This is Kino. She’s one of the coolest anime babes. Why? Cos she has dual revolvers, a motorbike, uses "Boku" and is a traveller.
Kino no Tabi (Kino’s Journey) is a serialised light novel that appears in Dengeki HP. It’s ongoing but currently has 9 volumes. There’s a 13 episode anime series by GENCO and a 30 minute OVA. I haven’t read the novels so I can’t talk about them. The illustrator for the cover draws really beautifully, though I don’t have a sample of his/her work now.
The anime is episodic, with each ep detailing her trip in a new country. Each of these countries are diverse with creative customs and sometimes really dark rituals. While it’s not the most addictive of anime, Kino no Tabi oozes class, creativity and makes you ponder a lot about the nature of humans.
Kino is a girl, though this itself is quite the spoiler, as her gender is revealed a few eps into the series. She’s pretty monotone and calm in all situations, even in times of danger. Kino travels with a 3-day rule, that is, she doesn’t ever stay in one country for more than three days since she can learn all that she needs to know within this time frame. For self-defence, she wields a .22 caliber Persuader (revolver) and has a hidden .44 behind her back. Despite her kid appearance, Kino has god-like talent at shooting and has lightning draw speed.
In short, Kino is godly.
As for the actual anime, I wached it sometime ago so I can’t remember the details much. Episodes that shone were the Human Traffickers x Rabbit ep, the Kino Naming ep and the OVA where her past is delved into.
But why am I talking about her now? Cos Lenneth, aka the Saya Cosplayer, did a Kino Cosplay.
Kino wears quite a few layers in the show. But most of the time, she’s in a khaki coat, fur hat and goggles. Lenneth seems to be missing the dark green jacket but there are some scenes where Kino isn’t wearing it, just a white shirt.
I have to gush about how handsome she looks. Lenneth’s hair is pretty much perfect, especially compared to the official pictures. In terms of detail, she’s probably got them all about right. But the furhat certainly looks a bit strange, probably due to the large anime head proportion. She could’ve made the hat just a bit larger though.
Unlike the previous Saya photoshoot, which received some feedback here about the cheesy use of photoshop (lol lensflare lol) and limited poses + angles, I found this Kino picture set to be pretty well-taken. With a variety of poses and the use of wider angled shots to show the "Tabi" part of Kino no Tabi, this simple cosplay turned out more elegant than the Saya one.
According to Lenneth, the team had to work for ages to get to the photo site. Singapore is a city island so there aren’t many places like the one below with no visible urban development. She said that due to the fatigue, she "did badly for the photoshoot". I wouldn’t know about the fatigue, but I do know she did OK!
I like the pine trees, gravel path and long lalang grass. These do bring out the sense of "travel".
The gun is cool. There’s enough detail to look believably real. Pity about the lack of the 2nd gun though. Lenneth said, "I just used a toy gun and spray-painted it black." Damn they make good toy guns lately. The holster’s well made too.
Areas I feel could be improved…. hmm. One thing for sure is, the costume’s a tad too clean for a girl that doesn’t bathe much. While it may seem silly to roll around just to get a hand-made costume dusty, a bit of dirt for weathering purposes could add some realism. Another would be a motorcycle. Hermes is after all, an ever-present object alongside Kino. But this may prove to be a bit difficult for a 17-year old student to obtain . The little waist pouches look a bit too bright and out of sync with the rest of the colours, so perhaps a darker shade would’ve been more appropriate.
Overall, this was a great cosplay and the realistically simple costume + fitting background + cool props + nice photography scores it high points.
As callous as it may sound, good cosplay is really about 3 factors - the person (face, body), the photographer and the costume. Just like how most of us will not be models, not everyone can do cosplay and look good. The Otakon goers have been posting a lot of American cosplayer pictures and this has been affecting my sleep. I’m too frightened from the sheer demonic ugliness of some of these. No links for your own mental health.
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