Episode four of Kino’s Journey was an unusual one, even by Kino no Tabi standards. The action turns around and focuses on Shizu, with Riku the dog as his companion, rather than on Kino and Hermes. He boards a ship country and becomes one with the local populace, bonding especially with a non-speaking girl named Ti. As he walks through the ship day after day, he begins to realize not only are the residents’ lives unsustainable, but their entire nation will soon sink.
The twist here is that the guiding class is actually comprised of A.I. units, who let Shizu take command after he defeats them (along with Kino’s help). Shizu frees the people, but they don’t want to leave their comfortable surroundings. Shizu accepts that they cannot leave, punctuated perhaps by the fact the residents are very childlike, having grown that way without a modeling parent generation.
Although Shizu ultimately decides to take responsibility for Ti (we’ll see how that goes with the former prince’s critical condition), I was amazed by a few things. Despite his care for the people, Shizu seems to very easily give up when the people protest. He also sends Ti initially on her way. This all seems rather cold of the warm-hearted prince, and against his character. Indeed, it’s perhaps Ti’s wounding of him that wakes him back up.
Ti eventually thanks Shizu for taking responsibility for her (?), but Shizu says that thanks are not necessary—I wonder if that is because he believes it to be the right thing to do, to care for others as if it’s a necessity. Which brings me to the question for this week. With Shizu trying to protect and entire country, then leaving them to their destiny, and with the power we have in the lives of individuals and that our countries have as a whole when it comes to foreign relations, what is our responsibility?
Do we have a responsibility to care for others?
Please comment below – I’m eager to know your thoughts!