Posted by psgels on 18 September 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews


I’ve got a few announcements to make with this post, but they’ll follow after I’ve sung some praises of the charming OVA of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou and its continuation: Quiet Country Cafe that got aired five years later. And really, it can’t get more slice-of-life than this. Throughout the four episodes, we get to see an excellent balance between ordinary activities of our main character Alpha and two or three events that majorly alter her life.

Not only that, but the OVAs also shine in originality. The setting is the Japanese countryside, somewhere in the future, with Alpha being a robot. It’s an age where robots have been able to perfectly emulate the emotions and weaknesses of humans, and where the entire country of Japan has fallen apart into small provinces. A lot of previous urban areas seem to have been flooded, and something happened to Mount Fuji to blow off a major part of its height. It’s a shame that we don’t get any extra information on it, because I would have loved to see more.

But yeah, the real star of this OVA is Alpha herself. This series differs from usual slice-of-life series by showing her alone most of the time, doing things like getting up, cooking, just sitting randomly. This works great along with the side-characters, who sometimes pop up, and yet find enough time to develop. I especially liked the old guy, who defies the clichés of the perverted geezers and turns into a nice, down-to-earth owner of a small gas station.

Regarding the bad points, well, this is another manga adaptation. While you usually don’t notice anything of it, the fact does remain that a few side-characters are underdeveloped. There is one particular naked girl who shows up in one scene, does nothing, and then leaves without leaving a single trace. I still don’t understand why the creators let her in that scene anyway; it’s just good for some cheap fanservice. I also would have loved to se a few more of Alpha’s money problems, to add to the level of realism (that already is quite high, actually).

Overall, Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou is an excellent recommendation for slice-of-life fans who are looking for something quick to watch. It may not be perfect, but it manages to stay heart-warming throughout the entire four episodes of both OVAs.

Okay, so now the announcements. First of all, those who look in the side-menu will notice that this is my 150th review for this site. Next up are going to be the Ghibli-movies, though it may take a month before I’m going to start with them. We’ve reached the end of another season, and I’m about to finish more series than ever. For this and the next week, I’ll probably be too busy to write reviews for them to check out any movies, and once that wave is done, the new season will be starting, which is going to keep me busy as well. It’s definitely going to be fun, but I don’t think I’ll be able to handle movie-reviews at the same time. ^^;

6 Responses

  1. Mark P. Tjan says:

    Regarding the “problems”, it’s probably in your best interest to go and actually read the manga for reference on who the naked girl is and why she exists. It IS fanservice, but not in the way you’re thinking. As to the money problems — Alpha generally has few thanks to her creator. Her issue isn’t with money, it’s with loneliness.

  2. TheBigN says:

    Much more is expanded on that naked lady in the manga, so I think her appearance in the OVA was just a nod to that.

    One of my favorites. :3

  3. Adam says:

    The OVAs are lovely (the street lights in the sunken city are stunning), but as all the other commenters have said (and likely will say), you really should read the manga as well. It’s simply the most beautiful thing you’ll ever find. Really.

  4. Chris says:

    I really liked this show, it was right up my alley with great music and it was just very refreshing. The soundtrack enhanced the refreshing feeling and the characters were all veyr charming.

    I liked this short OAV but I like the manga better, it gives the characters more room to shine and the manga is very heartwarming and touching after the characters all grow.

    If you liked this show, a very similiar anime would be one called Windy Tales, it reminds me alot of Yokohama.

  5. G. Zeus says:

    I’m glad to see that you enjoyed the shows. Although most viewers tend to favor the later episodes which came out in ’02-’03, I actually prefer the older ones from ’98 since they’re a better representation of the series as a whole.

    As mentioned by the others, you should really try out the manga. The OAVs are merely crumbs compared to the slice of life that the manga offers.

  6. Guigas says:

    Yokohama manga is 100 times better than this OVAs. Enough said.
    It’s a shame that the producers didn’t make a proper adaption of this magnificent work…

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 02:30 AM)
    @Bam: Meant to ask you, are you a fan of Thomas Pynchon’s work?
    I re-watched Inherent vice today which was based on a book by him, complex noir thing, made more sense on second viewing and was pretty funny. Figured you’d be into it given its stoner fiction origins.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 02:23 AM)
    Some people literally do live off patreon though on drawing hentai art though as their sole income.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 02:18 AM)
    @Bam: I know that film by name but I will be watching it either now or tomorrow.
  • SuperMario
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 02:10 AM)
    Matteo Garrone directed Gomorrah (2008), Reality (2011) which all were screened at Cannes, as well as this one. I liked Tale of Tales well enough, the only thing that I don’t like about the film is the treatment of women. They paid their prices just because of their lust.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 01:30 AM)
    I ran into the weirdest movie last night: an English speaking French-British-Italian movie called Tale of Tales. Loosely based on the Pentamerone series of folklore, it was a pretty dark yet vibrant-looking collection of fairytales, slimly connected by a main plot. I don’t know much about this director Matteo Garrone, but he has a unique style.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 01:25 AM)
    @K-off: I think Patreon recipients mostly fail during the first year. Just as with Kickstarter, you only hear of a very few that result in anything worthwhile; and pointing at 2-3 successes in an ocean of failures doesn’t really imply effectiveness.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 1. 2016 01:21 AM)
    @Kaiser: Kaufman and Hoffman were a match made in heaven; also weird that they rhyme with each other.
    The only Kaufman match-up that might get close would be him and Spike Jonze working on a Nicholas Cage flick. That man is really a mystery to me.
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 09:29 PM)
    @Kaiser Someone who actually still likes Nicholas Cage outside of his internet memes? To me he’s one of those actors who at this point, I can’t visualize playing a role outside of himself. Similar to how I can’t see any of Steve Carrell’s movies without seeing Michael Scott.
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 09:19 PM)
    @Bam Yup, asking for money online is flawed in almost every way from the donor’s point of view, a lot of my former art history degree friends have taken to Patreon in a last ditch effort to float their poor career choice.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:46 PM)
    With synecdoche it has the benefit of Hoffman’s performance and to get it you just have to “Feel it”.

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