「African Golden Butterflies phase. 1」
Week after week, I watch Jormungand. And week after week, it finds yet more ways to show why this series is so good. Unrealistic fight scenes aside, it takes a special kind of show to juggle such a large cast of characters. Yet, not only does the show allow each character to have their own turn in their spotlight, it also makes sure that the others aren’t completely neglected of their few moments of coolness as well. See, this episode could have easily just been all Valmet and nothing else. But with the inclusion of the pirates in the beginning and the fight versus Karen (Saori Kato) at the end, the rest of the group also get some ass-kicking moments.
Moving on, another notable thing about the series are the adversaries that Koko’s group face on a continuous basis. In shows like Jormungand, where the main cast is both numerous and notable, it’s easy to fall into the hole of having adversaries that are too bland or not at the same level. And as you can imagine, if no real worthwhile adversaries ever/rarely show up, a series can easily tumble down a slippery slope of failure from there. But, as per usual, Jormungand avoids this pitfall, among many others, that trip up quite a few shows. From Orchestra to Scarecrow, and now the Daxinghai Company, we’ve consistently been given the pleasure of seeing adversaries that are both memorable and similarly skilled. As such, it makes the show a thrill to watch as you not only wonder how Koko’s group will combat them, but also wonder if there’s that slight chance that one of the group doesn’t make it. And what makes this even better is the fact that we’ve already been given multiple of these notable adversaries, when some shows struggle to even introduce one properly, or at least one worth talking about.
In any case, this arc’s revolves around Dr. Miami plot wise, but the spotlight is definitely on Valmet, who shows virtually every side of her character this episode. We see her Koko loving carefree side, her playful side, and her “I’ll kill you!” side… and well, let’s just say I’d definitely prefer not to have to face the latter. In the end, I can’t say it was surprising Valmet would come face to face with Karen, considering how much foreshadowing we were given the previous episode. But what was surprising was how alike they are physically, as well as the fact that it’s revealed that Karen is actually not the one responsible for Valmet’s eye injury, but rather someone else related to her. Still, given the reaction and the preview, I can’t see that stopping Valmet from wanting to rip her to pieces though. I reckon it’ll be quite the fight coming next episode, but I somehow can’t see Karen getting killed so easily, considering how easily she dispatched Scarecrow’s goon. Though, with what happened to Chinata… I wouldn’t bet on that.
Speaking of Scarecrow, the CIA agent of destruction is back and… serving as some nice comic relief again. I can’t stop thinking of him as some kind of satire about America/Americans in general though. It’s not that I mind or anything, but it would be a noticeable trend in anime this season, as Eureka Seven: Astral Ocean also had some as well. Regardless, I wonder if he’ll constantly serve as comic relief, or if he’s something who they’re making us intentionally take lightly until he does something big. I’m personally hoping it’s the former though, as the only big thing he could do otherwise would be to take down a member of Koko’s group, and that’s something I don’t want happening at all.
Overall, what else can I say? I expected a lot out of this multi-part arc after what happened during Orchestra’s arc and it’s delivered so far. I mean, when you get a few new and crazy characters, some character development, and a set-up for a great second part, what more could you ask for? I know I’ll be watching the next episode. Still, it’s kind of hard to believe that half the season’s already passed already!