Anime Review: Kino's Journey - The Beautiful World- (2017)
Director: Tomohisa Taguchi
Distributor: Funimation Entertainment
Runtime: 300 minutes
Availability: Streaming subbed on Crunchyroll and Dubbed on FunimationNow, dual audio is on VRV
Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World is an adaptation of some of the stories from the light novel series Kino’s Journey by Keiichi Sigsawa. It chronicles the many journeys of a young woman named Kino and her talking motorcycle Hermes. The anime shows some of the interesting countries that Kino visits during her travels.
The episodic series doesn’t have a straightforward plot and is a collection of fans favorite stories from the light novels.
The Stories Are All Very Unique And Interesting:
I enjoyed the individual stories of Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World, it’s very interesting because the setting is never static; you’re always seeing new places and watching Kino’s experiences as she travels to new countries. While Kino herself doesn’t have a lot of character development, she does have interesting interactions with all the characters she meets in different countries.
I really enjoyed a lot of these individual stories, the country where murder is legal, the country that’s a gigantic boat, the bothersome country, they’re all interesting places that I enjoyed seeing in the anime and watching Kino interact with the people in these countries was interesting.
Kino's Journey -the Beautiful World- the Animated Series - Coming Soon:
The Animation Is Nice:
I like the animation for Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World is nice. It has a nice art style to it and I like the character designs and the art for all the different countries. The animation looks good too even though it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It does have some action scenes but it’s not the primary focus of the anime.
The animation looks good, but I have seen some of the original Kino’s Journey (2003) and I like the art style of the original anime a little more because it had a unique design that made Kino stand out more. The new anime looks good, but it looks more generic than its predecessor.
Overall, it’s nice to look at, but it’s not mind-blowing or amazing in terms of animation. It looks good and it’s supposed to, it gets the job done and it’s visually pleasing. I think the opening looks really beautiful.
Audio and Subtitles:
English (Reviewed) (FunimationNow)
The English Dub Is Good:
I liked the English dub, it was good. It had some newcomers that I haven’t heard much from, but it also had a lot of veterans in smaller roles that I really enjoyed a lot.
Lindsey Seidel voices Kino and she did a great job in this role. I have heard her work before in Assassination Classroom Season One and Two (2015) so I know she’s a great voice actress, but it is nice to see her voicing a female character and not a middle school student. She did a great job in this role and she was enjoyable as the main lead in this anime.
Derick Snow is really good as Hermes the motorcycle. I liked his performance was very well done and he was a nice choice for this role. I enjoyed the personality he gave the character.
Brina Palencia is great as Photo. She did a wonderful job as this character; the episode that she appears in is one of the best episodes in the anime. She had to scream loudly in this episode and that she pulled it off is amazing, because it sounds like it took a lot out of her.
Greg Ayres is excellent as So, Photo’s motorcycle and I really loved his work in this anime. He is a great voice actor and he brought personality to his character, even if it was just for one episode.
Christopher R. Sabat is hilarious as Riku, his character was adorable, being a dog and all. He had the most hilarious lines in the anime. Chris Sabat doesn’t seem like the voice actor to voice a dog, but he did a fantastic job.
Jeff Johnson is very good as Shizu. I like the character he played and he gave a good performance. He was a nice choice for this role. He’s a good voice actor.
The Soundtrack Is Nice:
Yoshiaki Dewa composed a nice soundtrack for the anime. I liked the music and it sounded nice. It fit the scenes it was used in and I like the score for this series.
The opening is "here and there" by Nagi Yanagi and I really enjoyed the opening, not just the song but the visuals and animation as well.
The ending is "Satō-dama no Tsuki" (砂糖玉の月) by Nagi Yanagi. It’s really nice and pleasant.
Overall, I enjoy the soundtrack for Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World a lot and found it to be an enjoyable anime not just because of the visuals, but berceuse of the music too.
Kino's Journey -The Beautiful World- (2017) Ending:
The Anime Isn’t Told In Chronological Order So There Isn’t Any Character Development:
Since this is more of a “greatest hits” or fan favorite anime adaptation that shows reader’s favorite chapters from Kino’s Journey, there is no character growth for Kino during her journey, but because we don’t have the Kino’s Journey light novels licensed you wouldn’t know that about the anime adaptation unless you looked up information about the anime adaptation.
Because this is not a straightforward adaptation Kino has no pattern of character development because the story is not told in order to show her character growth, so everything is uneven when it comes to storytelling.
For This Being Called “Kino’s Journey”, She’s absent from a Few Episodes:
Kino is surprisingly absent from one-third of the anime despite the title of the anime being Kino’s Journey – The Beautiful World. One-third of the episodes don’t feature Kino much outside of a mention or a brief appearance during the episode. It is very strange that fans picked some episodes where the titular character isn’t really there.
It does feel rather jarring since the original Kino’s Journey (2003) had a pattern to it for Kino’s journey through different countries and that’s not in this adaptation, because it’s not a direct one like the first series.
Some People Don’t Like Episodic Anime:
The way this series is presented is in an episodic format and there are anime watchers that prefer a straightforward linear plot. If you’re looking for an anime with a plot with rising action, climax and denouement, this isn’t your anime.
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This Is An Enjoyable Anime:
Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World (2017) is a nice, enjoyable anime. It might not be the most amazing anime you’ll ever see, but it’s a pleasant one to watch. It was a nice change of pace compared to anime that usually come out every year.
I really enjoyed this anime and I find that it was worth my time, it’s not one that I can recommend on a blind buy though because of the choice to adapt the material based on a popularity poll.
What Doesn't Work:
Interesting stories, characters and countries
Episodic format might not appeal to everyone
No real character development because of the fan favorite format
Good English dub
No straightforward plot because of fan poll for favorite episodes
My Grade: B:
Kino’s Journey: The Beautiful World is an entertaining anime. It has nice animation and art style. The stories are interesting even if the adaptation is disjointed because it’s not in chronological order. It’s an enjoyable anime that was nice and relaxing.
The anime has nice animation, it’s not amazing or anything, but it’s very nice to look at and the backgrounds are very nice. It has interesting visuals, but they lack the style of the original 2003 anime.
Overall, Kino’s Journey is worth your time if you want a relaxing anime to watch if you don’t want something that’s too serious or has a complicated plot.
Kino’s journey might not be worth buying for everyone, but it’s definitely worth watching. If you like it a lot, I’d recommend just waiting until it goes on sales before adding it to your anime collection. It’s an enjoyable series, but not quite worth the “buy” recommendation from me.
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