Christ, what an otaku!
December 10, 2009 4:12 PM   Subscribe

Mefites have read everything, right? Has anyone here read the light novel sequel to the manga Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō (Yokohama Shopping Log)? It's mentioned on the YKK Wikipedia page. If you have, could you tell me what happens in it, and if it is illustrated? Spoilers, hopefully, within.

Here's what Wikipedia says about it:
A novel based on Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō called Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō Novel: Seeing, Walking, Being Glad (小説 ヨコハマ買い出し紀行―見て、歩き、よろこぶ者?), written by Akira Katsuki (香月照葉, Katsuki Akira?) and illustrated by Hitoshi Ashinano, was published by Kodansha on 23 October 2008 (ISBN 978-4-06-373326-6).[43] Set long after the conclusion of the manga series, it tells the story of a boy robot named Omega and his search for the legendary Cafe Alpha.
Can you fill in the details for me? I'd like to know how the story continues. I doubt there'll ever be a translation to English. I may want to buy the Japanese version, if it's well illustrated. Thanks!
posted by DarkForest to Media & Arts (2 answers total)
Best answer: Boy, talk about a long shot! (^_^;) You're lucky I'm having a slow day...

I've never read the original manga (actually, I'd never even heard of it), and therefore haven't read this novel, but I can sympathize with wanting to find out how a certain story unfolded, so I'll try to help you out here.

BTW the author's name is Teruha Katsuki, not Akira. He/She apparently was a runner up in the 2007 Japan Horror Novel Contest, and this is his/her first and only published work.

According to the product information blurb and the product reviews on that page and various other blogs such as this one, here are a few points you might find relevant.

- The story is set long after the final story of the manga. Omega is a boy robot built by an engineer named Ubumi in Hamamatsu where no other humans exist. After the sudden death of his creator, Omega travels east to meet the "robot who runs a cafe in Kanagawa, waiting alone for travellers to drop by." He arrives at Cafe Alpha to find Alpha cold and still, but when he connects her interface, he finds that her memory is still intact. He dives into her memory and relives it.
- After the above prologue, Chapters 1 through 9 just retrace the story of the original manga. But the main part reveals some darker details added by the novelist, such as about the time before the age of Yunagi and the reason why the robots were created in the first place, which weren't touched upon in the manga.
- In the epilogue, Alpha awakens, so it's a happy, if expected, ending.
- Kokone and Makki do not appear in the novel. Apparently they're not just cut out from the storytelling, but rather they're treated as being non-existent in the first place. Maruko and Nai don't appear, either. The writer of the blog I linked to points out that by cutting out these characters completely, the premise of the novel doesn't hold up because the ending of the manga suggests that Alpha wouldn't have ended up being completely alone even after humans disappeared from the world, and therefore wouldn't have gone into sleep mode in the first place.
- The book includes a short manga story called "Touge" (mountain pass) that hasn't been included in any of Ashinano's previous publications. And the novel apparently does include illustrations by Ashinano, but as one blogger put it, they look like rough sketches.

My general impression from reading several reviews by random internet bloggers is that if you liked the manga series, you might be disappointed by this novel because of its darker tone and the details that the novelist took the liberty of adding that apparently diverge greatly from the atmosphere and intent of the original manga. But these blogs were written by avid fans of the manga, so I suppose such negative reviews are to be expected. Again, I haven't read any of these myself, so take all this info with a grain of salt, etc.

The Amazon page I linked to is a Marketplace page, and the book is being sold at 5,800 yen, which is ridiculous considering that it's really only 900 yen. So if you do plan on buying this, buy it someplace else, not from this seller.
posted by misozaki at 8:25 PM on December 10, 2009

Response by poster: Thank you so much, misozaki. This is just what I wanted. Searching in English had gotten me nowhere.

You're right, I think I would be disappointed by the change in tone and the missing characters. The origin of the robots part might be interesting, but that's kind of secondary. Thanks for putting this to rest for me.
posted by DarkForest at 1:50 AM on December 11, 2009

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