Joker Game, Anime tv series (2016)

I have never been a big fan of spy movies. The James Bond movies for instance, even though I have seen them all, have never really appealed to me. What is appealing to me however, is atmosphere. There have also been shows or movies about espionage set just before or during the second World War. For some reason I have always loved that time period, simply because it breathes atmosphere. The cars, the costumes, the setting I simply love it. Browsing through the enormous list of Anime series that  Crunchyroll has to offer, I always try to pick something that is different from what I have seen before. That is how I came across the Anime Joker Game.

Joker Game is set in 1937, where the threat of impending war is beginning to make itself felt all across the world. To gather intelligence from different countries across the globe, the Imperial Japanese Lieutenant Yuuki forms a special unit called the D-Agency. In this spy agency, agents undergo a very rigorous training, before they are accepted as a member. The D-Agency mandate, “Don’t kill, Don’t die” is viewed throughout the rest of the army as the mandate of a bunch of cowards. Nothing is further from the truth however, as one of the newest recruits sent to observe the inner workings of the D-Agency, is about to find out. With threats both foreign and domestic appearing from everywhere, the D-Agency members are sent out to stop these threats on a variety of different missions.

Well, one thing is for sure, this Anime was definitely different from the shows I usually watch. The best way to describe it I guess is a bit of a slowburning film noir. Let’s talk about the good things first. The animation style is absolutely gorgeous. The late 30s are depicted in a very convincing way, and there are some truly breathtaking wideshot views of the cities that are visited throughout the show. Another thing worthy of note is the soundtrack made by Kenji Kawai, my absolute alltime favorite composer. Most people will know his work from the original Ghost in the Shell movie, and in Joker Game he again doesn’t disappoint. This series started off very good. I found the story to be very intriguing and it almost felt a bit like a puzzle you had to solve at times. I especially liked episode 6, where one of the D-Agency members has to find a killer aboard a train, who has murdered a contact who had some classified information on him.

Unfortunately this high level of quality did not continue in the later episodes. Though still entertaining, the stories were definitely not as good as the earlier ones. Another missed opportunity was the fact that there wasn’t a real overall storyline carrying on from episode to episode. I always like it when a show slowly builds up to something, but nearly every episode was a selfcontained story. Running for 12 episodes the series ends without having really accomplished something, and that was also a bit of a letdown. Still I do think this series deserves watching, especially for the pretty unique setting, and the earlier storylines.

I give Joker Game a 7 out of 10 score.

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10 thoughts on “Joker Game, Anime tv series (2016)”

  1. I’m the same in that I really dislike the spy genre, can barely sit through the first 10 minutes of a James Bond film. But your write up makes the series sound pretty amazing. It’s a shame that the quality didn’t continue on, it’s a problem that quite a few series have (especially Orange in last season’s anime). Thanks for the review ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment 😀 It was a shame indeed, but still I am glad I watched the series. Even though the last few episode were a little bit less interesting, it did not ruin the entire show enough to stop watching it. Definitely a worthwhile watch, and something different 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I completely agree with what you’ve said about this anime. The only thing that tied the characters together was the fact they were from D-agency. I wish there had been an overarching story that somehow connected them all together at the end versus completely separate storylines.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooh, I love 1930’s era shows too. I just love the atmosphere and costumes. I know you probably don’t need another drama to add to your list, lol, but have you seen Bridal Mask (Gaksital)? It’s one of my all time favorite shows from any country. It’s an epic story of a masked man fighting to free Koreans during the Japanese occupation in the 1930’s. It’s based on a popular manhwa. It is packed with intensity, atmosphere, action, and a great story. And the tension between the two main male leads is just crazy because of the cat and mouse they find themselves in! It’s completely unique from any kdrama I’ve seen, and I think it might fit your tastes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I really don’t lol, but I always like recommendations and I really don’t mind adding new ones to the list. I know which one you are regering too. I have actually almost started watching it, before something else got my attention. This is now the 2nd time someone recommends this series, so I will give it a try. The way you describe it sounds really cool. Thanks for the reminder 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I didn’t catch this one as it aired first time around, and since it has proved incredibly divisive, reviews haven’t been much use.

    “Slow burning film noir” does sound like something I would enjoy, and add to that the score (which I hadn’t realised was composed by Kawai) and this is a show I could envision getting lost in.

    The ending, as you describe, does sound unfortunate, especially as I too prefer an arc that builds to a climax, but I’ll be adding this to my to-watch list.

    Sweet review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much. It really isn’t a bad show, but it could have been so much more if it would have had an overall are. Still especially the first six episodes are highly enjoyable. Hope you will like watching it as well:enjoy 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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