Sometimes, a strange idea can work beautifully in the world of anime. For example, what adventures would a girl and her talking motorcycle get into as the traveled from town to town? That is the premise of Kino’s Journey-The Beautiful World-The Animated Series. The series is the second attempt to film from a series of light novels. This is not our world, as different customs and people make Kino think about her place in the world.
In the Clouds
Kino never stays in one place for very long. In fact, she has a set of rule about how long she will stay. Three days and two nights, and then she is off to the next place. She believes if she violates this rule, she will settle down. As she goes from place to place, she must adept to the different customs and ideas. The world she travels in has some parts of newer technology, while also having things that resemble a steampunk idea.
Kino does not appear to be a hero. Much like Vash the Stampede from Trigun, adventure seems to come to here regardless if she seeks it out. She is also very polite to the people she encounters, but don’t mistake her for some helpless kid. She is packing some serious heat and she is not afraid to use it if the need arises. Her only friend is Hermes, a motorcycle that can talk. Their relationship is charming, as both seem to need the other in order to survive.
One of the most interesting parts of Kino’s Journey, is the different lands that she travels through. In one, murder is considered to be legal, but the people who you might expect to live there are not quite what they seem. In another, a entire country moves along in an armored vehicle. These different places provide what the series is really about, that the world is sometimes harsh and ugly. Because of this, the world is actually beautiful. Kino might one day find a perfect country, but she would still continue traveling because there is still so much to see.
One of my favorite episodes is when Kino and Hermes come to a country that people have told her is full of rude people. They receive a warm welcome, and the stories she has been told seem to be untrue. The only thing strange is that the townspeople want her to keep to her set time of departure. I won’t spoil the ending, but it is a very good reflection about how people are and how other people remember them.
There were only twelve episodes produced of Kino’s Journey. The last episode seems to suggest that there are more stories to tell. You can watch any of the episodes in any order. There are a few recurring travelers, but the episodes can be enjoyed by themselves. The series is available on Crunchyroll so gas up your motorcycle and see what the world has in store for you.