Greetings travelers. It has been too long since I last picked up on my travels with Kino in Kino’s Journey – the Beautiful World so I thought why not jump into it once more. This time we kick things off with episode 9 titled “various countries”.
I had forgotten how gorgeous this anime’s art style is and the opening soundtrack is as always a joy to listen to. I also realized that the thing that kept me coming back to this anime is how obscure it can be. It often makes you think that you’re going down a specific plot route and then it hits you with the heaviest u-turn you’ll ever take. Episode 9 is exactly this and although I enjoyed watching the anime again I have to admit it really seemed all over the place as if they tried to squeeze four episodes into one with no true path or plot in any piece at all.
Kino travels this time travels through multiple towns. The first a town that awards its people points for doing good deeds. And the person who witnesses the good deed will submit an application and both will receive these points. However bad deeds will be recorded in the person losing points. Minor offenses of course will reduce your points by a small amount. Large offenses obviously will reduce your points significantly. “When your points become negative, you serve time in prison.”(quoted from the anime). However when you accrue so many points that you’re able to commit a major crime without being prosecuted but in fact negating your points down to zero…what will you then do? Murder just for the sake of not wasting your points before you die…or allow society to maintain your memory of a great man/woman of society?
The second town although shown in the episode very briefly is a place where food seems to be the cream of the crop and Kino introduces a few chefs of a restaurant to a spicy and almost deadly fried chicken dish. This as mentioned doesn’t last long and we then move onto returning characters of the series, Ti, Shizu and Riku. The trio visit a town that writes their wishes on paper and sticks it on a giant statue believing that their wishes might come to pass. This is of course the end of the scene and we move back to Kino.
Upon returning to Kino and Hermes, Kino approached another town that her master has mentioned to her but we soon find that just as she’s entering the town the scene changes to her leaving. Upon realizing this Kino jumps off Hermes to discuss what just happened as she believed that they were entering the town, so why are they already on the opposite side leaving. Mysteriously Hermes explains that its three days later and that Kino did enter the town, enjoy it and now three days later they are leaving. With no memory of any of this Hermes explains the entire situation of this new country (town) that Kino has visited. Upon entry of this country you sign a contract stating that when you leave you’ll take a drug which will wipe your memory of your stay within the town hence keeping the town and people safe from anyone who will mean it harm or want to loot it of its treasures. I believe this is poor story line/plot unfortunately allowing the writers to create a mystery and yet nothing at all except the towns entrance and exit.
All in all I don’t believe i’ll ever go back to episode 9 again even if I some day intend on watching this series again. I do enjoy the anime’s obscurity but this is one episode that felt worst than any filler episode that I’ve watched before in an anime. I would say that this episode can be given a pass unfortunately HOWEVER if you are to watch it make sure that you watch it all the way through the credits as the original author Keiichi Sigsawa has a special message for the viewers.
Check out epiode 9 on crunchyroll and check back next week Thursday as I intend on covering not only episode 10 but also a new anime about a restaurant to another world.