Well, it’s the last episode of Jormungand, but does it function as a true ending to the first season and a bridge to the second? That’s a bit of a tricky question.
This episode was more confusing than I’d like to say, but it did offer closure, more on Valmet’s part than on anyone else’s while also giving some information and history as to Ugo’s ‘function’ in the team as a driver. I do like that Koko chooses people not for their skills but also, more importantly, for their heart and honor. For Ugo’s case, it was the simple act of looking away when the mafia he worked with had given (once again) Koko drugs instead of hard cash like she asked. Based on that action and the fact that Koko needed a driver, she hired him and that was that. But as we’ve seen in Jormungand, nothing is really quite what it seems- people are complicated and layered human beings, and it is Koko’s ultimate skill in perceiving these people for who they are and what they really desire and need. Needless to say, Ugo does a great job of driving the crew to safety after they rather easily capture the hitman crew that was sent to kill them. Though it appeared that they were in a fix in the previous episode, they get out of it easily enough- Ugo punches Grego square into the chest and the force is enough to apparently, crush him through a wall (though let’s be real here: Jormungand has never really paid attention to actual mechanics of physics and warfare/common sense and it’s better to not think about those if you’re looking for entertainment). Liliane on the other hand, faces the wrath of Koko, who’s actually more skilled than I thought when it comes to general attack and defense. She also is the one who nearly shoots Dominique in the car before Ugo and the crew takes over. But if there’s one thing that Koko really is the master of, it’s negotiation- she has a sly and silver tongue and uses it to her advantage when negotiating Dominique, Grego and Liliane’s arrest in order for information.
On the other hand, Valmet is still seeking her revenge agains Shaojiang. It starts off with drugging Jonah so that he doesn’t follow her, though even that fails and Jonah ends up saving her life from a pretty good sniper. A disappointing climax results though: Valmet confronts Shaojiang and has a great conversation about having pride in the soldiers she led who died even though she had to hide under them (something humiliating in the battlefield I suppose). However, we don’t actaully see a battle between them which really makes me sad. I was hoping for an excellent fight now that Valmet had taught herself to use knives instead of guns and thus it would really be a battle of true skill. We don’t see a conclusion to that sort of battle and it really makes this episode suffer as a result.
Even worse, it doesn’t help at all that Karen and Valmet now look uncannily alike- so alike that I got confused about who was who and actually though Karen was some kind of symbol of an untainted, not-revenge-bent Valmet who shot current Valmet and then ‘died’ herself. It’s interesting that in killing Shaojiang Valmet essentially did make another “Valmet.” There’s no doubt in my mind that Karen has escaped but only briefly. She’s going to come back, and this time, true revenge is on her mind, now that Valmet has taken her pride.
In a more emotional and comedic scene then, Valmet wakes up to find Koko who isn’t really mad about her leaving her so suddenly to settle her past scores. On the contrary, Koko is proud and inspired by Valmet’s vengeance to really lay down her soliders’ souls to rest. It’s a fascinating thing to note that whereas Valmet is driven by a mad hunger to get revenge, she isn’t completely consumed by it. “Major Valmet’s last mission” is done and gone, but the Valmet we all know and love is still there. It’s what separates Koko’s team from the rest of the power hungry people in the world.
But what about the hitmen, we ask? Just who is the guy who hired them?
We don’t find out until the end, I think, when Bookman is introduced. Unlike the others though, who are driven by a mad desire to fight- Dragons, as Koko called them- Bookman is calm, collected and quiet. He seems to be quite the opponent for the next season and I’m interested to see why he’s against Koko in the first place (he’s also from the C.I.A as Scarecrow is). The biggest and most shocking reveal however, is when it turns out that his partner…..is R, which really hit me in the gut because they’re a team! YOU WERE FAMILY!!! BETRAYAL HOW DARE YOU- I’ve been watching too much Game of Thrones I think…
Either way, I’m excited for the next season and how R is involved (part of me believes that this arrangement isn’t what it seems and that R is just, like, settling scores or something- I want to believe that he’s still very much devoted to Koko). Apparently the second season is going to be darker and a little more…grim so I’m equally excited about that.
Did I feel like this was a wrap up to the season? Not really. It did bridge things but I felt like Fate/Zero and Rinne no Lagrange (who also have split their original 24 episode count into two seasons) did a better job of really bridging and making the episodes flow. Here, we just got an ending to Valmet’s past, but that’s it. I’m glad that one secondary character’s past has been explored, but that leaves 12 episodes for a lot of other secondary characters’ pasts to be looked at as well, and that seems to be cramming it a little. Nevertheless, Jormungand has been a fun ride for all its worth and I’m already half wishing for October to come already. Especially with Summer season looking relatively bland…but we’ll save that for the Summer Impressions post, won’t we? :)
Enjoyment Level: 8/10