In Norse mythology, Jörmungandr (Old Norse: Jǫrmungandr, pronounced [ˈjɔrmuŋɡandr]), often written Jormungand, or Jörmungand and also known as the Midgard Serpent (Old Norse: Midgarðsormr), or World Serpent, is a sea serpent, the middle child of the giantess Angrboða and the god Loki. According to the Prose Edda, Odin took Loki’s three children by Angrboða, the wolf Fenrir, Hel and Jörmungandr, and tossed Jörmungandr into the great ocean that encircles Midgard. The serpent grew so large that he was able to surround the earth and grasp his own tail. As a result, he received the name of the Midgard Serpent or World Serpent. When he lets go, the world will end.
This is one of those episodes that’s frankly rather difficult to talk about as someone who’s read the Jormungand manga. It’s pretty obvious that the current scenario, being as it brings together many characters and threads that have run through the first 20 episodes of the series, isn’t just another arc. It should also be pretty obvious to anyone who’s watched those 20 episodes that Koko isn’t the sort of person who thinks small. “A rolling stone gathers no moss” indeed, and Koko is always rolling through life, never sitting still long enough for her rivals and enemies to fix her in their sights.
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, either, that when Koko comes up with a scheme she considers important enough to only tell one other person about, that person should be Dr. Manami. Make what you will of Koko’s statement that she only has one friend, and Miami-san is her – but it’s definitely fair to say that Koko’s relationship with Dr. Miami is different than it is with anyone else. With her it’s no quarter asked, none given – the two oddballs operate as equals, and are seemingly the only other person each can make that statement about. And like Jonah, Dr. Miami is a person who hates weapons who’s closer to an arms dealer than to anyone else. It says something about Koko’s charisma that this should be the case.
If it seems as if I’m making small-talk here it’s because I am, for obvious reasons. So let’s talk about Jonah, who can now add Dr. Miami to his list of admirers (Chinatsu, Dr. Maggie, Schokolade, Chinatsu, et al). “He’s so cute – I want a Jonah!” is pretty unambiguous – as is Koko’s “You can’t have him!” Valmet’s jealousy of Jonah is hardly surprising, but Koko has her reasons for clinging to him – it’s clear that Jonah has picked up the signals that something big is afoot, and if there’s anything Jonah doesn’t like, it’s being out of the loop. Indeed, it’s been pretty obvious all season that Jonah was growing ever-more reflective about his strange lifestyle, and the woman who, in his own preternaturally precocious words, is “Always right next to me – but I can never reach her.”
Pretty much the entire surviving cast has taken notice of Koko’s involvement with Dr. Manami’s new factory – Amalia Trohovsky, Scarecrow, Bookman (of course) Col. Hinoki… And then there’s Curry, who tells Dr. Miami that he’s getting out of the game because warfare has passed him by. But the other Hekmatyar sibling isn’t idle her, either – he’s unveiling H & C Logistics International’s new “HCLI Global Grid” – a new way of providing logistical support to armies all over the worlds that will change warfare forever. But Koko doesn’t seem very interested in this at all, something Jonah picks up on at once.
One thing I always say about Jormungand is that no matter how complex the story is, it never cheats – it doesn’t give the audience a lot of help but it doesn’t trick them either. Everything you need to know you can know, if you’re watching closely enough and reading between the lines. And most of what you need to know comes from the characters, because while it can sometimes seem to be a plot-driven series, it’s the characters who drive the plot and not the reverse. If I told you anything more I’d need to kill you, but I will say this – everything that’s happened in series has built on everything that’s happened before it, and the next month isn’t going to deviate from that. Jormungand may end up surprising you – in fact, is almost certainly will – but it will do so honestly, and as a viewer I can’t ask for anything more than that.