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 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- [Highlights] Kino’s Journey Ep. 1 (Land of Visible Pain)
- [Highlights] Kino’s Journey Ep. 2 (The Tale of Feeding off Others)
- [Highlights] Kino’s Journey Ep. 3 (Land of Prophecies)
- [Highlights] Kino’s Journey Ep. 4 (Land of Adults)
- [Highlights] Kino’s Journey Ep. 5 (Three Men Along the Rails)
- [Highlights] Kino’s Journey Ep. 6 (Coliseum Pt. 1)
- [Highlights] Kino’s Journey Ep. 7 (Coliseum Pt. 2)
- [Highlights] Kino’s Journey Ep. 8 (Land of Wizards)