Because the new Kino is airing this season, I’ve been inspired to (re)watch the older pieces. I started with the side story Tower Country, also called episode 00. It’s barely 14 minutes long, but that’s enough for us to see everything that’s interesting about the Tower Country. Yes, there’s not much.
For those who don’t know: Kino’s Journey is about Kino’s journeys. Kino travels on a talking motorcycle called Hermes, spending three days in every country and observing whatever brought them there.
In this country its inhabitants have built a tall tower that gets lost among the clouds. Each and every citizen works towards one single goal – to build the tower. No one knows why, though. It’s just their job to build the tower.
I won’t write more about the plot, but I do want to touch on the animation. As you can see from the screenshots, the color palette is earthy with Kino and Hermes in shades of brown, the tower (and the city) in shades of brown and grey. As for the simplicity… well, it was drawn 12 years ago. On the other hand, with Kino’s Journey I feel that the emphasis is on the story, not the visual side of things.
This particular story made me think that people strive with goals. As long as there’s a goal, they don’t care about much. But sometimes the goal picked out for you won’t resonate with you or you just don’t happen to find one by chance. People without goals, without something to strive towards, lead a pitiful life. Still, echoing Cal Newport, there is no purpose waiting to be found. You pick something and try to be the best at it. Whether that’s being the best parent or curing cancer doesn’t matter.
Well, you certainly can call that a tangent. Anyway, bottom line is that the countries Kino visits are food for thought. Not every meaning has to be handed to you on a silver platter. Sometimes you have to look inside of yourself to find out what it means.
Are you watching this year’s Kino? It’s on Crunchyroll.
And have you watched Tower Country?