Posted by AidanAK47 on 3 January 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World-

One of the surprises of the year was to see the return of Kino’s Journey, a very well regarded and more unique anime among those deemed classic. Many, myself included, were very much looking forward to the return of Kino and her talking Motorrad. Though due to some factors this series doesn’t quite live up to the pedigree of its former season. One factor is that it is somewhat a mix of a remake and a sequel as some old stories from the original 2003 series are remade while other new stories make an appearance. Those fond of kIno for it’s morally ambiguous parables will find the new series to be less focused on that and more on lighthearted little tales with Kino and other protagonists. There are of course dark moments but overall this series has more of an optimistic tone when compared to the previous seasons nihilistic outlook. This could be quite a turn off for old fans but there are indeed still good stories here.

However the choice of stories and their structure in the series doesn’t appear to have been thought out well as stories appear to be chosen based more on Kino and other fan favorites getting the spotlight rather than meaningful allegories on life. Quite a pity as there are well over 200 stories and yet the ones featured here appear to be the weaker ones of a long running series. Stories are placed one after another haphazardly without considering the tone or overall structure. For example, two of the remake episodes are A Kind Land and the Country of Adults. A kind land was the previous seasons finale but is placed in the middle of the series and is followed by Kino’s Origin which would have been more beneficial to place before A Kind Land. On top of which this season decides to finish on what amounts to a joke episode which again is a odd decision that seems to misunderstand the very intent of Kino’s story. Nonetheless there are some standout stories such as the Country of Lies and In the clouds.

That said while we have a B-class selection of stories, the presentation at least does them justice. Aside from some rather awkward CGI, this season of Kino is a visual improvement over its predecessors intentional but rather dated look. I didn’t notice anything noteworthy music wise and the opening is just alright. Characters can act a bit over the top and unrealistic, which is different from the original series more monotone delivery but that can result in some more emotional moments hitting harder. As such if a another season was made with better story selection I believe it could very well match the original. Though sadly this may be the last we see of Kino for a very long time. To sum things up, this series doesn’t hold a candle to the original but it’s still a worthwhile watch.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar Bokusen says:

    That’s what I feared when I first heard this was being made into an anime by Lerche. Their previous works seemed to lack subtlety, and this one was no different. I dropped it a few episodes in, despite being a big fan of the novels, but it looks like they changed more things than I thought they would (Kino’s part of the rule in Colosseum that allowed people to leave without killing anyone, the operation in Country of Adults being shown in bad terms instead of a neutral view like in the novels and first anime, etc)
    The thing about the novels’ stories is that they’re sort of uneven. Most range from “decently good” to “so thought-provoking I’m still thinking about it a month later” so I don’t mind much, but I think deciding the stories to cover by popularity poll was a huge mistake. That, and Lerche leaving staff in charge who haven’t worked on any remotely similar series did not work in the series’ favor.

    Looks u this series didn’t work out well, but I do recommend reading the novels to anyone who liked this or the first series. I’m reading the Japanese ones, but it looks like all volumes but the 1st volume is on Baka-Tsuki, which is fine because the 1st volume isn’t really needed & was covered well by the first series anyway.

  2. Avatar Bokusen says:

    Typo fix: “looks like this series”

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