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Animé is known for showcasing characters with super-human powers, or mostly not even human at all. It is known for it's original and bizarre stories and story lines, which seem to fascinate every animation fan. It is a big hit among viewers who enjoy watching the endless possibilities of story making. It is, I believe the very nature of japanimation. But to be honest it is very rare to see an animé much like this one I'm going to review about, called "Kino No Tabi".
Sometimes called "Kino's Journey" or "Kino's Travels" "Kino No Tabi" is probably the most artiest and most thought-proving animé I've seen (really!). Based from the sensational novel series by Keiichi Sigsawa that became popular in Japan back in 2000, "Kino No Tabi" is the unique story of a young traveler named Kino, and Kino's traveling companion, a talking motorcycle named Hermes. Together, they travel from country to country, meeting different people, and exploring different cultures. They learn and discover new things as they travel, and thus, making this show a delightful series, because you learn with its characters.
It is likely that you'll be surprised with the series' unconventional stories, and it's unusual characters (that appear in every episode) it may seem slow sometimes since the characters do much talking than anything else, since this is after all the way that this show uplifts itself through the characters' interactions with one another, especially the conversations with Kino and Hermes. You will marvel at Kino's calmness and rational ways of dealing with matters that most of us don't give a damn about.
Kino is an intelligent, and charming character despite having to act coldly at times. Another unusual thing about "Kino No Tabi" is Kino's gender. It wasn't made clear in the first to third episodes, since some characters in the stories refer to Kino as a boy and some called her "miss". What's even more confusing would be Kino's use of "boku" (a Japanese pronoun used by a male to refer to himself) when speaking. But this will be made clear during the 4th episode. I don't want to give spoilers, but it was a cool concept by the author to make Kino's gender a mystery.
Featuring the voice of Ai Maeda as Kino (she played Shiori Kitano in "Battle Royale 2: Requiem"). Hers is perfect for the character of Kino, since it's quite hard to distinguish her voice (if male or female). As you know, most animé have women do the voice acting for some male characters (especially if the characters are young boys). So it won't be surprising if her character, Kino is a boy or maybe not.
All I can say, "Kino No Tabi" will not be like any other animé you've seen. It's a brilliant series that uniquely unveils various human philosophies. It's one of those shows you'd be glad you took the time to watch.
From the people behind the shows "Serial Experiments Lain", "Haibane Renmei", and "Boogiepop Phantom".. "Kino No Tabi" is another show yet to impress you with it's brilliance and it's unique expression of a radical sense of "beauty".
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