Monday, 24 March 2014

REVIEW - JORMUNGAND

HER NAME IS KOKO SHE IS LOKO I SAID OH NO!

The series follows the exploits of Koko Hekmatyar, a young arms dealer who sells weapons (obviously). Koko works for HCLR which doubles as a front for an international shipping corporation and sells weapons to many countries in secret while avoiding law enforcement agencies. Koko travels with a team of bodyguards, handpicked by her to protect her from her enemies. Most of her bodyguards are ex-military veterans and police officers. The newest bodyguard to join her team is a child soldier named Jonah, who ironically hates arms dealers and weapons in general.

The driving force behind Jormungand is easily it's dark and violent nature. It's kinda like the A-Team without any age restriction stamp. Koko's team are as ruthless as she is and in any given episode, the body count sky-rockets! Not just that, but the audience is put in the mind of Jonah as he travels with someone he hates - an arms dealer. As well a Koko, a woman who travels the world and sees how insane and obsessed it's become with war and violence. She admits to hate weapons as well and only sells them to further world peace.

Another huge part of the show is Koko's team. Most are made up of people with tragic pasts which gets explored as the series progresses. The bodyguards include:

Jonah: An Arabic child soldier who hates arms dealers thanks to a bad experience with one.

Sofia Velmer [Valmet]: An ex-mechanized j├Ąger major in the Finnish Rapid Deployment Force who lost her eye in battle. She provides most of the comic relief and is in love with Koko.

Lehm Brick: Second in command. Former Delta Force. Hard and serious with a cigarette in his mouth in almost every scene.

Lutz: Team sniper. Used to be SWAT. Another comic reliever.

Ugo: Koko's wheelman. Used to be a driver for the mafia.

Akihiko Tojo: Used to be part of  Japanese Ministry of Defense's secret SR unit and had several black-ops missions in Cuba.

Mao: The only normal member of Koko's squad, yet still as gun crazy as the rest of the squad.  

Renato Socci [R]: Army Bersaglieri intelligence officer.
William Nelson [Wiley]: Explosives expert and former lieutenant in the 20th Engineer Brigade of the XVIII Airborne Corps in the US Army.
 
As you'll have read, most of these guys are people you never ever want to see holding a weapon because chances are, if you do, you're most likely the target and will end up pumped full of lead. 
 
 
Adding to the plot, the viewer is made aware of Koko as she plans something in secret - even from her team. A plan she calls Jormungand - which in Norse mythology was a serpent that grew so large that it was able to wrap itself around the world and touch it's own tail. Jormungand (the series, not the myth) combines shooting the crap out of people, with complex plots that most of the time feel as though you should've caught on to this scheme sooner. Add to that the intense character driven episodes and you have all the makings for a really brilliant series.

Special shout-out goes to Anastasia Munoz who plays Koko and Micah Solusod who portrays Jonah. Actually, add Carli Mosier (Valmet) to that list because she is just so freaking psycho and adorable at the same time. Even though I found 90% of the cast enjoyable, Munoz just manages to steal the show in every episode. She has turned Koko into one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. She manages to combine bubbly and childish with ruthless psycho perfectly and creates a very believable, very 3-dimensional individual that never comes across as anything less than entertaining.

Another thing that I want to highlight is the soundtrack for this series. It's stunning and features quite an assortment of genres. From upbeat rap music, classical, music sung in different languages (including Arabic and Portuguese) that suit the wide variety of characters and their particular backgrounds. Not only is it phenomenal, but it also features the infectious "Time to Attack", which fans have dubbed the "Koko is Loko" song.
 
 
Rating this series: 9/10. Guns. Shit blowing up. Great characters, terrific back stories and arms deals gone wrong. Not to mention the titular white haired Koko Hekmatyar.

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