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Joker Game Episode #10 Anime Review

5 min read

Joker Game Episode 10What They Say:
“Pursuit”

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
First things first. I would like to apologize for my horrible blunder last week, as I kept calling Akimasa (Wind Agency’s leader) Gamou. Honestly, the two guys looked to have very similar character designs and even though I’ve learned to differentiate all the boys from D-Agency, not so with this guys. And now they’re gone so that’s that. Thankfully this episode was about a very recognizable guy: colonel Yuuki, although he’s barely in the actual episode. Or is he? Is the episode even about him really?

This time, we follow British spy Aaron price as he intends to discover the truth behind Lieutenant colonel Yuuki. After a brief scene in which a small group of military cadets seems to be involved in a fight with a very Yuuki-like young man (he even paraphrases the future D-Agency motto), the episode proceeds rather brilliantly with Price receiving information from a man named Mashiyama. Namely, colonel Yuuki doesn´t seem to exist in any military academy record. This doesn´t add up, of course because to be a spymaster in charge of such an important agency, he’d have to be a high-ranking military officer. What’s brilliant about the scene is actually the name of the bar: Gaslight. The term, which has its origins in the 1938 play by the same name, it’s used to describe a mental manipulation technique in which a person will try to turn things around by making others doubt their sanity, memory, and perception. This, right here, says a lot about what we are going to see.

One thing I will say is this show makes you a bit paranoid. I keep watching and suspecting everything that moves or talks. We learn Price has been in Japan for ten years and is married to a very sweet Belgian woman whose ring is constantly falling off her finger and then I start thinking: but is that the truth? And what if his wife is the real spy? Maybe the entire series is a big gaslight. Anyway, even though he can´t find colonel Yuuki in the military academy records he keeps reading them over and over, and he comes across a suspicious name: Arisaki Akira, apparently one of the kanji in this name could be read alternatively as Yuuki, so he starts investigating and it leads him to the supposed love child of one Viscount Arisaki, a boy who was expelled from the military academy due to delinquency. Using his cover as a journalist, he manages to get an interview with the Viscounts’ former butler who tells him all about Akira. Seems he was a remarkable young man, from the time he arrived as a child to the mansion up until the moment he left to study at England, after his expulsion from the military school. I don’t want to go into too much detail here, but I do want to point out Captain Mansfield Cumming, his supposed teacher in England and one of the founders of the MI6. The guy is actually real (full name Mansfield Smith-Cumming) and a very interesting character at that. I found him even more interesting because colonel Yuuki does seem to be partly inspired by him. At least as far as a lost member goes and the use of a walking stick. Mansfield lost his leg and If you asked him he would tell you a different fantastic story every time, he also liked to interrupt meetings by suddenly stabbing his fake leg, so maybe he was a bit funnier than Yuuki. His boys’ motto was less elegant though. Every man his own stylo (because they started using semen as invisible ink, apparently very effective. Also, for sanitary reasons, please, do not try this at home). I do encourage you to read about Cumming, though, his life is so strange and his personality so quirky, you’d almost think it’s all fiction.

Speaking of mottos, poor Agent Price is repeating his own teacher’s motto, “a dog is more useful than a spy whose cover has been blown” when he gets arrested by the military police and taken into custody for interrogation. Except it’s not really the military police and he gets released immediately after they get what they want, that is his wedding ring, which is actually a coded ring with a list of all his informants and accomplices. So yeah , his cover has been effectively blown along with at least a dozen others, but he still can´t let it go, he needs to know if only to make sense of it all. So who is colonel Yuuki really? Do we get to find out? The truth is I don´t know. Probably not, maybe a little bit. Maybe the explanation at the end was the truth, or maybe this was the gaslight. That’s the brilliant thing about Yuuki’s methods; you really don’t have any way of finding out. He could be telling you the truth, straight face, looking into your eyes and you’d still not be sure of whether or not to believe him and this is what makes him such a great Spymaster and such a fascinating character.

We do know one thing, though, he’s definitely a gentleman and he is following a moral code of his own even if we’re not quite sure of what it is exactly. To me, the final scene was a thing of beauty and I’d never though I’d say this, but it was also pretty romantic and made me smile a little bit.

In Summary:
I keep repeating myself but this was brilliant, I seriously loved this episode. In don’t know if they’re doing this on purpose, but it almost feels like we have been getting a larger storyline all along, it’s just being hidden in the background mostly, like the real identities of these spies. Maybe that’s the whole point, only shadows and hints and we’ve gotten as much inside info as we’re going to get. That would actually be pretty cool but we’ll see. We still have two more episodes to go, although I wouldn’t say no to a second season. As it stands, this has been my favorite episode so far. The series also continue to be filed with small details, as for example, the Alice in Wonderland illustrations on Price’s office. At first I though it was jus a stereotypical “well, he’s English” kind of thing, but then again, he really did go down that rabbit hole, didn’t he?

Grade: A+

Streamed By: Crynchyroll

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