EDIT: See comments for additional information regarding this release.Sigsawa, Keiichi. Kino no Tabi: Book One of THE BEAUTIFUL WORLD. Trans. Andrew Cunningham and Maya Bohnhoff. Los Angeles: TOKYOPOP, 2006. Summary
: Illustrated by Kuroboshi Kouhaku. Kino, mysterious traveler, appears one day in the world of a little girl. After he sacrifices his life for hers, she escapes on his motorcycle Hermes and assumes her savior's name. Now a traveler herself, Kino explores frightening yet wondrous world, stopping no longer than three days in each locale. Comments
: So. My first "Pop Fiction" experience, Trinity Blood
was just "okay." This, on the other hand, is actually good
and was, on hindsight, an admirable title with which to inaugurate the new imprint. Though the initial frame story about a girl who replaces a seasoned male traveler did not capture my imagination, her subsequent adventures (of which there are five in this volume) do. My favorites were "The Land of Shared Pain," about how, paradoxically, perfect communication between people causes the total breakdown of society, and "Three Men on the Rails," and evocative meditation on the ultimate meaninglessness of life's work and accomplishments. The other three stories were more conventional, predictable condemnations of the violent, self side of human nature. But, at his best, Sigsawa reminds me of the Lois Lowry who wrote The Giver
. (Yes, that's a compliment.) This young adult fiction uses science fiction tropes that instruct as well as resonate.
The prose of the TOKYOPOP edition is reasonably readable and not unreasonably stilted. My primary gripe is not about the release per se
but about the release schedule in general. Man oh man, this book debuted A YEAR AGO, and volume two won't be released until at least March 2008?! Oh, what the f*ck? We can have two volumes of the mediocre Trinity Blood
in under six months, but Kino no Tabi
takes a year and a half??? At that rate, all eight volumes will take them twelve freakin' years! I feel like I've been blasted back to the bad old days of VIZ. Where is the justice, people? And, for that matter, where has your good taste got to? Notes
: paperback, 1st American edition, 1st printing; first published in Japan by Media Works in 2000 Rating
- A lovely and addictive little piece of speculative fiction. Unfortunately, if you get hooked you'll then be condemned to wait on TOKYOPOP's sloooooow release schedule.