GR Anime Review: Kino’s Journey (2017)

GR Anime Review: Kino’s Journey (2017)

LOOK AT THIS! Look at all of this! Look at this…SPACE! SPACE That I have now, I’m in a new place, isn’t it grand? I’ve also hit… 500k subscribers. FIVE.HUNDRED.THOUSAND Subscribers. This is kind of a big deal! So you know what I’m going to do to celebrate? The exact same video I planned to do anyway. I know, I know, you don’t have to thank me. I’m a genius. Now, It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do a comparison piece like this. I’ve had the opportunity to do so twice, but only did it once. Brotherhood was easy, but I didn’t know
enough about Dragonball Z Kai to give it a crack. But now we have a sequel / remake to one of my favourite anime series that finished airing at the end of last year: Kino’s Journey. This new series is both a continuation and retelling of the previous 2003 series, which… I have right here. Now both of these are adaptations of a light novel that goes by the same name. But since I’m such a fan, I thought it was only prudent to have a look at this new series. To see what it has done right and what
it might have been able to do a bit better. and so ladies, gentlemen and others, my name is
Arkada and welcome to Glass Reflection. Today: Kino’s Journey 2017! Let’s Jam. First off, I should mention that I’m not
here today to go over what Kino’s Journey is and if you should watch it. My review of the original series still exists. And if you don’t have the time to watch
that, then let me say that while the animation of the 2003 version is dated by today’s
standards, the series itself is still one of my favourites and is totally worth the
time. Next, a clarification on what exactly this
new Kino series is, because while both versions of Kino’s Journey are adaptations of the
same material, each of them goes about adapting said source in different ways. 2003 took the traditional method. It adapts everything from the first 6 chapters
of the light novel and then adds a scattering of other released stories to fill in the gaps. However 2017 is much more like a greatest
hits album. Back in 2015 there was a poll sent out to
readers of the light novel to determine the best stories from the series released so far. The result of said poll is apparently what decided which stores would be adapted into this new season. On the one hand this way of adapting is kind
of brilliant because Kino’s Journey is set up in such a heavily episodic way that this
actually works. But on the other hand, it left hopes for a future beyond these confirmed 12 dashed along the side of the road before the series even
started. Because you can’t justify having more seasons of a show, when you’ve already confirmed that the episodes you’ve already adapted, are the best ones. Everything’s going to kind of feel…a step down after that. But now the more important question is though, since it has been 14 years since the first adaptation have they done things better? Well the animation certainly has seen an increase
in quality. Kino 2003 was consistent in only that the
animation was inconsistent. At times it was a sort of a blobby mess, with
extremely muted colors, and as I’ve complained about before, that weird scan line effect
it decided to have. Though as bad as all of that is, objectively
I’ve never really held it against it. It was never so bad for me that it was distracting
from the story that they were trying to tell. Heck, one of the more famous quotes from the
series is “The world is not beautiful, therefore it is.” It’s a series that’s trying to find the
beauty in all things and its less-than-stellar animation actually was a boon in that regard. The 2017 adaptation is much cleaner. In some cases though, it’s almost a bit
too clean, the 3D cuts especially. I realize that 3D for a lot of anime is a cost cutting measure, but I’m still here kind of hopeful that we can get a Blu-ray release down
the line, one where the 3D animation will be improved. and now time for the meat, the legitimate side-by-side
comparison that we can do. Because the second episode of 2017 adaptation is a story called Coliseum. It is a story about Kino entering a country that requires EVERYONE to battle to the death thus forcing Kino to participate. It is such a well beloved story from Kino,
that it has been adapted…twice now. But man this time around? It was disappointing. Some parts were nice, like how the sets were
drawn as it was far closer to what was written in the original story than what was shown
back in 2003. Kino’s entry to the country is a great example of this. Both in the novel and this new anime, we are shown a fairly normal gate with the sun shining down just like any of the other countries. But in the 2003 version of this particular story however, it started off with Kino in an underground dungeon with no indication of why she would have gotten herself in that situation to begin with. But on the other hand, 2003 also took the
time and dedicated two full episodes to the story of Coliseum, whereas 2017 did it in one. I am reminded of my first watch through of Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, when I saw the Elric brothers during the readapted version
of the Father Parnelo story. Coincidentally, in its own 2003 version this
story took two episodes to tell, but then in Brotherhood it was also shortened to one. It felt rushed, really rushed. It felt almost as if the soul of the story
was slightly ripped out because we didn’t get to see the background story about Rose
or how Parnelo treated the townspeople. It was much more like a Cliffs Notes version
of the story. 2017 Kino feels the same way. Because I’ve been such a fan of the 2003
adaptation, this new one just felt like it was missing things. At first, as I said, I was disappointed. But then like I did with Fullmetal Alchemist,
I decided the best way of going about talking about this was to read the novel. And to my surprise, the 2017 adaptation was far more faithful than it was in 2003. All of that added story, about the citizens,
about the king, none of it was from the original novel. It was all added, for the adaptation. Which now leaves me feeling conflicted. On top of which, with this being the
second episode, if you’ve never seen Kino’s Journey before, you
have no groundwork whatsoever of either the world or of Kino. Sure we see Kino avoid violence in
episode one, but then to quickly swap over to murdering a sovereign based on the stories of a
few guards in episode two? It’s a bit like whiplash. Though perhaps that was the intent. What’s worse is that this new Kino series
doesn’t have a whole lot of new Kino actually in it. This new series contains 12 episodes, 3 of which
are re-adaptions of stories previously adapted in the 2003 version. Two episodes mostly revolve around the characters of Shizu, Riku and Ti although Kino does make cameos Then there’s one about Kino’s old master
and one about a slave girl named Sou whom Kino doesn’t even get to meet. In total there are only four out of the twelve
new episodes that solely focus on Kino and Kino’s journey. Ultimately, I feel like this is the problem
with the kind of Greatest Hits presentation that this new series went for. We see the individual “best” stories,
sure, but I would like to argue that ALL of the stories are supposed to narratively help build Kino and Hermes slowly as characters. So in removing all of that, it starts to cut
into Kino’s personal story. It’s called Kino’s Journey for a reason. Cutting only to the highlights is like skipping
all the travelling parts of a road trip just to get to the landmarks. The travelling is still a large part of the
story. *sigh* My frustration though might just be
because I hate being left out of the loop, compounded by the fact that we don’t have
official translations of the original light novel beyond the first few volumes. Kino’s Journey has been an ongoing Light Novel since
2000, it has over 20 volumes worth of story the vast majority of which we don’t have access to so I feel left out. Which is a horrible feeling to have. But anyway, I must unfortunetly give out the rating for Kino’s Journey 2017 To just Stream It rather than Buy. Sure, this new Kino is still great. If you’ve never seen Kino’s Journey before, then I
can’t say that this is not a worthwhile watch, but… the overall concept and presentation of this series leaves a bad taste in my mouth that I can’t ignore. Also if you do start here your going to be missing out on a lot from the first series. and it might be a lot harder for you to actually sit through that old series once you’ve seen the new animation of the 2017 adaptation. So I’d still say to watch the original series
first if you can. If you’re interested, the original 2003 version of Kino is available on a fairly new streaming service called HiDive, and
the 2017 version of Kino is available on Crunchyroll in sub and also over on Funimation, if you prefer to watch your anime with dubs. As always, special thanks to my patrons who make these videos possible and support my work. I cannot thank you guys enough. Specifically I would really like to thank:
Joshua Garcia , Bing Thio, Calhoonboy, Siri Yamiko, Viktor Ekmark and Rune Jakobsen for
being especially awesome. And until next time ladies, gentlemen and
others from my new abode: Stay Frosty!

About the author


  1. I've been a long time fan of Kino too (and I've read probably like 3 volumes of the light novels, although I wish there was more than just fan translations…) and Kino is probably my favorite series, so I was both super hopeful and skeptical of this one. The first episode was sooo good, but their adaptation of Colosseum felt rushed to me as well. Every episode following that felt weird as well, mostly because there are little things you pick up reading the novels in order that you wouldn't understand the significance of when watching 2017 Kino. I agree that it isn't bad, but the focus on other characters besides Kino felt super awkward and took away from the story in my opinion. I wasn't aware they had done a poll on the best stories, but that honestly surprises me since there were stories from the first few novels that I thought were way better than the ones they chose to adapt.

  2. Seriously? A bunch of people voted the sheep story as one of the best? I haven't read the light novels or seen the 2003 version (yet), but I thought that episode was a really weak way to end it, especially if there' no chance of additional seasons.

  3. While I haven't watched the original series (yet), but for me this new Kino is good enough on its own and I actually liked it. That said, I cannot wait for this season to end so I can finally do some backlogs and pick up from my PTW, one of which is the 2003 Kino series.

  4. As someone who watched only watched kino 2017 while it was airing. I thought it was pretty good and was a highlight of the season for me. However I did felt the non-focus on kino and my personal enjoyment of each episode change drastically. Nevertheless, If you think you would enjoy a world of various different societies, I would recommend trying it.

  5. May I suggest that you watch the trailer of glassworker. It's going to be the first animated movie done by an independent studio in pakistan.
    It's got great animation(although a bit rough around the movements, but that's what you would expect from a first time studio from a country completely new in hand drawn animations) and from what I've gathered it's inspired by studio ghibli. It's ganna be released in 2020 I believe.
    Sooooo please check it out, and maybe tell us your opinion about it.

  6. As someone who never knew Kino's journey existed before this new adaption i found it a great launching point into the series. I felt like it gave me a taste of the world and the storytelling style and left me (purposefully) wanting to explore more. I fully intend to find ways to read the light novel and possibly got back and watch the 2003 version which, in all honesty, i would have skipped over because of the premise before the 2017 showed me what it had to offer. also congrats on the move and 500000 subs!!!

  7. I never watched the old Kino, so this was my first contact with it. I wouldn't say I had trouble with the second episode, it was surprising, but not so that it would make the rest of the series feel wrong.
    However, I did feel very disappointed about the fact that most of Kino's Journey was not about Kino at all. It all just left me with wanting to know more.

  8. The new art direction really prevents me from watching it tbh. The art style of the original was what got me interested in the first place, now with the "up-to-date", clean and polished looks they turned everyone into glimmering waifus. What does it add other than eye-candy? I think the raw and unique style of the original adds much more and fits the world and story.

  9. I loved the 2017, I had caught a couple episodes of the original series with some friends and loved the concept, but never got around to watching the whole series, so I was really excited going in.

  10. I both liked and disliked the adaptation. As always, the stories for each episode are very interesting and as always the twists are good at making you see the series in a new way during a rewatch. However like you said, the Colosseum episode was great in the original and the remake made it so rushed that I couldn't get invested in the characters. This caused issues down the road when a number of episodes focused on the Prince and I still did not care about him. The only other issues I had were tied to that, as for awhile there was a surprising lack of Kino in Kino's Journey.

  11. I started off with the light novels and checked out the 2017 series. It was all right. I'll need to give the 2003 series a look.

  12. As someone who loves the 2003 series to death, I am offended by the idea that Kino and her personal growth aren't integral enough to be included in this new series. What the HELL?!

  13. Congrats on your 500,000 subscribers. I love you channel. Before I jump into an anime I look to see if you reView it.

  14. I recommend the anime seraph of the end. My friends keep telling me is it’s good, though I like it so far. 🙂

  15. Congratulations on the 500k subscribers.
    It's neat that your background has a poster of Fullmetal Alchemist, feels poetic.

  16. Video opening. Neat, you got your jacket back. 7:50. Did Kino and Photo ever meet in the light novels?? 8:51. Nope. The first and last episodes were shocking and great, but the rest were confusing and frivolous and WHY The Townsfolk did what each group did makes varying amounts of sense. Some can kinda be understood, others seem completely brain dead. Was that radio wave town supposed to be a reference to a real-world nation??? Because that is the impression I got from it.

  17. Congratulations on your new or renovated Man Cave. For me 500k is still very few and you started your channel for roughly 10 years. We will help you spread the word then.

  18. I hope you do a review of houseki no kuni it was my favorite anime of last year and after reading the manga and it maybe my favorite of all time

  19. Awesome job on getting 5ook subs! I'm going to miss your Steins;Gate and Serial Experiments Lain posters though as outstanding backdrops!

  20. CONGRATS! Also thank you for this video I'm a huge fan of the 2003 Kino and I was a little weary of this new one.

  21. I definitely wouldn't consider the original Kino anime to have "bad" art and animation, it's mediocre at worst, and fits the mood of the series much better than the new design does
    The new series opted for the generic flawless clean digital design, and in doing so completely threw all atmosphere out the window

  22. Congratulations on 500k! I have a request. Princess Tutu is an amazing anime, and you have had images of her in your past openings, could you do a review of it so that more people get exposed to it. Every time I try to get someone to watch it, I have to get over the whole name thing. Guys are not generally gonna look at that. I know you put it in your top 25ish to watch, but it could really use a more in depth review.

  23. I’m so happy for you Ark!! ♥️ I’ve been with you for years now and I love seeing your channel grow! Keep up the amazing work!
    Ps ur new room is lit 🔥

  24. Your sound when you're talking on-camera is…off in all the episodes in your new location. It's hard to describe, but it sounds kind of hollow and actually strangely hurts to listen to, for me at least. The normal voice-overs still sound fine, though, I think it's just that the settings for your new mic set-up are just a little off.

  25. What you say about the greatest hits approach leaving out the characters journeys is exactly the same way I think when someone says to skip early seasons of a show to get to the 'good stuff'. If you don't see where the characters come from and how they grow, why would you care about the 'good parts'? The time spent in what makes the good parts so good, right?

  26. I think the makes of the anime are assuming we've seen the 2003 version (and/or read the light novels) before watching this one. I like both the 2003 version and the new version, I'm glad we got to see more of the other characters as well. I just wish there'd be another season or at least an English translation of the light novels.

  27. Every Time You Say Stay Frosty 🍦 I Think About Reboot. Now I'm Thinking About The 2018 Reboot The Guardian Code………………Thanks For 📚 Reading This Comment. The Live Action Full Metal Alchemists……………….

  28. Trying way too hard to be interesting and funny. Just be insightful and get out of in front of the camera

  29. Great job!! We're all with you 🙂 Im a newISH subscriber, so my apologies if this question has been asked before. What do you use to make your intro clip?! It looks so great!

  30. Arkada can you do an impression of Magical Girl Site? If you like higurashi then you'll probably like it but every review i see of it is lame they compare MGS to Magica Madoka however it's honestly not trying to be anything like Madoka ugh it needs a good review and only u can provide my man

  31. Memoria Freese had an Kino's Journey event not too long ago. It was actually interesting to see how Kino interacted with characters in Orario. Hermes instantly being best friends with Hermes was the best thing.

  32. how do we know that the 2017 adaption actually used all of the "best" maybe it only used some of them and threw in some of the lesser ones with the intention of a second series. unlikely but possible

  33. Ya know, I have wondered. Did you fall out with gigguk. I understand podtaku was a lot. But with your lack of mentioning gigguk in a long time now I was wondering. Of course as internet things go it's probably just you wanted to focus on actual reviews and shizzle not clickbate yet entertaining (not that you are not entertaining) skits.

  34. I disliked the video because of your hypocrisy. You mention how disappointed you are because the Colosseum story is "rushed" for not taking 2 episodes to complete, but still complain about the fact that some of the new series episodes are wasted with re-adaptations of the same stories in the 2003 version.

  35. Another series i really liked that came out a few years before Kino was Wolf's Rain. Its still one of my favorites… despite emotionally damaging me and all. Both series i never heard much about even though they're both series i really like. Its good the Kino series is getting noticed more through the remake at least.

  36. When I heard the announcment for this, I was kinda hyped.
    Then I just went passed it without touching it at all… I kinda disconnected from Anime right about that time.
    I mostly rove in the fanfic zone those days.

  37. The 2017 version was just meh and I dont see myself every recommending it to anyone. I gave the 2003 version a 7/10, but I do recommend to watch it at least once to all anime fans. The 2017 version felt like a deep anime made for otakus, while the 2003 version made sure to not pander to anyone. The atmosphere in 2017 felt very happy-ish, while the 2003 one felt very spooky which made it really captivating. 2003 felt like watching Fate Zero, while 2017 felt like watching Fate Stay and all of the other versions.

  38. 8:34 I'm sincerely asking you: do you have a plan to learn Japanese?

    As a Japanese learner, I could tell you it takes years before you can feel the emotions as good as in Japanese, than in your mother tongue.
    However, if you have the feeling of being left out, why not try learning Japanese?

    Though, learning a new language is a journey lasting years.
    But at the same time, it is a journey which you don't need to hurry…

    I'm currently struggling with reading light novels in Japanese, which is actually a pain in the ass.
    It takes much more energy, but what I finally grasp the main idea of the passage/conversation, it's also interesting.

    I guess learning a language itself is much like a journey: only with the effort you would appreciate what you have achieved.

    Anyway, to learn or not, it is of your choosing.
    I could imagine you have already asked yourself about learning Japanese by now since your are so into anime.

    Your review on the anime is great! Have a good day!

  39. Well, it was the new 2017 series that brought me into the franchise. Admittedly, it it was just the 2003 series, I might never have been introduced to the franchise in the first place

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