Jormungand 8-9: Yayifications!
In this two episode breakdown, Koko finds herself in two predicaments with warring countries as she competes with another cunning arms dealer in getting her hands on high tech planes, as well as help smuggle a humanitarian group through a nation where a militia has the military wrapped around their finger. However, will Koko be able to get out of both of these scenarios cleanly or will she have to resort to the Plan B route when things escalate beyond her reach?
We begin with Jonah continuing his training as this time around he has to go paintball shooting with Lutz. The two are somewhat hesitant at the idea, Jonah because he feels off about shooting Lutz and Lutz because he feels off about shooting someone as young as Jonah (especially after he hesitated to kill Chinatsu). However, when given a point system to go by instead, Jonah is more than happy to play along for sport.
Not long after, they are headed to a reception where they meet Amalia Tolokhovsky, a former actress who became an arms dealer to both meet other people and put her acting skills to the test, earning much praise from Koko much to Valmet’s dismay.
Amalia is in town because she is competing with Koko on getting her hands on Predator aerial vehicles that a European country (known lazily as Country B) is seeking to get from the U.S. before Country A (another) in the East gets them. This means that in order to get the upper hand, she bribes Chocolade with a diamond in exchange for guaranteeing that America will back her up.
However, Amalia has her finger already in the pie as she is cozying up with the big guys who are in talks with Amalia about purchasing her UAV’s instead, resulting in Koko having to swallow alot of her pride.
This asskicking goes even further as Amalia also exposed an import scheme that Koko had been involved with to an Italian tabloid to lose morale from those ready to buy EAE’s goods from Amalia. This gives Koko a chance to retaliate by holing herself up in a hotel with a bunch of junk food and Valmet.
Koko’s hotel binge is actually part of her scheme as she makes a bunch of fake deals over the phone to throw off the EAE people who were tapping her phone for more incriminating evidence on that so-called “Italian importing scandal”. Amalia catches onto this with her acting expertise, but what she isn’t prepared for is Koko’s next move.
The plan Koko concocted was getting other European countries to purchase her U.S.-backed Predators thanks to the instructions she gave to Chocolade to get the U.S. to send them over, starting first with Germany.
To add more injury to Amalia, Koko purchases a ton of stocks in EAE, resulting in Amalia’s deal falling through and giving them the need to buy back their stocks. As a result, Amalia wants to meet up with Koko to congratulate her for her victory, though Koko is more content on getting her to know her place as she hasn’t been on the battlefield or experienced the weapons that she sells.
However, Amalia reveals her true purpose for the meeting as she wants Koko to take care of her stocks and wants to buy them back with a lowered premium. Koko tries bargaining but just as the backup crew is about to take out Koko, her crew intervenes and disarms the snipers as they settle on a 5% premium.
The episode ends as Koko comments on not wanting to meet her again which probably means we will meet her again, but this isn’t too important cause Episode 9 opens up with the promise of seeing everyone in Koko’s crew half nake-
Episode 9 begins with a beach moment as everyone is relaxing and Willie Nelson has fun throwing Jonah in the air as the others follow suit. Needless to say that all the guys you thought had at least normal or flabby body types are actually pro wrestlers who could snap someone in half with a gentle poke.
Even Valmet’s got pecs that could crush a car as she tosses Renato even farther than all the times Jonah got tossed for touching the breasts only Koko is allowed to touch. Renato must get a medic as a result.
Luckily Koko who is the only one whose body looks normal shows up to swim along with Jonah. However, her main reason for this is so that she could tell him that some lovestruck mermaid won’t be able to drag Jonah away into the Italian ocean because she wants him all for herself. Jonah totally digs what she’s implying, if you know what I mean.
Afterwards, Mao opens up to Jonah about his family (he’s the only one whose ever been in a romantic relationship aside from Lehm who had an on-again off-again marriage with Chiquita) and how he was in the military until he was discharged for being the survivor in an accident that killed his friends. However, he had to lie to his kids by saying that he got a new job that allowed him to travel around the world instead of telling them he was discharged and had to become an arms dealer’s bodyguard.
There isn’t too much relaxing now though because Koko has devised a plan where she decides to make a deal by airplane instead of by boat. Lehm says this is a big mistake as most of Koko’s air deals are jinxed from the start, but Koko is keen on thinking that their client, the creatively named Republic T, won’t let them down.
This jinxing starts right about now with her employer telling her that she has to escort a humanitarian group made of doctors the ODH (Outspoken Doctors for Human Rights) who want to go into the Republic T.
On the plane, the ODH are told that once they land, they have to hide in the cargo container to avoid the local militia. One of the members, Maggie, gets to talk with Jonah a little bit but not before being called up to the cockpit so that he can look through the front windows and see what everything down below looks like from a high elevation.
From the leader of the ODH, we learn that the military in Republic T is under the influence of the Balkan militia Al Qaed-I mean the Dragons, lead by the aptly named Dragan, some tyrant wannabe who in his youth got away with crimes due to his father working for the Republic T and eventually grew up to lead the Dragons who have a heavy influence on the government’s military. ODH wants to deliver aid to those who are affected by the Dragon’s violence.
Once Koko gets off and the ODH is stored in the cargo, everything seems fine enough as they give the Republic T some cannons that remind Mao of the good ol’ days when he used to use them. However, the whole deal sours when Dragan pops up to be a massive dickboat and try to torpedo the deal by wanting Koko to reveal the other cargo. He’s on the belief that there are doctors holed up in the cargo on the plane, but Koko insists on not showing them what’s on her ship as she insists that the Dragons are not who she is dealing with and are an outside party. Nonetheless, Dragan is dead-set on scalping some doctors on camera.
The Republic T officers try to take Dragan away and seal the deal, but Dragan insists on fucking up the entire deal over the cargo stored on her plane. The deal gets even more fucked when the ODH leader decides to be a smart guy and go marching right outside the ship in an attempt to negotiate with Dragan, only to give him proof that he was right about doctors being on the ship and putting everyone on there in jeopardy. Too bad for everyone involved that Dragan hates negotiation and wounds the ODH leader twice with his gun, aiming to do an on-camera execution. However, the episode ends as Koko orders her men to execute the militia.
Overall these two episodes have been great examples of what makes Jormangand work great as an action show that seeks to be behind the action rather than the cause of it. With Episode 8, it shows how well that the show works when shooting isn’t even the central focus, instead pitting Koko and Amalia against each other in a battle of wits with much of it taking place with the two pulling strings in their favor. Amalia is another wonderful character the show introduces as an arms dealer and former actress more keen on psychological warfare than what goes on in the battlefield, which offers Koko both a taxing opposition and an Achille’s heel that Koko attacks with her awareness of the battlefield and how her products work. The politics behind the arms dealing business offers an entirely different perspective on the fighting and battles that are usually the framework of other shows and differentiating itself from the gun-blazing pirates of Black Lagoon.
The 1st part to the new multi-part arc was interesting as well with Koko having to be careful with dealing with the Republic T army when the local militia plays a major role in the country’s military. I’m confused as to why the ODH insists on traveling with arms dealers instead of having their own set-up like other humanitarian groups, but with all of the hints of the ODH being different from the Red Cross, especially with the drill sergeant-like leader, I’d imagine the ODH might have far more under their sleeve with the Dragons than it is implied. With both episodes, the humor and non-story elements are nice too with Koko being hilarious at her most irrate, Mao being a charmer with his empathetic back story and family, and even the beach segments with Renato being knocked out by Valmet, the ridiculously buff body proportions on almost everyone in the crew except Koko, and Jonah being tossed in the air are a great laugh. Looking forward to what’s in store next time when Koko has to deal with the aftermath of the big shoot-out.