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[Highlights] Kino’s Journey Ep. 2 (The Tale of Feeding off Others)

September’s not even over and it feels like winter already (T_T). Perfect for this episode of Kino, I guess. Check out the Episode 1 highlights here if you missed it.

Kino ready to survive winter, a pandemic, or a round of Among Us
  • Big change in season and scenery from last episode. It makes me wonder there was a time skip, or if the episodes could be achronological.
  • The episode title, “The Tale of Feeding off Others, has multiple implications. The three strangers that Kino rescues feed off of Kino’s rabbit kills, and while Kino doesn’t eat the rabbits themselves, they also play a part in “feeding off” the rabbits by being the one to make the kills. An interesting thing about the title is that “Feeding off Others” places blame on the one doing the feeding, for victimizing someone of comparable standing to them. As a matter of fact, Kino considers the rabbits to be as equal to them as the three men, and questions themselves for choosing to let one party live over the other.
  • “If I didn’t help them, a rabbit wouldn’t have died today,” Kino tells Hermes. Kino has no problem hunting for their own survival; the problem lies in choosing one “Other” over another when they are obligated to neither. Kino decides that they chose the humans because they would also like to be helped by a passerby if stranded, suggesting that empathy > obligation to race. Or maybe it’s because only humans can offer rings as rewards, Kino adds to contradict themselves.
  • An interesting logical fallacy, to follow-up the last point: Kino kills the rabbit prior to meeting the three men, presuming that we can trust the intra-episode chronology. Regardless of what the rabbit’s meat is used for, it would have been dead anyway.
  • Okay, I knew the three men were sus. Did not guess that they’re actual human traffickers though.
  • Kino is forced to disarm themselves one weapon at a time, and it turns out that Kino has about a dozen different weapons hidden on them. While repeatedly choosing to trust rather than to doubt, Kino does have a defensive nature.
Ghost of human trafficking victim
  • Neat moment. It took me a while to figure out why Kino and Hermes called the human remains in the truck “merchandise,” and then “food scraps,” but now that I’m typing this, it should have been obvious enough that this girl was the human traffickers’ “merchandise” until they got stranded in the wild and decided to kill and eat her. Gruesome.
  • Really love the magic realism so far – how nobody is shocked at stuff like this. I suppose Kino is Kino, but I half-expected the three men to be surprised that Hermes could talk. Guess talking motorrads aren’t a big deal in this world!

Another thoughtful episode of Kino’s Journey that features something dire while still painting things in an overall humanistic light. I continue to appreciate how the title comes with a tagline, this one being “A Tale of Feeding off Others – I want to live.”

As they ride off after Kino defeats the three human traffickers, Hermes asks them what they would do if the same situation arises again. Kino answers: “Such things happen. We are human after all.” We are only human, and thus, always fallible to similar mistakes of trust? We are human, and therefore, our lives and interactions are too complex for a label such as “the same situation” to apply?

Despite claiming a lack of kinsman feelings towards fellow humans, Kino defaults to trusting them, as they expressed in the last episode, and appears to hold the concept of “humanity” itself in high regard.

This episode goes further to show a less pragmatic Kino with a rigid internal code of morality: they honour promises, even if the party they make a promise to doesn’t. Kino refuses to accept the ring as compensation until they finish helping the men, and even after being betrayed by the three of them, returns the ring by placing it on top of one of their bodies.

Moreover, Kino leaves the perfectly skinned rabbit hides untouched in the end. I thought Kino would make the best use of an entire rabbit after killing it already, since they value the rabbits’ lives so much, but perhaps in commitment to the principle that “the rabbits are killed to help the three men,” Kino leaves them behind. Interesting.

I haven’t seen the latest Re:Zero season, but I think this is enough “cute rabbits in unwholesome situations” for me. Anyhow, looking forward to where the next episode takes me!

17 thoughts on “[Highlights] Kino’s Journey Ep. 2 (The Tale of Feeding off Others)

  1. A nice write-up of an episode of my favorite anime. I hope you find plenty of more good moments.

    You make a comment re: people not being surprised Hermes can talk. In the Light Novels, it’s well accepted in this world that a traveler may have a companion that can speak with and to them. In Kino’s place, it’s Hermes. Later you’ll meet a man and his dog, and others can understand the dog. In the most recent retellings, there were a few other examples.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That was a good episode and certainly a chilling one especially with the scene near the end with the ghosts of the human trafficking victims to really play up the fridge horror of the whole episode. It’s also great that you got the linking parallels with the episode title and the various subplots there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yay, another fantastic write up Moya! This episode was strangely powerful and hurtful on so many levels which is why it works as well as it does.

    I don’t know if I am correct by this at all, but in my mind the rabbits symbolize the humans themselves in some ways. I feel like some of the imagery leads to that which is why leaving them behind instead of using them is the gesture the show was going for. I could be reading into this too much though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, never apologize for reading too much into something (rise up, lit majors!). The parallel between rabbits and humans is definitely something. Instead of one representing the other, I almost want to say that the show is challenging the notion of one life being worth fundamentally more than the other. I like your interpretation of leaving the rabbits behind as a gesture of respect.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I mean, I’m still a newbie English major, but still. Ok, time to read into the things too much :D.

        And yeah, this was one of the first humanizing experiences from Kino in who they are because they are a great character :D.

        Liked by 1 person

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