Plot Summary: Kino want’s to see as many countries as humanly possible. With Kino’s talking motorrad Hermes, Kino travels to many different places and stays no more than three days at each one.
Kino’s Journey is an episodic show. In each episode Kino visits a different country, sometimes more than one per episode. The countries themselves are actually the size of large towns but they’re far enough apart that most people don’t move to different ones unless they’re a traveler like Kino. Because of this each town that Kino stays at always has some sort of problem that looks strange to the viewer. But instead of help the town sort out their problems Kino just observes and (usually) doesn’t try to change things. And while this could have been a show about learning life lessons that everyone over the age of seven has heard before, it isn’t. The strongest message this show has is that every country has it’s problems. While I won’t mention any examples since that’s just asking for trouble. I imagine that most people, especially anime fans and fans of foreign media, could think of their own ones.
Kino’s Journey looks very different than other Slice of Life shows. Instead of bright shining colors like Aria has it looks very real with lots of brown and gray. On the DVD there were noticeable horizontal lines across the screen. I’m not sure if this was just pour video quality or if it’s intentional but it does make it look like you’re watching it on an old TV, which is somehow very fitting for a show like Kino’s Journey. The opening and ending themes sound nice and are fitting for the show.
This is also one of the best gateway shows I’ve seen in a while. It’s violent and too mature for little kids, but the violence isn’t action-y. So if you show this to someone who thinks all cartoons are for children they won’t go crazy “WHAT IS THIS DOING TO TEH CHILDRENZ?!?” but they will realize that they were wrong.
This is really one of the best animes I’ve ever seen before. It’s made me look at news about Japan and other foreign countries very differently than I have before. Unless you hate Slice of Life you absolutely have to see this.
Viewed on: ADV’s DVD
Can I show this to my younger cousins? No, probably not. Unless they’re one of those really mature kids I’ve heard stories about but never actually met. And by mature I don’t mean that they can watch a scary movie without screaming their head off. I mean mature like watching Death Note without even thinking of making a fake Death Note to put real names in.
The Good: It’s very deep and will make you think differently then before. It looks very different from other Slice of Life shows, very real.
The Bad: If you hate Slice of Life shows this sadly will probably not change your mind.