Jormungand is a twenty four episode anime series based on Keitaro Takahashi’s comic books. Manga Entertainment has recently released a two disc DVD set collecting the first season and has plans to bring out season two (dubbed Jormungand: Perfect Order) during the tail end of August. That’s convenient given that my birthday happens to fall around that same time. Given how impressed I was with Jormungand’s first dozen episodes I’ll be sure to purchase Perfect Order as a gift to myself. In case you are wondering, I share the same birthday as The King of Pop. Free virtual cookies and high fives if you can deduce my D.O.B.
The series follows the business dealings of Koko Hekmatyar (not to be confused with the chocolaty cereal promoted by a cartoon simian.) Koko is the daughter of a wealthy businessman and an entrepreneur in her own right, after establishing herself as one of the globe’s prominent arms dealers. Selling weapons can be a risky venture so Miss Hekmatyar has assembled a formidable squad of bodyguards to protect her pasty hide from dissatisfied customers and hostile business rivals alike. The group she has hired, whose ranks include ex-military and law enforcement agents, are so skilled that they could give the A-Team a run for their money.
When the show kicks off viewers are introduced to Koko’s newest underling named Jonah, who happens to be a child soldier of Arabic descent. After being raised in a war-torn region Jonah has a deep hatred for guns, but is forced to serve under Miss Hekmatyar after being blackmailed by Koko’s scary brother. Despite being polar opposites, Koko is gradually able to win over her young protector’s admiration, as there is something captivating about the way she carries herself. Her angular features, skill at manipulation and insane personality make her sound like a villainous character, but she is nothing like a stereotypical weapons merchant. Rather that strive for profit it’s implied that she is using her position to orchestrate world peace. An arms dealer who wants to cease world conflict? What’s next? Microsoft to stop selling software at exorbitant prices?
The set’s twelve episodes range from adventures were Koko is pursued by assassins to stories were she uses her wits to trump rival dealers. I liked how a good chunk of the set’s content included two parters, as it gives the plot lines ample time in which to develop. Although Koko’s team is fairly large in size some effort is made to give all the cast screen time, whether via flashbacks or by tying their current mission to some aspect of a character’s past. From the group I especially liked Lutz (a sniper who refuses to harm girls and often suffers buttock injuries) and Valmet the one-eyed knife expert who morphs from a cold-hearted killer to a giddy schoolgirl whenever in the presence of her attractive boss.
My rating for the first season of Jormungand is five stars. It’s a darn sight smarter than the likes of Dragonball and One Piece, which Manga are presently bringing out, but sadly I doubt it will sell anywhere near as well. If you enjoyed Black Lagoon this show should be right up your alley, as it features plenty of brutal violence dished out by a cast of quirky characters. Jormungand also reminds me a little of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex as the manner in which Koko’s team competently tackle their missions is very similar to what you would find in a story featuring Public Security Section Nine. There’s no excuse for missing out on this show, especially as buying the DVD from Amazon is much less risky than purchasing arms from a pale psychotic lady.