Destination is a state of mind. Travelers not only find themselves in a variety of locations and geographic phenomena, but they also bare witness to the whims of culture and the skewed effects of subtle circumstance. Kino... more » is such a traveler. Sitting astride Hermes, the ultimate internal combustion companion, Kino searches for life?s answers, life?s questions, and the myriad of interpretations connected to them. A wielder of cutlery, firepower and a piercing tongue, Kino is ready to embark on a journey unlike any other!« less
"What intrigued me most about Kino's Journey was the fact that the leading character was an androgynous looking female on a journey with her talking motorcycle. Just reading about it, the story sounds strange but once you start watching it, it makes sense in the world it takes place in. The world Kino lives in is almost like our own, except that each country Kino visits seems to be at a different stage of civilization. You could say Kino's world was tailor made just for us to learn the moral lessons it's trying to teach. Through Kino's journey we come face to face with human desires that can either lead a country into destruction or into a new age of change. Our main character is Kino who is unflinching in her resolve to continue her journey and tries to keep herself uninvolved from the fate of those people she meets. It is refreshing to finally see a character that isn't so self-righteous to think she has the answers for everybody's problems. Kino's motorcycle Hermes is a good vehicle for seeing the puzzling world from a non-human perspective. None of the character designs are particularly attractive nor does the animation impress any veteran anime viewer. But the unique approach of looking at human nature without the preachiness of other shows makes Kino worth a look."
Enthralling & beautiful series
A&M Junkie | UK | 02/26/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The back-cover of volume 1 of this fantastic series has the following words:
"Sitting astride the back Of an internal combustion companion- Drifting through the beautiful world. The ground rolling beneath, before and beyond: Their journey meanders"
For me this sums up the atmosphere of "Kino's journey" - this is a poetic, but unpretenious series. The viewer follows Kino, a young girl, and her motoraide as they drift from country to country, staying three days in each to soak up the culture and understand the ways of the people that live within them. Each country is vastly different with extremely different political, technological, and moral standards.
The series manages something rarely attainable in anime - interesting, mysterious, and intelligent storylines that make the viewer really think about the world around them, but without being overly complex and confusing. The makers of ther series also do not force their viewpoints on the viewer; instead the makers present the information and leave the viewer to judge the standards of each country themselves. The series also benefits from having a truly likeable heroine, who is not girly but worldly and capable.
This may sound boring, but believe me it is not. After the second episode, I was as eager as Kino to visit the next country and uncover their culture. The stories are genuinely moving, unpredictable, and sometimes heartbreaking. There is action as Kino sometimes finds herself in danger and some unexpected brutal images. The graphics are beautiful and modern. The soundtrack and dubbing are excellent.
This is not a funny or romantic series and there are no mecha battles. However, if you want to try a series (13 episodes) that treats the viewer with some intelligence and is genuinely interesting that you should definitely buy this. Similiar to Haibane Renmei in tone and graphics, but more down-to-earth. I watched the whole series in one day and afterwards felt like packing a bag and invesitgating the world myself."
Totally unique and gripping
Nicholas Gold | Baltimore | 02/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Kino's Journey is unlike any other anime series I've ever seen (and I have seen many). It is beautiful in its artwork and music. It is intense and deep in its writing and story telling. And fundamentally, it is melancholy and introspective, while retaining a feeling of hope. It's pace is for the most part slow, but there is certainly action at points. This series will make you think, and, if it has done its job, laugh and cry as well at points. For $35 bucks, you absolutely can't say no to owning this brilliant series."
This anime series will meld with your being
L. R. Grubb | Philadelphia, PA USA | 12/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yes, that's right. It really doesn't get much better, or more original, than this. I have been adoring anime selectively for years now, and I know what I'm talking about. If you like anime because you love complex, strange characters traversing exotic and inventive settings rendered into living beauty, you will not be disappointed with Kino's Journey. If you like jarring, explosive violence that positively glows with style, the kind that only seems to make its way out of Japan, you will not be disappointed with this series! This is not exactly a violent series, but in no way does it shy away from it, either. It strikes when you do not expect it and out of an emotional and mysterious backdrop, and, in this way, is similar to the The Dancer Upstairs (not anime). If you've seen both, you will know what I mean.
Be warned, KJ is cerebral stuff for people who enjoy new ideas. It will not be square and constant reaffirmation of concepts people are already familiar with, the kind of watered-down, generic pseudophilosophy that prompts people to pat themselves on the back because they can understand. Do not rent Kino's Journey if you want to be reminded of what you already know.
This series has the capacity to touch you, to change you, to draw you in more deeply than anything you've seen yet. Think Spirited Away times three. The two are on par as far as emotional involvement, but Kino's Journey goes well beyond, and is an extraordinarily relevant piece of literate filmmaking. It's helpful to know that the talking motorcycle is not some kind of fairy tale motorcycle from children's anime or other cartoons. The motorcycle (Hermes) is one of the keys to the thematic setting, in that he is a machine bestowed with an artificial intelligence and representative of technology seen from a timeless perspective and thus, very mythical. His presence never crosses over into science fictiony stupidness. The series unfolds as Kino explores countries and locales so different from one another it's hard to imagine how it all fits together--but it does, and superbly. Just to go along for the ride with Kino and Hermes the motorcycle makes it worth watching.
The animation is quite appealing and has the look of watercolor on textured paper.
Michael | 12/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Don't judge this anime by it's cover. It is not about a woman in tight clothes and her guns. It's about a teenager and her talking motorcycle. Well, then you'll probably think it's childish or stupid so scratch that too...
Actually it's a story of adventure and discovery across cultures. It's a deeper, character driven anime. Don't come here for lots of action, robots, or sex. Do come here for psychological "deep thoughts" along with the magic of discovery.
Remember how the first time you saw the first matrix that it was an amazing movie? There was a lot of psychology, but it was also mixed with the magic of discovery. Then the next two matrix's pretended that the psychology and special effects were enough without the magic. This anime has the magic and the psychology, but without the special effects.
Therefore, if you can deal with a the fact that there aren't gun fights in every episode (but there are a few), if you want an anime that that gets you thinking, and if are dying for some plots that are not obvious and boring, please buy this anime!
One last note. This is the first anime in quite a while where I got emotionally involved. I'm a coldhearted guy, so I think that says something about the story and the characters!"