Kino’s Journey

Kino’s Journey

Kino's Journey anime series cover art
Kino’s Journey

3 Days Per Country

Kino’s Journey (Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World / キノの旅 -the Beautiful World-) is an adventure anime. It follows a girl named Kino as she travels from country to country. But, Kino isn’t alone on her travels. She’s accompanied by her trusty motorrad (motorcycle) Hermes.

There are quite a few Kino’s Journey anime. This review is only covering the original series from 2003. In 2017, there was a remake of the original series. But, that’s not the one I watched. Roman, one of my Heika-tier Patrons, chose the original Kino’s Journey for me to review this month.

Now, even if you haven’t watched it, you’re likely at least familiar with the name Kino’s Journey. It’s beloved by almost everyone who watches it. So, what makes this series so special? For me, and I assume for most others, it’s the various places Kino visits.

Kino from the anime series Kino's Journey

As a rule, Kino only spends 3 days in each country she visits. Well, except for when she breaks that rule, which she seemingly does on a whim. But, she has an important reason for following this rule — she wants to be able to visit as many countries as possible.

You see, in Kino’s world, countries are small and very unique. Each country is the size of a city and has some quality that sets it apart from every other country. For example, there’s a land of books, a land of adults, and even a land of visible pain.

And from each country she visits, Kino learns a valuable lesson about humanity. To illustrate this, let’s look at Episode 1, “Land of Visible Pain.” In this country, everyone can read each other’s minds. And this ability led to everyone isolating themselves. They thought reading minds would bring them together. Instead, it pushed them apart.

Kino and Hermes

There are only 2 main characters in Kino’s Journey. These are Kino (duh) and Hermes. Starting off with Kino, we don’t actually know that much about her. We know she’s a girl, but we don’t know her age. And we know she became a traveler after fleeing her own country.

To explain any more about Kino, we need to enter the spoiler zone. So, let’s do just that. The episode titled “Land of Adults” is where we get most of Kino’s backstory from. She grew up in a land with a sharp divide between children and adults.

In this land, on a child’s 12th birthday, they’re given a lobotomy that turns them into an “adult.” Thanks to this procedure, they can now become productive members of society. What does that mean? They can go to work, even if they hate their job, with a smile on their face.

Kino and Hermes from the anime series Kino's Journey
Kino and Hermes

The thing is, Kino didn’t want to be lobotomized. And for suggesting something so blasphemous, her parents decided to kill her. Luckily, a traveler named Kino gave his life to protect her. This is where Kino’s name comes from. She took this traveler’s name and fled the country, never to return.

Now, onto Hermes. Hermes is a motorrad, which is a talking motorcycle. Yes, Hermes can talk. And I actually wasn’t sure if Hermes was really talking for the majority of the series. I kept expecting a twist like that Hermes talking was all in Kino’s mind.

But, no. Hermes really can talk. And, it was Kino (the original Kino), who gave Hermes to Kino (our Kino). Kino restored Hermes from scraps he found in the land of adults. And he gave Hermes to the child Kino when it became clear she would be killed if she stayed.

Too Predictable at Times

Most of the Kino’s Journey episodes were good. They had interesting developments that I didn’t see coming. But, that isn’t the case for every episode. And this is what I think is the biggest issue with the series. Some episodes were too predictable.

One such episode was “A Tale of Mechanical Dolls.” While there were some twists at the end I wasn’t expecting, the main twist of the episode wasn’t special. And it’s not like you have to be a genius to figure it out immediately. I’m going to spoil this episode, so you’d better prepare yourself.

This episode was about a family with a mechanical doll as a maid. But, right from the start, it’s obvious that the roles are actually reversed. The maid is very much human. And it’s the family who are actually mechanical dolls.

Kino pointing a persuader from the anime series Kino's Journey
Kino pointing a persuader

As I mentioned, this “twist” isn’t hidden. And the actual twists of the episode come at the end when we find out why the maid believed she was a mechanical doll. That, and when the family jumps off a cliff after losing their purpose in “life.” But, those twists were inconsequential.

They didn’t really add much to the story of the episode. So, I would have rather the main portion of the episode have a bit more going on in it. And, that’s how I felt about a few of the other episodes, as well. There were 2 episodes dedicated to a tournament in a colosseum that had me feeling this way, too.

I get that every episode can’t be a “certified banger,” as the kids would say. But, considering how good some of the episodes were, it was a bit disappointing to see some of the others. My favorite episode was the railway one, though.


Overall, Kino’s Journey is a 7/10 from me. It’s a solid anime and I enjoyed watching it. But, I also don’t feel like it lived up to the hype. And I wasn’t a fan of Hermes as a character, which may be shocking to real Kino fans. I don’t know if they like Hermes, but I could see it.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button down below. Also, follow me on your social media of choice — links are in the footer.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out

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