Mysterious Joker and his partner Hachi continue their treasure hunting travels around the world while being pursued by Detective Oniyama and other members of the police force.
When watching the second season of any series, I am concerned about stylistic changes to the characters or the premise. I shouldn't have worried since Joker 2 took right up at the unresolved plot line of Joker 1, even continuing the episode numbering from episode 14 to 26. I would have thought that A-P had made a mistake in identifying the latter half of season one except for viewing the first episode of Joker 3 (Episode 27), when Silver Heart, in one of those explanations of some trick of the phantom thief trade referred to an episode in 'season two.' So, Joker was giving out its story in doses of thirteen episodes each. The episodes divided into three parts: 1) those dippy little escapades where Joker targets some treasure for himself to flitch. These are usually the poorest items of the thirteen selections, though we get the backstory to the true identity of Dark Eye in a battle between Joker and phantom thief idols. A twisted identification, but it was a marvel to have Dark Eye undo his bandages to reveal ... no spoilers here! 2) stories involving time travel and/or flashbacks. We get the background to the identity of Shadow Joker and his knowledge of Joker as Jack Jones. It also introduces Shadow Joker's sister Rose, and the major part she will play in the overall plot. 3) the battle with Prof. Clover who succeeds in gaining control of time and begins a crime spree no one can stop, particularly the team of Joker, King, Queen, and their allies. While we see each character develop through this season, we begin to see the utter ruthlessness of Prof. Clover. His penchant for cruelty and that nasty tendency of forever being one step ahead of everyone makes him the best example of the worst villain conceivable. Little by little, we discover that the professor was responsible for the deaths of Joker, King, and Queen's parents in his mad scheme to gather a vast variety of hour-glasses. But he gains the three crystals to power his wand and gain the power over Rose, the witch who can control time, though it means a slow sapping of her life as she serves Prof. Clover. It will take all the ingenuity of Joker, aided by his nemesis Shadow Joker, to turn the tide on the supremely vicious Clover. As for animation and sound, there is no advancements or improvements on the first season, seeing that it is the extension of season one, bringing it to a proper conclusion. But subtle shifts of emphasis start to appear towards the ending episodes. Dealing with brutal Prof. Clover makes bloodshed a nuance in season two which may worsen as we enter season three. Honestly, Prof. Clover had the power to kill Joker et. al. three times each. Clover’s death (oops, this might qualify as a spoiler ... shh!) is particularly grisly. And to ruin a national landmark in the epic last battle just sours one. Hey, blow a big hole in Mt. Fuji, but leave Lady Liberty alone, okay! It's the subtle shifts which make that concern over the second season playing with the formula which made the original concept work ... this will be crucial in viewing the next season, what with new villains and an expanded cast ... plus a few old characters as that rich jerk Mr. Caneari who continues to be ever so nauseating. Even Inspector Oniyama gets old with trying to get Joker soooo arrested. But these are formula characters in the phantom thief scheme. These masters of appropriation need their opposition.
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