Friday, November 23, 2007

Anime: The beautiful world of Kino's Journey.

"In Kino's Journey, the protagonist, Kino, accompanied by a talking motorrad, a Brough Superior motorcycle named Hermes, travels through a mystical world of many different countries and forests, each unique in its customs and people. Kino only spends 3 days and 2 nights in every town, without exception, on the principle that three days is enough time to learn almost everything important about a place, while leaving time to explore new lands. Kino does say in The Land of Visible Pain this principle is probably a lie, specifically noting "if I stay any longer, I'm afraid I will settle down."

A phrase repeated in the anime and novels is "The world is not beautiful, therefore it is." Kino's Journey explores what the anime director Ryutaro Nakamura described as "a radical sense of 'beauty," and brutality, loneliness, nonsense, oppression and tragedy are often juxtaposed against compassion and a fairy-tale atmosphere.

For protection and hunting, Kino carries a .44 single action revolver (called "the Cannon", based on Colt M1851) that uses liquid explosive in place of gunpowder and a .22 automatic pistol (named "the Woodsman", based on Colt Woodsman). Later in Kino's adventures in the novels, Kino also uses a semi-automatic sniper rifle (called "the Flute", based on Arisaka type 99) along with a variety of other tools including knives. Kino is an unusually quick draw and practices every day before dawn.

Technology in this world exists, sometimes to the level of science fiction, although anachronisms are common (for example, the same land that has talking robots also appears to have phonographs, yet simultaneously the world hasn't developed heavier-than-air flight). The level of technology also varies from country to country. The world is not heavily magical (the only "magical" elements include land that moves, a talking motorrad, and a possibly talking dog), although it has a certain fairy-tale quality."

1 comment:

Clinton Swank said...

This is an amazing show. Brilliant.