Weapon selling is exciting stuff.
|So, there have already been some awesome shows out this season, but I’ve been holding out for Jormungand. It instantly captured my attention, what with its interesting duo of main characters – a child soldier and an arms dealer. I can already hear the cheers of all the feminists out there seeing as our arms dealer is a woman. Gurl power! Let’s go kick some butt, guys!|
|There was just one thing about this show that was necessary to get me excited: White Fox. That studio hasn’t done much, but it is responsible for 2 of the best TV shows of the past 2 years, 2010’s Katanagatari and 2011’s Steins;Gate. The former was undoubtedly leagues better than the latter, but both were top notch works. The underground crime setting with an arms dealer and her child soldier intrigues me and is certainly different enough from most anime, but that’s just a bonus.|
|I don’t even remember how long it’s been since I’ve caught a real action anime (…excluding Bleach, if it can be considered) because I haven’t been able to find a good one in this genre recently! But guns, blood and emo depressed kids have me very interested. （⌒▽⌒ゞ|
|Words can’t describe how excited for this I am. Arms dealers? Child soldiers? A BAMF female protagonist? This all sounds like a winning combination. Topping it off of course is the fact that White Fox is animating all of this. This sounds like an extremely win combination and hopefully this lives up to how good it sounds~.|
Meet Jonah, the child solider. He’s pretty much emotionless and he hates all weapons and people who have anything to do with weapons with a burning passion. Why? Because his parents were killed by them. A good enough reason, I guess. However, Jonah’s part is short because the next thing you know, he’s being led around by the main woman/illegal arms dealer herself, Koko. Jonah and the rest of her team meet each other with little to no introductions and the mission is explained. In short, the government found some of their stuff and now they have to get it back.
Let’s see, we have a megane, an eyepatch character, an ossan and… Yoshitake?!
It’s Jonah and Koko in one car and two other members named Valmet and Lehm in the other. While she drives, Koko confronts Jonah about his past, and points out his hatred for weapons. Apparently he also hates talking, but Koko takes everything in stride. Meanwhile, Valmet gives her opinion about Jonah… Not that she has one since their introduction was so short. Though in the conversation we learn that she’s extremely dedicated to Koko. Like, borderline yuri-level dedicated. Talking doesn’t last long though since Jonah open fires at people tailing them. There’s a phone conversation with the guys who are in charge of the people attacking (they’re called the Voschod 6) Koko and apparently their whole purpose is to stop Koko from getting to the port (they don’t want the weapons to get to the military since that would mean the country could go to war). However, the guys Jonah killed were just the beginning and the real show starts soon after.
Obviously this is what sunroofs are for.
From there on, it’s a car chase action scene. Valmet gets on top of a van with a knife like a BAMF since she can’t shoot through it and she takes care of the people behind Koko. Meanwhile, Koko and Jonah are still being chased, but Koko’s mind is elsewhere since she’s happy that Jonah just calls her Koko without honourifics. Jonah is still paying attention though and he tells Koko that the enemy has an anti-tank missile. The fist shot doesn’t connect since an explosion from Jonah diverts it’s course. During this, somehow, a stuffed animal flies into Jonah’s arms and the kid breaks his eternal poker face to laugh. That doesn’t last long though and Jonah kills the guy shooting at them. With that, the Voschod 6 are forced to retreat and Koko + the team wins. After that, Koko talks to Jonah about weapons. Yes, he hates them, but he also knows that he can rely on them. Koko tells Jonah that she can teach him to accept weapons as well. Why is she doing this? For world peace. Duh.
It’s sometime later and Jonah is still with the team. On his watch, he asks Lehm about why they all follow Koko since she’s so young (and probably insane… in a good way). Lehm just says that they all have their own reasons. The next mission for the team is to stop a convoy from trying to get in on their market… It’s also important for Koko since apparently HQ will dock her pay if she fails. The team is split up between being Koko’s backup, negotiating with the defence ministry and being the in between for Koko and HQ. Jonah goes with Koko and his alias is as her little brother (because they obviously look alike). So Koko goes to talk to the guy selling the other weapons, Kroshkin.
The talk is pleasant at first, but when Koko not so subtly tells Kroshkin to get the hell out of her market, she gets a glass pitcher to the head. Jonah reacts, but Koko tells him not to shoot and he looses his gun. Everything is still going just as keikaku for Koko though since her men have already taken out Kroshkin’s snipers. The military goes back on their agreement with Kroshkin and Jonah pulls out his other gun to kill him off. The entire thing was a success and Koko is only slightly injured.
Look into her eyes. Do it.
The dead body makes the sibling bonding complete.
This wasn’t particularly what I had hoped for but it wasn’t bad either. My main issue with this first episode was how sporadic and, well, messy the plotline was. The viewers were thrown straight into the action without any sort of bearing as to what was going on. Some shows/movies are able to pull this off quite well (Inception anybody?) but Jormungand felt like it was trying too hard to impress viewers with flashy action sequences and forced humor. Sadly, there was not enough substance to it and it sort of fell flat. This brought to mind Un-Go, which also had a similar flop on its pilot episode. Fortunately, Un-Go proved to be a great show that I enjoyed very much, so I’m hoping Jormungand will be able to pick itself up and do the same. After all, its got a super unique and kick ass story just waiting to happen, especially given the unorthodox cast of characters.
That being said, the action was straight up brilliant. All the shooting kept me on my toes and on the edge of my seat, just waiting to see what would happen next. And Jonah – Jonah was just…wow. It evoked some pretty strong emotions from me to see a child just straight up shoot somebody in cold blood, without even showing a shred of emotion. It was scary, jarring and, most of all, sad. What sorts of horrors must he have experienced that would have reduced him to such an unemotional state? He is but a shadow of youth at this point. His gaze is empty and only his smile at the sight of the stuffed animal reminded me that he is, indeed, a child. I’m a little apprehensive as to what Koko is going to do to this kid, but it should be interesting to watch nevertheless.
Clearly, this show is just oozing with potential. And lots of it. The first episode failed to impress me, but I refuse to give in. It’s going to get good. I just know it. The art was nice, character designs tight, the action sequences thrilling and the sound was boss. However, Jormungand would do good to get rid of the little rap ditty during the preview. I couldn’t take it seriously…
Well that was an… alright episode. It felt half hearted in everything, with mediocre action, a very by the books story, and not enough exposition to make the characters relatable. The character designs feel off in some way, particularly Koko, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Given the setting, the show had a very real chance to come out swinging, and I feel that it just struck out looking. Or leaned into a pitch for a hbp at best. The highlight was easily the little rap clip during the next episode preview.
That said, I am curious about Koko. Her lackadaisical attitude, breaking out in laughter during a meeting with her mates, is pretty cliche, I guess, but that’s usually a sign of something interesting underneath. And it’s not like Katanagatari – also directed by Motonaga – started off well, so I’m not ready to give up on it yet. Still, if it’s anything like that other show, it’ll be a very long time before it gets good, so I don’t think I’ll put this in my weekly queue.
…Woah. Yay I finally have a new action anime to follow this season, and this one looks like it’s going to impress. Jormungand has a great first episode – what makes it different from other anime is that it throws us right into the heat of the action, smoothly incorporating bits of character introductions throughout the episode while managing to keep the pace of the episode fast enough to capture our attention. That’s something very few anime manage to do in their first episodes.
I find myself really interested in learning about Koko, probably even more than I am about Jonah. She’s – well, bluntly put – pretty much insane. Even in one episode she had so many different persona (hehe) changes and you can already tell she has many sides to her. I’d really like to find out what makes her so respected by her team, and most of them are also batshit crazy in one sense or another. I mean, you have to be pretty awesome to get a group of batshit crazy people to follow you, right? xD Lastly, a random thought but: Is there some signed agreement between all the anime this season to have awesome OPs and EDs? Because now I have a lot of songs to wait for.
…Wow, Koko is way more feminine then I expected. I think it’s because I was expecting a voice like Jonah for her (even though I knew Shizuka Itou was her seiyuu), but I much prefer how it turned out. The rest of the characters seem amazing too though. The best part so far? Well aside from Koko’s antics, it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting any of those annoying “Nooo I don’t want to fight. Guns are scary!” characters who take up the majority of the episode with their bitching. Jonah is badass. The entirety of the team (who I don’t know their names, but I’m sure I’ll learn them later) is badass. I love all of the characters so far and their interactions.
The OP and ED are equally impressive. At first it was only the OP that I liked (and I’ll now forever associate the word ‘Boarderlands’ to guns thanks to this and that shooting game), but then I realized HOLY SHIT, that’s Nagi preforming the ED. Maybe it’s not supercell, but at least she’s still in the business. Combined with that OST, this anime has really strong music all around (…I had that preview music in my head for an entire day). As for the animation, I’ll admit that I’m normally really picky about character designs, but the weird character faces works in this anime. The action was decent too. My only complaint is that it just kind of threw all of the characters in there and expected us to follow. Sure, Jonah and Koko are easy enough to pick out, but what about the rest of the team? …That being said though, I wouldn’t want an episode wasted on long character introductions. I just hope they take the time to sort the characters out in later episodes. There are a ton of them.
So yeah, not a bad start~. It was flash and hard to follow, but I really liked the action and things got less confusing the second time I watched it. I’d love to see this flesh out as the episodes go on.