A young girl by the name of Kino has lived through a traumatic experience in her past, and now lives with an old woman named Shishou. With the help of Shishou, Kino hones her skills with a gun and learns to ride the talking motorrad Hermes; however, Kino is haunted by what happened to the person with her namesake, and is also suffering from an identity crisis. Even with these issues Kino must prepare for her first journey; will it prove to be pleasant or harrowing?
Based on the light novel and 2003 anime series Kino's Journey, this special tells a bit of Kino's backstory, and why she travels, starting with her first trip after training with her master. Story: This could have been very good, and revealed a lot about a character who doesn't get much in her series. But, it totally skips most of the info about the big event in her pre-traveling life (I only know about it from googling), to the point where this all felt like a waste of time. There wasn't even an interesting new land to see, meaning the special had neither a particularly interesting story or the interesting lands that the series is known for. It specifically skips over explaining a huge part of her backstory, and it derails the entire story by doing that. Animation: Its about normal by the standards of the 2003 anime, complete with artifical scan lines, but something about the adult character designs looks off, and kind of mediocre. Sound: Its fine. A decent opening song, and decent Japanese voice acting. Characters: We get a bit more info about Kino then most things give, but it leaves out a big chunck of info that hurts any characterization. Her master is fine, although we don't get much about her. Overall: This could have been an interesting exploration of a character who, well, doesn't get much character wise in most of her stories. Instead, it cliff notes the bit of backstory she does have, and it doesn't even have the cool and unusual lands the series is known for, which makes the whole thing feel pointless.
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