YKK Forum

The Message of YKK.

I believe it's obvious that YKK is not a simple project solely for entertiment and recreation of people. The plot of manga is concentrated around Japan, its future and makes one to think about humanity future at general. Somehow later chapters shifted my opinion about this genuine creation as about some attempt to trigger certain thoughts in general human to make him more sensitive and kind.

Additionally, maybe there is some clue about message for nihonjin readers - in ch 129.
The road to west, leading to nowhere, but emptiness. Kokone feeling uneasy and ask scooter (reader?) to go home.
Can it be an invitation to return to national values in culture, how do you think? For some reason I felt it sharply after reading this chapter. (But of course I'm not a japaneese in the least. =) )

- Drake
Monday, October 17, 2005

I don't think there's anything obvious about YKK. The mangaka is a subtle and mysterious guy.

- Kerry
Monday, October 17, 2005

hmm. i dink it prob has to do with the fact that the human race is either growing small, or isn't expanding, and that it could just b unsettling for a city girl to b in a place void of human-made mark.

- terra
Monday, October 17, 2005

Interesting thought Drake and fascinating that you picked up on it. Still, as one who is prone to read into things myself, I'm thinking that the "turning back from the west" concept might be a road too far in interpretation... although I'll readily admit that Ashinano could be getting at almost anything...

For me, I could relate one-on-one with Kokone in this chapter. I have had this very same feeling as I rode my bike over trails as a teenager. "Where is my frontier? How far over the horizon should I go?" I woild reach a point where the road ahead was strange to me and I held myself back out of imaturity.I recall being in a similar kind of vantage, where I could still see a landmark behind me calling me home to safety, calliong me home to my childhood... ahead, the rest of my life... And this is what I think Ashinano is going for in this chapter. Kokone knows that she has the means to travel further than before perhaps, but she feels that going that additional distance is beyond her current comfort level. She sees Alpha as more mature than herself, and so comments that Alpha would venture on where she cannot... yet.

I might have reached a different opinion, were it not for the PositioN chapters showing how as one leaves childhood, we become aware of ourselves and how we fit into the environment of our lives. Little daily occurences become hyper-real and take on special significance. The fog billowing over a road, the trail that leads to nowhere, but somewhere at the same time, the witnessing of another's skill that seems almost supernatural... these things we take for granted everyday can make the perceptive adolescent able to literally feel the change of life within them. I think that Kokone is also at a change of life in this chapter... one where her programming has put her on the threshold between innocence and maturity, mentally...

- Darin~
Monday, October 17, 2005

That was wonderful to read, Darin!

- Carn
Monday, October 17, 2005

Thanks, Darin.
OK. Let's count this as different layers of meaning =)

- Drake.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I think it is difficult to spot a straight "message" in this manga, especially because it is full of enigmas and paradoxes.

The most obvious "message" is a call for a more simple and natural form of life, but, surprisingly, the character who envisions those ideals is... a robot, a product of the most advanced technology and, again apparently, the opposite to that natural world...

...an it is no less paradoxical that nature is trying to recreate civilisation, growing "natural" postlamps and buildings, reminiscing the vanished network of roads and cities, even when the human beings have forgotten it...

..or that the sight of the lights of a sunken city is as beautiful and touching as the stars in the sky...

And regarding the scooter/bike, it has been a constant along the manga to identify it with discovery, liberty and maturity. Sensei openly admitted it several times, as in http://ykk.misago.org/Volume6/148.html. Due to Sensei's involvement in the A7 project, It wouldn't surprised me that Alpha's has been programmed accordingly, given her special relationship to her scooter, and so far she has managed to instill this very same crave in two people, Kokone and Makki.

if I had to pinpoint a "message", among many others, it would be this, http://ykk.misago.org/Volume2/122.html, in Sensei's words.

So... what is everyone doing, reading this manga, instead of going outside to the wide world?

- DavidF
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

I myself would have to say that one aspect of the overall message of the manga is discovery. Whether it's discovering the world around you or discovering something about yourself there is that theme of wanting to know more throughout the manga. I think Ashinano-sensei is trying to tell his readers, who are busy Japanese salarymen and office ladies, to take some time to discover something about the world around them or themselves. There's a lot of who are we and why are we here being asked in the manga. This is evident when Kokone finds the record in the library as seen in http://ykk.misago.org/Volume6/60.html. That discovery leads her to want to know more about herself and her kind.

Alpha is also making discoveries of her own thanks to her camera. She has been known to set out to look for something to photogrpah and ends up finding a beautiful spot to stop and see the scenery. Alpha also learns to discover the beauty in things when she runs into Sensei at Yokosuka. Staying long enough allowed Alpha to make that discovery as seen in http://ykk.misago.org/Volume3/110-111.html. Discovery is also the theme in volume 8 with Alpha discovering more about the world outside of where she lives. The typhoon forces Alpha to leave her shop and home and travel the world around her. Thus she discovers male A7 series robots and fruit as big or bigger than her own head. What I feel Ashinano-sensei is trying to tell his readers who lead busy lives is to stop every so often and take a look at the world around them in hopes of discovering something about themselves or the world that they live in. Through Alpha they can lead the simple unrushed unhurried life that is so opposit of the one they currently live and discover the beauty in the world around themselves.

- Christine K.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Since I've been quite a member of 'arts & literature'... I suppose I understand YKK better than before and here's what I discovered:

Hmm.. To say it simply I guess YKK is like a Roald Dahl's work, just in a little bit of shifted perspective, by the way the story is told and how differ can one reader make a conclusion from one another from reading YKK, this seems somewhat true.

In terms of production, I think YKK is connected deeply to the thoughts and reflections occured to the mangaka, Mr.Ashinano himself. The way he thinks like 'what would human feel if they do this...' or 'what if this happens...' or 'what if that is even possible to happen...' are implemented deeply as 'concepts' that is in simpler word, are YKK's 'foundation', the basic ideas for YKK.

In other words, YKK is also a medium where the mangaka spreads his ideology to the world around him.
And say, if it's not Mr.Ashinano who had done YKK and was done by someone else, with the same plot and all but different implemented ideology, the way the story goes would be different.

For example, the YKK we all see today reflects quitely by the everyday life of the characters.. Where sometimes their thoughts were let out in words, sometimes in mute, body language. What they experienced in the world they're living in and all..

But, it would be really different if other person did YKK. Say, in this case, I'd put myself in the position. If it was me, I'd focus more in making how the characters express their regrets in their life, or the feeling of great spiritual enlightment when the characters experience something they never thought of before. And it would seem that I'd express more in words than mute language.

Refering to 'if I did YKK' case I explained above, that is closely related to my ideology. Where I'd express how I live life and how I wanted life to be. And since Im so mysterious and quiet in the real world, because Im afraid of getting damaged by others' doings, I tend to let out words and my thoughts much more whenever I got the chance to do so. Like, in the net and my works. (Somebody who's been watching me would notice this.) This is closely related to the reason why things are like this in the previous pharagraph, last sentence. So, to put it simply, reading YKK is actually similar to reading something like Ashinano Hitoshi's journal or something in an effort of understanding him better.

Oh, and from YKK, I guess everyone can tell what a peace-loving man Mr. Ashinano is. ^_^

- Jax
Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I saw a quote today at my favorite sandwich shop that had me thinking about YKK and the overall message it tries to convey. The quote rings true for each member of the cast of the manga and the pace of the storytelling in the manga.

"No need to worry. No need to hurry. Stop and smell the flowers."

I think part of the message of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou is to take time to notice the world around you. You shouldn't worry about what's going to happen next in life or when something will happen. You should take the time to explore the world around you and see the beauty in things. We see a lot of scenes where the cast is sitting on a hillside or at an overlook seeing what was once a thriving city. We see it in the lifestyle Ayase lives traveling around from one Watergod to the next. He knows there'll be a job for him no matter where he goes and friends are just around the corner with food and a good conversation. It's also very evident in the way Alpha looks for things to photograph with her camera. Even in the worst of storms Alpha doesn't worry or hurry about trying to save things. She knows she can always rebuild. It's that same attitude that Kokone picks up on the first time she visits Alpha. She knows that Alpha doesn't see herself as a robot trying to mimick human actions and that's what makes her try to discover who she is and how she fits in the world around her. Because of Alpha Kokone looks for a more slow paced lifestyle. That's part of what YKK is all about.

- Christine K
Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Wow, this has just been a beautiful thread to read.

Thanks for the compelling question, Drake, and thanks to all the others for the thoughtful replies.

This is why I love this place, and YKK.

- Silverback
Wednesday, October 19, 2005

"Everyone's always welcomed"

Oh how I like this place(and YKK), I mean, I've been travelling around the net looking for my place and I finally found one. I love it the way everyone here hears what others' say. I got a problem of getting people listening to me but here I quickly adapted to the condition since everyone's willing to help me as well.

Hmm.. And this just discovers another message of YKK.

YKK is everything good and everything bad at the same time, the characters and the readers are the ones that choose to adapt themselves to it, together.Making YKK seems all nice since everyone's forgetting all their worries, since together they are settling the crisis, one by one.Hmm.. 'teamwork' plays this part, I think.

Then again, I'm welcoming everyone's thanking us for
letting out our thoughts alone.

- Jax
Thursday, October 20, 2005

I's definitely warm here :)

- Radomir Dopieralski
Friday, October 21, 2005

Some great thoughts here... Thanks to Drake for opening a great thread.

- Darin~
Friday, October 21, 2005

I'm sorry if I'm being lousy... But I would post as much thoughts I could, for the sake of everyone. ^_^ All my gratitude's for Drake for starting a thread I could reply a thousand, and to others who let out brilliant thoughts as well.I'm not a good talk starter, but I'm always ready to give replies.

Oh... I did discovered another message. One of the best message YKK has to offer.. I thought of it when I heard Bon Jovi's latest album- Have A Nice Day. The song entitled 'Welcome To Wherever You Are' If everyone don't mind... I would post the lyric here.

Maybe we're all different
But we're still the same
We all got the blood of Eden running to our veins
I know sometimes it's hard for you to see
You caught between just who you are and who you want to be
If you feel alone and lost and need a friend
Remember every new beginning is some beginning's end
Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you got to believe
That right here right now you're exactly where you're supposed to be
Welcome to wherever you are
When everybody's in and you're left out
And you feel drowning in a shadow of the dawn
Everyone's a miracle in their own way
Just listen to yourself not what other people say
When it seems you're lost alone and feeling down
Remember everybody's different, just take a look around
Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you got to believe
That right here right now you're exactly where you're supposed to be
Be who you want to be, be who you are
Everyone's a hero, everyone's a star
When you want to give up and your heart's about to break
Remember that you're perfect
God's make no mistakes
Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you got to believe
That right here right now you're exactly where you're supposed to be
Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far(I say welcome)
Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far(welcome)

Don't you think this is just what YKK tries to tell, it's nice and warm isn't it, I hope everyone like it... ^_^

- Jax
Saturday, October 22, 2005

I have to agree with Catherine that the message of YKK focuses on appreciating your world. Trying to look for a "call to action" in the manga seems contradictory to teh quiet that pervades the series; IMHO, action isn't really what it's all about. If you need to go somewhere, then go, and when you are fit to stand still, stay and look about.you will be richer for each when the day is done.

- Speaker59
Monday, October 24, 2005

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