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Jormungand Seasons 1 and 2 Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Reviews

Jormungand Season 1 Blu-ray-DVD Combo PackJormungand Season 2 blu-ray-DVD Combo Pack

“Jormungand” is refreshingly different from the usual anime.

In the 12 episode Jormungand Season 1, we are introduced to the two main characters of the series with Koko (a personable, eccentric business woman in charge of the HCLI shipping company which secretly sells arms) and Jonah (a weapon hating child soldier who becomes one of Koko’s bodyguards). Charcter intros aside, viewers can expect to see stories about Koko’s other bodyguards (Lehm, Valmet, Tojo, Mao, R, Ugo, Lutz and Wiley), rival arms dealers, weapon deliveries to various countries, an assassin group (Orchestra) going after Koko, Koko’s brother Jasper, Jonah’s tragic past, a mission to find Dr. Minami, Valmet’s past as a UN peacekeeper, Daxinghai Company (another shipping and arms dealing business), business dealings, other assassination attempts on Koko’s life, the Balkan Dragons militia group, Scarecrow and Schokolade (FBI agents who are after Koko), transporting Doctors for Human Rights advocates, Valmet getting revenge, and a bombshell reveal at the end of the season.

In season 2 (which contains episodes 13-24), the plot thickens with episode stories about a CIA plan aimed at Koko titled Operation Undershaft, an undercover CIA spy who is apart of Koko’s gang (won’t say who), Hex (a CIA operative), R’s past, character death(s), Koko helping Kasper out, the Special Research Unit fighting HCLI, bodyguard flashbacks, HCLI’s satellite network, Koko’s Jormungand plan (won’t reveal what that is either), Rabbit (a quantum physicist), and a quantum supercomputer.

In a genre crowded with sci-fi, mech, and haremy stories, it is completely refreshing to see an anime series that is none of those things. “Jormungand” is generally a very adult and reality based series that tackles real world issues such as politics, weapons, war, violence, corruption, arms dealers, and yes, even family. It’s an unusual character and story driven story that never overstays its welcome as it spaces out mysteries and events over the course of the two seasons.

The first season is understandably more character based as the writers explore the characters of Koko, her bodyguards, the conflicted Jonah and the bond between them all. Granted, season 1 does tend to overdo it with the attempts on Koko’s life stories, but for the most part, the season moves briskly as it captures the danger filled lives of Koko’s dysfunctional “family” of sorts.

Season 2 (which is dubbed the “Perfect Order”) really digs into the plot more as we learn about Koko’s ambitious big picture plans, the CIA subplot, among other mysteries (such as the spy working under Koko). It’s certainly a more eventful season overall, but it’s also a bit frustrating. I have no idea if a third season will ever be produced, but this is one of the few series that actually lends itself to having more seasons. I’m not going to get into spoiler territory here, but I will see that season 2 ends on a MAJOR cliffhanger that will have you aching to see what the fallout of that big event is (not to mention what happens next).

Video/Audio:

Presentation: Widescreen 1080p. How does it look? Truth be told, the gritty and grainy style looks disappointingly a bit flat in hi-def. It’s not a bad transfer by any means, but it doesn’t really shine in 1080p either.

Audio Tracks: English and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0. How do the tracks sound? The English dub is satisfactory as is the Japanese track. While it’s a bit odd that there are no 5.1 tracks here, they both handle the voice acting, music, and sound f/x well.

Season 1 Extras:
* Trailers for “Robotics;Notes,” “Aquarion Evol,” “Appleseed XIII,” “Dragon Ball Z,” “Black Lagoon,” “Psycho-Pass,” “Akira,” “Eureka Seven AO,” Anime Classics, and Fnimation.com.
* Commentary on episode 1 by Christopher Bevins, Carli Mosier, and Anastasia Munoz. The three chat about the series, the story, characters, etc.
* A U.S. trailer for “Jormungand.”
* 1 textless opening song and 2 textless closing songs.
* A laidback commentary on episode 12 by Cris George, Micah Solusod, and Christopher Smith.
* “Casting Koko’s Crew With American Director Christopher Bevins”- Christopher Bevins and Cris George talk about the casting process and cast members for 20 minutes.

Season 2 Extras:
* Trailers for “Blood-C: The Last Dark,” “Robotics;Notes,” ‘Black Lagoon,” “Psycho-Pass,” “Akira,” “Eureka Seven AO,” “Aquarion Evol,” Anime Classics and Funimation.com.
* A laugh and joke filled commentary on episode 15 by Christopher Bevins, Jamie Marchi, Mark Stoddard and Ian Sinclair. Entertaining enough.
* A U.S. trailer for “Jormungand.”
* 1 textless opening song and 2 textless closing songs.
* A passable commentary on episode 24 by Christopher Bevins, Anastasia Munoz, Gwendolyn Lau, and Micah Solusod.
* “Team Koko: A Look Inside With The American Director And Cast”- A featurette in which Christopher Bevins, Anastasia Munoz and Micah Solusod talk about the story and characters.

Overall Thoughts: “Jormungand” is a contender for the best anime release of 2014 already. Check it out.

 

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May 7, 2014 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review, DVD review | , , , , ,

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