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「ムジカ・エクス・マキーナ Phase.1」 (Mujika Ekusu Makina Phase.1)
“Musica Ex Machina Phase.1″

There was going to be another guest lecture, but it seems that loco Koko’s busy fighting off assassins at the moment. To make up for her absence, I have with me new arms dealing lessons, straight from the battlefields of the Middle East!

Arms Dealing Notes from the Middle East

**Zephyr is not responsible for any harm resulting from the use of this unofficial guide.

  • A real arms dealer should not fear their merchandise. To fear is to hear the symphony associated with passing on to the heavens.
  • A real arms dealer knows that the moment you run out of ideas and bullets, you’re done. ALWAYS pack extra heat.
  • Arms dealing is serious business. There are assassins everywhere, law enforcement cannot protect you, and you need to know your music terminology or face the wrath of the certain, more “cultured” arms dealers. How do you know you have a cultured person in front of you? When they say stuff like your silencer is playing the wrong notes. And no, just knowing the word “orchestra” will not save you.
  • Know that Koko Hekmatyar does things a bit differently. If you join her group, you should know that you don’t die in a firefight, rather, you make others die in your place. Also, you’ll need to have a screw or two loose, while still having some semblance of humanity. Some basic math knowledge may be needed, though not a requirement.
  • Real assassins don’t wear underwear. This is perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned. It’s just not cool. Also, it may come in handy as a great, one time diversion.
  • Thus, Jormungand continues to be an informative reference in the art of arms dealing. More importantly, it’s a solid demonstration of what makes a good anime.

    See, we all have a good grasp of the characters and their personalities, yet the characters and events that happen each episode continue to surprise. And from these surprises come developments and interactions that are rarely what you expect, yet never cease to be of the pleasant and occasionally funny variety. What does this show? It shows that Jormungand is an anime a cut above others by avoiding the pitfalls of repetition and the hazards of being predictable and bland, while not steering too far from the established premise and atmosphere. It’s theoretically just pure, good writing on the part of the creator Takahashi Keitarou and great direction on the part of Montonaga Keitarou, but it’s not exactly easy to have someone do quality work on one of these aspects, let alone both. I mean, to be able to surprise when given so little room to do and to be able to adapt this into an anime takes special talent, and it’s definitely showing each episode so far, and hopefully for the future as well.

    Notably, this talent also shows in another aspect that makes Jormungand a rare commodity: a series that contains a perfect mixture of seriousness and comedy. I mean, the original premise brings with it a naturally serious atmosphere. The problem is, a serious premise limits the paths a show can go down. Some will choose to maintain this feel throughout, with little or no mood change. What usually happens is the creation of a show that becomes overly serious, to the point where it becomes a detriment to its enjoyment. Others attempt to mix in some comedic bits to ease the atmosphere, but either don’t do it enough, do it too much, or just flat out fail in its implementation, bringing the episode and the series down with it. This is where Jormungand has really shined. The mixture of humor and seriousness is perfect, the episodes never skip a beat while never straying too far into either side, and it results in a darn entertaining show to watch.

    What’s more is that I’ve hardly even touched on the characters themselves, who are plentiful in number, yet mesh together incredibly well. I could go into detail on how much I love each character and how they’ve been phased out personality wise up until this point, but it’d take all day, and I wouldn’t be able to stop writing. Long story short: Koko’s loco, Valmet’s just fun to watch, Lehm’s too suave for words, Jonah’s slowly growing into a complex character, and really, what more could you want?

    Overall, there’s nothing new here in terms of quality, as Jormungand continues to entertain and show why it’s one of the best shows of a great season. I can’t help but feel that the story’ll take a turn for the serious soon enough, but I know I’ll definitely enjoying the comedic bits while they’re still here.

    Full Length: 19

     

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    Preview

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    April 25, 2012 at 5:50 pm
    67 comments »
    • April 25, 2012 at 6:03 pmStyxounette

      Real assassins also wear angular deerstalkers, apparently.
      But I’m not worried about Koko, if she have to die oneday, it’ll be from skin cancer. Assassins should just stop trying and wait for her sun resistance to reach zero.

      • April 25, 2012 at 6:48 pmFantomOmega

        Sorry to inform you that they’ll be waiting a LONG time for “that” to happen
        Crazy people get a Stat Boost on ALL parameters remember? (I’m looking at you yuno…. >_>)

      • April 25, 2012 at 7:51 pmJohn Hayabusa

        I just noticed that Valmet is quite a big girl. Almost as big as her male comrades. Anyways, I really liked her in this episode. Too bad she got shot though. Blushing all over Koko, she is so cute! XD

    • April 25, 2012 at 6:05 pmDa5id

      Her name is Koko.

      She is loco.

      I said…

      *in explicably puts on sunglasses*

      …oh, no.

    • April 25, 2012 at 6:06 pmActene

      Overall a great episode, but the action took me out of the show for the first time here. I don’t know if it’s the transition from manga panels to anime motion, but there were several points where characters had clear openings to take shots at their opponents and didn’t take them, or simply missed due to plot shielding. This was especially bad when Jonah went after Orchestra with the MP5 (at least I think that’s what it was). The half a minute long sequence of the two of them blazing away at each other in the open at close range was a really unnecessary stretch of my suspension of disbelief (particularly since Orchestra wasted the police sniping team shortly after from a much greater distance).

      Other than that, I can’t complain. With the way Lehm and the rest of the team arrived on-scene so quickly, I get the feeling Koko might have been planning to draw the assassins out the whole time. I’m hoping we’ll find out who hired them and why next episode, since that was the only plot detail I found annoying.

      • April 28, 2012 at 12:39 amewok40k

        Yup that charge was pretty suicidal… and I think the gunrunners team could easily turn the tables on the orchestra with Lehm flanking the pair while Jonah kept them busy and forced to use the shield front to him.
        Anyway, its time to quote certain villain from another movie:
        Zorg: I know this music, lets change the beat.

    • April 25, 2012 at 6:17 pmbutterbean

      Look’s like Koko is a bit of a shotacon!

    • April 25, 2012 at 6:42 pmjustin

      i just found out today that i got a new job: real assassin..

      • April 26, 2012 at 2:02 amJunglepenguin

        Real assassins reveal their identities on anime blogs? That’s some lousy training showing right there.

      • April 26, 2012 at 2:12 amD-LaN

        Lol who cares. (As long as we are not in trouble, tht is)

    • April 25, 2012 at 6:49 pmzleihsh

      Jonah’s math skill is one of a kind…..did anyone notice that he got the 1st problem wrong? the one w/ 18*14, it does not equal to 234 but 252.
      Also it seem we get more personality out off him. We see him get mad, blushing, rebuking, etc. Like Koko said, he gives her honest opinion of what he thinks on weapons and people and people’s reaction towards them along w/the results these weapons bring.
      The dialog is also charming, like, “you get free hatred for everything you sell…..I’d like to sell but no one wants to buy it from me!” –Koko XDDDDD
      I’d really like to see/hear Koko’s POV on what Jonah said on weapons….
      Can’t wait for next ep!

      • April 30, 2012 at 9:00 amKit-A-Ron-Ron-Kat

        35 x 11 =

        “More or less 300″

        Forget basic algebra, that boy here has the mindset of a true statistician !

        Seriously though, good thing the team never stay in the same place for long, or all the local shop cashiers would quicly learn they can screw Jonah out of his change.

    • April 25, 2012 at 6:51 pmVinchester

      This episode really reminds me of the good old CounterStrike.

    • April 25, 2012 at 6:53 pmPtolemaios00

      Valmet’s BOOBs are Legen- waitforit

      This episode got just a bit more shounen-ish. “Jonah’s charge straight into the AK47 bullet spray” and “Chinatsu miraculously sensing Lehm’s silenced snipe shots” were a bit too convenient. I’d like to imagine somewhere that Nicolas Cage is doing the exact same thing, so these scenes kind of broke the immersion for me. Still an overall GREAT episode. Chinatsu is a lovely character, and I hope she gets more screen time like maybe joining Yoko’s team.

      -dary!

      • April 25, 2012 at 9:39 pmcancerlad

        I’d have said:

        “Legen- waitforit
        —dairy!”

        • April 26, 2012 at 6:34 pmPtolemaios00

          Well phrased. I bow to your creativity. =)

      • April 25, 2012 at 11:40 pmKoroshiyaKi

        I would like to note that silencers aren’t all that silent.

        • April 26, 2012 at 1:59 amJunglepenguin

          Not to mention that the silencer wasn’t needed at all, if Lehm had just decided to take the targets out while they were completely open and firing madly at Koko and company. (And it still wouldn’t have mattered if he didn’t do as mentioned above.)

        • April 26, 2012 at 8:15 amPtolemaios00

          Sure silenced shots still make noise, but the Orchestra guy was spraying an AK…

        • April 26, 2012 at 8:57 amJunglepenguin

          See, the thing is, unless pantsu-less schoolgirl has the ability to hear a shot being fired, identify the direction that the shot was made and move her riot shield to the appropriate position to block the shot within the time it takes for a bullet to leave a silenced pistol and hit a target not more than 20 metres away, this whole silencer argument just makes no sense. She didn’t hear the bullet. She just got lucky and noticed (sensed, whatever) Lehm and reacted in time.

          Since we’re on the topic, I’d like those reading to ponder a little: Why would Lehm need to use a suppressor (silencer) at all? Firstly, it potentially lowers accuracy, and forces the user to compensate for the change in bullet velocity and accuracy, ultimately increasing the difficulty of hitting the target. Quite unnecessary, when you consider the 2nd point – You use a suppressor when you want to reduce the chance of revealing your position, important when taking out a target while remaining hidden in an area with multiple hostiles. Lehm had but 2 targets, both of which were right next to each other. There was no other person around that he needed to hide his position from. So what exactly was the suppressor for?

          Just one of the many discrepencies…

        • April 26, 2012 at 6:57 pmPtolemaios00

          I thought the point of the silencer was to pull off his sneak attack without them noticing even if he misses the first few shots.

          I did also think it was weird when he was hiding behind a column with full unobstructed view of the Orchestra side. He could have finished it then and there when Jonah was still attacking. The overlapping/flanking fields of fire against just one non-bulletproof shield should have been an easy win.

        • May 3, 2012 at 1:52 pmdh19440113

          A supressor would lower muzzle velocity below 1117 ft/s rendering it impossible to penetrate a riot shield. It is not so much the bullet drop since they were close quarter but the difference between 2700ft/s to 1100 ft/s. Thats the difference of force of impact and penetration on armor. Yes, I hadn’t realize the fallacy until you point it out.

    • April 25, 2012 at 7:03 pmcancerlad

      I love Koko’s big sister relationship with Jonah. Its so sweet.

      I laughed so hard I cried over “Hey, Chinatsu, where is your underwear?” “Not telling!” Ha. So good. Love this show. Love the blogging. Win-Win.

    • April 25, 2012 at 7:17 pmGuardian Enzo

      Jormungand is trying to use absurdity to give insight into the human condition, so preposterous action sequences are par for the course. If you want to cut through the veneer of bombast and disorder and see what’s actually happening in this show, watch Jonah and listen to Lehm. Do those two things and you’ll always know what the author’s main point is.

      • April 26, 2012 at 8:49 amJustinnnnnn

        Okay, was I the only one who found a lot of the developments unbelievable? That short firefight Orchestra exchanged with Koko and her subordinates was ridiculous: first off, by the time you finish even one of those poetic, convoluted lines in the middle of a gunfight…you’re dead.

        And secondly and most important, Jonah rushed out in the open to take down Orchestra (and sacrifice himself, if it comes down to that).
        –He fires like 3 bullets at that distance, and not one lands on any Orchestra memebers’ head or body (two episodes ago, he sniped a guy before he was able to fire a Javelin…the distance and precision had worse numbers too). The same goes for Orchestra Boss.
        –A magic string comes from behind, grabs Jonah, and pulls him out perfectly from gunfire range. Umm, okay, but most importantly: the savior gives a long lecture to Jonah in that very moment? Dude, there are killers right around the corner.
        -Orchestra pulls out a bazooka…and empties all bullets on the police. You’d rather complete your objective first and then run away, right? Even more so if you’re this skilled.

        XD I really thought you were being very sarcastic Zephyr in some of those bulletpoints, but now thatI finished reading the blog post it seems to me you really liked the episode (that’s cool); no flaws found. I dunno, if most firefights are going to be like this in my Jormungund, damn. So much for a more realistic show xP

      • April 26, 2012 at 8:53 amJustinnnnnn

        Don’t get me wrong: I’m enjoying Jormungund a lot, but if the writers are going to take these liberties whenever plot needs to, then I think Jormungund isn’t that different to most animes out there, narrative-wise.

    • April 25, 2012 at 7:17 pmanimato

      The most epic episode yet.. And we’re only on ep 3 XD

    • April 25, 2012 at 7:25 pmfrubam

      Damnit, tank top aside, Valmet was extra cute this episode =03! She just had the most adorable facial expressions.

      I gotta say though, I’m kinda disappointed in Jonah. I know he’s a bit young, but, for whatever reason, I thought he had more skill than what he showed with Orchestra in this episode(I blame the Noirs and the Madlaxes (>.>)). Still, I was kinda on his side when Lehm stopped him, even though Lehm was completely right.

      • April 25, 2012 at 8:16 pmSuppa Tenko

        He’s proven to be very skilled in a flashback. Of course none of the characters in this show are superhuman so don’t expect anything like that.

      • April 25, 2012 at 9:01 pmTez

        She dances the line between brutish & cute quite skillfully.

    • April 25, 2012 at 9:12 pmKgfj

      Can somebody tell me how come jonah doesn’t get hit by any bullets when he runs into the guy from orchestra unprotected??

    • April 25, 2012 at 9:34 pmMrTerrorist

      Welcome to Dubai where we have the best police force against anything….except pantyless assassins. (^_^’)

      • April 25, 2012 at 11:28 pmdxb_blackwolf

        woohoo finally the middle east is shown in an anime again. I was starting to think that Japan didn’t know we existed. And it’s in Dubai :D. Last anime that I remember to have mentioned Dubai was Seto no Hanayome.

    • April 25, 2012 at 10:06 pmbelatkuro

      No one mentioning Koko in miniskirt and thighhighs? I am disappoint.

      Lehm is quickly becoming my favorite character here. Cool and suave yet strict and good with words and guns.
      Jonah is still a kid after all so his rash action here isnt off but I agree with Lehm that his suicidal attitude is not for the team.
      Makes me curious of his past and why Koko picked him up.
      Best episode yet despite that point blank showdown of Jonah and the enemy but none got hit and then the enemy takes out the snipers on the roof with such accuracy.

      • April 25, 2012 at 11:28 pmGuardian Enzo

        Lehm is the top boss of cool, no doubt about it – he’s one of the great GAR characters of recent manga.

    • April 25, 2012 at 11:51 pmMartianMage

      Couldn’t really agree with the “great direction” especially when the action was pretty much terrible in this episode.

    • April 25, 2012 at 11:55 pmBijyu

      Aside from Valmet being adorable this was my least favorite episode of the series so far. Major annoyances watching a markman who can on a whim fire two shots and hit police snipers on top of a building but can’t shoot a kid out in the open running in a straight at him from like 20 yards away? And then again when a guy with a silenced pistol has minutes of an exposed enemy backside and when he FINALLY does fire there is literally a pause so long he could have run up and punched the girl before the bullet connects with her shield.

      Such a poorly thought out fight scene. Disbelief is one thing. But when it literally creates such a pause in the action that I have time to stop and think about why this is badly done while still watching the show something is wrong.

    • April 26, 2012 at 1:12 amZhinvu

      The scene where Valmet was sad when Koko planned to bring Jonah along to their date, then got happy when she decided to leave him behind strangely reminded me of this:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2eCgmaMauA&feature=related
      It’s like you can make a loop and replace Koko with Yui. Weird I know.

    • April 26, 2012 at 1:22 amAzure Divinity

      It’s amazing how epic this show is lol. Keep selling weapons for WORLD PEACE!

    • April 26, 2012 at 1:29 amJunglepenguin

      Looks like I’m not the only one mightily disappointed with how that shoot-out turned out to be. Sure, we could play the “it’s anime, not real life” card, but really, I was expecting a little more attention to details concerning firefights and guns, considering that these 2 points and arms dealing essentially make the series. And I can’t decide if the producers want me to think of this as realistic or not. I can forgive the occasional discrepancy, but this episode started off on the wrong foot with the dude and his amazing set of shark teeth, and went downhill from there, save for Johan’s knowledge of math and ability to skip class. Lehm, calm and poised in the middle of a firefight, would have looked pretty cool in that situation, but no, he blew that chance with the multitude of errors he made throughout the whole thing – lecture, silencer, failed opportunities and all. Don’t get me started with Koko and eyepatch girl, and Johan, sheesh. All in all, quite the disappointment this week. Will I still be following this? Don’t count on it.

      • April 26, 2012 at 2:24 amD-LaN

        Chill, bro.

        • April 26, 2012 at 8:20 amJunglepenguin

          I am, actually. If I weren’t, I’d probably be, uhhh, I dunno, writing a wall of text 4X as long as that?

      • April 26, 2012 at 9:57 amAnishuma

        Show me a realistic anime so I can call bullshit on anything you say.

        • April 26, 2012 at 10:32 amJunglepenguin

          I don’t see why you’d need to do something like that. Ah well.

          Cat Shit One. Yes, bunnies wielding rifles are realistic. =D

    • April 26, 2012 at 2:20 amshez

      I think the guy from orchestra missed his shots because Jonah is portrayed in the series small and quick. The marksmen were easy to hit because they were both stationary dispite being far making them both more easier to hit.

      • April 26, 2012 at 8:33 amJunglepenguin

        A plausible argument, if not for the fact that we see Johan running head first, MP5K blazing straight into orchestra dude. If Johan was shown strafing around and keeping his head low, I might accept that argument. It really could have been done a lot better, that whole scene.

        • April 26, 2012 at 8:56 amJustinnnnnn

          Yeah, pretty much my concerns there too, JunglePenguin.

        • April 26, 2012 at 11:55 amBijyu

          Yup completely agree, and during this entire time why is Lehm not shooting at them? He was at a different angle to the side of their shield. So while they are focusing oh Jonah why did he not put a few rounds into them? There were so many problems with this weeks fight it really detracted from the episode. Still enjoying the show and it is still one of my favorite this season. But small changes could make the fight so much more believable even if the things they are doing aren’t. By that I mean things like dodging bullets are completely unbelievable. However by making the character actually take actions to dodge the bullets instead of them just missing it makes the scene more believable.

    • April 26, 2012 at 2:30 ammac65

      Great episode. I find myself noticing less the impossible gun-play (as Enzo points out),
      and seeing the characters beneath in this series. I didn’t think I would be drawn in and
      care about the characters in this series, but I do.

      We see, through Jonah, how Koko draws her team to herself (and each other). It’s not through
      intimidation, that’s clear. Jonah’s charge was not based on a sense of duty, but of protecting
      that growing bond between himself and the other team members with Koko. This was underscored
      by Lehm when he dragged his butt to safety and explained to him, in terms he could understand,
      we’re not in this for the martyrdom: we train, we learn, and we strike with that knowledge.

      How often we see things labelled as one things but wind up being something else entirely;
      Koko labels herself as an arms dealer – but I wonder what her real intent is (it’s beginning
      to show). She only meets her opponents half way; she pushed back as hard as they push her.

    • April 26, 2012 at 4:04 amGur-KLAC-ren Lag-KAC-ann

      this weep ep is so now koko & crew vs orchestra assassins yea indeed lots boom bang shooting hey who knew it can also make music as well or farts?

      oh jonah no good in numbers also valmet trying get koko love.

      yea expect more in next ep.

      & yea good news koko is not a cougar give kids love ok make 3 way with valmet as well.

    • April 26, 2012 at 5:12 amSeishun Otoko

      Damn, Jormungand just gets better and better. There’s no sugar coating and we get to see the gory details at its best. Lehm’s definitely the one who stood out this week and I can’t wait to see him in action. GARRRRRRR!!!

    • April 26, 2012 at 6:40 amD-LaN

      Wow, timer automatic handgun, just wow.

      And I come to believe tht arms dealer and assassin must have some lose screws….. And I can’t imagine wht will happen if Orchestra chick got her hand at Jonah….

      Lehm is just KOOOOOL!! Oh, and Koko is still Loco and a shotacon.

    • April 26, 2012 at 11:36 amJhacks

      hat gun fight was fun……… and very stupid. Another Spring Anime to add to the “don’t take it very seriously list”

    • April 27, 2012 at 4:49 amBio D

      I’m fine with impossible gunplay, as long as it’s consistent. The shootout between Jonah and Mr. Orchestra suspended my disbelief just a wheee bit too far after we’d seen what they both could do. No wonder Koko isn’t afraid of guns, she has Plot Armor.

    • April 27, 2012 at 6:25 amYes!@

      It looks that the gun side at this moment is secondary to character development. For your weekly fix of “realistic” gun info go to Uppote. Also have you tried to count how many words a news anchor says in 30 seconds? Lehm’s speech looks long but it could have being said really quickly, sadly execution wise it felt too long. But I have to agree that they sacrified the gun fight accurancy for the development of characters. I didn’t hate it; but it had a weird feeling. While watching the episode my point of view was that they are humans and made bad decisions in a stressful situation (Jonah running point blank, Lehm silencer).

      Valmet is the stealing the show for me. Now if the pantsu-less asassin join the team we can have a shipping galore: Valemt > Koko ; koko > Jonah and asassin > Jonah

    • April 27, 2012 at 8:06 amRexx

      u know nothing about silencers. bullets breaks the sound of barrier when shot using a silencer.Silencers doesn’t remove muzzle flash.

      • April 28, 2012 at 12:43 amewok40k

        silenced guns often use special low-velocity subsonic bullets to avoid this… oh and they often use heavy calibres to compensate loss of velocity with mass of projectile (hence .45 Lehm used)
        the silencer made SOME sense, in a chaotic battle surprise attack from silenced gun often goes unnoticed – though it was to no avail due to the 6th sense the pantless girl apparently possesed…

    • April 29, 2012 at 2:59 amSinan Çevik

      Chinatsu girl made my day! Pity that we’ll (probably) loose her soon.

    • April 29, 2012 at 5:40 amGhostalker

      Revy and Roberta a.k.a. “Bloodhound of Florencia” would probably laugh on how terrible shooters this people are.

    • April 29, 2012 at 11:01 amJase

      That gun fight was way to unrealistic, it ruined the whole episode for me!

    • April 29, 2012 at 1:59 pmGhostalker

      For gun battles this season, I would prefer Upotte!, too bad no one is covering it up.

    • May 2, 2012 at 5:44 amdh19440113

      upotte? is a show for noobz no offense but 5.56×39 caliber only exist in fantasy land. Valmet 95 is chambered for 7.62×39 and rechambered for the west at 5.56×45 223.

    • May 2, 2012 at 5:52 amdh19440113

      Upotte don’t cater to general anime fan cause weapons don’t interest them and turn off gun owner for their distortion of facts. Jormungand is factual about model and chambering. like the Brugger and Thomet APR chambered is lapua magnum 338.