The original 2003 anime of Kino’s Journey is a seriously cerebral and fantastic series. Kino, in all her stoic, meditative, badass glory, is even one of my outright favorite characters in the entirety of anime. And both of them are served a worthy tribute by way of its ending theme.

Kino’s Journey
Ai Maeda
“The Beautiful World”

The opening is good, too, don’t get me wrong, but I really like this one more. It’s all too easy for me to lose myself in its lush, mini-orchestral waltz. There’s something special about all of those instruments keeping time and Ai Maeda’s prettily reserved singing that has made me, many a time, unable to skip it whenever it comes up while on a music-listening kick. Not to mention, the key change from the verses to the choruses is pretty brilliant.

There are also some anime-specific things relating to it that endear it more to me, specifically. For one, I think this kind of song feels just the slightest bit more appropriate to the atmosphere of the series than “All The Way”. But more importantly, the person singing this is also Kino’s voice actress, so by extension it seems appropriate to think of Kino herself singing this. And that is a rather charming thought.

(originally posted on Tumblr May 19, 2013)


RedStripe Loved Trax—originally from days of Tumblr past—is a series about the music Justin adores, with special emphasis on songs from (or introduced by) video games and anime.