Posted on 24 October 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World-

One particular thing I really like about this series is that the title of the individual stories often defies expectation. For example we had a country where people were allowed to kill, only instead of a hellish country filled with murderous thugs it’s instead a safe place filled with those sick of murder who only use the law to punish those who attempt to disturb their peaceful existence. Here it is the same, as it is indeed about a Bothersome Country but more that the country is bothersome because of it’s need to be constantly moving. But it’s not the only bothersome country in this episode as we have another country which blocked the plains in order to extort travelers passing through. So it’s up for debate on whether the title refers to the moving country or the other country but I at least like that they didn’t necessarily pick a side in this fight. If we are to paint things black and white then the border country is in the wrong for blocking the plains. But then again the moving country ignored all their pleas to stop and essentially tore through the country. Destroying everything in their path. As such it’s hard to balance this out as simply good or evil but I will say that the moving country did come off better than the border country.

I do laugh at the fact that for Kino this was merely a means to get past the border country without paying the big tolls. I can’t say this was the strongest story but I do like the overall message that much like how the moving country can’t help but mark the land with its caterpillar tracks, people too cannot moving through live without leaving traces. The final evidence of that is that Kino’s defense of the children’s mural will likely result in the children making her the next mural in the next hundred days or so. Hence even Kino can’t not leave traces of her in the places she leaves. This isn’t the strongest story but it is nice to have stories in Kino’s world that don’t end with some dark twist and rather just a whimsical little adventure.

I can’t say I have been fond of the way that this series appears to be selecting stories where KIno plays a more active role than a passive one. We have her breaking her established rules of non interference and her normal three day rule. As this story caps off with Kino showing off her mad sniper skills, I fear that this series may be trying to turn her into some kind of action girl. Now Kino has always been skilled but I appreciate it more when she keeps her talent under wraps. What makes Kino badass is that she doesn’t need to show off and only uses her skills when necessary. If someone started from this series instead of the 2003 version then I feel like they would have a mistaken impression who exactly Kino is and what makes her different from any old anime girl with a gun. Kino is no paragon of justice, nor is she some anti-hero. Kino is an observer who watches the world and only interferes when her hand is forced or in this case, on a whim.

Posted on 18 October 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World-

In an odd turn of events, the second episode of Kino’s Journey 2017 is a retelling of a story done in the original 2003 version. Where Kino is forced to participate in deathmatches upon reaching a country. I find this choice odd as I would consider the Colosseum story in the original to be the weakest story as instead of Kino acting as an observer to the countries rules and society, she instead is an active participant. When asked as to which of the versions of this story I prefer, I would say the 2003 version did it better but more because that version gave this story two episodes which it could flesh it out more. However despite that it seems that this newer version is actually closer to the source material from what I have heard.

So today is a tale of revenge as shown by the subtitle of this episode presented at the end. We have several kinds of revenge here in this story. Petty revenge in how the cruel king killed his father due to his upbringing being too strict. Revenge for a loved one as Shizu came to kill his father for what he had done to his mother and him. Revenge out of principle as Kino kills the king for all the travelers that unknowingly went to his country and were forced into deathmatches. Then finally revenge out of grief as a young woman sends travelers to the country so that they can suffer as she has suffered. The last however is kept ambiguous enough that it could be seen as the woman sending Kino to the country knowing that she would end up killing the king but frankly I think that would require the woman to know Kino’s capabilities. No, I find her sending oblivious people to their deaths to be far more fitting as revenge need not be taken against those that wronged you. Some find themselves too weak to do so and settle for a simpler revenge, such as pushing others into misfortunes that have effect you. It’s fitting that at the end of all this the one that truly fulfilled their revenge deems the entire concept pointless as it indeed is pointless. Revenge is born out of a need to balance things out but it won’t truly bring anything of substance. Kino got her revenge and in the end only felt frustration over how she was tricked and used.

Again I don’t really like the level of participation Kino had in this story as she has passed through countries in a more reprehensible state than this and never passed judgement on them. Here she literally destroys a country with her new rule. It is not out of character for Kino to be so merciless to kill a country as she has shown the capability for killing or allowing atrocity. But it is a very emotional move on her part. You can find some poetic justice in how Kino refused to kill any of her combatants and instead had the audience which shouted for blood, kill each other. I would also like to believe that only the people in the colosseum would die, leave those  not involved with the death games to guide the country. Though this seems to suggest that the entire country was doomed. Hard to be on Kinos side here when you take into account that her rule would apply to the children too. I am willing to make a bet that this will be the only remake of an old story in this version and I believe the only reason it’s here is just because of one thing. That being the character introduced in this story, Shizu and the talking dog Riku. In later stories sometimes the protagonist isn’t Kino and hermes but instead these two and i think the only real reason we got this episode was to make their introduction so we are not caught off guard later when they take to spotlight for later stories.

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