Keichii Sigsawa's 'Kino no Tabi (Kino's Journey) The Beautiful World' is one of the longest running ongoing Light Novel series in existence, generally releasing a whole volume of material every year since 2000. In that time it has received first an Anime adaptation in 2003 directed by the late Ryutaro Nakemura, and this 2017 adaptation by Studio Lerche. For fairness, I will not try to compare this version to its source material or the previous adaptation too much and try to judge it based on its own merit.
The premise of the series is that it follows the Journey of a traveller named Kino and their
talking Motorrad Hermes through their travels across a world made up of small countries which each encompass their own unique ideologies, cultures, and traditions. From this, Sigsawa uses the perspective of Kino, a traveller with no ties to a particular culture of their own and a maintained neutral outlook on the morally grey activities which they often come across, to look at multiple facets of philosophy and the human condition. This results in a very interesting and thought provoking episodic series, whatever its incarnation.
While this will be a positive review overall, as I did find more to enjoy about this adaptation than I didn't, I will start this review off discussing the negatives of the series first, as they are perhaps the more glaring issue with this adaptation, and the one which may turn potential viewers (be they familiar with the source material or not) off.
The biggest issue with the adaptation is without a doubt the stories that were adapted for this versions. For those of you who didn't know, the stories from the LN selected for this adaptation were picked from a poll in which fans of the LN were asked to vote for their favourite stories from the series. While this may sound like a good idea on paper, as it means we get to see what the fans themselves picked as the highlights, sort of like making the series a Band's Greatest Hits compilation which can in turn help to entice new viewers, the issue comes about when the stories placed near each other cause the series to feel extremely uneven.
What I mean by this is that in the original source material, these stories would have been written in the order they were for a reason. That becomes apparent when we see how tonally conflicting the series can be, as the episodes can often be radically different in terms of tone so that one week we witness a deep and quite dark study of the way that humans take their lives for granted but then next week get a silly, action packed episode. This often extreme tonal dissonance which occurs between the stories can often feel jarring, and lead to the feeling that the series suffers a severe identity crisis in which it doesn't quite know what it's trying to be as a series.
It doesn't help also that some of the stories in the series perhaps aren't what I would have selected as being among my favourites. The worst offender perhaps being an episode which is itself a compilation of short stories which each feel insufferably self parodying and painful to watch (this is episode 9 in case I've convinced you to skip this episode when you watch).
Another major problem with the series is the direction it takes. Lerche are a studio whose work I'm only familiar with from this year, and from what I can gather, the popular consensus seems to be that they're an extremely uneven studio, and that certainly reflects in this adaptation, which additionally serves as a showcase for both the studio's strengths and weaknesses. They certainly aren't a studio known for subtlety for one thing, and when the series does try to showcase its more philosophical side by showcasing the actions of people within the societies that exist in this world, their emotions and negative reactions to things which dilute their customs can sometimes feel a bit overblown, not helping is some really overacting VA work for those characters. This can unfortunately cause the side characters to feel a bit like caricatures, and the way such scenes are so sporadically directed to have some sort of dynamic breakdown suddenly occur can often lead to it looking a tad more silly than it was possibly intended.
Additionally, the studio's trademark heavily saturated lighting can sometimes cause the colour pallet to feel overblown and processed, and this becomes an issue when it subtracts from any atmosphere the story in question is trying to convey, and for those with more sensitive eyes can perhaps look a bit ugly when it is done wrong. That said, this lighting effect when done right can actually help to enhance the atmosphere in some episodes, and make some genuinely lovely background art which brings the world of the series to life, looking appropriately Beautiful as the title implies.
Now, with these admittedly very large issues of inconsistent story quality and sometimes harmful directorial choices, I will say that the series is actually good overall, when it manages to overcome these issues. More specifically, when the strength of the source material is able to shine through in the stronger episodes. For me, these would include episodes 1, 4, 5, 6 & 10. Each of these episodes appeal to the main strength of the series, a frank look at philosophy and the human condition, sometimes told through a surprisingly dark and chilling lens which invites the viewer to reflect and think about the morality of what just transpired.
On the side of characters, Kino and Hermes are of course the main characters of the series, travelling across the world with a neutral stance towards the (often terrifying) events they encounter which in turn helps us the audience to view them with a similar lens. Unfortunately, there's pretty much nothing in terms of development for the main character as a slight result of that aforementioned episode order, with the possible exception of episode 10.
Adding fuel to the fire is the addition of episodes which don't feature Kino as the main character, as we also see stories told primarily through the perspectives of other travellers who Kino met on their journey, such as their mentor, and Shizu; the former prince of a dead kingdom who travels with a talking dog, and later a unique child. These characters are likeable enough on their own, and does provide a counterbalance by looking through the different perspectives of characters who lack Kino's neutral ideology and solve situations differently from how they would, but it does become a problem in the second half of the series when their episodes dominate and cause Kino to feel almost insignificant in their own series.
On the technical side of things, I already discussed the advantages and disadvantages of Lerche's heavily saturated lighting. The animation looks fine for the most part, though it does look fairly safe, there's nothing much unique about it. Some people criticised this change in artistic style from the 2003 adaptation, but this ignores the fact that Sigsawa's own illustrations for the series have changed through the years he has been working on the series. The 2003 version reflected the designs he used at that time, while this version reflects his current artstyle, so it isn't really "betraying the source material" as many said.
The OST isn't particularly grabbing, while some of the side characters do overact a bit, the voice acting is generally fine for the most part, with Aoi Yuuki being typically lovely as the voice of the main character, and Inori Minase providing an appropriate mix of nervousness and calm to her one-off character. The OP and ED are both quite lovely (and evidently where most of the animation resources were allocated above all else) capturing the more calm and tranquil aspects of the series, as well as its serene sense of beauty.
Perhaps the most frustrating conclusion I have come to in this review is that I still don't quite know who I'd recommend this series to. I suppose if you consider yourself a "Super fan" of the source material you should at least try it, outside of that it becomes a bit trickier, as I've seen from the community mixed responses to the series, some newcomers feeling unmotivated by it, others enjoying it, and similarly mixed opinions from fans of the 2003 adaptation. I will say that if you're a newcomer, the 2003 adaptation is probably a better bet to go on, as it has a much more consistent tone and represents the strengths of the source material in a much more solid way by ignoring some of the sillier storylines that pop up in this version. And check out this adaptation after that if you feel you can tolerate it.
As I said before, despite this adaptation's glaring faults, its uneven quality, I still found it to be a fairly faithful adaptation of the source material. Especially in those stronger episodes that I highlighted. And it does reveal many of its cracks, especially in the second half of the series, but for what it was, and for those episodes I liked, I do give it credit.
A Masterpiece anime is rare to find and it's specially rare nowadays since the shows mostly focus on bad harems and shitty romance but sometimes a new season comes out and there is that one anime that is just beautiful and tho they don't come every season but i'm happy to say that this season had two of those, Kino and Net-juu.
Kino is an episodic SOL anime with a dark tone which isn't really everyone's cup of tea but it sure as hell is mine, you start with Kino and Hermes (The mottorad) traveling to a new country with every episode being a unique and
great well-thought out story, you get to see all different kinds of people with different culture and ways of thinking which is the very basis of this anime, i mean it is called Kino no tabi the beautiful journey for a reason, the reason people don't like this is that they try to logic out every thing based on how they feel or how they think but even in real life there are places with a fucked-up way of thinking that they consider normal and the same way around so just deal with what is present to you and you would surely enjoy this much much more.
The characters are great from the main cast to all other side characters with each of them being unique with great characteristics and not just repetition or flat characters like in most SOL being produced now.
The voice actors were great and even though i liked the old voice of kino, the new one still does a phenomenal job of portraying kino's feelings.
The art is great and that was one of the things i was worried about since almost all anime uses CGI horribly and the art seems inconsistent so i'm happy to say (aside from some parts in episode 12) the art is very consistent and beautiful.
When they announced a new season i was worried that it was going to turn into some moe-shit anime like most sol anime now so i'm happy to see this remake being as good as the original with it's new added stories.
There was a hint at a new season at the end which is very nice to see tbh.
Overall a solid 10/10.
Would recommend to even Non-anime fans.
Life is a journey and the road ahead is filled with a lot of obstacles that we must overcome to reach our final destination......
First of all this is not a sequel for the old Kino it's a remake with some changes for the art style , plot and story which i will mention them in this review.So let's go on a journey then....
The first 2 episodes despite being bland their purpose is to get the viewer used to the plot, story and characters and captivate your attention with the improved animation and scenery(landscape). After those 2 episodes things get better and some episodes will leave
a good impression after finishing this series.The story is simple and relaxing following Kino on his motorrad through his journey from a country to another meeting different people and learning about each country's customs and culture during his 3 days stay. A variety of themes are explored and morals to learn from them at the end of each episode.
The characters are better explored in this series especially the side characters who get a spotlight in some episodes (the focus is not only on Kino like in the old series) which is a strong point and brings a lot of diversity to the story and plot. The visuals are gorgeous and the scenery is very captivating and this is an essential factor for the main concept of this show.An interesting fact from this show is how they portrayed the bond between motorrads&travelers and presented both of their perspectives about the meaning of a journey.
One big problem this show has are some episodes who lack substance and don't manage to get the viewer attached to the characters and story.For example they should explored more about the characters backgrounds and how they end up in that situation instead the presentation is rushed and it leaves a dry taste in your mouth after finishing an episode. Although the old Kino did a better job at that the remake has some remarkable episodes that will surely become your favorites.
The scenery, ost and animation are superior and for those who enjoy those stuff from an anime if the old Kino didn't seem appealing to you this remake will surely captivate you , especially the opening song animation having a rich visual vocabulary and innovative concepts. So my advice is to give it a try and don't binge it you need to take your time with this show and enjoy each minute from it.
This review will be based sorely on the 2017 remake/reimagining of Kino's Journey, while references to the original 2003 will be debatable as well.
To boot, the original series was a cult classic to people who have watched it, and the reboot by studio Lerche this year made a good transition with the visuals and music, and personally and honestly this is a good watch even if it's action-packed, adventurous SoL.
This is the story of Kino and her motorrad Hermes, on an episodic journey to showcase the countries they have been to: its characteristics and what makes it stand
out for the country, even if for the citizens of the respective countries they come from.
Honestly, I wouldn't go so far as to call the 2017 version a reboot of Kino's Journey, but like as mentioned, a reimagining with sprinkles of the original anime mixed into the substance as well, and I kinda quite liked the direction it took, even if some scenes were hard to understand and swallow.
The simple Kino, her adaptation of the name from a traveler of the same name who got murdered (Episode 11 spoilers) riding along with her motorrad Hermes, both characters take the cake for being the main "protagonists" of the show. I say it that kind of way because the show's narration doesn't quite explicitly focus on them all the time, but then it's still fascinating to see how Kino survives with Hermes on the journeys of good and bad and getting a fine taste of what's to come.
And also, this time we have another set of people: Shizu and Riku (from Episode 6) whose intention is the same: to travel around and experience life that's a journey. Unfortunately, I feel like their on-screen time could have been given a bit more than just 2 or 3 episodes, even if their plot started out a bit later. Unlike Kino, Shizu is more regressed and too also has a heart of gold, with the dog companion Riku, they both make good progress with their lives too.
Overall, this series doesn't need to overshine the main and supporting characters, but they at least get the job done for showcasing a simple, yet intriguing series that keeps you on your toes.
Again, Lerche has done great on the series, albeit that most people prefer the original due to nostalgia. The truth is that while this series has nothing new to offer, it at least got an upgrade to the visuals and music (which I'll discuss later). For a world that's portrayed as "not being beautiful, therefore it is", the environment looks lush and beautiful and could not go any further. But with that said, some liberties are taken directly from the original source material, but it's honestly not too bad. Surprisingly enough, I did notice a fair share of lack in quality, but it quickly overshadows that with the immersive story. Another job well done.
This might be the 1st of a few times where I actually like Yanagi Nagi's music composition with the OP and ED, it sticks out in a very melodious atmosphere, and honestly it could not get any better than this. Her music makes you feel like you're experiencing something totally new and fresh, and that's how I like how she portrays the surrounding and makes the sound of music combine with the visuals to give it a good-sounding edge over the rest of the other shows out there. Overall, high praises for the music and BGM, the reason why it compels me to watch this show.
As mentioned, there's some debate over this and the original to further extent, and I don't blame anyone for it, because we do share our own opinions and have a liking for the ones we love. With that said, Kino's Journey -The Beautiful World- 2017 reimagining is one show from Fall 2017 not to be overlooked, even if the aesthetics do fall apart at times and have people overwhelmed by how it sticks out like a sore thumb to the original. I personally liked the calming atmosphere, and it is truly one of the great shows of the season.
Note: I have not watched the original season that came out in 2003. Also minor spoilers.
Upon reading the synopsis for this show after viewing the fourth episode, I discovered two things. Firstly, that Kino is a girl (wowz), and secondly, that anthropomorphism doesn't just extend to slapping on a pair of boobs on anything non-human.
Anyhow, people seem to be praising this show as one of the hidden gems of this season, and after checking out a couple of episodes, it's not hard to see why. The main lead doesn't yell obnoxiously every few seconds, her clothes don't explode after she eats something, and the significant
lack of edge in the show is truly refreshing. Does this mean that this show is devoid of flaws, though?
""Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World - The Animated Series" is an episodic show, meaning that each episode is more or less stand-alone and you can watch it in any order you like. What makes this show interesting is that it explores the possible ways countries which have questionable laws - say, allowing theft - function. The studio behind this show, Lerche, has done a pretty decent job on the audiovisuals. The backgrounds are well animated, and the soundtrack reflects the "beautiful world" theme nicely. Although, I think that the focus of this show leans more towards the people which inhabit these strange countries rather than the landscapes.
This brings me to my main point of criticism. Some of the episodes so far focus heavily on human drama. However, this is only effective if the characters involved in this drama are properly developed and fleshed out. If not, how can you evoke any sort of emotional response from the audience? Usually, this isn't much of a problem for a show, but "Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World - The Animated Series" just so happens to be episodic. This means that entire, complex backstories are reduced to one or two minutes of continuous exposition, usually done by our friendly neighborhood talking bike(God knows how it found the information in the first place). I'd also like to see some more character development on our two main leads, but since only four episodes have come out, it's not too big of a problem. Yet.
By the looks of things, this series will end up as a fairly decent one, but not anything outstanding. However, I genuinely enjoyed the episodes which solely involved Kino and Hermes exploring some weird country. If more of the following episodes don't involve any crazy drama, this might end up as one of the best shows of the season.
Do not be fooled, this is NOT a sequel to the first season made back in 2003. This season is a remake.
As of episode six there is not much to the story but it is simple. The main character goes from country to country in what seems to be a post apocalyptic world. The world is very separated and each country she visits seems to harbor something new and unexpected. This story tells of her adventures as she travels with her talking motorbike named Hermes. She meets dangerous and humble strangers and learns new ways of life.
As the world is "anything but beautiful"
the animation proves otherwise. I enjoy watching the animation and it is a key reason why I was interested in the series before initially knowing what it was about. It is a "sight for sore eyes." Especially the opening and ending themes, the art style is my favorite.
The music is simply touching and really adds to each moment. I enjoy listening to the music. There are also nature sounds we hear through a lot of scenes which rather just adds the nice touch factor.
So far there are just two main characters Kino and Hermes. They are really shrouded in mystery along with the world around them. Kino is a very like able character and I enjoy seeing what she has up her sleeve next. She is actually quite bad ass. She may look tiny but she has a big will to fight. I can tell that there is something in her past that inepts her to keep traveling.
Hermes is a motorbike, with a personality and a voice?? Yeah, I know, weird. But I like it and I wouldn't want it any other way. Hermes is Kino's companion on her travels. We do not know much about their ways but to me it seems they are inseparable.
We end up meeting a few characters here and there that Kino becomes acquainted with during her travels. It seems a lot of my questions about them will go unanswered. I enjoy the slight hint of mystery behind these humble strangers.
I enjoy watching this series. There is nothing I don't like about it so far. There is subtle humor sprinkled in to each episode that I love. I hope you give this anime a chance. I have hopes my curiosity becomes inspiration as the series develops. It is quite the fascinating world!
To say this remake of Kino's Journey is a disappointment would be an understatement. The original 2003 series was a hidden gem of the decade that depicted a series of short stories that were parables focused on elements of the human condition observed through the traveler, Kino. The stories tended to vary in their mood and intensity, being either bizarre, insightful, or having a dark and twisted element to them. In spite of the changing moods, the 2003 Kino's Journey adaptation did a great job with balancing them out with exploring both the joys and pains of being human.
This remake sadly lacks the subtlety and
nuances that made its 2003 counterpart a pleasure to watch. The stories for this remake are more blatant in exploring the moral they are focused on and many of them seemed to lack the time to allow the viewer to be immersed into exploring the various lands visited by Kino, thus reducing the impact of when the true side of the visited country gets revealed. The story order also felt more disjointed as several episodes of this series shifted over to exploring other characters like the swordsman, Shizu, and the slave girl, Photo. While interesting characters in their own right, there's little further elaborated on with Shizu following his introduction and Photo only has a single episode devoted to her. But perhaps the worst element to this adaptation of Kino's Journey is the series often getting too immersed into showing off action when Kino and Shizu get into any sort of major conflict. Said action scenes mostly have nothing to do with exploring the moral of each of its episodic stories beyond showing off the anime's animation and goes against the whole point of Kino's Journey about the series as a whole being moral-focused parables with an occasional cruel twist. Anyone who has seen the 2003 adaptation of Kino will notice the rather jarring difference in story mood, focus, and presentation choices as some episodes for this remake adapt stories also featured in the 2003 anime like the Coliseum arc and the Land of Adults story.
The only real praise that I can give this remake of Kino's Journey is the improved artwork over the original series. There is greater detail put into character designs and scenic shots are more pleasing on the eyes. Animation is also more fluid for the most part with more natural movement depicted with characters, especially noticeable during the anime's action scenes. In spite of the improved animation though, the use of CG animation still sticks out badly compared to the regular animation and is quite noticeable at points where complicated animated sequences are depicted, particularly whenever Kino is riding on Hermes. Also in terms of a presentation choice for a series like Kino, the more detailed and brightly-colored visuals don't mesh well with a series like Kino that is more focused on exploring the morals each story has to offer up on an element of the human condition.
Overall, I would say Kino's Journey 2017 easily makes for the biggest disappointment I have for an anime series this year. In spite of its improved visuals, it felt like Lerche did not have a clue on what made Kino's Journey an enjoyable series during its 2003 run as there were points where it felt like the series was unsure over what it wanted to focus on and then when making the effort to explore a moral, the focus of it felt forced and lacked the subtlety and impact offered from its original series. If you want a better option at seeing how Kino's Journey could be adapted in animated form, I strongly suggest checking out the 2003 series over this subpar adaptation for it.
As I have not seen the original Kino's Journey, I am basing this review solely as a watcher of the 2017 adaptation.
Kino's Journey is... a thought provoking anime. The general tone of the show is lighthearted, bordering on the level of more day to day, slice of life anime. However, these longer periods of peace are interspersed with moments meant to look at each episodes unique situations in a more philosophical sense, resulting in a darker undercurrent to the series. Each country has its own ironclad premise, and the show revolves around Kino's observation of how these premises effect both the country's inhabitants as well
as the countries around them. Small pieces of action pepper the series as well, allowing viewers some visual stimulation in addition to the more prevalent moral quandaries.
As this anime follows an episodic format with only a couple recurring characters so far, it seems that any over-arcing story will remain well in the backseat for the foreseeable future. The characters as well are left to the side of the road, providing little more than a pair of eyes for the audience to see through. While this is all well and good, as the ethical dilemmas presented in the show are obviously its forte, this puts all of the impetus on the art to carry the show with worldbuilding, which this show fails to completely deliver. Just about the only knock I've heard on the original anime was that the animation aged exceptionally poorly, and I honestly don't see this variant as faring much better. The animation quality is average at best, and while some of the backgrounds are wonderful, the overall quality cant quite match the "beautiful world" moniker the title so boldly claims.
Overall I'm enjoying this show. It makes me think, something I can't say for most of the shows I watch in a season. Its a provocative premise and it does it quite well, but the focus on worldbuilding is disconnected from the distinctly average quality of animation the show seems to be working with. I'm still enjoying watching this, but at the same time I can't help but think that even on the second try this anime has yet to fulfill its potential.
I personally like Kino's design and yay! for the "rare" female protagonist! But that alone shouldn't be the deciding factor.
Jumping straight to the story;
I've watched "a few" episodes of the 2003 version and I would say that I prefer the reboot (2017 version). I dropped the 2003 version after a few episodes because I didn't really like how they did the show.
In the 2003 version, I personal found that the stories were a bit "too vague" (with morals neither here nor there...verging more towards negative I would say), not to mention that Kino was acting indifferent even in the face of injustice (not sure
about later episodes of the 2003 version). The 2003 version seems to be pushing this thing about humans being immoral/evil, and "that's just how humans are and we should let them be"...which I'm strongly against. Well, I guess that's to be expected from the theme of the show which is "The world is not beautiful, therefore it is."
I'm not sure about others, but I find that Kino and Hermes in the 2003 version quite annoying as most of their dialogues seemed pretty empty and at some points had questionable morals and reasoning...
Pros of the 2017 version as a standalone:
- Kino having more depth as a moralistic person. I like how in this version it clearly shows what Kino is okay with and what she's not okay with. Thankfully, so far (up to ep 5) there hasn't been any questionable reasoning by Kino.
- Hermes says questionable things once in awhile but I'm glad that the show made it clear that its just Hermes's point of view as a motorrad / machine.
- I like how this show highlights humans being evil and that oftentimes criminals/evil people should be gotten rid-of to maintain peace.
Cons of the 2017 version as a standalone:
- Kino seems somewhat overpowered at times compared to the average civilian but then again there are some other characters in the show which are somewhat overpowered as well...so I guess I could just brush it off as something that just goes on in Kino's universe, as in if you're skilled, you're going to be somewhat super skilled at times.. Thankfully most of the time it's done somewhat realistically.
- Some episodes feel empty. As in it works as a story but doesn't have much meaning behind it.
- There are some logic holes here and there. Thankfully not much.
- Oddly enough, Kino's sex seems to be a "thing" in this reboot. I'm not sure why as it just seems off... Well I guess that's to be expected when most people seem to be really into finding out what genitalia a person has...and assuming that they would act differently based on certain preconceptions about their sex...
I'm still enjoying it for now because it's rare for a show to highlight corrupted humans and actually encourage getting rid of them. And I personally enjoy watching Kino in action XD. Hopefully the show continues to be decent.
Rating: Wanted to give 10, because it's rare and hard to find a show doing well when it comes to human nature and morality... but sadly there are some major logic flaws in some episodes... So it'll be a 9 for me.
A better name for this anime would be “Kino’s Journey - The Boring World-” because of how undercooked the setting is and how insufferably boring Kino is as a character.
And don't give me that, “But Kino expresses herself through her motorcycle!” crap.
You’d think a talking bike would have something interesting to say or at least a cool origin right? Nope. He’s just as boring as Kino and he only exists for her to say her monologues too.
We get it, Kino, you’re the deepest philosopher to ever grace anime.
Now please skip to the part where shit actually happens before I
If you can handle boring presentation and the lack of detail then you might find something worth watching it for.
This is a 4 to 5/10 review so I'll mention both positives and negatives.
The intriguing themes that each country offers give you something to ponder while watching even if the actual execution leaves much to be desired.
A young traveler named Kino travels to many different countries that each have a unique theme. One country legalized murder, another is entirely mobile, and my personal favorite is the country that you erases your mind after leaving.
Good themes, poor pacing, confused tone, and a lack of detail that makes the whole experience bland.
Countries are poorly defined. We’re told about what the countries are like, but we don’t actually see it in action even though Kino goes into them.
Kino goes to each country and we it has some twist that reflects a few our own societies. I liked the introspection these themes caused in me, but the show is totally reliant on you to connect it to your own life. You'll have to do most of the work here considering the themes are barely visualized in the show other than merely being stated. This country allows murder? Cool, it will make me think about gun laws. Other than that all the show has to offer is drawn out monologues and the occasional violence.
The worst pacing issues come from the unclear amount of time that Kino spends in counties. She says 3 days is the maximum amount of time she’ll stay in a country. I figured okay this is plenty of time to develop a story and build a set for each country. But this wasn’t the case. So much of the time spent in countries could be skipped entirely it was literally just filler. Fucking filler. I loved some of the weird country types, but the show wastes so much damn time just wasting time that barely anything that happened was worthwhile.
The worst offender of this pacing issue is episode 2, Colosseum. In this episode, Kino fights against warriors in the arena, hence the name. My problem with the episode is that she spends so much time fighting against random idiots that offer nothing except a decent visual spectacle. The fights could have easily reduced to just a minute montage. Maybe then the show would have had a chance to develop the interesting country from that episode.
This issue is so clear throughout most of the show. The director cares more about pleasing the audience with gaudy action than developing its characters and setting.
A girl who can miraculously keep a poker face for 12 straight episodes, a motorcycle that talks for some reason and a slew of cardboard cut out supporting characters that inhabit the countries they visit.
I hate Kino. I barely understand who she is and why she’s so good at maintaining a poker face.
She gets a backstory in what I consider to be the most interesting episode the show has to offer, but it explains nothing as to how Kino got her enigmatic personality.
I understand that the show is asking for you to ignore her because the focus of the story is the countries, but the countries are bland as hell too! What did they want us to focus on here? Or is everything meant to be bland? In that case, the message would be “skip this show”.
Kino meets people in the countries that usually just exist as tools for the writer to deliver stale exposition. Sometimes drama comes from the people she meets and I'm a big fan of drama because it means something other than blank-faced dialogue. However, the side characters are paper-thin cardboard cutouts so don’t expect to get invested in their drama at all!
Wow. Leche really dropped the ball on this one.
Incredibly unoriginal art style.
Entertaining action. I liked the stark color changes during violent scenes.
The characters look very similar, most of them have generic designs.
I struggled to differentiated the citizens of the various countries from one another. They felt like paper-thin cardboard cut-outs who only exist while onscreen. In some episodes they have defining traits like a partially hidden weapon, but that would be their only defining trait.
Another reason why I couldn’t get immersed in the world was because of how little detail there is to the enviroments.
Monotone voices, which is intentional but makes them dull to watch.
I like the op and ed. They're mellow but good to listen to when you're trying to fall asleep. Both op and ed are tonally in keeping with the show’s monotony.
This is the first time an anime has ever put me to sleep. I would never have imagined that a 23-minute long episode could be so mind-numbingly bland that I would literally fall asleep.
I blame Kino for the majority of the show’s boredom, but the blame could easily be placed on the nondescript environments and schizophrenic pacing.
In contrary to Kino’s passive personality, she does engage in combat from time to time. I liked the action even though it made Kino a less believable character. But other than that small amount of action you have no reason not to skip this and just watch the original (2003) version instead.
Final Score: 4.4/10
There was potential in these 12 cobbled together stories, but it needed more work before being released. If Kino had better characterization (and an ounce of charisma wouldn't kill her) I could see the show becoming much more watchable. Or inversely, if the countries were more interesting and had better world building I could at least overlook Kino.
Note: I have not read the source material (novel), nor watch the previous anime adaptation, so this review will be based on the 2017 adaptation alone.
Kino no Tabi follows the titular Kino and her motorcycle Hermes as they travel from country to country. The appeal of the series supposedly based on the uniqueness of each country they visit, rather than some overarching grand adventure, so apart from some recurring characters, there is very little connection between the episodes, and indeed from what I heard it’s neither in the order of the original novel, nor in the order of the previous adaptation.
Therefore the enjoyment of the
series rests on how interesting or thought provoking each individual country/story is. While I had high expectations , in general the stories fell rather flat for me. A couple of them could probably be considered “memorable”, but most range from mediocre to forgettable. And even the memorable ones are hardly masterpieces, just more unique than the rest.
This is not helped by the fact that each story has to be either one episode or half an episode long, which makes some of them feel slow and drawn out, while others feel too fast and hurried.
The ending, however, was just... bad. I'm not really how sure how they can close of a series in this format, but episode 11 seems like a much more fitting ending than 12, which consists of bizarre story followed by Kino murmuring half-asleep about where travel begin and ends. It's just... completely anti-climatic.
Kino travels through a myriad of different settings, from rural to urban, from ancient to modern, from land to sea. It could have been a great visual feast, but instead Kino no Tabi choose to use a drab, faded, one-look-fits-all type of feel. It works in the sense that the world feels coherent despite the different settings, however it takes away the uniqueness of each different country, and make them all feel like clones with minor adjustments.
Character animation is somewhat stable, however there are serious problems with certain animated sequences, particularly the 3D ones -- oftentimes the framerate is so bad that it feels like watching a slideshow rather than an animation.
The OP, ED, and OST as a whole is largely forgettable, and nothing from the OST even pops into mind. It's just... bland and boring like most of the show.
In the end, I’d probably rate the best stories 8/10, and the worst ones 3/10, and the ending 1/10. The series as a whole would sit somewhere at 5/10.
Doing reboots, remakes, or any sort of revival of a certain work always seems to be an insurmountable task for just about any creator. It becomes sort of a balancing act where to the fans, the work doesn’t stray too far from the original that it loses the point of the original was all about, and it isn’t too similar that it feel like a rehash of what has been done before. It feels the need to appease old fans without blocking out new fans, and open up to new fans without insulting the old fans. When it comes to Kino’s journey, well it comes
down right in the middle of all these and maybe thanks duely to the source material that the show proves to be a competent yet vapid dud.
Depending on how you look at it kino’s journey is either a remake or re-adaptation of the 2003 anime or light novel, respectively. The series follows a motorist and her talking motorcycle as they travel around to diffrent counties, which serve more as walled city-states than actual countries. Kino only stays in each country for 3 days and 2 nights which most of the story is focused on. As each country is truly unique on its own as each one fluctuates when it comes to technology, culture, and ideologies, so in one instance they can be in a futuristic country and in another they can be in a pseudo early-industrial europe. The world of Kino’s journey isn’t interested in constructing a cohesive world, but rather create small vignettes to look into different ideas, ethics, and purposes in life. With the residents of each country, or just about any character serving as mouthpiece for some sort of idea. While kino serves as a stand in for the viewers as an observer for the events that happen in almost each episode. The shows are episodic in nature, and it usually goes comes full circle within or across an episode/s. However while this show does stay true to what kino is about, there are several aspects that it fails which the 2003 kino’s journey did better.Now don’t take this as me being nostalgic over the original show since i only watched a bit of it when i was younger, and only got around to finishing it this year.
Since kino’s journey is an episodic series with no clear overarching structure the show had the ability to tread new ground. Which it did as the show ventured into new countries, and meet new people. Yet at the same time it also has episodes where it retreads over what the previous show did. It’s because of this that i can’t help but compare the two shows, and why this series isn’t at the same level as it’s predecessor.
While this version of kino is more polished when it comes to its production value, the same can’t be said about its writing. The show comes off as predictable as the end result or at least how the show will pan out can be seen way before the halfway point. While being predictable isn’t a bad thing, it starts to become very weary after each episode. It’s also because of its predictability of the show that it starts lacks any sort of driving point to any of the episodes. Even its darkest of moments feel empty as all it can do has been presented and it has nothing more to say. While the older one was very on the nose on what message it was trying to convey, at least it tried to leave something thoughtful for the viewers to leave with. There’s also a pacing issue that happens in one episode mostly due to the fact that the older version lasted on that country for 2 episodes. Even in the older version it was one of the lower point in the series, but compared to this it changed my perspective on how well done it was in the older version.
Now these two come off more as nitpicks about thing i personally didn’t like which may not have bothered others. The first being that some of the episodes are wasted on other characters rather than on kino. I get that the show wants to focus on other characters that kino have meet on their travels, but this is called “Kino’s Journey” not “Kino and and other’s Journey. It’s not detrimental to the series, but i would rather the show just focus on Kino and only Kino. secondly is structure which is odd since it being episodic means it doesn’t really have a structure, but this is mostly focused on two certain episodes. The episode that is about kino’s origins, and the episode that sort of serves as a mirror between her and another character in that episode. It’s the problem that it tried to do the same, but also being different at the same time that the episodes lack the sort of emotional impact that the older version had.
I don’t want to come down as not liking the show. I still thought it was an enjoyable experience during the moment. It still had many aspects that made kino fun to watch even if not all of it was fully actualized
“Sometimes having a remake of a well-known series isn’t a good idea at all because it can potentially damage a franchise for good” -Me 2017
The Orginal Kino's Journey or as I like to call it OG Kino is an endless classic that many anime fans love. It had great worldbuilding, amazing themes, and messages; the episodic episodes were well told and well written that had a point. The characters despite being episodic were all memorable and likable due to them being well written. The visuals while being basic had great direction and cinematography and music while not having many tracks was still great. Plus both
the sub and the dub were very good.
While I was watching OG Kino I decided to watch the new Kino alongside with OG Kino weekly. After watching the last episode of New Kino as well watching the last episode of OG a day prior to watching the last episode of New Kino and am going to say this right now.
New Kino or as I like to call it Lerche Kino completely misses the point of the original series in every way possible as well completely disrespects fans of the original series.
After watching OG I was satisfied with what I watched, however, Lerche Kino makes me facepalm because Lerche Kino took everything that was great from the OG Kino and manages to fuck it all up to a point where I can say is THIS IS NOT MY KINO.
With all that said Hello everyone this is Shawn aka KurataLordStage and welcomes to my review of Kino' Journey 2017 (Lerche Kino) and with that all that said let's us begin.
The story of Lerche Kino is the same as the original Kino. It follows a young girl called Kino and her talking motorcycle Hermes and they travel to many different countries and forests, each unique in its customs and people. She only spends three days and two nights in every town, without exception, on the principle that three days is enough time to learn almost everything important about a place while leaving time to explore new lands.
The story of Lerche Kino is a mess. A very boring, uninspiring and poorly directed mess.
To get things started the show doesn’t have much atmosphere. I know am talking about the visuals this early but this is the problem that Lerche kino and it hardly goes away. Because Lerche has almost no atmosphere most of the worlds that Lerche Kino goes to arc bland compared to the original. You see every Country in OG has a different and unique atmosphere that showcases the tone of each country as well as the theme. Lerche Kino hardly does this because each world that Lerche Kino shows are either watered down versions of OG Kino or they are just uninspiring new Country’s that OG Kino did not showcase.
One of the examples of Lerche Kino being uninspiring is in episode 1 A Country Where People Can Kill Others. That episode alone completely sets the wrong tone of the series which I will explain soon after a compare the first episode of OG Kino. The first episode of OG Kino which is called Land of Visible Pain where Kino visits a town where people with incredibly advanced technology, however, it appears that everyone is living in total isolation and shuns any contact of other people. Once Kino finally started to have a conversation with one the town residents he reveals the advanced technology of the town allowed them to modify their bodies so they can understand each other thoughts allowing for much easier communication. Ofbersly this idea eventually turned sour because it meant that people could no longer hide thoughts on each other and so the nonstop communication eventually drove everyone in the town into isolation. The main themes that were explored in that episode were human modifying, isolation and the consequences of relying on advanced technology. OG Kino did a great job with the first episode and its easily one of the best first episode I have ever seen in an anime.
Lerche Kino Episode 1 A Country Where People Can Kill Others is a perfect example of how to not do the first episode. Kino travels to a country where murder is legal and the reason why she even wants to travel to that country is that she want's to kill someone just for her own satisfaction that she killed someone. She want's to kill someone not because she has a grudge against someone or anything like that but she wants to kill someone just for her own satisfaction. Do you see how this series completely misses the point? Not only that the episode itself doesn't really change the nature of the murder of that town not to mention there's barely any theme exploration as well having characters that you can sympathize with in that town.
Don’t get me started with the Colosseum arc in episode 2 because that arc was atrocious. Not only the themes were butchered to hell but the pacing, writings, character interactions/development and production values were abysmal. It felt like a badly made shounen series.
Another problem with Lerche is pacing and worldbuilding. The pacing in Lerche Kino is honestly pretty damn bad. Most episodes just drag on to the point where you just get bored and let’s be real unlike OG Kino most of the events of Lerche are not that interesting in a slightest due to the show butchering its themes and messages for no reason other than appeal to the lowest common denominator of anime fans who like watching crappy light novel adaptations from A1 Pictures. As for worldbuilding, it’s very lackluster and almost none existent. Every Country in OG had a lot of detail put into it while most of the Country in Lerche Kino feels empty and lifeless.
However, I give Lerche Kino this.
As much I dislike Lerche Kino colosseum arc Lerche Kino did a good job with the Kino back-story arc and it was the only arc that I can consider to be good in Lerche Kino,
Overall the story of Lerche Kino is terrible. It has poor pacing, butchered arcs, no atmosphere, barely any themes exploration.
This is where the show literally falls apart.
Why because the characters in Lerche Kino are a complete bastardization to the OG counterparts.
Seriously it’s like director Tomohisa Taguchi didn’t even watch the original series while directing Lerche Kino.
Let’s start with Kino herself. What did Tomohisa Taguchi do to you? The original Kino is a transient being and her personality was kept to a minimum. What makes the original Kino so great are her unpredictable reactions.
Lerche Kino has too much personality and she often portrayed as a little brat. What makes it worse he is her reactions which are almost predictable and this alone completely defeats the entire point of her character. Overall Lerche Kino is shit.
As for the rest of characters. They are all bland and uninteresting which is honestly a shame because characters like Shizu and Shishou were interesting in the original while in the new one they are bland and uninteresting.
Overall the characters in Lerche are a big failure.
The original Kino wasn’t the best-looking anime in the world is as it sticks to the old washed out color pallet for every episode but what the original Kino had over Lerche Kino is constantly as well having great cinematography.
Why am I bringing this up? Because the visuals in Lerche Kino is shit.
Terrible lighting, subpar character designs that are inconstant and constantly go off model, awful background design that doesn’t fit with characters that are in it. What makes this worse is the camera shots and overall direction. For example Episode 1 we have a close shot of Kino traveling while the backgrounds are just burred out and overall less detailed. Also unlike the original Hermes is completely done in CGI and it was horrible. Poor Hermes you DESERVED better than this.
As for the animation itself, it’s pretty okay overall.
The main reason why I really dislike the visuals of Lerche Kino’s because not only it abandons the charm and consistently from the original but it actually butchered a lot of messages thanks to this shows shitty visual direction and poor camerawork.
Overall the visuals of Lerche Kino are shit and it completely missed the point of the original Kino.
The soundtrack in Lerche Kino is bland and very forgettable.
The opening and ending themes are pretty decent overall and they fit into the series quite decently.
As for sub vs dub. They are both pretty good overall so I have no complaints.
So that was Lerche Kino. A bad remake that has terrible production values, shitty writing, butchered themes, lackluster characters and awful pacing.
This is honestly one of the worst anime remakes I have ever seen in anime.
It completely misses the point of the original Kino series and it has no charm on its own at all.
This is one no contest one of the worst animes from 2017.
You better off watching the original Kino and completely skipping Lerche Kino.
Kino's Journey: the Beautiful World, shortened to Kino's Journey, is a Japanese light novel series written by Keiichi Sigsawa, with illustrations by Kouhaku Kuroboshi, which is still being published. A 13-episode anime adaptation was produced by A.C.G.T and Genco aired between April and July 2003. Two manga adaptations were produced, and a new anime series aired 12 episodes between October and December 2017. As of 2017, around 8.2 million copies of the novels have been sold in Japan. Newtype USA (a monthly magazine publication originating from Japan, covering anime and manga) named Kino's Journey the Book of the Month for November 2006 and called it
"inviting and addictive," while AnimeOnDVD said it "sucks you in," and "allows you to experience the journey" together with the main character of the series, Kino. The series has a huge fan base, including the fact that the series is usually mentioned in Takarajimasha's light novel guide book Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!.
Interestingly, you do not have to watch the original series to understand the new remake. It is still highly recommendable to watch the 2003 version after finishing the newer one. However, do not think that the original is much better than the remake. What I am trying to say is that if you do not like the remake, there is no need for you to watch the original series. Anyways, for those who do not know anything about that title, I will say it one more time, you do not have to watch the original series first; however, if you are a fan of old animation, you can watch the original first and after it watch the remake. It addition to this, if you think that you can call yourself a fan, consider reading the novel, too. By the way, I would also like to mention the fact that I am going to refer to the main protagonist of the series (Kino) as they. While their gender is not a major spoiler, but there is a story about it, and I do not want to spoil it; it is for you to find out.
Kino’s Journey tells us a story of Kino, who is on a never-ending journey. Their journey started in 2000 and now there are 20 volumes that describe the beauty of Kino’s journeys. Kino, together with their motorcycle, travel to different places and countries that have their own customs and laws. As a general rule, Kino only stays in each place for 3 days. During these three days the story will show you the most beautiful places you have ever seen in your life, or perhaps even the cruelest country you have ever seen. There is always a philosophical dilemma that Kino has to solve and these dilemmas sometimes involve some serious decisions that might put Kino’s life on the line.
It is worth mentioning that the series used to be very popular in 2000; it still has quite a remarkable fan base. Just like me, you might have seen the original in 2003, or even started reading the novel in 2000. In that case, you already know the whole beauty of this series. If not, Kino’s Journey is definitely a huge pearl for those who like slice of life. However, if you believe that this genre is too boring, but still want to watch the series, I would highly recommend you to watch only two episodes a day, otherwise you might find it boring. I also want to concentrate your attention on the fact that Kino’s Journey is not your usual slice of life; you will find philosophy, many life dilemmas, some really tragic scenes, and even some action scenes. Granted, if you are patient, this diamond will reward you with its reach story-line.
Art and sound wise, the new remake has a new voice actor cast for both Kino and Hermes, and it is quite a challenge to say if they are better than the previous one. They did their work quite well. As for the opening and ending themes, as well as for the OST, I am sure that the original series did a better job with them. But I would not say that it might be a big problem for you. Art wise, on one hand, the original has a darker feeling to it with its animation, on the other, the remake has a superb new animation, which also does its job the way it should: character designs, background; they all are stunningly beautiful.
As it has already been stated before, there are two protagonists in this series. Kino is the first main protagonist in the series. They travels to different countries with their talking motorcycle Hermes, which is the second main protagonist, discovering different cultures, customs and people. I am sure that it was one hell of a task for the new voice actors to voice their characters, but they managed to do it. The remake has not lost its best part--characters. The duo is able to keep you interested in what will happen next, providing you with the necessary character development.
If you want to know my opinion, an opinion of a hardcore Kino’s fan, the remake deserves its name. I will not try to hide the fact that I am really disappointed that the old voice actors did not take part in the remake, but the new cast still did one hell of a job. Kino’s Journey (2017) is still the anime that I watched long time ago.
Overall rating: a very weak 10/10.
All in all, Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World (2017) is a show that I would recommend to: a) all Kino’s fans, b) all fans of the SoL genre. However, if you are not a fan of the genre, as it has already been mentioned in my review, you should either watch this anime little by little, or you should just avoid it. Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World (2017) is, indeed, a worthy remake. I hope that you will enjoy your journey with Kino and Hermes!
***Very mild spoilers for both this series and the original 2003 Kino's Journey***
tl;dr The 2017 version takes the mantra "The world is not beautiful, therefore it is" and crushes it under the wheels of a thousand horribly-animated 3D-CG motorrads.
Why a 1/10? Why does this show deserve such a low score? Easy: There is no reason to watch it. The 2003 version is simply better than the 2017 version in every conceivable way—in story, art direction, music, themes, and characters. This remake offers no new original ideas, no compelling storylines, and no interesting allegories that made the original so beloved. Kino herself has been gutted as
a character and replaced with a hollow husk of her former self—a change that is sadly emblematic of the show as a whole.
It is predictable, boring, trite, and utterly unambitious. The heart and soul of Kino's Journey has been lobotomized in favour of a new glitz-ified "more accessible" version where the cardboard cutouts that pass as characters yell and scream and flail about in typical anime fashion. At no point does this show strike you with the sense of awe the 2003 version had in spades, yet this feels more like purposeful laziness rather than trying yet failing to clear the (admittedly high) bar set by the original.
Everything in the 2017 version is handed to the viewer on an all-too-obvious silver platter. Not only are the complex philosophical issues of the 2003 version missing, but every background is overly glossy, every shot is staid and lazily-composed, and every frame of animation feels chintzy. Gone are the days where Kino riding Hermes around the countryside is given the dignity of normal 2D animation. The plot is an incoherent mess, with bizarre twists and turns coming out of thin air, seemingly having been drawn out of a hat at random. For all the extra characters and storylines the 2017 version introduces, none is particularly memorable, unique, or thoughtfully or skillfully executed. Everything culminates in a thoroughly ridiculous and poorly-animated final episode so laughably bad it deserves a place alongside Inferno Cop.
Take the first episode of both versions. The 2003 version presented a poignant, in-depth discussion of transhumanism, the nature of human interactions/relationships, the emotional toll of living out one's life in light of past mistakes, and whether science could/should try to rectify social/interpersonal problems—all wrapped up in a tightly-executed and stylishly-directed 20 minutes. The 2017 version has a story where Kino arrives at a country, talks to some people for no reason, witnesses someone die in a cartoonish lynch-mob, and leaves. Neither she nor the viewer has learned anything about the country or morality or ethics or human nature at all.
Why take a well-known, well-established series and strip it of all meaningful content? What is the point of this show? Where is the subtext, the subtlety, and the quiet contemplation that made the 2003 version such a classic? And if it is argued that Kino's Journey doesn't HAVE to have these things, the 2017 version does a fine job proving that Kino's Journey definitely cannot survive without them. The characters and world of Kino’s Journey are much more one-dimensional and generic compared to other shows where such things are the main emphasis and appeal. The real quality of the 2003 version was never found in these things but rather in its philosophy and its allegorical commentaries on society, humanity and the world as a whole.
Is this show any worse than other shows this year? Probably not, but it all depends on what you value as a viewer. If you want a generic, mediocre poorly-paced story, Kino's Journey 2017 is definitely for you. If you want something meaningful, something that stands out and makes you think, skip this and watch the original.
Dropped. Why? Because i got bored of it after watching 9 episode because go that country, go that country, it is becoming boring, i rated it based on my feelings which were extremely BOOOORRRİİİİİİİİİİİNG. You know something absurd will happen and tables will flip flop after you watch the episode till the end. Mkay thats cool, but doing that trick for 9 episode or maybe more? Nope im not wasting my time on that but you people can go suck some "kAwAİİ bİkEr gUrl" dick. Bike can talk so what? Bloody hell that bike always says things we can guess or we know, what about
Kino? Fucking little bitch.... but i will be honest with you i dont really know if i watched 9 or 10 episodes but there was an episode of Kino no Tabi: the beautiful something and Kino went in city and got out of there immediately or thats what we seen but i dont wanna give more spoilers if you watched it im sure you understood which scene im talking about, however in that scene i liked Kino first and only time, but seriously as long as im really free and be more bored than when i watch Kino i will be go back and finish of where i left, but i doubt it will happen and im not gonna waste my 9x20=180 minutes, 3 hours to force myself to like a character so i can bear with watching that anime, no i won't better go read a nice book, you guys probably dont know what a book means, ooook so i will just go ahead drop it, write a review cuz why not, im a fucking jerk
So all the reviews (at the time) haven't seen the original Kino's journey, I haven't either until yesterday and I can completely say if you like the 2017 version and can tolerate a bit of old animation, the 2003 adaptation is worth the watch.
In this review I want to compare the two, hoping to better describe the show.
Both versions are episodic, revolving around Kino, the most bad-ass flat chested girl I ever seen and her motorcycle. Each episode is suppose to be thought provoking with "what if's" and highlight the faults of humans. There's lot a lot of action and the pacing can feel a
bit slow at times, but the shocking stories make up for it at the end.
The art is nicely made for the show making the world feel vast and both beautiful despite the chaos around it. The animation is well done as well, although the obvious CGI moments can throw someone off, but we can ignore that right?
Compared to the 2003, the art and animation is obviously going to be worse due to time gap, but dispute that it excels far better in a composition of a shot; making every frame count with little details.
Both are great at setting up the atmosphere and the tone of every episode, although the new version does a lot of telling than showing while the old version creates a more human feel without unnecessarily making Kino a talk bot.
2017 version excels in almost every way in terms of music and background noises, although personal preference, I enjoy the 2003 Opening better
Kino's new design is completely gorgeous and well fitting as she's portrayed slightly more sarcastic and cold hearted in the new version, many of the supported characters are well done as well giving off their personalities at a moment's glance. Due to this show being heavily human based, most of the emotional scenes are human interacts, but because of the heavier tell and less shoe aspects of the newer version each episode doesn't have enough time to flesh out each character or define a real motive other than "just because." Thankfully, this doesn't hinder the story too much as well can still experience every situation thrown at Kino with surprise.
Other the other hand, I believe the 2003 version does a better job fleshing out it's characters, although Kino's personality is a bit stale the vibrant cast of side characters are more than enough to balance it all out, highlighting their personalities and motives without needing to say what their personalities are. Kino, although still being a bit cold, is shown to have a better understanding and passion towards the world making it heartwarming when things turn out alright at he end.
In conclusion, both are great shows and the ideals questioned will never be outdated. Both have aspects that make them standout despite having similar atmospheres and it seems like where one version falls the other excels.
“You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it, and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox and now, you’re selling it...” -(I really hate that man)
Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World - The Animated Series, or, Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World - The Animated Series as the gringos say (they don’t), is nothing short of one of the most disappointing experiences I’ve ever had to slog through, and I’ve graduated college. This contemporary adaptation of the light novels of the same name written by Keiichi Sigsawa
and illustrated by Kouhaku Kuroboshi also serves as a hard reboot/remake of the previous anime. If you couldn’t extrapolate already from my derisive tone, I admire the original adaptation immensely.
Remake and reboot culture has been running rampant in Hollywood for a decade now and apparently, its vile stench has begun to reach across the pond. Usually, when it comes to remakes or reboots of any kind, the popular attitude when approaching them is one of “cautious optimism”. I’d like to say that my attitude when it came to the announcement of this streamlined version of Kino’s was along those lines despite controversies surrounding the production staff and studio. I generally take gossip like that with a grain of salt, especially with a framework like Kino’s which in theory should be royally difficult to botch. Vitriol aside, the primary objective of any adaptation should be to stand alone from its source material, whether it’s a panel for panel or word for word reimagining. Taking the light novels and original adaptation out of the equation does nothing to aid this clumsy and uneven series, one that will likely be buried worse than its hidden gem of a big sister.
Time for the technicals. One of the biggest points of contention, when it came to this series, was its less than stellar production staff. I have time and time again been proven wrong by certain studios and animators but sadly I can’t vouch for this go at Kino’s Journey. If I could summate my thoughts on the art and animation into a single word, it would probably be “safe”. Nothing about the animation or art direction wowed me, nor do I really care all that much if it did (Kino’s 03 wasn’t exactly adored for its production qualities). The character models were polished, but entirely standard issue. On the topic of character models, Kino’s model was misguidedly off the mark. When Kino is made to look like a scrapped design off the cutting-room floor of a KyoAni drawing session, it entirely ruins one of the most vital aspects of her character (more on that later). There was nothing egregiously awful about the animation, aside from a few cut-corners with reused CG shots of Kino and Hermes. With the simplistic character models, I don’t imagine it was terribly difficult to animate and polish this series as much as they did.
The soundtrack was entirely unassuming so I’m not going to bother expanding my thoughts on it. Most newer anime are more concerned with how polished the aesthetics are, the soundtrack is usually secondary or tertiary. The opening and ending were skippable and most episodes didn’t even have time to fit them in. Aoi Yuuki’s performance as Kino was serviceable at best and derivative at its absolute lowest. I enjoy Yuuki’s roles however it didn’t sound like she was attempting to differentiate this one from any of her other characters. I contend that Mariya Ise or even Miyuki Sawashiro would’ve been better fits for this role. For you dub purists out there, it’s safe to say that this dub is perfectly passable (no funny business with the scripts as far as I could tell...screw you Funimation), but it’s nowhere near as good as the OG’s very underrated dub.
I’m not entirely informed on the process involved in cherry-picking the storylines to adapt from the light novels, however from my understanding, these storylines were voted on in some kind of popularity poll. If that’s true, then that just goes to show how much of a disconnect there is between producers and fans who have no idea how the “sausage is made.” The dozen or so storylines leave this adaptation feeling episodically inconsistent. Varying greatly in tone, scope, conflict, and characters, this adaptation feels as if it was only ever really interested in exploring the more shallow/surface level thematic elements in the individual countries.
There is a lot of squandered potential in these episodes, to say the least. For example, there was one particular episode that presented a pretty interesting moral quandary with a country that was constantly moving but in the process would trample and ruin other countries...however, most of the meatier content and thematic undertones are glossed over and played for comedy, shallow action, and a predictable/boring conflict. Despite the original adaptation’s similar approach of varied storylines, it at least provided a consistent utopian throughline that made each episode weave perfectly to create a consistent product. Tonally, this anime feels like a Jackson Pollock with shades of other shows thrown on a canvas that once resembled Kino’s Journey. Except I’d probably have more fun staring down a Jackson Pollock for 4 hours as opposed to wasting another 4 or so hours watching this show. Kino’s is often considered slow and thinky, which on its own isn’t necessarily a valid criticism as much as it is a matter of taste. Kino’s (2017) wasn’t slow or thinky in its execution as much as it was dull and uninteresting which is one of the biggest crimes for a self-contained episodic series.
To an extent, I agree with the sentiment that Kino serves as more of a neutral framing device to the actual star of the show, the titular journey itself. She is androgynous because her gender doesn’t matter (see my grievance with her character model), her age is vague, and her backstory is seldom explored because it has little importance to where she is now. However, there is one problem with this adaptation’s interpretation of Kino...SHE IS HARDLY THERE TO EVEN BE A FRAMING DEVICE. Sigsawa’s minimalist approach to Kino’s characterization is deliberate, she is our wish fulfillment and wanderlust incarnate, our eyes for this exploration into the deceptively darker side of humanity. Taking the character model out of the equation, they only really got HALF of her character right. Kino was not there to be the eyes for the audience, and when she was there she only half-assed her role. It’s like when Brando showed up to Apocalypse Now overweight and needing his lines fed. Kino aside, there are no compelling or noteworthy characters to speak of. Shizu, Tii, and Riku are hardly worth mentioning were it not worth noting that they are relegated to secondary protagonists in “Kino’s Journey”.
When the best episodes of your reboot/remake are the ones that were practically shot for shot reskins of their original counterpart, there’s a problem. Kino’s Journey is a source material rife with content that would’ve made for excellent food for thought had it been in better hands. Some of that content was explored in this anime but ultimately handled with little care, making for a half-baked soulless product. Utterly devoid of any nuance or didactic philosophical charm that the original provided in spades, Kino’s (2017) was a sorry attempt at streamlining the source. The only subtlety to be found in Kino’s (2017) is its subtle crawl towards commercial territory. Sadly, some of the episodes are mostly above average in quality when compared to a typical gimmick ridden, thrown together, edge-biting seasonal. Despite that grading curve, I cannot award this show more than its individual merits will allow. I love Kino’s but this just wasn’t up to the expectations that were previously set.
I haven't watched the 2003 version yet so I am only reviewing the remake version.
1. Beautiful and interesting world
2. Beautiful art and animation
3. OP and ED theme stands out very much
4. Likable cast of characters
1. May not be as deep and philosophical as the 2003 version, as what I heard from fans
2. Constant CG usage, may bother some people
3. No character development
Before Fall 2017 even started, I was very hyped for this series. If you don't know, I love anime with interesting world for me to explore. That's why I adore Made in Abyss last season. Well, after hearing a lot
of complaints from fans of the 2003 series, is this show still worth watching? I don't know if my opinion can help but imo this series is definitely worth my time.
The best thing about Kino's Journey is the world. Of course for a series about our main character traveling from place to place, if the world isn't interesting, then this will be a stinky pile of garbage. However, Kino's Journey really did pack in a beautiful world for me to explore. I enjoyed myself learning about each countries Kino traveled to. Each of them are very unique and interesting. I'd say if you love world building in anime then be sure to check this out. No, YOU MUST CHECK THIS OUT.
The 2nd part I like about Kino's Journey is it's art and animation. The scenery for each country was beautifully drawn and that's enough for me. If an anime about traveling can't draw the scenery correctly, the it fails hard. Fortunately, Kino's Journey packed in quite an eye-catching scenery for me to look at and to love. The animation, although there are an awful ton of CG usage in some episodes, but as I'd say before, I don't hate CG. The CG in this series is natural, I guess. It didn't bother me that much but I'd say the art itself covered up the shit CG. I can forgive the animation because of the beautifully drawn art.
Also, I love the OP and ED theme for this series. It's sung by Yanagi Nagi, who if you haven't heard before, sang the OP for SNAFU and Just Because. I really love her voice. It's soothing and calming. The background music, also didn't stand out much, was still well-placed.
Character-wise, I like Kino. But other characters I don't really care much about. Although they did show us the backstories of other travelers, but in the end I watched this series for the world building and it already satisfied me, so even if the characters didn't stand out much to me, I still won't hate this series.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed myself watching Kino's Journey 2017. It's a refreshing watch and for a person who likes world building like me, this series is perfect. Now, if you excuse me, I'll head over to the 2003 version. 8/10 That's it for my review. Thanks for reading. :)
It surprised me to see that many of the preliminary reviews were written by users who had not watched the original 2003 adaptation of Kino's Journey. While I believe it is admirable to judge the 2017 adaptation with fresh eyes and a clean slate, I also believe there is merit in comparing the reboot to its predecessor. As a disclaimer, I have not read the LN.
Perhaps the difference between the two adaptations is best determined through their focus. The 2003 Kino no Tabi places greater emphasis on the world and the journey through its writing, episode sequence, and themes. The 2017 Kino no Tabi tends
to stress its characters over its world, though the 2003 version arguably accomplished this better as well in certain episodes.
I would recommend this year's adaptation if you are interested in watching a series that is not entirely sad, or entirely happy, but something that tries to display human hubris while keeping the spotlight on a cute, plot-armored girl. If you prefer something with more substance, greater focus on the world, equal prominence of the main character, and don't mind cruder presentation, then the 2003 original would be more gratifying.
Generally regarded to be more thought-provoking or morally ambiguous, the original anime owes its reputation partly to its director, Nakamura Ryutaro, who oversaw Serial Experiments Lain. This is not to say it lacked levity or lightheartedness, but the show very much exemplified one of Kino's mantras--The world is not beautiful; and that, in a way, lends it a sort of beauty.
The 2003 anime had moments of cruelty, of inevitability, of the human desire to change things for the better and of the tendency for those consequences to end poorly. It was also hopeful, touching, and a celebration of life. I want to make clear that the 2017 anime still retains most of these aspects. But the one thing that sets them apart is that Nakamura's version was far more subtle. There is little reading between the lines in the 2017 show, as characters do not hesitate to provide exposition or explain their motivations. It is hard to imagine the winter or library episodes existing in the current adaptation. Another major difference is the consideration given to Kino's backstory. The 2003 anime preferred to get it out of the way much earlier than the 2017 one, which pivoted our attention back to the world sooner. The newer adaptation keeps her origins hidden longer, as one might expect if the focus and suspense is on the main character.
Visually, comparing the new and old series is like comparing day and night. The art of the 2017 version is fantastic. The lines are sharp, the colors pleasant. Kino's design more closely resembles her appearance on the LN covers. In contrast, the 2003 version was rough even for its time: the designs were cruder, simpler; Kino looked more aloof, easygoing, sarcastic, and shrewd at the same time; she also appeared more androgynous, lacking moe or particularly feminine qualities. There were times when this was a detriment, such as viewing palatability and reduction of stakes (it is far harder to lament the loss of a bland, ugly world than a colorful, detailed one). And yet the cruder artstyle of Nakamura's storyboards allowed greater appreciation of the nonvisual content of the show--the tracks, the story being told, the atmosphere. Sometimes what is less beautiful on the outside may surprise you on the inside.
The music of the 2017 reboot lends credence to its slice-of-life description. Overall the tunes are more happy-go-lucky than the original, but this is not a bad thing. I find the OPs and EDs to fit their respective shows, though preference will depend on the viewer. The VAs were perfectly cast.
For better or for worse, Kino is more expressive this time around. It's easy to say this is a demerit, that it draws attention away from the "beautiful world," but it doesn't. It goes without saying that it is not necessarily wrong to give greater focus to Kino, for we accompany her journey through her eyes and her actions. Hermes remains mostly the same. The greatest departure the 2017 version makes, however, is the dedication of multiple episodes to characters other than Kino and Hermes. This decision allows viewers to see Kino's world from a different pair of eyes, and I found it a highly enjoyable break from the expected format. The biggest drawback is that these episodes take time away from Kino and her mostly non-meddling policy and the series would have been stronger for it if a second cour were planned.
Kino's Journey (2017) could be considered iyashikei. It is more casual, relaxing, humorous, and pleasant to watch, with a hint of thoughtfulness thanks to the source material. Kino's Journey (2003) could be called iyashikei, for different reasons. It is easy to call the new one an inferior remake, but overall it is neither worse than nor a reimagining of its predecessor. Some of its episodes are remakes, yes, but they have improvements as well as detractions. Parallels between both versions may be gleaned in a couple more. The rest are simply new stories presented from an angle that is perhaps more agreeable to the modern demographic.
Whether or not the newest Kino no Tabi is weaker than the original depends on what you expect or desire. But for most people looking for a pleasant show to spend half a day on, I think Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World - The Animated Series is worth their time.