I wasn’t able to pump out a post during Anime USA for this episode, but I’ll just add my thoughts. Nothing amazing or new.
I remembered watching the original series episode on this and crying at the end. I think with how it was presented this time around, the impact was even greater than the first one. A good deal of it was spent with Kino and Sakura touring the country and getting to know the country.
And more, Kino was able to rekindle a part of her she’s long buried. Also the gunsmith in town was most definitely Shishou’s traveling companion. In the original series, such a line meant that he had probably encountered her in his earlier travels, but now that several episodes have added some context, I’m pretty sure that the smooth talking young man finally decided this country that hates travelers was where he wanted to settle down in, and ultimately die in.
Now as before, it felt rather dumb for a country to up and decide to die. Unlike Pompeii and St. Pierre which went out nearly the same way but had no real prior warning, the whole nations, fearful of not knowing what awaited them outside their walls, chose to remain. A suicide pact to stay within their doomed valley.
And it showed, when they were conducting their play. They had been a country that was once full of recently freed slaves, and had fearful recollections of the lands surrounding them until they came across their Eden. Growing prosperous or strong, one can argue that their ill treatment of travelers was to ensure that the bounty of the valley stays with them, admitting people as is courtesy of the world but treating them horrendously to ensure they never return.
Which made it hard that when they decided on their suicide pact, their name and sacred honor leading into posterity was a nation of rude people with underhanded business dealings and general dislike of travelers. Their efforts to change in the remaining month of their lives and leave one lasting impression to a traveler would’ve fallen to the wayside as they turned into ash had it not been for Kino.
And this is why Kino was treated like she was, being treated as one of the community and how an eager young girl was able to lead her around. She had even decided to break her three days only rule and had asked for an extension. An extension which would’ve meant their efforts to leave one good lasting impression would’ve be turned into so much burnt and roasted flesh alongside theirs.
At the end of the episode, everyone she has met from the guards, to Shishou’s now elderly former traveling companion, to Sakura and her parents are dead she is the lone voice of goodness against the country’s ill reputation. All she has left to remember them by are the memories she holds, the seedling Sakura gave to her, and the Woodsman, another relic from an elderly traveler.
Next episode will be dealing with Kino’s own childhood, and while I wasn’t too surprised that was next, it fits overall now that Kino has remembered or rekindled her memories of what she was before she became a traveler.