Jormungand – 23

Koko tells Jonah killing her won’t stop Jormungand, so he jumps off the pier and swims away. Kasper picks him up and hires him on the spot. As the plans to shrink the quantum computer commence, Minami informs Koko about Scarecrow and Plame digging into her finances. She decides to summon Bookman to Africa, and when he arrives he is attacked by an armed group that is killed by a platoon of marines who escort him out of danger. Back in America, Plame is arrested by the NSA for breaching the FISA, as Koko made it look like he sent the armed group instructions to assassinate Bookman.

Koko Hekmatyar may be a dyed-in-the-wool supervillain with designs on starting a new world at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives, but when she kicks as much ass and takes as many names as she has of late, we can’t help but root for her. She also seems to have the support of her team: only Jonah and Lutz are conflicted (it’s probably not a coincidence they’re the youngest members of her team), and only Jonah outright resigns his commission over it, only to be ensnared by Kasper. It looks like Jonah’s going to cling to the status quo as long as he can, but Minami thinks he’ll ultimately come back to Koko.

The main attraction of this episode isn’t even the standoff betwen Koko and Jonah, in which Koko delivers one villainously awesome speech (“I hate the world, but it’s lucky I’m going to reform and not destroy it”). It’s yet another demonstration of Jormungand’s formidable, virtually inviolable power over information.It’s essentially carried out to prove a point to Bookman about just how screwed the rest of the world is against her might (and Koko orchestrates it while lying naked in a hot spring.Boss.) Far from taking up the challenge to defeat her plans, Bookman, eager to see the new world Koko wants to build, decides he’ll let her use him however she wants. Can you blame him? In a world where she’s the new god of information, blasphemy will get you nowhere.


Rating: 8 (Great)

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Jormungand – 22

Koko’s team successfully kidnaps Rabbitfoot, but they get bogged down in a firefight with Plame’s Night Nine SEAL team. Koko deploys one of her UAVs to destroy the Americans’ recon drone, then uses Jormungand to feed false GPS data misdirecting the SEALs to the perimeter of a Cuban military base. Plame has no choice but to abort. Back in South Africa, Koko finally lets Jonah, Rabbitfoot, and the rest of the team in on the master plan she and Miami have been working on: using Jormungand to end all air travel and control all global logistics, in order to force world peace. When she tells Jonah it will come at the cost of nearly 700,000 lives, he pulls a gun on her.

Koko is an uncommonly disciplined young woman, but in the end, also incredibly idealistic. She has been working her entire career as an arms dealer, amassing the know-how, the clout, the connections, and the capital to bring the best scientific minds (all attractive women too, mind you) together to create Jormungand, the means by which she aims to put an end to war itself and make her own kind extinct. We can’t remember the last anime we saw in which we’ve been following someone for so long, sympathizing with her, seeing her weaknesses and watching her succeed, fail, and succeed again…only for her to turn out to be the most diabolical of supervillains. She has a flair for theatricality, obviously. But she also calmly discusses the instant deaths of all 683,822 souls in the air like it’s nothing.

She even shrugs off accusations of wanting to become God by saying she’s better than God for doing what he couldn’t do: forbid humans the use of the sky. But no matter how much she teases and flirts with Jonah (going so far as to kiss him in the bath), he’s not on board with this plan. It may well save millions, but the tremendous number of people she’s willing to kill is the ultimate expression of the ends not justifying the means, because the ends are ultimately unattainable. Warfare is awful, but no matter how many toys you take away from mankind, they’ll only find other ways to fight each other. Swords, sticks, stones, Congress…whatever.

It’s the height of hubris for Koko to believe Jormungand will really end anything, other than those thousands of lives. Death, torture, suffering, slavery will all endure. And like Jonah pulling a gun on her, countless other things she isn’t expecting lie on the horizon with the path she’s on. She may look like a god, act like a god, walk and talk like a god…but she’s no god. But she is one hell of a commander, and seems to truly care about her men (and women). When she took out the CIA drone with her own drone (from her hotel room), then fooled seasoned SEALs by scrambling their GPS – fantastic stuff.


Rating: 9 (Superior)

Jormungand – 21

Koko and her team continue to travel the world, making investments in tech companies and kidnapping the scientist Elena Baburin. Bookman meets her at Dulles through Hinoki, and he warns her not to “enter then enclave”, but from Miami she travels to Cuba, to extract the extralegally-held quantum physicist Leila Ibrahim Faisa, AKA Rabbitfoot. Bookman’s underlines believe all of Koko’s actions point towards the development of a quantum computer, which would make all present supercomputers – including those that guide missiles – obsolete. At Fort Meade, MD, Chief Plame of the Special Collections Service is deploying SEAL Team 9 to foil Koko’s plans to capture Rabbitfoot from Camp No in Guantanamo.

As we suspected, there’s far more to Koko and Dr. Miami’s plans than Hek-GG. Hek-GG is just the tip of the iceberg, and even Koko’s brother and father Floyd don’t know exactly what lies beneath the surface. The CIA can hazard an educated guess, though: Koko and Miami’s goal is nothing less than total domination of the digital world. If they succeed in building a quantum computer, stupidly faster than anything else in existence, they could rule a decent chunk of the world. This is supervillain stuff, but we’ve been invested in Koko and her team for so long, we’re firmly on her side even if they’re the bad guys.

Koko is also bored with the current order of things. She wants to shake things up, open the gates to a New World (the title of this arc). This episode was more getting ducks in a row and fortifying her team’s confidence and trust in her. And while they have supervillain plans well in the works, if they don’t have their bodyguards watching their backs and guarding them when they sleep, all of this could go out like a candle in the wind. Just one bullet – out of the millions upon millions of pieces of ordinance – could end Koko’s plans. She’s crossed Bookman and ignored his warnings. Now that she’s peeking out of the shadows, it’s open season.


Rating: 6 (Good)

Jormungand – 20

Koko and Dr. Miami open the new “Marchen Ltd. Facility” where robotic toys will be made. Miami later meets with Curry and Koko with Trohovsky as Kasper announces the Hekmatyar Global Grid Distribution Package, which aims to revolutionize global military logistics and promises to slash the costs of operations through optimization.

The Hekmatyar siblings finally reveal their big evil scheme, and it’s a gigantic global system that will, among other things, make supply lines a thing of the past. This is a network set up by launching 125 satellites into orbit, and military leaders all over the place are liking their lips at the possibilities it offers. Meanwhile, HCLI’s competitors exhibit a mix of anticipatory excitement, panic, and unease. And with good reason: HCLI means to have a monopoly on affordable war.

Those not in on it could see their clients disappearing and their businesses turning to dust. Whether the Global Grid is the full project or merely the opening salvo, Koko and Dr. Miami definitely have a lot of people on their toes, including Bookman. Their grand plan even has a suitable name, Jormungand – a self-devouring creature as the symbol of a business that exploits a self-devouring humanity. For now, Bookman is just keeping an eye on her; who knows how he or her other enemies will respond to this.


Rating: 6 (Good)

Jormungand – 13

Click here to browse our reviews of the first season (12 episodes) of Jormungand.

Dr. Miami finds Karen Low on the street in Port Elizabeth and hires her as a secretary. She meets up with Koko on a ship in the Solomans to watch the launch of the last of the 126 rockets sending up satellites for a navigation support system that will give HCLI a decisive business advantage. Meanwhile, R meets with Bookman, who wants Koko kept on a leash, while Hex – who sent the three assassins to Koko – wants her dead…but not before she hurts her.

The last time we hung out with Koko & Friends, Valmet was gettin’ her catharsis on, Koko was getting rid of assassins, and R was revealing himself as a CIA mole. This week picks up pretty much where we left off, but also shows us what was going on in the first episode with the rockets. It’s a huge project that will no doubt make Koko more money (whether or not that’s what she wants), but is also netting her plenty of unwanted attention from concerned (she’d say nosy) parties all over the world.

Like R for the two years he’s worked for her, we’ve still only seen the Princess, the girl with the mask so perfect and complete, ascertaining her thoughts and true self are all but impossible. R believes that mask isn’t indestructable, and even saw her lose composure for a brief moment. Hex, a new face this season, is planning on shattering that mask, and the episode is not subtle about her potential first target: Koko’s teddy bear Jonah. We’ll see if the Real Koko (if there even is one) comes out this season as a result of external forces.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Car Cameos: Many cars seen in previous episodes are also seen here, including a Citroën C4 3-door, Mercedes C-Class, and Volkswagen Touareg 2. Hex drives up in a yellow Bentley Continental GT convertible.

Jormungand – 07

Valmer breaks formation and goes straight after Karen; the two duel in the snow with guns and knives. In the meantime, Jonah suggests they stay quiet until their inexperienced foes come out of hiding so they can pick them off. In the city, Koko enjoys a Chinese dinner with Chang, while Hugo has her back and both Scarecrow and his sidekick Chocolade eavesdrop. Chang asks Koko to join forces; she refuses. When Valmer is finished with Karen, all of Chang’s men are dead, and they phone it in. Koko tells Chocolade about a trap waiting for them. In exchange for her warning, Scarecrow lets Koko and Hugo escape with them. In the end, Doctor Miami gives Koko the slip once more.

We like Sophia Valmer. She’s a complicated lass; simultaneously infatuated with her beautiful young boss Koko and haunted by voices and images from her bloody past. In a way, she reminds us of Roberta from Black Lagoon, only before she went totally apeshit crazy. She makes surprisingly quick work of Karen, who’d we’d only seen in action against small fries, and whose gunblades proved ineffective against her older, wiser, stronger opponent. Valmer didn’t get a lot out of Karen, but she did see a little of her younger self in her, and gained a new enemy who will try to kill her when next they meet. Let’s face it, you can never have enough off them!

We liked the A/B stories running in tandem, cutting from the cold night in the mountains to the warm, luxurious restaurant in the city. Koko and Chang are really only sitting back and waiting to see whose team will be left standing. We like the addition of Chocolade to provide a pragmatic voice to Scarecrow, and Koko’s little meeting with her in the toilet stall was pretty funny way to confide. We also like how Hugo had to keep an eye on how much Koko had to drink. As for Doctor Miami, she was able to stay a step ahead of all the arms dealers for another day; at least in this two-parter, she was merely a McGuffin.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)