Okay so Joker Game is a character-by-character anime.

The first two episodes covered Sakuma, who hated spies. The second episode wrapped up his arc, and the third episode involved Shimano, a spy using the façade of a Japanese exchange student in France.

Sakumas arc was wrapped up when he came to terms with the spies. He was involved in a mission, where there was a lot going on behind the scenes before the mission even took place. Sakuma was assigned to be the Liason between the D-Agency and the General Staff Office by his military superior, Lieutenant Colonel Mutou.

As it turns out a man named Gordon was suspected to have been a spy and was hiding a Microfilm of photos of cipher codes the Japanese military uses. Mutous Imperial Police force already searched the house and found nothing. In order to hide his mistake, Mutou thought it would be a good idea to have another team search the house and also turn up with nothing. Yuuki, the leader of the spies, overheard Mutou while in a geisha inn so he volunteered to send some of his men in. Miyoshi and Sakuma were included in the squadron. Miyoshi is one of the spies while Sakuma is not.

Miyoshi had set up Sakuma to commit seppuku if they do not discover the microfilm. At the last second, Sakuma orders Miyoshi to check behind the imperial portrait, a sacred and untouchable item. The regular police would not even consider touching it. The microfilm is there.

Through a small investigation, Sakuma uncovers everything that was going on. He discovers Mutous intentions, his failures, and scolds him for blabbing state secrets to everyone at the Geisha inn. When Mutou asks if he retrieved the microfilm, he said no, but they apprehended Gordon. When questioned, his answers show forethought. He left the microfilm because when a second spy comes for the information, they would take the incorrect information while the Japanese military changes the real ciphers codes.

Sakuma has learned a little from the spies he is surrounded by, and he understands that. When offered to participate in spy training though, he leaves off with the knowing he would always be a soldier.

The next episodes focuses on Shimano, who is waking up after being butted with a gun. He does not remember who he is, except for his name. Images of documents and photos flash in his mind but he doesn’t understand what they are. He has forgotten that he is a spy.

The students who rescued him introduce themselves and inquire about his strange inconsistencies; speaking Russian, speaking Parisian French fluently, wearing cosmetic gasses and cheek implants. Their inquisition is cut short when the Germans knock on the door. The Germans are occupying France, and Shimano created a ruckus earlier so he is wanted.

Quick thinking and mental instructions from the spy in his head, Shimano frees all 4 of them from the building and they rush to safety. The three students are members of the French resistance, although the organization does not have a large footing yet.

When one of the members turns out to be a double agent for Germany, Shimano is knocked unconscious again and regains his memories. He is found by Lieutenant Colonel Yuuki and relays the information he discovered.

His mission from the start was to infiltrate the French resistance and learn how strong they were. The spy training was so engrained in his psyche, that even without his memory he still knew what he had to do.

The characters only ever give us, the audience, enough information to hang ourselves with. We are always juuust in the dark, with the chance we may have caught on. The intricacies of the operations is very interesting. Mental challenges are always exciting to see unravelled if you are able to follow along. Some people enjoy figuring out the outcome before it was announced, especially with Game of Thrones.

With Sakuma, he surrendered to the spies after realizing how wrapped around their finger he was. Shimano was confused about where he was and what the three students were telling him. He had no idea why he knew Russian, but he was calm. The spy training took over and he was able to think rationally and make deductions as he went along. The characters thoughts are not always audible to the audience, which I like. Instead of informing us step by step about all of the clues there is a series of flashbacks related to what the clues were after the fact. I like that the clues are not obvious either. One of the clues to her being a double agent was when Marie asked what was wrong with the broken gun. This alerted Shimano to the fact that she sabotaged the gun. I didn’t think anything of her question at the time. Its sneaky, very very sneaky.

After a couple episodes, I do like the series more and I look forward to the other spies getting in sticky situations.

Rating: A-

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