Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Jormungand: Perfect Order - 08

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If it seems as if there’s one character in Jormungand that’s always a step ahead of everyone else, that’s because there is.  Her name is Koko, but I don’t think she’s loco at all.


In Norse mythology, Jörmungandr (Old Norse: Jǫrmungandr, pronounced [ˈjɔrmuŋɡandr]), often written Jormungand, or Jörmungand and also known as the Midgard Serpent (Old Norse: Midgarðsormr), or World Serpent, is a sea serpent, the middle child of the giantess Angrboða and the god Loki. According to the Prose Edda, Odin took Loki's three children by Angrboða, the wolf Fenrir, Hel and Jörmungandr, and tossed Jörmungandr into the great ocean that encircles Midgard. The serpent grew so large that he was able to surround the earth and grasp his own tail. As a result, he received the name of the Midgard Serpent or World Serpent. When he lets go, the world will end.

[gg]_Jormungand_-_20_[D7F99C9C].mkv_snapshot_00.44_[2012.11.28_20.55.17]This is one of those episodes that’s frankly rather difficult to talk about as someone who’s read the Jormungand manga.  It’s pretty obvious that the current scenario, being as it brings together many characters and threads that have run through the first 20 episodes of the series, isn’t just another arc.  It should also be pretty obvious to anyone who’s watched those 20 episodes that Koko isn’t the sort of person who thinks small.  “A rolling stone gathers no moss” indeed, and Koko is always rolling through life, never sitting still long enough for her rivals and enemies to fix her in their sights. 

[gg]_Jormungand_-_20_[D7F99C9C].mkv_snapshot_04.00_[2012.11.28_20.58.52]It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, either, that when Koko comes up with a scheme she considers important enough to only tell one other person about, that person should be Dr. Manami.  Make what you will of Koko’s statement that she only has one friend, and Miami-san is her – but it’s definitely fair to say that Koko’s relationship with Dr. Miami is different than it is with anyone else.  With her it’s no quarter asked, none given – the two oddballs operate as equals, and are seemingly the only other person each can make that statement about.  And like Jonah, Dr. Miami is a person who hates weapons who’s closer to an arms dealer than to anyone else.  It says something about Koko’s charisma that this should be the case.

[gg]_Jormungand_-_20_[D7F99C9C].mkv_snapshot_04.32_[2012.11.28_20.59.23]If it seems as if I’m making small-talk here it’s because I am, for obvious reasons.  So let’s talk about Jonah, who can now add Dr. Miami to his list of admirers (Chinatsu, Dr. Maggie, Schokolade, Chinatsu, et al).  “He’s so cute – I want a Jonah!” is pretty unambiguous – as is Koko’s “You can’t have him!”  Valmet’s jealousy of Jonah is hardly surprising, but Koko has her reasons for clinging to him – it’s clear that Jonah has picked up the signals that something big is afoot, and if there’s anything Jonah doesn’t like, it’s being out of the loop.  Indeed, it’s been pretty obvious all season that Jonah was growing ever-more reflective about his strange lifestyle, and the woman who, in his own preternaturally precocious words, is “Always right next to me – but I can never reach her.”

[gg]_Jormungand_-_20_[D7F99C9C].mkv_snapshot_05.09_[2012.11.28_21.00.00]Pretty much the entire surviving cast has taken notice of Koko’s involvement with Dr. Manami’s new factory – Amalia Trohovsky, Scarecrow, Bookman (of course) Col. Hinoki…  And then there’s Curry, who tells Dr. Miami that he’s getting out of the game because warfare has passed him by.  But the other Hekmatyar sibling isn’t idle her, either – he’s unveiling H & C Logistics International’s new “HCLI Global Grid” – a new way of providing logistical support to armies all over the worlds that will change warfare forever.  But Koko doesn’t seem very interested in this at all, something Jonah picks up on at once.

[gg]_Jormungand_-_20_[D7F99C9C].mkv_snapshot_05.16_[2012.11.28_21.00.07]One thing I always say about Jormungand is that no matter how complex the story is, it never cheats – it doesn’t give the audience a lot of help but it doesn’t trick them either.  Everything you need to know you can know, if you’re watching closely enough and reading between the lines.  And most of what you need to know comes from the characters, because while it can sometimes seem to be a plot-driven series, it’s the characters who drive the plot and not the reverse.  If I told you anything more I’d need to kill you, but I will say this – everything that’s happened in series has built on everything that’s happened before it, and the next month isn’t going to deviate from that. Jormungand may end up surprising you – in fact, is almost certainly will – but it will do so honestly, and as a viewer I can’t ask for anything more than that.

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8 comments:

  1. Hey Enzo, seeing as your a reader of the manga, can you confirm if this new arc will wrap up the whole story of Jormungand? Or is there still more of the story left that we would only get our hands on if a season 3 materializes or by reading the manga?

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    1. I'll refrain from answering specifically, but based on the pacing of the anime, it should be the perfect length to cover the manga in its entirety. Anything above and beyond that would be anime-original.

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  2. Hey Enzo...is Koko is planning to build some sort of skynet with all the satellite network and dr minami knowledge in robotic tech

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  3. How can Koko say Dr. Minami is her ONLY friend? Does she consider Valmet and the rest of her team just paid mercenaries? Where does that leave Jonah?

    One thing I have always liked about this series is the fact that sex means nothing in this series. By that I mean the women in this series are just as tough as the men and in fact Chicuita and Valmet (and Karen to a lesser extent) are just as bad ass if not more so then the males in the cast.

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    1. I think the women of Jormungand are very scary, the type of people I would never want to get into trouble with.

      Jormungand is approaching its climax, and this episode was a great build-up. Can wait for the next one.

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    2. I think you can read what Koko says to Miami many ways. Perhaps, she has a different definition for friend as she uses it in that context and that she considers the team comrades. There is a slight different in meaning between the two words. Perhaps she considers the team family and Dr. Miami a friend and to her family is a step above friend in her book. Perhaps she is referring to the one person who can truly understand her even if she is close to her team. Or maybe she's just doing it to get on Miami's good side. The thing with Koko is she is just a very complex character that its very hard to see what she is thinking or believes in. Like you said, the women are bad ass characters.

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    3. I more or less agree with anonymous here. I don't think Koko is saying Dr. Miami is the person she cares about the most - I think the issue here is that she's the one she can relate to more or less with her guard down, as equals. Her team is different - she's their leader, and she's responsible for them. And with Jonah, it's probably as close as she can feel to love - I wouldn't say motherly love per se, but it's certainly protective. And would you say it was strange if a mother didn't describe her son as a "friend"?

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  4. Good episode. It managed to gather all the players while showing us more of Koko, yet retaining that elusiveness about her.
    I had to laugh a bit at the candy scene. Ah Jonah, so moe XD.

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