Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World
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Kino no Tabi: The Beautiful World (Kino's Journey #1)

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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  516 ratings  ·  54 reviews
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.
Paperback, 205 pages
Published October 10th 2006 by TokyoPop (first published July 2000)
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5th out of 56 books — 77 voters
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Community Reviews

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Jacqueline
When I first watched Tabi no Kino the anime, I was moved to tears more than once. It is a poignant series that while disjointed on some level, still conveys a great depth of feeling and an insatiable need to know on the part of the protagonist. I'm afraid that I dislike the translation of the novel. I'm sure in it's original Japanese the books are as beautiful as the series, unfortunately certain aspects do not translate well.

One thing for example is Kino's androgyny. In Japanese there is a cer...more
khungkhing
"The World is not beautiful, therefore it is." This is the first line in this book that caught my eyes; that phrase is one of reasons why I read Kino no tabi. I also wanted to thank my younger sister who recommended and nearly forced me to read this book. I am so glad that she did since it is incredibly good book like she said.

I have to say that Kino no tabi is one of those book that worth to read. The story in each chapters is the best social reflection however some part of it is surreal. It s...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Carrie Spellman for TeensReadToo.com

"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 ha...more
jess
I didn't know anything about this book before I cracked the cover. I picked it up when I breezed through the YAF section of the library looking for easy books to hit my 2011 reading goal. (i'm a little behind on my goal.) I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this little book. Apparently there is an anime series, and possibly also a movie about Kino. I'll watch them... someday. Anyway, this kind of reminded me of a gender-fucking Little Prince but without the mushy stuff, and a lot more guns.

Th...more
Arminzerella
Kino’s whole life changes when she meets a professional traveler who chooses to visit her town and stay with her family for 3 days. She meets him on the cusp of her operation – the one that will make her into an adult – and his strange ideas about life (do the work you love) appeal to her and cause her to question the validity of her people’s ways. When she voices her concerns aloud and tells her family that she does *not* want to have the operation, they turn on her. The traveler tries to inter...more
Mike
Kino's Journey is probably my favorite anime series of all time. It's thirteen episodes long and based off of a series of Japanese light novels. This is the first novel, and the only one that was translated. I was quite eager to get a taste of the source material for the show, and with a few con-caveats it was just as satisfying.

The main theme of Kino No Tabi is summed up by it's most famous quote: "The world is not beautiful. Therefor it is." Kino is a traveller who explores a vast world with a...more
John Maresco
Before I knew about the book, I had watched the animated show "Kino's Journey". I decided to check out the novel, but wanted to wait some time between seeing the show and reading the book. Each of the book's chapters is a short story about Kino and her talking motorcycle, Hermes, visiting different countries. I was expecting to be a bit bored, since most of the chapters are full episodes. I was surprised to find that the scenes in the book still have the same impact as the show.

While reading I...more
Jessica
This book was...quaint. It's good for if you just want to sit down and read a story. The characters are fun and interesting, the places they go are all very different and teach some kind of "moral" about life, and it's entertaining. I do have a problem with the fact that this book is kind of...pointless. Though it's a good, fun little book that tells some good stories, there isn't any overall goal or point to the story that gives it purpose. It's just a record of the places that Kino and Hermes...more
Melissa
キノの旅 was recommended on a Japanese reading thread as a not-too-difficult read for those who'd finished Heisig and were starting to read native materials. I read it on the basis of that and because the series ranked a few times in このライトノベルがすごい!.

I did not do Heisig and my "kanji knowledge" is, according to my anki deck, at ~1440 out of 2136 old+new 常用漢字 (less when I started reading キノの旅 but not by much). As such, I certainly didn't always get all the tiny details but understood enough (to a semi-d...more
Melissa
キノの旅がずっと前から勧められていて、やっと読むことにしました。6話に分けて少しずつ昼休みでも気散らしに読みました。

まず、ひとつの気がついたことはアニメよりずっと暗かったです。明るいテーマソングと素敵な風景を取り除いて、話その自体の恐ろしさを悟りました。どんな話でも、人間は理想的な存在を目指しても、それは無益な行動のモチーフが繰り返します。しかし、必ずしも悲観的な話はありません。偶にきらきらのようにいいところが光るでしょう。例えば、第三話の「レール、長年使ってないわりには、ずいぶんきれいですよね?」という台詞は気に入りました。

キノの旅は私が実際する旅に出ると同じように、色んな考えが浮かびました。日本作家のよく使う曖昧な終わりはいつも気になって、気になって、イライラするんですけれど、キノの場合では、そのままに語った「終らない終わり」はちょうどいいだと思います。思索と判断は読者に任せています。
これからもキノの旅を楽しみにしています。

After hearing a lot of good things about this series, and recently watching the...more
Lacey Louwagie
I really loved Kino's Journey, especially the character of Kino, when I watched it several years ago. Krystl got me this book for my birthday, which is one of the "novels" the anime is based on. I put novel in quotes because it's really a collection of connected short stories about Kino's travels, with each one focusing on a particular "country" (which are really more like cities) that Kino visits.

It had been long enough since I watched the anime that I didn't remember the "twists" in most of th...more
Brian
Jun 27, 2007 Brian rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Precocious teens; fans of the anime
Before it was an anime, Kino no Tabi was a series of novels by some Japanese frood writing under the name Keiichi Sigsawa. The anime and book describe the travels of Kino, a detached young girl, through the dysfunctional nations of her not-so-beautiful world. I just finished the first novel, and I'm sorry to say that I think Kino makes a much better anime than a book. Part of what made the anime so intriguing was Kino's own inscrutability. The book describes what Kino feels in enough detail to r...more
Kailey
The first line of the book, "The World is not beautiful, therefore it is." drew me in. The travels of Kino and her motorcycle, Hermes, felt like a sort of Gulliver's Travels to me and I liked it a lot. I loved how the author perceived the answers to questions we've all asked ourselves a least once. The messages were easy to understand, but deep and made you stop to think about your own opinion on the situation.

The book sends the theme that perfection is impossible and can lead to disaster in the...more
Kim
Overall: I love the animation and I love this book.

Things I liked:
- The theme of traveling and visiting new places and learning from each town's (im)perfect customs is a simple but complex storytelling
- from prologue to epilogue, the story is CAPTIVATING. The world that Kino travels is magical, eerie, beautiful, uncanny, and wonderful within the imperfection of humanity
- there are subtle differences from the animation (if I remember the animation series correctly) but the book is equally thought...more
Deb
Feb 13, 2008 Deb rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of The Handmaid's Tale or The Dark Tower series
Shelves: dystopian-gothic
This books is advertised as a graphic novel without the graphics, which is a pretty good description: the writing is amazingly good at painting a picture in front of you.

The main character rides a talking motorcycle through town after town, exploring the weirdness of life. In one town, everyone is dead but the caretaker who killed them. In another, nobody interacts anymore because they can all read minds. It's the same sort of "world that's passed on" quality you find in Stephen King's Darktower...more
Zoie
I read this book after I had my wisdom teeth, so I was still under the effects of Lortab. This book was very fitting for the situation. The premise of the book is that a young girl, who takes the name of Kino, is traveling around on her talking motorcycle. She goes to many different cities, encountering a weird situation or problem each time.

This book is definitely a thinker. I liked it quite a bit. Some of it was a little bit violent, but the it was a fun book to read. You can tell that it is...more
Josh
Wow, I read through this just since this morning and loved every last second of it.
At its core, Kino no Tabi is a story of the follies of mankind. The book is segmented into 6 chapters, each detailing a different city Kino reaches in her travels and in each she discovers how people, when left to their own devices, eventually bring about their own demise. Not once is the book incredibly over-the-top or absurd. You read this and really feel as if you've been thrown into a post-apocalyptic world di...more
Jordan
"The world is not beautiful, therefore it is."

This line stuck with me after reading this light novel. I was trying to decide how to summarize this novel, but that one line pretty much summarizes it for me. The book follows the travels of Kino who, after an incident with a traveler in which she rejects the customs of her people, sets off on a talking motorcycle to see the world. She visits a variety of places, spending three days in each no matter how wonderful or horrible the place. Each town ty...more
Dru
Sooo good on so many different levels. A really good friend of mine recommended it to me. He did say that it wasn't for everybody, but thought I would appreciate it.

How right was he! This japanese anime, as we call it "graphic novel" seemed so simple, yet far fetched. But it all boils down to one point: it's a matter of interpreting philosophy. The author and illustrator both collabrated to show their take on what we all discuss, think and feel. When reading it, it seemed so simple yet so profou...more
a(dee)laide
I originally came across the television series "Kino's Journey" and watched all thirteen episodes with awe and delight. Then I found out it was based off a book.
I thought it was a graphic novel but as it turns out it is mostly a very poignant young adult novel that can be should be enjoyed by all.

Kino is a young androgynous traveler who rides around on her talking motorcycle Hermes. They go from land to land, discovering each countries unique and often tragic history which leads to its curren...more
Donna
I read it months ago, thanks to one of my kind friends that let me borrowed it. im not gonna lie... it was addicting. I cannot put it down until i finsh! but i realize in the end i got nothing out of it. most of the events in it are surprising and very creative, but i still can't squeeze anything out of it :( most themes are obvious. my mood was saddened greatly at most tragedies. it was the darkness of this book that keptme reading. it wasnt translated greatly either... it was ok i guess.

defini...more
Peeravich Paoprayoon
Read in Thai once, and finished it again in Japanese version.
Ummmmmm...
I felt like reading this when I was a child and now have different feeling....
Meepit
Finished it a while back and personally I love it. I love Kino, the main character, who travels the world freely by treating every village she visits equally by staying for 3 days, no matter how much she longs to stay or get away. And each story captivates you with all sorts of emotions, ranging from happy to heartwrenching. Personally the only thing that I hate is the fact that the rest of the series has not be translated. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wouldn't mind taking a break...more
Laura
I thought I'd read one chapter of this book last night and ended up finishing it in one long read. It was really wonderful. It reminded me of The Canterbury Tales or Arabian Nights in its structure: A girl travels with her talking motorcycle (you get used to the oddness immediately) visiting different walled cities for three days only. Each city is a bit of a fable--whatever happened in each provides some sort of lesson in government, work, etc. A wonderful little book and I am super bummed that...more
Chloë
Jun 09, 2014 Chloë marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Ordered this in Japanese... I hope it's not too hard!!
Paul
Maybe it's because I was coming to this from being a fan of the anime adaptation, maybe it's just the stories that were shown here, but this book didn't really do a lot for me. The anime had a really great visual design, and a sense of a coherent, ugly-yet-beautiful world around it, and none of that came through in the original work - they were just rather simplistic, overly moralistic stories.

To be honest, it felt like the book was a rough draft of something that was intended to be adapted into...more
Whitney Priestley
This book is definitely not my cup of tea. I just felt like I was trudging through the whole time just trying to finish it and be done with it. It was written pretty well though and definitely had an edge to it. I could see why young adults would be attracted to this kind of book; it's kind of violent and has some pretty intense scenes. I would probably see a guy liking this more than a girl because it has a lot of action in it. This book was just not appealing to me.

WARNINGS; There's a lot of...more
Annabeldefault
This book was vivid, poignant, and holds a special place in my heart with its beautiful narrative. The quote on page 0 of the novel says "The world is not beautiful, therefore it is", which encompasses the feeling of the novel perfectly, making such a messed-up world still feel lovely. For such a violent book, it has a peaceful, reflective narration and a calming ending after so much bloodshed. A great book. I only wish I could read the other seven of the series.
Allison
This book was...interesting. It made me think of The Little Prince, but I liked this one better. It's episodic in nature, but each part of the story makes you think a lot about life and people and how we treat each other. I liked it a lot. Also, there was a talking motorcycle, which gave it a few extra awesome points.

Warnings: There's some fighting, and some killing, i think some light cursing. Also some serious cruelty to some people.
Parallax
Kino no Tabi is a bunch of episodic short stories about a girl and her talking motorcycle as they travel, only staying in one place for three days. Each place they visit operates under a philosophical logical syllogism(?) that somehow doesn't execute well. All of the places take a premise that sounds good, like telepathy or majority rule or fighting for the best, and show how it is flawed. Yet, the places are oddly beautiful.
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Kino No Tabi Volume 2: Book Two: Where Nothing Is Written キノの旅 -the Beautiful World- III キノの旅 -the Beautiful World- IV キノの旅 -the Beautiful World- VI キノの旅 -the Beautiful World- VII

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“The world is not beautiful. Therefore it is.” 26 likes
“All people live in a fantasy in which they are the main character.” 9 likes
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