Hello everyone, welcome to the second installment of Kino Monday. Last time was a great installment to the Kino lore that I’ve never seen before. This time is a re-adaptation of a story line that was a part of the original series. The main difference here is the arc in the original series was two episodes long. This one was just an episode. That may not sound like a big deal, but the difference is light and day for someone like me who has seen both. Context is a big thing. Let me explain why.
The story line is the same. Kino enters a city that forces Kino to become a part of a tournament for citizenship. Thus, Kino is forced to live in a former prison cell for a few days, fight some people in a Colosseum and win everything but never killing anyone, make it to the last match where Kino fights against the former prince (spoilers), kill the king, and create a rule that causes the elite of the country to fall apart in chaos. The context is what separates the two. As some people say, the devil is in the details.
In the original series, everything is given more time to breathe. Kino is allowed some time to travel around this kingdom and see it’s general structure and how people live. Kino sees how where one of the guard’s lives (the slums) and sees his adorable family. By that, we are given an emotional weight behind the cruelty of the country. There are also the fights which are more than just a montage. Each opponent is given a small amount of time to explain why they are fighting and what injustices they are facing. At the beginning of the second episode, we are also given the backstory of how the country made it to this terrible state through some symbolic puppetry. This was a small event for the four finalist who are also in front the king. Yes, we actually see the king and see how much of a jack ass this guy is. If you have ever seen this episode, you know what happens in the end. From what we’ve seen, everything Kino has done was completely justified.
I can’t say the same for this one Colosseum episode. This episode started with some lines about how one should let lose every once in a while, otherwise a person would lose their full abilities. This sets the tone for the rest of the episode, because what Kino does for the rest of the episode. Let’s lose against vague opponents in an action montage. The bare minimum of context for their current situation is provided to Kino through Herme’s dialogue while staying in that former prison cell. We never see Kino explore the outside world at any sort of level, and that’s completely disheartening. In the end, it feels like what Kino has done is just makes Kino feel a lot more blood thirsty, which feels completely wrong to me. It also feels inconsistent compared to what we saw from Kino in the first episode. Even if she throws stones at her reflection in the water, she still caused a country to full apart for vague reasons. Some consistency would be nice.
I know that I am pulling this “back in the original” thing, but I can’t help it. Having a direct comparison can be tough sometimes. I feel like this can be comparison can be compared to Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and the original bit of Fullmetal Alchemist thing. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood skipped ahead and went through a lot of the elements that the original FMA did in the beginning, so they could get to the new content. Similar kind of thing here. I feel like the creators knew that people have seen that original series at some point, so they approached the Colosseum arc from a different angle. I don’t know about you all, but it didn’t work for me. I know that this series will never change the original series that I own on dvd and can watch at my leisure, but the irritation is still there. See you all next Monday for episode three.