Kino’s Journey Vol. 1: Idle Adventurer – Anime DVD Review

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Since I enjoyed the Kino no Tabi light novel from Tokyopop, I figured I’d pick up the anime from that one crazy RightStuf sale. I was afraid that the DVD would suffer from the “book is better than the movie” syndrome, but surprisingly it didn’t.

kinos-journey-1.jpg

Since I enjoyed the Kino no Tabi light novel from Tokyopop, I figured I’d pick up the anime from that one crazy RightStuf sale. I was afraid that the DVD would suffer from the “book is better than the movie” syndrome, but surprisingly it didn’t.

Story:
“Because the world is not beautiful, it is.” This is the ever repeating mantra of Kino’s Journey. Kino is a tomboy who travels the world, exploring new countries and their cultures. She never stays in one place for longer than 3 days, since you can apparently tell what any country is like in that span of time.

Analysis:
I was afraid that reading the light novel before watching the anime would spoil it for me. Actually, only two of the stories from the first volume of the novel were in the first volume of the anime. Which means that maybe I ruined the next volume of the novel?

Either way, I really enjoyed this anime. I was able to watch the “original” episodes for their own stories, and for the ones I had already read, I got to see them in full, beautiful animation. Kino’s Journey looks really good.

Kino is such an awesome character. First off, she’s a trap, but I don’t know exactly when the watcher is supposed to realize this. I did notice that she uses “boku,” the male form of “I” for the entire anime, except for the flashback sequence where she uses “atashi.” That’s something that can’t really be expressed in English, so I’m glad I know some Japanese to appreciate it. Anyway, add her arsenal of guns and knives and Kino is just freakin’ sweet.

I guess the only complaint that I have is that the story is too preoccupied with the whole “the world is ugly, therefore it’s beautiful” thing. Like for one of the episodes, I was expecting something bad to happen, since that’s the only thing that would make sense within the context of the series. Kino is always seeing the ugly side of the world. It really is beautiful in a way, but without real beauty to contrast, the story risks being a bit too depressing.

The Actual DVD:
The DVD itself is pretty nice. I got the first DVD along with the box. It also came with a “Hermes” license plate. I guess I could hang it on my wall or something. The complete series is available in a thinpak now (I didn’t know that when I bought it!) too.

The first DVD has creditless opening and closing sequences, and some character sketches. This is one of the times I really wish there was director’s commentary on a DVD. I don’t know how knowledgeable the director is, but it’d be nice for him to explain things like the “boku” and “atashi” differences in Kino’s speech for people who wouldn’t otherwise get it. I’m sure there’s a bunch of details that I failed to notice myself.

Conclusion:
Kino’s Journey really is awesome. The anime is thought provoking and really has some substance behind it. Plus Kino is probably my favorite trap, since she’s so badass. You could buy the single DVDs like me, but I’d suggest just getting the thinpak release for $30.

6 thoughts on “Kino’s Journey Vol. 1: Idle Adventurer – Anime DVD Review”

  1. The “The world isn’t beautiful, therefore it is” is a main focus of the series, but it doesn’t have to be the sole focus. The way I saw it, Kino and Hermes were just traveling to various places in the world where we could see both positive and negative aspects of the human condition or social behavior, though those aspects often tilt toward the negative side. In the course of their journey, they seem to learn things from these experiences, yet there’s no specific reason for them to travel save for just traveling it seems…

    I need to write a post on this sooner or later. 😛

  2. @TheBigN: I just thought that the series was a little too “ugly-heavy” for me. Like nothing really good ever happens to Kino and Hermes. Maybe that changes in later episodes, but from the novel I read, it doesn’t seem like it will.

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