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Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau – 04, 05 »« Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau – 02

Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau – 03

「こんな世界は、もうどうでもいい」 (Konna sekai wa, mou dou demo ii)
“I’ve Had Enough Of This World”

Genocide of Falaina

I had always expected that people would eventually die. However, I did expect it to come so soon, and in such a brutal way. For a naïve civilisation that didn’t know evil, or how to fend for itself, Falaina’s exposure to the outside world came at an incredibly steep price. The result? A full-blown genocide. If you’re in doubt, to the point of requiring an anecdotal example, consider Christopher Colombus and his cruel subjugation of the American-Indian tribes. Or the now extinct Dodos, who continued to approach humans bearing arms, despite being killed en masse. You may be frustrated, and think it’s stupid how people didn’t fight back. But precedence shows it has happened within the very annals of our collective history. Hence it would be unfair to describe the massacre as poor and unrealistic writing, regarding this particular point. Most people on the Mud Whale die at a really young age anyway, due to the exertions of Thymia, so a vast majority of the population already consisted of kids. Seeing them getting senselessly massacred made me feel so much anger and despair, the kind I get when I read about the Syrian refugee crisis in the news, with the picture of (Warning: Graphic Contenta dead three year old boy getting washed up on a beach. After all, what have these kids done to deserve any of this?

When it came to Sami’s death, Chakuro’s voice acting was superb. You could really feel the emotion, especially regret, getting caught up in his throat. This actually reminds me of something. A very close friend of mine unexpectedly lost her father at a young age, and she is perpetually haunted by her final moment with him. He developed a stroke while they were having a heated argument. I wish I could tell Chakuro it’s not his fault. I wish I could tell him that Sami probably knew deep inside her heart how much he loved and cared about her. I wish I could tell Chakuro that Sami wouldn’t want him to feel guilty about teasing her the day before, and to live on with a smile on his face. But no amount of reassurance can alleviate the grieving process, for only time can heal such terrible wounds that scar our hearts. The loss of a loved one is not the only burden, as survivor’s guilt also comes into play. Watching events unfold, I found it incredibly hard to take, and I could feel myself slightly tearing up too.

However, subtlety completely flew out of the window during the second half of the episode. I honestly thought someone had whacked me on the head with a frying pan, as if to repeatedly illustrate a point I already knew. Did anyone else find Liontari’s introduction jarring? I understand that he needs to be framed as this twisted villain. However, they mark completely overstepped the mark. We didn’t even get a moment to properly grieve, and salt was already being rubbed into fresh injuries. Chakuro’s revulsion and fury towards Liontari was understandable. I also came to instantly hate this sickening clown, when he handled Sami’s corpse with a playful lack of respect. But I also felt really confused. How could someone lack emotion, yet take delight in other people’s suffering? I won’t question the specifics of how the Nous deprive emotion, because it does not seem like a blanket severance judging by Liontari as well as Lykos herself. To that end, I’m expecting these seemingly contradictory problems to be addressed at a future date, a matter I concede to be deeply unsatisfactory.

Concluding Thoughts

True to its inspiration from classical civilisation, Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau bore hallmarks of an Ancient Greek tragedy. I have often claimed that tragedy is usually derived from the tears of those who live, as opposed to the moment of passing. This was poignantly demonstrated during the funeral procession, where nobody could stop their tears from flowing, even though it went against Falaina’s custom and tradition. I couldn’t stop crying either, as the survivors raised their hands to the sky, using their Thymia to provide safe passage for the deceased in their caskets. It was a breath-takingly beautiful moment, that thoroughly conveyed a broad sense of catharsis. Rest in peace, departed souls. Your lives may have been short, but I hope that death came swiftly, with a minimal amount of suffering.

Kujira starts off incredibly, and I would even suggest that the world-building reaches a similar level to Shin Sekai Yori, while far exceeding it in respects to visual quality. Unfortunately, the script somehow undid much of the intricacy that went into crafting such a spectacular world. The exposition took a nosedive, with Liontari’s introduction being a clumsy offender. Any kind of pleasant immersion was badly disrupted by how he got shoehorned in. Not to mention, odd pauses frequently occurred during tense situations where characters gave speeches, while having guns pointed at them. It is beyond beggar’s belief, that the enemy actually gave them a chance to complete sentences without firing a single shot. Although the potential hasn’t been destroyed, it’s such a shame that this episode suffered a huge drop in story-telling quality due to inconsistencies.

However, I fully believe that with the help of Netflix funding, JC Staff can still make something special happen. Therefore, I will give Kujira some benefit of the doubt, and continue to give coverage for the rest of this season. Thank you for reading my post, and I look forwards to giving extended coverage into the foreseeable future!

Preview

October 24, 2017 at 10:50 am
20 comments »
  • October 24, 2017 at 11:22 amWorldwidedepp

    3 Episode test passed. But i jump this Episode and wait for the next one

  • October 24, 2017 at 12:20 pmPanino Manino

    And that’s it for me, no thank you.

    • October 24, 2017 at 5:41 pmZaiden

      To each their own.

      • October 24, 2017 at 6:55 pmPanino Manino

        Like I said last time, about the characters behaving too much like anime characters. I still had hopes but that “problem” increased tenfold and overall is not all that interesting.
        Being good looking is not enough to bother following weekly.
        If it ends being actually good then maybe I can continue one day, keep to good work.

  • October 24, 2017 at 3:29 pmNaweGR

    Inuyashiki and now this. One gets the impression that Nihon feels you can’t hate a character unless you find them thoroughly revolting. Not sure why the version hear bothered me less than the bathtub scene in Inu, but I hope two episodes in the same week visiting the same subject of ruthless unsensing death is not a sign of things to come.

    • October 24, 2017 at 5:50 pmZaiden

      In recent times, Urachi from Sakurada Reset was an excellent villain. He wasn’t a paragon of evil, but came close to being a human being with flawed but relatable ideals. Too bad he only showed up in the final few episodes.

      However, if we’re talking about this particular archetype of twisted individuals, Johan Liebert from Monster is how to do it right. My favourite example ever is probably Cathy Ames from ‘East of Eden’. These explore the idea, that if humans can be born with physical disabilities (i.e. lacking a limb), what’s to stop one from being born without empathy? Is it necessarily their fault, if they can’t help it?

  • October 24, 2017 at 3:30 pmAngelus

    Dodos were my first thought too. And my second thought was “how come this guy who is supposed to have no emotions is clearly taking such extreme delight in all the dodo-slaughter?” And my third thought was that I’d accidentally flipped over to some shounen battle show where your opponents will stand respectfully still in the midst of battle while you have a conversation.

    So yes, I was looking forward to really loving this show, but now I’m not so sure. I guess I’ll give it a few more episodes just in case.

    • October 24, 2017 at 4:55 pmZaiden

      Hey Angelus! I find your choice much more sensible and well-advised, compared to dropping Kujira on a whim. That said, I can see why people have lost their patience. Tis a real shame.

      I do think the show lost a bit of what made it so special, that it can never have back, following this transition into an action packed pacing. Only time can tell whether it’s completely lost its charm, or whether it has a shot at regaining some former glory.

  • October 24, 2017 at 4:10 pmGlutton

    The whole slaughtering scene felt so generic and left me quite cold, which is a shame because the artwork is brilliant.

    • October 24, 2017 at 5:52 pmZaiden

      Perhaps the slaughtering might have been underwhelming, particularly with these soldiers switching between randomly shooting up, then slowly marching onto their targets.

      However, what did you think about the funeral procession? What did you think of the grief exhibited by the living? In my opinion, those portrayals were worthy of merit. Then again, I did have to watch the episode twice (second time for screencaps), so I got much greater exposure to the events that happened.

      • October 25, 2017 at 2:41 amGlutton

        Again, I could only give credit to the visuals. Like other critics, I can’t relate to the characters. It feels as if the show is trying too hard to force certain emotions among its viewers.

  • October 24, 2017 at 4:20 pmkyaeos

    II presumed Liontari was just a sociopath/psychopath as opposed to regular people with their emotions removed. Or rather than emotions, empathy? At some point in the future Lykos’ people might end getting their emotions back and it might turn out that Liontari never had any to begin with.

    Anyway here’s a quote from the reddit thread for this episode by KaliYugaz:
    ‘My guess is that the Nous causes alexithymia, which is the inability to cognitively process the emotions that you (and other people) do have (a-lexi-thymia: meaning “no words for emotions” in Greek). Such people still technically do have feelings and can exhibit strong outbursts of emotional expression, but their inability to understand those emotions makes them basically sociopathic, unimaginative, and incapable of relating to others. Which is the perfect state of mind for a genocidal cult.’

    • October 25, 2017 at 3:06 amAngelus

      Now that at least would make some kind of sense, and ties into Lykos’ repeated response of “I lack that”. Though if you need to consult outside sources to understand something then isn’t that showing up faults in the storytelling? Or maybe there’s some subtlety in the original dialogue that’s being lost in translation.

      • October 25, 2017 at 8:23 pmkyaeos

        I think that it’s mostly bad direction, but I’m interested/enthralled enough in the worldbuilding, art and characters to continue with the show. It’s a shame though because with better direction a lot of these moments could have had much more impact.

  • October 24, 2017 at 9:23 pmAvalon

    Jeez, what is with all of you? While Liontari’s appearance was unexpected, it by no means ruined anything. Guess what, the atmosphere we were enveloped in was of the characters of the mud whale. These people are mainly peaceful and know nothing of the outside world. Liontari is an enigma to them and to us. Of course it felt jarring. The atmosphere suddenly changed from the usual peace to unexplained violence.

    This episode was still fantastic and has me hopeful that this show will remain one of the best of the season.

  • October 24, 2017 at 10:19 pmLittle Tangerine

    Although I’m no longer going to follow this series except via RandomC to take delight in its beautiful artwork, I realized that this series is actually quite profound. Hear me out:

    I never understood why people can just bring on a genocide to another group of people — flesh and blood, with creativity and intellect like our own. I never understood the intricacies of how de-humanizing works. But this episode made me understand.

    The characters in this series irritated me. They bored me. Their anime mannerisms and superficiality gave me no pleasure. To me, they were a waste of time-space. And my logic is, since I’m in a suspended state of belief, and view them as real people, that if they were indeed a waste of space, they shouldn’t be taking up space and resources. In conclusion, they should disappear from this Earth. And with current day’s technology, there’s no other way to delete them than to kill them. This realization made me realize the trigger points that allowed people to kill others with no guilt and regret. It’s almost a cathartic process, like you’re cleansing the Earth.

    I grieved a long time after Mitty’s (Abyss) death. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten over it, because a fish I had care for for eight years died roughly around the same time as when that final episode aired, and he was old and disfigured like Mitty. I’ve realized that empathy only comes when there’s enough reason for one to feel empathetic (like any other emotion), since it takes so much time and energy and caloric input, as intense emotions require.

  • October 26, 2017 at 3:18 pmfrubam

    Oh boy, when you get dem Now and Then, Here and There vibes D0=…

    It was sad seeing the senseless slaughter, but I have to say I too was getting d*** frustrated that none of them used their powers(or not) to defend themselves, or at least escape(if you’ve watched NTHT, you know exactly what I felt >=0[). Sure in NTHT, Shuu was getting beaten bloody almost every time, and most of the bad stuff he was trying to prevent still happened, but at least he TRIED. Of course logically, its understandable, since they are not a fighting people, but I’d at least like to see power contested, even if the result is the same.

    That dude who slapped Ouni really pissed me off. Your people are getting slaughtered left and right, and you complain about torturing a few mooks??? How about telling the enemy that ‘death is unforgivable’, instead of hiding away in some corner while s*** goes down. Glad that girl told him off; while fighting isn’t the answer to everything, his actions this episode were a godsend.

    • October 26, 2017 at 3:21 pmfrubam

      Press submit instead of preview =0\

      Just wanted to add that there’s no way I’ll drop this now. When events like this episode happen, that makes me all the more invested into seeing how the antagonists get their comeuppance. In NTHT, the main antagonist’s comeuppance was absolutely GLORIOUS… and I expect something similar for this series.

  • October 27, 2017 at 10:30 amMami kouga

    I’ve finally been able to pinpoint exactly why I disagree with the people who dropped the series due to the massacre – it’s because they expected shinsekaI yori yet didn’t.
    In shinsekai yori, the humans where in charge of the situation. They were secretive, hid their issues behind their seemingly peaceful mannerisms and trained with odd powers just like this series, but they had control over what was going on an took measures accordingly both to maintain secrecy and control those who threatened. What this series did was switch the main point – control. I’ll refrain from spoiling the little after the manga revealed, but if there’s anything the sudden massacre proved, they never really had control over their own lives and just spent their time waiting.

    In that sense I guess they’d be of a mix of the mutant rats and humans from that series, some of the humans mannerisms, with the rats positions.

    I don’t know what to say on psychotic boy though, I remember reading in the manga that he seemed to have been indirectly rejected by that thing and it refused to take his emotions, as a result he was left with hid urge to kill and was shunned accordingly by those around him. At least that what I remember.

  • October 28, 2017 at 12:46 ammrsDrissi

    I already read the manga so I have been hesitant to watch it and I am definitely skipping this episode. I can relate to the feelings of anger and despair, since that picture of little three year old Alan Kurdi lying dead on that beach in Greece it seems to be the state of my emotions every other day. Perhaps I overreact, maybe because I am a mother, watching children die even if it’s not real is just too much for me.

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