Friday, May 21, 2010

Review | Anime | Kino's Journey

KINO'S JOURNEY : The simple but beautiful story of a young traveler named
Kino, journeying to different countries with her talking motorrad friend,

A simple plot, a simple story, and no particular climax...just the story of a traveler. But yet, a fine example of the fact that a fantastic storyline and a dramatic climax are not always what make a beautiful anime. Kino's Journey may, in fact, be one of the finest animes I've ever seen.

The ratings for this anime were through the roof, and for such an ordinary and seemingly uncreative story. Nothing on the surface is as it seems for this anime, however. Kino stays in each country for three days, no more, no less. Hermes, Kino's talking motorrad companion, notes that Kino has never stayed more than 3 days in a country. Kino's travels take her not just to countries, but to countries with amazing traditions and histories.

The country that opens the series is a country run entirely by robots, with no apparent human life. On top of that, inexpensive prices on everything! Kino enjoys a luxury hotel suite and a grand meal just within her budget, and money to spare. When Kino finally happens upon human life on the outskirts of the country, she learns that the humans of the country volunteered for an experiment that would enable them to read each other's minds. Their initial plan was to eliminate cruelty amongst them; "People harm others because they do not understand the others' pain." By hearing each other's thoughts, there would be no secrets, and no misunderstanding. However, the negatives vastly outweighed the positives. Their ability to read minds enabled them to read judgment and negative thoughts towards others, which enduced havoc in the country. This ultimately drove them to the outskirts, where they live in great distance from each other, so to keep from further reading minds.

This is only one of the many countries Kino will travel to, each sporting an amazing plot twist that simply makes you go, "Wow." The award for the most incredible twist goes ultimately to the country that closes the series; Kino travels to a country rumored to be very inhospitable towards travelers. So why is Kino being treated so kindly? This is for you to uncover once you get to it. I was left breathless by the time the credits began to roll.

I'd say to investigate for yourself before showing this to a child. There is violence throughout. Kino finds three starving men in the snow, and she shoots three rabbits to cook for them (we see her shoot the first two, which is startling and somewhat bloody.) As a person who values life, she clearly shows remorse for having to kill these rabbits. There is a war scene where men, women, and children are fleeing from soldiers and are seen being killed (it is not graphic as their actual deaths are not shown, but can be disturbing to some.) Kino kills several characters in self-defense throughout the series.

Kino's Journey is for everyone. This is from the mouth of a fantasy fan, who wants anime as far from reality as you can possibly swing it. Its closing song, "Beautiful World", sung by Kino's seiyuu herself, blends wordly sounds to create a perfect song to match its anime. This anime is simply beautiful, and I deeply encourage any who pass through to humbly obey the ratings and tune in.

Overall Rating:
/ 5

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