Jan 292013
 

Ranking #2 on my top 12 anime of 2012, it was really only a matter of time ’till I reviewed this season. I already have a review for Jormungand, where I praised the first season quite profusely. Jormungand Perfect Order aired from October 10 to December 26, 2012.  For this second season, things really hit the fan in Jormungand. Instead of being a series of interconnected stories, a more cohesive plot emerged. A lot of characters received some major development, and over all it felt like a bigger experience to be a part of. But not everything was roses and sunshine in Perfect Order.

To start things off, let’s address the plot. While like the first season, Perfect Order still had that story arc after story arc setup, several recurring characters and themes emerged to bring it together. It turns out Koko Hekmatyar wasn’t as incredibly insane as we had imagined… Or maybe she was just a bit more so. Since the second season is where all plot kicked in, it did do a fair amount of explaining on just why Koko’s team went on some of the missions they did. Of course there were a few that were for the money, but some of them were to bring some top scientific talent under Koko’s wing. In season 2 she cultivates and uses these talents to throw out her “master plan” to the world. Yep, that’s right. She’s not just an arms dealer, she’s an arms dealer with a purpose. She’s had a plan since the first season (probably since before then, really), and has slowly been assembling the pieces to put everything together.

Amada Minami, Koko’s closest confidante on the Jormungand project and a prodigy in the field of robotics. Also collects butterflies.

First there were the doctors, Amada Minami, Elena Baburin, and Leila Ibrahim Faiza, recruited to work on Koko’s secret project, Jormungand. And, by the way, there’s the title of the series! I always like when the title is relevant in some way. Then Koko starts up a dummy corporation in order to house what she’s secretly building, which is in fact a quantum supercomputer. Here is where the technical details get a little fuzzy, but it pretty much gives her complete control over sending and receiving information, worldwide. Of course, that’s not enough for her. Near the end of the series, she lets Jonah in on her secret project, Jormungand. It’s supposed to be a way to shut down all planes around the world all at once, disrupting supply chains and greatly reducing the warfaring capacity of the entire world. It’s her own special way to stop wars as we know it. And that’s it. That’s Jormungand.

Of course she’s just a little bit insane. But that’s how the characters in this show are! They’re a little bit insane, and a little bit wacky, and totally lovable, mostly. This plot is where I have somewhat of a gripe with Jormungand. First, while I respect it for having a cohesive plot and a reason for doing things, I have to say I preferred the Black Lagoon format of doing things. Namely, a series of stories, generally each being a different action-packed mission or something similar, with a liberal sprinkling of character development and personal vendettas. As a result, I really did enjoy the first 8 or 10 episodes of Perfect Order. It was the same Jormungand I knew and loved, especially the first two arcs. They really delved into R and Tojo’s past and character development was really cool to see.

The Crew. Can you find a cast of more lovable guys and gals?

I wasn’t as big a fan of the whole “Jormungand” plan and the repercussions around it. It’s cool that the plot brought everything together, and I’m not faulting its pacing or anything like that. But it’s really the idea of a plot, or maybe the specific thing that Koko did, the character she turned out to be (even if she really hadn’t changed at all) that didn’t quite sit well with me. It’s mostly an empty gripe relying little on logic and mostly on subjectivity, but there you have it.

As far as the rest of the show went, it was a blast. The action was action-packed, the music was music-packed. Taku Iwasaki really put out an excellent score for Jormungand, and I’m a fan of his work here. By and large, besides the plot issue, Perfect Order really feels like a continuation rather than a second season, in that it’s mostly the same. A lot of the missions and stories in Perfect Order could’ve been in the first season and I honestly would not have noticed. But judging by what they actually put into Perfect Order, I really enjoyed the character development in the show and how it affected all the characters. The main “villain” they introduced as interesting and not really quite as “villainous” as he’d seem. Honestly, the characters felt a little bit complex to me. No one (mostly) was really black or white, and I think that’s cool. I still don’t know what to think of George Black, the CIA operative who butts heads with Koko a few times.

George Black, ie Bookman, and a million other nicknames. He’s a complicated guy, but the closest thing the show has to a main “bad guy”

Pros:

— Great action

— Excellent characters

— Fantastic music

Cons:

— I wasn’t a fan of how they brought the plot together

Rating:

Miscellaneous details:
Studio: White Fox
Director: Keitaro Motonaga
Character design: Kazuhisa Nakamoto
Music: Iwasaki Taku
Original run: October 10, 2012 – December 26, 2012

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Kaushik

I write about anime and stuff. Giant robots are pretty cool, too.

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