Jormungand Anime (English)

May 1st, 2012

Many thanks to Mara for pointing out at Sunday’s Live Online Yuri Panel that the Jormungand anime had begun streaming. It’s available for free (supported by commercials) with English subtitles on the Funimation channel.
The Funi channel requires registration before you can watch anything. As much as I don’t love commercials or registering, if this gives me a chance to watch Jormungand for free, legally I think it’s a fair deal. ^_^

If you’ve been reading the manga, you know what to expect and, pleasantly, that’s exactly what you get. The anime is an animated version of the manga, not some mangled other story with barely any relation to what we know. Koko Hekmatyar and her band of cheerful cutthroats are still unapologetically arms dealers; many guns will be shot, people will be knifed and blood will spurt. But it’s all in good fun.

Bizarrely, I actually mean that. What makes the manga series work for me is the sense of humor Koko and her group have, and how they don’t make excuses for what they do. They are a family of a sort, and they are resolved to be the best they can be. As I wrote in my review of Volume 2 of the manga:

There’s a certain amount of philosophical rambling I’m willing to put up with in stories of people with no ethical underpinnings. It’s interesting to watch authors struggle with the “why” someone would do something so awful and interesting to see that they often have to create a kind of cheerful nihilism to explain it, so that their characters remain likable while slaughtering people.

This is captured perfectly by the anime. Artistically, the series looks more like the manga than maybe I’d want, since the manga is frequently drawn pretty sketchily, but it means that we know what blacked-out eyes and crazy looks mean.

Voice acting is just exactly what I want from the series. Itou Shizuka is using her Nadie voice with an edge of crazy and Valmet is voiced by Ohara Sayaka, who has played many of our favorites, Layla Hamilton in Kaleido Star, Alicia Florence in Aria and is now also popular with the Yuri crowd as Irisviel from Fate/Zero. More importantly for us, the Yuri inherent in Valmet’s character is left firmly in place. Mildo is creepily interested in Valmet, I have no doubt Schokolade will be gay as a pride parade and Dr. Miami will also have a serious interest in Koko. It’s just that kind of series. ^_^

Ratings:

Art- C’mon, seriously? You are not watching this for the art.
Story – Guns shoot bullets, people die horribly. You smile.
Characters – They are all broken, but they smile an awful lot, too – mostly while shooting things.
Yuri – Valmet is in love/lust with Koko
Service – Depends. No moe here, so that’s a 0. Weapons fetishtry – 1000000000 Valmet has large breasts and is hot for Koko – 6

Overall – I like it 8, but I’m probably never suggesting it to someone other than my Dad. ^_^

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6 Responses

  1. Mara says:

    Glad to hear you enjoy the adaptation. Funimation requires a bit of hoop jumping in Europe to get it to work but for Jormungand it is worth it.

    Ayumi Tsunematsu who does Maiya in Fate/Zero is in this too as Mildo. She gives a very high pitch performance that caught me off guard.

  2. Eric P. says:

    What makes Funimation’s commercials a fairer deal is I can easily mute them with just the click of the mouse.

    ‘Her name is Koko, she is loco, oh no!’

    One catchy little preview tune of so few words and yet it sticks in one’s head real easily.

    Watched the first two episodes a while ago, and yeah, it’s definitely fun! Here’s hoping it stays fun despite everything and not quite as discouraging as Hellsing, but I’ll wait and see.

  3. Justin says:

    Hey, I hate the art, how dare you not care for it– :D (I kid)

    Jormungand has been about what I expected: very good to itching closer to a pretty memorable show, though I thought the recent ep was ok…

  4. @Justin – You totally made me LOL at that. The story arcs are all right individually, but I think they make a good series overall. And by good I mean, “stupid shit I like.”

    @Eric – It never takes itself seriously the way Hellsing does, even when it’s killing people left and right.

    @Mara – I like Tsunematsu’s voice. She makes a good professional killer. I’m really wondering who will be Schokolade…I know I have some suggestions for that role…

  5. Anonymous says:

    I would like to say that Koko seems to reciprocate Valmet’s feelings a bit in the manga. She doesn’t go full in just because she understands it would be dangerous to all of them if there was a level of favoritism in the team.

    The vibe in the manga that I always got was that Jonah was always more of a little brother to her than what some are hoping for in the straight shota romance angle. None of the other men really have a chance with either of the two major females. I think its relatively safe to say that koko is somewhat attracted to valmet, its just she doesn’t directly respond to the feelings due to the nature of their work. Koko certainly seems to care for Valmet above all save maybe Jonah as far as the team goes.

  6. RaNdOm_rAnTs says:

    loved the anime. nice plot. Also, the Jap. va of koko is just fit for the character :) can’t wait for the new season and your review for it :)

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