Kino's Journey: the Beautiful World, shortened to Kino's Journey, is a Japanese light novel series written by Keiichi Sigsawa, with illustrations by Kouhaku Kuroboshi. The series originally started serialization in volume five of MediaWorks' now-defunct light novel magazine Dengeki hp on March 17, 2000. The first volume of the series was published on July 10, 2000 by ASCII Media Works under their Dengeki Bunko publishing imprint. As of October 2012, 16 volumes have been published, and over 5.6 million copies of the novels have been sold in Japan. In Kino's Journey, the protagonist, Kino, accompanied by a talking motorcycle named Hermes, travels through a mystical world of many different countries and forests, each unique in its customs and people. A spin-off light novel series titled Gakuen Kino began with the first volume published on July 10, 2006 by ASCII Media Works; four volumes have been released as of July 2010. A 13-episode anime adaptation produced by A.C.G.T and Genco aired between April and July 2003 on WOWOW in Japan. Two visual novels for the PlayStation 2 were released by ASCII Media Works, the first in July 2003, and the second in December 2005. There have also been two 30-minute animated films produced, the first in February 2005, and the second in April 2007. A Kino's Journey light novel was only released as a promotional gift for the second animated movie. Additional merchandise includes an art book, three picture books, and a drama CD.