Episode Reviews

[Highlights] Kino’s Journey Ep. 13 (A Kind Land)

I could have sworn I published this post a month ago, what the heck… After approximately two years, we’re finally at the finish line! I did not know that the original anime was an incomplete adaptation of the novels, but I am pretty satisfied with where the 2003 series leaves us off.

  • One thing I only noticed as I started writing this post was that the country was never named at any point. The name “The Kind Land” must have come from Kino themselves after their experiences there.
  • Kino travels to this land knowing that it is famous for mistreating travelers, their reason being that they “want to know why [that country’s citizens] are who they are.” This seemingly bottomless curiosity comes up again at the very end of the episode.
  • Kino meets a young outcast who reminds them of their childhood, red flowers and all. Back in Episode 4, the field of red flowers that Kino had to drive through seemed symbolic of their violent rite of passage into adulthood. Here, it is relevant that Lily Sakura is the flower – one that is sacrificed and left behind, for all Kino may think.
  • Another history-loving country, with miniature diorama as well. I’m glad they managed to tie in the last episode and give it some significance in the greater context of Kino’s long journey. Both the Peaceful Land and the Kind Land take pride in teaching their history of being persecuted. The two nations are really more similar than not in their evasion of greater issues for temporary solace. The people in this nation literally live under an active volcano and pretend it’s just a “big, smoky mountain.”
  • Of course, Chekhov’s volcano has to erupt. This shakes Kino more deeply than we have ever seen them in this series. After reading the notes left by the villagers and Lily, Kino’s wish to understand the people is seemingly granted – they chose to live and die with their land as it is their pride. We know from previously that Kino’s most important rule for traveling is to “not get killed.” For the prescient Lily, this pride in her identity as a local tour guide is more valuable than life itself. This is perhaps one of the first times Kino is shocked by a human decision.

The end of the episode takes us back to the desert in Episode 1, where Hermes asks Kino what they’re doing next, and Kino answers, “I don’t know.” The frame of text before this scene: “I wouldn’t end my journey.” Not knowing that this series was an incomplete adaptation, I had been expecting more questions being asked and answers being answered in the final episodes, but I find that I’m happy with how things ended. It’s okay to not know who you are or where you want to go as long as you’re ever-curious to find out.

Like the “true blue sky,” there’s no real answer to Kino’s journey.

I know people don’t really read episode review posts for older shows, but as someone doing this to give myself a reason to periodically watch some anime, think about things, and not forget how to write, it’s been a meaningful comfort project. I also start thinking of Kino when I go on road trips now…

Happy I embarked on this journey, and excited to find out what the next one is (via a totally random method…). What anime will I watch? Will it even be an anime? Don’t ask me now…


6 thoughts on “[Highlights] Kino’s Journey Ep. 13 (A Kind Land)

  1. I certainly read them!

    I LOVED Kino! As a child, I wanted to be a Kino when I grew up. I still suffer from unrequited wanderlust.

    But you aren’t done yet! There are OVAs out there for you to view.

    Country of Illness
    The Tower Country
    And most importantly and absolutely necessary, “Kino’s Journey: In Order to Do Something – Life Goes On.” It covers the time she lives with her master until she decides to hit the road.

    Google and you shall find – though it might be a crappy copy on YouTube.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Congrats on finishing the original TV series. It’s been good to read these episode reviews whenever I can and it’s great that more people are talking about Kino’s Journey.


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