Posted by psgels on 5 December 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews

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Another case-based anime, how could I ignore it ^^

And indeed, if you like stories, you definitely should put this on your watch list. It’s a collection of short stories, all centred around Kino, as she travels an alternative world, which consists out of a large number of small countries. During her travels, she meets people, who tell her their stories. If you combine these stories with each other, the results becomes an interesting view of human behaviour, culture and rituals.

These stories really are meant to make you think. Some toy with ethics, others show the flaws in modern society, and in the end, there wasn’t even one story which didn’t make me think about its themes and topics. Kino herself also is a very interesting character. As she has travelled the world for a long while, she’s had many experiences, and this shows. She perfectly prepares herself for the journeys she’s making on her talking motorbike, called Hermes, she knows exactly what to say in order to keep people from getting offended at and involved with her at the same time. This turned her personality into a unique one. Still, there’s surprisingly one very simple which never gets answered. How does Kino get money? It’s strange, as this anime is a solid piece of work, and such a trivial matter is ignored.

In terms of sound and graphics, Kino no Tabi also delivers. Especially its graphical style looks like no other anime, while the background music accompanies this with some interesting background tunes. I also must give the creators credit for the scenes whenever we saw a gun or other fire missile fired. I’m not exactly sure what they did, but these moments were just full of tension and surprise.

While this is a great series to watch, the fact does remain that Kino no Tabi could have been better. Similar shows like Mushishi and Hi no Tori had a much greater impact on me. While Kino no Tabi was an interesting watch, half of its episodes seemed to somehow lack an atmosphere, dragged on a bit, or weren’t as interesting as the others. It’s also a bit of a shame to see that this anime doesn’t really have that great of an ending. It’s just the thing you’d expect from a series like this.

7 Responses

  1. Avatar wererat42 says:

    Kino no Tabi probably doesn’t get the recognition it deserves because Kino is one of the most unfeminene heroines *ever*. Hell, even the US licencer made her out to be a guy in the back cover description.

  2. Avatar *shrug* says:

    Part of the reason it doesn’t have an ending is that the light novel series it’s based on is ongoing.

    As for Kino’s gender issues… it is meant to be kind of ambiguous. It isn’t even confirmed one way or the other until the 5th chapter of the first novel (though it’s made into the first in the English release, in order to get it out of the way).

  3. Avatar Jellyfish Marine says:

    Well, as for money matters, this was explained in the novel saying she trades stuff that she finds along the way.

    Well, I know that Kino might not look very feminine but she has qualities that, were I a male, I would helplessly fall in love with her>w

  4. Avatar Novabyte says:

    Jellyfish Marine: I am intrigued by your comment on Kino’s character, I quote ‘were I a male, I would helplessly fall in love with her.’ Well I am a male and I thought the character was a guy! (note: I have only watched parts of the anime, not read any of the manga.)

    As for the gender of the character, my interpretation of the writers design of the character was to make the main character’s gender ambiguous to ensure that this does not hinder (or more precisely prejudge through stereotypes) our opinions on the ethical and moral topics raised by the anime. Whether you agree with it or not is up to you.

    Personally I think that part of the whole ethical and moral interplays raised in this anime must include a character gender stance on the issue, therefore I disagree with the writer’s intentions to make the character genderless.

  5. Avatar Serenade says:

    I think that the goal, though, was to create a protagonist with a stable, neutral disposition — an unbiased viewpoint on all of the countries and peoples. Kino has an ambiguous gender and personality in order to allow that kind of neutrality. Though, if I had to guess, I’d say that she was made female because women are generally less combative than men, which makes her much more tolerant and adaptable as a traveler.

    …No offense to men, I suppose. xD

  6. Avatar Serenade says:

    That’s a very insightful comment Serenade. I agree with you. I think this series probably could have worked with a male character, but I don’t think it would have worked as well. Of course, I’ve only finished the first 3 episodes so far, so I can’t comment with too much conviction.

    Anyway, I’d also have to agree with jellyfish that “Kino might not look very feminine but she has qualities that, were I a male, I would helplessly fall in love with her.”
    I, like Novabyte, am male, but I share your perspective. I find Kino’s thoughtful and independent spirit to be very attractive. There are three important personality traits that I look for in a female: Compassion, Curiosity, and Self-respect. Kino has all three in spades, so to me, that makes her very beautiful indeed.

  7. Avatar Zeuts says:

    Lol, whoops. I just realized that I posted using the name of the person I was replying to! (I feel rather foolish. . .)

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