Jormungand: Perfect Order – 04
「キャスパーとヨナ」 (Kyasupa to Yona)
“Kasper and Jonah”
Going right in, this episode ended up a bit of a surprise for the most part. Following the death of R, I had anticipated a big focus on Koko and her subsequent reactions and actions, but while this did play a fair part… it looks like they’ll be slowly playing this out through the next arc instead. Not that I have any qualms though, especially if they continue doing it as well as they did this episode, which involved some subtle references and commentary from those around her, rather than it taking over everything at the forefront.
In the end, the thing that did play a big part in this episode however (and also the biggest reason for my surprise), was the massive focus on Jonah and Kasper. Having worked off a mixture of the raw and what I read from the manga regarding the end of the “Dance with Undershaft” arc, this came as a big surprise… but it was definitely a pleasant one. Granted, they could’ve done it with less flashbacks (and exact copies of them) from the first season, but seeing as I did forget a few of the specific lines and comments uttered at the time, it served as both a nice refresher and more importantly, as a symbol of Jonah’s development over time, as well as the development of the dynamics between Jonah and Kasper.
At this point, it’s obvious that while the two were pretty much forced together by circumstance, it certainly seems like they’ve grown to at least understand each other and tolerate each other’s presence. Jonah’s no longer as quick to react and “hot-headed” as he was at the beginning of the first season, where he at times looked like he had a death wish, and it just shows his maturation under Koko’s watch. In turn, it’s a testament to the person Koko has been up until this point, and how despite her profession, her quirky personality makes it so that she’s actually managed to give Jonah a lot more positives than negatives in terms of influences. In a way, it’s to a point where you can even argue, Jonah was already pushed down so deep into the negatives of being a child soldier, that everything Koko’s managed to do has been positive compared to the scenarios he was put through before.
Shifting back for a moment, I just have to say… the expressions Jonah had when he saw Maurice, Eline, and Jano were just well… priceless. The sheer amount of happiness just shows that deep down, he’s just still a kid in many ways. He clearly would like to live a normal life with/like them, but with his intentional passing on the opportunity to actually go out and talk with them also demonstrates his maturity as well. He’s certainly accepted by now that he’s no longer the person he was before, that his life is no longer something compatible with theirs, and he understands that he shouldn’t be disturbing the peaceful lives his former friends are having at the moment. And it’s this subtle maturation throughout that just makes Jormungand an exceptional series… and one much more complex than the action oriented shoot-bang that many see on the outside. There’s just so much more to everything than meets the eye and in this case, it’s the obvious, but also invisible line that divides the line between the normal and those who kill to survive.
Continuing along this line of thought, this development also notably leads to Jonah saying that he’ll perhaps start trusting Kasper from now on, which is something you really couldn’t have expected from him earlier in the series. It further reinforces the type of complex character he is, as well as the development he’s been forced to have due to the situations he’s been given. In linking back to above about how they were forced together despite them not wanting to associate with one another for the most part, this interaction also highlights how in a way, both are better off because of it… and both seem to be realizing and accepting that. Jonah, despite not living a normal life, is still much better off under Koko than he was before… and his former friends are even safe and living normal lives as a result too. Kasper on the other hand knows that his sister Koko is in good hands as well, and in ways, despite his harsh treatment of Jonah at their first meeting, certainly seems like the good guy in that respect (in hindsight). Furthermore, his comment of not to trust anyone in response, is even more telling. It sounds exceptionally cynical and pessimistic, but it’s something that Kasper has learned from experience in his line of work, and also further proves his nature as something with more positives than negatives.
And before I end things here, I’d like to also talk about that aspect too. Because if there’s another large factor in this series aside from all the arms dealing, the action, the complex aspects we’ve already discussed… it’s the line between good and bad. Our protagonists at this point… it’s just hard to classify them as particularly bad or particularly good. You root for them because of their kick ass routines, the fact the characters are so great, and because they’re the main characters… but at the same time, you know that sometimes, the things they do just aren’t things “good guys” or “heroes” would do. Heck, even the characters themselves understand this respect. And it’s just this dynamic commentary on “What is good?” and “What is evil?” that just adds another layer of complexity to it all.
Overall, there’s just so much that this series does well, and character development is definitely one of them. We’re only a few episodes into this second season, but we’re starting to see just how much each character has come, and it seems like Tojo gets his chance this coming arc. Once again, it’s just amazing how much Jormungand is able to do so much despite so many characters, and well, it’s exactly that and the unique personalities of each one that make this series so enjoyable to watch. Seeing Chequita and the rest of Kasper’s squad again was great, as was seeing their unique interactions with one another in comparison to the interactions of Koko and her own squad. Really, I just run out of words describing this series on a daily basis, and despite the flashback heavy content, this episode still manages to do the same. At this point, it really is like what many have said. The only real nagging negative to the series is the time you have to wait between episodes. And also, last but not least, the cheers that Kasper’s squad gives to R… just attests to the comradery, rivalry, and respect they all have with one another… and the emphasis on the CIA POO as the world’s “boogeymen” to say the least.