Studio/Creators: ACGT/Keiichi Sigsawa (writer) & Kouhaku Kuroboshi (illustrator)
Distributor: ADV, streams on Hulu
No. of Episodes: 13
Suggested Age: 13+
My Rating: 10/10
Summary: Kino is a mysterious girl who is accompanied by a talking motorcycle named Hermes. Together, they travel the world, staying in various lands on the verge of dystopia, but always on the move.
Review: A land where children instantly become brainwashed, obedient adults when they turn twelve. A land of telepaths who do not associate with each other because they want to keep their thoughts private. A town with only one person left in it, who desperately longs for human contact and someone to rule over. A land that engages in gladiatorial combat for entertainment and to maintain justice. These are just some of the lands Kino visits on her journey throughout this series. Each land with its own story and in varying states of disarray.
Kino herself is a mystery. She is not a savior, yet she tries her best to understand the lands she visits. She may seem frail, but she carries two guns (called “persuaders”) and is a good shot if the situation calls for it. Hermes is a great companion because they complement each other. Hermes’s cynical wit and concern for its rider makes it an ideal ally. I enjoyed the camaraderie they shared. In reality, Kino is merely an observer, not wishing to interfere in the lives of others.
The animation style is deceptively simplistic. Even so, the landscapes can sometimes have lush colors. This show is full of beautiful backdrops in the scenes where Kino and Hermes are on their way to their next adventure.
The story really feels more like an anthology series. There is little to connect each episode to the overall story. In fact, only a handful of episodes give you any background on Kino, which is odd for a series this short. However, each land offers a great commentary on humanity.
Sub/Dub: Not bad, but Kino’s dub voice seems flat. Hermes’s VA captures its cynicism perfectly.
Music/Score: Mostly relaxing, but it can accent when there action scenes. I liked the opening theme best.
Violence: (5/10) Despite the fact that Kino has two guns, there is only moderate violence.
Related Media: This is based on a series of light novels by Keiichi Sigsawa and Kouhaku Kuroboshi, published in America by Tokyopop. There is also a manga and a game was made for the PS2 in Japan.