We are at the penultimate episode of the series, and to me the one I’ve been looking forward to most, even if it hasn’t changed at the slightest. Well, in terms of story, animation quality went up several notches and a little bit more implied background was added. Imgur is also being stupid, so no pictures for now. Will add an edit once the album is loaded.
A girl, the daughter of a pair of innkeepers, lives in the Land of Adults, and meets Kino, a traveler who seeks a cheap place to stay at. The girl, whose name is strongly implied to be ‘Sakura’, take him to her inn and he stays there.
In the time that the traveler stays there, Kino is fascinated at his presence, especially when repairing an old motorrad he obtains from her parents. He explains that in order for a motorrad to move around, one has to form a pact with it. Namely one of mutual help, where the rider handles the balance and the motorrad the speed.
The motorrad being restored is of a similar make and model that Kino once owned, and when discussing names, Sakura suggests naming the new motorrad after his old one, ‘Hermes’. As they take a break in the restoration, Kino and Sakura talk about what it means to be an adult, with Sakura enthusiastically explaining her country’s custom of turning children adults via surgery.
This surgery changes the child’s brain and removing or inhibiting certain things that make children lose their sense of freedom, as described by their religion. Sakura explains it means able to do any job without any hint of displeasure, while Kino comments that it was pretty violent. Seeing that their views on what is an adult an adult varied ildly, Kino explains he is a traveler, nothing more, nothing less.
Talking about his travels, Kino expresses his love for singing, and while having a bad singing voice, he does so because he enjoys it. Sakura sings beautifully, but since her parents are not entertainers, it is an aspect of herself that would disappear with the surgery.
The next day, feeling some doubt over her nation’s tradition, she had asked to reconsider the notion of being an adult and is instantly set upon by the adults in the room. Her parents shamed, accused of improper raising of their child, the source of the aberration was pointed at Kino. The young traveler is confronted and told to respect their culture, and the clearly unwelcome man stated his intention to leave.
At this point, Sakura’s father appears with a kitchen knife, intending to kill her. Kino intervenes and gets stabbed instead. While her parents attempt to pull the knife out of the traveler’s lifeless form, Hermes tells her to run, and jumping on top of the motorrad, she is guided by the bike and they make a hasty exit.
With her escape from certain death, Sakura is able to see the outside world for its splendor and beauty and the pair finally come to a halt in a field of crimson flowers. Hermes addresses her as ‘Kino’, asking Kino to stand him up, and Sakura gives up her former name to take on the name of the traveler who had given his life to her.
There really isn’t much for me to say about this episode. It is a nicely reanimated version of Kino’s origin story, and the dogmatic subservience to the nation’s notion of adults gets an upgrade to a bit of religious imagery and making it seem that the nation is theocratic in nature.
Apart from that, I love Kino’s singing though I am not too fond on making original Kino look younger. Though in the context of the story, it made sense to me. He lost his life in his youthful experience, rather than making him close his heart and eyes to the murder of an innocent child by brainwashed people. That probably has a hand in Kino (female) in her future travels. To try to isolate oneself from the comings and goings on of a place but nevertheless sometimes stepping in, much like her old Master in her traveling days.
With the last episode of the series coming this week, I can probably put my stamp of approval of the series then.
And actually talk about Girl’s Last Tour as well.