Jormungand : guns, child and crazy weapon dealer… review of an exploding cocktail

The second season of Jormungand will start in a few week, so I had to catch up the few episodes I hadn’t watched yet. All cleared. My verdict: an explosive mix of action with original but cool animations, crazy leads but somehow a forgettable rest of the cast (including the antagonists).

But the question is, did I enjoyed it? A lot. This was a funny action-packed ride. You don’t watch Jormungand for the character development or relations (even if there are interesting ones), but the adrenaline emanating from it. Each episode have a fight of some kind. Well, let’s review now.

Summary: Jonah is a child soldier and he is hired by Koko Hekmatyar as a soldier of her cool protection and action team. As a weapon-dealer, she travels the world to sells these deadly products and many people wants to see her death. The CIA, represented by the fool mouthed Scarecrow and the glutton cute Chocolate, also  sees her as a threat. Many assassins are sent to eliminate her.

Fortunately, Koko also have a team to protect and help her: Valmet, the woman soldier, specialist in knife fight, infatuated with Koko; Lehm, the veteran bodyguard sniper who used to work for Koko’s father; Mao, a Japanese solder who let his family behind; Lutz who was in the anti-terrorist police and is disgusted with killing people; Ugo, the ex-mafiosi who  drives the car; and e few others less meaningful. Now, let’s review.

Story: The story is divided in mini-arc of one or two episodes each. There is probably a more complex story coming for the season two, but here it looked like “monster of the week”, or “assassin of the week” in this case. Even thought, these mini-arc were entertaining. Like I’ve said in the introduction, this isn’t an anime worth watching for the storytelling or the characters development, it’s fun to watch for the action. We have a little character development and the behind story of a few characters, particularly Valmet and Jonah, a bit of Koko’s past too, but that’s all there is.

I understand that as a weapon-dealer, she have to keep a number of trained soldier by her side for protection, but the little number of episode (12) don’t let place for the development of each one of them. On the other hand, This isn’t a serie that should be more than 25 episode (season two is coming after all) and the second season will probably be more linear than episodic.                                                                                                   Note: 7 on 10

Characters: Like many others bloggers have stated, what we retain of this anime is “her name is Koko, she is loco I said oh no!”, because Koko is what hold the show. Sure, Jonah is interesting and his reactions are funny to watch, the fact that he is a child could have been shocking, but sice he is sometimes threated as a child it become less deranging. The author puts in the story other young killers, but the show don’t really focus on this side of the reality, more on the gun fight and cool tactics moves. So, Koko is the real main character here, even if we follow the point of view of Jonah. Koko is interesting: a young beautiful and cunning woman, a genius of business but with a crazy side. Sometimes too crazy, it become ridiculous, but she is fun to watch.

Well, Koko isn’t the only crazy character around…

Valmet, who have one of the only background and characters development of the serie, is interesting. She is absolutely in love with koko, and is so cute with her, but she is also a very well-trained soldier and is serious in battle. I would have liked to have more of Lehm back story, he seems to had an interesting life and is the down-to-earth of the team. The others member are quite forgettable. Lutz is pretty cute, but we don’t get to know him much. The antagonist were forgettable, “bad of the week” style. The first assassins from orchestra were funny, but other than that… The CIA couple, Scarecrow and Chocolate are also funny, but there isn’t much to say about them. Not much to say, is like many of the characters  .                                                                           Note: 5 on 10

Graphics and animation: The graphics of Jormungand aren’t your usual “anime-style”, they are original and gives a little touch to the show. It’s a bit strange at first, be after getting used to it, it gives a special vibes that I really like. It gives a more brutal look to the show. There are also little detail added here and there for the artistic touch, like a view like the camera was full of blood. The many guns and weapon seems to be depict quite realistically (well, as far as I know), idem for cars or building. I really liked the background: in the desert, it feels like the desert and Europe looks like Europe, which isn’t always the case in animes. The animation were fluid, the battles exciting, and the characters had normal movement for the most. I can says the graphic side of the show was really good.                                Note: 9 on 10

Sound and  music: The sound of Jormungand is excellent. I even bought it! A mix of many musical style: electro, classical, middle-east voice, a bit of rap, calm guitar, etc. It also really fitted the serie. I usually don’t really listen to background anime music, but this one was really well made and is fun to listen to. The Op was dynamic, fun but a bit cliché for the genre, with the gratuitous English, but somehow fitted well. The ED was a cute calm music, but not really special either. Sound was gun fight. I’m kidding, but nothing to add on this register.                                                                   Note: 9 on 10

Enjoyment factor: the enjoyment factor is really important when reviewing an anime. Why? because some anime don’t have a great story neither great characters, the plot isn’t complicated or mysterious but they are fun to watch. Jormungand is in such categories. I liked it a lot, I liked the characters, even if they don’t get development, I like the fights, I like the concept, I liked the music, brief, I liked it a lot! I’m really looking forward the next season ( in a few week!) so this anime was fun. It’s not for everybody and it have many flaws, but it’s still good enough for me.                          Note: 8.5 on 10

So, overall, Jormungand have many flaws, don’t have any development between the characters and poor antagonist, but it is fun to watch. So if you are looking for an action-packed anime with funny side and original animation, this is for you. If you are looking for deep story, nice people or development, go watch something else. This is a crazy ride with many explosive moments involving guns, weapon, a child soldier, crazy weapon dealer, lesbian veteran, brief, an exploding cocktail on the screen!

Final Score: 77 on 100

Koko’s twisted fantasy…


Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita: about fairies

Fairies are scary: it’s all I’ve understand of this summer strangest anime, Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita. The twelfth episode aired this week and I think it was the last one, so I’m good to do the final full review of it. But I’ll do it later on, since for now we will have a look on the fairies in the Jintai world.

Like I said previously, fairies are scary creature. During the whole serie, we only grasp a bit of their mysterious powers and abilities and in the end we didn’t learned much about them. We know that they like sweets and sugar, they reproduce by having fun, they can build anything with… well… any material (pineapple power supply anyone?), they tend to be naively cruel, they can play with the spatial-temporal continuum (freaking paradogs….), create clones and can erase memories. They also tend to function as a whole group, but are also individual (but they look quite the same… except McFarlan). I’m not sure if  their abilities are the result of magic powers or technology. After all, someone have said “At some point, technology is done so well that it looks like magic” or something around theses lines. It’s probably a mix of the two. After all, science can be seen as magic demystified.

Another thing about the fairies: they seems to bring some kind of luck to the humans (the few human in reality…) who live around them. In the “Lost Space Probes” arc, Watashi receive a strange book from the fairies in which they explain the whole concept of how much hope you can have in dangerous situation if fairies are around… and the despair if there are none. Watashi herself had the help of fairies many time in the story, but it often turns out to get her in some other sort of trouble. I don’t really understand if this luck is intended from the fairies or if it’s a side effect of their presence around. After all, why would they help the humans if it don’t bring them more fun?

Talking about fun, hedonism is the fairies way of life, but not exactly on the same level as an human being. Fairies are hard worker: they like to build thing and like the the feeling of well-done work. On the other hand, they will only work if they think it’s fun to do it, if there is pleasure at the end of the line. All their action are directed toward the goal of having more pleasure, be it from the sweets or from fun situations. Their vision of the world isn’t exactly like ours. All this fun, on a second level, can be seen as the main goal of life itself in reality: to maintain the species and procreated. Ok, it seems wrong like this , but don’t forget that fairies procreate (or  maybe they reproduce by division like cells….) when they have fun. The more they have fun, the more fairies there are.

The fairies are technically superior to humans, they could wipe them out of the planet, but they are also kind of dumb when taken individually. Their high number is their force, but on the other hand they need humans to make sweets (refined sugar is hard to find in the nature…). Some human seems to never have seen any fairies at all, but it could be because of the fairies capacity to erase the memory. They are weak individually, but together they can make great thing… and create great disasters. Like humans… The author of the serie (and of the light novel published before) probably wanted to makes a deformed reflection of the humanity. The ninth episode on the island is a good example of this: when there are too many fairies in a place, the weeks are bullied. When they talk about creating their own nations, what pops in the fairies mind is control and nations struggle. They created great things together, build whole functioning facilities, even created OGM, celebrate their government and finally polluted the water and the earth, build huge (on fairy size…) monuments and destroyed all the natural resources of the island… This episode alone is like a fable on the human capacity to makes the better and the worse and the fairies of this episode are the perfect reflection of our own capacities and flaws.

And let’s not forget their ultra creepy side. First, their twisted moral. Even if I have said they are our reflection, fairies are really different on many aspect.  The fairies don’t have any moral, well they have one, but it’s on a  different scale from ours. Since all they want is to have fun, they don’t really care if someone gets hurt in the process, they don’t really have any sympathy for others,  fairies or humans. It’s above their creepy way of talking about death and starving with this big smile, it’s in their comportment itself. For example, making many clones of Watashi, even if she said it was wrong, all of this only for their own pleasure of making more sweets. Cloning is already in the gray area of moral, but doing it only for pleasure is really special. On the other hand, pleasure is their survival key, so we can extend it to the fact they have made clones for their own survival… but since there are other way to have pleasure, it’s still wrong to do it, we can’t say the ends justify the means…

don’t take the cloning banana!

And the creepiest of all: the completely f*cked up scene of the fairies playing with a severed head (or something that looks like it…) without any link to anything in any episode….

So, that was my little essay on the Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita fairies. Even if this an anime with pastel colors and cute characters, this is nightmare fuel for many people out there, including me… Crazy fairies….

An updates on anime: Binbougami ga and Joshiraku dropped

Well, time goes on and I’m late with all the anime I wanted to watch for the summer season… I’m late on one episode of Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, I’m late on five for Natsuyuki Rendezvous, I’ve dropped Binbougami ga! and Joshiraku (fun to watch, but boring to review…) and I’m trying to catch up Sword Art Online, but failed to do so… Well, since many summer anime end in two weeks (october is coming soon, so new animes too!), I’ll probably make one big review for the whole anime instead of multiple little ones. I guess SAO is like Accel World and will last for 25 episodes or so (yes, no?)

Why did I stopped watching Binbougami ga? It was getting boring. I like to watch it once in a while, but since I have less time for animes, I prefer watch more awesome anime in my free time than this. I don’t like the whole “drama” insert here and there and the main girl is a complete bitch, so I don’t feel anything when she start to cry. The bishonen in her classroom (I don’t remember his name… the one with the big poor family…) is boring and don’t have any personality at all, well like every supporting characters: they are unilateral and their signature jokes (the sado dog and the pervert priest for example) are getting annoying and repetitive. This is a funny anime and I liked the anime jokes insert here and there, but in a whole this isn’t anything memorable. Verdict: dropped.

In the Joshiraku case, it’s not because it’s boring, it’s more because I haven’t anything to write about it each week. It’s fun to watch and I don’t feel “dropped out” because I’m not Japanese. I also think the people who have taken their time to subbed it have great merit since it’s on a high level of Japanese speach. Why do I says that? Because many blogger on the world wide web have stated that this anime shouldn’t be view by non-japaneses people and even less translated. Sure, this is for a Japanese audience (like mostly all anime in fact!), but I can enjoy it too. True, I’ve been studiying Japanese language for a few years now and I know a lot about the Japanese culture. But like in every comedies, it’s okay to laugh at what you find funny and let the rest out! Look at Shrek: some jokes are for the children and other are for the parents. Do we tell the children not to watch it because they won’t understand the “adult jokes”? Anyway, that was my little rambling.Verdict: watching but not reviewing.

So that’s it… I’ll try makes new post as soon as I can (school, school, school…) and a resume of what I want to watch in the fall season. And let’s end this beautifully with one of the show I want to watch soon: Kuroko no Basket. Hot men playing basket ball? Yes please! (Click on the picture for full size eye candy…)

Jinrui wa suitai Shimashita 9: The Queen of Fairy Island

The rise and fall of a fairy nation on an island in the middle of a lake was the theme for the ninth episode of Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita. Of course, “Watashi” was their honored queen and everything finished in  total destruction…

This episode was a lot of fun. Watashi have find a new place to live for a few outcast fairies. They end up on an island in the middle of a lake and decide to build their new nation there with Watashi as the queen. First they build furniture and a house, but soon fields, electricity and fresh water are produced on the island by the fairies, multiplying with the happiness of work well done… But soon there isn’t work to do anymore and the fairies decide to build monument as an occupation. They use all the resources and the civilization end up in despair, the lake polluted, no more electricity and gloomy fairies sending little black clouds to the sky that makes rain falls. Finnally, Watashi and the fairies goes back to the mainland and Watashi learn that the island they destroyed was the home of three different endemic species of spiders…
All of this in 15 days…

This episode was like a fable about the end of a civilization. Think about the Atlantis or Easter Island…The fairies, in their constant search for happiness, finally bring the island through destruction. Maybe it’s a social message of what we are doing the our own planet… In fact, the legend of the Atlantis was probably a warning made by Plato about the destruction of a society if it become too decadent (no, I don’t think this is an island in the deep of the Atlantic Ocean…). The Eastern Island had great Polynesian tribes established there that consumed all their natural resources for the constructions of mohai, huge monument with human faces made from the volcano stone (but there is currently a debate about whether or not they have used all the resource for this enterprise…). WOw, that was the science corner without even realizing it! So, beware world wide society: if you uses all the resources, you will die!

Ok… sorry… I liked the fact that this episode was a lot about the fairies and their skills to made objects and grow food. Ok: how can they build huge house, monuments, trains, power stations; grow crop; sanitize water but don’t know how to makes f*cking sweets???? That’s a bit too much.

I also liked Watashi in this episode: reluctant to be their queen at first and only wanting to leave the island, she finally takes pleasure from the power and ruled her own kingdom… Without taking any responsibilities when it all falls down! A true ruler, really. The stand-alone episode was also refreshing.