Kino's Journey - Emerging Lanes (Vol. 2)
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This also features a two-part story, with Kino wandering into a nightmarish land where travelers are forced into a series of gladiatorial games by a cruel and insane king. This is the first time that we see Kino take a proactive stance in a country that she is visiting, and it is a powerful act at that.
There are those who decry this series as being empty and useless. Some of them have even reached for their thesauruses in an effort to sound superior and important. They accuse devotes of this show of following the crowd and jumping on the bandwagon.
As for myself, I had read no reviews, been told nothing by anyone, and had no preconcieved notions when I first encountered this series. I first discovered it due to a promotional insert in Newtype magazine featuring the first episode, and I was immediately hooked by the soft narrative style. And for the record, of the dozens of free inserts that I have recieved with Newtype, I have only been moved to buy two of the series they've previewed. This was one of them.
Kino's Journey is not for everyone. It isn't fast paced action and mindless pyrotechnics. It's a character driven peice, and if that doesn't appeal to you, you'd be best leaving this alone.
This is a quiet, thought-provoking show. There is a subtle tone to the series, one that boarders on disturbing at times. Hermes, the talking "motorrad" (motorcycle), provides a bit of comic relief, but in general there is a quiet feel that may require some thought afterwards. At times it comes off as a little self-indulgant (Kino seems a little too calm, collected and mature for the supposed age we are to assume Kino is)
Those who are fans of calm series like Haibane Renmei, or mental exercises like Boogiepop Phantom or Lain may really find something to enjoy here. Personally, I see this as a combination of the slow going Yokohama Shopping Log, and the surreal Serial Experiments Lain.
Both stories raise the question of what is a healthy form of government, which is an unusual issue for an anime. But Kino's Journey is hardly an average anime series. It tends to bite down on philosophical and ethical issues, with a heavy dose of irony. Kino wanders down a track talking to workmen who seem to be at counter purposes, always leaving the inevitable 'where are you going?' question unanswered. And yeat we do get told in a way - Kino is looking for an unreachable perfection, hence the repeated rejection of all offers to stay for a while.
For US viewers, this is the first time we find out that Kino is a young woman. She is cerefully presented neutrally, and it is only from conversation that we find this out. The behavioral stereotypes of Kino's character are masculine - wandering on a motorcycle, sharpshooting, etc. Obviously this is intentional, but I'm not sure if it is part of the plot or simply a statement of Kino's universality.
For all that there is action in the story, Kino's Journey is very understated and thoughtful. It's interesting, but not really compelling in the sense we normally expect from an anime series. Instead it appeals to the viewer's intellect, presenting ideas and the inevitable results of their misapplication. Hence, it walks a thin line between thoughtful and overly dry. Keep this in mind when making your decision.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good Animation, love it bunches. Purchased it for a gift. Arrived quicker than expected and was well packaged for protection.Published on November 25, 2012 by Casteela
The second volume of Kino's Journey doesn't seem to be up to the quality of the 1st volume. Actually, since the 3rd episode, the storytelling has taken a plunge. Read morePublished on July 11, 2004 by Sesho