Kino’s Journey ~ The Beautiful World ~ Episode 2: Avengers

If any of us were still wondering if Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World- was a sequel or a remake, this episode answered it as a reenvisioning of an episode previously animated: “Colosseum – Avengers.” Kino enters a country which she has heard is beautiful and peaceful, but immediately finds herself impressed into a gladiator-style tournament. Players in each round of the of the playoff style battles gain victory by killing his opponent or forcing them to yield. Kino, a smart competitor and an ace in gun draws, excels in the tournament.

Kino's Journey episode 2

Of course, it’s not enough in Kino’s Journey that the bloodlust of the crowds are shown. A further theme comes to light later in the episode, and mostly after the tournament has ended. We discover that one of Kino’s opponents, Shizu, has a personal connection to the king that created the games and seek revenge against him. Kino later brushes asides his feelings by calling revenge foolish, but her actions show that she has thoughtfully considered what vengeance means.

Part of this episode’s twist is that Kino learned about the country via a young man and woman who were going there. Later, Kino and Hermes bump into the woman again, this time along, and she tells the duo that they should go visit the country. It’s inferred that this was the couple shared about in a story by the guards: the husband and wife drew each other in the first round, and the wife yielded, giving her safety; the husband, unfortunately, was killed in the next round. If the wife suffered such lost…why would she convince a complete stranger to experience such awfulness as well? Kino is troubled by the thought, hurling large rocks into a peaceful creek as if to burn off her frustration.

I wonder, too, if Kino’s actions in the ring also smack of vengeance. She ultimately does two things of note in the final round: she assassinates the king through an apparent stray bullet and commands the people to turn against each other. On the surface, it seems like Kino’s way of letting the residents morals take care of themselves: the king receives what he deserves and the people choose to give into their base instincts of greed and violence. But Kino’s care in advising a kind guard to run away shows that she doesn’t feel kindness toward the king and audience, that she has in fact become an avenger herself, as the title of the episode dictates.

Which leads to my question this week:

Why do we feel a need and a pleasure in being avengers? In seeking vengeance and revenge?

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below – I’d love to hear what you think! And I’ll leave you this week with the real surprise in episode two for people like me who’d forgotten:

kino's journey riku

Kino no Tabi – The Beautiful World – can be streamed on Crunchyroll.

4 thoughts on “Kino’s Journey ~ The Beautiful World ~ Episode 2: Avengers

  1. Hermes advised the guard; Kino remained silent after imposing the new rule.

    As for the question, there is in us an innate sense of justice, but the problem is that many times we react in excess, either by taking the law into our own hands, etc. It’s very hard to keep balance, especially in our less than perfect state.

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    1. Sometimes it’s justice, I agree. I wonder if this episode emphasizes, also, selfishness. When the woman sends Kino along to her certain death, it’s a way of balancing things for her – she can’t have her husband back, but she feels a measure of relief, if only temporary, that someone else suffers like he and she did. I think Shizu feels the same on a personal level, co-mingled with a sense of justice. He has relatively high character, and so perhaps that sense of justice you mentioned is stronger in his case than others – it’s stronger for him, I think, than it would be for me. I have a habit of pushing others down when I suffer out selfishness rather than justice.

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      1. Have you watched the original series? If you have than I guess u are reflecting based on this season’s depicitions.

        If not and you want to find out more about Kino’s (perhaps even the wife’s intentions) please watch the 2 episode long version there as it flushed out more about the country and Kino learning about the King directly compared to a summary by Heremes.

        Also, I was astonished that they animated the wife to be so lively as in the original series she seemed more in a daze and her smile even seemed faked/forced, it’s not that I hate this reanimatoon though. The problem may lie in the condensing of two episodes in one while trying to cater to this generation’s style of animation.

        I believe the episodes were 6 & 7 if you would like a comparison.

        Personally, I feel like this Kino is different than the origional because when they proclaimed the new rule, Kino made those of the upperclass fight and forbade them from harming/touching those of the lower class if they want to be king. Also, the original Kino was more interested/invested with those they fought with as before a round began, they asked them why are they fighting and then if they would surrender.

        For the question of the week I would say everyone’s perception of revenge may have a common core but it varies by individual and circumstance. Whether it’s to fill the void of a love one’s lost, to enact justice because of the selfish actions of another, to have a purpose or to reclaim the honor of a loved one. We feel a sense of obligation, grief, perhaps a bit of denile and guilt, mixed in with anger and hatred for the feeling of “unfairness” that we face. From a couple who was misinformed and led on by the guards. To a banished son who did nothing wrong but simply because of the actions of his father, lost everything (his mother and home) in one night. The feeling of revenge is natural as we grow attatched, protective and responcible towards others.

        P.S. Sorry for the rant and if I seemed too aggressive (/-)

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        1. Oh no, your rant isn’t aggressive at all! Thank you for the background information as well. I have watched the original Kino’s Journey, and I do remember these particular episodes pretty well though my memory about the series as a whole isn’t too good. Knowing how it was portrayed in the first series as compared to this one certainly adds some layers to the episode!

          And thank you for your answer to the question, too. I agree with you, and even about the point that revenge is “natural” as we grow to love others. I wonder, though…is that feeling good?

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