Jormungand – 06

After successfully repelling pirates, Koko’s freighter makes it to South Africa. Her aim is to meet with the eccentric roboticist Amada Minami AKA Doctor Miami at the DIESA weapons expo. Miami’s a no-show, but they get the GPS of the location where she’s searching for rare butterflies (probably in the Drakensberg). Koko runs into Curry & Co., who plans to pull out of Southern Africa. She also meets Chang of the Daxinghai Group, who invites her to dinner. Her team heads to the mountains to retrieve Miami, but Chang has sent a force ahead of them, led by his lieutenant, Karen, who wields the same gunblades (though not the same wielder) that took Valmer’s eye.

One criticism that can never be leveled against Jormungand is that it lacks strong female characters. In most cases, they’re stronger than their male counterparts. The only problem is, most of them are also a little nuts. After this episode, we can add Karen Luo (Lo? Low?) to the already healthy roster of badass hot chicks with guns. Not only can she bring down Scarecrow’s massive bodyguard with her bare hands (and garterbelted legs), she also reprimands underlings who give away their positions by killing them herself. This lady isn’t going to tolerate incompetence, and if she has to do the job herself, she seems willing.

Karen wants revenge for friends killed in the past under Koko’s brother’s orders…starting with Doctor Miami. If Koko’s guard gets in the way, she aims to sweep them aside. While there’s certainly a personal side to this job, she’s also working on orders from Chang, who is polite and kind to Koko, but probably has not-so-savory plans in store for her if Karen can wipe out her aegis. That makes us wonder  just what Kasper would do (if anything) if an enemy indeed captured his cute little sis. Also, we’re in Africa, so far better known as “The Place Where Valmer Lost Her Eye and Endured Other Hardships.” When she sees those gunblades in Karen’s hands, she drops her rifle. That can’t be good.

Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Car Cameo:
Most of Koko’s team piles into a Volkswagen Touareg 2.

Jormungand – 05

Koko and her team are aboard a container ship when word comes that her brother Kasper’s ship will be paying them a visit. Koko has Jonah hidden away, but he meets Kasper anyway in the head, tries to kill him, and is stopped by Kasper‘s bodyguard Chiquita. Flashback to three months ago, Jonah was being held on an army base in Western Asia when an associate of Kasper’s visited. The soldiers took away Jonah’s friend Marka and he never saw her again; he finally blew his top and shot up the entire baseto avenge her. Kasper arrives to assess his work, and stated he wanted the base wiped out all along. After imprisoning him in a container for several days, he lets him out and gives him to his sister, who promises to treat him better.

The Hekmatyars are not your typical family. For one thing, both Koko and Kasper were born and raised on container ships at sea, so they have no homeland, and no patriotism for any particular country. They’re nomads. Here we were thinking Kasper was going to make life miserable for Koko & Co, but it turns out they’re fairly nice and cordial to one another (he even lets her push him around). It turns out Jonah was a gift from Kasper, and this episode deals with his backstory, which, as we suspected, was quite traumatic.

Kasper didn’t mince words or hide behind riddles when he met Jonah: he was the one who arranged the sale of weapons to the people who destroyed Jonah’s village and killed his family. He gave Jonah time to find his place in the world and decide how he’d live it out. Considering all that shit happened just three months ago, Jonah has made great progress, and he has Koko and her warm, kind team to thank for it – we like the idea that they’re taking turns educating him. He’s in a good place now. Part of him probably wishes he could stay on that boat in the sea forever.

Rating: 7 (Very Good)