Kino’s Journey (2017) Series Review: Aimless Wanderer’s Journey Fails To Connect



Kino travels from country to country with her talking motorrad Hermes. She stays in each country for three days and then moves on.


I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for episodic stories (even highly formulaic ones) so Kino’s Journey was something I thought I could get in to. I’d never seen the original (hadn’t heard of it until this new series came out) so I didn’t go in with expectations or comparisons like some viewers, and yet after my initial fairly positive impressions during the first 2 – 3 episodes, the show essentially bombed. So what went wrong?


A lot of the blame needs to be placed on the lack of cohesion in this story, which is a weird criticism to give something that is episodic and yet makes sense. When I think about something like Natsume Yuujinchou that used a fairly episodic approach through most of its seasons, each season still has an over-arching theme that is developed and most stories somehow connect us to that theme. Even something like Ghost Hunt has characters who develop over the course of their encounters and relationships that change so even though the individual stories can be viewed in isolation, watching in order adds something to the experience as there are solid narrative connections.


Kino’s Journey lacks this. Kino is not an interesting enough (or explored enough) character to make their development (not that there is any) the linking thread (plus Kino is missing from a number of episodes of Kino’s Journey). And there seems to be no central idea other than one of selfish desire and even that isn’t really explored it just kind of is.


As a result, individual episodes have to be judged on their own merit as stand-alone stories and not one of these episodes has sufficient depth or strength to really hold up. Some of them are outright badly written and completely pointless.


That isn’t to say there are no good ideas or interesting moments in Kino’s Journey. There are plenty. However, the story isn’t interesting in delving into any of these or giving them the exploration they need to be something more than a throw away line or idea. You will swiftly be moved on to more mediocre moments and wondering just why you bothered to watch the next story at all.


Overall, this one just wasn’t worth the time. It looks good enough but isn’t dazzling. The basic premise is solid but nothing is every really done with it. Some of the support characters we meet along the way are interesting enough but as this is an ongoing journey, none of them hang around long enough to save the show. And episode 12 is a joke gone wrong so just spare yourself. Definitely not one I can recommend.

Episode Reviews:

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James


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11 thoughts on “Kino’s Journey (2017) Series Review: Aimless Wanderer’s Journey Fails To Connect

    1. I haven’t seen the original, hadn’t even heard about it until I started reading reviews of this one and saw people comparing it to the ‘original’. I’ve been considering the original but to be honest, it doesn’t sound like my sort of thing.

      1. Gotcha. I wondered how many people have seen the original. I do enjoy the 2003 version and I recently rewatched it and reviewed it. Kino’s Journey isn’t my favorite anime of all time although I can see why some people would put it in their top 10 list for the original. I did enjoy the philosophical nature of the anime and the depth in certain episodes of the 2003 version.

  1. I ofcourse kept up with your episodic reviews for this one, so this post really wasn’t a surprise. It’s a real shame though, because as you said, the series did seem to have a lot of potential. I always hate it when stuff like this happens 😢 Haha…and I so remember what you wrote about that last episode 😂😂

    1. That last episode was just kind of toxic. I still don’t know what they were thinking. Anime gives us a lot of ‘what the’ moments but watching that episode still really pushed it to the limit. Fighting sheep? Really?

  2. It’s definately missing cohesion. That’s what made Trigun and Cowboy Bebop awesome. That mesh of episodic and story arc. I don’t really care about Kino because he just seems to wander and that’s it.

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