Episode Reviews

[Highlights] Kino’s Journey Ep. 6 (Coliseum Pt. 1)

And we’re back to the regularly (un)scheduled Kino posts! I did miss this show. I don’t know if others would describe it as “cozy,” but that is indeed the first word I thought of when I came back to it after a month-long break. Perhaps it’s the still tone + episodic arc format.

I do realize that this episode is a two-parter, and that none of the episodes in this series, this one included, is without scenes charged with subtle or overt tension. Maybe it’s not a comfort anime, but still…something about choosing Kino as the anime to relax with after a tough school term feels very right.

The Coliseum
  • The Land of the Coliseum is a hedonistic country where the level of citizenship is decided by gladiator battles. Losers are killed/exiled, and those who don’t participate become slaves.
  • Another totally outlandish place. I was initially a bit turned off by how generic the “bad guys” were – the guys who surround Kino in the beginning to exposition-dump – but this episode actually does a decent job humanizing everyone in the country’s crazy hierarchy.
The Coliseum, seen from the sewers
  • This episode is full of cool shot angles! The Coliseum has a looming, oppressive presence seen from the slaves’ homes.
  • Very cool arena, and even cooler fight animation! Look, I still have little to no sakuga knowledge, so my vocabulary on this is very limited. Fluid, quick, dynamic!
  • Kino was misgendered as a boy earlier in this episode, and their response to that was “I’m not a boy, I’m Kino.” The old man whom Kino defeats praises Kino for “her” skills, and is again corrected with “I’m not a girl, I’m Kino.” It seems that the only labels Kino conforms to are “traveler” and “Kino,” which is pretty neat.
Land of the Coliseum at night
  • And the episode ends ominously with this image. The coliseum kind of reminds me of the panopticon‘s design, especially with the lighting in this scene. Does it, too, suggest a sense of pervasive and invisible surveillance of people?

I was iffy about where this episode was going in the first half, because it felt like it was setting itself up for something of the length of a shounen tournament arc, but only has two episodes to get through it. While I would probably like to see ideas such as this expanded into longer arcs, I was pleasantly impressed by how much this episode was able to accomplish.

Aside from the king (hmm, don’t know about him…), I am already intrigued by all three of the new characters whom Kino will encounter next – depressed pretty boy, James Bond, and badass lady. Predictions: one of them has ties to the king, and another has ties to the couple on the wagon. Unless the lady is actually the wife who got exiled who is back for revenge, hence the episode subtitle “Avenger,” but their appearances do look quite different. Now that I type if out, it seems rather likely, so I’m putting my money on it!

Last thought, Kino really doesn’t fear death, huh? Or rather, they’re just so damn overpowered that they have the confidence that they’ll never lose, which is insane, considering how strong their opponents were. The matches actually felt quite close – Kino’s got some guts.

That’s it for this episode, and I look forward to what’s coming!

15 thoughts on “[Highlights] Kino’s Journey Ep. 6 (Coliseum Pt. 1)

  1. Welcome the world’s fastest shonen tournament arc ever and yet it makes complete sense!😁 All that tension of this kingdom drama.

    I don’t want to say what you got right, but you got some things right. Just as I would expect 😁

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for appreciating these! Episodic reviews don’t tend to get as much engagement, but I’m happy to write them as long as somebody is willing to read them. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No problem, Moya! You really think so about episodic reviews? I’ve never done those type of reviews, but I’ve seen so many bloggers doing that and seem to be successful, so I don’t know.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Well, episodic reviews for seasonals tend to do pretty well, and may even generate good external traffic if you include plenty of images. With older shows, you’d be lucky to have a few faithful readers.

        I myself don’t interact with other people’s episodic reviews unless I’ve seen the show, and I think that’s how most people approach these. That’s where you may lose out on some readership.

        I don’t particularly mind, and I’m having fun with Kino’s Journey so far, so I see any engagement at all as a delightful bonus!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Okay, that makes sense when it comes to current seasonal viewing with the new episodes. I can see how images can help. Too bad I tend to have a more minimalist approach with my reviews. Yeah, I’m guilty of focusing on older series since it’s tough keeping up with all the new shows.

        I don’t think I knew that. For me, I’d rather watch the whole show first before I make a review.

        Sure thing. I’m glad you’re enjoying Kino’s Journey and that people have been talking with your posts.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Your blog covers a good niche – it’s kind of what you’re known for at this point, so I don’t see it as an issue at all!

        For me, avoiding episodic reviews of episodes I haven’t seen is mostly about avoiding spoilers. Otherwise, I do enjoy reading people’s more detailed thoughts as they experience a series.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Thank you. That’s cool with you thinking that way about my blog. Yeah, I’ve gotten a reputation with mostly older anime, but I want to make sure the reviews cover something that’s complete.

        That makes a ton of sense. It is entertaining seeing so many thoughts on different things.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s so interesting that you used the term “cozy” here because this series has become like a mellow time read for me. Kino no Tabi does have that sense of hazy calm underlying all the stories which I guess maybe comes from how unflappable our protagonist is. They go through these rather complex scenario without falling into the overtly dramatic so it’s easy on the mind? I don’t know if that makes sense?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, and that makes total sense! Even with more melodramatic storylines, Kino’s calm personality has an anchoring effect.

      Another similar anime would be Mushishi, which I don’t know you’ve seen. I think you’d like that too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I love Mushishi. I did a recent just for fun post on anime men I may get tempted to fangirl over as an exception and Ginko topped the list. In fact I think he IS the list. Kino and Ginko are two highly unproblematic protagonists of anime and I love them for that.


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