「Dance with Undershaft phase.1」

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.

Full-length images: 09, 18.


If there’s one thing that’s readily apparent, it’s that the first season was merely a prelude of what Jormungand has to offer. As this episode highlighted in particular, Perfect Order’s turning out to be the darker, more complex sister to the action-packed, but less serious original, and it’s been an immensely enjoyable experience to say the least.

Moving right in, there’s just a lot to love about this episode. For one, there’s the great insight into the pasts of practically every main player this arc (Renato, Hex, Bookman, and even Koko). You have to love how well they’ve managed to fit in these flashbacks without making it seem disjointed or out-of-place, as well as the fact that each of them not only give you insight into their past, their personalities, and the reasons they are who they are now, but the fact that all of them are quite realistic and things that can happen in reality.

Renato joining the CIA after proving his worth as an intelligence asset on the battlefield… Hex becoming who she is after losing her husband on 9/11Bookman’s ability to develop his assets and utilize the cards given to him to rise to the top… Koko’s growth following her encounter with Hex in the past and the words of the man called “Echo”… It’s just amazing. Each character just oozes complexity and in ways, it’s not hard to actually sympathize with or at least understand where each character’s individual motivation comes from, regardless of who you’re rooting for. And really, words escape me in describing how well you’ve done something when you’re able to create a world with so many characters, yet have each of them get their own time in the spotlight — to the point where we’re actually able to see each of them as truly individual and complex characters like this. And to top it off, they even make it so the lines between “good” and “bad” aren’t exactly set in stone. Koko and her crew might be the “main characters” in the series, but she’s not the epitome of “good” and nor are the enemies particularly the definition of “bad” either. Everyone has their own secondary agenda and it’s just a remarkable feat to be able to blur such lines when you have such a charismatic group of main characters — characters who would normally outshine every other person in a given series.

Continued after the spoiler tag…

Show Spoiler ▼

Guardian Enzo:

I loved the first season of Jormungand, but there were times when it felt a bit disjointed. It’s not accidental – the manga is that way too, and in a series that makes very little effort to give the audience a firm footing there’s naturally going to be a lot more stuff that doesn’t quite click in the first half than the second. The first half of Jormungand is largely about the thrill ride – embracing the insanity and watching the larger-than-life cast go through their paces. The second half, by contrast, is free to take the storytelling to another level – and what a story it is.

Without giving too much away, it’s plain to see that the pieces are in place for a grand collision of titanic forces – sort of a seinen version of Hunter X Hunter. You have the crazy but charismatic heroine, burdened by a troubled past and clinging to her humanity by grasping the lifeline of the child soldier. You have the boy who loves the arms dealer and hates the guns she sells. You have the rogue CIA agent who loves and hates her country and has no qualms about using any methods to achieve her goals, the primary of which is to hurt the arms dealer – and you have the brilliant but arrogant intelligence genius who believes he can make anyone a tool for his own ends, no matter how formidable. And you have the mole, the double-agent whose loyalties are about to be tested with extreme prejudice. It’s a grand and terrible scenario waiting to play itself out.

As it so often does Jormungand is spending a lot of time switching back and forth between the past and present, recognizing as it does the fundamental truth that the past is a burden we’re doomed to always carry with us. For Koko, part of that burden is the memory of Echo (the criminally underappreciated Hamada Kenji), the Delta Force soldier who took a bullet protecting a young Koko during a firefight with Hex’s squad. He pledged to protect her on the condition that she never stop smiling (a moment Koko referenced earlier in the series in a conversation with Lehm). Echo’s spot in the group is now filled by Renato, who has his own past weighing him down.

Continued after the spoiler tag…

Show Spoiler ▼




  1. A ton of information portrayed in a very intriguing way about each of the characters. It’s interesting seeing the deception from our perspective and it also creates a suspnseful atmosphere. Characterization in this anime is done very well even in the short span of one episode.

  2. The part of Koko’s past was sad, but it had me screaming for more revelations about her. Sadly I feel that what Echo said to her was somewhat a double edge sword. Her smiling always and never revealing her true feelings to anyone. even the joke comment about “Two-face” fits her although not directly pertaining to her.

    On another note, I might be underestimating things (I’m not really familiar with military stuff) but isn’t 9000 bullets a bit too much? what is Hexe going to do start a war?

    1. 9000 rounds of ammunition isn’t enough to kill Jonah, Koko her gang. Remember episode 3, that kid can dodge bullet like a boss and Koko’s henchmen are like bullet sponge monsters from Borderlands 2. XD j/k

      Anyway, love the background stories in this episode especially Koko’s. And by the looks of it, everything will be messy, can’t wait for it.

  3. WOW, just wow… so, we have the chessmaster (Bookman), the blood knight (Hexe), the mole (R) and the enigma (Koko) on a collision course. And poor Jonah seems to bear the brunt of the collision…
    It was amazing to see two sides of conflict have nightmares of the same battle – and ever more amazing to see panicked younger Koko BEG Valmet for help…
    re:9000 bullets (it’s over 9000?) – it is about enough to outfit 30 people (10 30-bullet magazines each), so Hexe is about to start small battle if not a war. Koko’s team will be ptobably tested like never before…

  4. sig sauer 2022 is poor man p226/p229, it is no where as accurate as browning hi-power used by yonah.
    shortlist of polymer pistols better than 2022: Hk USP, glock, XDM, FN9.

    Magpul Masada is simular version Bushmaster ACR. I like the fact that it can be taken down to the barrel with the right tool, but FN Scar light and HK 416 are more reliable shooters.

    I had jams with magazine fed through the ACR, and picking up casings you see scraches on the casing indicating machine job inperfections. It will take a whole day using nevr-dull to smooth out the rough surfaces.

    Best optic for ACR is eotech reflex / aimpoint 3x mag combo via swivel mount.
    KOKO only uses a reflex sight, it is a liability at distance.

    1. From the text message Hex ordered 9000 czech ammo assuming (M855 czech army)for her SCAR. FN SCAR land and grooves is most accurate with belgian ammo: ss92, ss109, and p96 AP round.
      They produce the best group on target.

  5. As I suspected, they’re going to go after Jonah to try to hurt Koko…

    I’m pretty sure Koko’s team will take a beating (by the previews), and I wonder
    if poetic justice to the traitor in her team will be served, or maybe he’ll repent
    and be key in their survival?

    The build up in these past two episodes was very detailed. I’m still amazed, that even
    though this isn’t really my genre, the characters and great story telling keep me watching.

    Again, another 6 days, 23½ hours to wait.

  6. another great episode…i already knew what was gonna happen but this episode managed to make me feel as curious as i was when i was reading the manga all over again….

    i cannot believe u guys didn’t mention the new beat in the preview….

  7. Great background setting episode. It give us the much needed development from both side before hell unleash.

    Judging from the preview, look like R is betraying Bookman/Saw as he holding Jonah with one hand while shooting. Hope Koko’s team survive the battle with only so much of a butt wound! Seem like a common trend in the team…

    PS: The remix version of “Koko is loco” sound awesome! I want to put it as my ring tone. XD

  8. I found it really awesome that they showed some of the drills they run as Koko’s bodyguards.

    At this point, it seems that R *will* betray Bookman long term. A lot of hints were dropped by R about how he couldn’t betray Bookman, but in this kind of setting, I believe that only sets up some epic Koko-esque character interaction to sway R. If such a scenario unfolds, I’ll be glad. It only makes Koko more epic if she can convert the CIA mole!

    1. A agent that trip his client during exfil isn’t worth keeping. Trained law enforcement
      spec-op runs QCB and protection detail for a living. That kind of mistake would have the agent sacked during initial screening.
      Yonah would be liability any way you think about it. He has no beneficial asset other than KOKO’s mascot.

  9. well at least more hmm going give show bit of R’s history from days Bersaglieri to working with cia’s bookman.

    while hex oh my yea really dangerous, crazy, etc mix all together give hunting koko & her crew.

    now with cia on the watch give R is bit on a hmm with call that black said give johan to hex?

    next ep it’s so on.

  10. Was a bit sad for Valmet with that little cameo saving Koko. Which makes me wonder how old is she compared to Koko?
    Show Spoiler ▼

    As for the guns I think is a good idea that everyones packs the same kind, as sharing ammo or picking the gun if any one falls (Havens forbid!) will be easier vs all kind of different weapons. She could pick better but I bet the reason of the selection will be revealed soon…
    Finally I found it weird that Valmet wasn’t in the exchange with the french woman also missing in the car training. Oh Koko you must be scheming with Valmet. What could it be?!!! (Don’t give an answer please) Need next episode now! The wait is killing me.

    1. I disagree on outfiting the same gun. An army uses the same gun to save cost at expense of combat effectiveness, a small band of weapon dealer and merc has no such limitations. With specop and merc, the best option is to custom fit a weapon to each man or woman taste. Everyone has different arm length, hand size, recoil tolerance and optics preference. Sharing the same calibre ammo is the only interchangeability idea i agree with. For example Yonah, a small person should have a lighter rifle with shorten barrel and compensator using reduced velocity ammunition. This will help him save stamina and increase accuracy.

  11. Terrific episode as ever. I find the interplay and dialogue between the characters to be my favourite part of Jormungand and this week’s episode demonstrated that wonderfully.

    On another note entirely, my own name is Adib so it just feels awesome to have a character in Jormungand with the same name 😀 It’s not a common name so I never hear it for anything!

  12. Impressive ep, really loved how it revealed the past of the key characters in the conflict .. not only that, but it went the extra mile showing scenes that also explain why those characters the way they are now (Origin of Koko’s fake smile, Hex ruthless behavior, … etc etc) making the character a lot more believable and fun to watch.

    But the best part was the background of both Bookman and R, R was shown as an important asset for Bookman whom he values, but it seems that R (despite his background as a soldier and his loyalty to Bookman) still has a human heart .. that can be seen in the flashback where he rushed through a warzone to save the family that provided him with intel .. he wanted to save them because he cared about their lives (while Bookman actually saved them becasue they are an asset) .. this conflict between the motivations of Bookman and R is IMO going to manifest in the next ep .. R’s morality is being tested real hard here.

    Bookman is willing to sacrifice Jonah to keep Hex under his control considering she won’t directly hurt Koko directly (since both females are valuable assets for him), but R’s nature on the other hand simply won’t allow him to just stand there and watch a child (even a child soldier) be killed knowing he could stop it, what i’m curious to know is how Bookman will react to that .. will he still consider R an asset after his possible interference with Hex or will R actually switch sides (also wonder what Koko might do if she finds out he was a double agent … although i think her conversation with him showed she might actually have doubts toward him).


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