Thoughts on the Virtue Point system from Kino’s Journey

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I finally managed to catch up a bit more with Kino no Tabi, but I generally haven’t had too much to say about it. If anything, I’d say the show has at least gotten me interested in watching the original. That being said, I wanted to take a moment to talk about episode 9, which was a mashup of multiple countries. In particular, I wanted to talk about the country with the virtue point system as I think it got the short end of the stick.

Technically, this post has spoilers for episode 9 because I’ll be talking about the country that was introduced, but I don’t personally think it changes the viewing experience. Still, consider this a fair warning.

I tend to find moral questions interesting, and this country seemed like a pretty fun thought experiment. On the surface, the episode asks a pretty simple question. If you’re a person who is capable of performing enough good deeds to justify killing a single human being, would you even be capable of performing the act? The episode seems to say “no”.

But I think this question is purposely convoluted to dodge the underlying question. Is it possible to justify killing a human being in cold blood with enough good deeds? It’s easy to say “no” when you’re thinking about the case presented in the episode. If you’re doing good deeds for the express purpose of killing someone, it muddies the water for the deeds themselves.

However, I think the question is important because of the reverse case. If you commit a premeditated murder, is there any number of good deeds that could make up for it? This question kinda gets at how we view justice. How do we think murderers should be punished? Personally, I tend to think of the justice system as a mechanism for rehabilitation if at all possible, so I would probably lean towards saying that it’s possible for redemption to happen.

But yeah, that’s what I was thinking about when I was watching the episode. What do you think?

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