Anyone here have watched the OVAs?
They are 2 different OVA series with 2 episodes each. I personally like the first one, that is about the first Kokone and Alpha encounter, the chapters where Alpha go "picture-hunting" and the time she was hit by a lightning. I like the first one better because the colores are of a pastel tone, much more like the manga them second one that use a pallete that is similar to any other anime. By the way the second OVA series is about the tornado that blow away the Cafe Alpha and the travellings of Alpha-san that follows. I find quite amazing how they preserved the timing... they can spend 10 minutes in a ep with Alpha preparing coffe or listening to the sound of waves or watching the sky goes dark. Just like the manga. Plus the voices are very well choosen.
The first OVA series was fansubbed by Oretachi fansub group. You can find the files in OGM in the #oretachi channel on irc.enterthegame.com
The secon OVA series only one of the two eps was fansubbed so far. You can find this ep on #animeco on irc.animeco.org (to be honest i don´t think is exactly on #animeco cause i think they have a leech channel... but you can get information this on the #animeco channel). Or on the #newlife channel on irc.enterthegame
I hope to hear your thoughts of the anime vs the manga.
- Julio Dvulture
Wednesday, May 7, 2003
I really like both of the OVAs, especially the first, it's what introduced me to YKK, but I like the manga a lot more.
The first OVA does a good job of capturing the feel of the manga, one thing that stood out for me was the complete lack of backgound music; I think that is very fitting for a YKK anime.
The second OVA is much more visually atractive that the first OVA IMO, but still not better that the manga, although the second OVA doesn't do as good a job capturing the feel of the manga as the first OVA did.
- Joseph Grubbs-Hardy
Wednesday, May 7, 2003
I'd say I prefer the first OAV's so far (have yet to watch the 2nd Eps of OAV 2). The first series did capture the feel of the manga a lot better and is much richer over the 2nd OAV series which as mentioned, is water colour and to be honest, feels a lot more washed out and ... well, indistinct. Maybe I'm just preferring the richer tones from the first OAV series there, or it's a style that just doesn't mesh with my expectations of what an OAV is about.
Probably the more worrying thing is the gratuitous amount of time spent admiring Alpha's body, maybe I'm reading too much into this but it does get on the nerves with all these unusual camera angles and slow pans, not to mention rather unusual body language off Alpha herself (this could be me reading too much into it, though). Considering the director usually follows it up with a normal shot, I can only come to the conclusion that it is intentional and not entirely welcome in my POV.
Admittedly, the manga has taken a turn similar to this, what with Takahiro certainly torn between Makki and Alpha, and he's certainly not immune to the fact that Alpha genuinely is very good looking. We can also surmise that Kokone has a rather interesting 'interest' in Alpha, which is usually downplayed in the manga as she feels caught between a rock and a hard place what with Maruko practically suffocating her.
A problem is with the 2nd OAV series is that it feels rushed. The 1st OAV series was paced perfectly. YKK is one of the few mangas where half the story is in what they do and say - the other half is in what they're not doing or saying*. Or at least, a fair percentage. This is difficult to get across in a limited time OAV, naturally!
* A good example is when Alpha returns to find Takahiro taller than her. She later leaves to contemplate this fact, and the previous interaction with him is saying a lot more than they're letting on.
However, to be fair to the 2nd OAV I did feel the characterisation was a bit more true to how Alpha is in the manga given there's a lot more manga now to use as a reference. In the first OAV's she is 'younger' and less sure. In these OAV's she is more cat-like and slightly clutsy. (This is the closest I can get to describing her actual personality, I'd be interested to hear what other people think).
Anyhow, I'll probably get the 2nd OAV 2 soon and review this and add another comment.
Saturday, June 7, 2003
Having gotten through the 2nd Eps of OAV 2 my worries continue unabated... there definitely continues to be a rather strong 'interest' from Kokone which is completely off track from the manga. My interpretation is that Kokone is slightly envious of Alpha's freedom to do whatever she pleases and is not sucked into the mundane lifestyle she has. This is reiterated later on by Maruko criticising Alpha for living too carefreely. Kokone on the other hand is seeking for answers to why she was made, and wonders if she is really 'living' the life she wants given that Alpha's seems to be much more in sync with the current lifestyle.
Anyhow, again I am pleased with the characterisation, this is close to spot on (except pointed out above), and captures it adequately. Other aspects seem to be fitting in OK, so I'd say I've gotten used to the watercolours and animation style now.
In any case, YKK refuses to descend to the typical "female robot" anime that has been recently emerging from Japan, however the anime does play a bit along these lines which is a bit disappointing, considering there are much more interesting subplots to explore. I still think it is worth watching, but as usual, the manga and an imagination goes a lot further!
Sunday, June 15, 2003
I also liked the first OAV better - though I am not saying the second one is bad! In particular, I like the voice acting much better in the first series.
I was surprised by the amount of (gentle) fan service the second series had. The bathing scene was added, as was the shot of Kokone's clothing laying on the chair when she stayed over at Alpha's. In addition, the cut scene of Alpha standing on top of the telephone pole was animated to give tiny peek at her breast, where the drawing the cutscene was taken from didn't show that much.
As for Kokone's attraction to Alpha, I think it has been slowly brewing throught the entire manga. Nothing is explicitely said in the manga, of course, but my reading is that Kokone is definitely attracted to Alpha, just as Maruko is attracted to Kokone. It was interesting to see the extra scene of Kokone touching Alpha's breast that was added to the OAV. Since Asanano would have script approval, I have to assume it's the author's intent to sharpen up the relationship - to make it a little more explicit.
But as is par for the course, very little is explained. While much is shown, a lot is left open to interpretation.
Thursday, June 19, 2003
> As for Kokone's attraction to Alpha, I think it has been slowly brewing throught the entire manga.
Well, I find that it's more semi-envious / wishful than an attraction in the physical sense. Kokone in my view is semi-envious of Alpha's carefree life doing, well, in essence, nothing. I don't know of many people alive who couldn't be slightly envious of someone who can drop it all, hang out in the country and do pretty much nothing.
Again, it is ambiguous in the manga, but that's the impression I'm getting. Kokone is always curious to see what Alpha is up to, as her life is pretty mundane and ordinary, while Alpha is around and about experiencing life as best she can.
> It was interesting to see the extra scene of Kokone touching Alpha's breast that was added to the OAV. Since Asanano would have script approval, I have to assume it's the author's intent to sharpen up the relationship - to make it a little more explicit.
I've intentionally left that out as you never know, it may be one of those cultural things in Japan that means something in Japan (ie, concern) while something else elsewhere (maybe a native Japanese could fill it in?). Concerning script approval, depending on the contract it may not have been scripted 100% to approval, or even passed by the author prior (never know...)
In any case, it is a bit disturbing to see YKK slide more towards the "sex sells, especially lesbian influences" side of things, when it is not really necessary given that the background of the story is vastly more interesting.
Thursday, June 26, 2003
>Well, I find that it's more semi-envious / wishful than an attraction in the physical sense.
Until the anime, I would have agreed with you. I do think that Kokone is falling in love with Alpha, but with being robots and all, that could very well be a perfectly platonic relationship. We have no idea if robots have/need sexual desire in Ashinano's world.
However, the anime suddenly and dramatically tilts matters. Touching Alpha's breast is an action that has definite emotional (and possible sexual) overtones. Such an action is definitely not an accepted part of Japanese culture. While I am not Japanese, I lived there a couple years, and my wife is Japanese.
And given that Ashinano, retains copyright and control over his work, I would assume he had a hand in the script approval. After all, his totally output is about 15 pages a month, meaning he does the work without assistants. That suggests to me he is very interested in controlling his world.
In any event, the added scenes do (in my opinion) unnecessarily heighten the sexual nature of YKK. But precisely because they are so emphasized, in makes me even more curious about why they would add those scenes.
Saturday, June 28, 2003
I just found an interview with the producer of the anime in the August, 2002 Afternoon. While I haven't translated the article yet, there is a picture of Ashinano proofing character designs. So if he is proofing designs, I would bet he approved the story as well.
Once I hack through the interview, I'll post a summary.
Saturday, June 28, 2003
While it is possible Ashinano signed off on the storyboards for the new OAVs, I very much doubt he created them himself. The character of the fan service is completely different from the style he has used in the manga.
For example: There's a brief glimpse of Alpha's panties in the OAV, as she stands up to answer a knock on the door. I can't remember a single panty shot in the entire run of the manga to date; it simply doesn't fit into the
nature of the series.
Kokone brushing Alpha's hair away from her eyes in chapter 82 is one of the
sweetest moments in the series. Having her fondle Alpha's breast is completely out of character. It's a crass, clumsy, and heavy-handed attempt at giving a bonus to fans of the series who bought the DVD...and it
ruins the entire scene. I can't believe that Ashinano was the one who added it; he has far too subtle at touch.
Saturday, June 28, 2003
I watched both series and I also liked the first better, but the second is also awesome.
I would like to drop here a note that I´m annoyed by how sexual you guys can get. Kokone is in love with Alpha, but let me tell you, stop with this stupid "oh God that is disgusting" undertone, it´s not disgusting, it´s awesome. Kokone is envoious of Alpha's humanity, she longs to become more like here. She likes Alpha, and therefore, she wants to experience more time with her. Kokone improved her "human" characteristics by interacting with Alpha to the point that Maruko is now envious of her too.
Touching Alpha is a natural, and actually pretty human reaction, to try to involve yourself. For Christ sake, Kokone CERTAINLY was not thinking (sorry
for that but here it goes) "I want to fuck her so hard", she was only envious, she just touched there, pretty much the same way she brushed of Alpha's hair on chapter 82. Purpousely on the chest? frankly, WHO CARES. Why does everyone have to get sexual when it comes to human relation and mutual respect and attraction. It´s a proven fact that humans need physical
contact (STOP THAT, STOP THINKING SEX) to improve their perception of a relation, even with objects. Small children get everything and put everything on their mouthes ... why? because that makes them more real. Adults evolved not to need to get things on their mouthes (L-O-L) and to control their impulses to touch everything, but their nature is the same, and they yet will want to touch everything.
The scene that comes to mind is from the movie "Star Trek - First Contact" when DATA does not understand why Picard feels nice just to touch the "Warp
Ship". He says "I saw this ship countless times on the smithsonian, but always from afar". Data asks "Touching the ship changes your perception of it?". Picard doesn´t know how to explain, he simply says "humans long for touching to improve their perception of things, to make them more real" .................... NOW WHAT, WAS PICARD HAVING SEX WITH THE SHIP?
I might also add a note that in Japan, physical contact is a lot less sexual then in western society. It´s natural for males to hold hands, or for females to touch themselves (hmm one might say it´s also natural on the
west but not outspoken). I doubt any Japan fans ever thought that!
I see no harm on that scene, I think that´s kawai, and actually it fits perfectly the tone from the manga, why? exactly because Kokone is not thinking sexually.
YOU ARE ALL FANS OF ALPHA AND KOKONE, respect them lol :p
- Caio Lima Netto
Saturday, June 28, 2003
You are quite right that physical contact does not necessarily (or even usually) imply sexual desire. However, changing a scene to have Kokone fondles Alpha's breast is clearly a deliberate attempt to up the supposed sexual tension between Alpha and Kokone.
Regarding Kokone's feelings for Alpha: Kokone is deeply in love with Alpha. It is not clear to what degree (if any) this is matched by physical attraction; Kokone is, however, not the type to force herself on someone in any way. It is for this reason that the change to the scene is so jarring.
Kokone doesn't want to become more human. She did go through a brief phase where she saw "humanity" as an ideal she should aspire to. These days, she is more interested in being the best robot she can be--as far as she is concerned, robots should seek their own path, rather than mimicing humans. What attracts Kokone to Alpha is not how human Alpha seems, but more how little mind Alpha pays to the distinction between humans and robots.
Incidentally, physical contact is very rare in Japanese society--much more so than it is in most western countries. Any form of physical contact is notable, and quite unusual.
Sunday, June 29, 2003
Please note I did not use that particular scene to justify my position on the 2nd OAV's. There is plenty of other examples that I pointed out that I considered were unusual to say the least. From my expectations I consider it fanservice which is something I don't find suitable in YKK. Some of it seemed to drop off in the 2nd Eps, which may suggest a turn around in the wings from people involved?
I personally don't read/watch YKK to get backhandedly slapped with the "hey, you're a guy, we know what you like" nonsense that seems pervasive in nearly every other anime that seems to be out there these days. Subtlety is good; having your face shoved into it is not. I'm not taking just one instance here that we've been discussing, it's the overall feel from the 2nd OAV's that I'm talking about, where bits and pieces have been changed -specifically- from the manga to point it out.
It's precisely because I respect both characters (and Ashinano) that I am concerned about this sudden change of plot out of the OAV's which is so different from the manga, which is completely unnecessary in my POV and from what everyone else is saying, they seem to be thinking the same thing. Oh well... I guess we can wait for the 3rd part to come out to see what that's like.
Sunday, June 29, 2003
>I would like to drop here a note that I´m annoyed by how sexual you guys can get. Kokone is in love with Alpha, but let me tell you, stop with this stupid "oh God that is disgusting" undertone, it´s not disgusting
I don't think anyone said it's disgusting - I certainly didn't. The point I am trying to make is that the anime does add a significant amount of sexual undertones that the manga does not possess.
>It´s a proven fact that humans need physical contact
A couple points: first Kokone is NOT human. She certainly acts that way, but we do not know for sure exactly how analogous YKK's robots are to humans. Second, while touch is an important aspect of human behavior, all societies have clearly divided the body into sexual and non-sexual zones. Kokone, in the anime, is clearly making a decision to touch Alpha in one of those sexual zones. Whether this indicates any sexual desire or not on Kokone's part is debatable, but it is a highly symbolic act. Third, Kokone is doing this while Alpha is asleep. Brushing the hair out of Alpha's eyes is an innocent act. Touching her breast *could* be construed as a violation. In any event, the fact that Kokone did so while Alpha was asleep rather than awake is important - remember, Kokone is now completely flustered by the thought of kissing/communicating with Alpha every since her first visit to Maruko.
>YOU ARE ALL FANS OF ALPHA AND KOKONE, respect them
Precisely because I do respect them, I am very puzzled by the shift in tone from the manga to the anime. What I am curious about is the creator's intent in making such a shift. As for Kokone and Alpha themselves, I simply wish them them well.
Monday, June 30, 2003
Hello from Russia!!
I really like both of the OVAs.
And I like the manga .
I juts can`t coose who the best.
theres is sonething it OVAsand something in manga.
so i watc OVA and read manga.
it is a plesure to find this site .Only here i find
skans of manga.
YOU ARE ALL FANS OF ALPHA AND KOKONE and i respect that.
Bear say :Good bye
Saturday, July 26, 2003
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