The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Kino’s Journey – Life Goes On

Title: Kino’s Journey – Life Goes On aka Kino no Tabi – Life Goes On
Genre: Drama
Company: A.C.G.T.
Format: Movie, 30 minutes.
Date: 19 Feb 2005

Synopsis: Kino is a young girl who lives in the mountains with an elderly lady she calls “Shishou” (master). Shishou has Kino do many of the daily chores and sometimes, in return, teaches Kino how to be an exceptional gunslinger. One day Kino learns the country from which the man who once saved her life originally hailed is close by. With Shishou’s blessing, Kino embarks on a journey to find out more about the man to whom she owes her life. What will she find when she gets there? This movie is a prequel to Kino’s Journey.

The Highlights
Purpose: Does not answer any important questions or provide a final verdict on Kino’s Journey.
Plot: Plays out like a typical Kino’s Journey episode, but is worse.

When I first heard there was going to be a Kino’s Journey movie I thought (more like hoped) that it would tell us why Kino decided to run away from her master, or provide a final verdict on the ideas presented in Kino’s Journey. Unfortunately Kino’s Journey – Life Goes On does neither and plays out like a typical Kino’s Journey episode. This would have been fine, except that Kino’s Journey – Life Goes On is far worse than any episode of Kino’s Journey. It has little to say about human nature and the twist is plot based instead of being ironic and Twilight Zone-esque.

All that fans will get out of Kino’s Journey – Life Goes On are more questions. The little bit of light that is shined on the darkness of Kino’s past just serves to tease those who want real answers. We still know nothing about Shishou’s past or any of the specifics on how Kino and Shishou met. After watching the movie you will probably want to know why Shishou doesn’t want to live inside the country. What good is additional animation that leaves the viewer feeling less satisfied than before they watched it?

Kino’s Journey – Life Goes On is a decent short story all by itself, but in the context of being a prequel it fails miserably. It is not even worth seeing to find out what Kino’s Journey is like; Kino’s Journey – Episode 00 does a better job of that. If you are a die-hard Kino’s Journey fan, you will probably want to watch it just because it is more Kino’s Journey… but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Rating: 4

Reviewed by: Kuma

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