Kino’s Journey Episode 2: Story Crafting Done Right


Review – Episode Spoiler Ahead:

There was something magical about this episode even as we started with a vision of a woman speaking with Kino in an incredibly ambiguous fashion and then we get straight into a new country, one that Kino has apparently been wanting to visit. Yet on arrival, things are not as expected (which plays directly into the audiences’ expectations).


For a set up so common, what Kino’s Journey then does is  take us through a rather thought provoking series of events that have us both backing Kino and question their choice in how to deal with the situation. Other characters similarly have ambiguous motives so while the plot progresses in a more or less routine fashion there is plenty for the audience to contemplate.


What truly works though isn’t the shocking climax of the fights, because that was pretty telegraphed by Kino’s earlier question about stray bullets and a number of other hints, but rather just how well all the moments of this episode connect.


Perhaps the most powerful scene of all comes after Kino leaves the country and is throwing rocks into the water. The conversation between Kino and Hermes is both illuminating and maddeningly vague leading you to speculate about the intentions of the characters involved.

All and all though, this episode really stepped up defied my expectation that this episodic series might be dull. This episode was truly a treat to watch.

Thanks for reading.

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Karandi James.


4 thoughts on “Kino’s Journey Episode 2: Story Crafting Done Right

  1. I have to say, I prefer the 2003 version.
    There were a lot of little differences, but mostly I think it was the decision to make the Coliseum a two parter.
    It granted them the time to have each built play out as a full scene, including conversations that personalized the motives for each character fighting.
    One fought to counter his own lack of self worth, while another believed that fighting was the way, that the strong kill the weak, earning the right to continue living.
    Shizu was much the same, but, again, I liked spending more time with him.
    This version felt too rushed for my taste.

    It was also interesting because in the original version the story cuts away after Kino’s victory, to Kino and Hermes discussing the situation, before flashing back to Kino’s proclamation, which felt like a nice way to break up what really are two distinct resolutions, the resolution of the fight and the resolution of the law.
    In the original they never showed the aftermath of the new law, which left audiences open to interpret it for themselves.
    I admit, I imagined a more orderly application, with individuals formally meeting in the colosseum as a pair, rather than the all-out melee that ensued.

    But yeah, considering this episode featured two levels of narrative; Kino’s extensive personal conflict, and the challenge of understanding this country, I think the 2003 version made the right choice in extending this story to two episodes.

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