kino no tabi

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I've been watching Kino no Tabi - Kino's Journey and I have to say that this is really different from the anime I've seen. At first, you might think that Kino is for kids. These are gritty stories though, where everything doesn't come out "okay" and life isn't consoling. Yes yes, there's the gunslinger girl type anime where the little girl is an efficient killer with no feelings. Kino doesn't fit that genre, though, because there's a philosophical feeling you get from watching it and kino usually doesn't go around shooting everything (though kino carries around a startling array of weaponry). Despite Kino's relatively young looks and the watercolor style backgrounds, this flows more along the lines of a more true-to-life early Miyazaki-style plot.
Whoever wrote the plot is a serious thinker (Actually, it was based on a novel, or was it a manga?). If you're looking for something different or don't like the "I'm too cute" style anime, take a look at Kino no Tabi. Hellsing and Noir, it isn't. But it does evoke a lot of emotion, thought, and shocks. Even I, who can usually predict a plot line up to 1 hour in advance, am continually surprised. I believe it also brings up thoughts worth pondering about people and human nature. Perhaps the only quibble I have is that most of the people accept their fate far too easily and I have a feeling these first few episodes have been set up that way on purpose.
I dare say, this may be something I'd watch over and over, possibly finding something new to think about with each viewing.

Kino's Journey
"The world is not beautiful. And that, in a way, lends it a sort of beauty."
This is the story of a young traveler named Kino and Kino's partner, the talking motorcycle Hermes. They travel to various places together, visiting such worlds as "the world of caring" and "the world of decisions by majority." They stay at each of these locations for only three days, and throughout the story, their point of view is consistently that of bystanders. The experiences that people have encountering Kino and Hermes during their travels may not seem very sensational to their ordinary everyday lives, but in reality, they can come to have a tremendous impact.

And another excellent review