KINOíS JOURNEY (year)

 

Format: 13 24-minute episodes on 4 DVDs

Rating: PG (AC, V)

Type: Action/Drama

American Production: ADV Films

English Dub Production: Industrial Smoke and Mirrors

Japanese Production: Studio Wombat, et al

 

Grading

 

Premise:

A

Story:

A

Writing:

A

Character Design:

C+

Animation:

B-

Artistic Merits:

C+ 

English Dub:

Musical Score:

Opener:

B

Closer:

B

 

 

Humor Content:

n/a

Action Content:

B

Drama Content:

A-

 

 

DVD Presentation:

Not reviewed 

DVD Extras:

Not reviewed 

 

 

OVERALL:

B+

 

Synopsis

††††† Kino, a boyish young woman, is a Traveler, one who wanders the land on her motorrad (a talking motorcycle) visiting various countries as she sees what there is to see and talks to and learns about the people she meets. She follows a strict rule: never stay more than three days in any one place before moving on. During her journeys she encounters many strange places Ė some wonderful, some sad, some dangerous, most unforgettable.

 

The Long View

 †††† Kinoís Journey is a truly distinctive series amongst the ranks of anime titles; thereís really nothing else like it that I have seen. Based on a series of novels, it more closely resembles the classic French novel The Little Prince or the classic English novel Gulliverís Travels, in which the traveler visits many different lands whose oddities often present scathing commentaries on various social trends. Countries that Kino visits range from two with unusual and drastic methods of limiting conflict and warfare to one where everything is automated to one where the development of telepathy has forced people to live in isolation to one where absolute democracy destroyed the country to yet another where citizenship is only earned through deadly contests, as well as more than a half-dozen other fascinating locales. The circumstances of each country are intended to make the viewer think, and each episode (most of which are self-contained) raises many interesting questions. This is a series which could easily be analyzed during all-night coffee sessions after viewing each episode. Rarely has watching anime been such an intellectual exercise!

††††† The main knock against Kinoís Journey is that its artistry and character design is somewhat simplistic and rather ordinary. The writing is outstanding, however, thus more than making up for artistic shortcomings. Kelli Cousins does a fine job voicing the lead role for the English dub, although performances in other roles generally didnít impress me. Opening and closing theme songs are both good.

Although it is often listed as an action series, and there are some action scenes peppered throughout which sometimes involve people getting killed (Kino isnít hesitant about drawing her Peacemaker when needed), Kino is really more of a drama. Those expecting an all-out action series will be disappointed. It is sometimes harsh in its subject matter (hence the Adult Content rating) but is not notably graphic or violent.

Kinoís Journey is a series well worth a try if youíre looking for something intelligent and well off the beaten path.

 

DVD Extras

††††† This review is based solely on Anime Network VOD broadcasts.

 

 

Principle English Voice Actors

Role

Voice Actor

Kino

Kelli Cousins

Hermes, minor roles

Cynthia Martinez

 numerous assorted roles

Christine Auten

Marcy Bannor

Shelly Calene-Black

Kyle Jones

Vic Mignogna

Rick Piersall

John Swasey

. . .among others 

 

 

 

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