Kino no Tabi 08 Where Storytelling POV Makes a Difference

kino no tabi 08 nimya loli version

For the first time, the narrative starts from a different POV. I don’t like it. I would have preferred that Kino no Tabi was told entirely from the traveler’s perspective. This alllows me to imagine that somehow we are experiencing some kind of travel documentary, even if without narration or editorializing.

It also would’ve added a layer of romance to the whole thing. That said, it does seem that Kino herself does not possess full access to her own memories. She mentions statements that she forgot who she heard from, despite a whole episode devoted to her origin story. How did we know of her origins then, if not through the context of her looking back and talking about it with Hermes.

It’s kind of not cool to think that we know things that Kino the traveler does not, and perhaps will not know. And if Kino does not know these things, how are they part of her journey? The narrative we experience becomes less Kino’s Journey but more of “Lands Kino Passed Through and People Who Met Her.”

So this whole narrative is told from an omniscient or third-person POV, but not this episode! It’s a big break in story telling. A female character from the land of magicians tells us her tale.

kino_no_tabi_08[h264.vorbis][niizk].mkv_snapshot_07.45_[2010.07.10_18.39.28]

If Nimya is such a significant character in the story, why not stick with the exposition method used throughout the show: she tells her story and that of the land around her directly to Kino? She tells her story entirely in the first person instead.

I look at the title, Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World. Since the title implies that the story is at least as much about the world than the narrative of Kino, then I suppose this break in POV shouldn’t bother me so much.

kino_no_tabi_08[h264.vorbis][niizk].mkv_snapshot_12.27_[2010.07.10_18.40.35]

When Namiya and Kino do finally get to talk, Namiya had a lot to say, mostly with regards to her plan to fly her flying machine. Perhaps I can assume that somehow she was actually talking to Kino when she did all the earlier narration, but it doesn’t fit. She was narrating and not conversing, she actually narrates over their conversation, telling us how her talk with Kino was going.

Kino and Hermes give Nimya advice and encouragement, and she turns out being more Daedalus than Icarus. The townsfolk who once treated her like a crackpot now revered her as a mage. It was a story how Kino’s arbitrary whims made all the difference to someone’s life and perhaps the history of the land and the world.

I just wish a stronger effort was made to keep a consistent POV.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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9 Responses to Kino no Tabi 08 Where Storytelling POV Makes a Difference

  1. ojisan says:

    I remember this, and felt at the time that Nimya was being highlighted as a significant new character in the series. Then it didn’t happen…?
    Not like Kino no Tabi hangs together in a really strong way anyway – it’s more like a collection of essays than a novel, and it’s good as such.

    • Yeah it can really occur that way yes it can.

      As for being a collection of essays, I can be sympathetic to that as well, given how the stories are vignettes that present a particular irony as if for consideration, or to provoke thought.

  2. Panther says:

    How about we look at it this way – Nimya represents what the story tries to show you from the perspective of the people whose lives are touched by Kino herself? It would be consistent with plot and story-telling to have it all shown from Kino’s point of view, but that would leave out the point of view of those who live in a country all their lives with nothing outstanding that happens until Kino comes along?

    In a sense, the state of “not beautiful world” is made “beautiful” by the appearance of Kino, and Nimya serves to illustrate that point, even if only for one episode.

  3. Son Gohan says:

    I think that changing the POV once in a while is a good thing, otherwise even an awesome show like KnT risked to become formulaic.
    OTOH I think that this was one of weakest episodes. Namiya’s struggle wasn’t that interesting and it was easily resolved.

    • This show is formulaic. The exception here doesn’t change it. That said, I don’t think formula is a bad thing in general, and I don’t think Kino no Tabi’s bad in particular.

      As for being the weakest story, I’m inclined to agree.

  4. kadian1364 says:

    I like how she ripped an entire engine block out of a submerged vehicle WITH HER BARE HANDS. If toting around whole engines is no problem for her, I wonder why she had any trouble with the statue if she could’ve moved the whole thing herself.

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