Do you think it’s possible to walk into any sort of medium completely unbiased? This is kind of a trick question, because I don’t think it’s possible at all. The closest way that would be the case if we watch or read something at a really young age. When we were kids, we could walk into any sort of thing and just watch it for what it is, because we have no preset values or opinions yet. Those come later. As we see more and more things and establish our likes and dislikes, an unbiased opinion is completely impossible. Maybe that is stretching this a little too far though. I mean, a person could have watched a lot of live action shows for a while and then watch anime for the first time and be stunned by what it can do. After a while with some experience, their opinion start to form and come through which trully represent who and how they are as a person. There is no turning back or reset button. That’s humanity after all. Yes, this has all the relevance in the world with how I think about this new Kino adaption (and writing reviews in genera). This, of course, is not a review because I am not approaching this from a balanced opinion at all.
Kino’s Journey (2017) was a complete victim to this from all areas of attack. Part of this is my attachment to the 2003 series. As much as I said that I was trying to see the 2017 show in a new light, it wasn’t that hard at all. The two series are as different as night and day. It partially starts with the episode construction. The 2003 series had episodes and themes chosen by it’s director, the same person behind Serial Experiments Lain. That means the tone of each episode and the meanings behind each episode were all chosen way ahead of time, which made the show feel like it had some direction. The 2017 series is different because the countries that were given an episode were founded by an online pole. With the eight episodes that I watched, the difference is incredibly clear. Each episode does not connect to each other in any sort of way with no main concept the show is trying to say or a tone that makes the show feel it’s all a part of the same series. Such a huge difference from such a small detail; It’s completely astounding. I could also say something about the directors behind each series makes a difference too, but if Kino 2017’s director took the reins on these episodes decision, this anime might feel cohesive at least.
The next thing that this 2017 series has against it are this series’ politics. I know that Kino’s Journey is not written for the United States, because the main audience for anime is always the Japanese first and everyone else second. Our countries politics are so different on many levels, but that’s not the only difference I see. As far as I know, the Japanese people don’t suffer from as many mass shootings as the United States does. (If I am wrong about this, please, please, tell me and/or send me a link telling me I’m wrong. I can handle being wrong.) My country has had more and more incidents of mass shootings recently that don’t seem to be stopping, not that ANY politician is helping right now. Seeing the talk of guns, mass shootings, and traveler main characters who immediately go against an established government on a whim, doesn’t really weight on my conscious lightly. No matter what, I cannot agree with this show’s politics. The next four episodes are most likely not going to change my mind from this opinion either. The first episode, which I still think is the best, still dealt with gun politics. No matter what, my opinion against the kind of stories that this show is going with. Maybe if the US wasn’t going through a hard time (again), this might change. Might.
Also, I don’t like any of the main characters of this 2017 version of Kino either. I don’t know how you can defend these horrible people. The Kino is this edition is a mad woman that needs to be stopped. She is almost completely emotionless and hardly seems to have any kind of regard toward human life. Luxuries, yes, but pushing mass slaughter on a country on a whim doesn’t put me in here corner. Shizu (the fallen prince) isn’t any better either. He has destabilized a country or two himself along his journey for a home. Because of the incidents that both of these characters cause and the lack of characterization that goes into both of them, Kino and Shizu come off as complete ass holes. Now, having an ass hole protagonist is nothing something new or a bad thing all the time. There are many series that have jerk protagonists which end up working incredibly well, but watching an episode a week and hoping that these jerks don’t destabilize another country, even if that country is full of jerks and morons, isn’t the way I want to spend my time.
I wish I wasn’t as stubborn as I am, but I don’t know how to fix that. In reality, I should have stopped going through Kino’s Journey (2017) after watching the second episode. You know, the first one with all the mass killing. I had to give this show a chance, and that didn’t amount to anything. Especially now. Without all those attributes, Kino’s Journey hasn’t actually been Kino’s Journey either. For the past three episodes, Kino has barely an appearance or was not the main vocal point of the story being told. She either was stock in the fog, conveying a story that happened to some other people for some reason, or is MIA. You can’t call this show Kino’s Journey if Kino is hardly in it at any capacity at all. The real title should something along the lines of “Kino and Friends Cause Mass Chaos Through Out the Land”. Um, that might have to be edited and trimmed down. Or maybe just leave it. This is a light novel adaptation too, after all
Whether it’s because my opinion has been biased by a previous adaption or just my surroundings doesn’t matter. I didn’t like this adaption of Kino’s Journey at all. Whether or not a person likes something is up to the individual’s interpretation and this is mine. There just so many things that just continued to go wrong with it and there was something else that I didn’t talk about that was going on as well. Kino’s Journey (2017) was incredibly robotic in its execution. There was almost no nuance to it at all, because a lot of the exposition was done through a robotic manner by a motoradd and never through the people. There wasn’t a lot of exploration in this series that follows around a lone explorer and a talking motorcycle, which means none of this ever felt like a journey of sorts. It’s not about the philosophy or the examination of human nature that the 2003 adaptation is known for that is weighing this series down at all. The writing for this 2017 edition has just been bad all over the place and even the best episodes could not save it. Goodbye Kino 2017. I wish we could have departed on better terms.This was the first series that I reviewed somewhat episodically, so that makes Kino 2017 something special for me. It needed more words then “I am dropping this show”.
So, what am I going to put in this spot right next? I’m thinking about writing Girl’s Last Tour episodic reviews or just not writing episodic reviews at all. It is almost the end of another year in anime, so maybe I will fill that spot by listing favorites. Girl’s Last Tour is episodic in nature and doesn’t require too many things to catch up to what is going on. I’ll think about this for a little bit, but I’m happy either way right now. More content will appear anyway. Thank you all for reading this.