Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou review

Apr 15, 2021
Yokohama shopping trip is truly the best slice of life manga out. Told through the lens of Alpha, an undying android, it's set in a post apocalyptic japan where the sea level has risen (and continues to rise), flooding cities and roads. There aren't many people left but those who do group together in tight-knit communities.
Our main character, Alpha, runs a remote cafe on the coast. She gets few visitors and she waits for the return of her mysterious master. Her origins are unclear and very little is revealed as the manga progresses.

The setting and characters are unique and enjoyable - Seeing the interactions between Alpha and her friends and her going about her life. It's light-hearted and relaxing.
Each chapter starts and ends peacefully. Life is slow and you can almost feel the sea wind, blowing through the grass and trees as the world quietly slows down.

Alpha is given a camera as a present from her master which she uses regularly. She drives her scooter around meeting new people and finding new places.
The art really shines when Alpha is travelling - beautiful landscapes of sunken cities, streetlights silently glowing under the waves; sand swept coastlines and bustling cities.
On her travels Alpha meets many people. Some mysterious, some normal. Every character feels real and their life, past times and comings and goings are interesting and genuinely engaging.

Alpha, being an android, doesn't age. As the manga goes on, you see Takihiro and Matsuki, friends of Alpha who are children at the start, grow up. Their views on life, relationships with others and their hopes for the future change and mature.
Individually each chapter isn't massively special but, like life, looking back over it makes you appreciate the changes and is incredibly emotive, helping you to appreciate the small, seemingly insignificant stories told - There's a great joy in Takahiro and Matsuki's growing up, but a deep sadness as the world around Alpha slowly dies out.

As the sea rises, characters, with relationships and lives built and explored throughout the manga; age and move on, slowly leaving alpha alone.

Yokohama Shopping Trip is a celebration of life, of people and relationships as well as a lament to how all good things come to an end. It's a stunning, engaging and incredibly emotive manga incomparable to anything I've ever read.
It can be summarised by a beautiful chapter where Alpha grows a sunflower which ends with: "After a while the sunflower died and wilted without thinking of our feelings."


Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou
Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou
Autor Ashinano, Hitoshi