YKK Forum

YKK it may be staring us in the face...

As I've been reading though the many threads here and on other forums, I've seen many developing thoughts about the world of YKK and why there is a reliance on "older tech" and not digital tech as exists today. It seems that the "disaster" which occurred, creating the YKK world may figure into this somehow... from the start I have laid this at the feet of the very title of the series... I think that Ashinano is having us on with a little wordplay. We all keep saying it, but missing the ironic joke...

Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou = YKK = Y2K

In the mid-90's all anyone could talk about was how the year 2000 (Y2K in a different context) was going to be the end of the world. The reliance of society on computers and digital technology would cause a cataclysmic chain reaction, destroying all banking, infrastructures, modern appliances, anything that relied on digital technology... Economies the world over would revert to analog ways of working and even more frightening, the ICMB systems employed by the USA, EU and Russia would cause simultaneous accidental missile launches and through some vague process (that I never quite grok'd) increase global warming, melting the polar icecaps. This in turn would make the earth spin a little off axis and start a chain event of earthquakes and volcanic episodes. Most of the population of the planet was doomed to extinction at this point...

Any technology remaining would have had to predate the digital boom. Before CD's was analog tape and records. Cars without "black boxes" and system management. Advanced communications systems... basically you'd end up with late 60's/early 70's technology, as we see in the series...

Anyway, you see where this would leave us.

For me, this Y2K scenario fits nicely in with the series, ESPECIALLY given the mid-90's perspective Ashinano would have been "pondering while on long walks in the country". ;) when he decided to use Alpha and her world as a way to express what such a life might be like should it come to pass.

Yea? Nea? Whatta ya all say?


- Darin~
Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Now onto the robots in a post-Y2K world...

The utter distrust engendered by the total collapse of the digital world would keep new use of a rebuilt digital society from occuring. The "robot" technology used in this post-apocolyptic society would need to be an analog one. One where new ways of growing robots through a sort of cloning process might be devised. The medical field and its use of traditional techniques would still survive and be relied upon... So, to this point, why CAN'T the Misago be a proto-robot? She has many many cat-like tendencies. I could easily see there being an early experiment with cloning creatures from common cats (thus her eyes, teeth, diet of fish, solitary tendencies) and mixing the resultant zygotes with human ones in an effort to create a new kind of human, more suited to living in a wild world devoid of a recognizable infrastructure. She might have been a dead-end that simply escaped into the wild before she could be euthanized as a mistake... The watergods might have been some odd sort of experimental vegitable which could function on its own and filter poisons or create a conditioned environment... The other weird things like giant building shaped fungus and self phosphorescent plants all follow as additional attempts at creating a functioning organic world, not dependent on digital technology.

Following a failure such as the Misago, a new or parallel attempt at a mechanical human assistant may have been attempted for re-taming the wild world. One that could think for itself... The data gathering Sensei was conducting may have been for this project. Ultimately though, perhaps the need/use for a robot could have changed.. an even more human-like construct might have been deemed most appropriate, both as a helper (on a space ark such as the Taapon might be) or as a protector army of sorts, or to become the next generation of humans themselves...

The completely different technology Sensei refers to in reference to the Alpha series may instead have involved cyborgized constructs where certain organs and the surface skin was cloned material which was self re-generating through nourishment, but the under-structure was more electro-mechanical in nature. This gives a reason for the robots need to eat, but less than humans do. Their barely changing physical nature would be owed to their fixed internal structures, (and susceptibility to lightning) but their need to "heal" would come from their organic components... Their minds could be semi-organic with implanted instincts and traits. Emotions supplied to the initial prototypes may have been insufficient for survival on their own, requiring a lengthy learning and "weaning" phase. As I have said before, Alpha M2 seems behind the M3 series in emotional development. Testing might have proved that "aging" the robots minds further along through expanded emotional development and subsequent specialized training yielded more independent organisms. However, the more independent nature of these robots would create mild rebellion, much as teenagers go through as they prepare to leave the nest. Evidence of this is Maruko's rejection of her owner or Kokone's need to choose her own name and act more human.

The loss of males could possibly be tied to testosterone and similar hormones used in their creation. Males are prone to violent and self destructive behaviors in the absence of parental controls. If the owners simply didn't form the proper parentlike bonds to their male robots as they weren't RAISED over years to trust and respect them, the males might lash out and eventually accidently kill themselves as they attempted to get through their growing phase. Nai's natural quiet and overly calm demeanor may have been his saving grace, but still, he flys an old plane which is dangerous itself...

Anyway, so far this is how I'm understanding the development of the characters in the series... GREAT stuff whether its on the mark or off... :D


- Darin~
Tuesday, March 22, 2005

i feel incline to reply after reading all that. To my knowledge YKK started in 1994/95(?) I dont think many ppl would have known about the Y2k bug back then, atleast i didnt. Could be because i was still a kid. Cant comment on ur theory other than that, still need to read the manga couple of times. :P

- Altf4
Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Well, as I say, its just a theory, but yeah... I was there. We all knew about the Y2K "bug" or whatever it was thought to be back in 94/95... I still recall making fun of PC users over it... being a Macintosh user, we were immune... Seems Steve Jobs had planned on having Macs continuing in use past 1999... :D

- Darin~
Tuesday, March 22, 2005

"I dont think many ppl would have known about the Y2k bug back then, atleast i didnt. Could be because i was still a kid."

Holy crap, does this mean I'm old now??

- Brad
Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Oh, and the y2k problem was known about at least as early at 1990. The media hype was really nuts around the beginning of 1999. There were events that might have become news stories before YKK was written.

Doesn't really explain why all the computer equipment is missing though.

- Brad
Tuesday, March 22, 2005

>Doesn't really explain why all the computer equipment is missing though.<

Well, the way I see it, if Y2K really had brought about a cataclysmic era to the world (as predicted by all the hacks in the 90's ;) ) then by the time the world of YKK as we are seeing it developed, digital computers would have been by some accounts, 50-60 years outdated as a technology... Like any obsolete tech, it would have been broomed away many years ago...

Seen any radios with tubes in them around your office lately? :D

- Darin~
Tuesday, March 22, 2005

"Sorry, this android has performed an illegal operation, please press any key to restart..."

Can't really see Alpha blue-screen-of-deathing on us. And I do have an old ship's radio with valves in. Some of the really expensive modern hi-fi setups also use valves, they make quite a feature of them. But I still love my little digital radio best.

- Andy Tucker
Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Mt Fuji erupted as well, remember.

- Geza
Thursday, March 24, 2005

Shouldn't it be YK2 instead of Y2K? Sorry, if this ruins your pun.

- AhBeeDoi
Saturday, March 26, 2005

AhBeeDoi: Naw,

Y2K = Year 2000 (2Ks, where 1 K = 1000)

so his pun holds ^_^

- Carn
Saturday, March 26, 2005

Standard notation for YKK should be YK2, not Y2K.

- AhBeeDoi
Saturday, March 26, 2005

Huh... Seems I hit a nerve with someone... I guess I don't see what a semantics issue (over what is an accepted and documented "name" for a potential event) has to do with my theory...

The acronym used everywhere for Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou is YKK. A Y followed by two K's. Even in Japanese, it would be romanized as such.

The accepted Pseudo-acronym used in the 1990's for the "Year 2000" as it related to a digital bug in the computer clock of equipment and software the world over was, in fact, stated as Y2K. (as explained above)

All I was doing was drawing a parallel between the "name" Y2K as a harbinger of the "end of the world as we know it" and the acronym created by the title of this series as seen from the context of the 1990's when it was started. To me it fits all too handily for the reasons I pointed out above, and would have been clever of Ashinano-sama to boot!

Now, I readily admit that I could be wrong on any and all counts, but its been working for me with the story so far... So since everyone and their 2nd cousin has proposed other theories for the backstory of this series, (Few of which HAVE fit well as an alternative to my way of seeing the story) I figured no harm in tossing my idea into the ring...

If you disagree, I respectfully request you argue against the merits of my proposal.

All the best,


- Darin~
Saturday, March 26, 2005

I DO know that Bunko Kanazawa was the "AV Girl of Y2K"...we all knew she would be.

- seaweb
Tuesday, March 29, 2005

If you think about it, biological engineering is the "next level". Hideously complex, yet extremely fine control and elegant/resiliant, (not to mention that it can grow on its own and is cheap once you have created it). Or the artist isn't too "doesn't care" and just wants to mix a country feeling (with all of its old rickety stuff) and "almost people" (robots) as a literary device. But he choose to use sci-fi reasonings vs. "fantasy" because he wants everything to feel probable and closer to real life. (the slice of life aspect of ykk)

- anon
Sunday, July 10, 2005

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