Ashita no Anime

Anime of Tomorrow

Jormungand (ongoing)

Impression – high-impact action with just the right amount of comic relief

Spring and autumn 2012 (more info / part 2)

When I watched the first episode of Jormungand, I had the impression that this anime was going to be like a darker version of Full Metal Panic without mecha and I was spot on.  Combining a varied and likeable cast of mercenaries with a charismatic female lead that you would willingly die for, one boy soldier who is coming out of the shell of his rocky past along with some intense, well-orchestrated action sequences, you have a recipe for something really cool.  Whether it’s making you laugh with some cleverly-written dark humor, leaving you hanging on Koko’s every saucy comment or holding your breath waiting to see if the gang is going to be able to come out of their current predicament, this series is pretty darned awesome.

Unfortunately, I’m balancing this enthusiasm with the fact that Jormungand is currently in that nebulous zone of still waiting to finish—but what I’ve seen so far has impressed me.  Other recent anime in this category include the disappointing Fate/Zero which wrapped up last season and Rinne no Lagrange, which has resumed this summer to my delight.

So far this current fad in story pacing that’s been making us wait three months to see the conclusion to series that we already know from the outset that they are going to run longer than one season has been giving me a bit of a headache.  I suppose it’s better than waiting years for a sequel, but I still can’t help but feel it exudes a lack of ambition, confidence and preparation.  At the risk of sounding greedy, impatient and spoiled—even if a season-long break gives the creators more time to make sure they get things right, it hardly seems to matter when glittering diamonds like Madoka Magica are getting rushed to the airwaves just under the wire.  Here’s hoping the creators of Jormungand genuinely took the time to make it perfect and the second half turns out even better than the first.

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2 responses to “Jormungand (ongoing)

  1. medievalotaku September 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I’m surprised that you thought of this show as similar to Full Metal Panic. The first show which comes to my mind is Black Lagoon. As a matter of fact, a certain blogger (Angry Jellyfish perhaps?) aptly called this show “a poor man’s Black Lagoon.”

    I enjoyed the rather fantastic gunfights in Jormungand until they started to bore me: you never feel like our heroes are in actual danger during the fire fights. But, it still has a few interesting points, and Koko comes across as very unique.

    • Marlin-sama September 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      I watched the first six episodes of Black Lagoon and thought that series was a poor-man’s Cowboy Bebop. I have heard Jormungand compared to Black Lagoon, but personally I don’t see the link. The characters have nothing in common—Revy in particular being an unlikeable bitch compared to Koko’s beaming exuberance. And Rokuro is a well-adjusted businessman who happened found himself in dangerous waters while Jonah is a hardened child-soldier in the process of finding his softer side.

      The stories don’t match, either. Black Lagoon is about four selfish jack-of-all-trades to hire for any job imaginable, while Jormungand is about a compassionate arms dealer and her colorful support team. But most of all their tones couldn’t be more different. Black Lagoon is dry, poorly paced and full of plot holes. Jormungand is always “on” and loaded with some awesome dark humor.

      I draw the comparison between Jormungand and Full Metal Panic because Jonah and Sousuke are both child-soldiers having their tough, emotionless shells cracked by strong, lighthearted heroines. And while FMP’s humor isn’t nearly as dark as Jormungand’s, I see the two series are comparing much more closely to each other than to Black Lagoon, which is too serious for its own good.

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