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Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau – 06

「明日、人を殺してしまうかもしれない」 (Ashita, hito o koroshi te shimau kamo shire nai)
“Tomorrow, I Might End Up Having To Kill Someone”

Eve of the War

Child soldiers always make my stomach twist and turn, even if it cannot be avoided within this particular fictional setup. The adults have vastly inferior Thymia, leaving no other practical alternative to fight off the invasion. However, it’s a terrible situation I cannot wrap my head around, because I know I will struggle seeing the corpses of kids, even if it’s not ‘real’ per se. At first, the idea of mass suicide sounded really crazy, and I harshly criticised the elders last episode. But I can sort of see their reasoning in the perspective offered by Rasha. You either die with your conscience intact, or live long enough to become a monster that sacrifices children. Even supposing that these children do not die, being forced to take lives would definitely warp them for the worse. To that end, I can understand why the elders do not want the blood and trauma of children on their hands. However, I think that fighting to survive remains the vastly better choice out of two evils. But with the insight Rasha provided, can we still call it a correct decision?

Nibi and Ouni

We get a flashback fleshing out the incredible bond that Nibi has shared with Ouni since childhood, making it through thick and thin with a rag-tag bunch of fellow orphans, following a silly altercation of sorts. What intrigues me is how Ouni, who is universally viewed as the group leader, recognises Nibi as being his leader. Going back to when they were children, Nibi was actually the one who validated Ouni’s raison d’etre in the bowels, by proclaiming that he would take him to find a better place beyond the island. Now that I think about it, this could explain why Nibi seems so set on joining the mission. He wants to keep true to the promise he made many years ago, and we can see that for Ouni, it truly means the whole world to him.

Let me preface my next statement, by saying I don’t typically buy into how anime as a medium presents homosexual relations. That said, I feel this moment between Ouni and Nibi hark back to the intimate brotherhood shared by Patroclus and Achilles from the Iliad. In my opinion, there is much romance to be had in the Ancient Grecian notions of love. As such, I would love to see this being explored, since it would further expand the way in which Kujira draws from the influence of Classical civilisation. Not to mention, it’s been said that Ouni has never been seen crying. If he couldn’t even shed tears for the two comrades that fell in the last invasion, it would possibly take Nibi’s death to push him over the edge.

The Sand-Throwing Festival

Cultural traditions such as the Sand Throwing Festival really augment the extent of Kujira’s gorgeous world-building. In the context of a society where people die at young ages, I suppose it makes sense to commemorate these transient yet beautiful lives. I’m glad that the event was not cancelled given the difficult times, since it managed to convey a strength of compassion, which continued to shine through despite everyone’s grief. Not to mention, the sparkling of sand scattering across the wind managed to strike a somber note deep inside of me.

Seeing how Chakuro rescued Lykos from her plight, I’m not surprised that she’s begun developing feelings towards him. But the Sand Throwing Festival shows us that Chakuro has yet to move on from Sami. Memories of the deceased girl remain fresh, and imprint a deep wound onto his heart. I actually think Chakuro gets a lot of unfair criticism, especially when it concerns his crying. The boy is a sensitive soul, who had to watch the love of his life getting senselessly slaughtered right before his eyes. If he didn’t cry, or if he had quickly bounced back and recovered, my estimation of his character would have severely decreased. Knowing and loving someone intimately, and for most of your life at that, is not something that goes away in a matter of days.

The Other Half

Seems like my previous hypothesis on Neri was wildly off the mark. Turns out the other personality is Ema, who currently claims to be a twin sister, manifesting occasionally as a separate consciousness. Anyway, I hope that Ema shows ethereal visions to teach Chakuro about Falaina’s history. The dream sequence demonstrated by Neri was absolutely exquisite if we’re talking about artistic value, and plays into the mystical fantasy element that I would associate as being one of the stronger aspects in Kujira. Therefore, it would please me to see them happen on a more regular basis.

Concluding Thoughts

The threat of total annihilation is not being fully utilised. Kujira needs to work on capturing feelings of fear and uncertainty, that are bound to engulf people faced by such overwhelming adversity. At the moment, the characters are simply taking events as they come, and emotions to me seem just as fleeting as the lives of Thymia users. They don’t concern themselves over the possibility their mission might fail, which artificially deflates what should be significantly higher in terms of stakes. Fundamentally, there’s a lack of urgency, which makes it hard to feel immersed in the crisis presented to us. However, I do not expect the operation to go smoothly and reckon there will be a good number of casualties resulting from this attempted infiltration. I personally look forwards to seeing how things pan out, because it may facilitate a darker turn of events, that will be sure to elicit some savoury reactions from our cast.

Preview

November 18, 2017 at 8:18 am
7 comments »
  • November 18, 2017 at 8:31 amWorldwidedepp

    Hmmm.. Episode 06… Now the found (or are about to find it) the will ti fight back?. But these ones they want to fight, are there more of them or are they alone? I mean these Kids here, are they fighting some Insanity Maniacs only living on this High Tech Whale or are there more of them that in the end want to revenge them?

    But Episode 06 out of xx Episodes? perhaps their focus was more on their drive in how they find the will to fight, lesser then the action

    i dunno.. i have a little bit problems with the pacing

    • November 18, 2017 at 9:21 amZaiden

      For all its shortcomings, there is certainly no shortage of things to talk about, when it comes to Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau. As for the answers to your question, expect to get them as the story slowly unfolds. I also believe that Kujira will only be 12-13 episodes, which could explain why it’s getting rushed.

      There are definitely issues with the pacing. However, there were some really interesting themes which I wanted to discuss, which I consequently prioritised over other matters. Believe me, I had to cut out 500+ words covering other areas, simply because it would have been too much to digest.

      Anyway, I actually think this episode has effectively ‘reset’ the pacing. What the show decides to do with this is anybody’s guess.

  • November 18, 2017 at 11:35 amsealouse

    I really liked this episode. So Neri returned to Falaina’s belly to heal her wounds. Will she be reborn at some point?

    Also Ouni just appeared out of nowhere eh? more pointless mystery, but I’m used to it by now.

    • November 19, 2017 at 3:43 amZaiden

      It would be quite interesting if Neri was Unmarked, while Ema was Marked. Would Ema die before Neri, or would they both die young, or would they both live to a ripe old age? I think that’s unlikely, given how Neri has displayed some supernatural tendencies. I assume she’ll be reborn again, and that her slumber is a temporary withdrawal.

      As for Ouni’s appearance, I think it ties in with the idea of there being other ethnicities/factions out there. The citizens of the Mud Whale look European for the most part, while Ouni looks Oriental. I think he probably comes from another country, given the ambiguity of his origins. Above all, I’m expecting this to become relevant during future attempts at crafting alliances.

  • November 19, 2017 at 3:28 amAki-Chan

    I find it interesting/weird that Ouni essentially came from nowhere. Admittedly we’re missing something considering his backstory was told from Nibi’s viewpoint but still. I always got the sense that the Mud Whale was a bit like a small town (not literally, I know the Mud Whale is kinda big in size) in that everyone at least knows OF each other, if not actually knowing each other, so how a kid randomly appears with nobody aware of who his parents are or anything is a little weird. Still, I’m in agreement with you about Ouni and Nibi’s relationship and what it could be, though admittedly I haven’t really been thinking about the nature of it, just that it’s a beautiful thing to behold. And I quite like Nibi as a character in his own right though I really couldn’t put a finger on the reasons why.

    The Sand Returning scenes were absolutely beautiful (those pink skies, so gorgeous), and the bit with Chakuro was particularly emotional. Definitely the best part of the episode by far, in my opinion.

    • November 19, 2017 at 3:34 amZaiden

      The citizens of the Mud Whale look European for the most part, while Ouni looks Oriental. I think he probably comes from another country, given the ambiguity of his origins. Above all, I’m expecting this to become relevant during future attempts at crafting alliances.

  • November 23, 2017 at 12:35 amHunter-Wolf

    I think Rasha was actually testing their resolve instead of trying to stop them from using children to counter the incoming attack (i think that’s why we see her smiling at the end after they reaffirm their resolve to fight back at any cost), she seems different from the other elders in a lot of ways.

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