This time here is a land that is unambiguously evil. Well, the ruler is evil at least, described as “hedonistic” and is supported by its citizenry. How can a citizenry support a lifestyle completely devoted to entertainment? Who pays for it?
The majority of the payment is provided by a slave class living underneath the city in a complex of sewers. The only way for social promotion is to compete in a regular combat tournament, wherein the winner out of a wide field is not only granted citizenship, but also the privilege to write a rule in the state’s books.
In order to win these privileges, one must be willing to kill, as much as 5(?) times as one progresses through the brackets. What value does the killing provide? Entertainment of the citizenry. Now why do we find our Kino shooting at people in this tournament?
It’s because travelers are trapped and forced to participate in it, despite not having any desire to become a citizen. Now Kino is very capable of shooting her way out of being surrounded by guards. But she doesn’t! She actually takes interest in fighting in the tournament.
I personally find this somewhat out of character, and is something I feel that functions more as a device to perform the following:
- A better way to present the particulars of the land’s culture (if Kino’s uninterested then we don’t get to see any of it)
- A means to show action and fighting amidst very contemplative episodes.
I think Kino no Tabi gives us, its audience as much credit as the citizens of this land. It doesn’t give us the credit that we can be thoroughly entertained without this kind of contrived violent spectacle. Of course I think Kino will retain her moral core. That’s not in doubt, but that fact that it says we need to see Kino in particular shoot at people to remain engaged is rather telling.
I can appreciate it. The thing is, I don’t watch this show for the action. I have Black Lagoon for that. And guess what!
IT’S A TWO-PARTER!
How do you feel about this?