Content Warning: Sexual Assault, Threatening
A couple months ago, I shared what is perhaps the most personal recounting of any of my memories in a philosophical editorial titled I’m Hesitant to Say Me Too. Since writing that, my life has been chaotic and anxiety-inducing, combined with trying to keep up with my studies. There aren’t a lot of support lines for teacher candidates who also fall into marginalized categories, particularly involving mental health issues. Luckily (and I do say this kind of facetiously) I’ve been taking advantage of the high-functioning side of my abilities, so that I can blend in with my peers.
Before I revisit this topic, I’m going to stress that this is an editorial with philosophical charges to explore some semblance of truth. That being said, I realize that the very mission of “Me Too” when it started has been for women, and more specifically, originated as a work for women of color. I do not wish to erase their stories, their testimonies thus far, as they are very important if we are to come to any point of healing. If there is anything you take away from my thoughts here folks, listen to women of color. They do a lot more of the work of feminist thought and action than you think!
(It’s been a little over a year since I scripted the entirety of Last Waifu Standing, the ultimate review on my blog in dialogue form. Since then, I’ve been thinking about doing a follow-up to explain just what exactly was going on to inspire such perfect madness, that maybe 5 people besides me had bothered to read. While I haven’t written a lot of anime reviews since then, maybe it’s time to revisit this project before I move on. Naturally, there is only one way to explain Last Waifu Standing: in more dialogues.
Sections that I thought might be important to those who just want answers to the psychological trauma that I have put myself through in these writings are in bold.)
Content Warning: molestation, impostor syndrome, suicidal thoughts, entitlement
I wouldn’t exactly call myself the most sociable of people. Despite how loud I may be in public upon unawareness of how loud I can be, most of my friends don’t really talk to me that much. Sure, I occasionally shoot my friends a text to see how they’re doing, but that’s about it. Sometimes I feel as though the bonds I have with close friends must mean that they also see me as a close friend, when in reality I hardly make a blip on their social radar, compared to so many others in their lives.
Before I get into this review, let it be known that none of the events that happened in this anime are meant to be real. Any events that could have been related to them are purely coincidental.
Having said that, this anime takes place in a real world setting on the onset of World War II from the Japanese perspective. As I will discuss, this historical context will be crucial to my critique of it. By no means does Joker Game create a subversive take on the values that were held during that time and place, but it does give us its own critique for how the audience might learn from the mistakes of the past. I am not here to sympathize with the war efforts that transpired in Japan nor anywhere else from this time period, and if I may be so bold, neither does this anime.
So with all the cautionary things out of the way, suit up, put on your best fedora, and get to sleuthing. We got a series to crack.
Oh boy. I tried to like this show. I really did. Amazing character designs, decent clashing of different political philosophies in a literal battle setting, and plenty of animal tropes relative to the Chinese myth that started the calendar cycle that we know today. But where this gritty battle royale of our zodiac warriors looked good from the surface, the anime itself? Let’s just say that I’m disappointed.
As someone who only watched the anime and couldn’t care less about the entire genre of letting random people kill each other while some corporate organization profits off of it, I will do my best to pull some critique out of my ass about what this series meant to me, regardless of how much it under-delivered. And once we’re all done with this, I’ll reveal who my favorite of the zodiac warriors was.
So grab your best gear, choose your favorite faction, and watch out for SPOILERS AHEAD! We’re gonna do the “Cha Cha Slide.”