Saturday, July 2, 2011
キノの旅 Kino no Tabi by 時雨沢恵一 Keiichi Sigsawa
Title: キノの旅 ―The beautiful world
Author: Keiichi Sigsawa
Illustrator: Kouhaku Kuroboshi
Publication Year: 2000
I actually read this book a while ago, and am currently on the second volume, but the first volume left such an impact on me that I flipped through it again recently and thought it would be good to do a review.
First a little background information: I picked up this book because I loved the anime adaptation, and wanted it to go on, but I don't think it matters whether one has seen the anime or not, as the book stands on its own. Indeed, the anime may be very loyal to the novels, but I consider the novels the superior work (and I adored the anime, so I'm not saying this lightly!).
Summary: A traveler called Kino, and a talking motorcycle travel from country to country, experiencing both the beautiful and not so beautiful sides of human nature.
Plot & Characters: There are really very few main characters in this book, mostly because it involves traveling, which demonstrates the state of everlasting newness a traveler might feel well. The basic plot is not unlike the one of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince, as it is more concerned with showing sides of human nature than describing any real place. This lends it a dark, story-like quality which is easy to lose oneself in. In fact, once I began a chapter, I found the book was hard to put down, and the endings always left me thinking. It wouldn't be exaggerating to say that it changed my world view more than once.
Prose & Readability: I am pretty sure that this is the first time I fell in love with an author's literary style.
The prose is clear, yet descriptive, and the frequent use of older kanji (with furigana) gives it a rustic feeling. Like with most light novels, all non-jouyou kanji have furigana. It isn't the easiest book I have read, but it isn't the hardest either. It is however, the most interesting.
Who would I recommend this to: Everyone! But particularly those who like dark stories which leave them thinking.
First Paragraph (chapter 1):
The first paragraph provided for readers to help judge for themselves whether a book is a good fit for their current level, and is presented with all furigana shown in the actual book.