We are always biased – Kino’s Journey (2017) Watch Eulogy

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.

19 Comments Add yours

  1. Rocco B says:

    Rip Kino, your journey was never meant to be.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. AJ says:

    Kino’s Journey isn’t my cup of tea but it’s a shame you haven’t been enjoying it.

    The natural human bias is probably the reason why most people struggle with the concept of liking something you think is bad and disliking something you think is good. You can imagine the horror on some of my friends faces when I say I don’t like Star Wars…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      You can probably imagine the look of horror I have on my face right now.

      I kid, I kid… Mostly

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Irina says:

    I haven’t seen either series so I’ve hardly anything constructive to say but I’ve always wated to see the original and the 2017 is on my to see list as well. From this review I think I’ll start with the most recent iteration and see how that affects my opinion of the original.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      That sounds like an interesting idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. TPAB~ says:

    Hahaha. I dropped it at episode four and i just plan to marathon it when the series is over. I had never felt so disappointed since I have deep love for the 03 version too. The sad thing is that THIS is the kino the new fanbase is acquianted with. This is the Kino they’ll think is deep and philosphical and a lot of think pieces are already praising the 2017 show. That troubles me the most, tbh. Of course thos is just my opinion. XD

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Scott says:

      Oh Lord, I hope this isn’t the one people consider smart. No way that can even be closer to true.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. TPAB~ says:

        some people are already defending this anime, claiming it does have some deep stuff to deliver. well, yeah, it’s from the same author but the execution is so bad. i’m glad people know who Kino is, but the entire thing is bittersweet for me. haha

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Scott says:

        I haven’t seen this anywhere, damn anime bubble.

        Do you have any certain links about this?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. TPAB~ says:

        i just read it on other episodic reviews. No editorials and such, just little segments on how philosophical the episode was. I honestly don’t remember the blog, since I just randomly read stuff on WP reader. xD

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Karandi says:

    I didn’t mind the first couple of episodes (I actually realy enjoyed them). But the mid-season has been really flat and it has become more and more apparent htat this show has no real message or idea and even for an episodic show it lacks any kind of cohesion (not helped by the title character being missing from quite a few of the episodes).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scott says:

      I liked the first episode quite a bit, but can’t say it ever reached the same height again.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Zainou says:

    I completely agree with everything you said in this post. Kino no Tabi 2017 to put it bluntly, is not Kino no Tabi. It isn’t methodical and the amount of unnecessary violence in a show that was once about philosophical exploration is appalling. With that said, great post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scott says:

      Your Avatar fits your comment incredibly well.

      And thank you for reading. I’m glad I’m not alone on this.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. ospreyshire says:

    Thanks for your insight. I really liked the original series and from your reviews and some others I have found who know the 2003 version, this remake sounds so mediocre. It sounds like the flaws aren’t just the lack of philosophy and thought that made the original work, but also it’s because of Protagonist Centered Morality. Yes, I’ve used that term in some of my reviews and in Karandi’s recent article about why it would suck to be a villain, but from what I gather, this remake suffers from PCM greatly. There are villains who have done less than Kino, yet she gets away with mass murder and stuff because “she’s the good guy”. This is special pleading and hypocrisy to the highest degree and that’s saying nothing about the gun politics involved in this current iteration. Thanks for watching this remake, so I don’t have to. Shame on anyone who thinks this is deep for those who haven’t seen the original. [rant over]

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      I guess is 2003 Kino watchers and lovers just have to stick together.

      I haven’t heard about PCM before, but it does make a lot of sense. I think I can think of a few more series that suffer from the same problem.

      You’re welcome, I guess. I was hoping that this series would end up to be good, but we can never get the result we want all the time. That all being said, there is a show that has had a lot of the spirit of The 2003 Kino airing this season. It approached a lot of the things that one did in a very different way, which I find great. Hmm, maybe I’ll talk about that one next week.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ospreyshire says:

        Quite true. I’m glad there are people that know the original 2003 Kino.

        Yup. I’ve always hated it when I saw it, but I didn’t know that was the correct term until a couple of years ago. One of my anime reviews scheduled for this Saturday suffers from this big time, and I have an entire paragraph talking about PCM while bringing up examples from famous shows or movie.

        No problem, good sir. I’m looking forward to finding out what this other series could be. That’s the thing about remakes whenever you watch the original because you always compare and contrast with the original. It’s also part of the reason why I’m hesitant to watch the 2011 HXH even though it goes farther than the older TV show and OVAs.

        Liked by 1 person

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