Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Day 2 - Thirty Days of Anime

Day 2 - Kino's Journey 




Kino's Journey: The Beautiful World is more than just a masterpiece in its art and animation. It’s also an aesthetic and philosophical experience that can inspire those who watch it. Many of the stories work as parables or fables, which contain messages within them that are meant to be insightful or instructive (paradoxically, even a parable with no message at all can teach us something when we attempt to find one). The fundamental nature of these types of stories is that you really get out what you put in – that is, the message you get is highly dependent upon what framework you’re using to look at them. 

This means that Kino’s Journey has a lot to teach us, and also that any analysis must be taken with a grain of salt. That being said, the powerful nature of the parable is that many frameworks will tend to give relatively similar (or diametrically opposed) answers, and so the results of any analysis are valuable and somewhat universal. Comparing multiple frameworks can then frequently lead to somewhat universal messages that speak to the fundamental nature of the human condition.

The show takes place in a world much different from our own. The people of this world live in small “countries,” which are actually the size of a town or city. Every country has their own laws and customs that make them entirely unique. Some countries are separated by walls; others move throughout the globe on Caterpillar wheels. Each has its own technology, as well. Some countries have a futuristic tech, while others live in an almost medieval setting. The different customs and technology create an aesthetic of mystique that fits the show perfectly.

Kino quietly observes each country she visits without getting involved in politics unless she absolutely has to. Her mostly neutral disposition allows the viewers to make judgments of their own in each episode. Sometimes her actions could be categorized as morally grey, such as assassinating the previous ruler during the tournament.

However radical her actions might seem, she always leaves the country free to take their future into their own hands. This leads to a number of different outcomes, both positive and negative. But it goes to show that Kino’s outlook is just one more philosophical lesson the show imparts to its audience: that everyone has a different perspective, and it’s important to respect that.

[Watch the trailer here.]

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