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 1: What Will We See?
- Episode 2: Story Crafting Done Right
- Episode 3: Keeping Things Grey
- Episode 4: We Can Fix It
- Episode 5: A Little Dull This Week
- Episode 6: Lost to Fate
- Episode 7: The Art of Reimagining History
- Episode 8: Now, You Do In Fact Have Kino in Kino’s Journey, Correct?
- Episode 9: Disjointed Fragments
- Episode 10: Pointless
- Episode 11: Poor Pacing Continues to be a Problem
- Episode 12: A Fittingly Bland End
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