagonist is given the job, sees a bombing, talks to a reporter who gives him a photo and then follows a man into a hidden casio where he spots his superior. However despite not doing much of anything, red nose is able to perfectly deduce absolutely everything that occurred and recount it back to his superior. As red nose goes on about how his superior became corrupt and began stealing opium from the evidence lockers I sat there wondering just how he could possibly know that. The episode never showed him paying a visit to the evidence locker or how he figured out that the man who was killed was actually investigating the superior. Did he learn it though the files the murdered man left behind? In that case why would the superior give him those files in the first place? There’s just a whole lot of answers coming straight out of nowhere and I think that if the show took the time to actively present clues instead of having our protagonist just lay it out for us would have made for a more engaging plot.

Then after our protagonist of the week points out his superiors illegal dealings and suggests that he get himself court martialed, the superior goes full comic book villain and calls in a soldier to kill him. Now really mister red nose, just what answer did you expect him to give you? “Oh yeah, damn you caught me. Don’t worry, I will go and hand myself in now. Good work.” You basically repeated the same thing Sakuma did except for making sure to have a plan to protect yourself should things go south. I sighed as the superior started gloating and shouting about how totally corrupt and evil he was with a psycho smile and manic laughter. One would think he would restrain himself in case there were actual policemen in the police station who could ever so easily hear him declare that he was selling opium and staged a terrorist bombing. The dumbest thing of all was that thanks to him mouthing off about killing the transvestite boy in the bombing, the soldier that he called in to shoot red nose instead shot him. As it turns out he was in love with the transvestite boy. Which leaves me to wonder just what was the point of all this. The episode seems to suggest that this was all the plan of one of the agents to get rid of the corrupt superior but all that agent did was hand red nose a photo and lead him into the hidden casino. If you are suggesting that he managed to predict how all this was going to happen before it went down then I call bullshit on that. I don’t care if you are some super spy or batman, nothing so dependent on luck and human factors can ever go exactly as planned. Even if it was all just as planned then I am certain you could have thought of a less risky plan. After all why did you even bother getting red nose involved? He didn’t do anything at all and you could have just informed the soldier that he killed his lover and there you go. Problem solved. I rag on this more than I expected but the presentation is still bugging me greatly. The dialogue, the framing, the storytelling….it all seems to assume that you can’t put two and two together and figure out things yourself. Everything is shoved right in your face with little restraint. For a veteran viewer such as myself I find it extremely patronizing like being given a jigsaw puzzle and then the giver assembling the puzzle for me because they thought I wouldn’t be able to figure out how a jigsaw works. One last thing, why did everyone have creepy smiles in the first scene? That was just weird.


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