License Request Day: Yokohama Kaidashi Kikô

May 15, 2009

ykkcoverWhere will this week’s trip on the Wish List Express take us? Not to a restaurant at the end of the universe but a diner after the end of the world. Commenter badzphoto pointed towards Hitoshi Ashinano’s Yokohama Kaidashi Kikô. It’s science-fiction slice-of-life, which is always a promising combination. Here’s Japanese publisher Kodansha’s summary:

“Set in a near-future world, which is slowly sinking beneath water, Alpha is a coffee shop on the edge of the Miura peninsula that is run by a robot called Alpha for a long-time absent owner. Alpha lives like a human being: She is on good terms with her neighbors and especially friendly with the gas station owner and Takahiro, the boy who lives with him. Another robot and good friend, Cocone, is a delivery girl. She brings Alpha a gift of a camera from the estranged owner of the coffee shop.


“In a world of fewer human beings with no major industry, mankind faces extinction. Each day is taken as it comes. Everyone is proud of their easygoing life. Alpha is understanding and mindful of this situation.”

So basically, it sounds tonally and structurally similar to Kozue Amano’s Aqua and Aria (Tokyopop), though more densely written. And honestly, how bad can that be?

The series scores “in good company” points for being serialized in Kodansha’s Afternoon, a magazine that has given English-reading manga fans such titles as Genshiken, Parasyte, Love Roma, and Eden: It’s an Endless World! In fairly short order, English-reading manga fans will also be able to enjoy Moyasimon: Tales of Agriculture, also originally serialized in Afternoon. (Correction: Moyasimon was actually serialized in Kodansha’s Evening, not Afternoon. I must have confused it with Mushishi, originally serialized in Afternoon, available in English, and wonderful.)

Maybe I should just ask for an English-language version of Afternoon and be done with it?