Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Jormungand - Episode 4

In spite of the massive shoot-out and the ultimate problem of being substantially outnumbered, the unlikely duo of Orchestra are still well and truly at large and on Koko's trail as we enter the second half of Jormungand's latest story arc.  First, however, we find a little time to delve into the origins of Chinatsu's origins as an unlikely assassin.

With that done, it's time for some more high octane but slightly unbelievable action, as Koko's crew try to protect her and Jonah from Orchestra's increasingly dangerous attacks - something which proves difficult as the latter group ramp up the weapons at their disposal.  Ultimately, some quick thinking by Jonah prevents any serious injury to Koko, which itself turns the table on Orchestra - fatally so for one of the duo.

Thus, Koko lives to fight another day, albeit not before having to put up with a decidedly belligerent and persistent CIA agent who understandably takes an interest in her and her activities, leaving her needing to use the local police force's pliability to her advantage.  This still leaves the problem of Chinatsu, who having sworn vengeance against the killers of her comrade is certain to return looking to wreak her revenge on those responsible.  But does a single girl, no matter how determined, have what it takes to get past Koko's team, let alone to take down our anti-heroine of an arms dealer herself?

Before I say anything else, allow me to posit that this was by far the best Jormungand has offered us to this point.  It's still a decidedly flawed vehicle, don't get me wrong - characters needlessly pointing out the names of weapons in the heat of battle is military porn at its worse, and elements like Chinatsu's underwear wearing proclivities were exploitative in a far more obvious way - but on this occasion I'd rather focus on what the episode did do right in taking an average start to this story arc and accentuating everything that was interest about it superbly.  For starters, we have Koko herself, who continues to be an enigma in her actions for the most part, but it was fascinating to see her almost crippled by fear without her team around her - a very different side to a character who has taken blows to the face with a grin as a matter of course.  Then there's her interactions with both Jonah and Chinatsu - the former is interesting purely as a point of debate as she ponders the money spent on arms versus charity and improving humanity as a whole, while the latter is fascinating in a far more personal way as two characters who seem to have made a very different lot from extreme circumstances face up to one another.  The episode's final scenes are both strangely touching while growing the mystery surrounding Koko yet further - there's so much left unsaid, and an important line obliterated entirely, but it worked marvellously at achieving what it set out to in numerous ways.  If Jormungand can continue to build on these elements, and perhaps being a little less desperate to impress people with its in your face characters and circumstances, then it could grow into an impressive series.

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