At first I thought it was odd that this episode had Shizu as the main character visiting the country (Kino doesn’t appear until much later in the episode, though you kind of know they are going to show up and it isn’t much of a surprise when they finally do run into each other). However, given the nature of the story, it kind of made sense.
Shizu isn’t passive or willing to take the not-my-problem approach to injustice that Kino seems to adopt at times and sets about investigating the Ship Country before deciding he needs to fix the problem. It is very reminiscent of shows like Stargate where they encounter a culture and then try to convince them they are wrong because their actions don’t agree with whatever personal philosophy the character has decided on for the week. So Shizu decides to confront those in charge.
After trying for a peaceful solution, he straps on his sword and off he goes to be the hero before running smack into Kino, who being Kino is operating strictly under their own self-interest. Of course Kino chose to stay in the tower rather than become a worker. And of course Kino doesn’t care about the workers. But, when the tower decides to change the ship’s direction upsetting Kino’s travel plans… Suddenly Kino’s self-interest is in-line with Shizu’s. Probably just as well for Shizu. Nice guy but not the brightest bulb in terms of self-preservation or even social studies really.
Yet, the end is fairly predictable. The people ‘saved’ didn’t actually asked to be saved and they kind of liked their status quo. It wasn’t perfect, but they never asked an outsider to mess it up. Then there’s another little twist but it isn’t overly significant so I’ll leave that alone.
I didn’t like this episode as much as previous ones. Mostly because Shizu is a character (or representative of characters) we’ve seen a million times before. Kino’s action in the first three episodes are interesting because they tend to deviate from what you would expect in a given situation. Still, the contrast between the way Kino travels and Shizu this week is quite well done.
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