Jormungand – 04
「ムジカ・エクス・マキーナ Phase.2」 (Mujika Ekusu Makina Phase.2)
“Musica Ex Machina Phase.2″
At this point, everyone knows how much I love this series overall. As such, it’s probably no surprise that my expectations were extremely high when I saw that we were about to get the first multi-part arc of the series. I mean, when you can create such greatness with stand-alone episodes, how much better could it if given multiple episodes to flesh out a particular development/plotline? Yet even with those high expectations, the conclusion of the Orchestra arc still blows me away. In fact, this was probably the best episode of the series, and maybe even one of the best episodes of any series this season. Considering the quality of the previous episodes and the other series overall, that’s some high praise, and in my opinion, rightfully so.
Why? Because this episode does everything right. Not only does it continue doing what the series has done well up to this point, but it also complements it with a serious touch that shows us what the series really is about and touches upon potentially controversial topics while it’s at it. In turn, it makes you just take a moment and think about the topics discussed, though there’s enough here to make the episode enjoyable without needing to ponder about it.
Personally though, I couldn’t help but ponder when given so much statistics and quotes such as “Modern day saints carry assault rifles and spread the word of God with their bullets.” For one, it got me thinking about how fortunate I am to be living in an area free from things such as arms dealing, everyday gun violence, and organizations that employ child soldiers. At the same time, it makes me realize the flip side of the equation, how there are still some regions in the world that have such aspects—places where radically different views apply and situations occur daily that we can barely fathom. It also makes me realize that there are gun related incidents in the news all the time, and most of them are due to guns owned by civilians. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to go into pro-gun or gun control philosophies or anything. Rather, they’re merely examples to support my original point that the series makes you think, and also to point out that Jormungand is heavily rooted in reality, an aspect that makes the series even more praise worthy. Personally, I feel that too few anime root themselves in reality to such a degree and even fewer encroach on topics as controversial as the aforementioned, when so much potential greatness can be obtained by incorporating these aspects.
On a side note, I can’t help but feel that the original writer is using Koko’s character to put out some of his own views. Sure, the sheer amount of statistics could purely be additional research to ensure the realism of the series, but combined with the powerful quotes and the fact that he could’ve easily just made some statistics up rather than use ones with some factual basis makes me feel like there’s more to it than that. I could be completely wrong, but I’m putting this out here to see if it’s just me, or if there are other people out there that feel the same way too.
Moving on, you’ll probably remember me saying how Jormungand has been a good example of great directing and writing. To say the least, this episode further emphasizes that fact, as many scenes have an impact (or more of an impact) solely because of prior developments. Without proper planning and specific placement of certain scenes, this is one thing that would not have been possible, and this episode would’ve had much less impact as a result. For instance, the gag about Chinatsu and her underwear. It’s funny whether or not we heard the gag before, but it’s definitely funnier because it was mentioned last episode. This additional humor prevents the episode from becoming too overly serious, while also making her a memorable character for that aspect. In turn, this her death much harder to bear and makes you feel just a bit of anger at Koko’s group, even though you know they’re the ultimate focus of the story. To top it off with another example, the fact that we see Chinatsu’s past in the beginning makes the death of her master, as well as her comment “You can’t mess up my life, then leave me alone” that much more emotional, whereas it would’ve made no real impact otherwise. Combine this with the fact that Lutz refused to shoot at first and it makes her ultimate demise even more heartrending, as it seemed like she would survive to see another day or even join Koko’s group. Furthermore, words could scarcely describe the feelings I had when this development forced one of the more likable characters of the series, Lehm, to take the final shot.
In the end, I could spend the length of multiple posts to writing out everything I wanted to say about this episode. I’ll stop here this time around, as its getting toward a thousand words at this point, but I have to say that this was a spectacular episode, rife with crazy developments and real life emotional reactions. Perhaps I’ll revisit this post one day in some sort of post-series discussion, but for now, let us join together to bid Chinatsu adieu. We’ve only gotten to know you for two episodes, but even so, the short time felt like eternity.
ED2: 「白くやわらかな花」 (Shiroku Yawarakana Hana) by やなぎなぎ (Yanagi Nagi)
Watch the 2nd ED!: Streaming ▼