YKK Forum


Why do I bother to even read this story?
Every time I read it, I'm depressed.
Is this our future?
Is this how human civilization will end?
Dying out laconically and stoically?

- Brian
Sunday, October 26, 2003


You need to understand that YKK plays on several themes that yank the Japanese heartstrings. If the American audience gets some sort of enjoyment of of it, then that's just a bonus.

First, the setting, with it's declining population and the loss of cities, etc. is reminiscent of the post war experience in Japan. You may think it's depressing, but for the Japanese, who basically had a country bombed flat after the war, this kind of imagery can have a deep impact. With the Japanese fondness of robots, the author *may* even be implying that the Japanese people will always continue through the worst disasters. If true, then Alpha becomes a hopeful character rather than a tragic one.



- dDave
Sunday, October 26, 2003

I actually feel happy and calm after reading this manga. Most apolcolyptic mangas have tons of war and destruction and pollution going on. This manga instead has nature coming back to its natural state and mankind slowly and peacefully dieing out. It's like the species of man becoming old and dieing in its natural lifespan rather than killing and poisoning themselves and the damage they were doing became reversed and the earth reverted back to it's natural state, even though they seem to take on the apperarance of man and machines.

- -Doodleboy
Monday, October 27, 2003

The story can fork two ways:

1) whatever causes the drop in human fertility rate is incurable and humans will go extinct. The robots will carry on the best of mankindś legacy in a restored earth. I LIKE THAT. A LOT. Makes me all warm and fuzzy if the future will populated by people like Alpha, Kokone and the other robots.

2) Human population will stabilize at some point and even recover, like postwar japan as suggested above. The survivers hopefully learned how to grow in a sensible way.

Either way the outcome is good.

- Z
Thursday, October 30, 2003

We´d better not like that world... hoho
Alpha doesn't like to be a robot... does anyone disagree? She asked ojisan if he wanted to exchange the bodies at the beggining of the manga when he says her body is pretty. Also... she feels sad for being outside the ships of people's lives. She is going to loose owner someday (death´s reason) definetely and Oji too. She avoids machines (bad with them). She wished she lived in the past to go to the beach. She would probably ask us as she did with Oji "Do you want to change?"


- (NGA)
Sunday, November 16, 2003

I don't think it's so much post-war Japan as post-industrial. A declining birth rate and an aging population is something that Japan is facing right now (along with most of the other post-industrial nations; the US doesn't have the problem as much due to immigration). The situation in YKK is similar to Japan's current situation; just on a lot bigger scale. Not to mention, the war was two generations ago and I don't think it plays a big part in the popular consciousness these days; at least not any more so than say the Great Depression plays on the American consciousness.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

I think Alpha-san likes her body a lot...and Kokone's, too. :)

I wonder about the population decline. Have we noticed couples at all? Maybe everyone was sterilized in some disturbance (there's that reference to the political redistricting of Japan, which I can't imagine happening short of a serious conflict). It doesn't seem to be radiation-related (no mutants, no hospitals), and there aren't the crowds of graveyards you'd expect survivors to erect. There ARE those creepy mushrooms near the disappeared cities...

I also suspect that Owner is a) in prison somewhere, or b) severely disabled.

The essential question of the fate of the humans is probably tied to the answer about the situation of the robots. The robots seemed to have the support of the humans, but they also seem to have no memory of what brought everything to the sunset years.

You would think the robots would be curious enough to seel out the databases, the libraries. But these are probably hidden. The humans probably feel they HAVE to hide the past from the robots. I wonder if the ones in the sky understand perfectly well?

But that's what I like almost as much as the atmosphere...the mystery.

- seaweb
Tuesday, November 18, 2003

You knew that was "...curious enough to SEEK out the databases, the libraries...", right?

- seaweb
Tuesday, November 18, 2003


>the war was two generations ago and I don't think it plays a big part in the popular consciousness these days

Mostly true. However, it's also a scar on the cultural landscape, similar to how America will never escape from the specter of the civil war or vietnam.



- dDave
Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Well, u know, I always feel good and happy after reading the manga, coz I am much like Alpha in a way, in a sense of me being alone a lot.
But at times it does make me sad, and it's usually because there are no females around where I am, and I just wanna feel that atmoshpere of friendliness and love without any strings attached.

- Abadonna
Thursday, October 6, 2005

YKK is manga that plays with human emotion....so much to the point that it may change your way of thinking in life......
And that's a good thing...
@ the post war discussion: True,some countries are having problems right now.But it's because of the reluctance of the people to move on.....and of course because of the human's need to feel they were alive....

I mean,Each and every one of us wants to leave a mark in history,right?But what happens when you fail,will you go down quitely,or will you provoke a series of events that will lead to problems?

Alpha-san's very unfortunate,as she will be a witness of the world,living forever,yet living alone.....holding memories of people that comes and goes,always having to deal with death of other people,always feeling thier grief....

I feel really sad...

"The sands of time pours in a bottle
Turning each time it nears to empty
Always moving,never ending
as vast as the sky and sea"

- Ryo Hakusho
Thursday, October 6, 2005

Such a soothing, calm, slow, almost-nothing-ever-happened kind of story, really gives me a break from this busy, everything-got-to-be-fast world. But if the manga also does make other people feeling depressed, it means that this is such a very good manga that evokes different different emotional responses, that moves the readers in many different ways.

- painsama
Thursday, October 6, 2005

Oh, I don't know... YKK's not so depressing. Alpha and Kokone have each other and as long as Maruko and that milquetoast, Nai don't bother them, they could live out an eternity in yuri bliss... ;) :D

Actually in a way, I get a similar melancholy feeling as I did at the end of the 70's SF cult classic "Silent Running" when the robot continues drifting off into space in the lone domed garden of remaining plantlife from the earth...

- Darin~
Thursday, October 6, 2005

"Is this our future?"
if this is our future, i don't think is bad

"Is this how human civilization will end? "
i don't think human civilization will end , but it will continue to better way where human and enviroment co-exist. our current world will only lead to end if such situation continue.

- charles C
Friday, October 7, 2005

Well, every story has to have *some* tension, so it's nice to see it's more against the environment than other people. All the characters in YKK are decent people, tho certainly not perfect.

YKK gives me a calm, peaceful feeling.

- Kerry
Friday, October 7, 2005

Hmm.. Looks like this turned out to be a 'personal response' thread.. ^_^

Since I stopped by, I'd like to give my opinion as well. To start with, I've experienced near-death once, due to a traffic accident.. And since then I felt as if Im stuck in between life and afterlife(many who experienced this told they had this kind of feeling too), I somehow gained telepathy, but a degration in mental and physical state(I'm slightly slow picking-up things now).

The telepathy, it's able to enter a 'state of mind', the ability to understand almost wholely, but nothing of that specific logic at the same time.. So, when I give YKK a read...

I found that my telepathy had it's ability worked up to the fullest, I can feel even the slightest emotion well-conveyed by each character, wether it's Alpha, Maruko, Ojisan or even the unimportant characters. I can feel the blowing winds in YKK, the airscent of Cafe Alpha.It feels as if YKK itself is a real life..Where it lies in Mr.Ashinano's logic, his state of mind..

This logic that conveys idleness, the helpless-ness of humans living under the power of earth's natural flow, but at the same time, teaching us to be grateful for what is given to us. Asking for more of it but none too much. Seeking a forgiveness for a mistake that one doesn't even sure whether it's a mistake, or not... To describe in words fully... Actually YKK is undescribable, simply put, YKK travels deep inside Mr.Ashinano's logic, his state of mind...

Remember, one human is them all, they all is one human. Every single person in the world exists in every one of us, it's just a matter wether we're conscious of it or not. This is how telepathy, or empathy(ability to understand other's being) works, by channelling possibilities to other's logic. And I found that Mr.Ashinano handles his empathy extremely well enough that he's able to make YKK a success. Just like Roald Dharl's works, they're able to make every single person to let out different personal responses, but as for Mr.Ashinano's, in a little bit of a different way. But, the most important is.. This kinds of masterpieces aren't meant for harming.. They're done to bring up consciousness among mankind, simply said, to fix us.
There's no need to feel depressed when reading YKK, for that depression is actually a feeling of relief that strikes in the middle of the everyday worldly terrors that one had everyday. The depression happens due to the mind confusing the newly-found peace with something that makes one uneasy, just because they don't experience it so often. Comparing it to the terrors that is
confused as peace since they've had it so much that they have became accustomed of it.

Remember, in this world, we live to help each other. One could be at the summit of success for the hereafter
and there could be another person totally unprepared for the end of the world, or his life. Knowing that being alone is disturbing(this goes for both person), that successful one will, ofcoursely think of helping the other, for he knows more that being together induces happiness when the other knows nothing about this.So he helps the other one.

To put it simply, I'm saying that YKK conveys humanity that Mr.Ashinano wanted in his logic. and other humans that appreciate it are those who wanted the same thing. And those who are terrified by it are those who have been tricked by worldly terrors so much that they don't want to give a chance to give in to peace which is confused as terror to them, like said earlier.

So try giving YKK another chance, always, for those who finds YKK disturbing. Try to understand the behaviour of each character, why they do things and so on.Why things happened and so on, reflect yourself, reflect them, reflect everything around you, then you'd find the thing YKK try to give you, nirvana, a state of ultimate spiritual enlightment(I'm not a Hindu, nor a Buddhist, but I believe in this).

-One who have experienced near- death when he was
Male, 16, Malaysia

- Jax
Sunday, October 9, 2005

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