AstroNerdBoy combines an anime blog and a manga blog to give reviews and thoughts on specific anime episodes and series, manga chapters and series, the R1 industry as well as the Japanese industry, and certain things Japanese. Follow me on twitter.
As I mentioned during my review of Jormungand, I was drawn into this series thanks to promotional images featuring the series lead Koko Hekmatyar. While I loved the adventure tales of Koko and her crew on various arms deals or fending off assassination attempts, when the series finally went to its core plot, I found myself disappointed to say the least as Koko went from a brilliant, devilishly wicked arms dealer with a keen tactical and strategic mind to a tyrant wannabe with delusions of grandeur. How the mighty have fallen.
Jormungand: Perfect Order does keep up the adventure tales at the start. Much like the first series, we are given insight into more of Koko's team, starting with R, then moving to Tojo and then Wiley. R's storyline no doubt sets the stage for Koko's final decent into madness since he turned out to be a CIA plant, but then got himself killed while trying to save her life. Tojo's story was interesting in that it had a Japanese covert intelligence team square off against Koko's team. Wiley's tale had less bearing on the present, but I loved seeing this guy who loved blowing things up work his magic. Through here, the series was good.
Unfortunately, Lehm gets the short end of the stick. We saw how his working with Wiley during the Persian Gulf War ultimately ended up with Wiley working for Koko. However, we never got to see how Lehm got in on the squad, nor did we get to see his and Chiquita's romance, marriage, and ultimate divorce. Frankly, I would have really loved to have had this aspect explored because I think it would have been really interesting. I get the feeling that this probably wasn't explored in the original manga, and that for whatever reasons, it was decided to just pass on it and go for the end of the series. Too bad.
Another lament of mine is a deeper exploration of Kasper and Koko as kids. Seriously, this would have been so interesting, and it would have made Koko's decent into tyrant madness more understandable, even if still wrong. This could have been accomplished at the same time we explored Chiquita and Lehm, since they were both on Koko's first team. Imagine, seeing Kasper's and Koko's father sending them on their first missions, and all the other things Koko had to endure (as well as Kasper), leading them to the places they are now. It really is a shame that for whatever reasons, this character exploration avenue was also passed up.
While the series only hinted at an overall plot for most of the episodes, once Koko's plan came to light, I found myself irritated and disappointed. Koko might have been loco (one would have to be to some degree to sell arms), but she was still brilliant and she inspired loyalty amongst her troops by taking care of them. I loved her strategic and tactical mind at work. However, once she revealed that she was merely a tyrant in waiting, using technology in some delusional attempt to somehow force humanity into peace, slaughtering who knows how many in the process, she became no better than Hitler, Mao, Stalin, or any other tyrant who claimed to be looking out for the people.
The series ending will probably be one that doesn't satisfy many folks, but it is a not uncommon tactic for Japanese writers to employ to allow the viewers (or readers) to decide for themselves how things went from there. This may be the safest approach, but I think it was the only approach. After all, there'd have been lots of angry people like me who'd balk at this notion of Koko's plan succeeding. I'm sure there would have been folks who'd balk at the notion of Koko's plan failing, though as I see it, that's what would have happened.
For starters, while sending a second Jormungand computer into orbit keeps Koko's project alive even of the ground computer is destroyed, eventually, that computer will fail. Being in the IT field, I can tell you that computer equipment has the biggest knack for failing at the wrong time, as Christmas day proved, followed by a massive problems in the days after Christmas (speaking of events that happened at my job). Having a computer in orbit means not having someone who can just pop in an replace failing components.
There's also the problem of technology. OK, Koko has two quantum computers that can hack into other computers, presuming they are wired in. After all, if a computer or network cannot be accessed via outside sources, it cannot be hacked by those sources (imagine your PC having no Internet access -- a hacker can magically hack into it just because it is a computer). Also, if Koko has a quantum computer, then others may as well, or may have soon enough. Ironically, Koko's computer shows the flaw in becoming too dependent on technology, she too is too dependent on her technology to put her in power and keep her there to impose peace.
Koko's notion of an imposed peace of a failure because humanity has been fighting since their arrival on the planet. Once can't legislate or impose morality of any kind, because that goes against the core of human nature. Further to that, her idea that humanity being denied the skies would probably bring about this peace is just nuts. After slaughtering 700,000+ people, humanity is going to be pissed. At best, they might put off wars with each other and follow the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" proverb as they try to eliminate Koko and Jormungand, but how many more would die in that process?
Basically, Kasper had it right when he told her that even if she closed off the skies, he'd sell naval weapons. If she closed off the seas, he'd sell land weapons. No matter what she did, Kasper would sell weapons, even if that weapon were a simple, wooden club. Naturally, Koko didn't like hearing this, but I suspect that deep down, she knew this was true. In my mind, Koko simply didn't care. She was going to become a dictator and rule the world. Who cares that closing down the sky would not only kill the 700,000+ currently in the air, but would lead to economic collapse, leading to more death and destruction. Tyrant dictators who think they are right and justified never think about the unintended consequences, and when those happen, its always someone else's fault.
So what had been a fun, action-adventure story of a young, gifted female arms dealer and her crack squad of bodyguards turned into a tale of a tyrant dictator in the making. For me, that killed the series, making it have no rewatchable value.