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Kino's Journey - Emerging Lanes (Vol. 2)

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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(Apr 06, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description


Kino continues to travel through lands that suggest the different planets visited in Leiji Matsumoto's Galaxy Express 999 or Kenji Miayazawa's The Night on the Galactic Railroad. But Kino's underplayed adventures lack the excitement of the former and evocative poetry of the latter. Taciturn and uninvolved, she never interacts with anyone, except on the most superficial level. Kino makes good use of the marksmanship she developed somewhere along the road in the two-part "Coliseum." A mad king forces visitors to compete in gladiatorial combats to attain the exalted position of first-class citizen. But the ending can be seen coming a mile off (even without a Motorrad), and Kino's protests against social injustice receive only a few seconds of screen time. Kino's Journey plays like a cross between Serial Experiments Lain and Along Came Bronson; however, its alienated heroine may appeal to moody teenage girls. (Rated 15 and older: violence) --Charles Solomon

Special Features


Product Details

  • Format: Animated, Color, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Section 23
  • DVD Release Date: April 6, 2004
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001I563W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #257,492 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Once again we find Kino and Hermes on the road. This disc features three episodes. The first is a set of small travels, begining with a trek along a railroad. They encounter a series of men along the rails, one cleaning them for use, the next dismantling the old track that has fallen into disuse, and the third rebuilding the tracks for future use. Kino relates a story of a country where people no longer have to work, but do in order to maintain essential stress. Then they come to a nation that has pushed the law of majority rules to a horrid conclusion.
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.
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The second disc of Kino's Journey continues much in the same way as the 1st disc, save a small twist. In many ways, you know what to expect: Kino and Hermes travel to different countries and spend three days there. This time, Kino comes across three workers on a railroad, each with a task they have spent their lives involved with. Next, Kino is tricked into a duel where people are forced to fight to the death to gain citizenship to a country. Both stories (the latter spread over 2 episodes) deal with the kind of morality plays that the first disc had, but with a little dealings with Kino's character and abilities as a marksman.
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.
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There are two tales on this DVD - a single episode that focuses on a series on conversations along a railroad track and a two-part story about a country where citizenship is bought at the price of entry in a 'winner takes all every one else dies' contest which has been created to satisfy the tastes of a whimsical and cruel king. In many ways the stories in these episodes are much more chilling than those on the previous DVD, although they add little continuity.

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.
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