We Are Both Better Than We Should Be

Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō — Hitoshi Ashinano
Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō, book 3

ykk-3

Well, I misspoke. Apparently I cannot resist dipping into the YYK archive at least one more time. Volume three of Hitoshi Ashinano’s Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō offers more enigmas and mysteries, but not a lot in the way of concrete explanation. Ah well.


Apron

A quiet day is enriched by an unexpected visit from Alpha’s sister-robot Kokone.

Comments:

Kokone has a brand new electric scooter, more evidence that somewhere, someone is maintaining some kind of industrial infrastructure. It turns out that electric motors have a … stimulating effect on robots. Yet another interesting design choice.

Waves

Kokone and Alpha bond over a shared love of Alpha’s music.

Comments:

Told from Kokone’s point of view. It turns out that music also has a stimulating effect on robots. The experience appears to be considerably more intimate than it is for humans.

Musashino, the Old Capital

Inspired by Alpha to become better at passing for human, Kokone instead learns how to better appreciate herself as she is.

Comments:

My genre expectations are betrayed by Ashinano’s essential decency.

I do wonder why Kokone felt she needed to pass in the first place. So far, we have not seen any evidence that robots are treated differently than human persons are. Well, aside from being property …

Northern Erosion

Alpha encounters Ayase by the shore, sharing a moment of appreciation for nature’s wonders. Haunted by an odd sense that they have met before, she is startled to discover that the connection she senses is that Takahiro is friend to both.

Phoenix

After enthusiastically attempting to entice Ayase to her cafe, Alpha discovers what brought the man to that part of the coast at this particular time: the passing overhead of a vast, enigmatic artifact.

Comments:

Ten to one we never find out why there is an extraordinarily large plane eternally cruising the stratosphere.

The Water God

Ayase arrives to pray at the shrine of the Water God. Outsiders are generally barred from observing the formation directly, but Ayase proves an exception. He is astounded by the experience.

Comments:

I think it is Ayase, at any rate. He’s shaved since the last story.

The water god is a sort of mushroom rock thing that looks like a child frozen in a moment of time. Pretty sure this is going to be another unexplained wonder. My guess is that it is the work of a bored technologist.

Alpha has essentially no boundaries when it comes to touching humans, which is very different from her behaviour towards robots.

Yokosuka Cruise

Spurred by an almost forgotten memory of a trip with her vanished owner, Alpha travels to a promontory overlooking a lost city, now a bay. There she has another chance encounter, this time with Ojisan’s sensei. Together, they share an experience extraordinary enough to leave the robot in tears.

Current People

A day in the life of wild woman Misago.

General comments:

This is a delightful change of pace from the material I usually read. People are sharing moments rather than shooting each other in the face.

I remain confident that this is like FLCL and that all that is needed to comprehend the perfect, crystalline logic behind the story is directed, repeated contemplation of the work in question.



Please note: comments will be read-only for the next week or two; Livefyre has ceased service, and we are doing some site maintenance.