The Beautiful World

The twins and I have been in
South Carolina for a few days now. Since the time difference between here and home is 13 hours, we have been waking up at 2 or 3 or 4AM. Lucky(?) for us, my parents have satellite TV, so the twins can while away the early morning hours watching endless anime in English, while Mommy reads. I just finished Kino no Tabi, volume one in the series The Beautiful World. This book was apparently a best seller in Japan. Like the best manga and anime, this y/a novel (with a few illustrations) features a strong and brave heroine. At the beginning of the book, Kino is a couple days shy of twelve years old. She’s about to undergo an operation on her brain to become an adult. Once you’re an adult, you give up your dreams and take over the family business. (Hey, that sounds like Japan.) The characters all have Japanese names, but the story seems to be set in some sort of alternate universe. Kino travels from country to country on her long-suffering sidekick, an anthropomorphic motorcycle named Hermes. She never stays for more than three days in each country. Some of the places she visits are The Land of Shared Pain, The Land of Majority Rule and the Land of Peace. Of course, nothing is as great as it sounds. There’s a lot of violence in these pages, and I found myself wondering how 12-year-old Kino became so adept with weapons, but there is also a lot of food for thought for the relatively mature teen.

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3 thoughts on “The Beautiful World

  1. This weekend once again emphasized how much I enjoy reading your blog — over the last several days I’ve checked and been quite sad not to find any new posts. Then, I wondered if you might not post at all while you were back in the States — yikes! I’ll just say that I was so glad to find your post today. And, I hope your visit goes really well.

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