Jormungand is Set in 2012
It is not your average anime series, it takes you into a harsh reality. This is one of the few anime that manages to convey its message of anti war across to the audience. It is set at an offshore rig, Koko Hekmatyar, her squad, and Minami Amada watch a rocket launch as the words of Jörmungandr, the World Snake, are spoken. The scene flashes forward to the present in an unnamed Eastern European country, where Jonah is being led down a hotel corridor by Koko, and he thinks that he now travels with an arms dealer.
Jonah meets Koko's squad. Koko tells Jonah that some of her goods are being held up and assigns him the job of helping recover them as a rite of passage and test of his skills. When they ask who Jonah is, Koko throws the door open, slamming it into Lehm, who is having a drink behind it. Koko then asks Tojo for an update and he confirms that their container is still being held up in port. Koko has Lehm and Valmet accompany her. On the way to the port the unnamed Vice Minister of Home Affairs tries to talk Koko out of trying to recover her goods as he wants to keep them out of the military's hands, but she refuses to cave in. Jonah responds that he hates talking, but Koko tell him that he will have to now that he is working under her.
In the compact SUV behind, Lehm asks Valmet what she think of Jonah, but she tells him that they were just introduced, so she could not form an opinion of him. She does think he was very tense and begins to worry about Koko's safety, vowing that if something happens to her she will kill that person and then himself. Three cars suddenly come up from behind as Jonah asks Koko how she treats people who are tailing her. Koko reprimands him for opening fire without telling her first, but he tells her that those were just scouts. This is when we begin to get a good set up for characters and the development of them begins to unfold.
In a control room, the Vice Minister is watching the action on a monitor while on the phone and tells his caller that Koko's container needs to be kept out of the air force's hands, as it contains upgrades for three fighter squadrons. Although a firefight has broken out, he says that he has dispatched a unit, but it will be over if Koko reaches the port. The unit patches of the soldiers inside and recognises her attackers as the Voskhod 6. The Voskhod 6 inside open the rear doors to fire at Lehm and force him back, allowing her to enter and take them out with her knife.
The pursuit moves off the highway and things quiet down until Jonah notices one of the soldiers in the Humvee aiming at them with a FGM-148 Javelin while Koko notices that he called her by her first name. A stuffed toy dog files out of the destroyed car and lands on Jonah's head, causing him to laugh when he sees what it is, surprising Koko. When the Vice Minister sees what has happened, he orders the remaining Voskhod 6 and the port guards to pull back and concedes defeat. As they continue on to the port, Koko tells Jonah that if he were to kill her to get back at arms dealers he then have to deal with her bodyguards. When he asks why she sells weapons, Koko responds that she does so for world peace.
A few nights later Jonah is keeping watch in Koko's room when R comes over to tell him that he is up next for guard duty with Lehm. Jonah asks Lehm why he follows Koko while she wakes up and begins to sleepwalk, falling onto Valmet, who is asleep on a couch. They then see Koko walk into the hallway and Lehm directs her to the bathroom. One thing to note is the animation style comes of strong, with the use of environments looking grim and gritty to suit the overall theme of the series.
The next morning Koko briefs her team on an emergency, revealing that an arms convoy has entered the country possibly carrying 15 disassembled Hind-Ds and spares. Valmet becomes worried about Koko when she learns about Kloshkin's background, but Tojo tells her that she has five people supporting her and learns that she is not as worried about him as he can take care of himself. On the way to meet with Kloshkin, Koko gives Jonah a spare pistol just in case as Kloshkin may be troublesome. As they arrive, Koko tells Jonah to behave like her little brother and not to act until she gives the signal. At the meeting, Kloshkin has them sit with their backs to a window and gets down to business. Tojo offers to call Koko and she tells him to pull the AA card. Koko responds that she does not, as she sees the situation as being set up by her and now he is trying to take advantage of it, but it could cost him. Kloshkin suddenly smashes the coffee pot over Koko's head, causing Jonah to draw his pistol, but Koko orders him not to fire. Kloshkin takes the pistol and ejects all the bullets, musing that Koko is more screwed up than him by employing a child soldier. Koko then winks at Jonah.
After a bit Kloshkin asks them if they want to leave and makes a call, but Koko interrupts and tells him that selling arms is like any other battle. He draws a walkie talkie to contact his sniper team and Koko suggests that he call them. Koko then tells Lehm to pull back while at the air base, the colonel cancels the purchase agreement, which Kloshkin hears about. Koko then signals and Jonah shoots Kloshkin in the head with his spare pistol. He then examines Koko's head wound, which is just a scratch but bleeding a lot. When Lehm asks how the mission went, he responds that he let Koko get hurt, but is told not to worry about it. With the rest of the team hungry and waiting, Koko tells him that he is now one of them and has symbolically hatched from his egg. However the eggs he made taste horrible to everyone but him, and he is the only one not incapacitated.
While transporting some goods to a certain Eastern European country bordering Russia , Koko is unable to get any reception on her phone in order to meet up with Tojo and Valmet while being escorted by the local border guards. Koko impulsively exits her Volvo and runs to a nearby cliff, where she sees a distant city covered by smoke. When Koko looks through binoculars she sees that the local GSM infrastructure has been destroyed. When their commander describes Koko, he is ordered not to shoot as she is a buyer. The team is escorted to the town, where Koko meets Major Pollack, the local commander in charge of the area. They accept the SAMs that were being delivered, but Pollack has Koko take a seat when she asks him to sign the purchase contract. When Pollack starts to request additional equipment, they are suddenly interrupted by the arrival of Mildo and Lu, the bodyguards for Curry, the head of a small arms dealer named CCAT. The series pace never appears to slow down and at this stage we are drawn in further through its rapid speed.
While the two arms dealers sit down with Pollack, Mildo sees Jonah and is amused when she realizes that he is a member of Koko’s Squad. Koko learns that Curry sold Pollack FIM-92 Stinger missiles and when she tries to leave as the order was fulfilled, Pollack stops her, asking for a new radar, as their radar tower was destroyed by bombing. Curry regretfully states that he does not have access to such equipment but suggests that Koko does because of her position as the daughter of a global shipping magnate and high ranking member of HCLI’s Europe/African Weapons Transport Division. When Koko starts to deny this, Pollack calls for his soldiers, prompting a standoff between them and Koko’s team. Koko tells Lutz to stand down and tells Pollack that she knows that his men are hunting down anyone who escaped into the mountains, questioning why he is trying so hard to hide the battle over the pipeline. He laughs this off and repeats his request for the radar, telling Koko not to worry about payment. Mildo bids Jonah goodbye while Curry observes to Koko that Pollack is difficult to deal with.
As the team walks away, Koko signals to them that they will escape while pretending to accept the contract. Tojo tells Valmet that they could not have supported Koko due to the local situation and suggests that they return to the pass in the morning. The following morning, Koko prepares to leave. He also assigns two of his men to escort her and warns her not to flee while pretending to have accepted his offer.
On the drive out, one of the soldiers riding with Koko reveals his contempt of arms dealers. When they pass the summit in a thick fog, the team stops and Koko tests her reception. When a Stinger fired at the Hinds misses, Koko notices a soldier under cover nearby. Koko advises him to have his men fall back and retreat because the Hinds are equipped with infrared cameras, making anyone on the ground easy to spot. When the Hinds fly away, the soldier notices that Koko was smiling the whole time during the attack and tells her to get lost. When they get back to the car, Jonah asks why she is not trying to sell them weapons. Koko tells him that her instincts tell her that this war will be over in two days and turn into a low intensity conflict with no clear winner. The series is action packed, intriguing and above the average anime series. With its use of character and anti war themes this is one to be seriously check out and considered.
Space Dandy reminded myself very much of old serials of sci fi from the 50's. Each week theres a cliffhanger and our narrator narrates the series. So what is Space Dandy? Well its created by the director of Cowboy Bebop (one of the greatest anime of all time) and is an adventure series. Dandy and QT are a pair of alien hunters, who make their living by finding rare alien species and having them registered. The two of them are joined by a "space cat" they dub Meow, who tells them he knows where to find a planet full of exotic species he doubts anyone has registered.Dandy, or Space Dandy, is the anti-hero protagonist of the series and has a matching personality to go along with his looks; Dandy is not above shoving menial tasks to QT like cooking and cleaning up his Aloha Oe and grumbling how useless Meow is, and often neglects their thoughts and opinions. He also comforts Ukeleleman as he is about to die, even though he was his enemy.
While out searching the galaxies for rare alien species, Dandy and QT make a trip to BooBies, Dandy's favorite restaurant chain. After a hectic chase leaves the two unable to return to their ship, Dandy has QT activate a "secret weapon" that obliterates the entire planet and everything on it, including the crew. However, in the episode, "The War of the Undies and Vests, Baby," Meow implies that QT is considered male by saying "He ain't coming back" as QT begins flying the Aloha Oe away from an exploding planet.
Dandy gets a tip from Meow about a so-called "Phantom Ramen" that is supposedly made by an undiscovered species of alien. Throughout the trip, Meow takes pictures of their travels and posts them online through his phone, inadvertently giving away their position to Dr. Gel, who sends his forces to capture Dandy. Dandy discovers that Meow was tweeting their every location and ejects his phone out of the Aloha Oe, leaving Dr. Gel and the Gogol Empire to go after it instead of them.
The Adventures of Space Dandy and his misfit crew continues at the Alien Registration Center, where they strike out yet again *dressing up Meow as a ridiculous looking space creature* and find themselves rejected once again by Scarlet. according to Dandy, Meow sprinkles fish flakes on everything he eats.Apart from brushing his teeth, Meow is very unconcerned about hygiene. He enjoys spending time at BooBies (and was first found by Dandy taking pictures of the waitresses there), sleeps with a dakimakura, and is the only member of the Aloha Oe who looks at porn, since Dandy prefers the real thing and QT "doesn't even have those ports."
Meow isn't particularly smart, a trait noted by QT. However, he may be a talented artist, given the rather competent drawing he did on the paper about his childhood dream of being a metalworker like his father.
Low on food, cash and sick of eating that expired instant slop that QT stocked up on from lightyears into the future, Dandy reveals that he has a Boobies point card that guarantees the crew a free meal upon their next visit. With no options left * and against the advice of both QT and Meow *, Dandy mashes on the broken warp speed button, sending the Aloha Oe into an unstable warp and crash landing unto yet another barren planet.
Their already battered ship is damaged on impact. While Dandy and Meow show off to get her attention, QT suggests that they use parts from her ship to repair Aloha Oe, which Mamitas agrees.
Meanwhile at the Gogol Empire, Dr Gel locates Dandy and his crew and sets out to capture him but decides against it after his subordinate discovers that planet to be the habitat of one of the most deadliest aliens to ever exist. Dandy and QT board the mini cruiser on the Aloha Oe with every intention to leave Meow to his fate but decides to stay and fight when he remembers that Meow has the Boobies point card. Dandy takes advantage and feeds her the rest of the supply, shrinking her and capturing her. The animation style of the series is absolutely stunning, every creature is unique and as incentive as the next. It really does act as a throwback to anime of the 80's and early 90's with an extremely unique animation style.
As the series progresses it begins to enter the more surreal, even integrating slight B Grade horror elements into it. Our heroes examine the Stiltonian alien they have captured, but are unsure if it is a new species because of it's slow movement and discolorization, in contrast to the alien handbook Dandy and crew are referring to. After QT concludes the species they have captured is not a Stiltonian, Dandy and crew head back to the bridge of the Aloha Oe, en route to the Alien Registration Center to register and cash in on their catch.
Unbeknownst to Dandy, QT notices a change in Meow's overall well-being, deeply concerned about his lethargy, communication, and lack of response to any stimuli. Dandy is unconcerned, shaking it off as "just a bug," until QT convinces him to stop by at Galaxy Hospital to have Meow examined.
After a brief evaluation by the doctor, Meow is revealed to be dead, as test results indicate he had no vital signs. Dandy proclaims he should he hospitalized because of the sexy hot nurses, but QT drags him out until the next day, proclaiming Dandy needs to be sick to be admitted. Pacing wise the series never slows down, and at this point is a continuing series of events that connect at a rapid pace.
Meanwhile, somewhere in space, Dr. Gel is greeted by reckless mercenaries hired by Admiral Perry to assist the doctor in capturing Dandy in light of his ineptitude. While Dandy assumes the nurses wanted a foursome, QT intervenes in time to prevent Dandy from being bitten. Perry's lackeys are quickly ambushed and dispatched, and QT believes all the patients have become zombies after one walker shakes off a bullet barrage and subsequently zombifies its attacker. Overall Space Dandy is a shock surprise and possibly one of the best anime so far this year, it has great humour, setting, character development and style. Please pick this up, even if your not a fan of Anime this show certainly has something for everyone, even to please the most hardcore B grade horror or sci fi fans.
Madman include a nice art book inside the blu-ray edition, not sure if this is limited but it certainly is a nice addition.