Hello there. This is review number Thirty six. I’ll be reviewing Jormungand and I’m pretty checked out as I type this so I’ll just say “Let’s read on” already. Ok. It’s twelve episodes full of guns and crazy people so enjoy.
An arms dealer travels the world selling her goods, outsmarting her competition and leaving a trail of dead bodies as she journeys.
Taking the Pants Off
This was a shocking find for me. When I saw the picture on MAL, I thought the silver haired person with a sarcastic grin on the face was a guy. I thought the anime would be a shounen comedy sort of anime. I didn’t expect the silver haired dude to be a chick. I also didn’t expect I’d love the anime so much.
Jormungand is about Koko Hekmatyar. She is a weapons dealer. Her reputation as being an amazing weapons dealer has travelled the world. Her usual clients involve the mafia, terrorists, armies in civil conflict, neighboring warring countries and powerful nations. Her line of work has danger as a familiar friend. Her weapons dealing is also illegal bordering morally wrong so she faces a lot of danger from assassins, hired mercenaries and her fellow weapons dealer. Koko isn’t alone though. She has nine skilled men working for her. They are different people from different walks of life with one thing in common; a pretty impressive blood trail. They have vowed fealty to Koko and protects her for anything threatening her life.
Nine people skilled in killing enemies combined with Koko’s amazing knowledge with guns and her perfect strategies make Jormungand an action packed anime full of brilliant moments that sets the anime apart from the rest of the anime in the Spring lineup. The anime is all about shooting anything that moves, cut any throat that isn’t yours and outsmart anyone that you don’t like. Jormungand takes a look into the world of an arms dealer. Cover ups are normal, connections from high ranking government official is everyday work and getting into life threatening situations is the status quo.
You know what the anime reminds me of? Black Lagoon. It’s another anime with the same almost identical format but with a different cast. If you enjoyed the madness in Black Lagoon then you’ll definitely enjoy Jormungand.
Ten main characters are a bit daunting though. At first I was afraid that the anime would dedicate some time to having the audience know every single character. The anime took a different approach by having the characters slowly introduce themselves as the episode progress. The episodes mostly involve Koko going to different places as she delivers the weapons the costumer ordered but suddenly being involved in the conflict. Other times, eccentric characters are hired to kill Koko and the other nine scrambles in protecting her. Some of Koko’s bodyguard specialize on a specific military craft that they would display while fighting the bad guys. The ten characters would also interact with each other so we get a glimpse of their attitude and personality. That is as far as you can go in terms of character introduction. As it stands, we have two snipers, a driver, three foot soldiers, a communication specialist, a close quarter combat soldier, a kid and Koko herself.
Thankfully though, we are able to relate with one of the characters and so far, the other lead character next to Koko. We have Jonathan Mar who is the newest addition to the group. A young boy who is battle hardened and displays an expressionless face. He is highly skilled in combat though and his experience in the battlefield proves useful to the group. He and Koko share the most dialogue in the anime. The audience often sees the anime in his eyes as he is unfamiliar with the world of arms dealing. Koko would share her ideals and world view to the kid as if humanizing the bloody world of a weapons dealer.
Plot isn’t really that important here. There is no main plot. There is just a bunch of episodes dedicated to certain conflicts and trouble Koko gets involved in. The anime is mostly action. It’s just a bunch of action episode after episode. The anime follows a simple format. We meet some awesome individuals who try and kill Koko. We see them fight. We see Koko display her brilliance. Then we see her win. That’s basically Jormungand in a nutshell.
The anime isn’t perfect though. Actually, I would say that Koko is too perfect. The anime have some recurring characters and some other group that share the same job description as Koko. There is, however, no main villain in the anime. Here’s the problem: Koko always win. The bodyguards she hired are too good. At some point in the anime, I wanted her to lose but the anime never even thought about it. There wasn’t even a single moment where Koko was in a dire situation. She is always three steps ahead and watching the anime the first time, it was an awesome thing to watch. Seeing the same thing happen after nine episodes is boring. I realize that ten characters really are too much and the enemies they fight are often nameless nobodies. Those that have an awesome presence are often duos or trios. Think about it, three against ten. That’s not fair.
Without a sense of danger or a chance for the enemy to overwhelm the Koko and her bodyguard, the anime is just a mindless shoot ‘em up anime. There is no main plot so the least they could do is have the one time enemies at least overwhelm Koko. Sadly, she is the master puppeteer and no one leaves the stage without her permission. There was one scene where one of the character was about to die. They cut it at the episode and continued on the next one. I was jumping for joy to see atleast one of the bodyguards die but for some reason, he lives. So stupid. The one sided killings have to stop. At least have one character injured and bed ridden for a while.
I hope season two isn’t one sided as the fights in season one. Yes, the anime has another season with the last episode of the anime introducing us to the CIA. Who else wants to see Koko die? I do.
Sight and Sound
The anime reminds me a lot of Black Lagoon. The character design is bulky and heavily muscled. It’s no surprise since they are former army guys. It’s your typical action characters like the one in Ghost in the Shell. They are bulky but they have their own distinct character design.
CG is rampant here. From the beautifully designed helicopters to the weapons the characters use. The background is amazing though. The anime captured the world perfectly. Koko travels a lot and each setting is certainly unique. The weapon, the military backgrounds, the settings, the outfits, the visuals sets the atmosphere of the anime really amazingly.
The opening song does fit the anime nicely. It has the same action feel as the anime. The first few lines are sung in English though and I got two different fansubbed anime. I noticed that they all have different English interpretation to the English lines which is pretty sad. Some poor shmuck learned Japanese only to fumble on encoding English. I don’t blame them because the lines are barely audible. “Borderland” by Mami Kawada is a nice fit. The opening sequence does a great job of summarizing the anime too. No spoilers but great choice of introducing the one shot characters.
The ending song, “Ambivalentidea” by Nagi Yanagi is more serious and sad though. At times, they would have the face of the characters that died appear as the ending credit plays perhaps triggering some emotional response from the viewers. They got none from me though.
5/10 “Action packed anime with a great cast.”
I love mindless shooting and nameless background characters being killed by the main characters. I love deep talks about government shady dealings and the likes. I love Koko’s devilish look with her creepy smile. The anime works out well and if you want some action anime to get the blood and the brain going then this anime will do it. I recommend it.