YKK Forum

Beneath the Pine Tree

Ashinano Hitoshi is a very good tease. He hints at the unresolved relationship between Ojisan and Sensei without telling us any informative details. The initial page showing them as students at least tells us that this relationship has been going on since they were students. Sensei is the care-free, single career woman. Ojisan is her faithful and loving friend and helper. But what happened in all those years that kept the relationship going without development? We can only guess.

I wonder what Makki will say if they move in together? Young people usually have a bad reaction to romance between older folks.

- Loran
Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Since Makki doesn't live with him, I'm sure she'd be all right with it. Even if she did live with Ojisan, though, I think she'd be fine with it.

- martialstax
Wednesday, May 5, 2004

Ayeeeh, next chapter!:D:D

> I wonder what Makki will say if they move in together?

Giving her age she'd at least make a funny face - 13 year old teenagers think of 35+ to be oooold, let alone 70-something...
But with Ashinano's pathing on possible relationships a move-in probably won't happen 'till chapter 135 - which would give *us* about two years to accustom to it.:p

- Rainer
Friday, May 7, 2004

After I read "It is not as if I intended to still be all alone," I still had robots on the mind. So I immediately thought of Director Alpha. There are hints earlier that DA was the robot who liked to run around naked... I imagined Sensei wanted her to stay around as a daughter-like companion.

However, since Sensei's and oji-san's lives don't revolve around robots, it could be that they are talking about each other. : )

Did we ever hear about Takahiro's parents or grandmother? At that age, sensei and ojisan should have a lot more people in thier lives. It would be hideous if she has been stringing him along for 50-odd years. O_o


- Kempis Curious
Saturday, May 8, 2004

well, when they talked about the one that liked to be naked i immediatly thought of misago.... i don't see how it could have been DA.

- Canti-sama
Saturday, May 8, 2004

There is already a generous amount of evidence pointing to Director Alpha as opposed to the Misago.

Director Alpha has a pendant with Sensei's mark on it.
First seen in c26 - Blue M1 - p45: http://ykk.misago.org/Volume4/45
Then here later in c58 - Two Drops of Indigo- p54: http://ykk.misago.org/Volume7/54

Also note that Sensei said her favourite colour was blue in here.
c83 - Blue Sound - p85: http://ykk.misago.org/Volume9/85
Blue is a common theme in the names of chapters freaturing Director Alpha. Also in the above linked page, you can see that the "sister" lacked the Misago's signature hair style.

We also see Director Alpha naked while peering down at Earth through the bottom the of see-through water channel that seems to run along a bottom portion of the Tappon.
c94 - Echo - p84: http://ykk.misago.org/Afternoon2002/84

Of course I'm not saying that Sensei had nothing to do with the Misago. Who can deny the fact that Sensei piloted a water craft called Misago. Just saying that my money is on Director Alpha being the "sister" from c83 - Blue Sound.

- Ced
Sunday, May 9, 2004

I don't think Makki lives with Oji anymore... she showed up in uniform in couple of chapters ago; that could mean she's in middle school now (and from what Alpha said to her in the last chapter, she's not yet 15).

Since I believe that children are rare in this world due to the declining fertility rate, the only way a kid's going to revceive advanced education is through centralized schooling. Makki must be living in a major nearby city to in order to attend middle school. There are no other children in the area Alpha/Ojisan lives aside from Takahiro so there's no point having a school. I think Makki used to live with Ojisan sometimes but not anymore. Thus his feeling of loneliness since Takka's no longer around.

As for Director Alpha, I also believe that Sensei created her, but she let her get on the Tappon to help the greater need of sustaining human species through the Tappon. But since we know the Tappon project failed and there are no children born on the Tappon, D A maybe coming back to Sensei in the future.

Another part I find interesting: Sensei said that she didn't intend to be alone. This could mean three things:

1. she somehow never found or can't be together with the person she loves, and choose to remain celebate, or,
2. she found that she's sterile like most of humanity, and choose not to get involved and suffer the pain of not being able to have a true family with the person she loves, or
3. she could also be saying that she devoted her life to the creation of these human-like biological robots, and consciously sacrifized her youth and love life for the greater goal of preserving human legacy and civilization.

One question: What's Sensei's relationship with Master? Why do the Alpha's look alike, if one's made by Sensei and the other's the made by Master? Could Master be Sensei's Love of Her Life? The reason Ojisan never approached her? We never knew how old Master was; it could be that he's same age as Ojisan/Sensei. It could be that all the A7 robots looks alike, but thus far except for the 2 Alphas we've never seen 2 robots similar in appearance.

I would think that if Robots are to simulate human society then each one of them must be unique in some way. They should not look alike. I hope there's a romantic understory about why they look the same... Maybe this is way Master and Sensei show their love for each other. Oh well, I hope the author throws us a bone and tell us more about it.

- JC
Tuesday, May 11, 2004


Makki never lived with Ojisan. I believe she lives with the couple that tutored Takahiro. You can see them in the chapter "Box Garden" when they all arrive together:


I don't think that's a uniform, but her best clothes. The story makes a point that everyone is dressing up for Takahiro's "visit". Since Takahiro got his schooling from Makki's parents, my guess is that Makki is homeschooled as well.

Also, about Sensei's comment about not intending to continue being alone all her life, it's a gentle hint to Ojisan that perhaps now is the time to finally get together. I think Sensei just got busy with her career, and never allowed herself the time to find romance.

Finally, the question about Sensei's and Owner's relationship is interesting. However, there is no evidence they know each other, although it's likely. I have no idea about Owner, but it's clear that Sensei did not have much of a hand in the creation of the Alpha prototypes. She did care for Director Alpha for a while, and she did keep up with the research, but I don't think she was directly involved.



- dDave
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

I believe that's her uncle and auntie. I wasn't too sure if Makki has lived with Oji on a permanent basis, but I am guessing that they did live with Oji sometimes when Makki was spending a lot of time with Taka when she was younger. I guess I got feeling that from this map: http://ykk.misago.org/Volume5/165.

Her best cloth looked a lot like an average Japanese middle school uniform. I actually have a friend who's middle school uniform looks almost identical to what Makki's wearing. You can read into it what you like, I just call it like I saw it. I can't believe any young girl would buy a uniform-like dress and call it her best cloth. But you maybe right, maybe there are no more schools left and they are all home schooled now.

I think sensei's relationship with DA is stronger than we thought. I believe Owner made both DA and Alpha, and he's the first person who perfected the robot technology; Sensei may have helped raised DA.

- JC
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

So, we see Ojisan and Sensei as college kids on the opening page...why do we think Ojisan is carrying two armloads of what look like blueprints?

Is it possible we're seeing the beginning of things here? Where Sensei perhaps goes on to develop something with the robot people, Ojisan might have been the engineer who built the facility or the production line.

Another observation: Sensei's skirt is really short. Wouldn't that put her college days in the late 70s, early 80s, at least? No knee highs, so I guess she preferred loose socks. :)

- steven austin
Wednesday, May 12, 2004


During Japanese graduation ceremonies, diplomas are handed to the students in tubes like the ones you see Ojisan carrying. Since they are in school uniforms, I think this shows their high school graduation.

Now, why is Ojisan carrying so many? My guess is that he was one of those kind of people who ending up carrying/doing everything for everything else.



- dDave
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

He is one or two year younger than she is [v2, 114]. It must be her graduation, not his. Ojisan seems to be fagging for Sensei and her classmates.

Although the containers look a little bit too big to be diplomas...

- kGo
Thursday, May 13, 2004

well, since Oji calls sensei senpai, it's pretty clear she's older than him. Chasing after older female senpai was kinda taboo-ish in Japanese society; real men were supposed to get younger chicks who calls you senpai. That may be something to do with Oji's reluctance to come out straight about his feelings.

Nowdays, in the age of Matsushima Nanako, going out with older women seemed fashionable, so I guess it's no longer an un-manly thing to do.

- JC
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Those containers are not diploma holders. I've seen them and I have one myself from my grade school graduation (yes, kids graduate from elementary school). Diploma holders are much smaller. These containers are most certainly engineering blue prints containers, since we know Sensei is definately an engineer of some kind (my guesss is Mech or BioChem).

Ojisan's either carrying his own blue prints (which means he's an engineer as well), or he maybe a being a good kouhai and was carrying them for his beloved senpai.

As for the uniform... well, as far as I know, about half of the universities in Japan still have uniforms, mostly in the private ones. One's I've seen looked almost exactly like what was depicted on that page: blue blazer with shirt and tie. They are not enforced, but some students still wear them out of love for the school. Althought they could very well be high school though. Good private high schools may require similar type.

But what Sensei and Oji wore just looked like college uniforms to me. The tall tell sign is the pin on Sensei's lapel. The university pin is a big deal in Japan and many college students wear their school pin on their lapel when they wear the uniform or suit/jacket. This doesn't happen for highschool, since the names are usually embroidered on the jacket, and high school don't have pins.

To me, this is a picture of sensei and oji went going to an college-level engineering school.

- JC
Thursday, May 13, 2004

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