The more I think about Jormungand, the less I like it.
Of all the crap anime I’ve seen over the past year or so, Jormungand is the one that never seems to leave my mind in regards to how bad it was, despite it ending more than six months ago. Every time I think of it, I go back to my MAL, decided I ranked it too high, and lower my score by one point whilst ignoring the fact that everyone else seems to think the anime was cool. For the love of me, I still don’t get what people see in this show. Saying you like Jormungand is like saying you think the original One anime is the best thing to ever come out of Key. Newsflash people, “nobody likes the One anime”. Being one of three or four people who feels that way doesn’t help I’ll admit, but I don’t think I’ve ever been as opposed to most people in regards to anime opinions, nor have I had as hard a time finding something to praise, as I have with this crap.
How badly do I think of Jormungand you may ask? Well both seasons are currently ranked a “1” on my MAL right now and unfortunately there’s no way it can go any lower despite my best efforts to make it so, and I don’t think there are any scores low enough for the show anyways. Or to put it in more concise terms, I would rather marathon everything by KyoAni and Shaft (good or bad) then have to sit through this shit show ever again!
I am seriously confused in regards to what to recommend about this show in any way. Normally I don’t mind recommending stuff like Eureka Seven or Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 despite the fact that I don’t like them just because others may see differently. Hell, I’ll even recommend Robotics;Notes or Psychic School Wars if people want it so badly. But Jormungand is just plain useless without a single thing to recommend. What good thing am I supposed to say about this show?
Well I guess there’s the music. It’s composed by Taku Iwasaki, who composed the soundtrack for Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and Gurren Lagann as well as the currently airing Gatchaman Crowds, although I can’t remember the BGM for that one. Can’t remember what it was like for this anime either, but I remember it being okay aside from that “her name is Koko” crap. Needless to say, it’s not his best work. And I guess if you want me to be really nice, it’s cool to see Jormungand tackle a topic that isn’t done by most anime. But just because something isn’t in high school doesn’t mean it’s good, and it definitely doesn’t help when Jormungand feels like it was created by hacks who’ve never seen an action movie or read an action story in their life.
First off, the arms dealing is vastly under researched and not realistic in the least. Episode 2 literally had Koko and her group going to an army camp and dealing the weapons out like they were street vendors or something. One of the big advantages that Jormungand has in tackling the arms dealing topic is that because it’s not done very often, the average person wouldn’t know that what Jormungand is showing you is a load of crap. I’ve actually seen some people try and excuse this by telling me “it’s a fictional story”, but I don’t buy that. Now and Then, Here and There is a fictional story, but the guy who wrote it made sure that he accurately captured the torment and suffering that child soldiers go through in war, even if it got way too exploitative and manipulative for me to enjoy in the end. I also wouldn’t call Black Lagoon realistic, as it skews more to the action movie agenda, but the weapons were all carefully researched (I’m not sure about this, but from what I’ve read, there are several gun facts stated in the show that are inaccurate) and any arms dealing that takes place in that show is done in semi-realistic professional manner rather than whatever goofy antics Koko cooks up that we’re supposed to find endearing.
And that leads me to my next problem with Jormungand. So the arms dealing isn’t realistic. An anime can still be fun despite that right? Well, maybe if the show didn’t try to push it so hard and yet treat it like a total joke I could. The combination of anime cliches (sleepwalking, bad cooking, oh look at me I’m so wacky) with the grittiness of the gun market is absolutely abysmal. First off, the premise of the show is that a kid who hates arms dealers somehow ends up working for one, and a teenage girl at that. And he never really questions his choices or anything like that. That is a goddamn stupid premise you’ve got right there, but it might have been tolerable if the show didn’t treat it like an absolute joke or if there was some solid writing and good characters, of which there are none. All of the characters are completely forgettable one-note jokes who are only important when the plot calls for, and then lose importance right afterwards with no real development whatsoever. It’s basically the equivalent of what would happen if Angel Beats actually gave focus to TK or Shiina or any of those other joke characters: completely pointless and a waste of episodes whilst not progressing the story. Did you know that when that Red character got his own arc and died, I didn’t know who the fuck he was? Hell, I know fans who didn’t know who he was at first. That’s a sign of good writing.
Seriously, I can’t remember a single antagonist in this series besides that one rival to Valmet. And I only remember her (and Valmet herself) because Valmet wore an eyepatch and was the only other female in the group, which is not a good sign. As for Jonah and Koko, all I have to say is laaaaammmmmeeee. I’ve written before that Jonah never actually underwent any real growth along with why I felt that way, and the more I think about it, the more I realize that Koko didn’t either. Nothing changed between the two and they weren’t even all that interesting to begin with due to Jonah’s repressed emotions and Koko’s bad combination of grittiness and anime comedy. Whatever praise you could shower on them is mostly memetic aka the same source of praise given to L-Elf. As I also stated in that post, the writing is absolute pointless garbage with an ending so bad I actually wished for the Gundam 00 guys to save me. It was literally one of the worst open-ended things I have ever seen, period. The ending to Kare Kano was better than that.
Also since I want to pick on a low-hanging fruit that even the fans acknowledge, what the fuck is up with the action scenes in this show? The first episode alone had a car chase scenario where the vehicles looked like they were going at 35 MPH and it just got worse from there. Hell the animation for the entire show is unacceptable when compared to Flowers of Evil or even anime around 2001. The bodies are awkwardly drawn and the CG is laughable in every aspect of the word. There are literally fight scenes where the characters run up to each other and fire guns from ten feet away, and yet they don’t hit each other. Explosions that occur are phoned in and have less of a threat than the green screen stuff in Mortal Kombat Annihilation. The plot armor is so inconsistently bad that it breaks all tension from the fights and what should be cool scenes end up boring me more than anything Bee Train could muster. Give me a reason to care about these action scenes Jormungand. Introduce some tension. Make them cool to look at. Don’t introduce more plotholes than the new Spider-man movie (episodes 3 and 4 were just painful).
Jormungand was never a fun anime to watch, not even ironically. It’s one of the biggest wastes of time I’ve ever seen and I have no qualms with saying that Sword Art Online, Guilty Crown, Clannad, and Psycho-Pass are much better watches. Or if you want a good action anime, watch Darker than Black or Black Lagoon. Even the original Hellsing was far better put together than whatever crap Jormungand could come up with. Hell watch almost any anime aside from this turd, because there’s nothing to recommend. The premise sucks. The action sucks. The characters suck. The pacing sucks. The writing sucks. The comedy sucks. The animation definitely sucks. If was to do a Tribute from a Hater on this thing, I’d only be able to praise the fact that its topic is unique. But that’s like praising a businessman in the transportation industry for suggesting we should invent teleporters, yet not having a single clue how to implement them.
Edit: Go to this link here and skip to the 38:50 on the video for a therapeutic beatdown of this series that covers some of the stuff I missed out on.