Joker Game Episode 1

The English voice acting in this episode was great. Made me laugh a bit. This anime looks promising. (Spoilers for Episode 1)

This was a cool first episode, we have Sakuma a military man who joins the D-Agency. The D-Agency is a spy training agency. We learn that these spies have graduated from normal universities and colleges. They’re ordinary citizens. This was good to know. I thought that the spy aspect was going to be something they were taught from birth to know, but I like that they made the choice in becoming a spy, it makes them human to me. But to Sakuma, they’re not human but monsters. Eight monsters. I don’t think their monsters but they are manipulators.

Sakuma tells us in his head that everything the spies train for is different from the army academy he graduated from. He goes on to say that he and his academy classmates swore to give their lives for their country. But the spies here use fake names and fake life stories.

What Sakuma is trying to get at here is that he and his academy buddies trusted each other. They created bonds by talking to each other and sharing their life stories over time. Sakuma doesn’t understand the spies trusting each other as they use fake names and talk about their fake life’s. So how do they trust each other? I’m not sure how trust exists between any of them, but maybe I’ll find out in the later episodes.

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Sakuma stumbles across the spies playing poker and he joins in. At the end of the game we find out Sakuma has lost. One of the guy’s mentions that Sakuma lost the poker game because the he was looking at his cards throughout the game. The person whose talking is the guy with the red book who was writing down notes, earlier in the episode.

It was obvious that this guy was spying, I felt that the camera lingered on him a bit earlier in this scene. Also I noticed what would he have to write about if he’s not spying. It’s a poker game, a card game that combines gambling, strategy and skill to win. There’s no writing down anything, that’s what pegged me as strange.

Another spy tells Sakuma they weren’t playing poker at all but the Joker Game. *jazz hands* A card game that is a charade. The goal of this game is to get people on your side by having them peek at your opponents cards and signal you. The interesting thing about this game is that you don’t who’s on whose side. The signs could be fake or you decide to change your hand after you’ve read your opponents movements.

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Yuuki, their spy leader comes in and reminds Sakuma that this is a spy training facility and tells him that the spies will travel around the world, spying so that they can gather intelligence and report back to Japan. I’m surprised that Sakuma didn’t figure this out at all. They are spies and what do spies do? Make themselves invisible and spy on people to gather information.

But Sakuma didn’t see any of this as he believes spies are gutless cowards. It will be interesting to see if he changes his mind about spies. In fact forget if, I want him to, he can still keep  his military expertise but come to realise that what he said was wrong and spies are brave people who are very aware that their lives can be thrown away. It’s what they trained at this academy for.

The last scene was great, Sakuma and a spy go to a foreigner’s house as the military academy has reason to believe that the foreigner is a spy. It was a great scene as we get to see Sakuma realise that’s he’s been set up by his Colonel at the academy. Well he hasn’t been put in a trap, the D- Agency has.

I loved the smile on all the spies faces, it was as if they were mocking Sakuma again and it was funny to see that Sakuma was so slow in realising that he had been tricked. It shows that Sakuma was so focused on following military rules as a lieutenant, that he failed to realise that he drew the Joker as soon as he agreed to go on this mission. 

JG 4

This episode ended on a cliffhanger so I’m interested to see how this ends up as Sakuma has to commit suicide thanks to one of the spies suggestions if they don’t find anything which they haven’t. Sakuma will get out of this but I wonder how he will go about this without being accused of a spy himself.

Good first episode with nice music. Sakuma is ok and the other characters we haven’t seen what they can do yet.

What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments section.