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Manga: Jormungand
"Weaponize World Peace."

"I devoured the five lands. I swallowed the three seas. But I could not reach the sky in this body with no wings, no arms and no legs. I am the world serpent. I am Jormungand."
— Exposition for the Jormungand franchise.

Jormungand is an action manga written and illustrated by Keitaro Takahashi that started its run in 2006. Originally published by Shogakukan, it has been licensed by Viz Media for release in English under their "Viz Signature" brand. An anime adaptation aired beginning April 10, 2012, with a second season that started October 10, 2012 subtitled PERFECT ORDER. Funimation has announced a North American license while Dybex has the anime license for the French-speaking market. A Drama CD had been released based on the Orchestra Arc with only Unsho Ishizuka reprising his role as everyone else involved in the Drama CD were replaced. For the manga, VIZ Media has the manga published in North America with Taiwan Tohan publishing it for Taiwan. Shogakukan is the official publisher of Jormungand in Japan.

H&C Logistics Incorporated is a humble shipping business... and one of its divisions is the Europe/Africa Weapons Transport Division, a team of nine mercenaries led by one of the company president's children, Koko Hekmatyar, a brilliant weapons dealer. Consisting of hardened soldiers from a wide array of military fields and martial backgrounds, the group is ruthless, efficient, and well known for their ability to quickly remove anything or anyone that gets in their way. Koko's team operates under the goal of "promoting world peace" by ensuring that each side is armed to the teeth... for the right price, of course.

The veterans of the group are alarmed one day when Koko introduces her newest recruit, an enigmatic young boy named Jonah. Jonah is a former child soldier who is not afraid to profess his hatred for anyone who creates, sells, or uses weapons of war, but who nevertheless possesses combat skills on par with even the most accomplished members of the group. Not wasting any time, Koko announces that Jonah will soon get a chance to prove himself in his first "performance review." It seems that a local government has confiscated a shipment of weapons that would upset the balance of power in the entire region. However, the shipment belongs to HCLI... and Koko Hekmatyar is not a woman who takes others interfering in her business lightly.

As the story progresses, Koko travels the world, accompanied by her bodyguards, on seemingly unconnected jobs, while quietly working towards the completion of her own private plan: "Jormungand."


Tropes used in Jormungand:

  • Absent-Minded Professor: Leila.
  • Action Girl: Valmet is the one on The Team, but every other enemy they encounter seems to have one.
  • A-Cup Angst: Koko is envious of Valmet's boobs in canon and in an omake. To be fair, she isn't exactly small... but she isn't as "talented" as Valmet.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The anime gives Chinatsu a backstory explaining how she met Shishio, simultaneously explaining why she's so messed up and revealing even more creepiness.
  • Aerith and Bob: Character names run the gamut from uncommon to extremely rare, with oddly paired surnames as well. All of the Hekmatyars have Western names paired with their Middle Eastern last name.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Chiquita refers to Jonah as мишка (Mishka), which is Russian for "bear cub," or "funny little bear."
  • Anyone Can Die: Quite obvious with this series.
  • Arms Dealer: HCLI's Europe/Africa Weapons Transport Division, headed by Koko, as well as another one in the Asia-Pacific headed by her brother Kasper — it may well be the majority of HCLI's 'shipping' business.
  • A-Team Firing: Jonah rushes Shishou, both of them firing the whole way with automatic weapons and neither hitting the other despite getting within a few meters before Lehm fishes Jonah out of the situation.
    • There's plenty of this in "New World Phase 3", what with the wind, rain and jungle foliage throwing off everyone's rounds. Night Nine firing on the move doesn't help them any (although to be fair it was suppression fire, which isn't so much intended to kill as it is to force the targets to keep their heads down).
  • Badass: Koko's whole entire group — logically, since they were hired for it. They've come up against assassination squads, corporations, several armies and militia groups and the CIA, all without losing a member until Volume 7 when a rogue CIA SOG team kills R in the Czech Republic. They get a B-52 load of bombs for their transgression. The only group who had them on the ropes were the Navy SEALs of Night Nine
    • Badass Crew: Let's put it this way: During the Beach Episode, we see everyone with their shirts off and everyone is rippling. Including Valmet and Jonah!
  • Badass Boast: "I, Koko Hekmatyr, will never do business on credit!"
    • In the last episode, Kasper gets his own: 的f I can稚 sell aerial weapons, I値l sell naval weapons. If I can稚 sell battleships, I値l sell tanks. I値l sell guns. I値l sell swords. I値l sell hatchets. If you seal away iron, I値l sell cudgels. Such is the nature of an arms dealer.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Depending on whether Koko is seen as on the far end of the Anti-Hero scale or as a Villain Protagonist, in the end she activates Jormungand, she also does so with Jonah's approval.
  • Batman Gambit: The Dragon Shooter arc turns out to have been one by Floyd Hekmatyar, who wanted to increase his standing with Outspoken Doctors for Human Rights and the CIA.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Valmet inadvertently pulls this on Chen; she originally trained herself to defeat him, and then unconsciously began to copy his gunkata style. When she realizes what had happened, she decides to just roll with it.
    • Wiley has a fondness for killing bombers with their own bombs.
  • Becoming the Mask: They say Hinoki had a fake marriage with a Thai woman, and then it turns out it's an actual marriage and he has a daughter too.
  • Berserk Button: Don't be impolite to Koko or Velmet will kick your ass.
    • Koko also REALLY HATES drug dealers.
    • Valmet reacts badly to anyone whose silhouette includes pistols with over-sized bayonets.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Several throughout, given that Koko and Kaspar's crew consist of specialists the world over, and their dealings take them just as far.
    • In Episode 6 of the first season (at least in the English dub), Koko speaks very solid Somali to a child-soldier who was among the group that attacked their freighter.
    • Throughout the show, Chiquita refers to Jonah by the nickname мишка (Mishka), which is Russian for "bear cub," or "funny little bear."
    • Valmet shouts, "Hakkaa p蒿lle!", before rushing Chen Guoming to avenge her fallen UN squadmates. "Hakkaa p蒿lle" is a Finnish battle cry, commonly translated as "Hack them down!"
  • Blasphemous Boast: Koko's utterings in Season 2's 10th episode.
  • Blasting It out of Their Hands: Dragan pulls a gun on Koko, only for Mao to do this. It's played realistically in that Dragan's hand is injured, and needs immediate first aid.
  • Boobs of Steel: Valmet.
  • Book Dumb: Jonah...so very much so. Koko's crew are trying to home school him, but so far it isn't working.
    • To be fair, though, he does have a LOT of street smarts and powerful intuition for his age, and a college degree probably isn't really necessary in their particular line of work.
    • He's fairly quick to pick up foreign languages, but struggles with math.
  • Book Ends: Though more of an In Medias Res. The manga begins with all the characters gathering together to watch HCLI launch a new satellite. It ends on the same scene.
  • Boom, Headshot:
    • How Lutz finishes off Shishou in the Dubai arc.
    • How Chinatsu makes sure her targets are dead.
    • When a client tries to pay for weapons with cocaine and suggests they could make a large profit depending on how they cut it, this is Koko's reply in one of the few times she ever fires a gun.
  • Brand X:
    • While some countries are freely named, many are labeled "country X", or "a certain (insert geographic region) nation." They are generally not throwaway countries, however- many can be identified by details such as the situations the team ends up in (conflict over a pipeline, a major UAV purchase between neighbouring rivals, etc.) and dialogue.
    • Averted in the first volume when Koko has a bottle of Coca Cola, with the second half clearly visible in the trademark font.
    • In Episode 5, Koko presents to Ugo what is clearly a Volvo sedan.
    • Dominique wears a Panorai, which is clearly a Panerai, an Italian brand of watches.
    • The Ford F-150s and Mercedes M-Classes were used, although the Ford and Mercedes logos were absent.
    • The restaurant Koko's team and Bookman eat at is most likely a Five Guys burger joint.
  • Breaking Speech: Karen Lo tells Valmet that she's weak because her subordinates died. Valmet shrugs it off and points out that the same thing just happened to Karen.
  • Brick Joke: During his first gunfight with Koko's group, the Orchestra leader comments how amateurish the Dubai SWAT snipers are. At the conclusion of the arc, after she eliminates Orchestra, Koko gives a call to her contacts in the Dubai Police Force and offers them sniper training at bargain rates.
  • Butt Monkey: Lutz, in a literal sense, as he's been shot and stabbed in the butt.
  • Buxom Is Better: Valmet, and Koko is making use of it. And Schokolade. Koko's are also nothing to sneeze at. And don't forget Hex(e). Or Chiquita. Or Leila. Hell, pretty much all the women.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: The team regularly engages in this during action.
  • Cat Smile:
    • SR Team operative Kurosaka has this as her default expression.
    • Koko has one occasionally.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Mao's former life as an artilleryman. It comes in handy during the Dragon Shooter arc.
  • Child Soldiers: Jonah's past makes many of the mercenaries in his group nervous, as some of them have had combat experience dealing with other child soldiers in the past, none of it pretty.
  • CIA Evil, FBI Good: Well, evil-er. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Scarecrow, a thief and con-man who was recruited to lift profits from illicit transactions and other black funds for the Agency's coffers. Be warned though, he is a rather unpleasant sort. However, his subordinate, Schokolade, is far more sympathetic.
    • However, taken to a whole new level with Hex, when it comes to hunting down terrorists.
  • Code Name: The various CIA officers seen in the series are generally known by these. George Black has several; in-house he's Bookman, to Arab intelligence services he's Adib, the Italians dub him Burattinaio (Puppeteer), and R knows him as Saw.
    • There are also Last Spurt, for the SEALs who recover Dragan, and Night Nine, for SEAL Team 9's Alpha Platoon, which is deployed to take down Koko's crew.
  • Cold Sniper/Friendly Sniper: Lehm and Lutz, depending on the scenario.
  • Combat Parkour: Valmet and Karen Lo both use this style of striking and dodging with fancy spins and flips.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Most of Koko's men are like this, particularly Lehm and Valmet. After all, why get into a gunfight with a dangerous assassin when all you have to do is snipe them from a kilometer away?
    • Instead of getting into a gunfight with several trucks' worth of militia soldiers, Lehm has Wiley rig an artillery flechette round as an IED, which annihilates most of the militia.
    • Chiquita makes sure to double tap, even when she's sure she's taken down her enemies.
    • Night Nine use night vision goggles, superior numbers, and a Predator drone to pursue Koko's team, which was not equipped to handle a running battle with a superior force.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: In episode 7 when Valmet attacks a civilian that insults Koko at the airport she asks Lehm why he's not stopping her, he replies "'cos it's funny".
  • Conspicuous CG: Pretty much every vehicle in the series. Some examples:
    • The F-22 Raptor in "Gun Metal, Calico Road".
    • The Russian Hind helicopters in "Pulsar".
    • At certain angles, the Honda CRV and the pick-up truck in "Musica Ex Machina phase.2".
    • The shell casings from the M134 miniguns in "Vein".
    • The An-12 and the Seahawk in "Dragon Shooter phase.2" , also from certain angles.
    • An element of A-10s, several Hummvees, the C-130 and the Blackhawk carrying Lehm's team in "Pazuzu". Same with Mercedes M-Classes in the same episodes.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: Mildo carries a lot of knives. After kicking her ass, Valmet lectures her: while carrying lots of knives and machetes looks and feels cool, the weight slows her down in a knife fight.
  • Cool Guns: Since Koko is an arms dealer, her men are armed with a plethora of exotic and awesome guns.
    • Rare Guns: In Perfect Order, she arms her team with the Magpul Masada assault rifle, which would have been quite rare in 2012 (as Magpul stopped making it, having sold the rights to Bushmaster).
  • Cop Killer: The assassin squad "Orchestra" are notorious for killing police officers in their line of work.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Koko trying to do this on Jonah more after she found out that he fought in several skirmishes in West Asia (Jonah's supposed birthplace in the manga).
    Koko: "Follow and obey me, Jonah. I'm an arms dealer. I can teach you to accept guns."
  • Crapsack World: At the end of the series, the world starts devolving into this. China and Indonesia are mired in a crippling economic depression, with race riots raging in Jakarta, Africa and South America are wracked by continent spanning civil wars, Europe is under constant attack by terrorist groups, and Russia has become the New Soviet Union, starting a new Cold War with the United States. Meanwhile, the Sixth Arab-Israeli Conflict has erupted in the Middle East, and the Indo-Pakistan conflict has also restarted. Really, Australia is the only country not significantly affected by the world's deterioration, though that may change once the much rumored World War III starts.
  • Crossover: With Black Lagoon, funnily enough. Not surprisingly, Koko wraps herself around Revy's leg before getting her to buy a crapton of extra stuff on top of the Lagoon Company's weapons order. note 
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Being made up of combat pragmatists, Koko's team achieve this against:
    • The Somali pirates, who are easily dispatched by judicious application of explosives and More Dakka.
    • The Daxinghai contractors, who are quickly dispatched by Lehm with quick headshots.
    • Annihilating a sizable number of the Balkan Dragons militia, who had the team outgunned and outnumbered at Planina airport.
    • Lehm provides a repeat performance on the rest of the Balkan Dragons, thanks to Wiley rigging a beehive round as an IED.
    • SR operative Kurosaka attempts to assassinate Kaspar... and is easily dispatched by Chiquita.
    • The only group to give them a run for their money was Night Nine, a SEAL team deployed by the US to take them out. And they came damn close.
  • Cute and Psycho: This series has no shortage:
    • First is Mildo, a twisted rival female mercenary introduced in Volume 1, who is seemingly obsessed with defeating Valmet in hand-to-hand combat.
      Mildo: "Valmet, you're all I ever think about. How you live. How you fight. How 'bout we beat the living shit out of each other, then I kill you. Sounds fun, eh? Kinda poetic."
      Valmet: "No... not at all... you psycho!"
    • Chinatsu, a teenage member of a two-man hit squad hired to kill Koko, also qualifies. Her hobbies include cold-blooded murder, building complex mechanical torture devices, and participating in gun battles while not wearing any underwear.
    • Koko somewhat, for never losing her smile even when in mortal danger.
  • Cuteness Proximity: If a female character gets near Jonah, you can expect this reaction, especially Koko.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Koko and her henchmen are quite good at assuming that the people they're dealing with might backstab them, so they have backup plans ready. They also go for the most efficient means of taking down particularly dangerous enemies.
    • Knowing that Jonah will follow her no matter what, Valmet drugs his breakfast. Knowing that Valmet will drug him, Jonah doesn't eat enough to be permanently knocked out.
  • Dark and Troubled Past:
    • Jonah, but as a Child Soldier, would you expect anything else? His mom and dad were killed by a bombing, and when one of the refugee kids he took responsibility for was killed he slaughtered an entire camp of soldiers.
    • Valmet watched her Finnish UN squad get slaughtered in Africa during a peacekeeping tour. She only survived by hiding under the dead body of one of her soldiers.
    • Ugo was recruited by Koko after her team killed everyone in the room but him when the mafia he worked for tried to pay her with drugs and he was the only one to show disgust. She asks why, but he doesn't tell her that it's because he lost his brother to a drug overdose.
    • Mao was the survivor of a training accident that killed most of his artillery crew.
    • Lehm mentions that his old squad was wiped out while he was still in Delta Force.
    • Chinatsu's got the lead so far. She's the survivor of an opera massacre perpetrated by Orchestra when it was still a group in Paris.
  • Death from Above: Koko's An-12 cargo plane is turned into an improvised gunship by bolting an artillery gun to the rear ramp.
    • Lehm, Valmet and Wiley rain death on the SR team from a helicopter.
  • Demoted to Extra: Compared to the first season, Valmet's role in Perfect Order is greatly reduced, to the point where most of her onscreen time is devoted to either fawning over Koko or obliquely participating in a few gunfights. Probably justified in that the first season wrapped up her character arc pretty well so there simply wasn't too much left to focus on for her.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: How Koko took her revenge against Hex after R was gunned down to protect her escape and Jonah was drugged and nearly killed.
  • Dropping the Bombshell: Koko revealing just how grand of a massacre initiating plan Jormungand will be ( a guaranteed 600,000 to 700,000 person genocide) elicits an unwelcome reaction from Jonah.
  • Double Agent: R is the CIA's mole from the day he worked with Bookman in Bosnia during the Bosnian Wars.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Mildo acts like a moron during her knife fight with Valmet, but later, Valmet admits Mildo was absolutely right when talking about how combat makes you feel dead inside.
  • Easily Forgiven: At the end of the manga, Koko and the team forgive Jonah for trying to threaten Koko's life.
  • Emotionless Boy: Jonah has shown little emotion since the death-by-bombing of his parents when he was a small child.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Night Nine, SEAL Team 9's Alpha Platoon. The only opponents in the anime who outmatch Koko's team in numbers, quality, and are equally Combat Pragmatist like her.
  • Enemy Mine: Koko and Curry very briefly team up against Major Pollack's forces. Subverted and played straight for Koko wisely teams up with Pollack and sells out Curry.
    • Koko bums a ride from Scarecrow and Schokolade so that none of them get taken out by Chen's snipers.
  • Expy: Outspoken Doctors for Human Rights is essentially Doctors Without Borders.
    • Dragan Nicolaevich strongly resembles Zeljko Raznatovic.
    • Last Spurt, in spite of their name, are more than likely one of the Navy's SEAL teams. Possibly even the Naval Special Warfare Development Group.
    • EAE, Euro Aerial Engine, Amalia Trohovski's company, is an expy of EADS.
  • Evolving Credits: In season 2, The scene of R and Bookman on a windy field splits in one of Bookman looking at the stars and one of R holding whiskey in front of his grave.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Valmet.
  • Face Fault: The entire team, whenever Jonah acts like a kid instead of a stone-cold killer.
  • First Kiss: Episode 10 of season 2. Jonah and Koko in a bath.
  • Flash Step: Night Nine's fast and ghostlike movements, appearing and disappearing like smoke, give off this impression.
  • Flechette Storm: What results when Mao fires a beehive artillery round at the Balkan Dragons air defence crews. That single round hits them with five thousand steel arrows.
    • The rest of the Balkan Dragons get a repeat performance from Wiley, who's rigged another beehive round as an IED.
  • Foreshadowing: When Chinatsu's cowboy hat was shot off her head by Jonah. She warned her mentor to take cover before he was gunned down.
  • For Science!: Leila's first and only concern and greatest source of delight, when she start working for Koko, is the quantum computer and the efforts to shrink it down from factory building size to be able to fit in a satellite.
  • Friendly Rival: Amalia Trohovski is this to Koko; both of them have a mutual admiration for each other, and have occasionally helped each other when they're not competing for the same contracts.
  • Funny Background Event: Episode 20 features a quiet, plot-significant discussion between two characters in a restaurant, setting up the end of the series. In the background AND occasionally out-of-focus foreground, their bodyguards are beating the living hell out of each other to settle an old score. No one even bothers to notice, including the rest of the restaurant.
  • Fun with Acronyms: HCLI is H&C Logistics Incorporated, CCAT means Currie's Company Aerial Transport. EAE means Euro Aerial Engine.
  • Gainaxing: Valmet. Oh dear...
  • Gag Boobs: Several times with Valmet. Once with Chiquita in a manga bonus story
  • Gatling Good: Mao & Lehm gun down a pirate helicopter with two miniguns.
  • Going Commando: Chinatsu.
  • Gratuitous English: By Koko's team, but the American origins of at least two of them and international status of the rest makes it logical. More interesting is the OP; prior to the release of the lyrics, the fansubbers put in their best guess as to what the English parts were saying, which matched up with/reinforced most other listeners interpretation. It later turned out to be wildly incorrect for several lines, but some prefer the guessed version.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When Mao fires the beehive round, we're treated to the air defense crews staring at it, before cut to black. The next scene shows the countryside, littered with the better part of five thousand steel flechettes.
  • Gun Porn: Lots. Not to mention that they're illustrated well.
  • The Gunslinger: Jonah, with most of the rest of the mercenary team following close behind.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Hex believes that it's only a matter of time before Koko becomes like her rival arms dealers. The trope also applies to Hex herself, as she's just as ruthless and unforgiving as the terrorists she hunts.
    • Colonel Hinoki, the CO of Tojo's old SR Team was Genre Savvy enough to see that his team was succumbing to this, which is why he let them start a fight with HCLI and get slaughtered.
  • Hime Cut: Koko is a white-haired example, Valmet a black haired one. Both are not Japanese.
  • Homage: To the Lord of War. Jormungand replays a scene from this film, when some mafioso tries to pay for guns with cocaine instead of money. Since Koko, unlike Yuri Orlov, got a squad of badass bodyguards, the outcome is very, very different.
  • Hope Spot: Koko tries to recruit Chinatsu, who appears to consider her offer... before pulling a gun and getting shot by Lehm.
    • Koko and Jonah make their escape, and it seems R will last long enough until backup arrives...then Hex scope snipes him.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Between Valmet and Koko, mostly from Valmet. Also between Koko and Schokolade in episode 8, somewhat.
  • Hot Scientist: Leila.
  • Huge Military Girl: Valmet.
  • Hypocrisy Nod: Koko is oddly moral for someone who profits from violence, and she knows that this is a complete contradiction. Her Motive Rant at the end of the series says that she hates her own profession, and guns, and soldiers, and violence in general...but she's too good at the business to give it up. So she's resolved to put all that blood money to good use.
    • The lyrics of "Borderlands," the intro music for Season 1, seem to point out this bizarre neutrality. "We have always stood on the borderlands/I'm enjoying the view from here. Eeney miney, miney moe...much the same."
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Valmet's attitude towards Koko, especially when Koko gropes her in episode 3 of "Perfect Order".
  • Inspector Javert: Scarecrow is determined to arrest Koko and take all her money for the CIA. However, Koko often manipulates him as a means to get out of serious jams.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Shisho. The legendary assassin spends a full thirty seconds firing an AK-47 at Jonah from less than 30 feet away and not only doesn't hit him, he doesn't even hit anything near him. It doesn't even seem like he's aiming anywhere near him, in fact... only to be subverted less than a minute later when he calmly picks off two snipers using quick, controlled bursts from easily triple this distance.
  • Important Haircut: Valmet, when she leaves Koko to go after Karen Lo.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Can be seen between the CIA (Bookman) and the NSA (Palme) during the New World arc. Bookman wants to flip Koko and Jormungand to become CIA assets (which is the point of Operation Undershaft), while Palme wants them taken out for good.
  • Irony:
    • Jonah joining HCLI and Koko's group. He hated arms dealers after all. Koko drives this trope at him after he saved her life from Voshkod 6 harassment in the form of a mildish-like speech on why Jonah's a walking irony.
      Koko: "Let's assume you killed me to get back at arms dealers. You'd have to scatter my water boys when they surround you... So, what would you need for that? Guns, of course. Could you live without weapons? Of course not. You'll live your whole life with a gun at hand."
    • During one of their deliveries, Koko is tasked with smuggling an Outspoken Doctors for Human Rights group into a conflict zone in the same plane that she's using to carry artillery to the military.
    • Hex, a delusionally patriotic CIA agent who has long since Jumped Off The Slippery Slope in hunting down terrorist threats to America, dies with the remnants of her unit hiding in a cave in Iraq, blown up by a B-52 bomber sent by Koko. Also Death by Irony, in this case.
  • Kick the Dog: Scarecrow establishes his character when he kicks Jonah off a wall and later punches Koko right in the face in public without warning.
  • Knee-capping: When Chinatsu's not gunning people down as part of her hitman duties, she apparently likes to build complex mechanical torture devices... including one designed to shoot a bound captive in the knee. 27 times.
  • Knife Nut: Mildo, who takes it a little too far.
  • Lethal Chef: Jonah manages to fry eggs in such a manner that Koko's entire team (sans Tojo and Valmet, who weren't present) are out of commission.
    • This is different from the manga, in which Koko, Lehm and Valmet get sick from Jonah's scrambled eggs.
  • Libation for the Dead: Koko leaves a bottle of whiskey on the grave of the team member lost in volume 7.
  • Logo Joke: The White Fox Times.
  • Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: When Koko and her team are trapped in an airbase surrounded by hostile anti aircraft weapons, they take a nearby artillery cannon and load it into their cargo plane, turning it into a makeshift gunship.
  • Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: Zig-zagged throughout Episode 3. The Dubai Police Force and Valmet try to use SWAT ballistic shields against Shishou, but the shields can't withstand his assault rifle fire. Using the same type of shield, Chinatsu fares much better against Lehm's suppressed Mk23 pistol. This is justified: Shishou's using an AKS-47 assault rifle with armor piercing rounds, while Lehm's pistol fires .45ACP rounds, which have a strong impact but practically zero armor penetration.
  • Marshmallow Heaven: Koko enjoys one in Valmet's bosom, much to Valmet's delight.
    • Jonah ends up in Koko's bosom during the Dragon Shooter arc.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The title itself. If you read up on the story behind him and tie that up with how arms dealers work nowadays...
    • Valmet. You will understand the significance of this nickname if you know your Finnish small arms/general history/military history.
  • Mega Corp.: HCLI can be this partially. Aside from shipping, they also own an aerospace company that has put at least 120 satellites in orbit by the time we learn about it. Based on Koko's conversation with the chief of the Dubai Police Force that she has no problems getting them set up for marksman training, it is plausible that HCLI also owns a PMC. Koko mentions to Lehm on his connection to a HCLI-owned PMC.
    • In the Dragon Shooter arc, HCLI's head office has been monitoring events with their own spy satellites; Koko calls in their imagery for Lehm to plan his ambush and capture of Dragan. As of the beginning of Season 2, Koko & HCLI have launched 126 communications & navigation satellites. For comparison, the American GPS network consists of 24 satellites.
      • And then Kaspar announces the Hek-GG package, which consists of logistics, communications and satellite support provided by HCLI to the highest bidder, scalable to the needs of the conflict.
    • Daxinghai is described to be this. Its African operations consist of a PMC, oil/natural gas extraction, normal import/export with small arms import/export.
  • Moment Killer: Chinatsu interrupts Koko and Valmet's outing.
  • Motive Rant: Koko has a pretty epic one in the scene that spans the end of episode 10 and start of 11 of Perfect Order.
  • Mugging the Monster:
    • A trio of hitmen hired to take out Koko's team decide to go for Ugo first since he's only a former Mafia member, as opposed to his teammates who are all ex-special forces, military, or police. This ends badly for them.
    • The African pirates who attempt to raid Koko's cargo ship. They find out the hard way that Koko's mercs have More Dakka than they do.
    • Dragan Nicolaevich belligerently tries to strongarm Koko into handing over the doctors she's transporting. His Balkan Dragon militia forces are annihilated, and he's delivered to US forces to stand trial for war crimes at the ICTY.
  • Multinational Team: Koko's bodyguards are made up of veterans from many countries with backgrounds as diverse as mafia, army, special forces, SWAT and military intelligence.
  • Myth Arc: Subtly begins to build as the story progresses, with hints towards the completion of something called Jormungand.
  • Ninja: Night Nine are essentially this, what with their their fast movements (so fast Lehm and Lutz couldn't get a bead on them) and how they seem to appear and vanish into thin air. The similarity is especially apt given their their motto: "Night Time is the Right Time."
  • Nipple and Dimed: Only in the manga, with Valmet, Karen and Hex.
  • No Ending: The series ends with Koko activating Jormungand, and does not show the aftermath of her choice.
    • There's really not any reason to think that Kasper's prediction isn't going to be what happens, however. In a Crapsack World where humans are forced to desperately fight over basic resources like fresh water, people will be embarrassed by lack of air travel into Utopian pacifism?
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Surprisingly, Koko adheres to this, which is part of the Undying Loyalty her bodyguards have in her.
  • No Name Given: Chinatsu's assassin mentor in the Japanese version. He's known as Shishio in the VIZ translation. Unofficial ones refer to him as "Teacher".
  • Not So Different: After Koko denounces Dragan as a dragon that's killed a lot of people and enjoying his spoils, a doctor timidly suggests that Koko could be considered the same thing. Koko is amused and enthusiastically agrees with her.
  • Not So Stoic: During the running firefight with Voshkod 6, a stuffed toy falls into Jonah's hands, which causes him to laugh.
    • Chen has been Affably Evil throughout dinner with Koko, up till when he orders his sniper to kill her and Ugo with Scarecrow and Schokolade. He ends up smashing his walking cane in a rage, when he finds out his sniper failed.
  • Nose Bleed: Valmet claims to have this, after Koko introduced herself to Valmet's more than generous "marshmellows".
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The story cuts away just before the knife battle between Valmet and Chan. We only see the results when Karen sees them.
    • In season 2 when Karen and Milde come to blows, we only hear the majority of the fight while their employers calmly continue their discussion.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: In the volume 7 Omake Valmet tries on a chest rig that has a similar effect on her bust line.
  • Only Six Faces: A major offender. Every female in show has the exact. same. face.
  • Pet the Dog: Koko and Tojo teaching Jonah subjects that kids his age learns at school.
    • Bookman evacuating the family that R was staying with, before they would be killed for helping the UN peacekeepers.
  • The Plan: Bookman is trying to manipulate events so that he can use Koko to infiltrate HCLI's sophisticated data network.
  • Present Day: The setting, aside from the occasional flashback.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Partially in episode four. An opera singer only has a small red circle initially, but blood splatters on the screen and bleeds from the wound.
  • Private Military Contractors: Some members of Cutthroat.
    • Excalibur. Most of their Iraqi-based forces were killed after Koko fired them for purposely shooting up a civilian vehicle.
    • Technically, Koko's bodyguards are hired by a PMC owned by HCLI, of which Lehm is a director.
  • Rag Tag Bunchof Misfits: Surprisingly, this is Cutthroat, Hex's team, who're comprised of rejects from the US Army and various PMCs.
  • Reality Ensues: Koko's Badass Crew may be good at what they do, but even they can't prevail against elite special forces, namely when the US sends the Navy SEALs of Night Nine against them. Despite their efforts they're firmly on the backfoot, don't manage to kill a single one of the foe and even Koko's assistance barely lets them etch out a withdrawal. Very stark because they are usually Showy Invincible Heroes.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Lehm does this twice in Episode 3. First to Jonah, chewing him out for losing his cool and rushing the enemy, and then to Shishou, deconstructing Orchestra's entire paradigm. Despite speaking in a bored tone, his contempt for their behavior is clear.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Sort of. After R told Koko that he was a CIA plant during the shootout in downtown Prague, he dies fighting off Hex's attempt to assassinate Jonah. The mercenaries (including those under Kaspar) mourn his death.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning/Glowing Eyes of Doom
    • Lehm, Ugo, Lutz and Mao have these in Episode 1, when Koko sics them on Kloshkin's men.
    • Koko's team has this in Episode 6, even Jonah.
    • Night Nine's NVGs give this effect (albeit with green light). Makes them creepy too, when they move in the dark.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • Chinatsu, after her first confrontation with Koko ends badly.
    • Valmet, to avenge the death of her Finnish Army subordinates, went after Chan.
      • Jonah wipes out a military base to avenge the death of one of the orphans under his care.
    • Jonah tries to enact one on Kasper after the latter told him that he indirectly had a hand in the death of his parents via selling of arms, but is too food and water deprived to do more than bite his ankle. He tries once more with a knife when they meet later on a ship but is caught by Chiquita. After that their meetings are more cordial. He even spends two years working as one of Kaspar's bodyguards.
    • Karen tries to do this after she finds out that Chen dies. Jonah stops it by wounding her in Africa.
    • Hex, after her fianc died in the 9/11 attacks.
  • Ruthless Modern Pirates: A well equipped group of Somali pirates attacks Koko's with two boats and a helicopter. They learn the hard way exactly what kind of merchant they were attacking.
  • Running Gag: Jonah skipping out on classes and Lutz getting shot/stabbed in the ass.
  • Scary Black Man: Wiley is an interesting example. While certainly large and intimidating, Wiley is one of the more friendly members of Koko's crew...until explosives come into play, where Wiley's enthusiasm is nothing but terrifying, his trade mark move being to turn the bombers own explosives against them. He even worried Jonah would be too scared to come to Wiley's language lessons... after witnessing Wiley's efficiency with explosives, Jonah decides it'd be wise to make sure he always came to class on time much too Wiley's dismay.
  • Scope Snipe: Hex and R do this to each other (albeit with close combat optics). Hex survives, but loses her right eye. R... isn't so lucky.
  • Screaming Warrior: Valmet shouted "Hakkaa P蒿lle!" before facing off against Chen in Africa.
  • Shot in the Ass: Played for comedy when Jonah tries to pass through metal detectors.
    • Lutz all the time.
      "Damn! Are you shitting me? My ass again? It's like the damn thing's cursed!"
  • Shout-Out: Tojo wants to know whether Valmet would back him up if they were attacked by Colonel Matrix (she'd ditch him — Koko is the only one she protects). In the English version, it changes to a reference of the Agent enemies in the Matrix franchise.
    • Voshkod 6 and their black tactical uniforms is a reference based on Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six series.
    • During a VIP protection exercise, Tojo lands in the mud and half of his face and body was covered in mud horizontally. This leads to being called Two-Face.
    • Bookman shares his background with Jack Ryan, being an Annapolis graduate who was commissioned into the US Marines, was medically retired after a severe back injury, and became a senior CIA officer.
    • Kaspar's bodyguards are named Edgar, Allan and Poe.
    • Before he leaves SR, Tojo angrily asks since when they became Golgo 13, infiltrating nations to conduct assassination jobs.
    • Lehm nicknames one William Nelson as Wile E. Coyote due to his love of rewiring the enemy's bombs so he can blow them up in their faces, which eventually just becomes Wiley.
    • Koko, Kaspar and Floyd Hekmatyar have the same family name as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the (in-)famous Afghan Mujahideen leader.
    • Wiley takes great delight at his work (that of a slightly Mad Bomber) and even claimed to "have the spirit of a true artisan". Deidara, anyone?
    • Jonah is a white-haired Child Soldier with ambiguous ethnicity. Which is the exact description of Raiden.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • The weapons used in Jormungand are well detailed and described, as this page shows.
    • The portrayal of the Bersaglieri, including the trademark black Capercaillie feathers to distinguish them from other Italian soldiers.
    • The sales contract for the Hind-Ds is in Surprisingly Good English and contains many clauses that one would find in a real business contract.
    • The Dubai Police Force cruisers were shown properly with the green/white colors, though without contact info and the DPF logo in Arabic.
    • The "Neuron UAV" that Amalia Tolohovsky was mentioned as pitching to prospective clients in episode 5 is a real UAV currently in development by Dassault Aviation.
    • Chen being addressed as "shao jiang" (少将) by Karen. Since most personnel of Daxinghai are ex-PLA soldiers and officers, it is correct that Karen addresses Chen by his rank, since this indicates that he used to be with the army.
    • On that note, Daxinghai itself: their role in providing security services that advance Chinese national interests is quite consistent with the real-life behavior of actual Chinese PMCs such as Huawei International Security Management and Shandong Huawei Security Group.
    • There actually is a Super Hind Mk V gunship; it's a South African upgrade/rebuild of the Hind. A few of them are in service with the militaries of third world countries.
    • Koko mentions the existence of the "Utin J蒿k舐irykmentti" or "Utti Jaeger Regiment" in the Finnish Army. This regiment does actually exist and its main job is to train prospective Finnish commandos for either the Airborne (Paratroopers) or the Special Jaeger (Special Forces) companies.
    • The officer from the unnamed Balkan Republic wears digital woodland camo, a standard feature of modern armies, whereas the paramilitaries have to make do with old style camo patterns.
    • Mao correctly orders everyone to cover their ears and open their mouths before the gun is fired. The ears are self-explanatory. You want your mouth to be open because the pressure wave from the shot will cause your lungs to burst if you don't (the same applies if you're near the impact site of any big explosion, whether a bomb or artillery shell).
    • Episode 9 has a reference to Rule 61 ICTY. This is Rule 61 of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which basically allows the International Criminal Court to try accused people in absentia and issue a warrant for their arrest after all reasonable attempts to locate them have been exhausted.
    • Bookman's connections and influence are entirely plausible given his position within the CIA's National Clandestine Service, the branch that conducts covert operations. Most media doesn't go into that much detail regarding CIA personnel.
    • Also, a quick search of Google Earth will reveal that the aerial view of the CIA headquarters at Langley is more or less accurate.
      • In addition, Koko talks about various CIA positions to Jonah such as Case Officers or Paramilitary Operations Officers, which do exist within the organization as actual positions.
    • Bookman graduated from Annapolis Naval Academy, but was commissioned into the US Marine Corps. It is a lesser known-fact that a small percentage of Marine officers really do come from Annapolis, which primarily serves to train officers of the US Navy.
    • Spin, the CIA agent Hex meets at the start of the Dance with Undershaft arc, is extremely worried about his cover being blown, because he's under Non-Official Cover: this is a term for intelligence agents with covert roles who are not officially tied to their government without diplomatic immunity, as opposed to agents like Scarecrow, who operate under Official Cover (usually as part of the Diplomatic Service) with diplomatic immunity.
    • Tojo mentions the Military Intelligence Command (MIC) and the Intelligence Security Command (ISC) to his comrades in Japan. These are actual intelligence organizations in the JSDF. The latter does counter-intelligence against anyone trying to undermine the JSDF as a whole. The former does intelligence/counter-intelligence work for the JGSDF.
    • When Lehm meets Wiley for the first time, he introduces himself as being a member of the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, which is the formal name for Delta Force.
    • The two A-10s seen in "Pazuzu" are shown with the typical Scud hunting loadout, down to the positioning of ECM pod and self defense Sidewinders.
    • The SEALs from Alpha Platoon, SEAL Team 9, are correctly shown wearing the US Navy's AOR 2 digital camo, which was authorised for use by SEALs and Naval Special Warfare units only. They are also armed with SCAR-Ls, which has also been adopted by all American special forces units as an official weapon.
    • The CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology provides an assessment on the feasibility of quantum computing to Bookman.
    • The drone Koko uses in "New World phase 3" is a SAGEM Sperwer, fitted with Spike missiles, which were tested for use with the Sperwer.
    • The Marines in "Warmonger" are correctly shown wearing desert and woodland MARPAT digital camo.
  • Showy Invincible Hero: Koko's team generally and awesomely curbstomp their opposition for the most part, which is why R's death is such a Player Punch. It also serves to show just how dangerous Night Nine are.
  • Spider-Sense: Chinatsu. Jonah also has some inkling of this.
  • Spoiler Opening: Careful watching of the opening reveals scenes from various arcs of the series.
  • Stepford Smiler: Amalia Torohovski, who was once a professional actress, can instantly tell that Koko's generally happy demeanor is completely fake.
  • Stunned Silence: As Koko fully reveals plan Jormungand to her group, all of them are speechless, even Lehm, the most senior of the group who usually knows how Koko operates and smiles all the while. This time was different.
  • Suicide Attack: A group of mercenaries Koko had fired force a local Iraqi to don a bomb vest, and march towards Koko's group. In a demonstration of what a good demoman he was, Wiley manages to save the man by disarming the bomb vest, and forced one of the wounded mercenaries into it before sending him back to his comrades.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: The SR team displayed this when going up against Kaspar and Koko.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: How Scarecrow gets himself, Schokolade, Koko and Ugo out from Chan's attempt to assassinate the latter two - calling a Super Hind Mk V gunship to come and pick them up. Although that was by Schokolade's insistence.
    • When pursued by Night Nine, Koko has a drone of her own destroy the Predator that's providing tactical recon and later she gets Minami to use Jormungand to distort the SEALs digital maps. And they STILL came within literal feet of wiping out Koko's team!
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Even though it's technically her job to halt Koko's illegal arms dealings in Africa and Europe, Schokolade usually ends up helping her on multiple occasions instead.
  • There Are No Good Executives: The reason why Koko and Kasper have their own bodyguard teams. Same (partially) with Chan.
  • Tempting Fate: Chinatsu's mentor complains how amateurish the Dubai SWAT snipers are, pointing out that pros would've tried to snipe him from a kilometer away. Shortly after, he's taken down by Lutz, who did exactly that.
  • There's No Kill Like Overkill: In the Hill of Destruction arc, the assassin trio led by Dominique does this. Although it's justified to ensure their targets are dead for good, an assassin named Gr馮oire takes this to the extreme by chopping off their heads. Dominique is disgusted by this.
    • At the end of the Dance with Undershaft arc, Koko has a B-52 Stratofortress bomber level Hex's hideout; according to one of Bookman's staff, the bombing was so severe it changed the geographic features of the region. It's worth noting that she had a more subtle option (Lehm tracked Hex to her hideout, and had Lutz with him - between the two of them they could have dealt with her themselves), but chose not to take it.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Jonah's reaction to being "invited" to spar with Valmet.
  • Time Skip: There's a 2-year skip between Episodes 11 and 12 of Perfect Order.
  • Title Drop: When Minami asks Koko for a formal name for their plan, Koko calls it Jormungand.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: Koko and her team are quite aware that SR's proposed meeting with them to negotiate a cessation of hostilities is a trap, but go along with it because they want to see how it'll play out.
  • True Companions: The team. This works even when Jonah draws his sidearm against Koko near the end of the manga/second season and when the team welcomes Jonah back.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Koko's plan Jormungand reaches for a noble cause, but at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives to be taken in an instant. The plan really is horrible, but plausible. And knowing Koko, inevitable. You ought to check Jonah's reaction after he heard everything about the plan.
  • Verbal Tic: Schokolade ends her sentences with -ssu.
  • Volume in the limelight: The first three volumes focus on introducing the setting, Jonah, and Koko, but from volume four on each volume focuses on one team member above the others (aside from Koko and Jonah, who get at least equal or more time.) Volume 4 is Lutz, 5 is Mao, 6 is Ugo, 7 is R, 8 is Tojo, and 9 is Wiley, and each appears of the cover of their volume. As they get focus, they get a short description to go with their name and face to go with the cast list at the beginning of each volume. Valmet and Lehm have descriptions from the second volume on and technically don't get a volume focused on them, but we learn Valmet's story in volume 6 and Lehm's in volume 9.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Episode 12 has this, albeit towards the middle of the episode, showing what's happened to the side characters after the Time Skip:
    • Kaspar's business is doing well.
    • Bookman has been promoted to Director of Clandestine Services.
    • Currie has left arms dealing completely and opened a restaurant with Mildo and Lou.
    • The three kids are in high school.
    • The Outspoken Doctors for Human Rights are still alive and well, and continuing their work in combat zones.
    • Hinoki is still living peacefully with his family, and seems to have bought a dog.
    • Torrey Plame, the NSA guy who commanded SEAL Team Night Nine, is still around, as is Amalia Trohovski, the Russian actress turned arms dealer.
    • Scarecrow has turned his attention to Kaspar's crew, and Schokolade keeps trying to convince him to go after someone less dangerous.
    • Dr. Miami is still trying to blow off work in search of butterflies, but Karen seems to be keeping her on a tighter leash than Mokoena did.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Lehm's plan to take down Orchestra; he has Jonah lead Koko to the beach, where they can dive over the retaining wall if need be; he sends Ugo with Valmet, R and Mao to cover them; when Orchestra pull out the big guns he flanks them with Tojo, and has Wiley and Lutz set up for long-distance sniper support.
    • This is essentially what Kaspar and Koko's plan for dealing with SR devolves into, after Hinoki and SR act the opposite of what Tojo predicted they'd do.
  • X Meets Y: Black Lagoon meets Lord of War.
  • Yanks with Tanks: The American military's presence is felt throughout the series. Lehm, Wiley and Echo were former Delta Force operators; SR is implied to have been sponsored by the NSA; George Black was a former Marine, Hex was former US Army Special Forces, and Night Nine, SEAL Team Nine's Alpha Platoon, is deployed against Koko in Cuba.

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alternative title(s): Jormungand; Jormungand
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