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Kino No Tabi: v. 1 (Pop Fiction) [Paperback]

Keiichi Sigsawa , Kouhaku Kuroboshi
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 205 pages
  • Publisher: Tokyopop Press Inc (1 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598164554
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598164558
  • Product Dimensions: 17.9 x 12.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,176,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

Destination is a state of mind. Kino wanders around the world on the back of Hermes, her unusual motorcycle. During their adventures, they find happiness, sadness, pain, decadence, violence, beauty, and wisdom. But through it all, they never lose their sense of freedom. This work tells the tale of one girl and her bike and the road ahead.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 1 Dec 2006
By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
"The World is not beautiful, therefore it is."

The first line in this book, and a powerful one. How funny it is that the one thing everyone strives for is perfection, yet we all agree that a perfect world is impossible. Even if it was possible, would we really want it?

Kino doesn't remember what her original name was, only that it was the name of a flower. The first Kino came into the town she lived in when she was eleven, days before she was to have the operation to make her a grownup. The first Kino was a traveller, spending only three days in each new place.

While "curing" a junked and discarded motorcycle, the first Kino tells the young girl about other places and other lives. Places where you don't have to have an operation to be considered an adult. Places where you don't have to do a job that makes you unhappy, just because it's required. He sparks a light in this little girl, and inadvertently brings about his own death. A new Kino is born. She escapes on Hermes, the repaired and animated motorcycle.

Kino becomes a traveller, moving from place to place, staying only three days. Some places are nice, some strange, some scary, and some are downright dangerous. Kino and Hermes learn about life, themselves, and humanity as a whole.

This was not only a really great story, but a really interesting look at the nature of people and society. As well as an interesting take on the concept of "be careful what you wish for". It challenged my ideas of right and wrong, and what cost they come at. It's the first of a planned eight books, and I am extremely interested to see what Kino and Hermes get into next.

Reviewed by: Carrie Spellman
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Surprise! 29 Oct 2006
Format:Paperback
I have to admit, when I bought this book I had no previous experience of Kino, the animated series or other. But impulse took over and I went for it. I will admit, I was expecting a manga not a novel and aside from that the book was a massive surprise. I wasn't expecting anything as brilliant as what I got!

Kino No Tabi: The Beatufil World is one of those books that you will come back to again and again. I don't want to use that old cliche, 'it will change your life' but you'll certainly find yourself looking at the world a little differently.

I highly recommend it and can't wait for the next in the series!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Journey The Beautiful World With Kino 9 Oct 2006
Format:Paperback
When I heard that Tokyopop would be releasing an English language version of the novels that my favourite anime Kino's Journey was based on, I was thrilled. This is a truly magical series, focusing on the adventures of Kino as she travels across a hash world with only her talking motorcycle, Hermes for company. The countries she visit each have a different message on the human condition. If your looking for something smart and intelligent then I highly recommend this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The world is not beautiful, therefore it is. 7 Aug 2006
Format:Paperback
This is the first in the series of novellas telling the tale of a young girl calling herself Kino traveling from country to country with hermes her motorad (a sentient motorcycle) and staying in each no more than 3 days. Each stay tells a tale of the passion and plight humans cause within each-other and how different cultures can be.

There is also a short animated tv-series based on the stories in these books. I highley reccomend these stories as they are often deep, somtimes dark but always entertaining and make you think.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Evocative but short 21 Dec 2006
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I was surprised to encounter an English edition of Kino No Tabi while browsing the "teen fiction" section at (major chain bookstore), so I picked it up. At 200 pages, it's a very quick read, and it has a "teen fiction" feel. Overall, Kino No Tabi contains some interesting and valuable stories about human morality and relationships, but if you're past your teenage years, you've probably encountered similar stories before. And at the list price of $8 for 200 pages, it's hard for me to justify the cost of continuing with this 8-volume series.

Now a word about Tokyopop's treatment. Kino no Tabi is what's known as a "light novel" series in Japan. They typically have full-color cover artwork, perhaps a color insert page, and full-page black-and-white illustrations every chapter or so. Tokyopop's release is highly stylized, with black pages separating chapters, and most illustrations in a sort of filmstrip size/effect (i.e. greatly reduced). The original cover art is nowhere to be found. These changes were probably made to fit Kino no Tabi into Tokyopop's "pop fiction" line, and I must admit that they are reasonable alterations, though the purist in me would rather see a format closer to the original. There are no translation notes (not even for the title) but there is little cultural context in this series.

The anime series that was made from this novel series is very good, and I would have to recommend it over the novels.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 1 Dec 2006
By TeensReadToo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"The World is not beautiful, therefore it is."

The first line in this book, and a powerful one. How funny it is that the one thing everyone strives for is perfection, yet we all agree that a perfect world is impossible. Even if it was possible, would we really want it?

Kino doesn't remember what her original name was, only that it was the name of a flower. The first Kino came into the town she lived in when she was eleven, days before she was to have the operation to make her a grownup. The first Kino was a traveller, spending only three days in each new place.

While "curing" a junked and discarded motorcycle, the first Kino tells the young girl about other places and other lives. Places where you don't have to have an operation to be considered an adult. Places where you don't have to do a job that makes you unhappy, just because it's required. He sparks a light in this little girl, and inadvertently brings about his own death. A new Kino is born. She escapes on Hermes, the repaired and animated motorcycle.

Kino becomes a traveller, moving from place to place, staying only three days. Some places are nice, some strange, some scary, and some are downright dangerous. Kino and Hermes learn about life, themselves, and humanity as a whole.

This was not only a really great story, but a really interesting look at the nature of people and society. As well as an interesting take on the concept of "be careful what you wish for". It challenged my ideas of right and wrong, and what cost they come at. It's the first of a planned eight books, and I am extremely interested to see what Kino and Hermes get into next.

Reviewed by: Carrie Spellman
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful and fairy tale-like adventure 5 Jan 2007
By Teen Reads - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Kino is a traveler. She rides on Hermes, an extremely impressive talking motorcycle. Together they explore strange and bizarre countries and lands, rarely staying more than three days at a time. Kino believes it only takes three days to get to know what you need to about a place. Then it's back onto Hermes and off to another adventure.

KINO NO TABI is, quite honestly, a beautiful and fairy tale-like adventure with some extremely magical moments. Opening the book reveals a simple sentence: "The world is not beautiful, therefore it is." This is a great conceptual anchor for the story as Kino often finds herself in what would be considered non-beautiful territory, such as the Land of Majority Rule, a ghost town of hollow halls and vast graves, where a horrific King killed those who disagreed with him.

Throughout KINO NO TABI, we see that our hero is no mere passerby taking in the sights. She becomes involved. She is a seeker of knowledge and yet she is also willing to stand strong should she need to. This is quite prevalent in the segment entitled "Coliseum," where those admitted into the city-state are automatically entered into a savage tournament whereby the victor gains citizenship. Though not her first choice, she is ultimately left no choice but to fight, as refusers become slaves. She must take on the incredible swordsman, Shizu.

The Beauty to be found in the Beautiful World is not necessarily pretty. It can be brutal. It can be tragic. The story itself, almost in a travelogue narrative, is incredibly reminiscent of GULLIVER'S TRAVELS, perhaps sprinkled with a liberal touch of "The Twilight Zone." KINO NO TABI, while entertaining and sometimes humorous, also provides moments of introspection and occasionally borders on the philosophical.

After enduring some white-knuckle moments, Hermes asks Kino near the novel's end why she travels, why she never settles and undertakes a normal life. Kino never answers him. From the stories contained here, one can plainly see that it is the journey that keeps Kino going, that keeps her satisfied with her life, no matter how difficult it may be. It is the adrenaline rush and the uncertainty of it all that is life for her, as it is in all great adventure tales.

--- Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great fast read-- but one eensy nit 14 Oct 2006
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am an adult fan of the series, and I'm coming out in favor of this version as well.

The only (minor) nit that I have to pick on this book is the fact that it's linear (by time). Many people I've talked to about the anime series say that part of the appeal is the fragmentation of the episodes, and trying to figure out what events fit where.

Other than that, I think that the translation is very good and clear. I hope the next one will come out very soon. :)
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of The Figment Review at Figment[dot]com 22 Mar 2011
By The Figment Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
by Matt Reeves

In the genre of young adult fiction, let alone the whole of literature, it can be extremely difficult to find a novel these days that manages to stand out amongst the crowd. Authors seem more inclined to follow another trend in the industry than to break away and attempt something unique and different. In this endless cycle of vampires, dead cheerleaders, and fearless faeries, a reader of any age can be left wanting much more out of a genre that many consider to symbolize the very precipice of creativity.

So it was that a number of years ago, while browsing the aisles of a Barnes and Noble, that a young woman pointed out a book to me and recommended I should read it. Looking at the strange cover of a woman surrounded by bones, I ignored her advice, interested only in the book that I had come for. A year later however, almost to the day, I spotted the book in question and, remembering the recommendation of a girl long before, picked it up off the shelf and promptly bought it. It was only an hour later that I began to read the first chapter.

The setting of Sigsawa's novel is as foreign as it is similar to our own. Readers are quickly introduced to a world of vast diversity. Countries are the size of towns, and areas exist where, although robots roam, no considerable technological advances have been made. These are just a few of the strangely beautiful paradoxes that take up room in this imaginary creation. The main protagonist, a young teenage girl who goes by the name Kino, is accompanied by her companion, a talking motorcycle, as they visit each of these unique countries on their journey. The novel is told through a series of short stories, each one representing a stay in one of the countries that she visits and each one never lasting more than three days. At each stop she is confronted with the lives, hardships, and problems of people and sometimes entire cultures that she has never met, and at each one she questions whether to intervene. Though none of the stories are connected chronologically, they all share one thing in common: Kino has arrived, and with her, a new perspective.

Kino no Tabi, is, in a word, one of the most stunning book series to be written in many years. Beautifully written, painfully poignant, and stunningly thought provoking, this collection of short stories that chronicle the journey of one girls choices and relationships will leave readers breathless and gasping for more.

The book, the first of a currently ongoing series of over fourteen, became a huge success in Japan when it was first published in 2000. It has sold nearly 6 million copies since, making it one of the top bestselling young adult novels in the nation. Besides being made into a television series as well as two films, one of which received a theatrical release, the book series has been featured in a number of video games and inspired a successful spinoff series by the same author.

The reason for the novel's phenomenal success is obvious from the first time you sit down to read it. Filled with fascinating characters that hold to even more fascinating ideological extremes and combining fantasy with philosophy, Kino no Tabi strikes a chord in literature that few books do.

One of the things about this book that deserves so much praise is its ability to provoke thought out of the reader by either pure absurdity or uncomfortable malice. Unlike so many other novels that attempt to weave moral lessons in their tales, this author manages to do so without specifically pushing his own agenda. Through this unpredictable journey of vivid imagery and gripping story lines, the novel prods its readers at each page to reach their own conclusions regarding the book's many meanings and what they can take from it for their own lives. Readers who do not come with a ready mind will possibly miss out on the bigger picture that is trying to be painted by the author.

Both haunting and inspiring, Sigsawa manages to weave a tale of such intricacy that readers will be delighted by its childlike simplicity. Concentrating on issues such as war, family, human rights, love, and politics, the book takes a critical and unapologetic look at the world and those who live in it. Every country visited is another experience, another possibility of danger or discovery. And every chapter is a delight to read.

However, the book, no matter how much deserving of praise, must also be criticized. This criticism is not directed towards the author, but towards the publisher TokyoPop who bought the rights and translated this piece of literature. While the translation is good, it is also heavily edited. Entire paragraphs have been deleted for reasons we will never know, illustrations rejected, chapters rearranged, and the author's afterward is not included. These controversial changes have generated bitter criticism of the publisher and many of its future YA publications. Subsequently, for reasons that the publisher claimed were rooted in an issue over publishing rights, none of the other books in the series have been released in English, much to many readers dismay.

Kino no Tabi is, to be blunt, a masterpiece of YA. Its thought provoking stories and engaging characters are sure to stick in the minds of readers for years to come and I doubt will fade without a fight. With a high chance of re-readability, this is not a book to miss if one can help it.

Note: TokyoPop has discontinued printing this novel for now, and available copies are sometimes sold by different people for outrageous prices in the hundreds. If you wish to obtain a copy, be sure you find a reasonably priced one. Chances are you will have go buy it used.
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