Saturday, March 7, 2015

Jormungand Season 1 Review

Jormungand Season 1 Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers of the first season of Jormungand. If you wish not to know some events in the story, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please leave the page, since I don't want to damage a watching experience for you.

With that said, thank you, and onto the review:

Sometimes, I go into anime with a fairly good idea what the story's about, and what might happen to our characters. Other times, I don't have as big of an understanding as I should. but sometimes, it works out for the better.

Jormungand is a show that aired in the spring and fall seasons of 2012. So around the time I first joined Youtube, and online for that matter, this show was airing. In fact, I didn't even know this show existed.

That is, until August 30th, 2013. I remember it was an early release from school that day because of the humidity we were having. After coming home from Cross Country practice, I noticed on FUNimation's blog that the cast was announced. I watched the clip they uploaded, thought to myself, "Ooo, this looks good." and watched some of it over my friend's shoulder from time to time. Then, I watched the series for myself.

I also remember the first trailer of it coming out when a good friend of mine released his Cycle 7 opening for his show. October 1st. XD

Anyways, the series was surprisingly very fun and exciting. There were a lot of moments where I was on the edge of my seat, and it was very interesting to follow Koko and her crew. (Doesn't anyone think of Need for Speed when they keep on dropping that word in the dub?) I remember Jormungand mainly for its main characters, but also for other things. This is the first show I watched with a lot of violence, the first show where it talks about arms dealers and a bit of warfare, and the first show that embarrassed me the most, mainly with the first couple minutes of one particular episode. More on this later.

Now, onto our story:


The story for this series revolves around Koko Hekmatyar, a young arms dealer who works for the company HCLI. This company does have an international trading business, but runs dealing arms on the side. Koko sells weapons in many countries, and of course, it's in secret. I mean, it's illegal under international law, and we wouldn't want to get caught, right? I thought so. ;)

Coming with her on her journeys is a highly skilled team of bodyguards/ex-military veterans/almost a reverse harem/people who kick ass and aren't sorry to. Her newest recruit comes in the form of Jonathan Mar, also known as Jonah. He's a child soldier, who doesn't range in the emotional department, yet he is incredibly skilled. However, he also hates weapons and arm dealers in general, which is ironic, considering that he now works for an arms dealer, and he carries a gun at most points throughout the series.

Koko's adventures lead her to Russia, Dubai, South Africa, London, Italy, Slovenia, and north Africa. Along with a personal quest to get revenge, main character development, and various other mishaps, this is going to be one fun ride! 

Overall, the story for Jormungand is actually interesting. They don't really repeat any formulas. One time, it may just be delivering weapons in Russia and meeting "old friends." And another time, the show focuses two episodes on trying to assassinate the assassin duo known as Orchestra. It always manages to surprise me, and that my friend, is a good thing.

Despite the show seeming to have a dark nature, there are moments of hilarity and comedy. This may come from moments in the show, or rather from some of the English dub's script lines. However, don't be fooled. When the show gets serious, it GETS serious. And the show is able to do this pretty well actually. For example, in Episode 3 when Koko and Valmet go out shopping, they are encountered by Chinatsu, 1 out of the 2 known as Orchestra. It goes from calm to relaxing, to serious at the drop of a hat.  And this produces some great thrills.

Now, I'm going to talk about some of the characters:


I won't discuss each and every member of Koko's crew, since all of them don't get development. Some of them do, but it's not as much as Jonah and Valmet. And others don't even get development whatsoever. And the ones that might not even get the chance in season 2 as well.

We'll start off with the one and only Koko Hekmatyar:

If anyone has seen the joke, "Her name is Koko. She is loco. I said oh no!" It's from one of the OST tracks called Time to Attack, which is one of my personal favorites out of the series.

Koko is a young arms dealers and is the daughter of a global shipping magnate known as Floyd Hekmatyar. She also has a older brother named Kasper, who is also an arms dealer. Though they both work for the same company, they often don't get along on similar things. Another interesting thing about them is that they were born on a shipping container at sea. So although we don't know where they're nationally from, I think they're possibly from America or Japan.

Koko is psychically attractive, known in this series for her unnaturally pale skin, long white hair, and piercing ice blue eyes. She also tries to put on her best attitude during dire situations, but you BETTER NOT piss her off.

She also has a very secret plan, one that she hides from most of her crew, except for Dr. Miami and Chinatsu, who is killed shortly after hearing it. All will be revealed in the second season. and hint, this project's name is the show's title. XD

So yeah, overall Koko is my favorite character in this show. Not only is she the source of the show's more zany moments, she is also capable of some of the best moments this show offers. I like her charisma and personality, and it would be a joy to work with her. Well, if her personality traits were implanted into someone outside of the arms trade.

And these moments are all worth it:

I'm going to move on to Jonah right now:

Jonah is a child solider of Arabic origin. After being orphaned at a young age when his parents died, he joined the mountain infantry and was assigned to a base with 4 other children. He became really close with a girl named Malka, but she was killed after she stepped on a landmine while searching for them. This caused Jonah to go berserk, and pretty annihilated the base by himself in order to avenge her death, as well as protect the others.

After being disarmed by Chiquita, Kasper's bodyguard and Lehm's former wife, he meets Kasper Heckmaytar for the first time. Kasper reveals that the particular base was going to be destroyed anyways, because it was in the way of a road that Kasper's arm trading business in Asia would benefit from. After Jonah was released from a cage after killing Kasper's men, and a test for his character, Kasper reveals that he was the person who sold the weapons that destroyed Jonah's childhood village, which makes him indirectly responsibility for Jonah's parents deaths. After Kasper makes a deal in which he promises that the other 3 children will live good lives in Japan, Jonah is employed as a bodyguard for Kasper's sister Koko. It is because of this that Jonah hates weapons and arms dealers in general.

Despite being very good with a gun, Jonah isn't very smart. He is given tutors for math by various members of Koko's crew, and he'll often try to escape. Or reply with an answer that requires the classic "We all fall down." comedy gag.

I also liked Jonah a lot. He can be a bit dumb, but he is actually pretty good with a gun, but since he was a child soldier, I guess all of that training comes in handy. Don't think of him as being too weak, because he might prove you wrong.

Last but not least out of the characters that manage to get more development than others, Valmet:

Sofia Valmer, also known by her code name Valmet, is an ex jäger (which in German, means hunter) major from the Finnish Rapid Deployment Force, who is very skilled at anything regarding knives. Since she joined up with Koko as her first bodyguard, she has developed a crush on her, aka an insane crush. She is often unsure to when Koko will return her feelings.

Her backstory in the military is first previewed in Episodes 6 and 7, and then explained in Episodes 11 and 12 when Koko and her crew go to Africa. when she was still in military duty in Africa, Chen Guoming annihilated her Finnish-led squad. She was lucky, as she only managed to come back from that attack with a missing eye. Ever since then, Valmet has always been anxious to step back onto African soil.

In the last 2 episodes, when koko and her group leave for Egypt, Valmet splits up from them to track down Chen's headquarters in North Africa, cutting her hair in the process. Since Koko was already aware that she was going to leave anyways, she send Jonah to accompany Valmet on her journey. As Valmet doesn't want anyone to join her, and would prefer to be alone, she drugs food that she gives to Jonah. However, Jonah is able to fight off it rather quickly, and is able to shoot a sniper outside of Chen's headquarters that was about to kill her. After talking to Chen in his office, both him and her get into a knife fight, which Valmet wins, and kills him successfully.

Overall, Valmet is a pretty strong character. At first, she does seem like one of those overly attached people who has a crush on someone, but she does have really strong motives in the last part of the series. Though she may seem a little selfish for not wanting any help in her quest to kill Chen, she is able to do the job, with a littler help from Jonah first.

Other characters include Koko's bodyguards (some of them are memorable, while the others not so much), Koko's older brother, his head of security, the member of the CCAT, a ruthless and comical CIA agent, his ditzy assistant, Guoming Chen, his assistant, Koko's friend who is a expert of robotics, and Orchestra. The villains, besides Chen, are a little forgettable though, so don't expect anything flawless.


The animation for this series was done by White Fox, who are also known for the pretty animation for series such as Steins Gate, Super Sonico The Animation, and The Devil is a Part Timer.

Overall, this series is very polished, and doesn't suffer from it. The best parts of the entire series have to be the action scenes. This is where the team stepped into high gear, as it looks amazing. The gun cartilages shine in the light, and there's a lot of great moments animation wise that managed to caach my attention.

Now onto the first few minutes of Episode 9, which has the most fanservice out of the entire show. and I'm not talking about the past few shows I've revealed, with boobs and butts. Oh no, I'm talking about lots of ab shots from pretty much all of Koko's crew, minus Koko since, you know, she's classy. It's one of those anime moments that had me blushing as red as a tomato, because it SO MUCH MEAT! Even Jonah is pretty muscular even for a person in his early teens, which is kind of weird.

So, it's one of these moments:

But then again, me like some manservice once in a while, so who knows? Maybe I'll get used to it.

Oh, and props to White Fox for fanservice equality.


The score for this series was composed by Taku Iwasaki, who is also know for his contributions to Black Butler, Ben-To, and Soul Eater.

When I first saw this series, and found out who the composer was, I was shocked. This score is completely different from Taku Iwasaki's efforts from Black Butler. He mainly incorporates interesting elements to this score, and it isn't as orchestral as Black Butler's pieces are. My favorites would have to be Time to Attack and Explain Music

Take a listen:

For dub or sub preferences, it's purely up to your choice, because both of them are pretty good. I did watch this show in its English dub for the most part, so I do prefer that. Besides the time in Episode 2 when Koko calls Jonah Micah, aka Micah Solusod, who does play Jonah in the English dub. XD

Mitsumi Tamura does his voice in Japanese, and does do fairly well as a male, considering her voice as Kio wasn't as good. She's one of those female seiyuus who are fairly good at playing males and females. So basically, along with Romi Park (Toshiro from Bleach), Megumi Ogata (Nagito from Danganronpa 2), and Mitsuki Saiga (Haruka From Cuticle Detective Inaba)

Highlights in the show's original Japanese are Shizuka Ito, Mitsumi Tamura, Sayaka Ohara, Unsho Ishizuka, Masaya Matsukaze, Katsuhisa Hoki, Ami Koshimizu, Saori Kato, Megumi Toyoguchi, and Gara Takashima.

Highlights in the English dub include EVERYONE! Because all of the actors give there best efforts, with the main highlights of course going to the leads.


This show isn't for people who aren't a fan of darker topics, but it still manages to bring some comedy into the mix. Overall, this show was really fun, There were a lot of intense moments that kep me hanging, and I enjoyed pretty all of what this show had to offer.

It is sad that some of Koko's crew weren't developed all the much, but hopefully at least some of them get interesting backstories that are enough to make me care for them.

Let's see if Season 2 is better, on par, or worse than the first. I'm excited to find out!

Score: 9/10


Great story.

Interesting main cast.

Nice animation.

Interesting score.

Amazing Japanese & English audio.

Intense when it needs to be.

Good balance of light hearted comedy, and action.


Not all of Koko's crew gets development.

Villains besides Chen aren't that interesting.

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