Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou review

Apr 15, 2021
The waves find their way past the shining streetlights and crash onto the eroding street. There's someone watching, a figure made to look, act and feel human. Here she stands, taking in this beautiful sight. There's no hurry, she's already closed her shop. There probably wouldn't be any customers anyway...

This is the setting of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (YKK), a calm beautiful and post apocalyptic slice of life manga.

Story(10/10): YKK is the journey of Alpha Hatsuseno, a human like robot, through the "twilight age of humanity". Human civilization is in decline. Sea levels have risen and once big cities became small towns or were abandoned completely. Alpha lives alone in the countryside, her next neighbors live a few kilometers away. Waiting for the return of her owner, she takes care of the house and runs a coffee shop. People come there just to see her. She has developed a habit of sitting down next to her customers to chat and drink coffee with them. However the shop is located in the middle of nowhere, so only a few customers visit each week. Because of this, Alpha has a lot of free time and ends up spending much of it with her neighbors or roaming through the countryside.
Throughout YKK's story, we learn more about the mysterious world, the robots and their development and accompany Alpha and her friends through years of living and growing up in the countryside.
The story is not great because of any exciting things happening, but because of the care for detail and the perfect pacing.

Characters(10/10): Alpha is a multilayered, realistic, yet interesting and unique character. She's more of a human with a few robotic properties than the other way around. These robotic properties were implemented in an astonishingly brilliant way. While reminding of their robotic origin, they're often used to instead emphasize their fundamentally human abilities to feel and to imagine. This results in Alpha and the other robots having a uniquely different but still "human" perception of the world. Alpha is one of the best protagonists to be seen in manga and anime.
The side characters also don't disappoint. They're all likable, interesting and understandable in their actions.

Art(10/10): Not only is it exceptionally beautiful, but the art is also used as a way to communicate large parts of the story itself. This manga doesn't use a lot of words and instead decides to use the strengths of its medium to the fullest extend. This results in a unique, calm and subtle way of story telling.

Enjoyment(10/10): There's no feeling quite like reading YKK. It is interesting, beautiful and relaxing in a way that'll have you starve for more. Even after reading it, its mystery and themes will keep you thinking for a while.

Overall(10/10): It feels wrong giving this a 10 in every category, as nothing, not even YKK, is perfect. However with this manga everything fits together so well and the strength outweigh any flaws, that you could only find with a magnifying glass, by a large margin. While it's not something everyone will like, YKK does what it sets out to do almost flawlessly.


Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou
Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou
Autor Ashinano, Hitoshi