So we’ve made it to J, and here is something that I’ve realized so far thanks to this A to Z challenge: there are so many amazing anime out there that I had never heard of! I never started following seasonal anime until around.. Spring 2017? Before that I just found anime from anytime through MAL tags, recommendations, etc.
There is just an entire world of anime out there, and I haven’t heard or seen so much of it. I’m starting to think that focusing on seasonal anime too much has hindered my ability to find these other great anime out there. Who would have thought that just looking for anime alphabetically would turn out so well?
The anime this time is Jormungand & Jormungand: Perfect Order.
You may have guessed that I enjoyed this anime, thanks to this introduction. I’m not very good at holding my opinions until later on in the review am I? I guess the other question here is: why wait? Not that I have an answer to that question.
No major spoilers for this post!
What A Cool Anime!
Cool is the best word I can think of to describe Jormungand. I know, I have a great vocabulary. It’s what makes me such a professional in the anime review scene. Good vocabulary is paramount to success in this field, let me tell you. I studied the English language for well over a decade, so I would know.
Anyways, it’s a cool anime.
I feel like it’s been a while since I watched an anime like this one. The characters, setting, style – it was all just so COOL! There were so many moments where I thought to myself: “Damn, this is awesome!” which for me translates to: “I’m so glad I decided to watch this anime!”. Just so many badass / cool / awesome moments.
Jormungand is that anime that made me excited to keep watching. Thoughts like: “This is great, and there are still X episodes to go!” in excitement (only to be disappointed when I’ve watched them all…).
Jormungand is a very cool anime.
Let’s explore what makes this anime so cool.
Weapons! Arms Deals! Action!
Jormungand follows skilled arms dealer Koko Hekmatyar, and her elite guards, as they travel the world selling weaponry. Of course, arms deals have the potential go sour, and this is where a bulk of the action comes in! It’s a dangerous profession, but someone has to do it right?
It’s just a very neat concept. I can’t recall many stories that follow an arms dealer. Stories willing to follow a main character who prescribes to questionable ethics. The role allows the anime to travel the globe and create some amazing situations… from contract killers after Koko’s life to government agencies attempting to thwart our heroine’s plans.
What Jormungand manages to do very well is take a modern world, inject a whole lot of action, espionage, geopolitics… but still feel believable. Maybe some aspects could be considered a stretch, but the anime just does a great job of answering questions as well as creating a world where conflict feels like a very regular occurrence.
It’s a great and simple formula. Koko & crew visit a location for an arms deal or some other reason, conflict / action / espionage / mind games ensue, and then they move onto the next location. It works well, and it flows well. Nothing felt forced or rushed. Add in a few major plot points that develop through all of this, and you’ve got a great anime from start to finish.
If the anime spends all its time following Koko and her crew, naturally they better be an interesting bunch – and they really are.
Koko Hekmatyar is a very interesting character by herself, interesting enough that I believe I will write another post just for her. In summary though, Koko is a quirky, genius arms dealer who does her job with a smile – but there is much more to her than meets the eye.
Koko’s elite crew are also great. The crew reminds me a lot of The Expendables – a group of veteran badasses from all corners of the world, each an expert in their own function – but all deadly with a weapon. There is a lot of great banter amoungst the crew, and most of the time its a fun environment that we see – until they need to get serious. So basically that whole “badass mercenaries” thing that I’m sure you’ve all seen before at some point.
Aside from Koko Hekmatyar, our second main character is Jonah. Former child soldier, taken in by Koko to be one of her guards. Jonah is sort of an interesting one. He’s quiet and composed, doesn’t talk much – but you can tell he is always carefully observing his surroundings. A great character for us to follow, because he serves as our liason to Koko & crew, and everything that entails. As things are explained to Jonah, they are also explained to us, the viewer. The same questions Jonah may be asking or thinking, so are we. The quiet curiosity of Jonah really improves the viewing experience.
My only issue with Jonah is that his character’s morals don’t really get fleshed out as the anime progresses. He starts out with a strong position on weapons, war, and arms dealers, but the anime doesn’t really go anywhere with it – Jonah just goes with the flow for most of the anime. So maybe there was some opportunity there, maybe not. The rest of his character is consistent and good enough that I’m not really bothered by this.
Just Great Quality Throughout
Jormungand has just enough layers to keep me invested throughout.
When there isn’t some intense action occurring, the anime is delivering on some juicy plot developments – introducing new potential enemies, revealing new intel, explaining new info relevant to Koko / dealing arms. The “downtime” inbetween the action doesn’t even feel like downtime.
Jormungand gets quite involved with intelligence agencies and other sophisticated enemies. This opens the door to some equally sophisticated conflicts that involve mind-games and strategic planning. This aspect reminds me a lot of The Bourne Identity & sequels – when there isn’t action, the movie is showing us all of the intense behind the scenes occurences: planning, espionage, etc. as the intelligence agencies monitor and try to outsmart Jason Bourne.
Only in our case it’s not Jason Bourne, but Koko Hekmatyar.
Going to cut this review there, because I’d like to write more in another post about Koko Hekmatyar, which will include spoilers.
As for the rating, I would say that both Jormungand & Jormungand: Perfect Order are a bit underrated on MyAnimeList. I quite enjoyed this anime series – I would have loved to see a prequel showing Koko’s beginnings and growth as an arms dealer too! I guess that’s probably not happening though.
I’d like to award Jormungand & Jormungand: Perfect Order with the Most Cinematic Anime award, for feeling like an intense and action-packed movie from start to finish!
And that’s all for anime J!
Up next is anime K: Kujibiki Unbalance!
Until next time.
Thanks for reading!