We are now halfway through the current anime season and winter is getting closer. In fact, the day this episode aired I had to get my winter coat out! I’m terrible with the cold, so I have a lot of respect for travelers like Kino who somehow manage to sleep under the stars.
This episode of Kino’s Journey barely features Kino and Hermes. It instead focuses on the story of Photo and how she met her motorrad, Sou. It’s a pretty brutal episode so you’d better prepare yourself.
Just a little knowledge… If only they’d had just a little knowledge
Japanese Title: 雲の中で
Up in the mountains, a group of merchants stop on their travels to rest. With them is a slave girl, given to them from one of the countries they have traded with. The merchants treat her only with cruelty, but the girl not once shows a hint of anger or hatred. As the merchants settle down to eat their food, they don’t realise that this is the last meal they will share together.
Highlights and Trivia
What Goes Around Comes Around
The merchants treat the slave girl cruelly, with even a small child puffing his chest with pride after throwing a rock at her soup bowl. We’ve seen a lot of cruelty in Kino’s Journey, but, pardon my language, this group of people are the most frustrating pieces of sh*t so far. To them, the girl is not human. She isn’t even an animal. She’s just a novelty. However, karma’s a bitch and the merchants got their just deserts, with the slave girl eventually leading a happy life.
Wishing for Death
When the merchants were gathered around that table, bringing the poisoned food to their mouths, how many of you wanted them to take that bite, sealing their fate? I’m sure many of you, like myself, wanted them to die. It makes sense, because we felt hatred for the people who treated an innocent girl as though she is not human. I guess it still isn’t right to wish death upon people, which is why Photo is so determined to never feel hatred for others. However, for a split second, she felt what we all did- she wanted them to die. In her eyes, that feeling is a sin, and that is why she tried to commit suicide, failing to do so only because of more cruelty. That stupid little boy ended up saving her life and giving her more happiness than she could ever have ever imagined.
As the merchants were dying, the screen became bright red. Red. White. Black. We also saw this same technique back when Shizu was about to cut down Kino at the colosseum. It’s quite painful on the eyes, which I feel means it is doing its job.
Just a Little Bit of Knowledge
Just the little bit of knowledge that the herbs growing that far up the mountain were poisonous could have saved all their lives. Just one tiny little detail. That is quite frightening. It could happen to any of us. Also, there is some foreshadowing as the very first shot we see of the merchants is from the grass that would eventually kill them.
‘Sou’ can mean ‘grass/herb’ in Japanese. For those of you unfamiliar with Japanese, it is interesting to note that although Sou is voiced by a lady (Megumi Ogata, most famous for voicing Sailor Uranus and Shinji Ikari!) Sou speaks much rougher and masculine Japanese than Hermes.
Somebody Call Alanis Morissette
This episode was FULL of irony, both dramatic and otherwise. The most obvious case of dramatic irony was the little boy, who after claiming he will kill the slave girl to become a grown man, sat down and told his mother he would clean his plate. Yeah, eat it you little sh*t…
It was also quite ironic how the guard was told ‘don’t be a picky eater’ yet it was his dislike of vegetables that saved his life (before he shot himself with a rifle of course).
Photo said that even if she was killed, she would die with a smile on her face so that the killer may understand that the world is wonderful. That very thing then happened to her. It was only the man who showed her the tiniest bit of kindness that was able to die with a smile on his face.
Of course, the most important piece of irony this episode was when the boy knocked Photo’s soup out of her hands. That little bit of cruelty brought her a happy life. She is one of the lucky ones.
Until our next journey
Visually, this episode was beautiful. It made full use of the sinking sun to bring us some beautiful lighting, not to mention the shots of the night sky. The story was quite gripping for me, mostly because I wanted to see the merchants get their comeuppance. I’m sorry, Photo, I cannot be an angel like you.
Although I was a little baffled by the happy music playing when we first meet Photo, it was a good and thoughtful episode. Kino’s ‘just a little bit of knowledge’ really hit me, but I’m trying not to think too much about it.
See you next time!
Next Episode: Historic Country (歴史のある国)
Kino’s Journey The Beautiful World – The Animated Series
Fall 2017 | Anime Info Page
Official Site: http://www.kinonotabi-anime.com/
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