Before she became a traveler, Kino was trained and cared for by a reserved woman known only as “Shishou”. Under her tutelage, Kino improved her natural ability as a marksman and learned how to ride Hermes better. However, in her guilt over the fate of the original Kino, she decides to go on her first journey in the hopes of finding out about him and putting her own identity confusion to rest.
summary by Two-Twenty
Highs: Gives more backstory to Kino; good introduction the series
Lows: May be a little disappointing for established fans; aesthetically disappointing
The original Kino’s Journey TV series was charming and thought-provoking, if little inconclusive. While Kino’s Journey – Life Goes On still doesn’t provide any sort of closure, it instead offers established fans an extra 30 minutes of what they know and love, as well as giving newcomers a satisfactory introduction into the series.
This movie offers the much-needed backstory for Kino that was only hinted at in the television series: How she learnt to shoot, why she looks like a guy, why she refers to herself by the masculine singular person pronoun “boku” instead of the more neutral “watashi”, etc. For established fans, it’s fascinating seeing the young and naïve Kino struggle with her own sense of self-identity. It’s quite the contrast to the detached, intelligent observer from the original television series.
The main problem with it is that her development as a character is played out in much the same way as the one-off characters from Kino’s Journey. It’s satisfactory enough, but I couldn’t help but to wish that the backstory of the title character would have been just a little bit more epic.
Aesthetically, although it is technically a “movie”, there’s nothing that really separates this from the original. Unfortunately, it still has the same drab character designs—facial features and clothes are still far too simplistic for what seems appropriate; the music, while nice, is the same as the television series’; and even the movie’s length is about the same as one of the episodes.
Even so, Kino’s Journey – Life Goes On is a nice little film. It’s a must for any fan of the series or anyone considering picking it up, but really, nothing more.
Kino’s Journey – Life Goes On can be viewed legally in the United States HERE.