Now this was a gem that was watched not too long ago (two days ago to be exact). The series follows one Jonah and his dealings with the arms dealer Koko Hekmatyar. Though, there's a slight twist: Jonah is a child soldier who hates weaponry and those who sell them after having his village bombed by weapons sold to the local militia. After being hired, Jonah follows around Koko and her other bodygaurds from location to location, usually shooting things along the way. The plot itself is episodic, with each episode essentially as a stand alone or as part of a series within the series. Along the way, there are many philosophical questions raised, from morality to "is it good to sell weapons to save the world?".
The animation for the series is very good, with almost everything in high detail. From the weapons themselves to the characters. It gives an appreciation for the weapons, characters, and locations. The forests look like forests; the ZPU anti-arcraft guns look like the real thing. This also helps add to the realism that the animators were trying to produce.
The music for the series is a little bit of everything; it goes from rap/hip-hop to electronic music, and even classical if needed. This eclectic aspect helps add to what emotion is meant to be conveyed to the viewer.
Overall, it's a great series in how it depects the human mind and mentality.
This is one of those shows that given the first episode, you are unsure if you really want to continue with it or not, but having stuck with it, I wasn't disappointed. If you are looking for something that is ultra original you've come to the wrong place, however given this the storyline is entertaining enough and whilst many of the episodes serve as standalone stories rather than a continual build up to something greater, it is enough to make you want to watch more. As a side note, the theme music is annoyingly addictive. If you are looking for something to pass the time, give it a go, whilst I don't think anyone would ever consider it their favourite anime ever it is certainly worth a watch.
Jormungand is an attempt to create a new Black Lagoon but just from the pilot episode you get a more than lazy shot at it. The exposition is stupid, the dialogues are stupid, and the characters are… well, you know. Not that Black Lagoon was exactly an intelligent show (it was just throwing in a few poor monologues around the cruel way the world works) but at least it had great production values and slightly better dialogues to have more fun with. This on the other hand is making you think it was written by a very angry kid who likes to play cops and robbers. Not that it was their fault entirely if the source material, the manga, was dumb to begin with.
Animated by studio White Fox, which is very new to the field; only 4 titles so far. They don’t have a huge budget to do miracles but they always offer and above average result. Two of their anime received very positive feedback (Katanagatari, Steins;Gate) so it is definitely a studio that can offer quality material. Their latest work definitely looks nice but that is as far as it goes; it doesn’t pay much attention to secondary details and this tends to make it feel artificial if you see past the obvious. The direction is done by Motonaga Keitaro, whose roster is nothing but bellow average harems, and as an exception he also directed Katanagatari, one of the best troll comedies ever. Although even there it was mostly the original script that did the work and not so much his talent. He is clearly not someone to look forward to watching his work.
So, aside from being a Black Lagoon wannabe, is the show anything else? Well, sort of, its theme also gives of vibes close to The Lord of War (live action film with Nicolas Kage) and Gundam 00. The premise has to do with a group of arms dealers, who make bargains with several shady operations and their reason for that is not just profit but also to end wars faster, if they are offered to the right people. So they are constantly up against merciless warlords and war mongers, as well as fighting numerous military groups for a race to whom gets to make a deal with whom faster and better.
As cool and smart as the premise sounds though, its execution is completely retarded. Just like a typical show with shootouts, it is hardly realistic and you get the usual “Heroes beat a hundred elite soldiers without a single injury” type of theme. It is not a problem if it can make up for it with great production values or amazing battle choreographies, yet sadly it fails even there. Most things that happen in this show make you feel like they are useless, stupid, forced, or even done invisibly instead of being shown. Here is a list regarding the messy stuff I found.
1) Show; don’t tell. A lazy method of plot exposition is when the characters are using explanatory monologues to reveal new information. In a medium that uses both image and sound it is best to show them instead to simply tell them. A variation of this is when something is actually shown on screen and yet the character tells us about it anyhow, as if the scriptwriter is afraid we are too stupid to get it. Most fighting shounen anime are guilty of this, as there will always be spectators commenting on everything and even describing what just happened. So in this case the heroine is constantly making rhetorical questions of the sort “It’s the military? Are they chasing us? Is he laughing?” The answer is of course obviously yes to everything and it is plain stupid to even have them there. I mean, it’s an action show for crying out loud; there is nothing philosophical worth of talking about it. Instead of having a character saying “I am shooting at the bad guys” just showing us, him, shooting at them, is more than enough to get it. If not, it is the director’s fault for not investing enough time and proper camera angles into making it understood. Yet most of whatever they are doing in this show is nothing but a lame attempt at pointing their fingers at whatever is going on instead of just letting it happen.
2) Walk; don’t jump. The directing is messy to the point no scene seems to last as much as it needs. They either skip very important stuff or stick too much on useless info. An example is the no-pantsu girl, a minor villain who gets several flashbacks as means to explain why she became an assassin or why she doesn’t wear underwear. And guess what, nothing of what they show makes any sense. They dedicate almost a whole episode on her and we still have no idea why she became an assassin or why she didn’t get new underwear all this time. And you think all that were perhaps important to flesh her out and be likable thereafter? You would be mistaken since we never see her again after those episodes. SO WHAT’S THE POINT?
3) Explain; don’t imply. As if that wasn’t enough, they also chose to leave lots of important events taking place out of screen. There are multiple accounts where a warrior taking out several opponents without showing us how. There will be deals being resolved without ever showing us how they used diplomacy to make a contract. There will be escapes from certain doom without showing us the method they used to survive. This is not just about skipping things that may seem unimportant in the long run. It is making them feel unimportant exactly because they don’t show them. It is also making the whole show run on magic convenience if you can kill elite fighters and convince veterans to change their minds and not kill you, without even bothering to show how you do it. It is an action show for crying out loud (again) you make it interesting by showing such things.
I have heard by some that the above is not really a problem as it is supposed to offer plot twists and thus keeping you excited exactly by having lots of sneak actions taking place out of screen. We are supposed to think “Whoah, these guys use smart tactics”. That is not working very well though for two reasons. First, their tactics are taking place and are resolved way too fast to build up and matter, and secondly, this is a dumb action show with shallow ideology, where having such things is only making the whole show feeling stupid.
4) Make it exciting; not expected. Then it’s the whole importance of the missions. Aside from rushing through the whole thing and keeping lots of events unseen, they also don’t seem dangerous (and thus exciting) if the bad guys are not dangerous at all. You get these supposed elite gunners and snipers and they can’t do the slightest thing against the good guys before being slaughtered without inflicting the tiniest injury on them. Hell man, even god-level Kenshiro was getting a few scratches from nobodies in Hokuto no Ken. The first ringleader didn’t even try to have proper precautions while making that deal with the heroine. Sure, he had snipers in place but they wouldn’t save him in time if anyone pulled a gun against him, would they? He also didn’t even bother to have them searched for guns before accepting to talk to them. Instead we get five minutes of shallow macho talking that was completely useless plot-wise, since all the events that REALLY mattered in the mission happened out of screen (taking out the snipers and cancelling the deal). So what was this mission all about? Nothing for you to care about.
5) Make it cool; not stupid. Then it’s the whole heroine’s attitude that just pisses me off. While Revy in Black Lagoon would be full of cocky attitude and would act way too seriously and creepy during her missions, Koko in Jormungand on the other hand will act like a spoiled rich girl whose daddy didn’t buy her a dozen ponies. She feels completely out of sync with what is going around her and looks like a slapstick comedy character yelling, and laughing, and insulting her buyers, thrown in a serious war drama. She acts like they are playing hide and seek instead of someone who makes dealings with warlords that will cost the lives of millions of people. And her whole ideology of trying to bring peace by making both sides in the war to have equal strength and thus giving up is plain dumb. This can easily prolong a war indefinitely. Plus, how can we even believe that a person with such humanitarian ideals and aloof personality even managed to be such an important arms dealer in the first place? No warlord would trust this sort of people.
The same can be said for all the characters in this show. They all try to pass as cool but only act and feel like spoiled fat kids with plastic guns playing war. And then there are plain details I personally didn’t even like, such as the heroines name being… Koko! And the ending song is plain ridiculous with those lyrics (Her name is Koko and she is a loko, I say KO-KO!). And what’s with those wide white eyebrows they have? They are annoying. And those wide smirks they make when they try to gloat? Makes them look totally stupid.
6) Evolve; don’t rewrite. The second episode has a much different feeling than the first, to the point the characters feel like they are completely different people who happen to have the same bodies. While in the first episode they wouldn’t think twice to kill someone, in this one they will do their best not to hurt anyone. And no, the soldiers they are up against in this episode are not any better than the ones they fought in the first. In fact, they made a massacre out of the defenceless civilians and news reporters of the area, just so they can keep their oil pipeline without any witnesses around to tell what happened. And by the way, once more it is IMPLIED they did that since they never bothered to show us all that.
Furthermore, this episode introduces another group of arms dealers who are basically the evil counterparts of the heroes. They will be shown doing the exactly opposite things the heroes did and how that will automatically make them feel like assholes in the eyes of the viewer. But the good guys? No sir, these now are humanitarians, they never kill people… too bad this is a complete contradiction of what we see in the first episode. It was obviously done deliberately for us to see the killers of the pilot as some sort of paragons of goodness but the whole thing was done in a very childish and lazy way to matter.
The above turns to an anecdote in the middle of the episode, when the “good” Koko will be insulting and questioning the morals of the buyer while her antagonist will be kind enough not to do that and shut his mouth just so he will sell his merchandise without making the buyer to feel like executing them on the spot. And this is exactly what happens; the buyer gets so pissed with Koko’s accusations that he is one step away from ordering his men to kill them all. That is NOT good public relations in this sort of work. Yet a few minutes later Koko will be presented as a heroic figure for not executing her military escorts but instead capturing them alive, while the “evil” team will just have killed them for being annoying. See how this part makes a huge contradiction? The spastic heroes who don’t like the whole thing will magically be organized and go through a lot of risks to capture alive the enemy or escape the battlefield, while the amoral antagonists who care only about making money will suddenly feel like killing the escorts and ruining the deal because the escorts were a bit annoying in their remarks.
7) Make it flashy; not fake. The action scenes make absolutely no sense. You get all sorts of events that simply defy logic to the point you can’t even consider them cool. Here are a few examples from the third and fourth episodes:
- Some assassins are paid to kill Koko. They will not try to kill her from afar via snipping, nor will they stab her stealthy in the back without saying a word. They will introduce themselves to her, explain their motives, and then give her enough time to react and escape. Then they pull out a bazooka and instead of firing at her, they choose to hit a minor police vehicle passing by them.
- Then follows a shootout that makes no sense. One guy takes cover behind a few bushes that barely help in stopping bullets. Another guy stands up without taking any cover. They fire at each other at least a thousand times yet they don’t hit a thing. It’s as if the bullets bounce off them. Then the police arrive and although they are wearing protective gear, hold bullet proof shields, or hide well behind walls, they are all killed immediately with a few shots.
- Then they start a calm philosophical debate in the middle of the battle while shots are still fired. It’s like they are sitting calmly to have some coffee in the middle of a war zone.
- Then some guy tries to sneak and shoots at the assassins while FOR NO REASON using a silencer. But they magically “hear” the silencer and dodge in time. A few minutes later, a sniper manages to hit one of them without any reason of why they didn’t hear that coming.
- Then the assassins chase Koko in a car and apparently know where she is randomly running in the city all this time. And it’s not like she is trying to hide because she is running IN OPEN AREAS while laughing as if it’s all a game. The bad guys manage to find her but her allies arrive and shield her with their car, even though they began the chase with a delay of several minutes next to the bad guys. A thousand bullets are fired at each other with a few meters distance from each other and again all we get is three bullet holes, and no injury. All this time Koko is still running along with the car instead of taking cover or getting it in.
- We get yet another “out of screen” scene. The bad guys use some weird super rifle that trashes their car really bad. We don’t see what happens to the people in the car. Then Koko orders a retreat and everybody does so… without showing us how. Hell, they just disappear from a messed up car and we never see them again but we are left to assume such a devastating attack didn’t kill any of them.
- Then this CIA agent appears and starts to act like a complete asshole and even hits them for fun. They can outrun and deflect bullets but suddenly don't see a punch coming from an arrogant asshole right in front of them.
- Then Koko figures out how the second assassin will try to attack them again later on, date, hour, and method included. HOW DID SHE KNOW THAT? It’s not like she knew them for years to tell how they think.
In all, it is a very messy and passable show and there is no chance in hell it will please the fans of Black Lagoon or of action in general.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 5/10
General Artwork 1/2 (generic)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 1/2 (basic)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 1/2 (basic)
SOUND SECTION: 6/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 2/4 (average)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 3/10
Premise 1/2 (typical)
Pacing 1/2 (messy)
Complexity 0/2 (messy)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (cheesy)
CHARACTER SECTION: 5/10
Presence 1/2 (generic)
Personality 1/2 (cheesy)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
VALUE SECTION: 1/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 0/3 (no reason to rewatch)
Memorability 1/4 (too badly done to bother remembering it)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 1/10
Art 0/1 (looks lazy)
Sound 0/2 (sounds stupid)
Story 1/3 (feels generic)
Characters 0/4 (they are stupid)
Right, it's confession time for me. If you have been reading my reviews than you may have noticed that I tend to rip the anime a new one. There is a reason for this though and it has to do with the fact that I can't turn my brain off when watching anime. I can't ignore the stupid shown in the anime and this is a problem as most anime are very stupid indeed.
In this case I'm not talking about a 90 pound girl catching a multi-ton cruise missile and throwing it back. Yes, it is stupid but it is a stupid that I'll allow. It's anime. Things like this are normal here and I'm pretty much fine with it. It annoys me to be sure but I will not rant about it.
I tend to view all my anime in the original language. This is a personal choice of mine and revolves around 2 things: The Japanese voice actors are generally outstanding. Also you may find it surprising but there are some differences between different languages. What uses a few words in one have to done with much longer sentences in another. So the dub will often have to change lines in orther to fit the lip flapping of the character. While some dubs do an amazing job I feel that something gets lost in translation.
So, having explained this lets rip into this anime shall we? Just a heads up: There will most probably be spoilers. The more I hate an anime the more spoilers there will be.
ART: Actually surprisingly good. I was never confused about who was who and If CGI was used it was kept to a minimum or good enough not to be overly noticeble.
SOUND: Again, no real complaints. Sound and music was quite good and voice actors did a good job.
CHARACTERS: Main character is Jonah. He is a child soldier who is very good at what he does: fighting and killing. He doesn't like to show emotions but he cares deeply for the people around him.
Koko Hekmatyar is the other main character. Nationality is unknown as she was born on a freighter and traveled with her father all over the world as he sold weapons. From an early age she started working for his company but sees it as a means to an end. What that end is is something that only she knows.
STORY: Jonah, a highly skilled child soldier, hates weapons and fighting with a passion. Which makes it rather odd that he is the latest addition to the bodyguard detail of Koko Hekmatyar. She is one of the biggest arms dealer in the world and has sold weapons in every hotspot around the globe. It is through arms dealers such as Koko that the world is such a mess that it is right now. Despite that he comes to care for Koko and becomes a valuable addition to the team.
RANT: If I had seen this series a few years ago I would have loved it. Unfortunately I have seen Black Lagoon first and that series does everything that this series does only much better.
This series gave off the same vibe as Black Lagoon but it fails to be it on every level. The comedy is weaker. The violence is present but not as much. People do tend to die left right and centre but the main characters rarely get hit and if they get hit they never get hurt badly.
That was one of the problems I had with it. One time Koko and Jonah were cornered by assassins and a massive firefight erupted. Jonah shooting like mad with a SMG while the assassin was wielding an AK47. It looked really intense until the director decided to show the fight from above and they were standing about 30 feet from each other. Do you know how hard it is to miss from that distance?
Now I know that believability should be left at the door and both parties fire like their weapons hold about 1000 bullets per clip as they never reload so... I'm actually fine with the infinite ammo part but missing while standing so close to each other? No. These guys are elites who train hard with their weapons and are excellent marksmen so in this I call bullshit.
There is however one thing I did like about the series more than Black Lagoon. The violence was there but less so. This made the swings between violence and comedy less jarring and easier to take.
As for Koko's master plan..... I won't spoil it here but it is very stupid. The fact that Kasper Hekmatyar flat out told that it was stupid in the anime made it rather funny.
All in all an amusing anime that was rather silly at times and is filled to the brim with absolutely insane characters. If you are a fan of Black Lagoon then you will like this one as well although it is not as good.
Recommended by a personal friend, Jormungand (Jorm henceforth) was a nice change of pace from some of the slices of life I’ve recently stepped away from. And that’s probably the nicest thing I’m going to say about that show in this entire review. I’ll waste no further time on preamble:
Art: 08/10 – Ever gratuitous when it comes to art, this show does ok for itself in the art department. I think the general artwork is good, the backgrounds are great, and the visual effects are outstanding. It sort of blew my mind how crisply shown reflections were in car windows during some of the many driving scenes. It’s one of the most memorable aspects of the whole damn show, and I’ll applaud that sub-category a full score for that alone.
Though I thought the characters were well drawn, and mostly well-emoted, I couldn’t bring myself to give the character design a full score. The problem here lies in how utterly erratic the style was. I understand that the cast is very multicultural – which I think was well-captured in their generic design – but then there’s the whole bizarre eyelashes bit. Which are conspicuously noticeable on the male and female leads; but then not apparent on most of the other major characters. Apart from not caring for that design aspect (which is not something I’d deduce points for), it’s just off-putting how this design feature failed to apply to most of the cast. It’s like do only the main characters have eyelashes? It’s a poor touch to make a stylistic choice like that, and fail to follow-through with it for more than a few characters.
Likewise, for a show that is almost NON-STOP action; many of the action sequences themselves really sucked. Few things are more immersion-breaking than the protagonist team (which inarguably consists of some of the most highly-skilled combatants in the world) can’t gun down two people who they have SURROUNDED with no cover (their first encounter with Orchestra). The was just a lot of laziness that in the battle choreography, and while I’m not often picky in this regard, I’m going to be less forgiving for a show that centers on combat. One good combat scene > three bad ones. It’s about quality, not quantity, people.
Sound: 07/10 – I watched the show dubbed, and by and large, the voice acting was pretty good; especially for a dub. I took a single point off in this section because no one’s performance was outstandingly performed by my memory, but I most especially deducted due to the utter cheese that which was a majority of the dialogue. I don’t know if any of it had anything to do with the translation, and I don’t imagine that I’ll this show a twice-over to watch it subbed. So my score stands.
The music was entirely unremarkable. I thought the first OT was pretty cool, and the first ET was good as well. The second OT was ok, and the second ET was ok. There’s absolutely nothing about this show’s BGM that’s even remotely memorable; and that’s a bad thing to me.
The sound effects were solid. The gunshots sounded like gunshots, and explosions went “kaboom!”.
Story: 02/10 – Needless to say, I’ve identified serious problems with this show’s story. Let’s start by talking about the premise, which, while the setting is fairly unique, you’re thrown into it with virtually no exposition whatsoever. No goals at this point are expressed, all you know is that these people sell weapons for money. And doing so gets them shot at. A lot. And *spoiler alert* that’s all you’re going to know for the next 20 episodes.
As I’ve explained in previous reviews, an episodic format is always worse than a continual one. I’ve excused other shows at least somewhat for this fallacy (such as Cowboy Bebop) for at least throwing in tons of character development and subtle clues that tie everything together. Jorm, however goes on to flub it up even worse. It’ll make two-parters over random encounters that have no relevance at all to the plotline (Orchestra), then rush extremely important parts (like the last two episodes). You could almost skip the middle 20 episodes or so, and walk away understanding the whole story. If that doesn’t say everything one needs to know about this show’s pacing, I don’t know what would.
I’ll grace the show with a half-score for complexity, because some of its scope was interesting and profound. The main character’s ultimate goal was fairly interesting, and while it wasn’t terribly plausible; the explanation was still thorough and thought out. Still, the characters’ motives are barely given any explanation at all. And the sheer and utter lack of plausibility (which I’ll address in the next paragraph) cascades into how weak the show’s complexity is. Having a massive (and arguably somewhat profound) scope does not make a show complicated, if the execution is absolutely terrible.
The plausibility of this show was outright abysmal. I mean, where do I even begin? Making a battle with the Navy SEALs look like child’s play? Picking gunfights with the Mafia for the literal hell of it? A single soldier taking down an entire military base with a knife? Or how about making the CIA continually look stupid, despite being CONSTANTLY monitored by them? No, I know, getting shot in the back mutliple times while huddled in the fetal position, just to be in perfect condition the next episode. This isn’t even to address the ludicrous motivations of the characters, which I’ll go into further detail in the characters section.
The conclusion was awful. The story was finally beginning to tie itself together, but then the conclusion has the audacity to give a 2-year time skip right at the VERY last episode! If that’s not bad enough, the story still doesn’t wrap itself up. You’re left with “I push this button to execute my master plan!” *Pushes button* THE END! I mean, did you really just make me sit through 24 episodes of the main characters shooting up completely irrelevant people just to troll me into not letting me know how the main character’s master plan turned out? Seriously? The story was almost entirely crammed into the last several episodes, and it was rushed to high hell. Awful ending.
Characters: 04/10 – A step or two in the right direction from the show’s story, but still afflicted with glaring weaknesses. I’m not going to say anything bad about the actual presence of the characters. It’s largely character-driven (which is my preference), the show places a tremendous emphasis on the characters (a good thing!)
My praise for the show’s cast breaks down the split second we start to talk about the personalities of them. I mean, is every single character in this show a psychopath? The female lead (and primary lead) literally has no personality to speak of. There is no consistency to the way she acts. It’s implied she’s a bit crazy. Ok, cool. But that cannot possibly be used to explain her behaving completely randomly in every possible situation. I would possibly be more lenient if the show explored Koko’s psychosis, but it doesn’t. It simply uses it to excuse the sheer and utter lack of consistency in her behavior. One episode it’s “kill them all!” Another it’s “only kill when necessary!” One episode it’s “well, we’ve got nothing better to do, let’s put the lives of my crew in danger over a completely unnecessary gun fight with the mob.” And the next it’s sobs and tears when she loses a member of her crew.
I liked Jonah a little better than Koko, but not much. The show seems to flip the degree to which he is extremely astute (even moreso than his adult companions), and the degree to which is he ignorant (excused by the fact that he is a kid). Worse than that, his motives are ridiculously poorly fleshed out. He is forced by a couple of arms dealers under the duress of his own safety, and the safety of some of kids friends, to basically get shot at by a daily basis. And he not only gets over this fact, in almost no time at all, he actually goes on to befriend (and respect) the people who forced him into such a thuggish ultimatum in the first place. Am I the only viewer who was never at any point in the story able to recognize Koko as a protagonist? She was hardly even an anti-hero; and her brother was even worse. This is where Jonah’s character was exceptionally inconsistent. Why was he so quick to forgive those who put him such terrible circumstances?
I don’t have much better to say for the rest of the crew. Ok, they’re mercs, not good guys. I get that. But who would be dumb enough to work a job where they get into regular firefights for an extended period of time? It was well implied that they were all extremely well paid for what they did, so it doesn’t make sense that anyone would stay in that line of work for a long time. Sure, it was obvious that they were all to some level or another attached to Koko, but that was just boring in its own right. She was literally too inconsistent to be likable, yet the show played it up that her likability was one of her core traits. This one of many examples of the show’s terrible exposition: It was sure to tell us consistently that Koko was charismatic, but it definitely wasn’t able to show it.
The secondary cast was frankly obnoxious. For starters, why is literally every woman in the show a badass lesbian? Fan service much? Was there a single episode where there wasn’t either girl-on-girl groping or a cat fight? Or both? I have no problem with romance, nor do I have a problem with shows addressing homosexual love (which seemed to be the actual case in Velmet’s case), but when they do so with such obvious immaturity it becomes blatant otaku fan service, rather than mature exploration for what is otherwise a less-than-common theme. Then there was Koko’s treatment of Jonah which was basically outright pedophilia. Again, this is a theme which could have been actually explored, what with the insane amounts of time wasted in pointless random encounters. But instead it was clear that this was just more fan service for the younger crowd to yell “awesome!” every time Koko smothered Jonah with her tits.
I realize I could spend an entire review remarking about the terrible character portrayals are, but I’ll move on to a department where the show fared better: Backdrop. Now I’ll admit I’m being generous here, because Koko lacked almost any backdrop even despite being, you know, the main character. This is especially strange given that her father is constantly referenced, but never shown. Almost no detail about her relationship with her father came to light. Sure, you could imply it was a bad relationship; but again this could have, and should have been better fleshed out. With that said, almost the entire remainder of the secondary cast had at least some backdrop; including at least some sort of explanation as to how or why they specialized in the areas they did. Because basically the entire relevant cast had some backstory, I did give the cast a full score in this category.
Character development? None. One could argue Jonah changed a little, but he obtained his fondness for his captors very quickly, and for virtually no reason. Koko? Well aside from lacking a concrete personally to speak of, she was dancing to the tune of her master plan all along. The rest of the cast? Minions who are mindlessly obsessed with their bosses. No.Development.Here.
I also gave the show a zero in catharsis. Sure, Jonah reconciled the essential insanity of his boss. Who didn’t see that coming? And Koko never had any explicable personality (let alone character development) in the first place.
Overall: 4.5/10 – If you’re looking for an action series that you’re able to take even remotely seriously, I’d advise you look elsewhere. But if you’re just looking to mouth breathe in front of your screen to the spectacle an unending hail of gunfire, and more-than-occasional lesbian foreplay; then step right up. You’ve got yourself a show.
Excused Scorings Below: (Thanks to Roriconfan for the template).
ART SECTION: 8/10
General Artwork 2/2 (Solid)
Character Figures 1/2 (Well designed, but erratically styled)
Backgrounds 2/2 (very detailed)
Animation 1/2 (sometimes lazy)
Visual Effects 2/2 (Great)
SOUND SECTION: 7/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (fine, but not remarkable)
Music Themes 2/4 (Ok, but not great)
Sound Effects 3/3 (Great)
STORY SECTION: 2/10
Premise 1/2 (unique but aimless)
Pacing 0/2 (erratic and episodic)
Complexity 1/2 (bites off more than it can chew)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 0/2 (Rushed, Excessively Open, and Cheesy)
CHARACTER SECTION: 4/10
Presence 2/2 (strong, character driven)
Personality 0/2 (makes no sense)
Backdrop 2/2 (Basically entire cast gets some)
Development 0/2 (weak)
Catharsis 0/2 (Weak, and Rushed)
VALUE SECTION: 2/10
Historical Value 0/3 (Jormu-what?)
Rewatchability 1/3 (Action packed, but the suspense isn’t gripping even the first time around)
Memorability 1/4 (Memorable only for its sheer implausibility and failure to fulfill its scope)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 4/10
Art: 1/1 (Good)
Sound: 1/2 (Ok)
Story: 1/3 (Ok premise that gets flubbed up relentlessly)
Characters: 1/4 (Kind of cool, but nonsense unless they are all psychopaths and suffer multiple-personality disorder)