Kino’s Journey

1. Land of Visible Pain: Together with her sentient motorcycle Hermes, Kino is a traveller who journeys from country to country, staying in each country for three days to experience what it has to offer. On their latest stop, Kino and Hermes find themselves in a country that seems to be inhabited only by servile machines. Is Kino the only person in the entire country, or will she be able to track down the humans and discover their story?

2. A Tale of Feeding Off Others: Towards the end of winter, Kino comes across three starving men who are trapped in the snow. Deciding to save them forces Kino to choose their lives over the lives of the rabbits she must hunt for their food. Will them men prove worthy of the choice and obligation Kino has made- and will they in turn respect the implicit obligation they have to Kino?

3. Land of Prophecies: People are always looking for meaning, adding depth to even the most abstract of writings and actions and turning them into rituals and traditions. As Kino travels from country to country, she encounters the traditions of many different lands, starting with a region where a Book of Prophecy claims that the end of the world is only one day away. Will this be the end of Kino’s journey, or the beginning of a series of insights into the numerous ways even a single passage can be interpreted?

4. Land of Adults: Kino was not always a traveller, nor was she always named Kino. As a child, she grew up in the Land of Adults, a place where adulthood and responsibility is attained by the means a single operation carried out on every child’s twelfth birthday. As an eleven year old girl, Kino fully expected to undergo the operation and become a ‘perfect adult’, until a mysterious traveller visited her country and opened her eyes to others possibilities…

5. Three Men Along the Rails: As she makes her way along an old railroad, Kino runs into a man who has been polishing the tracks for some fifty odd years! Stopping for a break, Kino entertains the man with a story of a land where the people no longer have to work, but choose to subject themselves to meaningless and stressful tasks anyway. It may seem foolish to the old man, but little does he realise that his own work is just as pointless, for, as Kino is about to discover, there are two more men working on the railroad, each undoing the work done by the others…

6. Coliseum (Part 1): When Kino stops off in a country reputed to be a beautiful and wondrous place, she finds that the reality is far different from her expectations. Thanks to the laws laid down by the land’s cruel and hedonistic king, all visitors must participate in a battle tournament or be subjected to a life of slavery as a second class citizen. Forced to abide by this custom, Kino takes gun in hand an enters the coliseum, but how she will fare in the life or death battles against a variety of opponents who are each driven to fight by their own, unique motives?

7. Coliseum (Part 2): Kino has made it to the semi-finals of the tournament, but now the real challenge begins. For, whilst the country’s cruel king watches from above, Kino enters the arena for her final matches, determined that she will win without having to kill her opponents. Will Kino be able to fulfil her self-imposed challenge, or will she be unable to prevent further bloodshed as the final four battle it out to see who gets the ultimate prize?

8. Land of Wizards: In the Land of Mages, worth and power are measured by a person’s ability to increase crop production. Amongst this agriculturally orientated land, however, dwells a girl named Nimya who dares to dream of something completely different. Nimya desperately wants to build a successful flying machine, and despite the lack of support from her peers, she has dedicated her life to fulfilling her dream. And yet, it may take the help of a certain traveller and her motorrad to help bring it to fruition…

9. Land of Books: Kino and Hermes make their way to the Land of Books, a country whose library gathers together all the books in the world, but locks away those considered ‘harmful’, leaving only the most wholesome and inoffensive out on display. Almost by chance, however, Kino finds herself thrust into the underground of this world, where a secret resistance publishes its own, darker material. But as the plot thickens, the lines between reality and fantasy begin to blur, until it becomes almost impossible to distinguish what is really happening, and what only exists on the pages of a book, or in the depths of an author’s mind…

10. A Tale of Mechanical Dolls: Whilst searching for a village where she can get Hermes’ speedometer repaired, Kino stumbles across a family living in the woods, served by an old woman who claims to be a mechanical doll. As she spends time with ‘Nanny’ and her family, Kino finds herself impressed by the old woman, but begins to wonder about her origins- for neither Nanny nor the family seem to be exactly what they claim.

11. Her Journey: As Kino takes a boat downriver and enjoys a lazy fishing trip, she finds herself recalling the people she has met on her travels- people who were undertaking journeys of their own. From a woman seeking revenge for her husband’s death, to another hoping to spread the word of peace, Kino interacted with them all, and yet chose not to interfere. But, as Kino recalls her past, she cannot help remembering an encounter with a dying wise man that ultimately proved that even observers can have an effect…

12. A Peaceful Land: Kino and Hermes visit a land that prides itself on a being a peaceful nation, but on entering the country, they soon realise that all is not as simple as it seems. For, whilst abandoned military equipment litters the streets, on the outskirts of town, an army is training for a war- to be held on the following day! Curious as to these contradictions, Kino visits the local museum to find out more about the history of this land, only to discover firsthand that this nation’s definition of ‘peace’ is far more disturbing than she could have envisioned…

13. A Kind Land: When Kino hears of a land where travellers are shunned, she decides to visit anyway and experience the people’s attitude for herself. To her surprise, however, the inhabitants are extremely friendly and welcoming, and Kino is soon made to feel at home among them. And when she makes friends with Lily, a girl who reminds Kino of her younger self, Kino begins to wonder if, for once, she shouldn’t stay longer than her customary three days…

 

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