Kino no Tabi - the Beautiful World (TV)

Title:Kino no Tabi - the Beautiful World (TV)
Kino's Journey
Kino's Journey - The Beautiful World (TV)
キノの旅 -the Beautiful World-
Keywords: , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - A.C.G.T.
R1 License - ADV (Renamed)
The story follows the travels of Kino, a young adventurer who rides a talking motorcycle named Hermes. They explore the people and cultures of different places throughout their adventures, spending only three days at each location.

[edit] The Kino's Journey franchise:

2000s Series
  1. (2003) Kino no Tabi - the Beautiful World (TV) (TV series, 13 episodes)
  2. (2005) Kino no Tabi: the Beautiful World - life goes on (prequel, 1 OVA episode)
  3. (2007) Kino no Tabi - the Beautiful World: Byouki no Kuni -For You- (movie sequel, 30 minutes)
  1. (2017) Kino no Tabi - the Beautiful World- the Animated Series (TV series, 12 episodes)
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 8 7 9 7 10 Ggultra2764 [series:1026#1552]
I must say I got quite impressed with Kino's Journey. The best comparison I could make of this series would be to Mushishi which would air on Japanese TV two years later. Both titles feature the main protagonist on a journey with underlying themes to the places visited. But instead of individual characters being focused on in each episode of the journey like Mushi-shi, Kino's Journey explores the philosophical ramifications of each of the countries and travelers that Kino comes across. The main approach to the series goes by the phrase the show frequently presents: "the world is not beautiful, therefore it is." While a number of the countries Kino visits have their dark aspects, there is always some good to appreciate out of living life. The stories in Kino's Journey can have their light and dark moments. A number of the villages that Kino visits may seem peaceful at first glance, but there's some dark side to them Kino learns of as she spends more time in each village. In addition, some episodes feature good intentions from characters that can lead to hardships for others. Subjects such as censorship, oppression, tyranny, and self-preservation are explored throughout this series. Such subjects make for some great debate as you are left to wonder whether such decisions by the characters and/ or villages are right or wrong.

And thankfully, the show doesn't make a habit of preaching whether such decisions by the people are right or wrong. While Kino is an outsider to the customs and people that she visits in each country, she plays the role of observer not making any heavy interventions unless dragged into the country's customs, which does happen at some points of the series. Even with the various villages explored, there is an episode of this series devoted to Kino's past exploring her life before being a traveler. Like the lands she visits, Kino's home village has its dark side adding an interesting element to her background. Still, not all aspects of Kino's past are explored such as how she acquired her clothes, her marksmanship skills, and habit of addressing herself by "boku" during her journeys.

In terms of visuals, the show has a wide range of scenery to admire thanks to the various villages visited by Kino from scientifically-advanced towns to a gladiatorial arena. Animation wasn't this show's main emphasis except during scenes where Kino had to make use of her guns and knives to defend herself. The show's weakest area in the visual department for me would have to be the simple character designs, which detract quite a bit from the mood this show gives off.

Beyond that, I enjoyed the philosophical elements that Kino's Journey brought about. I got enough enjoyment from the episodic journeys from Mushi-shi and my opinion is just the same for this series. Just be warned that if you aren't into episodic storylines and philosophical focuses that you probably won't be able to enjoy Kino's Journey to its fullest like I had.

Last updated Friday, June 12 2009. Created Friday, June 12 2009.
Rent 9 9 7 7 7 10 Devil Doll [series:1026#752]
[Score: 77% = Rent]
  • Drama: Med (not really a series story but the episodes themselves do have drama)
  • Comedy: None (basically one person travelling various countries)
  • Action: Med (occasional gunfights with surprising peaks of violence)
  • SciFi: Low (certain scenarios significantly depend on superior science)
  • Ecchi: None (pure and clean, recommended for teenagers)
This story has written "Human Nature" all over itself. If you want to show a philosophy lesson to teenagers then this series might be the way to do it, just like Aesop's fables were the way to do it 2500 years ago. It's just that the problems of different societies are different in nature, so don't be surprised to find this series playing with themes from The Matrix or Clockwork Orange.
13-year-old Kino and her talking motorcycle travelling various countries and meeting various (mostly strange) people apparently tries to teach lessons to the audience, such as how things aren't always what they seem, how good intentions can turn into bad results and whatnot. From an ethical viewpoint, this is an excellent series - and I began to watch it with high expectations.
This anime isn't trying to catch they eye or ear of the audience. Art and Animation are rather minimalistic at times, and of the Music I particularly dislike the ED song (where I believe the vocalist to be off harmony at times). But I would cope with all of this if the story would give me the impression to lead anywhere interesting - which isn't the case during the first three episodes. All we get there is school lessons - while providing both food for the brain and suspense elements I don't see Kino or Hermes act as Characters at all, they're just observers. In this aspect the series is strangely similar to Mushishi. And the characters they meet on the way are weird at best, and hardly interesting.
With the flashback story of episode 4 things change abruptly. Learning who Kino is and why she became a traveller opens the door for the audience to get attached to this girl. And episode provides the next step: Kino decides to no longer remain an observer but to interfere with the land she happens to visit. From here on this series became interesting to me.
One problem with this series for me is that the idividual stories are so absolute, and almost childishly simplified. Countries based on one rule alone with consequences so obvious, that's hardly imaginable if their citizens weren't insane to begin with... Mushishi provides the more subtle problems and the more mature characters. During the second half the Episodes Stories become more and more impressive - but the main difference remains that Mushishi tells stories about the fate of persons while Kino no Tabi tells stories abour the fate of nations, making this journey a continuous (fictional) history lesson.
The episodic nature of this series doesn't allow me to give this anime a higher rating for Series Story, and the lead characters don't develop beyond a certain level of involvement with their environment. So in the end this anime fails for me in both most important categories even though it offers a lot of value. But if you can cope with the episodic nature better than I can then I recommend this series to you.

Last updated Friday, June 06 2008. Created Monday, February 19 2007.
Rent 10 10 9 7 9 9 aoneish [series:1026#1615]
A weird anime. Very very weird. The intro and credit songs, and just everything you see just screams soft and serene and general pleasantness but the presence of the gun and the fact that she knows how to use it and really does use it just jars all of it and keeps you watching just to see what the hell is gonna happen. The stories that come along with her travels, they range from intriguing to strange to boring to downright disturbing and even a little heartbreaking sometimes. But you will keep watching. Somehow it all works.

And man, when there’s action, when she uses that gun, it’s such a contrast to what you’ve been watching that it’s almost wonderful. Like blood on snow, it stands out so well. And then there are things that are so…shocking that happen, at least for an anime. Or maybe it’s shocking cause you just never know what’s going to happen and when it does, it’s just, what the hell?! This anime does not hold back at all.

She is not a hero. She’s merely the main character. Which bothered me somewhat whenever she walked away from a problem. The gun really could have come into more play. It is a little confusing sometimes, because some things are left to implication. They don’t want to lay everything out so obviously I suppose. But it’s fairly understandable what’s going on most of the time. There are morals to the stories, I’m sure, but I haven’t had the time to think them through. And of course, the end finishes at the beginning. A little disappointing, but what else could there be? It’s a journey.

All in all, an anime worth at least a viewing for its novelty and originality. But if you’re okay with the minimum fighting and the lack of layers upon layers of plot and intrigue (the episodes are mostly stand alone), well then I suggest you add it to your collection. The advertisement doesn’t lie after all. It really is Kino’s Journey and you’re just along for the ride.

P.S. Is there a purpose for those short interludes where her words are repeated in text? They confuse me sometimes.

Last updated Thursday, September 28 2006. Created Thursday, February 16 2006.
Rent Jan-Chan [series:1026#967]
While I like this series (enough to buy R1 ADV releases - 4 DVDs with 13 episodes), I do have to admit that its very strange. This is the type of series which the viewer will either like or hate, with very little middle ground.

The animation is artistic and the story almost moralistic (as DD mentioned) in an Aesop’s fables kind-of-way. This series very much reminds of the morality and social issues that are raised in Serial Experiments Lain.

The different countries that Kino and Hermes visit and the people that they encounter are all a bit twisted and off center. Using the storyline in two strangers in a strange land, they are always having to figure out what the local customs are. All the while, sharing their commentary, in an almost continuous dialogue between the two. But for all their concerns, they know that they will only be staying in that country for three days - so they are very detached and unwilling to get deeply involved in local issues. (This is perhaps weakest elements of this story.)

And then there are those very violent, brutal and bloody episodes in which Kino shows her killing skills with a gun.

In all, this is a very strange and uncommon series. And if you can 'get into' and enjoy a thinking-person's anime series, then this is well worth the time spent watching.

The titles for the TV Episodes are ...

01 – I See You - Land of Visible Pain
02 – I Want to Live - The Story of Man Eating
03 – We No The Future - The Country of Prophecy
04 – Natural Right - Land of Adults
05 – On the Rails - Three Men Along the Rails
06 – Avengers - Coliseum (Part 1)
07 – Avengers - Coliseum (Part 2)
08 – Potentials of Magic - Land of Mages
09 – Nothing Is Written! - The Country of Books
10 – One-way Mission - The Story of Mechanical Dolls
11 – Love and Bullets - Her Journey
12 – Mother's Love - A Peaceful Land
13 - Tomorrow Never Comes - A Kind Land

Last updated Wednesday, October 07 2009. Created Saturday, April 23 2005.

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