「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.
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.