With last episode’s events still burning in Koko’s mind, Jormungand decides to lay low this week as it turns to look back at the mysterious Kaspar and his relationship with Jonah.
If any of us forgot what happened between Jonah and Kaspar last season – myself included, as it’s been a couple of months – Jormungand is kind enough to give us a large and detailed recap of their history, making sure we understand Jonah’s intents and motivations as well as his hostility toward Kaspar. We of course know that Jonah was a child soldier, forced to work for a corrupt trader and live his cruel life with other orphans. It’s only one day when these orphans are killed and used as pigs for slaughter that Jonah goes on a rampage, brutally murdering every official in the building and coming face to face with the prominent and wealthy Kaspar Hekymatar, who in return for keeping some of the orphans safe, hires Jonah for his abilities and sends him off to Koko. Flashforward to several years later, and we see that Kaspar once again is back in our team’s lives, though not by mere coincidence: this arc seems to focus on Team Hekymatar as they try to hunt the ‘phantom’ organization that’s been a thorn in their side by making their business decrease steadily.
If you thought this was too large of a skip from R’s tragic death, rest assured: his impact on Koko is far from gone, with the episode even opening to Koko still lamenting over her loss. She even tries to remedy this by taking the team to amusement parks, which may or may not have worked: knowing Koko, it’s hard to decipher her true self as she constantly keeps herself on guard. But I’m sure we’ll get to see more of how R has really left a lasting effect on her as time progresses. For now, Jonah is the main attraction here as we see how much he’s grown. From a boy who was powerless and forced to die slowly in a cell, to a soldier who could not control his own hatred against Kaspar, and finally, to a teenager who can calmly talk to the man he despises so much – Jonah’s subtle development makes its mark as we witness how much he’s matured over the years. I myself was impressed by how he could control his own feelings, being alone with Kaspar in a car (when this would have been a perfect opportunity for him to exact his revenge!). It goes to show how interacting with Koko’s team has given Jonah a reason to live. He’s opened up to his fellow comrades and Koko herself, to the point where he’s able to understand how his actions have an impact on others. Had Jonah attacked Kaspar in any way, the entire operation would be at risk, and it would set a sour start for both teams. If Jonah had killed Kaspar, it would result in nothing but more chaos. That, and the fact that Jonah only wanted to see if Kaspar had kept his side of the bargain, really builds Jonah as more than just a lifeless doll. He’s become something more, and I can’t help but sympathize and be proud of how he’s handled his plight so well. Despite all this maturity though, we still recognize Jonah is somewhat naive of a kid: he doesn’t bother to interact with the orphans he cares about, not out of shame or humility, but out of respect. Had he gone and talked to these kids, he would have opened up some nasty memories, and the last thing he wants is to hurt the people he cares about; at the same time, to think that his happiness solely lies in these three kids’ comfort is both tragic and..idealistic, in a sense. Nevertheless, Jonah has changed. Even his reaction to Kaspar’s words at the end – “Once you’re done with Koko, come to me instead” – make me realize how much he’s developed and it was nice to see that, considering how Koko-focused Jormungand has become as of late.
Next week is where the action once again begins, and I’m looking forward to how Team Hekymatar actually works as well as some sibling history and relationship development. Kaspar and Koko’s relationship has always intrigued me, and I’d love to see some background on how they grew up and how they perceive each other – no doubt, as both friendly rivals and dear companions. It’ll also be nice to see how their respective teams work with one another, and the focus on Tojo as it turns out that his previous boss is the one they’re looking to take down. Maybe we’ll see some more Jonah and Kaspar interaction as well? There’s plenty of potential here, and considering how excellent the last arc was, I’m excited to see how things progress for both teams from here on out.
(Also, a nice little tweak on the Koko is Loco episode preview music!)
Enjoyment Level: 9/10