YKK Forum


OK, I really need to study for a summer mid-term. But I wanted to look at the (first chapter) again, and I return to some basic questions. I think I'll have to block out some time soon to sit down and re-read through the chapters to date.

But here are some wonderings I have:

When Alpha goes into Ojisan's for gas, 1) she doesn't know him at all, and 2) he hasn't met her before, though he notes her reputation preceeds her (AND he sees himself as "a fan"). Strange, isn't it, that he hasn't been to the cafe, if she's been there alone for years?

He gives her advice about road conditions ("...the roads've been goin' away...") along her trip to Yokohama for coffee beans. He KNOWS she hasn't been on the roads for ages.

Ojisan observes to Alpha that she's a robot, and when he comments it must be nice, she jokes "wanna trade?" An interesting look in her eyes...

This trip to Yokohama is curious. Alpha reflects that Owner "suddenly" left the cafe in her charge "some years ago" (page 16) and "it looks like the sea has risen over the years" (page 18).

If it has been years, perhaps she has NOT actually made this trip into Yokohama by herself before?

If years have intervened since her last trip and since Owner left, what has she been DOING out at the cafe? And how has she maintained a coffee bean supply? Have there been so few customers? And WHO have the customers been, if Ojisan, her neighbor and self-acknowledged "fan", hasn't been there once in the years she has been "in charge?"

Why is she finally making the trip to Yokohama after all this time? She can't possibly carry much of a coffee bean supply on the scooter. When she gets there (page 22), we see her carrying only a couple of pounds. What prompts her to go now?

"The world has changed greatly over these years..." (page 23). Is it possible that she remembers the original trip TO the cafe with Owner, but that this trip in the Prologue is her first trip away from the cafe by herself?

Isn't the Prologue a record of Alpha's first actions upon completing a critical phase in her development process? Perhaps her few visitors over the years have been technicians, making observations and adjustments.

If it's been years since Owner left AND it looks like Alpha really hasn't made the trip in years...how cooincidental is it that Owner's note shows up on the cafe door on this occasion? "Alpha, I'm glad you seem well." This is determined not by seeing her, but by observing that she's not home...she has left the nest.

Interesting that Owner doesn't want to actually confront her at this important moment. I wonder why.
Is this how the creator instills "faith," a psychological net that will permit Alpha to build self-confidence?

Or was the note actually left by Owner at all?

What if Owner's sudden departure was not benign, and to avoid psychological scarring, this story of his trip was manufacturered? "Owner suddenly entrusted the shop to me and went away somewhere...Are you coming back? Where are you? What are you doing?" (page 16).

What if Ojisan was brought in and tasked with watching her when she was "done," and to leave the note from Owner when she took her first "flight?"

Maybe Ojisan and Sensei are the caretakers left by Owner or who responded to the sudden departure of Owner...


What a great story.

- seaweb
Sunday, July 4, 2004

I'm leaning toward a "sleeping beauty" scenario. She admits elsewhere that her memories are confused in the time period after her initial training. I suspect that the first story takes place after she recovered from a serious trauma. The memories of the cafe owner and the cafe are mostly implanted (using technology similar to the camera interface). She wakes up as if from a dream and sets off for Yokohama.

Sensei and Ojisan are not there by accident.

- Loran
Tuesday, July 6, 2004

> The memories of the cafe owner and the cafe are mostly implanted
But at least we know that Hatsuseno-sensei does exist since
it's the name written on the postbox, and, more importanly,
his name is rather famous and well-respected as Ayase has found.

BTW, for Alpha he is "my owner", not "cafe owner".

I'd rather think that "some years ago" is rooted in Alpha's
lacking sense of time. "There may be no difference between
ten years and one day to you", so "some years ago" could
easily means "I can't recall when". She's already able to
live by herself so Owner could leave her, but she can't feel
the flowing of time yet. She eventually learns to observe
time, the camera and one-year journey later helps greatly.

> "it looks like the sea has risen over the years"
I guess she is just comparing reality with what's being pictured
on the map she's refferring to. Also, Oji-san's "the roads've
been goin' away" is probably a general word of caution, not
directly related to Alpha's previous trips.

- Teisuu
Tuesday, July 6, 2004

I think the legend Ojisan is referring to may be the same as the strange rumors Ayase talks about in chapter 99. It's possible that Ayase or someone Ayase knows was the "owner", as Ayase says back when he was a kid a few people lived there. If he was a kid, he would probably not know about things far from his neighborhood, so he's probably a local boy.

I think Alpha's personality was very different and more robotic back in the day, and people may have thought she was a ghost or just thought she was a creepy robot that kept going when everyone left, and so maybe that led to rumors. I also think her personality has evolved on it's own, through meeting and talking to people, the way a real person's does. I know if I made a robot I wouldn't want to have to program in Everything - it's just impossible, it's too much. That, and in a couple of episodes she makes some serious faux pas - like when she takes a bath with Takahiro.

It's also unclear as to when Alpha met Takahiro. She seems to know him in the second chapter, but probably they met sometime between the first and second chapters. It could be that he had been by there before, though....

I think Alpha probably wouldn't recognize her owner as she hasn't seen him in a while and she had a VERY bad sense of time in the beginning. I am almost certain it's someone in the story we have met, or someone known to people in the story, Ayase at least. I don't think there is any conspiracy, I think that Alpha was just an abandoned robot who saw very few people for very many years and had no sense of time. Ojisan and Sensei probably know something since they have lived there a long time, and are local. Sensei must know something, as she was involved with robots, and Alpha is an early model and would be a big deal.

It's likely, or at least possible, that robots were used in wars after the fall and that may be why Alpha had so few customers and was avoided by people. It seems that she finally has a near-solvent business going, though, now that more people have met her.

- Adam S
Tuesday, July 6, 2004

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