Anime Spring Season 2012: Only Two Worthy Shows? Review of Jormungand

While scrolling through the list of anime coming out this season, it struck me that only two shows appeared worthwhile: Jormungand and the second season of Fate/Zero.  I noticed that the quality of anime has been falling since 2007, but there’s never been a season in which the number of shows which elicited some interest from me was limited to two.  (Certain other shows aroused some interest, but not for the right reasons.)  Of course, you’re welcome to point out any shows you find interesting.  Being proved wrong about this season would please me to no end.  Having seen the first two episodes, here are my thoughts about Jormungand.

This show feels similar to Black Lagoon, but Jormungand includes more comedy, less foul language, a dearth of interesting characters, and will in nowise measure up to that classic unless a wonderful transformation occurs in episode three.  Having said that, the show’s still very entertaining.  The plot concerns the adventures of an arms dealer and her henchmen.  This arms dealer, Koko Hekmatyar, recruited a child soldier named Jonah as her newest bodyguard.  Jonah has a hatred for weapons and weapons dealers, yet he relies on them at the same time.  He joined Koko in order to find the arms dealer who was responsible for his family’s death.

Having said that, Jonah and all the other characters appear to be nonentities compared to the vivacious Koko.  From her personality, which is fierce, calculating, and excitable by turns, to her Chinese warrioresque eyebrows she completely steals the show.  The way her eyebrows detract from her femininity is only negated by the talent of her voice actress, Shizuka Ito, and the many tantrums in which this character indulges.  One wonders whether the other characters will come alive when compared to her.  Indeed, only the lesbian, Valmet, has a registerable personality among her henchmen.  We forget that Jonah’s supposed to be the hero or even of any importance until he starts on of his little narrative digressions.  I must say, a bit character who appears in two scenes during the second episode in which he refers to Koko as a “lucky girl” has as much or more personality than her bodyguards.

Yet, this show has some great action sequences.  Combined with the uniqueness of Koko, this is enough to make me want to watch more.  Now, we need to see if the animators are capable of giving the other characters depth or if a main story will develop, which I expect to be chock full of conflict and some spectacular action.  Otherwise, your time would be much better spent watching Black Lagoon, unless the cursing would deter you.  Oh!  One more similarity between the two shows: Koko is rather reminiscent of Balalaika, except that the former is less sinister.

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8 comments on “Anime Spring Season 2012: Only Two Worthy Shows? Review of Jormungand

  1. GoodbyeNavi says:

    Interesting that the two shows you found worthy are not on my radar. The number of new shows I watch has been decreasing but I have found a couple this season that I am going to give a shot. Tsuritama; which is my WTF anime and Kids on the Slope.

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  2. I gravitate toward action/adventure and fantasy shows. I also enjoy comedy, but it usually has to be a great comedy for me to watch it for that reason alone (e.g. Azumanga Daioh, Arakawa: Under the Bridge, Excel Saga, School Rumble, and Fruits Basket).

    Several reviews of Tsuritama have come to my attention, not sure if it will float my boat. However, I decided to read your article about this season’s shows, and Zetman, which I had initially passed up, sounds rather interesting. Thanks for lifting my spirits a little with that. There seems to be one more show I’d find interesting!

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  3. GoodbyeNavi says:

    I do like action/adventure which is probably why I will check out Jormungand. I really love to watch comedy when I’m having a bad day. For some reason the comedy genre in anime lifts my spirits. Have you watched Nichijou? It’s pretty funny. I think its an underrated show.

    I started watching Tsuritama because people kept referring to it in responses to my post. I haven’t decided if I like it or not. So far, the artwork stands out tremendously but the story seems a bit odd. I think the oddness is on purpose, though.

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    • Haven’t seen Nichijou yet, but I saw a few clips of it today. It’s funny, especially that clip with the Principal vs. a Deer; but, so crazy that I’m not sure if I can sit through it. But it was a good recommendation as I like Excel Saga. Somehow, I can endure that level of insanity but not Nichijou’s or FLCL’s for that matter.

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