Finally watched Kino no Tabi after a years-old recc, and I'm curious what the broader analysis on it is, and where we figure it stands. I found the 2003 series was pretty left on a few topics, specifically how many countries provide an allegory for the flawed and ideological way people perceive work and its purpose.
However I've been seeing a few wrinkles to that. I can't help but notice all the times in Kino no Tabi that a revolution against a king is exactly what causes a country to fail (not all but most, and most successful revolutions have the monarch secretly still hanging around,) begging the question of whether the show/books is ultimately projecting a Burkean outlook on the world.
This is compounded by how much emphasis is placed on the individual, though this is somewhat inevitable considering it focuses on a solitary wandering protagonist. However that emphasis on personal responsibility could be easily reframed in a negative way; it would be easy for some right-winger to interpret "country of radio waves" in the 2017 anime, where random murders are blamed on a radio tower that turns out to no longer exist, so that the any sort of institutional critique explaining crime could be imposed metaphorically on the tower, reducing societal dysfunction to purely individual choices.
I know that since there have been Kino stories for 20 years, most of what I've said may well be overturned in another tale–but do my my critiques stick?
What do YOU make of Kino no Tabi?
Also: Kino's 2003 hat is superior to the 2017 hat.