The Robots of Kino’s Journey

Kino’s Journey (Kino No Tabi) is an anime series I enjoy. The robots and technology in the series are inspiring to me as an artist. I’m going to share some of my thoughts on the series, but I’m not giving any major spoilers here, and neither should you.

The robots of Kino’s Journey differ from those of other anime. In other anime, robot characters have impenetrable intentions and are used as an inscrutable military tool, as a force that’s escaped human control, as a scientific abomination, as an incredulous medical procedure. (Which I enjoy as concepts equally as much as what I’m about to say next.) Generally robots in anime I watch don’t play the part of the “everyday stranger.” The violent extraordinary force presented in Kino’s Journey is human nature, but robotic nature is simple: fulfillment through performing the function for which it was made. In most cases this is servicing the lifestyle of the people around it.

In Kino’s Journey, the main character shares a bond of mutual service with her motorcyle, Hermes. Without a rider, Hermes can’t fulfill its function. Without Hermes, Kino would not be able to live the lifestyle of a self-dependent traveler.

If I were to describe this series I would call it a philosophical romp-around that presents both glimpses of sadness into ordinary life, and glimpses of hope into a sad existence. Maybe I’ve piqued your interest?


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