Jormungand – The Wild World of Arms Dealing (Anime Review)

ヨルムンガンド/Jormungand Anime Review

*SPOILERS*

During the course of my being an anime fan, I often have anime titles recommended to me.  One look at a promo image from Jormungand grabbed me immediately.  That’s due to the series lead, Koko Hekmatyar, and her wickedly delicious, devilish grin that let you know, “Here’s someone you don’t want to mess with, ’cause she’ll make you regret it quick.”  Sure enough, that’s exactly the kind of character Koko is, and part of the reason why I enjoy this anime so much.

For those who are unaware, Jormungand follows the story of Koko, who despite her youth (appears to be late teens or early 20’s) is a top arms merchant for her father’s company, HCLI.  She has a superior intellect and is able to think on her feet, both strategically and tactically. She’s also able to quickly size up potential, as she has recruited a squad of bodyguards from militaries all over the world, as well as one former mafia driver. Her latest recruit, taken from her older brother Kasper, is a former, highly skilled boy soldier named Jonah, whom Koko treats like a dear, younger brother, making sure to see he is educated. For his part, Jonah took the job to protect some fellow kids, but has grown to care for Koko and the others.

At present, there’s no large, overarching plot that I can tell. Stories are mostly self-contained, taking however many episodes they need to get the job done. The stories tend to fall into one of two categories — Koko and her team are trying to make a delivery and run into trouble, or Koko and/or her team are targets for assassination due to the fact that they are arms dealers.  While the story premises may be similar, they do not feel the same at all, each one being as unique as something in real life might be.  The stories have plenty of action and humor, but time has been taken to develop characters such as Jonah, Mao, Valmet, Ugo, and of course, Koko.

While the stories are good on their own, it is the Koko character that puts the series up on a higher level for me. Her strategic and tactical thinking always keeps her several steps of the opponent. She knows when to fight and when not to fight.  She takes care of her team, and in turn, they take of her, some even calling her “ojou,” which could be translated as “princess.”  As such, her team is very much like a family to her, and you don’t mess with her family.  Her team know how to read her perfectly, thus when the stuff goes south and all she can do is give silent signals, they know what to do, resulting in their opponents dying.

During some of the flashbacks when characters were getting fleshed out, we see that even as a young teen, Koko had the ability to size up people and get the best for her team. I think of an episode where her team gets targeted by a 2-man assassination team.  After they kill the one person, the remaining one vows revenge and shows great skill in staying alive, to say nothing of escaping Koko’s people. However, Koko anticipated when this person would make an attempt on her life if she stayed put, thus allowing Koko to make the person a job offer since Koko saw potential in this person, even though this person had been hired to kill her.  I found that to be amazing, and from then on, the show was gold for me.

Since the other central character is the former boy soldier, Jonah, the series spends a lot of time with him. Since he caught Koko’s eye after learning what the boy did to try to protect some orphaned kids, whom the military were going to use for things like walking minefields, she made him her chief bodyguard. Having a kid amongst a group of adult mercenaries wouldn’t work except that Jonah’s sixth sense in battle, combined with his excellent soldiering skills, have caused the others to accept him as an equal despite the age difference.  As such, Jonah’s being a kid doesn’t have the negative affect it might otherwise bring, and I loved that as well.

Even as I write this review, I find myself wanting to go back and rewatch the series, a mark for me of a really good show. I’m really glad there’s a sequel coming out soon because even if there isn’t an overarching plot, I want to know more about Koko’s team as well as Koko herself.  With this series ending by showing that one of Koko’s team members is actually a CIA mole, I’m really looking forward to seeing how Koko deals with that, especially if she actually already knew of it and wanted to keep a potential enemy under her keen eye.  There’s so much potential here for all kinds of wicked goodness. ^_^

This anime works its way into the “must have” titles, and one that I’m pretty sure I’ll rewatch prior to the new series coming out.  Interesting stories, good action, good drama, good humor, and an excellent main character in Koko make for a winning combination all the way around.

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7 Responses to “Jormungand – The Wild World of Arms Dealing (Anime Review)”

  1. evgenidb says:

    His name is Jonah, not Johan. You switched ‘h’ and ‘n’.

  2. evgenidb says:

    Btw, you should try “Phantom – Requem for the Phantom”. I’d say it’s somewhere between Jormungand and Fate/Zero (and I know you loved both of them). Here’s a trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0q9ai3dzVag

    And it has a nice OST: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRFWRvtrG0M
    OP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3vq3WH4Xn8

    And on the Level-E note (once again, fufufu), here’s a short clip from the first episode (the alien with amnesia trolling everyone else in the room): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kveVcwuzSEc

  3. evgenidb says:

    Well, it’s worth watching them. Phantom even got some inspiration from the movie “Leon”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A9on_(film) (for the young Cal)

  4. […] I mentioned during my review of Jormungand, I was drawn into this series thanks to promotional images featuring the series lead Koko […]

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