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    Hi, and welcome to Mangaminx's Lair! I'm Mangaminx, a 21 year old female anime and manga fan, and this is my blog. Here you will find lots of reviews/screenshots and other features for your yuri anime needs! Feel free to e-mail me or leave a comment! Thanks to the amazing Melainy for my latest banner!

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Anime: Kino No Tabi Movie "Life Goes On"
Friday, September 02, 2005
Kino's Journey: Life Goes On

Having not actually seen any of the Kino's Journey TV series (yet), my knowledge coming into this 30 mins long prequel to the TV show was limited. But seeing as its a prequel that doesn't really matter.

Meet Kino, a young girl who lives with her teacher in a wooden cabin apparently a fair distance from society. Kino is taught in the use of guns and various weapons by her teacher and at the same time helps out with chores around the home (which appears to be similar to a ranch/farm). Also at the ranch is a talking motorcycle (dubbed Hermes), who is a friend to Kino. It's fairly clear from the on-set that Kino has gender issues caused by something in her past. She keeps referring to herself with both female and male terms seemingly at random. As the story progresses it is made clear that they stem from a event in which someone died because of her actions (or possibly protecting her), and she has taken his name "Kino" as well as a coat that belonged to him. It's almost like her guilt over his death is pushing her into a male role. It's a rather unusual thing to see portrayed in an anime but its certainly interesting and pretty compelling to watch.

One day while out riding Hermes, Kino sees a man with a coat similar to hers. She quickly runs to his side, and discovers the coats are worn by travelers from a certain fairly nearby country. Kino immediately decides that she is going to head to this country to try and find the man who dieds family. She feels she needs to explain herself to them. Her teacher trains her hard in the use of guns and puts a goodluck charm on her before she leaves, she also gives her a "biker" type outfit which makes the already androgynous Kino looking even more masculine. Kino then sets off on her journey to track down this man's family.

She eventually arrives at a house where the woman claims to be the dead Kino's mother, and stays there to explain herself, and to rest. However the woman soon proves to be dangerous, drugging Kino and attacking her with a knife. In the confusion Kino pulls her gun blasting the woman in the chest. These few moments were in shocking contrast to the rest of the film, the laid back atmosphere that had been prevalent to now shattered by violence and lots of blood. There is by no means huge amounts of blood, but the violence in this moment where Kino kills the woman is enough to shock and surprise the viewer.

Kino faints at what she has done, but is soon found by local villagers who find the women is insane and has killed lots of travelers in the way she tried to kill Kino. Cutting her hair short to remove the blood Kino heads home. She also from the point she fires the shot stops referring to herself as she, and uses he instead. Its almost like she's firmly stuck in a male role at least momentarily after taking male actions. The film ends here, with Kino arriving back at her home, but with a regained appetite for adventure.

Kino's Journey: Life Goes On, is certainly an interesting little film. Some parts felt a bit too slow and dull for me, but oddly it was compelling throughout. The exploring of Kino's issues was done indepth and well for such a short anime and the action scene was well done and contrasted graphically with the rest of the anime. My main problem really was the hideous character designs, Kino herself looks fine a young androgynous girl but the rest of the cast are ugly. It may sound shallow but it is important to me how characters look and this anime seriously lacked in well designed characters. It does however shine in other areas, and while its definitely something you will love or hate I did enjoy it overall.

Overall Score: 7/10

posted by Mangaminx On Friday, September 02, 2005  
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