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Jormungand: Complete Second Season
A lot of fans have been clamoring for more of a show called Black Lagoon for years. I think said fans can satiate their appetite with Jormungand, a series with a varied cast of characters acting as arms dealers all over the globe. These two series' are so similar in execution it's uncanny, so suffice to say, if you're a fan of Lagoon, check out Jormungand.
Just as a refresher, Jormungand revolves around the life of Jonah Mar (voice of Micah Solusod), as a member of a crew of arms dealers comprised of mainly ex military personnel led by Koko Hekmatyar (voice of Anastasia Munoz.) Jonah at first glance is a battle hardened, emotionless and stoic Israeli boy. Despite somewhat willingly joining the group, Jonah is NOT a fan of arms dealers one bit due to a horrific event from his past. By the time Season 2 rolls around, Jonah is so comfortable with weapons, he carries one without even realizing it, where at the start he didn't even want one.
Koko works for a shipping company called HCIL (H&C Logistics Incorporated) who moonlight as an international weapon dealing company. She along with her team are deployed on random international trades that almost always ends in some terrific gun play. Along with her for the ride is her second in command, Lehm (voice of Christopher Smith.) Sophia Velmet (voice of Carli Mosier), a woman who's in love with Koko, wears an eyepatch and has a pretty dark past. Lutz (voice of Greg Ayres), the new guy and sniper of the group. R (voice of Ian Sinclair), an intelligence officer and the pretty boy of the group. Tojo (voice of Chris Bevins) and Mao (voice of Patrick Seitz), who are both family man. Wilee (voice of Akron Wilson), the explosives expert who along with Koko is blacklisted by the FBI. Lastly, Ugo (voice of Cris George), the driver of the group and the muscle.
Picking up directly where Season 1 left off, we now know R, a character we didn't know a whole lot about in Season 1 other than being a ladies man, is a traitor working for both Koko and the CIA. He was placed in the group nearly 6 years earlier and is clearly deep undercover. For R, it's either put up or shut up time to bring down Koko. The bad thing is, after spending 6 years with Koko (whom he always refers to as "My little lady) and the crew, he has built a bond with all of them. To pile on the bad news for them is that another CIA agent, Hex (voice of Jamie Marchi) has gone rogue, so she can track down and kill Koko and R.
After R's betrayal comes to light and that is resolved, we discover more about who Koko truly is as she up until this point, had hidden herself through a fake smile and behind her men. We finally get to see the real Koko and this revelation propels us straight to the end game. A once overly happy person who found the good in everything reveals she hates it all. She hates her life, she hates arms trading, she hates soldiers who just follow orders etc. She wants to end it all and have a peaceful life... while being god. To do so, she has set a chain of events in motion that at a click of a button will send everything back to the stone age, a plan she calls Jormungand. All the planes will fail, the naval army and all of their ships will be destroyed, and after that all land transportation will end, hoping it will bring peace. She plans to have sole control over the world, along with her crew. Jonah has a problem with this as innocent people will die (they estimate 700,000 just in planes at any given time.)
The whole back half of the season puts the pressure on Jonah. Does he stay loyal to the person who has made him happy again and to his friends? Does he turn on them to Koko's brother, Kasper (voice of Eric Vale), a man of Jonah's past who wants nothing more than to be the biggest arms dealer in the world, which conflicts with Koko's plan of erasing it all together. Does he betray them altogether and try to stop Jormungand from happening? Or will he just go along with the plan? It's great to watch it all unfold.
Perfect Order gave me everything I wanted from the first season that we didn't get. Character development. All I wanted was some character development in the first season, and we barely got any at all. Thankfully season 2 has that I spades while also balancing everything that made the first season great, slick action with well paced stories.
+ We get the character development that was largely absent from Season 1. Koko, Jonah, R, Lehm, Tojo all benefit.
+ The entire series build up has a huge payoff.
+ Amazing action. The action is swift, brutal and awesome to watch, it helps that the animation so fluid.
+ Jonah vastly improved in the second season, he shows more character, he gets more development and he's not as emotionless which was refreshing to see.
+ Great dub work, especially to the standout, Anastasia Munoz who plays Koko. This was her first lead role and she absolutely nails it.
+ Koko is a great lead character. She may be no Revy in terms of being a sheer badass, but she is one hell of a fun character to watch and is entertaining to boot.
- If you read my review on Season 1, you would know I was a big fan of the way they handled Valmet. Perfect Order is the exact opposite. Sadly, she doesn't get much to do and is relegated as merely Koko's lover for the majority of the season. She had a prominent storyline in the first season, and here has her role reduced dramatically, so much so that in the first 7 episodes of the season, I recall her speaking maybe 2-3 times.
- The handling of R's storyline. While I'm pleased with how it did unfold, and quite frankly I believe they were the best episodes of the season. I think this should have been extended to the entirety of the season and really fleshed his betrayal out. Instead it's resolved in about 3 or so episodes.
Video and Audio:
The animation quality for Jormungand is amazing at most times with special mention going to the setting shots. The landscapes are fantastically drawn, obviously with a ton of detail going into them. The character designs aren't very unique besides the two leads, Koko and Jonah. I'm assuming not much went into the other characters detail as they're honestly pretty standard and rather bland.
For Audio, we have two different audio tracks. The first is a TrueHD 2.0 English Dolby and the second is the original TrueHD 2.0 Japanese Stereo track, as usual I watched the English dub. The audio quality of Jormungand is very good throughout, my only issue is at times the dialogue doesn't particularly match up with the mouth flaps and it can get grating after a while. Despite that, Jormungand has a good dub, and the dialogue is delivered crisply throughout. The soundtrack does a good job with amplifying the action scenes while nicely underlying the intimate scenes. There were no noticeable audio dropouts or distortions throughout the set.
Extras: - Episode 15 commentary with Christopher Bevins, the ADR director for the series as well as voicing the role of Akihoko Tojo. Ian Sinclair, who plays R, Jamie Marchi who plays Hex. Lastly, Mark Stoddard, the voice of George Black, the CIA agent after Koko. - Episode 24 commentary with Christopher Bevins, the ADR director of Jormungand. Micah Solusod, the voice of Jonah. Anastasia Muniz, the voice of Koko. Lastly, Gwendolyn Lau, the voice of Minami, one of Koko's closest friends and trusted allies. - Team Koko: A Look Inside with the American Directot and Cast - An 11 minute video featuring Christopher Bevins, the voice of Tojo as well as the ADR director for the series. Micah Solusod, the voice of Jonah, and Anastasia Munoz, the voice of Koko. They talk about their characters, the casting process, what it was like working on a show like Jormungand and various other topics. - Textless songs. - US Trailer. - Trailers. Overall:
Perfect Order delivers pretty much more of the same as Season 1, except for the fact that everything is upped and is on a much larger scale. Season 2 wraps the story of Koko and her crew in a great and unpredictable fashion. Season 2 gives us more character development on nearly all of the characters, the brutality is upped, and the series has a fantastic sendoff for Koko and her crew. Consider Jormungand as a whole Highly Recommended.
- Episode 15 commentary with Christopher Bevins, the ADR director for the series as well as voicing the role of Akihoko Tojo. Ian Sinclair, who plays R, Jamie Marchi who plays Hex. Lastly, Mark Stoddard, the voice of George Black, the CIA agent after Koko.
- Episode 24 commentary with Christopher Bevins, the ADR director of Jormungand. Micah Solusod, the voice of Jonah. Anastasia Muniz, the voice of Koko. Lastly, Gwendolyn Lau, the voice of Minami, one of Koko's closest friends and trusted allies.
- Team Koko: A Look Inside with the American Directot and Cast - An 11 minute video featuring Christopher Bevins, the voice of Tojo as well as the ADR director for the series. Micah Solusod, the voice of Jonah, and Anastasia Munoz, the voice of Koko. They talk about their characters, the casting process, what it was like working on a show like Jormungand and various other topics.
- Textless songs.
- US Trailer.