starting a new journey

with Kino and Hermes. Discs one and two are with me via Netflix and I am watching them while I commute on the bus. I just finished “Land of the Adults.” Some spoilerific thoughts thus far below the fold…

UPDATE: Just finished Coliseum I and II. I really like this series.

I really like this series so far. The world in which Kino travels reminds me of Haibane Renmei in some ways: clearly supernatural in some ways. Examples are the changing landscape (ie, a rock bridge forming over a chasm in moments) or the spirit of the girl victim of the slavers, freed when Kino opened the truck. The villages – called “countries” – are culturally isolated islands.

Thus far it’s clear that Kino is the epitome of self-reliance. Her concerns about obligation to the rabbits for example gave us a deep understanding of her worldview. What strikes me though is the unspoken “prime directive” that she (and the earlier Kino) operated by. Is there some kind of cosmic rule that requires the countries to maintain their traditions? There seems to be a larger power at work in fixing the “rules” that Kino takes for granted and this again reminds me of Haibane. Certainly there is no Wall but then again, the world does seem rather circumscribed anyway.

At any rate, it’s a great series so far. Thanks to all of you guys who recommended it. And you’re right – not even remotely kidsafe 🙂 I’m sure I’ve seen nothing yet. I’ve been partly conditioned to expect nothing more violent than HR or Sugar and so Kino was a jarring contrast (in a good way).

No spoilers for me ahead, please! but feel free to discuss, spoileriffically, everything up to and including Land of the Adults.

7 thoughts on “starting a new journey”

  1. It is one of my favorite series as well. I find that I keep going back and watching it again. I also recommend the movie ‘Life Goes On’ (not licensed, unfortunately, but available via fansubs). It helps fill in the gap between ‘Land of Adults’ and the rest of the series.

  2. I really enjoyed it, but for me the rewatch score is zero. I’ve never felt any urge at all to watch it again. I think perhaps it’s because the characterization is weak, and the primary interest is the surprise factor. So on rewatch there are still no characters I’m interested in, and there’s no surprise any more either.

    The only continuing characters are Kino and Hermes, but they’re “men from mars” who are in the series mainly so they can observe what each place is like. There is a bit of long-term character development for Kino, but not enough to bring me back again.

    Once Aziz has finished watching the whole series, we can engage in a debate about which of the two origin stories we credit. Myself, I prefer the second one, from the library story. It explains things much better.

    (But we better not engage in that debate yet, because it would be a spoiler.)

  3. That should be a good debate.

    I’ve found that I rewatch it for odd reasons. I recently found myself trying to ID Kino’s revolver and had to look at a few episodes to get some grabs. Those episodes got me hooked again and I watched nearly the whole thing again. I ended up getting a blackpowder Colt revolver that matches Kino’s exactly (even to the historical inaccuracies). What fun for a gun-nut that had never shot black powder.

    I just like Kino’s character, I guess. I can identify more with her than anybody else from any series I’ve watched. Plus, she’s got a little Columbo in her – ‘Let me ask you just one more question…’

    There was something really odd about her that I couldn’t put my finger on until watching the last episode, when it finally hit me. No spoilers now, though.

  4. astro – I read your gun post, and I am duly impressed! 🙂 You and Pete both.

    I can already see that parts of this series will have rewatch potential – in particular, the Three Men on a Rail Line. Others likely won’t ave any – like the three men in the snow. Since I’ve only finished discs 1 and 2 though I dont know yet what my final verdict will be. I still find the show to remind me strongly of Haibane Renmei for some reason that I cant quite place.

    I just snagged the fansub for Life Goes On off bittorrent – shoudl i wait to watch it aftre ive finshed the rest of the series?

  5. The series has a few references to what happens in the movie, but you don’t miss out by not having seen it yet. I’d probably wait and watch it after you are done.

  6. You can watch Life Goes On anytime after you’ve seen the first four episodes. I was disappointed by it. It belonged to a different, less interesting show, noteworthy only for filling in the part of the gap between the fourth episode and the rest of the series. The final episode on the fourth disk is a much better place to end your viewing of Kino.

    If you’re doing bittorrent, you might look for an additional short Kino story called “The Tower Country.” It’s more of a piece with the material on the DVDs than the “movie.”

    If you really become obsessed with Kino, you can read the books by Keiichi Sigsawa, which are being translated into English. I’d recommend waiting until you complete the anime series to avoid spoilers.

  7. Stumbled onto this weblog a few days ago, and *anybody* that likes Haibane Renmei get’s a thumbs up from me… 😉

    I’m glad you’re enjoying Kino’s Journey. ONe of my own top favorites (and I rewatch it fairly often, though usually with different people to get their reactions to the series).

    The book is quite impressive, too, and is indeed worth a read once the series is finished.

    Hope you update on your impressions on the anime when you’re done.

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