Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World - For You Movie 2

The Country of Disease
More Screencaps from "Kino no Tabi" Movie 2

"The world is not beautiful. That, in a way, lends it a sort of beauty."

For every thing of beauty is an ugly side. This is never better played out than in the latest Kino no Tabi movie, titled "The Country of Disease."

In the movie, Kino and her faithful talking motorbike, Hermes, enter a subterranean country filled with tall skyscrapers and beautiful scenery. Here, they are welcomed as guests and treated well. But there is a dark side to this city that no amount of disinfectant can wash away.

The people of this city live in fear of contracting a mysterious disease that affects only them. Believing the disease to be caused by contaminants from the outside world, they try to keep it all away by staying inside a domed city with artificial sky and generated perfect weather. Their scientists are constantly looking for a cure and it seems that they have finally achieved some measure of advancement in treatment.

During their short stay, Kino and Hermes befriend Inasha, a young girl afflicted with the country's disease. Inasha tells them that she wants to live in the outside world someday with her friend, Rogue, who went there ahead of her.

The beautiful thing about Kino no Tabi is its ability to weave gentle scenery with dark musings of the uglier side of it all. It is not harsh, the way the movie presents all the facets of the story. Rather, it is somber and faintly ironic without being in the least bit melancholic or jaded, like looking at it in the eyes of a stranger. Indeed, in the eyes of Kino, who sympathizes but never gets involved. Like Kino, we are just passing through, carrying with us what pieces of ourselves we find along the way.


The Kino no Tabi series has always been appealing to me because of the simplicity of its style. The characters are drawn in such clean lines with very little shading, making them appear flat and almost static. But that's what makes the animation so fluid-looking and seamless. Besides, the artists make up for it by making their backgrounds spectacular.


I've always liked the music of Kino no Tabi. From the opening down to the insert tracks played in the background, they are simple and have the tendency to blend in to the story that you don't really notice them, and yet you know that the movie would not have been the same if it weren't for the sounds.

Final Word

Some of you may have been waiting for the second Kino no Tabi for a long time. While the second movie is truly great in its own right, I find that it is more of an extra episode than a movie, considering how short it is -- about thirty minutes. Still it is always good to have more Kino no Tabi around, short of coming up with a second season for the series. :)

The series and the movies are not for everyone. But if you keep your mind open, you might find this an interesting deviation from all other anime offerings out there.


Official Site
Wikipedia Article
"Kino no Tabi - Life Goes On" DVD @ Yes Asia
"Kino's Journey" The Complete Edition @ Amazon
"Kino no Tabi" DVDs @ Play-Asia
"Kino no Tabi" Book 2 of the Beautiful World @ RightStuf
"Kino no Tabi" Figure (1/8 PVC) @ RightStuf