DVD/Blu-ray Review: Jormungand – The Complete First Series
One of the most highly anticipated anime series of 2014!
The story follows the escapades of Jonah, Lehm, Valmet and Lutz who all work for Koko Hekmatyar, an arms dealer who needs someone like Jonah on her team. Koko works with the HCLI an international shipping corporation who secretly deals in the arms trade. As she works with them, she sells weapons in secret in several countries while trying to avoid the local police as her work is regarded as illegal. Her team she is always seen with are bodyguards who were found in the military, but her newest colleague has another motive for joining them. He wants to find where the murderer of his family is hiding – and if he tags along, he might just find him.
Jonah has just been taken on as one of her assassins. He hates guns and any firearms in general, but he’s a crack shot with a rifle and has a great aim when it comes to using a grenade. To look at him, it would be easy to say butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth, but his cute, red-eyed appearance has made other men underestimate his violent and ruthless nature. He is quiet and introspective, yet he is highly intelligent and notices people’s facial expressions; he recognises that Koko has a smile that curves up at one side when she wants Jonah to understand when she means what she says. He never lets on that he likes who he works with, but everyone sees an endearing child who has innocence in abundance.
What is noticeable from the start is how fast paced the story is with moments of action, all guns blazing that could almost rival Black Lagoon and Darker Than Black. As Black Lagoon had Rokuro (Rock) the unlucky and unwitting anti-hero of the series, this has Jonah in a similar role, but less funny. The original story is by Keitaro Takahashi and was serialized in Shogakugan’s Monthly Sunday GX Magazine and has been successfully turned into an anime, full of action that comes with a pumping theme song, “Borderland” by Maru Kawada.
Koko, the leader of the gang hopes that by taking Jonah on as her bodyguard, she might get him to accept using guns in a team that looks out for each other. In this way, he might not hate guns so much and learn something in the process of serving her. Koko wants Jonah to be a real part of her gang and as a part of making him feel at home; she gets him to study; math, English etc as she sees he isn’t just a part of the gang as an assassin, but a young kid who needs to be educated too.
As a series, this is ultra-violent and sadistic. Jormugand has great production value, animation and many shoot out scenes that serve to boost the action already in the series. The first few episodes give the viewer a good idea of what to expect over the course of the two disc first season. While episode four starts with a night at the opera where it’s the singer who gets a bullet through the forehead from a lone gunman – in fact the surprising thing is that most of the audience get shot in one of the most frenzied attacks in the episode. The death count in this anime would be equivalent of any Schwarzenegger movie. Chiatsu wants to prove herself as an assassin as part of an organisation called Orchestra. She wants to take down Koko and her men, but she might get killed in the process, especially as she is deeply superstitious about certain events which most might consider random rather than detrimental to her.
Jormungand is a fast paced shoot ‘em up series about arms dealers and their rivals, but it also has deeper meaning in that Jonah wants to find out more on his family and why they were killed; though he might also not like the reason why once he does.
Label: Manga Entertainment
Release date: 21st July 2014
Running time: 300 Minutes
Genre: Anime/Science Fiction
Director: Keitaro Motonaga
Sandie has a keen interest in Anime, Manga and all things Japanese. Her interests other than reviewing are Japanese Language, dress and culture, liking Harajuku Girls, Gothic Lolita, folding some neat Origami, drawing her own Manga characters, writing her own Manga stories and everything in between.