For my 200th review, I was looking for something special (because yes, this is currently the 200th review I’ve written for my blog!), and lo and behold, the second Kino no Tabi-movie popped up on Tokyo Toshokan at exactly the right moment. With a length of half an hour, it’s again nice and short, and those who have been disappointed by the first movie will probably be delighted by the second one.
While Life goes on too place a few years before the series, Byouki no Kuni takes place a few years after the series. You can see how Kino has grown up a bit. She’s less scared to be emotionally involved with the people she meets, and she has much more trouble to hide her gender when compared to the series. ^^; The graphics also look better than they have ever had, and especially Kino looks beautiful.
Yet again, the movie features another random story that could very well be a glorified episode. Still, unlike the first movie, it feels complete, and it’s an excellent way to spend half an hour. Ryutarou Nakamura (Serial Experiments Lain, Ghost Hound, the director of the original series, but not the first movie) returns to the director’s seat, and the result is some excellent storytelling. I think that it can be best compared to the storytelling of the original series, combined with that of Ghost Hound.
Another great thing about this movie is that it’s completely standalone. You don’t need to have seen anything of Kino no Tabi before if you want to enjoy Byouki no Kuni, and it’s actually a very good introduction to the concept of the rest of this series. Overall, Byouki no Kuni is a relaxing movie that manages to recapture the essence of the series, while being more than just a glorified filler-episode; something that very rarely happens with movies that are based on series. This is also why I believe that a Mushishi-movie would be awesome. If you’ve seen the rest of the series, then I see no reason why not to check out the second movie of this great series.