Note: This was quite the episode to talk about by itself, but combined with having two writers who typically write a lot in the first place, this post ended up quite long indeed. As such, I’ve separated my post and Guardian Enzo’s via a line and also put both posts under their own respective spoiler tags past the second paragraph for easier viewing.


To say the least, I was a bit surprised at the sudden focus on Jonah this episode. I mean, the preview last time gave a small indication, but I never expected it to focus on him to such a degree, let alone be filled with so many revelations. Don’t get me wrong though, this wasn’t a bad surprise by any means. In fact, it was one of those pleasant surprises that you don’t mind having on a daily basis and it just goes to show how great this series is.

See, the first two to three episodes were pretty much all about how Koko and her team go about things. We got some glimpses into the personalities of each of the characters and basically just got enough to know that they’re complex and each have their own unique story to tell. However the main focal point was still the action, which while unrealistic (and intentionally so), made for an entertaining start to the series. But in the end, there’s just no way for a show like this to survive only on action scenes, so there was an expectation that character development would follow inevitably. This is what episodes 4 and 5 are about. And naturally, when shifting gears like this, there’s an apprehension that something’ll go wrong, like the characters being not as interesting as you thought, the presentation wasn’t up to par and/or didn’t mix well with the story, etc. But, Jormungand doesn’t fall into this landmine, and it’s exactly this ability to shift between moods and between a focus on the story/plot versus a focus on the characters, that make it a great series.

Continued after the spoiler tag…

Show Spoiler ▼

Guardian Enzo:

With this episode, clearly, Jormungand has stepped up to claim its place as one of the best shows of the season.

This has been an extraordinarily faithful adaptation of Takahashi Keitarou’s manga so far – more so than I expected in fact, given how unconventional the first volume of the manga is. Getting into Jormungand is a little bit like trying to hop a moving train, and I was pretty sure that White Fox would add a couple of stops to make it easier for the new passengers, but to their credit they didn’t – be that wise or not. I’m pleased to see that most viewers still got swept up in the many fine qualities of Takahashi’s story, and they’ve stuck with it long enough for the story to embrace the audience, like a youngish bottle of Bordeaux that needed a couple of hours of air to open up. We saw that process start with last week’s stellar episode, and continue in a big way this week.

That stipulated, there was one change that I noted as significant, and that was a significant reduction in Jonah’s first-person narration. Given that Jormungand is hardly a warm and cuddly story to begin with that surprised me, but now I feel like I understand why the choice was made, and that was to give this week’s episode greater impact. And it did, though whether it was worth keeping Jonah such a Sphinx for four eps is a fair question. As I’ve said, to understand Jormungand you really need to do two things – watch Jonah and listen to Lehm. But when Jonah does say something, you damn well better pay attention – because this is not a boy who speaks unless he has something that’s worth saying.

Continued after the spoiler tag…

Show Spoiler ▼


ED1.05 Sequence



    1. So Koko is still loco,
      Johan is becoming a more lethal version of Sonya from Kill Me Baby,
      And Valmet is still cute!

      And I just realized that there is some tiny similarity between Jormungand and Amnesia:
      Koko: White-haired, blue-eyed version of Yuuko.
      Valmet: Bigger, one-eyed version of Yuuko.

      Final note: WE NEED MORE VALMET, PLEASE!!!

      John Hayabusa
  1. Admittedly, before Jormungand started, I quickly browsed through wiki to get an idea what I was in for, and read about Kasper’s role. So, I watched this fully expecting Kasper to be the stereotypical megalomaniac brother.

    Boy, was I wrong.

    Kasper is very complex, and I do like the innocence in Jonah. Koko’s lines to Jonah at the very end also left me speechless. Just…wow. I’m really giddy now for the next episode, and I love the touch with the ending song.

    Brb re-watching this awesome episode!

    1. Yes, I agree Kasper is very complex, and is it just me or Kasper feels “dangerous”? I know his voice gesture seem very timid, and especially playful when he’s talking to Koko, but I just can not shake off this “unpleasant” aura from him…………
      For some reason, I think he is more dangerous than Koko…..

    1. Indeed. It’s definitely one of the better shows of this season, regardless of the unrealistic stuff that goes on (because it’s intentional) and the slightly strange action scenes in ep 3. 😀

      1. Well, I’ll admit I can’t necessarily pinpoint an exact statement that it is intentional, but the feeling I get is that when you have so much unrealistic scenes, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be intentional. This is especially so when you see that the author puts in the effort to add in real statistics about guns and realistic portrayals of the weapons and environments involved. It just seems rather impossible that the author did all of this, yet neglected to make the scenes realistic eh. Also I’ve noticed the same unrealistic vs. realistic contrast in other action anime involving guns and what not (Noir, Black Lagoon etc.), so it’s theoretically a trend in similar shows, and one that you can argue continues here. To top it all off, you can argue it also makes a perfect complement to the characters, by providing a crazy backdrop for crazy characters ya know?

      2. If I can jump in, this is something I’ve touched on repeatedly in my Jormungand posts. I think Takahashi is using the absurd to shed insight on the human condition, just like Shakespeare and the Greeks did. No, I’m not comparing Jormungand to “Hamlet” or “Oedipus Rex” – merely pointing out that realism isn’t the only way a storyteller can try to enlighten realistic human emotions, and historically isn’t even the favored one.

    2. @Zephyr and Enzo

      Great parallel post, guys! Really puts things into perspective for this show; at the points where your observations diverge, the scope of the analysis is broadened- and where they converge, its depth is exponentially enhanced. Looking forward to the E7 one…;)

  2. First thing, this was a really good episode.

    So finally we get to know more about Jonah his past, I am glad about that and I really like Kasper and Chiquita. The brother sister relationship between Koko and Kasper was funny.

    So we finally got to see more about Wiley and we got to know that every person in the group is good in different kind of school subjects. Only Wiley was the only one to hold Jonah in the room for more than a couple of seconds. So wiley likes reading but who I really liked in koko’s team this episode was Ugo. He was getting all emotional over his new car.

    I wonder what happened to Valmet in Africa, it is obvious she got her wound there which makes her wear the eyepatch but I wonder what exactly happened. Also I want to know what the relationship between Lehm and Chiquita is.

    I don’t have much words for Jonah’s past. I just feel bad for him. First he got beaten up by the men who killed his friend and then he gets locked up to hear afterwards that the man who locked him up killed his parents.

    At the start of the episode when Lutz and R are shooting the floating target they look more childish then Jonah is and it was fun how they were taking turns for who was going to shoot.

    Last thing what was really intresting to me was Kasper’s words about Scarecrow. Will Scarecrow really go after Koko like Kasper said? I hope he does because I somehow enjoyed Scarecrow the episode before.

    1. About Lehm and Chiquita, yes you are right. Like this ep shown they do known each other, but since I do not want to spoil, I’ll just say it has something to do w/Koko and Kaspar’s dad……

  3. Damn, I feel like I’m the only one who’s not too fond of Jormungund these days. So much praise given to it, yet I can’t wholeheartedly agree with it.

    First off, I’ll declare myself guilty for not having read your entire impressions, Enzo and Zephyr. I’ll be honest: I was mostly looking for the stuff you didn’t like from this episode, if there was any. But, overall, I think I’m correct in saying that you guys didn’t have much qualms or complaints.

    I’m thinking it’s a matter of taste. Anyway, here’s my opinion: the two most frustrating things this series have is action and character logic, if I may call it that.
    As regards to the action, there have been people who better phrased it than me, but I’ll try anyway. Jormungund seemed to present itself to me as a refreshing show because it promised to focus on real-world global issues: arms dealers, proxy wars, child soldiers, etc. This, in turn, will, most likely, make you believe it will tend to be more ‘realistic’ too when gunfire and physics are involved. After all, real-world issues will make use of real-world (cold) logic. So, if that is not the case, if Jormungund never tried to appeal to the realistic side of things, what sets it apart from other anime fantasy shows? Exchange arm dealers with Contractors, or giant robots, and it’s the same narrative: the only appeal here is the illusion of ‘real weaponzz’, but which actually feel like they play under plot’s rules, rather than these assassins’ skills.
    Now, character logic (if I may call it like that). Once again, personal taste I guess. I’m not too fond of every single character speaking super messy, poetic speeches on their every day. Hell, we’ve seen even Jonah can spout abstract soliloquies just like the rest of the cast, given the motivation. It’s dissapointing, really, because this is a common trend in Japanese shows. I really hoped Jormungund was gonna be different. Mind you, I’m not against Japanese writers doing philosophic, deep discussions. I’m against them doing that and leaving a dramatic silence, or wind blowing after the quote, or character acknowledgement and praise or any similar device, almost as if they wanted to shove through your skull “Did you like it? It was awesome, wasn’t it?“. This week, as soon as Kasper meets Jonah, he can read his mind. Even when he opened the container to meet a starved Jonah, he first spoke of Jonah as if he knew the boy like his own son. I know I may sound like the downer-guy, but hey, when I see that, I don’t say ‘Damn, he’s clever. Damn, writers really pulled it off here’ but instead, I say ‘That’s bull. If writers really wanted me to get involved in this scene, I’m not feeling it’. Actually, maybe I wouldn’t have such an issue with this all if they went straight to the point for a change. Just like Jonah said that one time, “I don’t care. Just tell me who to shoot.”

    Damn. Now this turned into a long post. Ironic of me to complain of long speeches when I myself am writing one (not sure if valid as a speech tho XD) .But yeah, just wanted to voice my frustrations I’m having with the show. I’ll prolly watch this first cour on every weekly release, but unless it (hopefully) blows me away later on, I can’t guarantee I’ll be as excited for the second cour’s premiere as I was with the first one…

    1. Regarding the action elements, I can understand the views you mentioned above (views that others have been mentioning too), but eh, the thing I feel is that action shows all have a tendency to be a bit unrealistic in their action scenes. It’s just a trend and partially because anime as a medium itself has more freedom in doing these scenes compared to real life, so people tend to take advantage of this aspect. Also, it’s arguably not as exciting when they’re just having very typical firefights and probably having half the cast die off early ehh. Anyway, the thing is, there are realistic aspects included though, except they’re subtly included in there. The views of each character are all inherently human and realistic eh. How Koko goes about things, the things Jonah says this episode, they’re all real and they can all be argued as things real people would say in their situation eh. Quick scroll to my fifth paragraph for this part. 😀 But basically, it does touch upon real life issues in my opinion, it just does it in a way slightly different than the norm eh. You can still argue it talks a lot about the dangers child soldiers face and how they end up the way they do, about views regarding guns in general, etc. Also, Enzo’s post on Jormungand 03 talks a bit about this realism aspect and why it’s intentional (he read the manga, so slightly more solid explanation from him here: http://www.lostinanime.com/2012/04/jormungand-03.html) and he also mentions a bit here in his third paragraph.

      As for the character logic, I kinda get you, but eh. Yeah, people do make random speeches in a variety of anime, but a lot of them are just basic stuff in my opinion. They’re stuff anyone could say and it just doesn’t feel like the level of stuff being talked about and how it’s being talked about in Jormungand eh. Anywho I’ll point ya toward my fifth paragraph again for more on what I think about Jonah’s views and why I think them. 😀 As for Kasper… he did say he researched every single thing about him though, and considering the experiences Kasper went through up until that point, I would think he knows a thing or two about the situation Jonah’s in, so it can be argued that it makes sense that he talks to Jonah like his own son. In a way it could be reasoned this was his way of teaching him how the world works and what he needs to do to survive and he wasn’t being as harsh as he seemed to be.

      And haha, no worries about the long post eh. It is a discussion board after all! If you can’t air out your qualms/comments here, where can you? 😀

      1. Dang, thanks for taking the time to write such an answer to this reader Zephyr!

        So I went ahead and read some more and…

        It’s nice that he’s complex, but what takes the cake is how realistic he is.

        Huuuuuu Do picture me irl saying “Hmmmmmmm I wouldn’t use those words…” XD

        Nah, in all seriousness, to start with, in the above post I didn’t talk much about the stuff that I actually liked about the episode, mainly because I didn’t want it to be too long. It’s not all hate-hate from me!

        Kasper’s cool and collected nature, Jonah showing some raw emotion for the first time…Jormungund does have its golden moments for me, which mainly come with the little details in everyone’s interactions. But these moments, so well and effortlessly executed, are so few and contrast so much from other scenes, which I’ve already said I don’t like and why, that watching Jormungund is like choosing apples in the supermarket: you choose it based on what they looked like at the beginning. But you are powerless, a bystander; you just pray for it to be good because there’s nothing more you can do. You want to feel like you made the right decision when choosing that apple, you don’t want it to be rotten and result in a waste of your time.

        The thing is this show had an awesome premiere. Awesome one-liners when they fired that rocket, good action, humor…But, like many other shows, when all the initial appeals cool off, you must keep the story engaging with something else. In Jormungund‘s case,I think the characters are what should be driving the awesomeness forward, but right now, I’m not feeling it.

        But hey, I’ll keep watching. I wish this show could blow me away and make me eat all my complaints, it’d be a win-win! Enzo also said it takes a while for Jormungund to really hit home with the awesomeness; I hope that awesomeness is the same I envision.

        PD: Some cool, if not easily obtainable info from Wikipedia: Jormungund is based from Norwegian mythology, in the day of Ragnarok, the snake monster Jormungund will emerge from the sea, fly and poison the skies of our world.

        See the connection there? A rocket is launched from the sea, while the anonymous old man says “We are the world’s snake. We are Jormungund.”

  4. Guys – stop apologising for liking this art! Seriously!

    What a finely crafted piece. I haven’t read everyone’s post I’m so anxious write my own that
    I may repeat what someone has already written!

    We’re led to believe the episode is about Jonah; it’s true there was a lot about his character
    and we learned about him in a deep and personal way. But I really think then ending told the
    real story – it was about the gentle and sweet relationship between Koko and her brother.
    He’s always thinking about and is concerned for her. While at first, he appears the huge evil jerk
    when he meets Jonah for the first time, he immediately has a plan for him.

    First he teaches Jonah closure for the events that just transpired; Jonah’s seeking revenge for the girl.
    Then he allows Jonah to completely work out his anger – yeah it was harsh – but Jonah is no pussy.
    Then he make a deal with Jonah – in exchange for taking the children to Japan, be my sister’s body
    guard. Amazing!

    It wasn’t a whimsical decision – let’s starve the boy, and I wonder what I’m going to do with him.
    He planned it from the first meeting of Jonah, IMHO…

    What sealed the deal for me is Jonah and Koko’s first meeting, and how Koko introduced herself.
    She came off sisterly or even motherly. You can tell that her brother has spoke with her about Jonah –
    and not “here’s some kid, use him as a bodyguard”. He’s placing his sister’s life in Jonah’s hands
    he trusts Jonah with such an important responsibility, because he cares deeply about his sister’s safety.
    But he’ll never show that weakness considering the line of work he’s in…

    I could easily go on and on – let’s see what happens in Africa!!!

    1. I want to add that he cares about Jonah, too. He realizes that releasing Jonah in the
      sate he’s in is bad (on so many levels). His sister is Jonah’s best chance of healing
      and returning to a normal life in the future. (Yeah – I know I replied to myself :))

  5. Strangely, seeing Koko pushing and kicking her “dear brother” Kasper off the boat was my little comedy highlight of the episode. Guess it reminded me of how certain little sisters can push their big brothers around.

  6. It’s so refreshing to see a brother and sister in anime who are not trying to get into each other’s pants for once. This is a much more realistic portrayal of how siblings treat each other than pretty much most modern-day anime shows.

  7. Here I thought Lehm was gonna be my favorite male character. Enter Kasper and suddenly I’m conflicted. Both have their way with words and both really connect to the viewers and characters, especially Jonah.
    And of course Jonah has become much more interesting.
    Pretty much looking forward to the next episode. Great collab post guys.

    Is it me or do the women in this show have wide smiles and men have just straight smiles? Koko and Chiquita have the same smile as compared to Kasper and Lehm

  8. Kasper, don’t die~~~~~~~~~~~~~~!!! I hope Jonah don’t kill him. Koko will be sad if he does so as she doesn’t seem to dislike her brother even a little bit.

    It seems like there are like 3 groups (Koko, Kasper, and that English guy) and each has killer female assassins. The crazy lady in English guy must be the weakest of the three since Valmet beat her easily, Chiquita appears to be a bit stronger than Velmet and maybe even as strong as Lehm (she got to be, as the main bodyguard for Kasper, just as Lehm being the strongest and the main guy in Koko’s group). Well, Lehm must be a tad stronger than her since he’s in Koko’s group (main group) and Chiquita isn’t. But this female assassin in a group thing must be a trend for Jormungand.

    And I dread the episode when these characters from Koko’s group (12, is it? I forget how many they are) and Kasper (and Chiquita) start to die. Some of Them have to, otherwise the writers wouldn’t have made characters in Koko’s group so many and yet aside from maybe 4-5 main ones, totally uninteresting. As much as I’d hate to see that, the writers would start killing some of them at some point…. I don’t care too much about the English guy’s group (the silent one and the crazy lady… BTW I bet the silent one is the real rival for Lehm and thus as strong as him)

    some guy
    1. I am really suprise that bodyguards from both Kasper and Koko get along pretty well (except Jonah, i guess, LOL), for instance, Valmet and Chiquita said hello to each other. By the way, i found an interesting fact when I wikipedia

      Show Spoiler ▼

  9. I know Jonah is just a child, but honestly I’m getting kinda tired of seeing him get owned in some way. Cue the Noir music so we can see him kick ass when it counts =01.

      1. Lol, that would have been the perfect music while he was killing those soldiers, instead of that Metal Gear Solid music, but that might just be nostalgia talking =03.

      1. I just mean when he’s up against someone of level, he ends up getting the short end of the stick. I mean, I guess it’s more realistic as I do understand that he’s young, but a part of me just wants him to beat chars that is on everyone’s(Lehm, Val, Wile etc). Killing fodder isn’t anything special =0\.

  10. Talk about a huge amount of character development, especially for Jonah. Out of all the episodes so far, this is the one that got to me the most, mainly due to the disconcerting subject material. Unfortunately, in some parts of the world, child soldiers are a way of life (and death). This is just a tiny glimpse into that world, but it is not any less visceral.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  11. Don’t ever use folding knife for close quarter combat like jonah, rat-tail and half tang won’t do. Full tang and skeleton tang only with blade made from D2 tool steel or carbon laminate steel.
    XM8 is overated, one would think it would be adopted by now if it outclass the m4 in a comparison.

  12. this ep we more on johan’s past & also meet loco koko’s brother casper & his smiling bodyguard Chiquita (maybe why she smile “let put a smile on their faces”).

    give yea johan got probs with koko’s brother due johan go wild attack base all for what they did to marka have marka meet landmine.

    oh my johan is so tick take-out everyone then here come Chiquita to grab johan & meet with casper indeed Hekmatyar family are quite loco sometimes.

    yet after some hmm make johan be koko’s guard & rest is history?

    so what next?

    sam-KLAC-urai rangers
  13. Well, I feel like I’m getting used to Koko and her team of loose screws 😛
    The episode was quite awesome, from the origins of Jonah’ entanglement with the Hekmatyar family, to the foreshadowing of eventual trouble in Africa in the next episode(s), to introducing new characters (Casper and Chiquita – did Roberta find a new job and alias?), to the short insight into the past of Valmet. Even the action was there in the form of Jonah’ one-kid-army act against his superior.

  14. Looking past Jonah and Kasper, what really struck me most is using children as mine sweepers and soldiers. Granted that it was circumstances that found them to be doing so but it’s still down right to be disturbing. In my opinion, seeing Marka being used as a mine sweeper comes right after Ryuunosuke-Caster child killings.

    And yea… Gotta rewatch the episode. Watching it while you’re falling asleep ain’t a wise

  15. This episode was really like ‘WHAT the heck?’, coz i woulnd´t imagine that they focus so fast on Jonah´s past. I was surprised and it´s a little bit more surprising that Kaspar, the asshole of brother, has something to do with jonah. Anyway, this anime is the best anime that I saw in the last 1 1/2 years. I mean all this sweets schools animes or mechas are nice, but a really ass kicking anime is the best like Black Lagoon and this one. I can wait to see what in the next episode happens.Hopefully their showing in the next episodes how Valmet met Koko.Valmets character needs to be discovered!!!!

  16. A mine clearing line charge or bengalore torpedo is more efficient at clearing mines than having a girl trigger a mine individually. UN in Africa is using rats, but the point being rats are not heavy enough to trigger the explosion. It’s a case of screen writer having no sense of practicality.


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