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Overview

「Land of Illness」—For You— (「病気の国」 ("Byōki no Kuni") —For You—) is the tenth and final chapter of the fifth volume of Kino's Journey —the Beautiful World—. It has been adapted into a feature film.

Synopsis

Kino and Hermes arrive at what they have been told is an advanced and beautiful country where people can stay inside buildings their entire lives. The heart of the country is situated inside a smaller wall surrounding a tall building and dome, hidden within what Hermes describes as a dreary place.

When they finally arrive at their destination, it is around noon. The officers at this inner gate state that the country would cover all of Kino's expenses during her three day stay in the country as long as everything Kino brought along with her - including Hermes - was to go under a thorough cleaning and disinfecting.

The city was indeed clean and orderly, as they had been told. The guards explain the dome which overs the city filters out harmful rays from the sun, and inside this enclosed area, the air, temperature and humidity is all regulated. Due to this, Kino is requested to attach a muffler and exhaust filter to Hermes.

The guards reveal that the city was established ten years ago after the country expanded their territory, though the original country was the city itself, and the new territory - the area outside the dome- became known as the countryside. Villages were established in this countryside, housing volunteers, or "pioneers" who work to reclaim the wasteland to become more hospitable.

When Kino arrives at the hotel, she is requested by the owner and his wife to meet with their sick daughter and share with her some stories of her travels. She obliges, and the next day, pays a visit to the hospital. This is where she meets Inertia. The four - Kino, Inertia and her parents- have lunch while Kino talks of her travels.

When Inertia's parents leave after the meal, the two girls begin to talk about Inertia herself. Inertia has been sick for two years, with an illness that has no cure. However, a drug had recently been developed that could delay the progress of the disease, making Inertia hopeful that a cure would soon be found. She hoped to return to both school and her home.

She tells Kino that she - and her parents- wished to go to the countryside, though her family could inevitably not due to their obligations regarding the hotel. She states that there was someone she wished to meet and requested that Kino keep it a secret. With Kino's promise, the reader learns that Inertia had met this person, Logue, the year before when he visited the hospital for a medical examination. They were the same age, and became quick friends as they were both interested in the countryside. With Logue and his family were in the process to become pioneers for the countryside, and Inertia unable to leave the hospital, the two decided to exchange letters monthly. She talks to Kino excitedly about the letters she receives from him and the progress on the reclamation that he writes to her about. She comments that his letters comfort her after her medicine intake, and that they are a source of encouragement for her.

With the sun beginning to set, Kino prepares to leave for the day. Inertia requests for Kino to help her with a delivery, as only letters are permitted to be sent through the post. She had made a bird brooch for Logue, but was unable to fit it in the envelope. Inertia states that it was a good luck charm for Logue's farm and wellbeing.

The next morning, Kino and Hermes begin their journey to the 42nd Pioneer Village; Logue's home. Though the two are puzzled at why the village is not marked on their map, they quickly change the topic to Logue, and wonder what his reaction would be like when he receives Inertia's gift. However, when they arrive at the village, they find it devoid of people; the fields empty. The villages were pristine and crops neatly harvested, making Hermes wonder if the villagers had all simply moved away.

It is at this time that they notice a lone car approach them. The lone person in the vehicle, a man in his early twenties, identifies himself as Lieutenant Cole of the 3rd Special Security Squad. He tells the duo that the village was made for experimetal purposes, and not currently available. His expression changes when Kino tells him that she is there to deliver something to the village's post office, and asks if it is for Logue.

Lt. Cole guides Kino and Hermes a ways out of the village, to a concrete two-storey building. He tells them that this is the post office that they were looking for, and that he, like some soldiers, are assigned to these types of post offices. Kino places the box containing the charm on the table, and asks if Lt. Cole can deliver it, as her job is done.

Lieutenant Cole tells them that it is impossible, as Logue died four days over a half year ago. The reader learns that three years ago, the doctors reached the limits of animal testing and began to search for a cure while testing on humans. With this notion gaining more and more support, a new program with "special pioneers" began, made up of a group of people who lived in the poorest sectors and had no other relatives. The inhabitants of the 42nd Pioneer Village was chosen to become test subjects a half year ago - they were attacked with sleeping gas during the night, transported by truck to an establishment inside the city and were used in various types of experiments. Lt. Cole tells Kino that he did not know details, but was told that Logue was dissected alive and turned into a specimen. The medicine Inertia takes for her illness was developed around this time, and the 42nd Pioneer Village was preserved.

Lt. Cole also reveals that he is the one who continues to write to Inertia past Logue's death, though his primary task is to inspect the letters who pass through the post office. He states that Logue's case was extremely rare, as it was unlikely for special pioneers to receive mail. However, due to Logue and Inertia's bond, letters were received and sent every month, with the two encouraging each other. Lt. Cole laments that he was unable to send Inertia a letter on Logue's death, and instead, carried on replying to Inertia's letters. He was terrified that he would be exposed as an imposter, but continued to do so, not knowing why.

Kino then tells Lt. Cole that the brooch Inertia had made was, in this case, for him, in which he replies that he would need to write Inertia a reply. He also states that there are plans to send a new group of test subjects to the village, and he would be once again in charge of post office work. He tries to kill Kino as she leaves, but does not succeed.

Ten days after Kino's departure of the country, Inertia receives a letter that thanks her for the gift, and states that he wishes to have a long talk with her when she recovers and is able to travel to the village.

Film differences

  • The countryside and ruined buildings that are shown in the beginning of the film are not present in the beginning of the chapter.
  • Cameras are present in the film to watch the people in the countryside.
  • Hermes and Kino enter the country with the hopes of repairing the clutch gear, which is damaged only in the film iteration.
  • Kino's expenses are covered by the Hotel in the film, rather than the country.
  • The 42nd Pioneer Village is in ruins in the film interation.
  • Lt. Cole's attempt to kill Kino is drawn out much longer in the film.

Music

The ending theme, "Bird", was performed by Mikuni Shimokawa. The single, Bird, was released on March 20, 2013.

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