Every once in a while there is a gem of an anime hidden beneath a sea of mediocrity that it is often overlooked. Jormungand certainly doesn’t come across as an interesting series. The anime is about an arms dealer named Koko Hekmatyar and her band of hand-picked bodyguards. The newest member of the team is a child solder by the name of Johnathan Mar (Jonah). Ironically, Johnathan ended up working for Koko despite his hatred towards arms dealers because of her charisma and unique take on the world. Other members of Koko’s team include: Lehm, a former member of the Delta Force; Sofia Valmer (Valmet), a former major from the Finnish Rapid Deployment Force; Mao, a former artillery expert; Lutz, a former police sniper; and Ugo, a former mafia enforcer. Together, these people make up a deadly killing team and protect Koko from any threat during her dealings around the world.
Jormungand ended with 12 episodes, but a second season is in the works. The series is based off of a manga written by Keitarou Takahashi. The animation was done by White Fox (Katanagatari, Steins;Gate) with production by Geneon Universal Entertainment and Shogakukan Productions. Keitarou Motonaga (Katanagatari, School Days) directed the series while Yousuke Kuroda (Excel Saga, Phantom – Requiem for the Phantom) wrote the script. Theme songs were performed by Nagi Yanagi and Mami Kawada.
Action is the main selling point of the anime. There is everything from close-combat knife fights to sniping, and of course huge explosions. Every episode has something going on that either involves firearms or explosives. For weapons and military buffs, Jormungand is like a godsend. Koko’s team travels the world and naturally deals in weapons created from around the world, it would be difficult for any regular viewer to identify all of them.
If plenty of action isn’t enough to satisfy your anime needs, Jormungand also has a more psychological side to it. Most of the team members are laid back and often make fun of each other, but secretly have their own fears and problems. Koko is more of a puzzle though, jumping back and forth between different moods. I think the lyrics to the next episode preview song describe Koko’s personality perfectly: “her name is Koko, she is loco, I say ‘oh no’”. Indeed, Koko is one of those characters that can switch from a happy-go-lucky mood to one suited for a stone cold killer in a split second, which makes her seem erratic and unpredictable. Under the surface, however, she is very calculating and exact. It makes the world of arms dealing in Jormungand much more believable.
With all of the seriousness of the series, you would not expect much comedy, but Jormungand manages to transition into and out of light-hearted scenes rather seamlessly. A few gag characters are introduced to help change the atmosphere. One of which is a CIA agent name Shokolade. Like Koko, she has a happy-go-lucky attitude, but is far less calculating, opting to just go with the flow most of the time. Characters like these helped add to the story without taking away much of the limelight.
The only real problem with the story is that it only scratches the surface when it delves into the lives of the main characters. Koko, Jonah, and Valmet are the only characters given any real depth. Perhaps it’s a good thing that a second season is on its way; otherwise the series would feel incomplete.
If you don’t mind non-cute anime characters, then I highly recommend giving Jormungand a watch. It brings a lot of things to the table that you typically don’t find in most anime.