In another world, there exist many countries, each with different cultures, customs, and traditions. From technological marvels to folk legends, each location yields a vast wealth of insight of its people: their hopes and their dreams, their failures and fears. Kino is a traveler whose goal is to visit as many new places as possible, learning about others' ways of life, but also making sure to stay clear of their affairs. Together with the talking motorrad Hermes, Kino sets out to explore the beautiful world and meet its inhabitants, wherever they may be.
In feudal Japan, evil spirits known as mononoke plague both households and the countryside, leaving a trail of fear in their wake. One mysterious person has the power to slay the mononoke where they stand; he is known only as the Medicine Seller, and he vanquishes the mononoke using the power of his Exorcism Sword. However, in order to draw his sword he must first understand the Form, Truth and Reason of the mononoke. Armed with a sharp wit and keen intellect, the Medicine Seller wanders from place to place, striking down the mononoke in his wake.
Kino's Journey and Mononoke have a similar structure, both told through small story arcs, each of which unfolds in a way that will make you think. Kino and the Medicine Seller are both wandering travellers, and very neutral characters, prefering to avoid biases and see things objectively, without getting too involved in other's lives.
Dr Kenzo Tenma is a genius surgeon working in post-Cold War Germany who has a bright future ahead of him. He is admired by his colleagues, loved by his patients, and due to marry his boss' daughter, the beautiful Eva Heinemann. One day, when two patients in desperate need of emergency surgery are wheeled into his hospital, Tenma faces a terrible choice of saving the orphaned boy who came first or the mayor of Düsseldorf, whose recovery would raise the hospital's profile and boost his own career. Against the demands of his superior, Tenma does what he believes is right and saves the child. However, his decision not only damages his prospects, but unleashes a chain of events so horrific that it might have come from the depths of his worst nightmares. Laden with guilt, Tenma begins a journey across Germany in search of a formidable young man who will challenge his morals, his love for life, and his very sanity.
Kino's Journey has many of the same themes and concepts that are present in Monster (the horror and unfairness of the world, the corruptibility of human beings), but in a slightly lighter, more optimistic tone. Kino's Journey will help you start thinking critically of the world around you: once you're ready, Monster will show you just how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Two tin toy mice, a father and child, who can only move when their key is wound, awaken in a toy store, only to get tossed out with the trash. In order to survive the very, very dangerous world, they venture on to find a way to become 'self winding'. Along the way they meet a future telling frog, an animal theater troup, an inventor muskrat and others. They also must be careful to avoid the clutches of Manny the Rat, a cruel rat who enslaves toys to steal for him! will our two heroes ever be free to walk their own path, or will they be stuck running in circles?
Granted, Kino's Journey and the Mouse and his Child are very dissimilar in their format, production quality, and probable intended audience. That said, they're very similar thematically and, to a certain degree, in tone. The exploration of free will, otherness and the banality of injustice are key to both pieces, with healthy doses of social philosophy and metafiction. Though Kino's journey is for the audience's benefit (Kino is already free), Mouse and Child have a definitive goal (to become self-winding, acceptance), which accounts for their variant kinds of journeys (episodic vs. some recurring places and characters). Still, despite it's dated animation and occasional silliness, the way of the world in the Mouse and his Child is somewhat reminiscent of some of the lands visited on Kino's Journey.
Natsume is lonely; he has an ability that separates him from others: he can see and interact with spirits. Soon, however, Natsume discovers that he’s not alone: his grandmother Reiko also had the gift. But things get hectic and possibly dangerous for Natsume when he finds out that he also inherited the 'Book of Friends', a book that contains the names of all the spirits Reiko defeated and subjugated. He finds himself hounded by his grandmother's underlings and, with the help of a 'cat' charm spirit, decides to free them from the Book's shackles, as well as protect the book from those who seek to misuse its power...
Kino's Journey is a deeply philosophical and thought-provoking series for more adult audiences. Natsume Yuujinchou is light-hearted where Kino's Journey is sombre. However, if you're a fan of Kino's Journey (or vice versa), you'll find Natsume Yuujinchou to be perfect fare for you. Both series delve into the matters of the heart with passion and a flare of emotion. If you love one, I truly believe you will love the other. Don't pass it up.
Both shows are about a girl and her motorcycle traveling around finding out who they are. Kino's Journey is more episodic, interesting, and a little dark where One Off is just a cute lighthearted story about a school girl and her friends with bikes. If you like shows that feature bikes and cute chicks these 2 are a perfect match.