When I heard White Fox was going to be making another anime, I was thrilled. A fan of their adaptations, I was curious to see how the would adapt the manga Jormungand, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Jormungand tells the story about morally dubious queen Koko (or Princess, as her crew calls her) and her team as they travel across the world to sell arms. Koko has added a new soldier to the team- a young child soldier named Jonah, who happens to hate weapons and what they’re used for. The story already seems to hold a sort of moral relativity theme to it, and I’m glad to say that the show doesn’t mind going in and exploring this theme on a strong level. At the star is Koko herself, who is quite literally the Devil- alluring, twisted, extremely intelligent and has the uncanny ability to look into people’s hearts and see them for they truly are. It’s sad to say that the other characters aren’t fleshed out quite as much as Koko is, but while character development overall isn’t the strong point of the show, character relationships very much are. Koko relies heavily on her team to keep her safe, but also uses them on the offensive too. It’s an interesting reverse harem on one hand, as Koko’s crew really admires her (for good reasons), but on the other hand it make the show hold a special slice of life vibe. Each episode deal with a different enemy but never in a monotonous or boring way. There’s room for action, comedy, and seriousness all in this show; in fact, Jormungand has a little bit of everything, and while that makes for a well rounded show, it’s also where this show sometimes fails, because it’s focusing on so much at once that it doesn’t go for one thing directly and thus, pushes for the ‘ordinary’ button instead of the ‘extraordinary’.
Does that mean that it’s not enjoyable? Not in the least. I would have to say that out of all the Spring shows that aired this season, Jormungand was consistently fun to watch. There’s not too much depth to it, but it’s a decent show that one would watch if they were looking for a show to kick back and just watch for the heck of it. While the villains may be monotonous themselves (and this is the real point where Jormungand suffers), as they all tend to be power hungry, or just lunatics in general, the ways they’re handled by Koko’s team are all different and really set up for some great teamwork scenes. At the heart of the show despite all the action and fighting is Koko’s relationship with her team, and that is something that is solid and interesting to watch episode by episode. Some of the other characters’ backstory-specifically one in general- are also developed alongside the plot….but not spectacularly.
There’s still one more season left, so I do expect Jormungand to get its ‘act together’ and really raise the dot from just ‘okay’ to ‘quite good’ because it has plenty of raw potential. It has characters that can be fascinating, a plot that can really tackle the idea of moral relativity, and character relationships that can become the real heart of the show. It has the energy to do it. It just needs more remarkable and multifaceted villains and perhaps a little better writing. But don’t let that get you down- it’s still a good show and it’s something I really enjoyed watching every Tuesday afternoon. All we need is for someone to rev up that engine, and there’s no doubt that Jormungand can be the true spiritual sucessor of Black Lagoon that we all want it to be.