English: Kino's Journey
Synonyms: Kino's Travels: The Beautiful World
Japanese: キノの旅 -the Beautiful World-
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 8, 2003 to Jul 8, 2003
24 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.511 (scored by 25859 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
action adventure drama fantasy
SynopsisBased on a hit light novel series by Keiichi Sigsawa, the philosophical Kino's Journey employs the time-honored motif of the road trip as a vehicle for self-discovery and universal truth. Deeply meditative and cooler than zero, the series follows the existential adventures of the apt marksman Kino along with talking motorcycle Hermes as they travel the world and learn much about themselves in the process. Imaginative, thought-provoking, and sometimes disturbing, Kino's journey is documented in an episodic style with an emphasis on atmosphere rather than action or plot, though still prevalent.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World
Prequel: Kino no Tabi: Nanika wo Suru Tame ni - Life Goes On.
Sequel: Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World - Byouki no Kuni: For You
Side story: Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World - Tou no Kuni
Character: Dengeki Bunko 2007 Movie Festival Special
Characters & Voice Actors
Nothing quite as special as Kino’s Journey comes around often. I’ve watched many things throughout my life but none of it has ever affected me on the level that Kino’s Journey did. Nothing has moved me or made me think in the same way that this anime has managed to do, and I foresee that nothing I ever see in the future will.
Kino’s Journey follows a simple premise. Kino and her talking motorcycle Hermes travel from country to country for only three days (which is known as “just enough time to learn everything there is about the country and move on”). Every country is sized around the size of a large city with the land in between largely unclaimed, and the story follows how they interact with the people and situations around them in an episodic format.
The anime in general has the aesthetic of something that looks like Europe-like land in nature but with each country varying in their development and technology there’s such a wide range of designs that you will remain interested as the series goes on. The animation isn’t very smooth but smoothness isn’t precisely needed, as for the action that happens in the anime does look quite good in motion. Designs are also very simple but in this case they do fit what the anime really well at all times - for a show with characters that come and go quickly it’s important that they don’t stand out for too long. Kino’s Journey was animated by a company who does a lot of background shots and this was their first major foray into a full series so you can see where their apprehension to make fantastic animation first time around comes from. Sadly Kino’s Journey also has a love for using annoying scanlines that are present in all editions of the series. They don’t look nice and do not contribute to how the anime looks in any way but you eventually you do get used to having them there.
Kino herself is a very strong character. She doesn’t show any largely masculine or feminine traits and is easy to understand and sympathize with. Kino is thoughtful and unique and brings the perfect attitude to the nature of the series. She carries around two guns and a large assortment of knives but only uses them for self-defense and hunting purposes and the fact that she is so skilled with them provides some truly fantastic moments. Her back story that you hear about as you go on throughout the series is a very emotive one and isn’t fully explained - and this mystery is actually used to great effect.
Hermes isn’t as brilliant and his English voice actor is a dubious choice at best but he is still useful as a character to give something for Kino to play off of in the downtime in which they are not meeting new people. Kino will need someone to talk to like this because of the nature of the anime itself. There are also a wide variety of background characters every episode and for the most part they all succeed at conveying the story they have to tell in their own ways without hogging too much screen time, all without being annoying (in most cases…)
Kino’s Journey is not afraid to ask some big questions. These questions are often philosophical in nature, also ranging from our views on politics and science to how humans act as a whole. Every episode gives you something to think about and it is not afraid to directly throw the issue at you but can also take the time occasionally to make you work it all out for yourself. Kino’s Journey from Episode 1 makes you wonder and you may just come out of the series as a better person because of it.
It’s also very emotive and thoughtful with its story lines. You will most certainly feel for the character’s issues throughout the anime and I was most certainly touched by a large part of the episodes, with the last episode having a great, and extremely moving ending. Kino’s Journey doesn’t outstay it’s welcome with only 13 episodes but this is a series you will want to watch multiple times just to get your head around the issues and truly appreciate what it has to say and show you.
Kino’s Journey is a masterpiece in design. Are their flaws? Yes, but something this special does not come around often. This anime will make you think, make you laugh and make you sad in its own special ways every time you watch it, and despite its flaws, if a series can have this much of an effect on one person, what better reason is there to give it a 10? More importantly, what kind of effect could it have on you? I implore you to watch Kino’s Journey for this alone.
Kino’s Journey is a pretty neat anime. It’s essentially a collection of parables with a loose, overriding sense of continuity maintained by the titular character, Kino. It’s not really complex or convoluted in the way anime like Lain or End of Evangelion are; it’s actually pretty simple by contrast. There isn’t an overload of ambiguous symbolism, nor are there elaborate plot twists. It’s a deeply introspective anime, but its simplicity makes it accessible to a wide range of viewers. With its stellar worldbuilding and superb protagonists, Kino’s Journey is a uniquely memorable look into the nature of humanity and its propensity for both evil and good.
A key aspect of Kino’s Journey is its bizarre setting. The many villages, cities, people, and countries that Kino and Hermes visit each possess strange quirks that reinforce the themes of each episode. A town comprised entirely of telepathic shut-ins. Three men working separately on a desolate railroad in the middle of nowhere. A country with a class system determined by the results of a coliseum-style tournament. An isolated hut inhabited by an engineer and their mechanical dolls, living above a lost, submerged society. Kino’s world is rich, set against a backdrop of soft melancholy and moral ambiguity, and full of disparate and preposterous societies that exist to allegorize our own.
In this way, the anime explores a vast number of real-world issues, including communication, societal isolation, coming of age, slavery, religion, war, tyranny, technological evolution, and many, many more. Ridiculous scenarios are taken to their extremes in order to highlight critical aspects of these issues. The penultimate episode “A Peaceful Land” is a good example of this; realistically speaking, there is no way two countries would ever get away with solving international conflict in the absurdly barbaric manner that they do. However, this very absurdity and barbarism enables the anime to make an emphatic statement on the brutality of war and its effects not only on participating nations, but neighboring ones as well.
This series is particularly interesting in that it’s neither character-driven nor plot-driven; if anything, it’s thematically-driven. Kino and Hermes are extremely likeable characters, but they’re primarily a lens through which the audience can interpret the events of the show, rather than a focus. Due to the episodic nature of the anime, there is no overarching plot; it’s just Kino traveling the world and learning about different cultures and societies. The goal of Kino’s Journey is to juxtapose the harsh cruelty of our world against a sense of hope that this same world still possesses something akin to beauty. To quote the mangaka directly: “The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.” It’s a wonderfully paradoxical yet superbly accurate statement, one that neatly sums up not only our world but human nature in general, and Kino’s Journey’s endgame is to rigorously explore this sentiment.
Aesthetically, Kino’s Journey is a bit of a mixed bag. The OST is short on quantity, but the quality is terrific. It’s a very dreamlike, atmospheric soundtrack that floats in the background. The OP is upbeat, yet calm. The ED is absolutely breathtaking. The art and animation, on the other hand, leave much to be desired. Character designs are very simple, bland even, and there isn’t much variety, particularly for background characters. The background art fares better, but it’s still pretty simple and lacking in detail. The animation can be rather choppy at times, though the fight scenes tend to be smoother.
Another flaw of this anime: Kino herself is not very well developed as a character. A major reason for this is that she’s already very well-characterized from the outset of the show, and as I said earlier, she isn’t the focus anyway. This shifted focus actually kind of absolves the anime of any responsibility toward proper character development, since Kino’s near-absolute neutrality and observer’s mentality is necessary for the show to succeed; it isn’t necessary that we see her grow into such a character. However, the more significant problem is that Kino’s backstory isn’t fully explored. We do get an episode on her past, and then several clues throughout the rest of the anime (including a big one in the last episode), but some unresolved questions remain, many pertaining to the original Hermes, who remains an enigma throughout the show.
Still, most of these flaws are easily forgivable, considering what Kino’s Journey brings to the table. It is an anime with a singular purpose, and it achieves this purpose with great consistency and execution, making its other flaws far less significant and prominent than they otherwise might be.
Thematically rich with an ethereal air and a fantastic main character to observe its world through, Kino’s Journey is a relaxing yet immersive experience. The world will reel you in and its stories will keep you there. With its simple narrative approach and surreal domain, this anime is sure to leave its mark on the viewer.
These are both episodic anime that center around someone who travels from town to town and they usually wind up helping someone through a difficult situation at each stop. While Kino's purpose is only to travel and to see different countries, Ginko's is to find and research "Mushi." Both stories have beautiful animation and offer up "life lessons." Although these lessons may be a little easier to see in Kino's Journey, they're there in Mushishi, as well. Enjoy ^_^
One story per episode, with each episode not having much action in but still has something special about them.
Both of these shows focus on a traveler and the people they meet along the way. In Kino's case, she's simply a traveler with no set destination. For Ginko in Mushishi, he goes around to many different places and helps those who have been effected by 'mushi', which is also his job.
They also both share the same thinking-based mature atmosphere as well, sometimes even delving deep into the way the mind works and peoples own effects on the things around them.
These two rather slow, yet extremely interesting, shows are very alike and if you liked one of them you should definitely check out the other.
Both animes are very philosophical. Both tell the stories of two travelers, what pushed them to travel and what happens during their journey.
With each episode being an incident from their journey.
both are very philosophical and, for the most part, bloodless. . .two highly entertaining series that are great to watch when you want to wind down for the day. . .
Both tell the life of a traveller who don't stay for very long on the same place.
Mushishi tends to the supernatural genre while Kino no tabi is just a fantasy genre. The main thing they have in common is that both have really deep stories and don't tend to the comedic spot.
I see so many similarities, I don't know where to begin. Both Ginko and Kino are force to give up there past lives due to something happening in their early childhood, and thus travel around the world. While Kino learns about the cultures of different places in her travels, Ginko's journey is more of one to help others affected by the mushi. Either way, both have episodal storylines. Though frankly I found myself enjoying Kino's journey more, there's no way one wouldn't enjoy both in the same way.
Bothe animes have a separate story for each episode. Both are very deep, and focus on making the audience think. Both are quite good.
Story per episode, not much action, both about forced journey which was started because of some accident, similar beautiful animations, both almost bloodless. If you love one of them you'll love another one for sure.
Both series are episodic, and tied together by the travels of their protagonists. Still, they both hold together very well and have solid pacing. The two anime also frequently have a mythological or philosophical vibe to their stories. The main difference is that Kino has a more surreal kind of setting, while Mushishi's is more traditionally Japanese.
Episodic, sometimes philosophical about life
They both have a similar story telling method where tales of the unusual come into everyday life. Must see if you're a fan of either series!
Episodic series about a perpetually travelling protagonist who moves from one locale to another and becomes involved with its denizens on a regular basis. They both have a fairly laidback pace, and the rather stoic yet softhearted nature of both protagonists begs further comparison. Although Kino focuses more on the travelling and Kino herself while Mushishi brings more attention to the mushi and patients being treated, the similarities are very hard to miss.
Both laid back atmosphere until you get to near end of each episode leaving you to think. Both protagonists are travelers who left their formal selves as their price to where they are currently.
Episodic anime, very cerebral, not much action but very, very entertaining. It's philosophical, poignant, and beautiful. One of the best shows I have ever watched.
Both have a very calming feel to it and short one episode story lines and both involve traveling to different countries, but don't let that deceive you, each episode is filled with an amazing story and is concluded with an unexpected/philosophical twist that is bound to amaze you. Also the main characters are very similar in their passiveness(or sense of indifference) as well as their inability to settle down in one place.
Both are episodic series involving a traveling protagonist that helps out the people that they come across. They both also have a very similar feeling and style to the other.
Episodic nature with a detached main character, that functions more as a narrator or plot device, than a protagonist.
Let me start off by saying that these two are both very excellent series in my opinion. Kino's Journey and Mushi-shi possess a certain quality that draws you into their own world. Kino's Journey gives the feel of being in a slightly dark fairytale, whereas Mushi-shi draws you into what seems like a world of mythology and folklore. I strongly recommend either of these series to anyone who is interested in a story book feel to their anime.
They both have a similar vibe of unsteady peace and they both follow the lives of people who travel far. They both focus on the observation of aspects of life (Kino's journey is more moral and mental while Mushishi is more physical and natural)
They are also both very earie and inspirational. Highly suggested!
The step up of the both animes are similar, each episode (or short arc) is it's own story and one does not need to watch them in any particular order to understand them (though I think that is the better course). The reason this is possible is because both main characters are travelers who do not take on any new companions for the duration of both series. Their histories are a mystery and little bits of both are revealed slowly in certain episodes. In addition I feel both have interesting and unique little stories for each episode that seem to have a deeper meaning and come off quite philosophic, though you don't really need to think this way in order to enjoy them. If you liked the idea, plot, characters, stories, or everything about one of these animes I am fairly sure you will love the other.
Both anime's stories are episodic with each story arc usually contained to just one episode. In each anime the main character travels around to various towns and cities to observe what's going on and usually lending a helping hand to the residents.
Both have a stand alone episode plot structure. Both have protagonists who have very good reasons for traveling. And both acquire memorable experiences wherever they go.
Kino is more apethetic and distant. Ginko helps any and every.
Both are slow-paced and profound series, with own separate story in each episode. The protagonists are also very similiar: they are not good or bad, they are just observers.
These two anime are resembling because of putting more attention to philosophical ideas than to bright actions.
Both shows are about travelers who go ttown to town meeting new people and solving problems or getting a new meaning in life.
The same idea of a non-ending journey, a world and rythm like poetry.
traveler, very unique towns, no antagonist. Mushishi and Kino no Tabi somehow taught me a side of human nature that seemingly indescribable.
They're both episodic anime that center around someone who travels from town to town and they usually wind up helping someone through situations at each stop. Both stories have beautiful animation and offer up "life lessons."
Both animes are slow paced and thought-provoking, episodical in structure and green in look and feel, still, with some drastic shots here and there. Maybe Mushishi is more 'supernatural' whereas Kino no Tabi gets more comical. Both travelling protagonists seem to be fine with solitude, yet accompanied all the time.
Both are about a journey, leading to a path of greater enlightenment. Whether it's understanding the meaning of life or just understanding oneself a little better, both tackle philosophical problems of existence and morality while trying to grasp our own place in the world.
Both anime are about a person who travels the world. Mushishi focuses more on beautiful storytelling, whilst Kino no Tabi is more about philosophical hypothesis.
It is not close but this is the closest i can get.
Both anime series seems to have a lesson behind every episode.
Both are beautifully serene and go along at a soft pace. In each, though the episodes may follow an overarching theme and central characters, they are individual stories rather than part of one continuous plot-line.
In Kino no Tabi we have a calm composed protagonist that travels the world seeing many strange and wonderful things. No matter what her feelings on a matter might be Kino never gets more involved than she has to and refuses to settle down, always traveling.
Mushishi has the same sort of formula with the composed traveler protagonist. However, Ginko cannot settle down due to extrenuating circumstances, also Ginko travels as an expert on a subject and therefor keeps a proffesional distance from his subjects.
The real reason someone who enjoyed Kino no Tabi would enjoy Mushishi is that you somehow experience these two shows in the same way, they both have that certain something that keeps you locked in. Also the animation is beautiful and the places interesting.
Both have the main character traveling across lands with unique short stories that are highly philosophical.
Both series are episodic and are at their core masterful examinations of culture, philosophy & human spirit. Though they have their noticeable and sometimes profound differences, where Mushi-shi has a far more supernatural sentiment that is a reflection of a cultural spiritual identity, and Kino's Journey has a far more down-to-earth approach enlightening an observation of humanities faults and attributing a very real embodiment of human nature.
Both are execelentes Oran series that make you think about life.
Both has the same plot element about the main character travelling to different places and witnessing a problem.
Mushishi deals with spirit-like creatures whereas Kino's journey deals with people.
Both are also episodic (one episode = one story).
Both of these give off the same feeling,make every episode a new story, and are part of one big adventure. Most likely, you would like one if you like the other.
Both shows have a similar feeling and are existential. They explore human nature and philosophical aspects of life, death, and living in general. Great life lessons can be scooped from both shows.
These episodic shows follow travelers and tell the stories of their encounters. Some of the tales told are remarkably similar as well: the origin of a name, the mountain's fire. The characters embody the mindset of a traveler: do not disrupt the flow.
Mushishi and Kino no Tabi are very similar to each other in many ways. The two series protagonists, at the very least, lead similar lives. Both are travelers. Both are detached, unbiased, and unprejudiced. Both also seem content to observe their world rather than preach to it. More broadly, both series use episodic plots to tell fables that are both thought provoking and emotionally resonant.
Both of these shows leave things open-ended, even after the end. If you're interested in thinking about the world that the characters live in when you watch anime, what important concepts are expressed in anime, or want to still think about a show long after it's over, these two shows work well. While they cover different ideas among those concepts, I feel they both cause similar responses.
Both are slow-paced, slice-of-life quiet shows with a lot of character development. Kino's Journey is more episodic, while Haibane Renmei has an over-arching plot.
Slow-paced story about life in a world different than ours. Both anime have the same light atmosphere.
Both are lyrical, soft, eccentric collections of stories about various philosophical observations. Kino is far more preachy and direct with its observations, but is ultimately no less beautiful.
Both Animes start quite slow, and carry on calm and relaxing, but have got a very deep meaning about them. As well, both have got a theme you could call "talk about philosophical life and meanings". A bit exaggerated, but they still definitely have got a special meaning. The Ending is quite open too, nothing really ever happens particular, but still both have got that little, special sparkle, that's rare to find in an anime.
same beautiful and philosophical plot
Both have a calm and slightly ominous atmosphere, make good use of muted colour palettes, and are chock full of metaphor. Kino no Tabi is episodic and more focused on giving a different message or making a different point each episode while Haibane Renmei is built around character interaction and drama.
I found these two series quite alike with their philosophical themes with an emotional story and an insightful main female protagonist. Although slow paced, both of their stories are intriguing and unique that explores subjects that can be emotional for viewers.
Both series also made me think about life and death occasionally that also deals with themes like redemption and forgiveness.
Both series takes an approach in a dream like environment with an insightful depth exploring questions that we often so much around the world. I also found two female protagonist in both series quite similar in several aspects especially in their independence and personalities.
Both series are quite beautiful as well that takes journey of its own.
Both anime have a very similar feel in terms of storytelling and both contain many philosophical and thoughtful undertones, like Kino's Journey Haibane Renmei is very unique and intelligent, and will make you think deeply after every episode. While the plot may be different at the core you will find many similarities, it is safe to say that if you enjoyed Kino's Journey you will definitely enjoy Haibane Renmei.
Opening Theme"All the Way" by Mikuni Shimokawa
Ending Theme"The Beautiful World" by Ai Maeda
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