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Silly Scarecrow, Trix are for kids.

I'm going to go ahead and guess that this anime would not be the most popular one of this season because of it's very episodic nature and "plot hole" feeling that some who haven't read the manga would be feeling. Certainly the expectations after episodes 4 and 5 would have been that the anime was only going to keep getting better and better with plot and character developments, but that wasn't case - since Valmet's past was only explored on the surface. Still, is it wrong that I still love this series

This week's episode was a mix of action, business diplomacy and comedy done rather well via cutbacks between Koko's dinner with Mr. Chang and her crew's fight against Karen Low. Present at the restaurant with Koko and Chang were Scarecrow and his associate Chocolade and at this point Scarecrow-kun has become the butt of many jokes, much to my enjoyment whilst Chocolade is portrayed just as ditsy and cute as I remember her being in the manga. Scarecrow and Chocolade provided a nice bit of comedy, in particular a certain scene in a toilet (where apparently a lot of important exchanges happen according to Jormungand) but their lack of ability to do anything to capture Koko was the funniest - like Wiley Coyote or Dick Dastardly.

Even though I appreciated the humour in the episode, probably because I love what Scarecrow and Chocolade add, as a business student I was more absorbed by Koko and Chang's dinner. For me this episode perfectly displayed a mixture of Sun Tzu's teachings as well a little bit of focus on modern international business etiquette with the 3 main rules that were followed by Koko:

  • Never refuse what your host offers you.
  • Don't reveal more than he/she needs to know.
  • Always have an exit strategy

Here are what I consider Koko Hekmatyar's rules to doing business:

Rule 1: Refusal of Host's Hospitality Is Forbidden

The most basic principle of doing business in Asia or the Middle East is that you don't ever refuse food or drink when you're at dinner with your host(s). Koko here displayed great tact in handling herself during her meal with Mr. Chang and didn't even refuse to drink the wine he offered, regardless of how bad a drunk she is. Constantly complimenting the food was also a sign that Koko's character is in fact a very successful businesswoman, since she is well versed in handling such meetings.

Rule 2: Knowledge Is Power

The most simple, truthful, timeless yet understated rule that exists in the world we live in. Koko didn't reveal much when talking about Kasper because she knew that Chang had other plans for him and she also knew Chocolade's identity, proving that not only is knowledge indispensable in business but is necessary in strategy of combat; she could become an army general if she really pleased to do so, as could many stock traders.

Rule 3: Always Have An Exit Strategy

Sun Tzu wrote that it was important to know when to retreat, but I can't remember him saying anything about using your enemies to do so. The part of the meeting that I enjoyed most was the end, primarily because it showed Koko at her best but since she made a fool out of everyone else that is trying to have her captured or killed I couldn't help but smile.

The business dinner was the best part of the episode for me and put the fighting, which wasn't bad at all but felt lacking, to shame. The fight didn't reveal anything that you couldn't have guessed from the information presented to us before but did give Jonah a chance to display his knowledge once more, after episodes of being educated. During those moments one could see Jonah being less kid and more like a soldier but Jormungand always ends up reminding us that he is a kid towards the end of the episode; this time was no exception, since right at the end he tells the crew that he doesn't want to have a bullet removed from his ass because he's afraid of needles.

I enjoyed this episode of Jormungand but unfortunately it did lack the same intensity and brilliance the last few had to offer. I don't want to reveal anything on why this episode was made, since that would be some spoiler material I've picked up from reading the manga, but I can say that if you watch the next episode you'll come to understand why this episode was made the way it was.