Title: Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life
Summary: Set in a post-apocalyptic Japan of the near future where the sea level has risen and flooded much of the coastal areas and Mt. Fuji has erupted within living memory. The population has been considerably reduced and political and technological institutions have broken-down. Local communities have become nations and telephone and television no longer exist (although coffee vending machines and streetlights stubbornly continue to work). There are strange new animals and plants (like flying fish and glowing streetlight trees). The remaining people have adopted a slower-paced, simpler way of life and rely more on each other. Along with the human population are some intelligent, humanoid robots. One of the robots, a female named Alpha, runs a cafe by the same name in the country outside of what remains of Yokohama. With her trusty motorscooter and her camera she travels around the area making friends with the humans and robots, having new experiences and observing the passage of time.
Review: I have no idea why I actually liked reading this manga. But I found myself turning page after page despite the clock striking four in the morning. The entire manga has a calming, slightly melancholy feel that slowly seeps into your head chapter by chapter. I can’t say that it will get you thinking, but your emotions will start to react on their own. There is no action, no suspense, in fact there is hardly anything left in this post-apocalyptic Japan. It gives the reader a sense of community though, something that most people have never experienced in the modern world. I like to think that the manga brought me back to a simpler time in life where I didn’t worry how much something cost, or what I’m doing with my life. It shows a time where each day can be something special and to never take the little things for granted, because those same things are what makes life so amazing. I couldn’t help but feel sorrow during the bad times, and smile during the good. What really made this manga magical was watching the characters grow up. Some inspired to be hard workers, while others wished to just take everything one day at a time. It was nice to see a small group of kids, teens, and adults come together and enjoy the natural beauty of life. Every emotion the characters feel, every thought the characters think seem to be the same ones in your mind and heart.
Final statements: If you are looking for something action packed or heavy thinking than you should look somewhere else. I would think that anyone who doesn’t understand the point of this manga is simply thinking too hard. Just as the characters take everything in one day at a time, you should take everything in one chapter at a time. Don’t look at the big picture, but rather the little details. Preferred read.