「滅びの丘 phase.2」 (Horobi no Oka)
“Hills of Ruin phase.2”

THIS EPISODE. THIS. EPISODE. I don’t even… Words cannot…

Ahem* Anyway… now that I’ve gotten my bearings back a bit, let’s move on shall we? To say the least, this was a pretty spectacular episode in a week full of them. Really, at this point, I’m wondering if there was some collusion going on in the anime industry this week, because there were just some darn awesome episodes this week all around. No? Too farfetched? Fine. But, on a serious note, it just goes to show how great of a season this was (perhaps the best one in years)… and Jormungand plays a fairly large part in giving it that distinction.

For the most part, this episode picks off exactly where the previous one left off, leaving us wondering as to the ultimate fate of Ugo. I had been pretty much anticipating his death all of the first few minutes, but seems like that was a bit unfounded this time around. It definitely looked quite grim for a moment there, but thanks to a timely chair smash from Lehm, Ugo’s subsequent tackle of Grego through a wall, and Koko taking things into her own hands… it’s turns out to be just another day in the life of employment under Koko. I reckon some people were ultimately disappointed that Ugo (as well as Karen or Valmet—more on that later) didn’t die this episode and would go saying that Jormungand’s “once again being totally unrealistic”, but there’s nothing to complain about in my book. I mean, it’s pretty obvious that the series is intentionally unrealistic and uses that element in an attempt to tell a deeper story. In addition, this situation allowed us to see a nice glimpse of Ugo’s past and how he got employed by Koko, as well as Koko in action to top it all off. And to me, that’s more than a fair exchange for a few extra moments of non-realism. Still, if there’s one thing this situation showed, it’s that Jormungand is going to be one of those shows that will continue to defy expectations. In addition, I get the feeling this is just the author saying that you should be prepared to see any of the characters die at any given point in time, which is something I see happening in the future. And this just hammers in how skillfully he designed Jormungand and how great the director is to be able to adapt this to the point where they’re able to easily play with our emotions and establish a scenario where he can do virtually anything and everything and not seem out of place.

Moving on, the next key part of this episode involves Koko sparing Boss Dominique and the rest of the assassins in exchange for knowing who hired them in the first place. Not only does this emphasize perfectly just how calculating and awesome Koko is, but it also helps set up the foundation for the second season, as it seems the CIA is ultimately behind everything… with R seemingly being a mole in Koko’s group as well. R OF ALL PEOPLE! THE MAN WHO DARED TO TOUCH VALMET’S…! Anyway, that last reveal at the end was just a big surprise and it’ll definitely be interesting to see what R’s angle is, as well as how he’ll factor in the second season. I was half expecting that “Readman”/”Saw”/”Chief Black” was actually meeting up with Boss Dominique and would get gunned down by Koko per the usual, but seems like that wasn’t the case at all.

On a side note, I couldn’t help but feel that the chief’s nicknames were intentional references to Read or Die (“Readman”) and Ghost in the Shell (“puppeteer”). As such, it makes me also wonder if there are any deeper meanings to the references, rather than just being references/tributes. It could very well turn out that the chief is/becomes a literal puppeteer behind the scenes of some of the events in the 1st season and/or future ones in the 2nd season. Oh yes, before I forget, that comment from Koko—”I think running a restaurant would fit you better than being assassin—was just superb. Not only does it serve as a direct insult to his abilities as an assassin, it also mentions the wish he had with the rest of his group and serves as something to just melt him down to the point where he’d actually give her the information she wanted. Way to mix in an insult and make your offer more persuasive at the same time!

And here we are at the last key part of the episode… Valmet’s “expedition of revenge”. We get Valmet trying to drug Jonah in order to ditch him and well, it just serves as a nice character development tool that shows how she is as a person underneath everything. Not to mention it gave us a nice moment of comedy, seeing Jonah sprawled on the table like that… while also making half of the fandom and pretty much all of the characters in the show jealous by giving us a scene with Valmet kissing Jonah before she leaves. As expected though, Jonah’s not to be denied his moment in the limelight and comes back to save the day, taking out Chen Guoming’s new second in command before he can snipe out Valmet. Combined with his screaming of “RUN, RUN VALMET” in order to get her more pumped up and to refocus on her objective, it just shows how great of a character Jonah is. Yes, he’s a child soldier with amazing abilities regarding guns and tolerance to tranquilizers… but at the same time he’s a person who has now come a long way from his “just give me a target and shoot” persona at the beginning. No doubt this is due to Koko’s ridiculous antics that are anything but those of a normal arms dealer, but it just demonstrates how great and complex each and everyone of the characters are in this show. Nothing feels out of place in terms of the actions everyone does and it’s just great to watch them and their interactions with each other.

Continuing on, the sequence following Valmet’s successful infiltration to the base and her face-to-face with Chen Guoming was just dripping with greatness. But no, I’m not talking about the great action scenes. I’m talking about the quality dialogue. We get Valmet yelling out quotes such as “Avenge your fallen comrades at the place of their death!” and the Finnish battle cry of “Hakkaa Paalle” (lit: Hack on them or “Cut them Down”), as well as Chen Guoming and his petty attempts at trying to shake her with comments like “You should thank me for becoming the soldier you are now” and “I couldn’t find you back then because you were busy hiding underneath the corpses of your own men”. It’s just a spectacular sequence dialogue that sucks you into the situation and forces you to feel emotional about it. And it gives us some great character development as well, emphasizing just how much the death of her squadmates have affected her up to now and the effort she’s put in to try and obtain revenge. At the same time, it shows just how much Chen Guoming has fallen since then and just shows how much he now pales in comparison to Valmet and her resolution. Furthermore, I can’t help but feel that the author’s trying to put in some additional underlying philosophy behind everything… that it’s okay to do anything to survive, as long as (in Valmet’s case) you don’t waste the life you preserved, remember those who gave their lives in the process, and live on for those for passed on.

There’s just so much additional connotations that seem to be here, as well as throughout the episode, that it’s just too much for words really. I mean, there’s the part where Karen comes and seemingly kills Valmet and her getting gunned down by Jonah after she screams out “I hate this world”… The part where Koko talks about how she and Valmet are an extraordinary force of evil and how Valmet managed to bring back the souls of her lost comrades to Finland… Everything just reeks of hidden meanings about the world we live in and the many viewpoints people have. And it just shows how deep the series is and how amazing it is to be able to incorporate such elements while also maintaining the fine line between not bothering to put in such elements and putting in too much to the point where it seems like the show’s actively lecturing or preaching to the viewers. In addition, it gets even more amazing when you realize that even with all these complex elements, the show’s still something that let’s you enjoy it even if you’re just tired one day and want to watch something that doesn’t need much thinking and is just entertaining.

In the end, I’m sure everyone knows at this point how much I loved the first season of Jormungand. It’s just so good, so deep, and so enjoyable that there are times where I’d even say it’d be able to stand up on its own as the best show of the season. It’ll be a crazy wait until Jormungand resumes in the Fall (which already looks like it’ll be an awesome season by the way), but I hope to catch you guys again then. Until then, I hope you’ve enjoyed my coverage—as well as the series itself—up to this point. It was a wild ride to say the least and I couldn’t have done it without knowing that you guys were out there giving your time to read my posts day in and day out. So, while I bid thee adieu for now… I must also say thanks to all you viewers out there for helping me get through my first season of coverage here at Random Curiosity. Really—thanks!

Full Length: 21

Author’s Notes:

  • Keep an eye for my summer coverage of Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse, Hagure Yuusha no Estetica, the Naruto manga, and my Blast From The Past segments after I return from my trip the week of July 8th.
  • If you have time, take a peek at my quick final impressions on the spring season over at my blog!
  • Post-ED “Epilogue”:

    End Card


    1. LoL, Koko pulling a Bruce Lee move on Lillian..
      I feel sad for Karen though… There’s something about her character that just draws me in. I hope I could see her again in the second season.

      Thanks for the post Zephyr it was very entertaining hearing your thoughts on this series.

      1. Yes, it’s as Zephyr said.

        why else they didn’t kill her off?? In this show/manga, they kill off characters not needed quite swiftly, you know. It’s very obvious that the writers planned to bring her back at some point. You’d be surprised how quickly she comes back, though.

    2. So many awesome scenes in this last episode; Ugo and Lehm tag-teaming Grego, Koko showing some kung-fu moves, Ugo’s wicked skills with the automobile, Jonah’s timely intervention and subsequent cheering for Valmet, Valmet taking on the whole guard with just a pair of knives, delicious Karen service, “I kill you, I kill you back” fakeout, and Koko getting mad at the bill.

      Looks like it’s gonna be a long three months to the Fall season..

    3. Hopefully I won’t sound like another commenter that criticizes the technical aspects of the tools depicted in the anime. But one of my biggest gripes in anime is how they depict the doors.

      I know that a lot of doors in Japan open or swing toward the outside, like in the apartment buildings and most anime and manga depict it so. But that creates a problem when they keep the same kind of door for all settings despite the location or culture. Like in this case a western hotel room and how it swing outside towards the corridor. In most western public buildings a hotel’s main gate, emergency staircases and other certain doors should swing outside so they can be easily pushed open to exit in an emergency so people doesn’t get trapped. But the doors on individual rooms should swing inside, not outside toward the corridor like it was depicted when Koko knocked Liliane. If every guest in this hotel opened their doors in an emergency evacuation they would create a obstacle course in the corridor or even worse knock someone running in the aisle.

      And this isn’t the first time I have seen this glaring error in anime setting design.

      And back on topic, for those that feared for the three hit-men that wished to open a restaurant, guess Koko liked their idea and made a deal with them XD. Also the epilogue finally revealed how CIA is involved as an organization, but Show Spoiler ▼

      1. The situps were funny, but what made them truly LOL was the nurse’s comment, ‘Oh my god doctor, the big-breasted patient is doing situps, and she has two bullet wounds!’ Everything always seems to come back to Valmet’s chest, haha.

    4. Great culmination for this 1st series arc. I guess that’s the new fad now – split a 2 cour across 3 months…

      I can’t add anything beyond your excellent write-up, Zephyr!

    5. Man, this was a great series. I love how Valmet survived being shot multiple times from Karen and Ugo tackling Grego through the wall was so badass. They also went over Ugo’s past with Koko which was a nice touch. The whole episode was pretty active with no down time so it was very pleasing to watch, and Jonah is gonna grow up to be a real badass, haha.

    6. Death flags galore and all avoided (well, the retired badass Chen didnt make it…): Ugo, Lehm, the restaurant killers and BOTH Valmet and Karen.
      Speaking of that last pair I’m wondering why Karen after such fierce attempt at ending Valmet’s life departed without any violence. Is she over it or wants to confront Valmet again as an equal in combat in the future? Who knows…
      In the action departament, we do get a whole can of badass unleashed by Valmet on poor PRC guards… Lehm and Ugo being brutally effective in hand-to-hand combat.
      But the best damn thing in the whole episode was Koko using the door to smash girl assassin (complete with cartoonish “flat person against the flat surface shot” and doing Bruce Lee pose afterwards).
      Last but not least we are treated to a “day in a life of CIA top brass”, and reveal the mole in the Koko’s group, leaving us salivating for a next season of “exquisite force of evil”…

      1. You don’t kill your rival while she’s in a coma, you beat your rival fair and square. The fight scene in the oil platform is comical. the PLA were using russian an-94 can’t hit a thing. Valmet moving like a DC super hero and offing them without a scratch. And Lee where is his spotter and flanker. PLA sniper’s work in three man teams. Still a enjoyable episode.

        1. only thing realistic in Jormungand is that a kid with a gun can kill as good as anybody – and even then they procedd to make Jonah a superhero…
          Still I enjoy this gleeful fighting escapism, because real world fighting is dirty, and usually so messy affair that even well trained and equipped forces end up with casualties (so far none on Koko team).

    7. That moment when Koko slam-doored on that little girl, my reaction was exactly the same as everyone else in that room. Then, I could not stop laughing. XDDDDDD
      Oh Koko, why u so loco……..

    8. I must be one of the few people who’d give a low grade to Jormungand season 1…

      -Starting off the pointless cliffhanger from last week, Ugo comes out unscathed and victorious.
      -Fortunately, there’s some good humor in this episode with Koko’s Bruce Lee.
      -Assassins prove to be useless against Koko Team once more. Not really surprised or underwhelmed here, but hearing from their leader how everything was going according to plan etc etc, I really thought he’d have an ace up his sleeve for a change.

      But no, I’m not talking about the great action scenes. I’m talking about the quality dialogue.

      -I don’t mean to be rude, but what action scenes? They literally cut off to Karen.

      The scene that takes the awkward prize was the finale. Much like Zephyr, I thought Koko’s team would storm this American’s normal, daily life with a funny quote before dealing with him and leaving in all their Untouchables-glory. I was all ready and excited for that moment…But Jormungand failed even to deliver that pleasure.

      Argh, whatever. Some people love this, some people don’t. Opinions will remain opinions. As for Jormungand, I feel it is a series that gave a lot of promises in the beginning, yet it failed to keep many of them. Dissapointment.

      1. Well I’m also one of the few who’d give Jormungand a low score. I won’t go into details with this specific episode but I just feel that the series, as whole, didn’t really deliver what I was expecting from an action show. Maybe I’m just wrong to about my expectations. Oh well…

        1. I know the guy who’s “translating” the manga. Last I heard, they’re gathering up the needed funds to get the manga and translate.

          They should be working on it, providing that other projects aren’t in their way.

    9. Yeah, I also wanted Karen fighting scene, but I resigned thinking how all these years made her so proficient at the style the very Chen used, that showing him now old and surpassed was not worth the fight, so they better start off his heiress’ rise.

      Still, I also expected…, almost WANTED one of the major characters fallen, but no…not even one…ok they pulled it out pleasantly nice.
      Excellent end of cour for Jormungand!!

      Hououin Kyouma
    10. I think the biggest problem with this eps is it’s much the same as any episode in the season, in that there is no tension cause you know none of the main cast will die. I think the actions are kinda meh, the fights are cut too shot same with the karen eps last time too many cuts away from the action. I think I like the scheming and dialogue with characters even more then the action. Like the russian actress eps. Shijong was also more interesting character when he had the stare down having dinner with koko. Also koko antics are always a lol.

    11. Erh, wtf?? First, I thought Ugo gonna die, then he survived like the Hulk, and I was happy, yeah all didn’t die, what a great thing, then Valmet killed Chen Guo Ming and avenge her squadmates, I feel happy for her, she managed to avenge afterall, then Karen came and pull the trigger and Valmet died, I was like WTF??? WHY YOU KILL VALMET?? WHY?? SO DUMB!!! BOO STUPID ENDING!!! Kidding, I still like it and think it is awesome!!

    12. Terrific show, exquisite mix of thriller and poetic nostalgia. Ugo not dead! Was almost speechless when Valmet got those shots, but then it made sense, it worked perfectly that way. In fact, the authors have it both ways: Valmet gets her revenge, but pays the ultimate price. Her character is then “revived” to tell new stories, but essentially she has indeed died in this one. On a side note, I am from Finland and Valmet is a Finnish company! 🙂 Thanks Zephyr for your coverage of the series, have a nice summer everybody!

      Vaporous Snake
    13. I’m glad Koko “realized” some hidden force is behind the attempts to kill her and strike a deal to find out, like I pointed out last episode. What I wasn’t expecting was the R mole. The only “flaw” in the Valmet killing was the too many shot at the scence; just to find out that actually she just got hit twice. Well Karen is a knife killer not a sniper so she could miss the other shots. As for Jonah missing his shots at Karen is a bit dificult to swallow, maybe Valmet weight on him and the angle could explain it.
      My hope is that like the extended “fan service” scenes are enhanced in the BD; the producers will do the same with the fight scenes here. It was nice seeing Koko fighting and shooting that shows that she can take care od things also.
      It was a fun ride and want to see the second season already. Valmet is just too great and my envy,jealousy, hate for Jonah is growing by the minute, that Kiss!!!! I want to be him!

    14. https://randomc.net/image/Jormungand/Jormungand%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2011.jpg
      “Oh Jonah-kun, you have some rice on your face. Let Oneesan get that for you~”

      *cue the squeeing x 10,000 and the rapid pencil movements of 10 doujin artists*

      I actually thought that Valmet had some bullet-proof plate at her back or something but I guess not. Even with those fine muscles, they can’t stop bullets (yet).

      I find her jumping in front of Jonah to protect him a small CMoA/H for her as well, especially after coming off a killer’s high just a few minutes ago in avenging her comrades’ deaths. Maybe it’s because Jonah is still a child and some form of maternal instinct reared its head, and/or she felt so very responsible for getting him back alive to Koko, but whatever the reason, she risked her life, with the very real assumption that she’d die with enough bullets in her back, to protect him.

      Although I do wonder why he did save Karen too. He shot her a few times in the upper body and torso and not his usual headshot. He was very close to her so there’s no way he could have missed. Karen missing all those shots could have just been from the trauma of losing her boss like that so she literally couldn’t keep her hand steady enough to shoot straight.

    15. Don’t worry, Karen will come back at some point. There’s only one allied character who dies in the manga (from what I saw, though there are spoilers of questionable legitimacy floating about the real bodycount at the end of the story). For those who haven’t read the manga, you’ll have to wait until the end of the Hex arc next season to find out who bites it.

      Having said that, the plot armor got really fucking ridiculous at times in the show: the Orchestra battle, the mountain shootout, and now this scene with Karen and Valmet getting shot in the torso at close range and magically surviving. I didn’t care so much about the sperging over weapon specs that others have done, but I just hate hate HATE it when the writer tries to talk about some realistic consequences of the weapons dealing business and then yanks named characters out of Death’s grasp for no reason other than his say-so.

      I know, getting mad at cartoons, etc…

      1. I recall that Valmet’s wound was in the thigh with another bullet that passed through here IIRC.

        So yeah, an angry Karen wasn’t concentrating in shooting Valmet (and Jonah).

    16. Wasn’t the name of that CIA guy “Bookman”, and not “Readman”? I guess you can still consider it a reference, but to D-Gray Man.

      My greatest gripe with the episode wasn’t about people surviving, but about Lehm shooting six bullets in a row, even though one bullet would’ve been enough AND he could see that the target was wearing a bullet vest. Though maybe he actually couldn’t see it, being wounded and all.

      Anyway, the highlight of this week is not the episode, but the release of the OST. Shaloppi!

    17. this ep

      flashback show how ugo join koko’s crew after drug cause ugo closed his eyes of it.
      koko spare ugo then ask him to join koko rest is history.
      fast forward ugo almost chop then lehm recover chair shot but no.
      cue ugo spear the masked person to a wall & pwn’d attack!!!
      cue enter the koko door attack take down little girl.
      koko & ugo vs 3rd member in car battle with car to car shooting.
      koko & crew win with koko see likely spare killer crew in exchange who hired them.
      meanwhile valmet sleep johan food go charge give johan recover.
      valmet goes knife attack on all then sniper shot then johan to help.
      valmet continues til meet person who killer her comrades.
      go like “hello my name is major Sofia Velmer you kill my comrades prepare to die”.
      slash shot batte til cue karen wake up shower & her boss is slashed.
      after johan & valmet finish their works here karen want revenge.
      valmet shield johan then got blasted & karen goes “WHY” with johan shot karen.
      days later here koko with valmet ok & yea koko is angry.
      mention all have to pay a lot with karen also ok spare valmet while nap recover for now.
      etc koko see valmet did her mission now back to being on koko’s side.
      koko telling johan what happen during the hit & valmet back to work.
      meanwhile regular american person who workout have family & is a cia member.
      goes to europe with many nicknames aka bookman/Burattinaio/Saw.
      real name is george black is meeting in church with contact that is R.

      to be continued…

      give s1 is in now wait for s2 in fall indeed this show is so loco to watch.

    18. I wanted to see the nuke from the op. I was expecting it to appear since most,if not all the little scenes that came out actually had something to do with the arcs. Other than that epic series, looking forward to you blogging this during the fall.

      1. Valmet did not kill Karen in Africa, so Karen did not kill Valmet when avenging the ex-boss (just scratched her thigh and whatever else), then Jonah did not kill Karen in return, therefore she did not kill Valmet.


    19. Man, I loved that assassin group. They were pretty funny, esp Liliane and Dominque(well, in a different way from Lily). I guess the sound of flesh being torn apart was just us being trolled, which kind of irks me =0\.

      The part I was more interested in was Valmet and Jonah. That part was pretty good. The expressions on Val’s face when she finally reached Chen was kinda chilling; a look of excitement and happiness, even though it was for revenge. Then, when Karen found them and started shooting, with that music, and Karen shooting multiple times, I thought Valmet was done for (T.T). Yeah, I know that the 2nd~3rd most fav char in this show wouldn’t die so easily, but I just got swept in the moment. When Koko said that Jonah had applied first aid for Valmet, which saved her life, I was surprised that Karen was alive too, so I’m guessing Jonah gave her first aid as well. Why would he save Karen’s life after she just shot Valmet?

      I liked the comparison used by Koko about Valmet’s hair. When they both met, their hair was short, but eventually, their hair both grew to be long. I guess Koko signifies that as proof of the time they’ve been with each other. Or, she could just like long hair (>.>)…

      Minor notes;
      – Jonah getting a kiss while he was sleeping with drool on his face = so cute X03.
      – Karen’s body > Valmet’s body
      – There was a scene where they show Koko’s and Jonah’s eyes that stood out; Koko’s is a deep blue, while Jonah’s is a crimson red.


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