Episode Reviews

[Highlights] Kino’s Journey Ep. 8 (Land of Wizards)

An episode that takes a simple idea and explores it in a refreshing way. Probably not among the strongest of Kino’s episodes, but there’s a bit going for this one too.

Old wizard’s warehouse
  • There’s nothing too distinct about the Land of Wizards as a whole, other than that one or two “wizards” with mysterious knowledge and capabilities are known to reside there.
  • This is the second episode in the series to give the audience an insider’s view of a country, but unlike the earlier one, the narrator of most of the episode is not Kino, but a new character named “Nimya.” Her enthusiasm brings a lot of life to the story, so I find this a welcome change.
Is Kino short, or is Nimya tall?
  • Kino doesn’t even enter until around the halfway point, and when they do, they play a supportive role to Nimya’s story. Truly just passing by this time around!
  • Interestingly, Nimya’s entire narration of her backstory and encounter with Kino is in past tense. Despite the episode’s focus on Nimya, within Nimya’s tale, the focus is on Kino. I find it kind of neat to think that maybe to Nimya, Kino is the truer wizard?
  • I’ve gotten so used to the series’ often-cynical twists that I was honestly expecting the plane to crash, maybe even killing Nimya too. Interestingly enough, Kino agrees with me on that. Why did Kino support Nimya’s dream anyway, Hermes asks. Kino’s answer is evasive, but perhaps they’d like to have faith in a dream too. At least endorsing in somebody else’s dream doesn’t come with the same risk, even if the gratification is vicarious.

At its core, it’s a simple “follow your dreams” story, enriched by somewhat lackluster commentary on society’s worship of “talent.” The Chief and everyone else in the country are overdone caricatures that aren’t particularly funny, and their change of heart once the flying contraption takes flight is unconvincing. Also, they really moved that copper statue out of the way in five seconds. It’s not even fixed to the ground!

I do like the message that it is easier to romanticize others’ potential than find your own, but I wish the execution was a little more nuanced. It’s a relatable topic, and certainly another one that subtly invites us to question Kino’s passive attitude, but a little more would be nice.

Check out past highlights of Kino’s Journey episodes here:

10 thoughts on “[Highlights] Kino’s Journey Ep. 8 (Land of Wizards)

  1. I love Kino’s journey! its such a chill and interesting anime to watch to wind down to ( most of the time). I really need to pick it back up since I didnt get too far. Got recommended it after watching mushishi !

    Liked by 3 people

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