Even if it isn't my most favorite anime series (though it is up there), I consider Kino's Journey the best anime series I've ever seen. By far, I would recommend this series to more people than The Twelve Kingdoms and Haibane Renmei and other series. So when I found out that the first book of short stories that this anime series was based on had been translated and released in the U.S., I excitedly scoured all the local bookstores to see if any of them had it in stock. Fortunately, one did (though they didn't even have it in their inventory system yet, the book was up on the shelf!), and, as of the first couple of parts, the book Kino No Tabi: Book one of THE BEAUTIFUL WORLD is proving itself to be everything the anime was and more.