Though not always the focus of scenes or dialogue or necessarily even apparent at times, Jormungand incorporates a diverse assortment of heavy, serious themes. Throughout the episode, various subjects arose and articulated thoughts and ideas on weapons dealing, assassinations, victims of war and death, among others, from the perspective of the characters. And in the face of all this, Jormungand displays a lighter mood than its story would indicate. Just how does Jormungand pull off that feat?
Simple, really, when you have a main character like Koko Hekmatyar whose personality dazzles and entertains among the rather calm and monotonous cast of bodyguards and assassins. Really, even if the cast were that of a comedy series or something akin to another entertainment genre, Koko would outshine virtually anyone with her parade of unmatched independence, informality, and lightheartedness. Her stark contrast to the remaining cast and the setting of Jormungand sets her as a deviant in her own anime and she is strong enough to influence the anime in a variety of ways. Among them is that she is the primary component in lightening the anime and allowing the anime to be fun and entertaining despite the number of heavy themes present throughout.
Beyond that, Koko is able to play off the situations and the characters to diffuse any prolonged stay in a heavy subject that might otherwise tranquilize or darken the anime. Though those aren’t necessarily negatives for other anime, Jormungand isn’t suitable to explore these themes in depth, yet it requires their presence in order to tell its story and develop its characters. What Koko does here is redirect the anime back to its baseline level of entertainment once the serious themes have performed their duties to advance the characters or develop the situation as much as they need to. Without Koko to revive the anime from these scenes, the anime would continue to be monotone in a dark and serious atmosphere throughout and lose out on most of its charm and fun. While it is true that some anime can sustain these themes, Jormungand simply cannot and Koko is essential to brightening up the anime in these heavy times.
Additionally, Koko goes beyond a straightforward comic relief character and actually plays an imperative role in the story. In fact, she is the story. Her only role isn’t to provide comedy and lighten the tone of this anime, she is the center of this anime and has to connect with virtually every character and advance the story with its serious themes. That is a testament to how influential and effective her character is, she leads the comedy and fun in this anime while also leading the story and its rather heavy subjects. That is quite the feat being able to do so much given the situation. And because she is the central character in this anime, she’ll continue to advance the story in its proper direction, develop the characters around her in an appropriate way, and make the anime lighthearted and fun for everyone to be entertained and enjoy.
Beyond Koko, however, are other factors that play into the lightheartedness of this anime, but this requires going beyond the remaining cast, setting, and story at present. An argument could be made for the art to hold some influence in decreasing the heaviness of the anime (but was omitted from this final draft) but it is minimal and inconsequential compared to Koko. Another argument for having some impact in the lightening of the atmosphere in Jormungand could also be made for the idealistic approach to the action, being in a sense Hollywood-esque, but that would require ignoring several important factors that the action depends on that are the essence of the heavy themes in this anime.
And while Koko does a masterful job of infusing a sense of lightheartedness to remove some of the weight this anime deals with, the anime is still a heavy anime. The themes of being a weapons dealer with bodyguards and assassins who fight and kill aren’t something that can be dismissed with a few jokes and Koko’s loose personality. However, without Koko’s inspiration, the anime would be almost entirely heavy throughout and not be as enjoyable as it currently is. Koko certainly gives the anime a charm that would otherwise be missing from this anime and her effectiveness in lightening this anime will allow this anime to refrain from being tedious or monotonous throughout by providing variety between all the heavy, serious themes that will be present throughout.
Though Jormungand details the adventures of a delightful arms dealer and her crew of bodyguards and other employees, I am curious if we’ll see anything beyond the trade of weapons or how detailed the weapons industry is. To clarify, I wonder if we’ll ever see weapons manufacturing, where I assume Koko buys her weapons to later sale or if we’ll see the use of the weapons in battle or conflict, where their presence alters the outcome of an event that may or may not come back to affect Koko and her band of merry misfits. I’d imagine the latter is more likely but the former would put Koko is a different perspective than when she is selling her weapons or protecting her life. It would be an interesting detail that I’d love to see and I imagine we will eventually but I do wonder how it will turn out and how detailed these interactions will be.