Jormungand: Perfect Order Review

This is review number one hundred and twenty five. It’s part of the Fall 2012 line up. It’s Jormungand season two. It’s about an arms dealer and her group of talented soldiers. I was a bit lukewarm with the first season but I hope the second season can clear some stuff up for me. The first season was my 36th review and now the second season is my 125th review. It’s so awesome.

Anyways, it’s Jormungand Perfect Order. It’s twelve episodes long and it’s about Koko finally revealing her hand. Let’s read on.

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Story

The anime continues the story of the arm dealer known as Koko Hekmatyar. This time though, Koko is a lot more aggressive and a lot more cunning as she attains for her big goal to be complete. The anime still features all the gun action and Koko’s brilliance. Koko is turning to a monster though, no wait. She wants to be a god.

Taking the Pants Off

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I’m completely puzzled by Jormungand. I guess I just don’t understand it and I was hoping the second season would clear some things for me. I’m not sure if it did though. I was looking for a deeper connection with Koko and I just didn’t find it. This is my humble opinion but I think this anime is shallow. It had a central theme but it only uses it when it was convenient and the constant contradictions keep me out of the loop. I’m not saying Jormungand is bad. It’s a great anime with all of its gun actions and political elements. I guess my problem is that I never once felt connected with the characters and their views/beliefs was never fully established. We are just watching a group of highly trained people walk battlegrounds across the world with this mysterious girl named Koko Hekmatyar leading them. I wanted another season because there were some things left unanswered by the first season. The main one is probably “who is Koko?” and “why is she an arms dealer?” but I guess it was never really that important.

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The second season of Jormungand continues the story of the first season. The first season was a bunch of arcs though about Koko’s occupation. There are some gun fights, people dying, some political talks and more importantly Koko and Jonah exchanging ideas about the relation of guns and humans. I didn’t like the first season because the characters aren’t really someone you’d like. Yeah, they kill people but while some characters are in the black and white area, the main characters are in the grey. One moment, you’re cheering them on and the next you’d wish they die. I wasn’t really sure which side I would choose but soon enough; I wanted the characters to die. I wanted Koko to fail at least one of her missions but it never happened. She was always on top. At first, I was amazed because she seemingly pulls off the impossible and predicts traps before anyone can set it. After a while though, she turning into a massive Mary Sue and it was getting annoying. She is too good and I don’t want to watch someone too good. I was hoping the second season would finally let her fail. I thought the second season would dive deeper on Koko and her past. None of that happened. Instead, we finally understand why the anime is called “Jormungand”.

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Eh, I’m getting too far ahead there. The anime is divided into four arcs. They are all different stories but loosely connected getting into the final episode. Each individual arcs were interesting because it was nicely paced, there was considerably good amount of action and there were moments that kept you guessing. It’s just like the first season where Koko and her gang go up against highly skilled people out to kill them but Koko would always trample them in the end. The interesting part about the second season is that it focused the spotlight on the other side of the coin. We finally get a look at the people hunting Koko like the CIA and other secret organizations. Most of the arcs also focused the story on some of the characters besides Koko and Jonah. The characters had a decent amount of screen time and we see a different side to them. Some of the most interesting parts is why the follow Koko and how they first met Koko.

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Some of the old characters are present in the anime. The one with the main role this time is Koko’s brother, Kasper. He doesn’t really do much but he was sort of like a measuring stick to gauge just how powerful Koko is because I’m sure you’re curious as well. Kasper is a cunning man with a very profit minded outlook on life so it’s interesting just where Koko is placed next to him. Maybe I’m just the one obsessing over Koko, hhmmm. There is a new character in this anime named Bookman. He’s from the CIA and he is known to control events and manipulate people. He has big plans for Koko and I was excited to see some form of authority go up against Koko.  It’s a big surprise though just how capable Koko is. If you think she was a massive enigma in the first season then prepare to be more amazed when you see the second season.

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The main core of the anime though is the continuation of that talk between Koko and Jonah. The talk about guns and humans and how war is evil but Koko makes profit from it. I didn’t pay that much attention but Koko has strong convictions about the ugliness of the world and she plans to correct it. The final arc of the anime is the best one yet as it focuses on Koko and her idealistic goals. There are talks among the characters that Koko was on the rise to become a “monster” and it will happen soon. The final arc kind of went there but did something much grander no one saw coming. I guess the one thing the anime explained that was brought up from the first season was the relation of the rockets. Remember, Koko launched a rocket into outer space and I distinctly remember that it was the OP of the first season but nothing really materializes from it. They unveiled it all here and the masterful plan Koko has set up that was stewing since the first season.

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I still have some major complaints about the anime though that was also in the first season. First of all, the characters are too perfect. They’re untouchable and I grew an unhealthy hatred towards them instead cheering them on. Perhaps that was the main appeal of the anime. The characters aren’t human. They’ll laugh and enjoy life one moment then they’d take life the next. It wasn’t appealing though. I look back at Black Lagoon and the characters, despite being dirty blood craving bastards, clearly showed where they truly stand. They make money and people die from it. The characters from Jormungand are idealistic but massive hypocrites but the anime never call them on it. I don’t like Koko because she’s too mysterious and her believes were never really explained. She hates being an arms dealer but she sell weapons. She doesn’t want people killing each other but she profits from it. Not just her, even Johan. Johan hates seeing people killed but he probably have the most kills in the anime and that just bothers me. The anime is too “human” for its own good. It painted a nice picture of people above the law doing whatever the hell they want to do.

Maybe I just didn’t get it. I’m not perfect but I tried hard to pinpoint what the anime was all about. All I can say though is that the experience for me is a bit bittersweet. There were things the anime presented that border fiction and nonfiction in a very stellar way.  Despite Koko being shrouded in mystery and her ideals wasn’t really given much explanation, it was still a thought provoking stance. This anime didn’t speak that much to me but the amount of action and political underhanded ploys was enough to keep me watching. There’s one thing I do know after watching this anime: Her name is Koko and she is definitely Loco.

Sight and Sound

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The character design is the same as the first season. The characters are muscular, even the girls, and they have detailed human features. The character design doesn’t stand out that much and the close thing it’ll remind you of is the characters from Black Lagoon. Most characters are plain though and while some anime would make their characters stand out, the ones in Jormungand had very little distinguishable look to them. Take for example Bookman. He is a fat man with glasses and he doesn’t have anything special to him upon first look. Most killers and trained soldiers in the anime look plain as well but nicely detailed nonetheless. There is a large range in terms of race and skin color though since characters travel around the world.

The fight scenes in the anime are once again pretty amazing. The position of the guns and the way the characters pose while holding guns are pretty accurate. Most guns are done in CG as well as bullets and cars but everything else isn’t. The characters die in a very nice way. It wasn’t gory and very realistic. The nice addition of blood makes some scenes very exciting.

too soon? apparently not anymore.

too soon? apparently not anymore.

The backgrounds are outstanding as well. The different countries were nicely presented in the anime. There is some nice scenery here and there especially during the calm before the storm. The nice terrains are nicely presented as well. The characters battled all over the place like in deserts, forests and urban settings. The environment was nicely utilized as well during fight scenes. There is one off putting scene though of a nicely structured WTC after the planes crashed through it. It was still nice though.

The anime’s OP is “UNDER/SHAFT” by Maon Kurosaki. It had a rock beat and Maon’s voice really stands out as she paced through the beat of the song. The OP song once again shifts from English to Japanese and I don’t understand it. Jormungand loves English for some reason. The OP sequence features all the important scenes and characters of the anime. There are some spoilers but nothing major to ruin the story.

The anime’s ED is “Laterality” by Nagi Yanagi. There was different ED on episode 3 and 7 because it highlights some pretty important parts of the anime. The regular ED is this one though. It’s a nice song with a loud beat to it. Nagi’s voice stands out though. It was an OK song but nothing really worth noting. The song nicely talks about relationships though and mysteries people. It was fitting since we don’t know a damn thing about Koko. The ED sequence features Koko and Johan in still poses with complete dark background. It was nice, I guess.

Overall Score

6/10 “It wasn’t the ending I expected but I was a nice way to end the anime.”

I don’t like the anime that much but it does still hold a lot of intrigue so if you loved the first season then you’ll surely love this one. If you love action and conspiracy theories then this anime is for you. I recommend it.

Thoughts~

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