Jul 7, 2013
obtrice (All reviews)
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.