This Week: Blood-C, Iron Man, Jormungand, and Jormungand: Perfect Order
Due to the Memorial Day weekend in the US, I finished several shows for this go around.
I was told that this series was a complete wreck, which was the entire reason I picked it up, and boy did it deliver. In its execution, it came off as the kind of thing a middle school creative writing project would produce in wild glee when they’ve juuust learned that Shocking Plot Twists are Totally The Greatest Thing Ever, but without the necessary internal editorial filters to make the rest of their classmates care about what was going on or how to get there.
The story spends almost all of its run-time spinning its wheels trying to hint there are greater things going on, to such a degree that it often feels like they’re just killing a page limit. Brutal death scenes begin cropping up in spades after the halfway point, as it flails its “Look! Look! Please keep watching! This is a serious story! There’s a Big Reveal coming!” arms, but they’re so gratuitously over the top that I would often burst out laughing hysterically (episodes 9 and 12 in particular). An aggressive editor could easily have cut this whole show down to four episodes or so.
Several of the monster designs were interesting enough, and pretty much any scene featuring human dismemberment is rather lushly animated (which explains the wonky animation that often crops up in the rest of the show), so it can be recommended in the same way one would recommend a schlocky z-grade horror film. It’s nowhere near good, but it’d make for a swell party night to riff with like minded friends.
This was the first series of the Marvel Anime initiative I’ve seen, and it generally went as well as one could reasonably predict. It was essentially a 1980’s American style Saturday morning action cartoon, with more CGI and extra modern animation shininess. And dear heaven do things get shiny; everyone and everything looks like they bathed in hair gel and shellac to such a degree that I’m fairly certain one could fry an egg off of the light reflections.
It hand waves away anything that would slow down their advancement towards The Next Exciting Action Scene, but, it’s inoffensively fine for what it is trying to do and where its drawing its inspiration from. It doesn’t blaze any new trails, and it certainly wouldn’t hold up to repeat viewings, but as a kid I would have looked forward to waking up on a weekend morning for this well enough, which is all it’s really trying to be.
Jormungand and Jormungand: Perfect Order
I studied quite a bit about arms control in graduate school, so I was very interested to check this particular series out now that it’s seemingly all finished and I’m not actively doing assignments on the subject matter any more.
I found the first season to be a well animated but narratively bland romp that really only used the arms dealing hook for the basic setups of changing the backgrounds for the monster of the week shootout scenes. It was fine so long as fights were happening, and it seemed to know it, so it just kept them coming rather than floundering around with dialogue it didn’t feel fully comfortable using, which I can certainly respect.
The second season was much better though, as while there were still combat sequences, it took the time to have plenty of engaging conversations between characters about the larger nature of their work, the implications, tactical considerations and so on. Things felt less frantic and more methodical. For a series about arms dealers, this is the sort of stuff that I find to be really important for it to want to bring up, or the setting wouldn’t really be used to its potential, so I was very glad to see that change.
Something I enjoyed in both seasons was the size of Koko’s team; her unit is at least twice or triple the size most other series would use. The ability for characters to have certain specializations made for more complex engagements, and each one of them was given their own special moments to shine over the course of the series.
Mothballs is a weekly write-up of already completed anime series I have either removed from my backlog or have recently revisited. A crash space for my immediate thoughts and personal processing, these are not intended as full reviews.