Jul 5, 2013
obtrice (All reviews)
For fans of Kino’s Journey, Life Goes On is a welcome addition. It’s a cute, engaging story that reveals how Kino got her traveler’s outfit and remarkable skills, expands upon two important secondary characters, Shishou and the older Kino, and focuses on Kino’s guilt over the death of the older Kino. It also has a bit of action, humor, and a suspenseful, darker climax.

As a prequel, the film isn’t bad but it leaves something to be desired. How did Kino and Shishou meet, and why does Shishou make Kino (and everyone else) call her Master? When and why did Kino decide to leave Shishou? If Life Goes On were actually a movie, maybe it would have had the time to answer these and other questions. At just under 30 minutes, it’s more like another episode, but unlike other episodes, it fails to raise any interesting cultural issues. For better or worse, it’s just a collection of events from Kino’s childhood, with little expository or intellectual value.

Given the dearth of Kino’s Journey anime, fans should certainly check Life Goes On out. It’s a good story, and of course, it’s more Kino. Just don’t expect to find any big answers or profound messages. For those who haven’t seen Kino’s Journey and are looking for a good starting place, the “Tower Country” OVA (Episode 00) is a better choice as it’s more representative of the series.