It's about Kino, a young woman (though we only get to find out later on, she's quite androgynous) who travels the world on her talking motorcycle, Hermes. They visit various countries, always staying for exactly three days. They meet the people of those countries and find out various pecularities about the places they visit.
It's a weird series. Quite episodic, though sometimes we get to know more about Kino's backstory. It reminded me of de Berenboot (a kids' series that I watched when I was very, very young). Don't laugh, here's why: every episode, the Berenboot would visit an island that had something strange going on. The whole episode would deal with how the character dealt with the people who lived on an island who, for instance, could not say the letter 'e'.
Kino's Journeys is like that too: every episode, Kino visits a country that has something weird going on, and the whole episode is cast in the light of that single aspect. We don't get to see the everyday life of the citizens, we don't get to see Kino go shopping -- except when it serves to demonstrate this single weirdness of this particular country.
On one hand, that makes it nicely viewable. On the other hand, it makes the series ultimately episodic and gives the countries (if you can call 'em that, since most countries seem to consist of only one city) a one-dimensional feel.
There's a dreamlike atmosphere over all this. We get short flashbacks and semi-philosophical exchanges between Hermes and Kino, and some of the encounters Kino has, have an almost parable-like effect (like the guy who has been brushing train rails for the past fifty years, simply because no-one has told him to stop).
This series is brutal. No two ways about it. We see a lot of people getting killed, and a lot of blood flows. More than once, people try to kill Kino -- but she is a crack shot with her pistols...
The graphical design is merely OK, but the image has strange horizontal lines running through it, giving it a paper-like structure. Rather irritating.
This series might make nice fodder for the Shadows that an Amberite travels through, if you're so inclined. Some of the countries are certainly bizarre enough to be in the path of a Hellride.
- Interesting locales.
- Uninspiring graphics;
- Horizontal lines through the picture;
- One-dimensional 'sets';
- No character development.
I'll give it a 7.