I don’t know about any of you, but I’m still mauling over how I feel about this series in my head. I know I said that I liked this episode on twitter Friday night, but I’ve had a day and a half of thinking since then and I am still thinking over it all. Why? Because this episode was so different from any other Kino’s Journey episode that I’ve ever seen. The main reason, because instead of Kino taking the reins in this episode like usual, the main point of view character is Shizu. You know, the former prince like character who was out for vengeance in episode two of this series? That put me in some sort of shock. Apparently, all you need in this world to be a point of view character and traveler in this series is having a companion that shouldn’t normally talk. Kino has a talking motorcycle called Hermes and Shizu has a talking dog named Riku. Pretty cool things, if you ask me. As for my mixed feelings about this episode, let’s see if writing out my thoughts will help.
As many people say the best place to start in the beginning, so let’s start this up at the top. This episode starts with Shizu and Riku asking to stay in a country that travels the high seas. They wish to cross the ocean, which means that they will stay around this country for 15 days according to the leaders of this country. Also, Shizu was given two choices on how he could stay in this country. He could stay with the leaders and supposedly push around the common folk or just stay with the common folk. Since Shizu is a good-natured person and the audience of this show probably wants to see more of this so-called ship, Shizu decides to stay with the common folk. The leaders of this town were shocked by his decision, but then give a little girl, named Tifana, the role as Shizu and Riku’s guide and send them to stay with the people.
After this point, we are given a few things to digest. We see how happy go lucky the people living in the country by readily accepting Shizu and giving him something to eat (fish). After this, we are given a montage of Shizu sleeping in his room, maintaining his sword practice, Tifana waking the two up and telling them that there is no work for him to do but showing him around the different sites of this country, and even some talk about another traveler appearing in this country (I bet you can guess who that is). All this happiness and beautiful sites ends when Shizu and Riku hear a strange noise. They investigate it and notice that one of the areas is now flooded. The next stage that happens is Tifana pointing out every single area in the country has been flooded to Shizu and Riku on a map, which turns out to be over one hundred and thirty, if I remember the count right. Shizu then does the responsible thing and tells the leaders of the town about it, which they mention that they know about this situation already.
After seeing that nothing is going to be done about it by this country’s leadership, this episode’s end games starts. Seeing that nobody is doing anything about this situation, Shizu decided to take up arms and help the people of this city, even if needs to take control of it by force. Before he even enters the tower that the leadership of this country is centralized at, he is stopped by no one other than Kino herself. First Kino disarms him, but after sharing the current situation, Kino and Shizu both stormed the tower together. This is where we learn that these robed figures are a.i. and give the task to Shizu to run the country now. The country is now run a ground and Shizu tells them the complete situation of what is going on. Of course, none of this country’s people believe him and immediately decide to go back in their ship and head back into the ocean. Then there is the bit of drama with Tifana, who is apparently named after the country. She stabs Shizu for some reason, he tells her that Ti can come with him while he is supposedly dying, Ti accepts but decides that he will won’t leave her behind and pulls the pin of a grenade which Kino shoots before it goes off, and Kino saves Shizu’s life. Episode ends there with Kino and Hermes driving off to another country and the usual “hope to see you again” thing.
In a lot of ways, this episode is great. I know that this is a small and circumstantial thing, but this episode was much closer in tone to the original series than the rest of the series has been so far. It also has a look into a group of people who refuse to change their ways and well end up eventually dying from it, which is a huge and philosophical thing that is important in today’s world. My hang up is how this episode treated Kino. From what we’ve seen with this episode, Shizu is a great focus point for the show too with his curiosity and acting out of the goodness of his heart, even if people don’t want it. I just wish that Kino wasn’t involved in the way she was. Kino isn’t the kind of character to chose to stay in the tower instead of visiting the people and exploring the sites, though maybe I am wrong about that. Last episode, she enjoyed the luxuries that were provided to her as well as exploring the mobile country. Maybe it’s just the fact that Kino is given more character in this 2007 series, but not in the way that I personally like it. I suppose that I will have to wait until the next episode to truly find out.
Until next Monday, everyone.