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.
Before I get into this review, I have one disclaimer: I never grew up with Sega. I’ve done as much research as I could about what this series has to offer, but to Sega fans out there, please excuse my naiveté.
Regardless, it is fun to watch. Truth be told, Sega is still making games, but this anime is based on the light novel series, Sega Hard Girls, which imagines all of Sega’s consoles anthropomorphized as girls. Sega Hard Girls would later become part of a crossover with Superdimension Neptune, but never mind that. This is an anime review!
So with that, grab your controllers, bring some extra change with you, or download those mobile apps. For this review, we will be revisiting Sega’s library of games with the Sega Hard Girls (and their chibi counterparts) as they take on one last task: to graduate high school!
So here we are again, at anime’s take on the Sengoku period. Now I have covered this historic period extensively as it relates to anime, some adaptations better than others, granted. But this time, the series uses the classical art form of chojyugiga to tell the tale.
Now I’m not exactly an art history buff, but chojyu giga is a Japanese art that was printed on scrolls depicting humans as animal caricatures. The art began around the 12th and 13th centuries, but you may find an artisan today who still makes them. Chojyu giga may not be manga as we know it today, but its style has influenced manga in a lot of ways. The very attachment to anthropomorphism of regular human beings (albeit political figures for the purposes of this series) is one of the more obvious examples to me.
Chojyu giga are considered masterpieces of Japanese culture today, so they must be revered in high regard. But if this anime is any indication of how these works of art are to be treated, they are far from being an art style for the elite noble classes. On the contrary, the ones shown here are satirical political cartoons.
With so many new kinds of anime and manga out there, it’s hard to imagine that there would be any remakes or reboots. But whether fortunately or unfortunately, the industry has its fair share of those, too. And while fans often mistakenly believe that one show is inspired by (or for some critics, completely ripped off) another, here is an example where that is actually true.
Based on the works of the legendary manga/anime creator Osamu Tezuka, Young Black Jack serves as the prequel to the story about the famous anime doctor gone rogue. The original series is so popular, my Japanese language professor collected the manga volumes when she was growing up! (Okay, I admit that that’s no indication of how popular it is.) But before you start complaining how this anime is a rip-off of one of the most recognized anime of all time, may I remind you that it is still produced by Tezuka Productions and is therefore considered an official work under the same name. But I’m not here to discuss the comparisons between this Black Jack and its original. Here, I will be talking about how Young Black Jack pays homage to its history, both as part of the Black Jack series, and its real-time history in the setting.
Disclaimer: the events in Young Black Jack are still considered fiction. That includes all of the characters that are found in its narrative.
At last! I have done 100 of these anime reviews! And while I would like to make this a huge deal, there isn’t really anything format-wise that’s different about how I’ll go about this review, other than it just so happens to be the 100th.
Recently I have talked about shows with a focus on Community, Friends and Family, and Romance. And as I get ready to wrap up for the year, I find it best to tie everything together with something that has sentimental value to me, and under those same themes. But you’re probably not reading this for my sake (as it should be), so without further ado, I’d better get down to this. Because let’s face it, I really don’t like having writer’s anxiety!
This has been me for the past two months!