Jormungand: Perfect Order

TV (12 eps)
Fall 2012
4.111 out of 5 from 7,653 votes
Rank #553

The child soldier Jonah continues to protect Koko while she brings the boom to cities across the globe. When the international arms dealer ramps up sales, her hired guns are targeted by government agencies, warmongers, and assassins — leading to some devastating betrayals and losses. Amid all the gunfire and grenades, Koko begins to work on a secret project in South Africa: Jormungand. But when she finally reveals her master plan for the future of war, not everyone is happy with the plot. As the body count starts to explode, Jonah will have to decide if he can stand by and watch his employer’s blood-soaked plan for world peace unfold, or try to put a stop to it.

Source: Funimation

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This series has great art; astonishingly detailed design for weapons, vehicles, locations and characters; good color and great sound. Alas, the story is simply boring, and the animation is close to non existant! From Jormungand's start, you get the feeling of not knowing everything that is going on in the background. That's fine for shows that force the audience to elaborate on backstory while developing the facts around main characters. However, after going through half of the second season (Perfect Order), the story becomes less and less interesting. There is simply no plot. There's only isolated events occuring in no particular order. There is also no character development. You get cool characters from the beginning, and they remain exactly the same amount of cool until the end. To be fair, you get to know each of the main character's background because the series devotes one or two episodes to each one of them, but the narrative fails at delivering credible inter-character bonds. So after watching 70% of the thing, you learn every character's name and realise just how unimportant they are because you didn't notice their presense before their respective "dedicated" episode. Also the core team is so perfect at kicking ass, that it would seem like they're almost never in real danger. So why bother caring for any of them in particular? After witnessing some unexpected (and unimportant) death, you'll know what I mean. Now let me explain the lack of proper animation in this work: Jormungand relies on any available storytelling trope for not animating a single character for more than a couple of seconds. All movement you see (in terms of character animation) is eye blinking, mouth open-close (including smiles), and walking loops. When lucky, eventual hair/clothing waving is also present. For an "action" title, you would expect some fight animation. But it just happens that most of the "action" is only "heard" or implied by the viewer, because most of the storytelling is based on "offscreen moments of awesome" (google that if you don't know what I'm talking about). There is only about three scenes where I remember actually seing a character move to fight, and those were very short clips indeed. Most of the would-be-epic battles are not shown, only the resulting corpses depicted on the ground, moments later. Appart from that, for action scenes you get lots of scrolling, paning or zooming on stationary frames between camera cuts. It is done SO OFTEN that it's plain ridiculous. After a while you start wondering if this is a slideshow with a contrastingly good sound work. Oh wait, I forgot to mention some "actual animation" that really shows: all characters shooting with auto rifles. Except they all stay on their spots. Yup. Stand there, shoot with your rifle. At the exact same target who is also not moving. Also, many events are only "told" from one character to another (be it during a phone call or in person). Like "oh, I'm so tired after having that though battle with the bad guys this morning" or "did you hear the special forces just wiped the terrorist group in the south?". Other stuff moving on screen are the vehicles, which are clearly CGI but at least the result is very pleasant to the eye. I have to admit that the post-production is very well done also. All in all the visual quality of Jormungand is breathtaking, even if animation efforts on characters are kept to a minimum. In conclusion, Jormungand is a succession of unrelated events, leading to a somewhat interesting story developed in beautiful scenarios, where you get to know very cool characters who talk a lot, who are also unrelated, and for some reason, almost inmune to bullets. For a similarly intricated and beautiful style, but containing the right amount of animation, I recommend Fate/Zero.

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