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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  • Masky
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 08:03 AM)
    @Bam: Yeah, but simulating reality applies to certain types of games. Judging EVERY game by how realistic it is is silly xD
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:36 AM)
    @Masky: lots of game designers aspire for realism. Now this can be done for cosmetic purposes like face textures and lighting, practical with physic engines and movement, or contextual like believable character reactions and dialogue. Now some games thrive in being ridiculous and fantastic, but some want to create a realistic setting to further the emotional impact. Nothing wrong with that.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 27. 2015 02:32 AM)
    @ratsgnoF: and happy Thanksgiving to you as well.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:43 PM)
    Anyway seriously though, I’d say it does actually make sense in context xD Since none of monsters are actually that threatening.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:42 PM)
    .-. I have no words, mainly because whenever anyone uses word “Realism” in context of video game, I want to say rude words xD
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:40 PM)
    I think he gave it a passing glance and felt it wasn’t his thing, I remember he also felt that he thought the idea of sparing the monsters wasn’t believable or realistic given that he felt if you were realistically placed in that situation yourself, the real thing to do would be to fight back out of fear.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:37 PM)
    Did he actually play the game though? I mean, did he actually discover it himself or did he just heard the spoilers?
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:35 PM)
    I had a talk with a friend about undertale and he wasn’t a fan, he prefers other types of rpgs, the choice element also made him uncomfortable and that he felt the game was too punishing.
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:34 PM)
    @Kaiser: Puzzle elements, outside of sparing everyone, seem to be mainly just parodying video game puzzles. Like, only place where you actually have to solve actual puzzles is in Hotland, before that pretty much every puzzle is automatically solved, really easy or has some silly twist to it. Like the puzzle you can skip by pressing a switch in tree trunk. Can’t say I’m too fond of puzzles either, but I liked how game was making fun of them
  • Masky
    (Thursday, Nov 26. 2015 07:32 PM)
    Speaking of awful sense of humor and things that dorks like, just wanted to say that turns out I was right about Jitsu wa watashi wa in that main couple does get together before chapter 100(forgot what exactly, some where in 80-90 range I think). But they are such huge dorks that they do everything ridiculously slowly because they are that embarrassed, so they have had like just one date(in chapter 100). Not that I expect anyone to remember what the heck I’m talking about xD

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