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Poll: Joker Game Episode 2 Discussion


Apr 12, 2016 1:58 PM

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I'm really enjoying this anime so far, and this was another good episode. The only thing I really didn't like was how some of the flashbacks to previous events sometimes didn't have a feature that made me realize "hey this is a flashback," so it occasionally felt like things were jumping around. Other than that, I really enjoyed the episode and look forward to more.
I'm no special story or anything. I'm just a manga that wants to be read, like you could find anywhere. But, if, for argument's sake, you were to adapt me into an anime series, it would certainly be....a tragedy.

-The Tokyo Ghoul/Tokyo Ghoul:re manga, if they could talk
 
Apr 12, 2016 1:59 PM

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Damn colonel yuuki is an intelligent sob , covering up for Mutou's failure in exchange for more funds for D-agency , got a potential double-agent , found out evidence of gordon being a spy, and he took all the glory ! Also i'm starting to like sakuma , he seems smart and he still is a soldier who would fight for his country but refuses to be a pawn who is used and then thrown away and follow others blindly ...
 
Apr 12, 2016 2:00 PM

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The recitation at the start of the episode is part of the Imperial Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors of 1882:
"Remember that, as the protection of the state and the maintenance of its power depend upon the strength of its arms, the growth or decline of this strength must affect the nation’s destiny for good or for evil; therefore neither be led astray by current opinions nor meddle in politics, but with single heart fulfill your essential duty of loyalty, and bear in mind that duty is weightier than a mountain, while death is lighter than a feather. "
Reference: http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu/jamesorr/ImpResSoldSailors1882web.htm
 
Apr 12, 2016 2:05 PM
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This was really interesting !
The flashback at the beginning was pretty useless tho.
 
Apr 12, 2016 2:08 PM

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MozillaFennekin said:
Tokoya said:
I'm never gonna get tired of this OP~
I could watch it all day. Based I.G.


The op gives those chilling 1930's vibes and the song is really good for me ...
 
Apr 12, 2016 2:11 PM

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Nice to see Sakuma adjust and understand the spies way of thinking, because I really thought he would keep his morals of sacrifice and cut his stomach open. Hopefully we will see a build on this little development. Loved it when he also did that little smirk, when he was talking with Mutou. Impressive how he saw through Yuuki's disguise like that, showing he is understanding more of the Joker Game.

 
Apr 12, 2016 2:12 PM

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Uhhhhh

- SO MC spends first episode being dumb as oaf and then when plot calls for resolution of cliffhanger, suddenly turns into sherlock holmes? Wut.
- Pacing is still awful. Its like we skipped mystery solving part and went straight into MC explaining stuff. That never works when we do not see the clues that would allow for viewer to solve it themselves. Ep1 and Ep2 could have easily been a single episode.
- The fact that I still can't remember any character's names is not good...Really shows the failure in narrative at making me care or recognize the characters. If not for the flashback to poker table I would not have even recognized the SmugDude in the hallway.
- Propaganda everywhere. Holy shit how can a country be so tone deaf to its own past? This is getting ridiculous and the show does not even try to hide it. Huge part of episode is spent romanticizing the period this takes place in and then another part is a silent propaganda about "Those damn government officials not doing what needs to be done and being a disgrace to their country" and shit. I see where you are going with this, show, and I very much don't like it. IF there's an episode where show tries to tell us how "not having a proper military" is a huge mistake for Japan, I will be out because the intentions of the show will be crystal clear then.

3/5 for episode. Hopefully it improves and does not become a 100% propaganda tool.
Modified by Ahenshihael, Apr 12, 2016 2:16 PM
 
Apr 12, 2016 2:26 PM

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It's full of smiles.
 
Apr 12, 2016 2:38 PM

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What a dense guy...

Fai said:

- SO MC spends first episode being dumb as oaf and then when plot calls for resolution of cliffhanger, suddenly turns into sherlock holmes? Wut.

He's naive, not dumb. You can see the indoctrination he went through in the 2nd ep intro. He has ideals which ended betraying him.
Fai said:

- Pacing is still awful. Its like we skipped mystery solving part and went straight into MC explaining stuff. That never works when we do not see the clues that would allow for viewer to solve it themselves. Ep1 and Ep2 could have easily been a single episode.

Nah, the episode was really well paced. The mistery never was for us to solve, since you needed the to know that emperor's shrine detail and we never knew that the house was previously visited by another guy. The details were put in that order to shock the viewer, not as a mistery. A way to show us he was capable of thinking above his ideals, which was, by the way, the deciding clue that saved his life.
Fai said:

- The fact that I still can't remember any character's names is not good...Really shows the failure in narrative at making me care or recognize the characters. If not for the flashback to poker table I would not have even recognized the SmugDude in the hallway.

Suck to be you, they are gonna change the spies's names in the next episode so get used to recognize faces and heights. I'm okay with this, the characters aren't appealing to me as individuals but as results of the spy academy, and I'm in to see if they have different and individual traits among them, like the tautology guy that ended having a liking towards the MC.
Fai said:

- Propaganda everywhere. Holy shit how can a country be so tone deaf to its own past? This is getting ridiculous and the show does not even try to hide it. Huge part of episode is spent romanticizing the period this takes place in and then another part is a silent propaganda about "Those damn government officials not doing what needs to be done and being a disgrace to their country" and shit. I see where you are going with this, show, and I very much don't like it. IF there's an episode where show tries to tell us how "not having a proper military" is a huge mistake for Japan, I will be out because the intentions of the show will be crystal clear then.
And this shows how dense you are. Where were you whe the show showed its clear intention to mark that the nationalist attitude is really bad when dealing with personal interest and agendas in the first episode? Is right there, at the end, whe the soldier MC was cornered.
Modified by Thievery, Apr 12, 2016 2:42 PM
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye.

But does the heart have the right perspective?
 
Apr 12, 2016 2:38 PM

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Fai said:
Uhhhhh

- SO MC spends first episode being dumb as oaf and then when plot calls for resolution of cliffhanger, suddenly turns into sherlock holmes? Wut.
- Pacing is still awful. Its like we skipped mystery solving part and went straight into MC explaining stuff. That never works when we do not see the clues that would allow for viewer to solve it themselves. Ep1 and Ep2 could have easily been a single episode.
- The fact that I still can't remember any character's names is not good...Really shows the failure in narrative at making me care or recognize the characters. If not for the flashback to poker table I would not have even recognized the SmugDude in the hallway.
- Propaganda everywhere. Holy shit how can a country be so tone deaf to its own past? This is getting ridiculous and the show does not even try to hide it. Huge part of episode is spent romanticizing the period this takes place in and then another part is a silent propaganda about "Those damn government officials not doing what needs to be done and being a disgrace to their country" and shit. I see where you are going with this, show, and I very much don't like it. IF there's an episode where show tries to tell us how "not having a proper military" is a huge mistake for Japan, I will be out because the intentions of the show will be crystal clear then.

3/5 for episode. Hopefully it improves and does not become a 100% propaganda tool.

MC just had to think like the spies in his agency would, were would you hide something, what wouldn't be searched?
Propaganda is more a representation of japan at the time period, not justification.
Aside from the MC and maybe the Lieutenant the characters names shouldn't be memorable, they're spies, if you couldn't even recognize the "SmugDude" in the hallway they're doing a great job
 
Apr 12, 2016 2:49 PM

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Not really impressed so far. This whole ordeal was really straightforward, but it somehow felt convoluted because of how each scene didn't seem to be properly connected to one another.
5 main aspects I base my ratings on:
1. Did DramaEnthusiast make a thread about it?
2. Is it better than Breaking Bad?
3. Did MellowJello recommend the shit out of it?
4. Has it caused a (very entertaining) shitstorm on MAL?
5. Is it actually good?

Scratch the fifth point, it's not very relevant...
 
Apr 12, 2016 2:56 PM

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Some people really need to take extra history lessons. There's no war propaganda in this show, the creators are only trying to accurately recreate the real situation, even though it may be uncomfortable to watch! If you want to see some real war propaganda, go watch some Russian movies about WWII or something.

I liked this episode more than the first one, I'm glad that Sakuma didn't commit seppuku and got some character development already.
Modified by PrinceKirameki, Apr 12, 2016 3:04 PM
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

― Winston S. Churchill
 
Apr 12, 2016 2:59 PM

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He's naive, not dumb. You can see the indoctrination he went through in the 2nd ep intro. He has ideals which ended betraying him.

He was dumb enough not to notice the cheating going on at the poker table which was damn obvious. Now he is somehow smart enough to deduce what other people are thinking. Plot. Convenience.
And this shows how dense you are. Where were you whe the show showed its clear intention to mark that the nationalist attitude is really bad when dealing with personal interest and agendas in the first episode? Is right there, at the end, whe the soldier MC was cornered.

Propaganda is not limited to "yay our culture and past".
This show is pushing a strong pro-war pro-reinstantementofmilitary agenda even more than trash like kancollie do.

Alex said:

Aside from the MC and maybe the Lieutenant the characters names shouldn't be memorable, they're spies, if you couldn't even recognize the "SmugDude" in the hallway they're doing a great job

Its a good job if this was real spy agency. Then again then you would not even know they are spies in first place, so not realistic enough.
Its absolutely piss poor job for a fictional story. Its a story. A narrative. Being able to comprehend characters or RECOGNIZE them is the basis of storytelling.

PrinceKirameki said:
Some people really need to take extra history lessons. There's no war propaganda in this show, the creators are only trying to accurately recreate the real situation, even though it may be uncomfortable to watch

Propaganda can take many forms. In this case its less about nationalistic values and more about romanticizing the time period this is set in and delivering subtle/not-so-subtle commentary on inefficiency and "softness" of government which ties to current push for militarization in japan. It glorifies the whole spy thing as "people who do what needs to be done" in turn ignoring the fact that stuff like Unit 731 would not have existed without espionage agencies.
Modified by Ahenshihael, Apr 12, 2016 3:06 PM
 
Apr 12, 2016 3:06 PM

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zcv45 said:

Also, people keeps complaining about the nationalism. Yet they don't understand the history. Japan back then were very pro-war. This irritates me because this anime shows no evidence of real nationalistic view by the creators. You gusy are misunderstanding the historical accuracy with nationalism.
This really irritates me since most of these people have no clue on the history and is complaining about it.

The government took the ideals of "Greater East Co-Prosperity Sphere" as a propaganda. That term existed befroe the army took it as their own FYI.
In Japan at the time, the West is greatly despised. A bit over 40 years ago from the story's timeline, Japan were forced in to unfair treaties. Though Japan gradually modernized and got out of that situation, they were still forced down in numerous naval treaties or peace conferences that was seen as unfavorable(ie. Russo-Japanese war)

The military used this as propaganda and the populace grew to dislike the West. While Japan itself was pretty fine, countries like China was not. Even though Japan participated in exploiting China, the populace didn't need to know that. In fact Army propaganda told the populace they will unite Asia against the West. Where the "Co-prosperity sphere" term comes from.
It's just a excuse for an invasion of course.

Also Nayrael brings a good point. Sakuma is your typical Japanese soldier of the time. Trained to die for the emperor, even if they don't really want to. The anime clearly depicts him as slower than the others and not so bright. If you don't think so, watch the first episode. I know most of you thought he was dumb. If that isn't criticism, then what is?


I can agree with this. It aggravates me when people keep misinterpreting portrayals of the Imperial Japanese Army as 'war propaganda' when the series is, in fact, subtly achieving the opposite. There is a fine line between a historical interpretation and a partisan one, with Joker Game belonging to the former.

The story is focalising its narrative on the perspectives of spies, with the Army's beliefs serving as a counterpoint to develop their modus operandi and ideals of the D-Agency as seen in this episode. The series is not PROMOTING nationalism, it is toying with it, since as Nayrael eloquently says, Japanese society is a Joker Game itself. The significance of the debacle with the imperial portrait and the development of Sakuma's character, I feel, is enough to merit the show with not becoming another propagandistic piece.
 
Apr 12, 2016 3:10 PM

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Fai said:

Its a good job if this was real spy agency. Then again then you would not even know they are spies in first place, so not realistic enough.
Its absolutely piss poor job for a fictional story. Its a story. A narrative. Being able to comprehend characters or RECOGNIZE them is the basis of storytelling.

We only know they're spies cause the MC knows they're spies, otherwise he knows nothing about them. You're looking at this too much from a writers perspective, a story doesn't need to follow standard literary methods in order to work
 
Apr 12, 2016 3:17 PM
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I love how Sakuma is beginning to see the bigger picture and how his believes are being shaken up by the ugly realities of life. How pride and duty is not the only thing that exists in this world. How one's has to use intellect to see things in a non charged way and evaluate reality as is, not as shown or promoted to be. So far so good!
 
Apr 12, 2016 3:24 PM
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I liked seeing Mutou get destroyed. Nice episode.
 
Apr 12, 2016 3:25 PM

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I agree with the people saying it's not propaganda because it's not. Pretty easy to see it's not encouraging or praising the Imperial Japanese Army in any way. Sakuma went through a good change this episode!
 
Apr 12, 2016 3:54 PM

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think this might be my favourite ED from this seasons garbage
 
Apr 12, 2016 4:06 PM

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Col. Mutou is such a fecking weak character even for a low tier antagonist. The way he was venting his anger on the items in his room was pretty pathetic.

Sakuma Switch was okay I guess but I couldn't get into his character change though as he looked pretty dumb for his own good in the previous episode and then he nailed everything in this one. How?

A bit disappointed with the pacing and turn of events. Here hoping it picks up from the next episode.

This show still boasts the best voice cast this season. The entire D-Agency + Itou Shizuka. Unbeatable.

OT: The only male lead character that impressed me in this season happens to be a random high schooler with a random witch staying at his place. Click <<here>> to find which out.
<<<< Click to see how you may #HelpKyoAniHeal

 
Apr 12, 2016 4:08 PM
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zcv45 said:
Another very good episode! The flashback was nice too. I mean, it doesn't matter if not much actually progressed in real time of the story, it go lot of stuff happening at the same time. However as the viewer, we only saw a small part. Going back to it allow us to understand the events and as an episode, there is full of content.

Also, people keeps complaining about the nationalism. Yet they don't understand the history. Japan back then were very pro-war. This irritates me because this anime shows no evidence of real nationalistic view by the creators. You gusy are misunderstanding the historical accuracy with nationalism.
This really irritates me since most of these people have no clue on the history and is complaining about it.

The government took the ideals of "Greater East Co-Prosperity Sphere" as a propaganda. That term existed befroe the army took it as their own FYI.
In Japan at the time, the West is greatly despised. A bit over 40 years ago from the story's timeline, Japan were forced in to unfair treaties. Though Japan gradually modernized and got out of that situation, they were still forced down in numerous naval treaties or peace conferences that was seen as unfavorable(ie. Russo-Japanese war)

The military used this as propaganda and the populace grew to dislike the West. While Japan itself was pretty fine, countries like China was not. Even though Japan participated in exploiting China, the populace didn't need to know that. In fact Army propaganda told the populace they will unite Asia against the West. Where the "Co-prosperity sphere" term comes from.
It's just a excuse for an invasion of course.

The Japanese civilians agrees to this ideal, which is why they are very pro-war. The anime depicts this. Also, the sign on the D-Agency building so happens to say "Co-prosperity sphere." But for those only know entry-level history of the war from highschool classes would not know this and think it's the producer's nationalism at work.
Also Nayrael brings a good point. Sakuma is your typical Japanese soldier of the time. Trained to die for the emperor, even if they don't really want to. The anime clearly depicts him as slower than the others and not so bright. If you don't think so, watch the first episode. I know most of you thought he was dumb. If that isn't criticism, then what is?


This is the comment I was looking for. Perfect explanation my friend.
 
Apr 12, 2016 4:36 PM

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Fai said:

He was dumb enough not to notice the cheating going on at the poker table which was damn obvious. Now he is somehow smart enough to deduce what other people are thinking. Plot. Convenience.


He didn't notice the cheating because he expected a poker game, not a "joker game". He didn't even knew the thing existed on the first place. He also didn't cared for looking if the other ones were cheating, because there wasn't money on the table, only chips. It was a leisure game, and perhaps he really didn't cared if that was a possibility. Put yourself on the place of the character instead of projecting yourself.

He, however, was able to deduct the photography thing because he himself knew that MP would had never checked that place. He had the information to get to that conclusion. He also had the tools to suspect from the spy agency chief, since the intel had to, somehow, get to that agency. And he just started to connect dots and eventually reached the truth.

The problem is that you don't put yourself on the situation, you as an outsider overanalyze the situation, which not only can ruin your enjoyment, but also can make you miss details that tie the situation.

I don't really care about the rest of your post. Propaganda is non existent when you start to notice the human interaction, plots, schemes, naivety, and everything else that is more tied to human psyche and social interaction rather than a "subtle propaganda" that's just the background.
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; What is essential is invisible to the eye.

But does the heart have the right perspective?
 
Apr 12, 2016 4:40 PM

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I'm disappointed! Where's Miyoshi?!
It was all about Sakuma :D
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Apr 12, 2016 4:45 PM

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A great episode, although they wasted a LONG time showing scenes of the last episode, I found very unnecessary

I started to like more and more the main character, this episode, frankly, should have been placed as the first, they should have done an episode first 50 minutes, as Re: Zero, would be more coherent as introduction of anime

I have high expectations for this anime, I hope the suspense and the weather remain the same
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Apr 12, 2016 4:55 PM
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Frrrosty said:


The comments that I'm looking for. If only these could be stickied so that people can see the comments before blindly saying that the anime is a propaganda tool
 
Apr 12, 2016 4:57 PM

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zcv45 said:
Another very good episode! The flashback was nice too. I mean, it doesn't matter if not much actually progressed in real time of the story, it go lot of stuff happening at the same time. However as the viewer, we only saw a small part. Going back to it allow us to understand the events and as an episode, there is full of content.

Also, people keeps complaining about the nationalism. Yet they don't understand the history. Japan back then were very pro-war. This irritates me because this anime shows no evidence of real nationalistic view by the creators. You gusy are misunderstanding the historical accuracy with nationalism.
This really irritates me since most of these people have no clue on the history and is complaining about it.

The government took the ideals of "Greater East Co-Prosperity Sphere" as a propaganda. That term existed befroe the army took it as their own FYI.
In Japan at the time, the West is greatly despised. A bit over 40 years ago from the story's timeline, Japan were forced in to unfair treaties. Though Japan gradually modernized and got out of that situation, they were still forced down in numerous naval treaties or peace conferences that was seen as unfavorable(ie. Russo-Japanese war)

The military used this as propaganda and the populace grew to dislike the West. While Japan itself was pretty fine, countries like China was not. Even though Japan participated in exploiting China, the populace didn't need to know that. In fact Army propaganda told the populace they will unite Asia against the West. Where the "Co-prosperity sphere" term comes from.
It's just a excuse for an invasion of course.

The Japanese civilians agrees to this ideal, which is why they are very pro-war. The anime depicts this. Also, the sign on the D-Agency building so happens to say "Co-prosperity sphere." But for those only know entry-level history of the war from highschool classes would not know this and think it's the producer's nationalism at work.
Also Nayrael brings a good point. Sakuma is your typical Japanese soldier of the time. Trained to die for the emperor, even if they don't really want to. The anime clearly depicts him as slower than the others and not so bright. If you don't think so, watch the first episode. I know most of you thought he was dumb. If that isn't criticism, then what is?


WE NEED PEOPLE LIKE YOU!!!!! thank you!!! and i wouldnt write that much cuz im not good english speaker XD
glad there some that know history and stuff. have nice day!
Modified by KaedeKyl9, Apr 12, 2016 5:09 PM
 
Apr 12, 2016 5:20 PM

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8/10 for this ep... those abs are not influencing my veredict

 
Apr 12, 2016 5:31 PM
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Wow! What an amazing episode! I honestly found it even better than the first one, and it left a really strong impression on me. That last scene was beautiful and gave me some feels. Glad to see the MC can be really awesome, as he disappointed me quite a bit in the first one. I expect the rating to go past 8 very soon if this keeps up.
 
Apr 12, 2016 5:32 PM

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Seeing Politics this close.... Makes you wonder who is more righteous The D agency or the Army
 
Apr 12, 2016 5:50 PM

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The last scene was so perfectly executed, the spy going away, the MC standing there while the pawns which will be used in the war passing! 4/5 episode, so far it's one of my favorite shows this season.
"Doubting everything that you take on... That is very important. Open your own eyes, clear out your ears, and look and listen to the world... And think using your own brain. After you've doubted everything, there is a possibility of something real to believe in. To believe in something, doubt everything."

 
Apr 12, 2016 6:30 PM

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I knew that he would think better at pressure xD That saved his life.
And they all knew where those codes were hidden but they were waiting if he would get it...damn xD
"There is no such thing as an Anime elitist. You watch Anime, therefore, you are trash by society's standards."

 
Apr 12, 2016 6:50 PM

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Sallad4ever said:
Frrrosty said:

I can agree with this. It aggravates me when people keep misinterpreting portrayals of the Imperial Japanese Army as 'war propaganda' when the series is, in fact, subtly achieving the opposite. There is a fine line between a historical interpretation and a partisan one, with Joker Game belonging to the former.

The story is focalising its narrative on the perspectives of spies, with the Army's beliefs serving as a counterpoint to develop their modus operandi and ideals of the D-Agency as seen in this episode. The series is not PROMOTING nationalism, it is toying with it, since as Nayrael eloquently says, Japanese society is a Joker Game itself. The significance of the debacle with the imperial portrait and the development of Sakuma's character, I feel, is enough to merit the show with not becoming another propagandistic piece.


The comments that I'm looking for. If only these could be stickied so that people can see the comments before blindly saying that the anime is a propaganda tool


KaedeKyl9 said:

WE NEED PEOPLE LIKE YOU!!!!! thank you!!! and i wouldnt write that much cuz im not good english speaker XD
glad there some that know history and stuff. have nice day!


Acofmelt said:

This is the comment I was looking for. Perfect explanation my friend.


TBH, I didn't expect the support. At first, when I saw the notifications on top, I thought it was going to be backlash. Usually is. I was actually thinking,"What are they going to rage about now?"
I'm glad there are people in this world that understands the difference between historical representation and propaganda.
 
Apr 12, 2016 7:14 PM

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Main guy is so hot

And now the plot gets better, he will be hotter as a spy
 
Apr 12, 2016 7:23 PM

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I saw abs. 10/10 AOTY.

Being serious, I like the MC now. A-and the fact he's hot has nothing to do with it!

Edit: I forgot to say this, but Sakuma's Engrish broke all the atmosphere for me.
Modified by Cishet, Apr 12, 2016 7:38 PM

You just lost the game
 
Apr 12, 2016 7:53 PM

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This was even better than the first episode!
The OST for this anime is really good as well.
 
Apr 12, 2016 8:17 PM
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Really was disappointed with episode one, felt like it had no interesting characters. This episode improved upon that, felt like I got to know the mc more and the trick about the guy in charge of the d squad was clever. If it continues in the vein of this episode it might turn out to be a strong show yet.
 
Apr 12, 2016 8:41 PM

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I see someone on the staff took inspiration from Free... best anime abs I've seen in a while... will keep watching, AOTS, ect. >:)

Also, I saw it more as subtly making fun of intense nationalism, but we'll see where it goes.
 
Apr 12, 2016 8:50 PM

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That was honestly a really good episode. Let's see the flow of this show now.
 
Apr 12, 2016 9:18 PM
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People unironically replying to Fai ITT

Are you kidding me?
 
Apr 12, 2016 10:02 PM
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Cejara said:
I really enjoyed this episode. It's just annoying to see all the Japanese pro-war propaganda in it. It seems like some scenes are almost trying to romanticize it. Who knows, I don't know how the Japanese people felt about the war back then, but it seems everyone in this anime is "happy" about it, for the lack of better words.

At the time, they were. When the attack on Pearl Harbour was announced, there was rejoicing in the streets throughout the nation.
A big part of the problem is that the Japanese newspapers pursued a course of voluntary self-censorship, combined with almost an inferiority complex based around the feeling that Japan was being bullied by the "white" nations.

I highly recommend reading "Japan 1941" by Eri Hotta. It's an in-depth account/analysis of Japan and her leadership leading up to their decision to go to war with the U.S. Just finished reading it, and I have to say it makes this series even more interesting than it would be otherwise.
 
Apr 12, 2016 10:42 PM

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das_nooblet said:
Cejara said:
I really enjoyed this episode. It's just annoying to see all the Japanese pro-war propaganda in it. It seems like some scenes are almost trying to romanticize it. Who knows, I don't know how the Japanese people felt about the war back then, but it seems everyone in this anime is "happy" about it, for the lack of better words.

At the time, they were. When the attack on Pearl Harbour was announced, there was rejoicing in the streets throughout the nation.
A big part of the problem is that the Japanese newspapers pursued a course of voluntary self-censorship, combined with almost an inferiority complex based around the feeling that Japan was being bullied by the "white" nations.

I highly recommend reading "Japan 1941" by Eri Hotta. It's an in-depth account/analysis of Japan and her leadership leading up to their decision to go to war with the U.S. Just finished reading it, and I have to say it makes this series even more interesting than it would be otherwise.


Interesting, I might be able to get more out of the series if I have more information at hand.
 
Apr 12, 2016 10:44 PM

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What a great episode.!!!
 
Apr 12, 2016 10:51 PM

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zcv45 said:
Also, people keeps complaining about the nationalism. Yet they don't understand the history. Japan back then were very pro-war. This irritates me because this anime shows no evidence of real nationalistic view by the creators. You gusy are misunderstanding the historical accuracy with nationalism.
This really irritates me since most of these people have no clue on the history and is complaining about it.

I think we need to be careful here. While many posters do seem to be taking a knee-jerk 'nationalism = bad!' reaction that ignores the accuracy of its depiction, that doesn't mean Joker Game is clear of reflecting certain biases - how the show will balance its story of a pragmatic and unorthodox spy agency against the wider realities of the period is an ongoing issue.

zcv45 said:
The government took the ideals of "Greater East Co-Prosperity Sphere" as a propaganda. That term existed befroe the army took it as their own FYI.
In Japan at the time, the West is greatly despised. A bit over 40 years ago from the story's timeline, Japan were forced in to unfair treaties. Though Japan gradually modernized and got out of that situation, they were still forced down in numerous naval treaties or peace conferences that was seen as unfavorable(ie. Russo-Japanese war)

Do you mean the Unequal Treaties signed by the Bakufu? Not to nitpick, but that would make it some 70 years ago.

Yes, Japan was constantly on the back-foot when dealing with the Western powers, but let's note that up to this point, the show has yet to feature Japan's similar actions against Korea and China. This is worth noting because omission can be just as telling as inclusion. But to those wary of Japan's struggle to grapple with this period of history, it is a reminder of the dangers of using history. If the show moves us to China, or if the events there (should) have an impact on the story; however the show chooses to portray the events there, it will run the risk inevitable of avoidance, ignorance, idealisation, and so forth.
While with works of creative fiction this isn't necessarily a damnable offense, when it comes to this sensitive and much debated time period, it obviously becomes more of an issue.

The first episode opens with mention of the war in China, and uses the celebratory scene to show both the setting and the widespread pro-war/imperialist mindset of the time - and that is a perfectly natural use of background events. But if the series ever gets into moralising over war and politics or the motivations of key players, then one will expect and hope that the series continues to present things in a sound manner.


zcv45 said:
The military used this as propaganda and the populace grew to dislike the West. While Japan itself was pretty fine, countries like China was not. Even though Japan participated in exploiting China, the populace didn't need to know that. In fact Army propaganda told the populace they will unite Asia against the West. Where the "Co-prosperity sphere" term comes from.
It's just a excuse for an invasion of course.

The Japanese civilians agrees to this ideal, which is why they are very pro-war. The anime depicts this. Also, the sign on the D-Agency building so happens to say "Co-prosperity sphere." But for those only know entry-level history of the war from highschool classes would not know this and think it's the producer's nationalism at work.

While I understand you're addressing certain simple misunderstandings people may have about the period, let's remember that the characters and story so far has centred on those more involved in the upholding of imperial-militarist ambitions.

That the civilian population was largely supportive of national efforts and was kept ignorant or had a different perception of its aggressions is of course not unusual.

What seems to needs reminding is that because this is an espionage show that will likely tango in the realms of realpolitics, scheming, and Machiavellian machinations; it becomes all the more likely that depictions and interpretations of less savoury events becomes necessary. If the show manages to avoid those prickly issues of nationalism, war, and justifications, then maybe all this hand-wringing is unnecessary. But given the topic of the show one suspects that the author's perspective on events will definitely come into the spotlight.


zcv45 said:
Also Nayrael brings a good point. Sakuma is your typical Japanese soldier of the time. Trained to die for the emperor, even if they don't really want to. The anime clearly depicts him as slower than the others and not so bright. If you don't think so, watch the first episode. I know most of you thought he was dumb. If that isn't criticism, then what is?

And if that's the limit of 'criticism' within the show, it would be somewhat troubling. Between a angry-buffoon Colonel, snide swipes at the Kempeitai's competency and intelligence, and a straight-laced but 'misled' soldier, we perhaps get a disassociating of 'good' Japan (the capable unnationalistic protagonists) from the 'bad' misguided elements of the military.

It's a subtle spin, but this is why attention to detail becomes imperative. At this point, I don't think the series is as yet particularly nationalistic or apologetic for the militarist Japan, but neither has it condemned or portrayed fully the controversies. A slight mocking of overzealous Emperor-worship and foolhardy warrior-spirit is one thing that might amuse us in agreement. But if we look at how the D Agency might be portrayed as an oh-so rational and level-headed force in comparison, then it could simply be a replacing of one dogmatic warmongering ideal for a pragmatic other.
 
Apr 12, 2016 11:12 PM

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I like it so far. But it's hard to recognize each character.
Especially those other spies, they all have similar faces.
 
Apr 13, 2016 12:45 AM

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This episode has made me like Sakuma much more. He seemed like such an uptight righteous goody two shoes in the first episode but now he's finally learning how to play the game.

I really enjoy all the deceit and manipulation that forms the basis of all the characters' relationships. This is building up quite nicely.
 
Apr 13, 2016 1:02 AM

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Can't take it seriously due to engrish.
 
Apr 13, 2016 1:46 AM
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Ckan said:
But if we look at how the D Agency might be portrayed as an oh-so rational and level-headed force in comparison, then it could simply be a replacing of one dogmatic warmongering ideal for a pragmatic other.


I think a confident basic prediction is that this show is going to continue developing conflict between D Agency and everyone else(military, government, etc.), and the spies will mostly come out ahead, being the protagonists. But whether that's nationalistic depends on whether the spies are all ultimately seeking independence from being "a pawn", as Sakuma puts it.

The first episode establishes (via Sakuma's narration) that D Agency's recruits are "monsters", live a lonely life, and are not doing it out of patriotism, but self-confidence. Although his opinion about spying and the military has clearly changed after ep 2, this doesn't exactly bode well for a telling where D Agency sticks together for the good of the country.

Both the nature of the cliffhanger in ep 1, where nobody in D Agency gives Sakuma a hint about what to do, and the second half of ep 2, where Sakuma determines Yuuki's disguise, are rather circuitous to a narrative where these are trusted comrades and Sakuma stays in the role of "innocuous bystander". My expectation after seeing that would be that everyone in the story is going to operate in a self interested mode and we'll see some serious backstabbing going on later, enough that Sakuma will start doubting his decision.

(This could ultimately play into a narrative where the nationalist angle turns out to be right after all - except that the obvious coda to a story set around World War II is for Japan's military and ideology to lose.)
 
Apr 13, 2016 2:04 AM

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fantastic episode....many mysteries are being disclosed in a single episode......

that priceless expression of Gordon though haha...
 
Apr 13, 2016 2:25 AM

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This was probably the best moment from the entire episode:-




Sakuma is standing on the pure, Sakura-colored and honorable soldier side, whereas the Colonel is walking well into a gritty, comparatively ugly city of spies. By the end of the scene, sakuma stands on the borderline between the worlds, and ultimately, the soldiers walk past sakuma, maybe implying that he left those ideals to pass by.
 
Apr 13, 2016 2:35 AM

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xaos12 said:
This was probably the best moment from the entire episode:-




Sakuma is standing on the pure, Sakura-colored and honorable soldier side, whereas the Colonel is walking well into a gritty, comparatively ugly city of spies. By the end of the scene, sakuma stands on the borderline between the worlds, and ultimately, the soldiers walk past sakuma, maybe implying that he left those ideals to pass by.


Nice observation.
 
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