On paper, JokerGame features a heap going for it: associate degree spying adventure story set between the planet wars, supported Koji Yanagi’s mystery novels and animated by Production I.G, it looked to be precisely the reasonably series I’d write a discomfited postmortem concerning. What I complete up with was a fun however mine run story largely notable for its excursions into alternate history.

The major divergence from reality is perhaps a necessary one. The series follows D-Agency, a fictional spy bureau entrusted with each gathering intelligence on foreign powers and thwarting enemy spies inside Japan. This role as militarised constabulary would appear to affiliate the protagonists with the Kempeitai, the arm of the Japanese army liable for suppressing dissidents, managing captive of war camps, enacting reprisals against enemy civilians, and exchanging data with Italian and German agents. A story glorifying the Japanese equivalent of the secret police would be problematic, and then the fictional D-Agency was concocted to lend plausible deniability to the characters’ actions. To bolster the purpose, it operates below the shibboleth, “don’t kill, don’t die,” eschewing each of the Kempeitai’s brutality and also the dangerous tendencies that afflicted the Japanese military as a full. Even with this concession to properness, one in every one of the central characters, Sakuma, refers to his comrades as monsters. Granted, his aversion largely stems from a conviction that spies are timid compared to regular combatants, however, there’s associate degree awareness on the staff’s half that the show isn’t concerning virtuously honorable individuals.

As for the story itself, Joker Game is variable into a series of vignettes, every lasting not than 2 episodes, following associate degree agent following his mission during a totally different a part of the planet. On the means, they get into Americans, Soviets, MI5, Wehrmacht, the French resistance, and traitorous Japanese. The chronology is unclear (one episode is about in France simply when the onset of occupation, in 1940, whereas another option a conflict with SMERSH, a corporation that didn’t exist till 1942) and that I usually questioned concerning the context of D-Agency’s missions. Once the topic is anti-Japanese coercion in Shanghai, it’d facilitate to understand whether or not China and Japan are at war. Taken in isolation, the episodes work as short mystery stories, however, while not a certain overarching story to attach them (beyond the premise of D-Agency being globetrotting wonder-spies, that is) the background should be stuffed in with real history. This presents many problems for the narrative.

Despite D-Agency expressly operational below the aegis of the Imperial Japanese Army, the show pointedly avoids any mention of the extreme inter-service contention between the military and navy that typically escalated into an assassination. Knowing the contours of this dispute inside Japan’s military institution is significant for understanding the country’s policy throughout Joker Game’s time-frame. this is often to not say the show would are improved by sometimes cutting to Diet sessions within the sort of the Star Wars prequels; however knowing, say, why it’s therefore vital to tell apart the magnitude relation of French collaborators to resistance fighters would have created ME a lot of investing with. A series of vignettes will still weave a bigger story by fastening the characters’ actions into a wider context, however, once that context is absent or flimsy then there’s no specific reason to concentrate on one character or incident over another.

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