A thoughtful response to current anime.

Jormungand – Episode 1

Jormungand is supposed to be a modern day action show, involving arms dealers, child soldiers, and that sort of thing.  These are some weighty issues, I hope that they don’t make this show too much of a downer.  I think Black Lagoon had a good balance between examining the world’s problems and showing unstoppable murder maids with automatic weapons.  Let’s see where episode 1 of Jormungand falls on that continuum.

…thirty minutes pass…


Unfortunately they are not actually a immortal vampire army.

I dunno, I just wasn’t feeling it.  There were action scenes, and they were competent enough, they had guys driving armored cars and shooting at each other with heavy weapons.  Bullets flying, cars swerving, a solid gunfight-carchase.  But there wasn’t anything special about it.  This doesn’t seem like the sort of show where people are going to ramp a torpedo boat into the air to shoot down a helicopter.  This seems like the sort of show where people are going to fire bullets at each other, and then the child soldier protagonist is going to win because he fires bullets better.  And that can be fine if it’s just action scenes carried within an interesting plot, but the plot was left vague and unexplained.  The arms dealers had some sort of tech they were selling, I guess, and some organization whose name was meaningful to the characters but not to me didn’t want them to sell it, so they sent some hitmen after them.  And then in the second part of the episode, they were facing competition from a rival arms dealer, so they went and killed him.  These situations would be fine as background to interesting action pieces, but the action was uninspiring.

So with a weak plot and not especially strong action, that leaves the characters to pick up the slack.  The characters were ok, I guess.  There were certainly things to like about them.  The child soldier protagonist is an adorably affectless killing machine.  The arms dealer chick is crazy in a cute way, like if Suzumiya Haruhi grew up and decided to make her living off misery and death in the Third World.  But I didn’t feel anything for any of the other characters.  There is a whole team of mercenaries working with them, and they all seem bland and pointless.  There were attempts made to characterize one or two of them, like the eyepatch chick, but they fell flat.  OK, these soldiers are loyal.  Great.  Maybe you could explain why they’re loyal to someone who seems so crazy, instead of just having them declare “I know she seems crazy, but we’re loyal to her!”

I wouldn’t be surprised if this show turns out to be good, once the main plot gets going and the minor characters get characterized.  But it might not be, and a show that’s not interesting from its first episode is less likely to be interesting later.  I might pick Jormungand back up if I hear people raving about it, but for now I think I’ll drop it.

Bonus Image Corner:

Where is that Penny Arcade comic about the times when it is and is not appropriate to fist bump


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