24 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Jormungand episode 1

Otherwise known as “We Really Want To Be Black Lagoon”.

Otherwise known as “Her Name Is Koko She Is Loco I Said Oh No”. Who the hell on the team thought that was a good idea? I never thought I’d see the day a next episode preview had worse music than the one for Chrome Shelled Regios.

This really does want to be Black Lagoon, doesn’t it. Right down to a heavy rock OP sung by a girl in autotuned engrish with lots of shots of empty casings with a grainy filter over them. For the most part though, I mean this as a positive comparison. It that same element of sexy danger that makes the two appealing. A cast of characters with distinct personalities who are fascinating to watch even if they are not the kind of characters you’d want to go to a party with. Not necessarily because they wouldn’t be fun to hang out with, but because you know the only reason they’re there is because there will be some shooting later.

While the cast of characters seem interesting, it’s hard to get a grips on most of them because Jormungand simply tossed you right into the centre of the action. It’s more a stylistic choice rather than bad directing. Baccano/Durarara do the same thing, tossing you right into the centre of the story and allowing you to slowly pick up the names and mannerisms of the various characters. Jormungand did that very well. Everything we learn about the characters come through their actions. Even the one point where a character starts explaining what Koko (she is so loco) is like, it says more about his relationship to her than Koko’s own personality. It all speaks to good writing. It’s very confusing, and I didn’t have a clue what the actual heist they were pulling had any relevance to, but I don’t feel it was particularly important to understand what was going on. With 24 episodes, there’s plenty of time to get to know these characters.

While the actual animation quality isn’t up to much, it has a style it’s going for, something that’s far more important than simply how fluid the movement is. OK, the whole grey filter over everything is something White Fox already pulled with Steins;Gate, but it works in this setting just as well. The music as well was surprisingly good, apart from that stupid Koko Loco thing. I’m terrible at placing music exactly, but it’s like a mix of techno and middle eastern music, which I’ll give points to for originality at the very least.

So a very solid first episode. Confusing, and I have little idea what the overarching plot is going to be, but it has a confidence and assuredness that means I’m happy to let it prove itself. It also doesn’t fall into the overly sadistic side that I hate these kinds of shows to do, although I suppose there’s plenty of time for it fall into that territory.

Nooooo Johnny No Sense of Humour is going to be eaten by a dog noooooo!

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  1. Posted April 12, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Hey! I’m actually fond of that stupid silly rap at the preview, haha. To say at the very least, characters indeed seemed very interesting. The lack of “proper” introduction was a good choice.

    Opposing parties do seem bland as of the moment though.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 12, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      I doubt those opposing parties will show up again. Well, of course they’re not going to show up again, what with them being shot in the face and everything

  2. Posted April 12, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I too didn’t really get what the hell was going on in this episode! Did the country want to use the ‘copter upgrades or just hang on to them? Were the other countries trying to obtain them ’cause they didn’t want this one using ’em, upsetting the balance of power? What was that other arms dealer all about? Who did he want to sell the weapons to? And why id Koko chose to bring them into the country in such an obvious “Please steal these” kind of way? ARGH~!
    Still enjoyed the episode though, felt very stylish. Just goes to show you don’t need to get a show to enjoy it…

    • JD
      Posted April 12, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      From what I understood, there are two jobs going on in this episode :

      – Loco Koko & co have sold some upgrades to that country’s airforce that puts it on par with its neighbours. A rival faction inside the army (the land forces, I think ?) think that’s a bad thing, since this will obviously trigger war in the region in short order. So they seized Koko’s shipment before it reached the airforce and were going to dispose of it. Hence why our team rushed to retake it.

      – Now that Koko has shown that there was a market for selling weapons in that country, a clueless rival moved in to get a slice of the pie too. Koko disapproves.

      I do agree that putting both of them in the same episode does a disservice to both. (I’m not even sure I’ve understood the first one right, and the second one is so short it makes the rival look like a moron.) But hey, hopefully it’s only a problem in this first episode (whose job was to introduce the setting and the main characters).

      • Edraii
        Posted April 12, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, pretty much like that I think…

        It’s not that terribly confusing, but it looks like it flew right over some people :/

  3. Posted April 12, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    It confuses me when people say Koko is cute but Kyubey is scary.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 12, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      She’s not scary. She’s just loco

      • Thrashy
        Posted April 13, 2012 at 4:53 am | Permalink

        Trying to be Black Lagoon, indeed! Balalaika laughs in the face of this albino Scandiavian freak!

  4. Posted April 12, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    I don’t think that it “wants to be black lagoon” yes they’re very similar but that doesn’t really mean that Jormungand copied or aspires to be black lagoon. There aren’t really many anime that stand alone in their own genre and own style; many amazing anime are similar but I wouldn’t say they all want to be each other. I don’t see the problem of just saying Jormungand has its style, similar to black lagoon, but its doing its own thing very well. Loved the first ep, great characters, slightly confusing story, but there is time to flesh everything out.

  5. Someone Else
    Posted April 12, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Hmm, am I the only one who thinks that the show is forcing Koko to be creepy? They are trying to reverse common sense just to make her creepy (Like when she said “Shoot now, ask never” or selling weapons for world peace or like “its OK to kill this guy so kill him”) unlike the blood lust her teammates portray. But I guess that’s just my thoughts since the first episode didn’t really do much introduction for her to why she’s an arms dealer. Also I’m kind of confused to whether who’s really the main protagonist, is it Johan? Because Koko seems to be the potential love interest though

    Also here’s something, just spreading the love

    • Scamp
      Posted April 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      There were too many goofy scenes with Koko that don’t make her psychotic. Sleep-walking, her reaction when the kid just started shooting. She’s a touch creepy, but I didn’t find it over-bearing at all

  6. Posted April 12, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink


    • JD
      Posted April 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Gods, I love Taku Iwasaki.

      (Waiting for the inevitable remix with Latin chanting playing over the last few episodes.)

      • Scamp
        Posted April 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        Ah right, the Gurren Lagann guy. I can sorta see that

      • Edraii
        Posted April 12, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        Actually, I got the opposite vibe…
        We have a characther who is completly nuts, Devil with a smile, so to say… one can dream ;)

  7. Posted April 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    The godawful animation quality was probably the only amusing thing to watch.
    Seriously, I can’t wait for the next episode with… *gasp* even more CG weapons, CG vehicles and stills!

  8. ペーパー先生
    Posted April 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think they really want you to completely understand exactly what was going on. It seemed like more of an attempt to characterize Koko and Jonah.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Pretty much this.

  9. luffyluffy
    Posted April 12, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    I was actually told that this would be a good show for me. I’ll have to check it out today.

  10. Posted April 12, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I probably would have enjoyed this more if most of the humor weren’t so terrible.

  11. Posted April 12, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    I’m just hoping that this form of storytelling doesn’t continue on throughout the entire series and we get a more direct sense of what the actual story is later on. Because if the rest of the show is anything like episode one, then this might turn into Michael Bay: The Animation

    Posted April 13, 2012 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    yea the minute i saw the crew that koko had with their badass-ness I immediately saw Black Lagoon, but….bad leaders tend to have dark sides as well and you can tell she definitely has hers. I have this tiny feeling shes gonna end up like Griffith from Berserk.

  13. Mr.RR
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Woo my daily dose of people getting shot and explosions. Oh and I dig the opening. 24 eps? yes please, I’m quite excited right now.

  14. G.S
    Posted April 13, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    The only thing that’s sort of bothering me is how washed-out Koko looks, though I get that it’s probably the kind of feel they are going for. That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the action packed episode.

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