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.
I am a firm believer that art is better felt than explained. As such, I prefer sharing my opinions about anime based more on experience and thoroughly researched content behind my impressions, rather than describe every little element that goes into how it was made. But for a modern anime as simple as She and Her Cat, no amount of experience or research can ever be conveyed for why this is such a beautiful short. And no, it doesn’t get a pass just because Makoto Shinkai directed it.
So rather than explain to you what makes it beautiful from an observational standpoint, I will relay to you my experiences as I see them through such a simple series. And in case you thought my interview with Muco was entertaining (first of all, why?), sadly I couldn’t get Daru to help me out this time. Don’t get me wrong, cats are cool. But sometimes communicating with them is kind of strange.
What makes a good, healthy relationship? Common interests. Financial stability. Spending time together. Trust in your partner. Emotional support. Affirming affection.
These are things that we know work, because that’s how couples normally would have kindled their relationships. But these are pieces of advice given by those who have had plenty of experience with relationships, romantic or otherwise. But for the young, it can be difficult to understand how these work, frankly because they’ve never tried. Or at least… I’ve never tried.
I adore this anime original, regardless of how overly sappy it is. But as you have probably guessed by the header of this post, I don’t have one opinion on this series; I have two. If you would like to read my first opinion that’s more performative and less analytical, click here. Choose to believe whichever one you like better, but I think there’s value in both of them.
Okay, enough tooting my own horn, let’s break it down!
To myself: the “True” Lystria.
Maybe no one else knows what your review schedule looks like, but I do. You have the recent romantic hit, Tsuki ga Kirei (As the Moon, so Beautiful) slated for Tuesday. You were going to gush on and on, about why this anime is so important to the romance genre, and why it has relevance to today’s understanding of young love. How it’s a masterpiece, worthy enough to be considered in your running for Anime of the Year.
You may have adored this series, but you and I both know that there was something you hated about it too! Something you never wanted to say, because it would reveal the very flaws of your criticism, the weaknesses in your true, likable self. Well I’m here to tell the other side of your review, before you get a chance to say anything about it!
After all, if you say what you wanted to say, you would never tell her story!
I find myself in a bind as I watch the drama that unfolds in this anime. I think that ACCA‘s plot and philosophy are told brilliantly, and is very much relevant to the political climate we face today. However, I also have to admit that I am siding with the police, an entity that I strongly distrust. A very fictitious police, but police nonetheless. It’s too bad that I feel that way, because I really like this anime.
Before I get into this review, I need to set some limitations: