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Warning: the anime in this article might look like the fluffiest options around but are essentially mature in content. Proceed with caution.
Who doesn’t like trips? Sometimes we just would like to grab our backpacks, our transport of choice, a map, and hit the road. Kino has been doing just that since 2003 along with her motorcycle, Hermes. For all of those with wanderlust, we would like to visit even more worlds beside the ones Kino has been to. So, which other anime like Kino’s Journey could we recommend? Well, prepare yourself for the adventure, because we are departing now!
Similar Anime to Kino’s Journey
1. Ergo Proxy
- Episodes: 23
- Aired: Feb 25, 2006 to Aug 12, 2006
Civilization is declining on Earth, making most of it uninhabitable. Under the domed city of Romdo, the AutoReivs (robots) live together with some of the few humans left. Unfortunately, a strange virus is infecting the AutoReivs. Our heroine, Re-L, is investigating the cause together with her AutoReiv Iggy. Little does she know, her encounter with a shy engineer under the name of Vincent, who is being framed for a crime, will kick off the journey of their lives.
Ergo Proxy starts as a thriller only to become an interesting anime about journeys, just like the adventures of Kino. Our heroines are definitely not average girls, who have an interesting and complex past… although we should admit Kino is kinder than Re-L. Also, sometimes it is hard to root for just one character in both Ergo Proxy and Kino’s Journey, as they all are charismatic. One of the major topics in these animes is human psychology and existential conflicts in the daily lives of the characters. The main difference is the constant levels of action and the futuristic approach in Ergo Proxy. Also, there is an interesting attraction playing between Re-L and Vincent.
2. Ookami to Koushinryou (Spice and Wolf)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jan 9, 2008 to Mar 26, 2008
Holo was once known as the Wise Wolf of Yoitsu, a revered deity who was in charge of the annual harvest of the town of Pasloe. Now, with business being rather slow, Holo takes the chance to travel back to her original hometown with a merchant called Kraft Lawrence. Lawrence, who dreams to have a shop one day, takes advantage of Holo’s abilities in trade and accepts to be her companion. The only problem is that the journey is long and the intentions of both characters could change within time…
If what you liked about Kino’s Journey is the slow pace and relaxing atmosphere, you should book a ride with Holo and Lawrence like right now. Both animes are also centered into encountering and interacting with different cultures and ways of thinking. The wit of both animes is a breath of fresh air, especially if you are looking for your identity in a rapid changing world, just like the characters! Although there is more comedy here than in Kino’s Journey, the reflections are real in both. The main difference is that Ookami to Koushinryou has romance.
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 11, 2008 to Jul 25, 2008
Let’s go to another futuristic anime, ok? Here, your memories can be stored to let you become immortal, as long as you have enough money to buy new bodies, that is. However, there also exists a black market for memories, with all its dark consequences. The super rich and wasteful live in a sophisticated city in the skies, while the rest have to deal with the violence and poverty of the land. It is in such environment that a guy called Kaiba awakens with no memories of his past. Possessing only a pendant with the picture of a woman inside, he will start a journey to the skies, pursued by mortal enemies...
Although the scale in Kaiba is bigger, we can notice a pattern of travelling to different places to meet different kinds of people and try to understand them, just like in Kino’s Journey. There is also a comrade who keeps themselves not too involved, letting the protagonist decide on their own. Although we could think Kino’s Journey has a safer atmosphere, both animes try to deal with deep thoughts without appearing too pretentious. The main difference is that Kaiba is more oriented to science fiction and romance.
Any Anime Like Kino’s Journey ?
4. Shinsekai Yori
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Sep 29, 2012 to Mar 23, 2013
Shinsekai Yori plays with the idea of becoming special all of a sudden. When .1% of the population acquire psychokinetic powers, there is a conflict that forces the special ones to create an isolated society with many boundaries. Therefore, our protagonist, 12 year old Saki Watanabe of the Kamisu town, joins the ranks of the Sage Academy for psychics at the beginning of the anime. However, Saki and her gang are intrigued by the kids who do not have psychic power and by a secret group called Tainted Cats.
At first glance, it would appear that Kino’s Journey and Shinsekai Yori don’t have much in common, but let’s take a second look. Both animes are in the border between the ordinary and the extraordinary, as the main characters don’t seem alien to us. Saki and Kino are young but inquisitive and resolute protagonists who are discovering life. Also, the stories challenge the viewer with moral questions without really answering them. There is an atmosphere of light melancholy in Kino’s Journey and Shinsekai Yori as well, which also has to do with their maturity. The main difference might be the focus of Shinsekai Yori in romance and how fluid is regarding gender.
5. Made in Abyss
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jul 7, 2017 to Sep 29, 2017
Some of us sometimes wonder where do our possessions come from, how they arrived to us and how were they made. This is the case of our protagonist Riko, who one fine day finds a humanoid robot called Reg, whom she believes was Made in Abyss. The Abyss is a mysterious place where adventure awaits and only the most experienced explorers (called Whistles) can go. But that won’t stop Riko, the Red Whistle who dreams to become a great White Whistle just like her late mother! Thus, with Reg’s help, Riko will go further than anyone into the deepest zones of the Abyss.
The worlds encountered in Kino’s Journey and Made in Abyss are detailed, with well defined rules and beautiful landscapes. They come along with complex cultures and the most interesting adventures. Both animes also know how to deal with deep thoughts and emotional scenes. We might not get overly long anime in these cases, but we get quality, philosophy, adventure and beauty hand in hand with charismatic female leads. The difference is that Made in Abyss goes into the aesthetic lines of Kaiba, telling us an adult story with child-like animation.
6. Shoujo Shuumatsu Kikou (Girls World Tour)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Oct 6, 2017 to present
We finalize our list with a recent anime. What would you do in an empty world where you and your pal are the only humans left? Travel, of course, just like Chito and Yuuri do! With the help of their Kettenkrad motor bike, the duo spends their days trying to find something to eat, more fuel, pieces for their motorbike… and who knows, probably more life. With hope as their only guide, they travel from landscape to landscape.
The thing with the protagonists of Girls World Tour is that we don’t know much about where they came from and what happened to the world. In those aspects, we can compare them with Kino, who has a past of her own that is slowly uncovered in the show. There is also this objective of taking the journey to observe and learn, finding what is useful. The atmosphere is rather slow paced and melancholic, and the music in both animes helps with that. Also, the episodic nature of Kino’s Journey and Girls World Tour follows a similar structure. Finally… a motorbike. Should I say more? The main difference between the anime is, once again, the illustration style. Here we have another sister anime for Kaiba!
That was a great journey, don’t you think the same? In the end, one can never be the same once we have been in contact with different cultures, artifacts and people. Sometimes, they can surprise us and make us discover an unknown aspect of ourselves. Even better, animes like Kino’s Journey can make us realize how to become better persons without harsh judgements. Which other anime like Kino’s Journey have you watched? Don’t forget that we are open to all your comments and suggestions. See you soon! Have a great journey ahead!