Kino travels to a country divided into two parts: the very clean and peaceful city, closed off from the surrounding wastelands. Kino meets a little girl in the city suffering from a disease which is constantly being researched. The girl, however, does not know just how the research is being done.
Movie: Kino no Tabi: Byoku no Kuni -For You- was premiered at the Dengekibunko Movie Festival in April of 2007, and started running in theatres on April 21st, 2007. It was animated by Studio SHAFT (famous for their work on REC and Sayonara Zetsubo-Sensei) and directed by Ryutaro Nakamura (famous for his work on the Kino no Tabi series and Serial Experiments Lain). It has yet to be licensed Stateside.
Story: Kino (who's grown up a bit and filled out o.O) and Hermes make a stop in a country where the majority of the citizens are
sealed in a germ-free bubble, and the minority are out in the wastelands, reclaiming the land. They meet a girl who has the one disease (that sounds kind of like cancer to me) that they haven't been able to cure, and is currently the subject of pharmaceutical research. She asks them to deliver a little trinket to a boy out in the reclamation who she's been writing back and forth with. But when they go out to deliver the trinket, they discover the truth about the reclamation... (What, you thought I was going to give it away? :P)
This felt like a Kino no Tabi episode. This is what the other movie was missing. While the other movie was good, and it did explain more about Kino, it just didn't feel like the series did. This movie, however, could have very easily fit anywhere in the series.
It was apparently adapted from later in the novel series (whereas the show only stuck to the first few volumes), which renews my wish for more Kino. They've got the source material and the fan base (I think) that they could probably do it.
Art: There's a bit more CG this time around than there was in the series, but while it is distracting at times, it blends very well with the animation, which is in the same style as the series (even though it was done by a different studio).
Music: There's the same themes from the series from what I noticed of the background music, and the new ED wasn't all that noteworthy.
Seiyuu: Same seiyuu as the series, so nothing to add here.
Length: Like the other movie, it's a half-hour, but this time, I don't feel so cheated because of it.
Overall: A good story that would've made a fine episode in the series. Now hurry up and do a second season already!
An unpredictable, yet familiar story unfolds in a calm and deliberate fashion, this 'movie' is can easily pass as another episode of the series, albeit with far superior production values. Those who are disappointed at the paltry 28 minute run time, rest assured that the story was not rushed or truncated in any way. There is no need to watch the series in order to appreciate the story, as it is fairly straightforward, yet profound.
The character artistic design is adequate, and you will find no deviation from the series. Kino is as enigmatic as ever, although Hermes seems just a
bit more immature and inept than usual. The backgrounds were much more detailed and the enhanced production budget shows here. Although the integration of CGI was not seamless nor flawless, it did not detract from the overall experience.
'The Land of Sickness' is every bit as enjoyable as any other story in the franchise, and remains true to the original concept of gimmick-free story telling, using violence only to advance the plot. Add the requisite subtle invitation to examine human nature, and you get one of my favorite stories of the franchise, following the travels of the most underestimated 'tough guy' in anime. I will definitely watch this again, in a few years.
Part of the beauty of Kino’s Journey is that Kino doesn’t just visit interesting places; she interacts with the people, who believe in their ways of life, however strange or vulgar they might seem to us. In highlighting the many ways in which people can live, Kino’s Journey gives life to the phrase “the world is not beautiful; therefore it is.”
At first glance, For You seems to fit this mold. Unlike Life Goes On, it’s essentially another episode, following the standard formula of focusing on a unique set of customs for contemplation. Compared to other episodes, though, it’s pretty lackluster. Instead of developing the philosophical/cultural
aspect, most of the story is about Kino driving around the city and talking to a single person, a young girl who embodies the system but lacks the maturity to embrace or rationalize it. It isn’t until the climactic finale that the cultural aspect comes to the foreground, but even this is rushed and underdeveloped, leaving us with a superficial analysis of a custom that wasn’t too novel to begin with.
As a Kino’s Journey fan I still enjoyed For You, but it would have benefited from more time reflecting upon the country’s culture and less time telling the girl’s story. Or it could have shortened the “Country of Illness” story and added in one or two other journeys. As it stands, there just isn’t much of substance to show for dedicating a half hour to a single country.
On the bright side, the soundtrack and voice cast are the same great stuff from the series. The new animation style is pretty, but it’s harder to gauge. The crisper, higher quality give the film a sharp look, but it also loses the storybook feel. If more Kino’s Journey is ever made, hopefully they’ll improve the classic style (as Life Goes On did) rather than discard it for something more mainstream.
For You is a decent continuation to the series, but this journey doesn’t possess the magic or depth of the rest. Even Life Goes On gave me more to think about. If you want more Kino, this is one of your only options, but it’s also the weakest.
This third special for Kino's Journey is an above average episode of Kino's Journey. It's not as good as the best of the best episodes; we're talking episodes 2, 10 and 13. But, it's right below that.
It's hard to review Kino's Journey things without spoiling everything as everything depends a lot on a huge plot twist in the end. In my previous reviews it wasn't too prevalent that I spoil them, but this one I don't want to spoil. What little I can say about this without spoiling it would be that it's execution is immaculate. The directing, voice acting, animation, the color pallet,
everything falls in perfectly. That's why this has a 7 in art and the main series got a 4 in art. The art style was utilized a lot more effectively here, as well as in some main series episodes. The reason the main series got a 4 is because it flopped for some episodes very hard.
Regardless, it's very good. It's a deep study in philosophy and psychology, executed to a tee. Again, I can't discuss the philosophy and psychology in the special without spoiling it so just watch it. It's 28 minutes.