Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau – Episode 12 [I’m Glad I Was Born Here] [Final Impression]
It doesn’t take long for Ouni to squash the twins’ attempt at a rebellion. He taunts them to fight him like they mean it, and this scares them enough that they don’t even attempt to lift a finger towards Ouni when he breaks their feathered flag.
Not long afterwards, Masoo dies. It seems everyone on the Mud Whale shows up for his funeral, and his old friend Kuchiba gives everyone permission to cry publicly for once.
Back in the Empire, Orka and his archivist come under attack by some masked assassins, supposedly sent by Atsali. Luckily for Orka, he doesn’t have to get his hands bloodied – his new jester Liotari takes care of the soldiers for him. Liotari is just as messed up as always, and he’s kissing up to Commander Orka so that Orka will hopefully take him along when he returns to Falaina.
At Atsali’s home, Commander Orka introduces his archivist and says the two of them are going to be getting married. She’s consumed some “sarx” (nous flesh) and this is more resistant to the nous, meaning she has more of her emotions than most people. When Atsali tries to point out that sarx is only for close relatives, Orka mentions that sarx is common in Atsali’s family and so they both have broken the rules. Orka leaves with his archivist, certain that Atsali will meet his request. What makes the the most curious about this scene is why Liotari caved and became one of Orka’s jesters, especially after he displayed such an extreme aversion to doing so in a previous episode. Was he pressured? Threatened? Or does he really just want to return to Falaina THAT bad, and that’s what Orka used to bribe him?
Back on the Mud Whale, Suou pours through the history of their ancestors. Why the Marked live short lives. Why the Unmarked have made an oath to the Marked.
That evening Lykos is alone and feeling sorry for herself as she remembers how Chakuro ran away from her when he accidentally overheard her revealing to Rochalito why the Marked live such short lives. Emma shows up and tries to help make Lykos’ sad emotions go away, but Lykos refuses her offer.
Elsewhere Chakuro is writing still more records, and he relives some memories he had when he was younger. One is of writing with his grandfather, and the other is of writing a description of Sami on a wall somewhere on the Mud Whale so everyone would be able to remember her. Chakuro wakes up in tears, but realizes that the reason he writes everything down is because he wants everyone to always remember those who have died.
The next day Suou calls the inhabitants of the Mud Whale together to reveal to them about why the Marked die so young. The twins show up and again try to sabotage the gathering, going so far as to use their thymia to throw a rock at Suou’s forehead. But again Ouni shows up and puts an end to the ruckus. Throughout everything, Chakuro is writing down the events as they happen.
Suddenly everything starts to shake – Falaina is starting to enter the whirlpools which mark the edge of the “cage” Falaina had spent the last hundred years in. Lykos almost falls over the edge and into the sand ocean, but Chakuro saves her. He explains to her that he’s not mad at her, just sad that he’s lost some friends, but he doesn’t think it’s right to blame Falaina for that.
Oh and Hamu’s back! Yes Chakuro’s original furry friend has a name. I had no idea either. Kokalo leaps up into the air and turns into Falaina’s wings, which causes the shaking to stop. Everyone on the Mud Whale starts singing and dancing together, performing some kind of dance or ritual. Suou tells Ouni that when they land in Amonlogia and meet new people, he’d like Ouni to be the leader of that new community.
In the final moments of the episode, we see Commander Orka gets his new ship complete with a new fleet of soldiers, while inside the Mud Whale Falaina appears to wake up. Also Nelli makes a reappearance, albeit a quick one! Lastly Lykos reaffirms for Chakuro that she wants to stay with him and the others on the Mud Whale. What will happen when they reach Amonlogia??
You’ll have to pardon me if I just gush all over this show because it’s been an incredible season, and I’m really sad this show is over! I mean the notes at the end of the credits say that the story is going to be continued, so I’m hoping there will be a second season at some point, but I’m just so impatient! ^^;;
Story: To me personally, it feels like not a lot happened this season. There was a brief setup and a half before the Mud Whale was attacked, there was the preparation for the second attack and then that whole battle, and then the aftermath. I dunno. I guess it just feels different because three quarters of the material took place in the same location, and without new changes in scenery, the season’s events felt a little stagnant. However I think this is more a criticism of my stupid brain than the show itself, so I’m not about to dock Kujira no Kora any points.
If anything I’m going to throw points at this show for having a really interesting premise. This show captured my interest from the moment I saw the preview, and I feel very fortunate that I got to have this show all to myself. x3
Characters: I think Lykos is my favourite character, with Chakuro as a very close second. I do wish Sami had been alive for longer, as she was really cute and I liked her friendship/crush with Chakuro. Oh man, that episode where he talks to her spirit briefly just had my tears flowing. ;~;
There was a lot of character development, which is always pleasing to see. Not so much with Chakuro but more with characters like Suou and Ouni. Ouni goes from being an intimidating bowel mole to an independent spirit, someone who has experienced loss and a near-death experience to become a stronger individual. As for Suou he becomes a leader of a group of people and must deal with new information and concepts thrown his way, things he’d never even dreamed of because the Council kept most of it a secret. And then he must also put his own feelings aside so he can share this new information with his people and make a wise decision based on what he’s learned. That can’t be easy, and it definitely requires an open mind. The ideas and expectations of the people who live on the Mud Whale change a lot over the course of the season, and a lot of that change is thanks to Suou.
The character I disliked the most? It’s a tie between Orka and Liotari. If I had to pick one then definitely Liotari; his psychopathic nature unnerves me. >>;
Music & Animation: For me, being the animation whore, this category is where Kujira no Kora really shines. The animation – well where do I begin? It’s a wonderful blend of 2D and 3D, with neither outshining the other. Things like thymia, the sand ocean and Falaina’s wings are obviously 3D,but most of Kujira no Kora is done in a “traditional-looking” 2D. It’s just honest-to-god so fucking gorgeous, and is easily the most beautiful show I’ve seen in years. And the blending of 2D and 3D is done perfectly.
And the music? I fucking love both the opening and ending themes (“Sono Saki e” by RIRIKO and Hashitairo” by rionos, respectively), and the themes played throughout the show fit perfectly. If I ever find a copy of the soundtrack I am definitely picking it up.
Overall Thoughts: Beautiful show with incredible animation, and a unique plot to boot, then I definitely recommend watching Kujira no Kora wa Sajou ni Utau! I honestly have no criticisms about this show, and have no reason to give it anything other than a perfect score. I’ll be re-watching it for sure when it premieres on Netflix in 2018. Also, I’m highly considering picking up the manga. (For those who’ve read Kujira no Kora‘s manga, is the manga or the anime better?)
Final Score: 10/10