TOP TEN AANNIIMMEE OF 2012 - #4
"Jormungand" is a mostly intelligent, sometimes morally questionable, and consistently entertaining series which stands radically outside of any established mold for action anime. It’s also about as literal as a manga-to-anime adaptation can possibly be. This decision was almost certainly for the best, as the tightly plotted story delivered in the manga required very little polishing up in the first place. The aspects of the series to which I feel some aversion from are the same which serve to make the series all that it is, namely the inclusion of some pretty heavy real world current event-type material. War profiteers, child soldiers, Blackwater mercenaries, drone strikes, undisclosed and unlawful state imprisonment… even when mostly handled well, these are some grim realities being mined here amid lighthearted scenes of humor and the occasional fanservice shot. Although I suppose that’s in-keeping with reality, albeit with better fanservice than I’m accustomed to experiencing in my daily existence.
"Jormungand" has one of the better character lineups that I’ve ever seen in something like this. It’s actually pretty standard on paper - specialists of varying ethnicities from a wide range of revealed backgrounds, whatever, whatever, but it rarely feels forced in this instance. It’s difficult to avoid comparisons between this series and "Black Lagoon." However, whereas "Black Lagoon" is a largely mindless series with great action and sporadic intelligent turns of no small inventiveness, "Jormungand" is an intelligent and inventive series with sporadic turns of great, mindless action. There’s a lot to keep track of at certain points, as some of the relationships at the core of various arcs are fairly complex. There were elements which I really didn’t feel I had a suitably full grasp of until both watching the series and reading the manga, but, I don’t know, maybe I’m just not as attentive as others.
Note: I’m considering “Jormungand” and “Jormungand: Perfect Order” to be one and the same, despite the season gap between their airing.
Another note: I think it was solely my crush on Valmet that earned this a spot above “Hyouka.”
View all 2012 list entries here.