Posted by AidanAK47 on 15 November 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World-

I would say there were plenty new watchers fooled into thinking this was Kino’s origin story and I admit to having the thought that the remake may be creating a new origin for her. But alas this is an episode focused on someone else entirely. Still I consider it a strong episode even if it got a bit too forced with the portrayal of the caravans people. I can forgive that as it’s not the first time that Kino has sacrificed characterisation in order to tell a story. In fact many a time in the old series did people turn into exposition puppets solely there to push the parable of the week. Kino in essence isn’t really about the characters but rather the underlying themes and questions brought up with the story being told. In terms of that we got a lot of meat here. The situation is that a girl is sold as a slave to a caravan in order to cover the expenses the country owes. However it appears the girl isn’t a very useful slave. Those the adults treat her badly due to feeling they got scammed and the children treat her even worse. However we have an odd situation where the slave girl is from a religious country that preaches in believing in the good in others and not hating other people. Thus her beliefs are put to the test by her horrible owners and the fact that she was sold off.

The funny aspect of this story is that while the slave girl does speak that she would never hate them and mention her beliefs, the look in her eyes does not suggest that this is what she truly believes. Instead it feels like the beliefs that she was indoctrinated with. She believes such because it was what she was taught to believe and despite that the beliefs themselves are not inherently wrong(Though naive) there’s something wrong in how she has ingrained them into herself. The big test comes when she realises that the herbs thrown into the soap were poisonous and attempts to warn the group. There is so much beautiful irony in this episode. One of the members of the caravan mentions that the girl is someone abandoned by luck but inadvertently by episode’s end she is the luckiest girl there. Indeed it was as if god himself turned events to her advantage. Her attempt at suicide was stopped by a coincidental bullying from one of the children. Fog stopped Kino from reaching the camp in time as she could have warned the group about the poisonous herbs. Though if Kino saw how they treated the slave girl, I wonder if she would have sat back and let them accidently kill themselves. The fact that the only member of the caravan to survive was someone who sympathised enough with her to free her shackles. Not to mention the beautiful line of him mentioning that his grandfather said that he shouldn’t be a picky eater and he inadvertently survived because he was a picky eater. The motorrad in the truck that could teach her how to drive and not to mention give her the perfect advice to combat her suicidal mindset.. Yes, everything worked out in this girl’s favor and that begs the question of whether her belief that the founder somehow knew things would work out for her was indeed true or if this was all plain coincidence.

Now when it comes to the girls abuse I actually thought the majority of this episode handled it well with it being rather low key instead of pushing it too hard. The point that really makes it forced is right before the caravan dies and the son of the caravan leader makes the suggestion that his father sell him the slave girl just for the express purpose of him proving himself a man by killing her. Yes this is quite forced, especially with it coming just right before they die to show that they are far beyond redemption. The funny thing is here that I can somewhat understand this kids reasoning. Judging by what Kino has to deal with, traveling is a dangerous job and isn’t one that allows for high moral ground. Even Kino isn’t against killing someone if the need comes. So I can understand just why this kid feels that it’s important for him to be able to kill. The logic fails here however in just how he is going to go about it. Killing someone who’s out to kill you is far different from killing and torturing a girl who can’t fight back. Of course it’s up for debate on whether this kid is truly capable of it as I can certainly see him talking a big game and losing his nerve once he gets to the act. I feel like this scene would have worked better if the father was in favor of the idea while other members of the caravan felt conflicted. Like the boy’s mother not being too keen on the idea of her son torturing a girl, regardless of who it is. If there was a failure in this episode it would be the adult’s reaction to the boys proposition. I don’t care how evil people are, suggesting this crap over a dinner table wouldn’t get unanimous acceptance.

That aside this was a very good episode that showed this shows strength over others. This episode could be a commentary about religion and how the ideals it teaches are hollow if you haven’t any resolve or real investment in them. It could be a message about abusive relationships and how the abused tries to see the best in their abusers despite all evidence to the contrary. The while altruism is an admirable virtue, it’s truly important to accept that you are only human and as such do not need to uphold a perfect ideal to be a good person. Or even a anti-suicide message for after all, you are inevitably going to die someday. So if you want to die then just live and it will happen eventually. Or quite simply, a moral that things may be at their darkest at times but the future always holds the potential for happiness. Not an easy episode to watch but I do love the food for thought. Keep it coming Kino.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar silver says:

    I’ve seen the old Kino anime, but I thought I was watching an origin story. I definitely got trolled, especially once I saw the motorrad. Her scream near the end was truly agonizing, although I’m not entirely sure whether she was screaming because of her own impending death, the death of the merchants, or both. I think her philosophy of forgiveness is practical as well as ethically preferable. Resentment toward her owners and situation is absolutely justified but wouldn’t necessarily improve her quality of life or change anything. Of course I also don’t think one should resign themselves to fate and bow in subservience. Let’s just not have slaves; I think that’s the best solution all around. It’s pretty impressive that this show can have a character in such egregious circumstances and still portray her as proud and strong in only 19 minutes. It was, of course, cathartic to see karma’s hammer in action, and the girl didn’t violate her principals and made an honest attempt to save the merchants, even if she was understandably hesitant.

    I agree that the murderer child felt forced. Such pure psychopathy certainly exists, but it’s quite rare, and most parents wouldn’t culture it in a child of primary school age. That’s a good way to end up with a knife in your heart the moment you try to discipline them. Joffrey from Game of Thrones was bat-shit crazy because he was born from twin parents from a family that already had centuries of inbreeding. Most such children would be stillborn or massively disabled. I also thought it was strange that they’d accept a slave to level a debt. Gold doesn’t eat; keeping an adult alive, even starving and living in squalor, costs a fortune. Slaves in ancient Rome were often highly educated subjugated peoples from Britain and Germania and taught two or three generations of patrician children in a lifetime.

    A good episode with a thought-provoking presentation and a surprisingly heart-warming little epilogue despite the unpleasant subject matter. Classic Kino.

    • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

      “Joffrey from Game of Thrones was bat-shit crazy because he was born from twin parents from a family that already had centuries of inbreeding.”

      Pretty sure you are getting things mixed up here. Joffrey was a Lannister and it was the Targaryens which had the centuries of marrying siblings.

      As for her scream, I originally took it as finally realizing that her beliefs were not absolute seeing as she only screamed when they confirmed that they were going to sell her to the boy so he can torture and kill her. This is reinforced by the fact that when she screams the subtitle of the episode is revealed to be “Eye Opener”. As I stated in the review, I don’t really like these beliefs as they were never truly hers and I think this episode is mainly about her casting off the doctrine that was forced upon her and finding her own creed to follow.

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