「雲の中で」 (Kumo no Naka de)
“In the Clouds”

This week’s episode might not have had much of Kino in it, but instead, we follow a girl who is later named Photo (Minase Inori). Photo’s entrapment in the camp of wealthy slavers puts her religious affiliations through a rough test as her beliefs to deny hatred or obey orders come at odds with her harsh captors. Despite being given the knowledge that her village pawned her off as an orphan to these people who cruelly mock her, her constitution is strong as she hold onto the affirmation that she would rather die than commit any sins against her moral code.

What ends up pushing her to the edge, however, is remembering that the greens that her slavers cooked into their soup were poisonous when it was too late. She goes through a myriad of different thoughts and actions in her anxiety and despair over accidentally killing everyone in the camp. She tries to warn them about the poisonous soup, and becomes distraught enough to try to drink some herself, but her efforts come undone in an ironic twist of fate as a child throws rocks at her and her soup bowl for his own enjoyment.

Her struggle begs to question how far someone’s moral barometer can be stretched for the sake of self-preservation. She’s willing to die several times during the episode, but as she overhears a boy in the village wanting to buy the slave so he can mutilate her, she screams in horror in a tone that, after a while, sounds like that sharp noise teenagers used to put as their ringtone to send messages in class without the teacher knowing.

She also admits to the old man who was only mostly dead from the soup and sympathized with her that she had begun to feel horrible about the thought of letting everyone die appearing in her head. It scared her that her convictions were constantly challenged by her judgement on whether she should’ve put in the effort to try and stop them from eating the deadly soup. The older man also saw it fit that he wanted to push her to think beyond her self-destructive beliefs by taking the gun she intended on dying with, and turning the barrel on himself at the last minute. The older man is one of the more fascinating villagers in the camp as he pities her way more than the others, but also becomes her greatest challenge as the actions he takes to make sure she lives and moves forward deliberately contradict her morals.

Additionally, the motorrad Sou (Ogata Megumi) she finds in their wagon after killing the villagers, she’s applauded for the clever way she took everyone out even though it was the furthest of her intentions. The motorrad encourages her to find a new lease on life as it tells her the best way to die is to keep on living. Although she spent much of her enslavement seeing the poor circumstances she’s stuck in as fate’s test on whether she’s earned the right to live or not, it is the ideas of those outside of her faith that ultimately act as the catalyst for her to move onward to a different town where she was able to make a prosperous living as a photographer.

It wasn’t the most eventful episode of the series, but it was fascinating to see how other characters within the universe survive and persist without Kino. The series paints such a unique world where you can have peaceful villages, technologically advanced nations, and backwards countries where tyranny and slavery are prominent. Photo’s journey from being an orphan to a slave to a free photographer was a riveting watch, especially when it explored the inner turmoil she faced as she’s faces and overcomes her worst fears head-on. It was heartwarming to see how charming she looked now that she is able to take care of herself and live comfortably. I’m also proud that I could pinpoint that Sou was voiced by Ogata right off the bat because I knew it sounded suspiciously like Komaeda when Sou got cheery about the way Photo took everyone out. But it’ll be interesting to see how many stories we’ll get that are self-contained without Kino’s direct involvement.

ANNOUNCEMENT! Next Friday, I’ll be away for a trip. I’ll be back in time for Imouto sae and Animegataris, but I’ll miss out on the initial release of Kino no Tabi Episode 07. Because of this, don’t be too alarmed if another writer picks up Kino no Tabi next week or if I make a double post of 07 and 08 the week after.


      1. I also feel that the old series is better, but this may be because the earlier chapters of the novel are better (I haven’t read the novel, so I’m not sure). However, Ryutaro Nakamura’s direction of the coliseum episodes (episodes 6 and 7) in the old series is definitely better than Tomohisa Taguchi’s handling of the same story (episode 2) in the new one. On the whole, I think Taguchi’s storytelling is a bit rush and sometimes confusing. Yet, we are still only six episodes into the new series and I still enjoy watching every new episode on every week.

        The suffocated
    1. Only a couple of the stories from the original anime made it into the adaptation, but not knowing whether the stories are too rushed or just right is effective in having me reserve my judgement and take some of the stories based on how this adaptation tells them. I’m just glad some of them like this one don’t feel like they’re racing too quickly through them.

  1. Again, haven’t watched the episode yet, but I look forward to it. I read the translated story, and I just want to say, Photo is a really nice person. I’ll post a better reply once I watch the episode.

  2. Honestly I don’t think she did have any reason to feel guilty. For one they didn’t listen to her when she tried to say something. And secondly she didn’t remember they were poisonous until they were about to eat anyways. They made the food, they decided to eat using something growing on the ground that they didn’t know about, and they silenced the girl who did try to warn them.

    People can act irrationally so her feeling bad isn’t that shocking. But…glad she’s found a way to live happily. Out of everyone in this episode, she was the best human being among them.

    1. I was left disappointed with the man with the rifle.
      Had a feeling that he would stated that he could help her in some way but would refuse for some reason like “she wasn’t worth it”. I thought he had something to say about her blind faith, about how she, by leaving all hope to faith was preventing anything good to happen to her and most of the hurt and pain in her life was her fault. That if people didn’t “understand” she needed to help them teaching them.
      At the end she was convinced to not end her life, and that’s it. Will live in blissful ignorance?

    2. Arguments like these are pretty stupid tbh. When you are in any way connected to someone’s death, you instinctively feel a large dose of guilt. Unless you are a Sociopath, no reason or rationality will save you from it. It’s easy to judge when you are an observer, but things are not as simple when you are part of it.

      Lord Nayrael
      1. Of course she would feel guilty, I’m not saying that she shouldn’t.
        I’m talking about her passive instance in life, that “trick” situation about religion and faith. On one hand it helps you endure but on other hand maybe, in some cases, it may also rob you of the strength to overcome your own struggles. She could do something, anything, at any point and always choose to do nothing. Even to kill herself, I refuse to believe that that gun had just one bullet, and if it was the case she could just jump. Anyway, always waiting for someone or something.

    3. I think the crisis came from how much strain the whole situation put on her religious upbringing. She had lived in a bubble up until this point, and had no idea how to deal with people who were vicious, cruel, and demeaning to her until she faced the slavers. The combination of failing to save them from soup she helped make and secretly hoping that they would all die from the soup made her feel like she was deviating from her faith’s teachings.

      It took Sou for her to reflect on the idea that they would have beat her and accused her of lying if she spoke up, and that she shouldn’t feel bad about trying to live.

  3. If anyone’s interested, below are links to some translations of Photo’s story.

    Part 1: http://untuned-strings.blogspot.ca/2012/12/kinos-journey-volume-12-chapter-10.html
    Part 2: https://www.baka-tsuki.org/project/index.php?title=Kino_no_Tabi:Volume15_Chapter4

    Given how the episode is already out, I’m not sure if this can be classified as a spoiler, but the translations give a bit more insight into Photo and Sou. It’s definitely worth a read.

  4. I just finished the episode just now. Photo really is too good of a person. At least she has a happy ending. I really don’t know what to say about this episode. Though unrealistic and unhealthy it may be, all the power to Photo for sticking to her beliefs like that. She tried to warn them and tried to kill herself in order to ‘make up for her failure’? Sorry, this episode is so hard to talk about. I just can’t really find the words to describe Photo and the situation. Self-contained dpisodes like this are kind of nice once in a while, where it’s hard to talk about (at least for me), and it’s better to just enjoy it.

    I suppose what happened to the caravan could be considered karma. The old guy at least tried to give her a choice. Whether it was to repent for his actions or to perhaps bring about a change in Photo’s life, it’s hard telling.

    It’s not really much of a spoiler, especially since the episode’s out, but below are some links to fan translations of Kino’s Journey chapters showcasing Photo’s story. It gives a bit more insight into Photo’s thoughts so it’s definitely worth checking out. It also tells a bit more about Photo’s journey.

    Part 1: http://untuned-strings.blogspot.ca/2012/12/kinos-journey-volume-12-chapter-10.html
    Part 2: https://www.baka-tsuki.org/project/index.php?title=Kino_no_Tabi:Volume15_Chapter4
    Part 3: https://www.baka-tsuki.org/project/index.php?title=Kino_no_Tabi:Volume3_Prologue
    Part 4: https://www.baka-tsuki.org/project/index.php?title=Kino_no_Tabi:Volume3_Epilogue

    The last two were a snippet of Kino. Fun fact: Photo’s journey could be considered as a kind of continuation of Kino’s events given when they were published.


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