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)

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)

Car Cameo Update

RABUJOI is, to our knowledge, the only anime review blog that consistently identifies and catalogues nearly every real-world vehicle that makes an appearence in the anime we watch. (If there’s another blog that does this, please let us know!) Our Car Cameo garage has grown quite a bit since its inception five months ago.

Here are some observations:

• Jormungand dominated in car cameos with 21 in just 12 episodes. What with all the car chases, that’s not all that surprising.

• Hyouka, only half-over, occupies second place with 9 cameos and has a solid chance to beat Jormy, despite the fact cars are only background. This is KyoAni we’re talking about, though, so of course most of those car models are of the highest quality.

• Eureka Seven AO has had 7 cameos so far, while Sket Dance has had 6. All other series have featured five or less in their runs.

• With 23 cameos – and probably a few more we missed, Toyota is the top marque. Not surprising, since Toyota dominates the Japanese domestic market. Of the 19 different Toyota models that appear, the “Crown” family is the most common, followed by the Prius.

• In a distant second and third are Nissan and Honda, with 9 and 8 cameos each, respectively.

• Jormungand featured lots of German marques like BMW and Mercedes, and Volkswagen as well as Frenchies Citroen and Peugeot,  Swedish Volvos and Italian Lancias. Call it the UN of the bunch.

• One of our own cars, an eigth-gen Honda Civic sedan, has a cameo in Hyouka 04. For the record, the car is named Kana-chan, after Hanazawa, the prolific seiyu.

• Strangest Cameos? It’s a tie between the legendary Lancia Delta HF Integrale 16v Evoluzione II (quite a mouthful!) from Aquarion Evol 15 and the immense ’75 Chevrolet Caprice Estate Wagon from Eureka Seven AO 11.

• Head-scratchers: Accel World features many real-life cars (like the Prius), but some that are quasi-futuristic mashups we couldn’t identify. We convinced ourselves one such model really existed, and drove ourselves half-mad trying to find it on various Japanese car websites, to no avail. :P

• Tari Tari is off to a good start – automotively, with 5 distinct cameos in its first episode. Looking forward to spotting more cameos in the coming Summer season!