「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 Content) a 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.
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!