Jormungand: Perfect Order
As I wrote in my review in this same blog, I enjoyed the first half (first season of Jormungand) quite a bit. It was entertaining, crazy, quirky and clever. It had most elements I love in a show, yet it was unfortunately lacking something…
A clear plot line which is followed throughout the show. The lack of that was my little complain about the first-season, yet Perfect Order got completely rid of that flaw, proving to be quite the great watch.
But on to the main subject. Jormungand: Perfect Order (from now on referred to as PO in this review) picked up where the first season left off and proceeded to continue with the arc divided stories do an excellent job in developing quite the big cast neatly introduced beforehand. The main difference this time lies in how the aforementioned “arc divided stories” are all but divided. With each arc, we get some more insight on the inter-organization relationships and the schemes and operations going on, and quickly see the situation escalate to quite dangerous heights, leading to quite the unconventional ending. Along with that, we also get some more insight on… Koko. The charismatic yet enigmatic anti-heroine or anti-villain (or however you’d prefer to categorize her) grabbed my attention an interest during the first season, but only now, bit by bit, did I come to understand her character.
Since most of the happenings are centered around her, her development grows along with the plot in quite the satisfying way, with the later “booom” in development matching the final revelations in the plot. However, that’s not to say the other characters are forgotten. Because they definitely aren’t, not in the slightest bit. Everyone in Koko’s team gets their fair share of development. Especially Johan, of course, as the story is, after all supposed to be told mainly through his point of view. It was interesting seeing him find out little by little the true nature of the world that had done so much wrongs to him, yet the world that he still loved. Although I’ve only talked about Koko and Johan so far, the supporting characters are also quite well explored themselves. We’re shown the background story for everyone and each member of the team as one moment in the limelight where the pasts we’re revealed impact their present choices.
The characters aside, there’s one other very important strength in this series. Its execution. More than the ideas from which the plot is built, the best part about it has to be how it’s built and exposed to us, the viewers. Jormungand never, ever spoon-feeds you with the meat of the story. The details are there, but they’re not made all that obvious. Or rather, the way the dialogues are dealt with does not make them seem obvious. In other words, you could say that Jormungand never takes the viewers as dumb people and presents itself accordingly. On the other hand, managing to follow the plot means you’re in for a treat. What first seemed like unrelated events were later understood as foreshadowing, the kind of good foreshadowing that’s not entirely unnoticed nor too obvious. The kind of foreshadowing you can undoubtedly affirm that was there after the fact. To sum it up, the good kind of foreshadowing, which makes up for a very interesting and satisfying watching experience.
As a little side note, I feel that Jormunagnd portrays a world very similar to ours (a.k.a. the real world) with a spice of pessimism and sarcasm, even ending with the notion that war is a concept ingrained in human nature and it will surface, no matter what. The characters’ worldviews are conveyed through the dialogues during the whole series in quite the thought-provoking way. Jormungand’s script is quite the well-crafted one, and for that, it certainly deserves to be praised.
In other thing I can’t help but mention is the OST. Both the opening and ending themes are great songs, with me loving the OP to bits. And the background music… well, it needs a mention because of how unusual it is. By unusual I mean a OST that contains mostly electro-rock tunes isn’t exactly common in anime. And it also isn’t exactly my favorite type of BGM. But it works wonders with this show’s atmosphere, while also being surprisingly good to listen to as simple stand-alone instrumental music. That makes it yet another point in this series’ favor.
And with all technicalities put of the way, I can certainly say that Jormungand is also… fun. Yes, because enjoyment does matter in anime. A lot. White Fox may not be the biggest studio, and one can certainly see how Jormungand didn’t have the biggest budget, yet the action scenes, while short, are intense and engaging. Something I never felt like taking my eyes off from. Besides that, the character dynamics can be both brilliantly interesting and a whole lot of fun to watch. The fact that we have plenty of characters with quite the crazy antics who still manage not to feel alien to the viewers does help a lot on that.
When all this is taken into account, Jormungand was one of the best series I’ve watched this last year. It was clever, it was funny, it was consistent, it had great dialogue, a pretty good conclusion, and an amazing female lead in Koko Hekmatyar. It’s a brilliant series unfortunately overlooked by many. I’m not aware of the reasons for not watching it, but if you didn’t, let me assure you that you missed quite the good show. It’s something I believe that deserves to be more appreciated, and at least be given a chance, because while it does have a lot more to offer, if nothing else, Jormungand is definitely entertaining.