Marred by tragedy at a young age, the young wanderer decides to continue the path of her savior, knowing she has no home to return to.
Kino's Journey is an anime which i finished, enjoyed, but if asked why would have no idea.
Story - 6/10
While some have praised Kino's theme of asking questions which are never answered as insightful and intelligent, as a former film history student I see it for what it really is, something you see in many films, laziness. What helps me reach this conclusion is that they take scenes from other movies and use them in this anime, most specifically the blatant Clockword Orange ripoff (or call it homage if you want) in the Land of Books episode.
On their own each episode is pretty enjoyable, following Kino and her motored Hermes, whom she inherited though a friend, the same friend who's journey she now finishes. Each episode has a theme, many of which revolve around a tyrannical leader or dumb set of laws that rule each city. Though its strange to get what the author is actually aiming for, as they pretty much complain about every possible form of government without ever trying to offer their idea of what is right, so at times it really comes off as a holy than thou point of view from the author.
I think the animation was the best part of the show. They pick a very nice color palette and stick with it throughout. While it's not the most groundbreaking of design, everything fits with what seems like a realistic dream, where everything has that slight haze just blending the colors.
Sound - 7/10
The music never really came right at you in the series, which was good as again that fits the somewhat dreamscape of it all. The songs, openings and closings, were all very pleasant and were a great accompaniment.
On the other hand the voices were a bit on the irritating side when it came to the two main characters. Kino's voice did fit her personality well, it was vanilla. Low sounding to an annoyance at times it was a complete opposite to the grating sound of Hemes' voice. Yes as a motorcycle you wouldn't expect the voice to be completely humanlike, but listening to both versions you can see the English director made a choice to stray from just a normal voice over and it unfortunately failed.
Characters - 5/10
Due to the nature of each episode being a stand alone story it leaves you questioning much about our two main characters. We learn where they came from and why they are traveling, but it seems as if Kino never actually grows from any experience, and those experiences never carry over to the next episode.
Sadly some of the single episode characters have much more growth than Kino herself does throughout the whole series.
Overall - 7/10
Again, despite my at times dismissive review of the show I did enjoy it. They are interesting stories and can get you to think about the way countries are run, although as I said they basically state that every version of govt is bad which then leaves you with???
Being only 13 episodes also helped keep it a watchable series. Without a strong story throughout and no real goal for Kino, anything more would have become repetitive and worn out quickly.