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as the Doctor says at the beginning of Ch 28. This chapter present a flashback of what happen when the project began, all the scenes about the test are doctor memories.
Now, Chapter 26 shows the present time. There are two robots (Alpha and Kokone) in the earth sharing their time together, and an advanced model capable of fly in the Tarpon (the huge glider in the sky). Notice, Kokone and Alpha can't fly, since they use scoters. The panels with that robot flying are also memories of that advanced model as it's shown in this page. That advanced panel is called also Alpha, but my interpretation is that it is another robot different than the Alpha that is in the earth with Kokone. This page shows the location of the three robots, one in the sky, two in the earth:
So, both chapter really reveal a lot about all of them, since show us images of the past and the present of the project that created all these robots. Above I wrote my impressions on these chapters.
I have the impression we have seen this character, because I have some memory of someone asking cafe au lait to Alpha in some previous chapter. But I couldn't find that scene. Possibly I'm wrong.Quote:
---------- Post added July 17, 2013 at 04:51 PM ---------- Previous post was July 16, 2013 at 12:58 PM ----------
Chapter 32 talks about Mt Fuji and Izu, which a peninsula in Japan. Here the map, thanks to Kabu no Isaki translator:
In the above map, the Izu peninsula is in the west, Mt.Fuji is directly above Izu, and the Miura peninsula (where Kabu no Isaki and YKK are set) is in the East.
Your posts clarified me about Chapters 26 and 28, thanks. =D
Despite of what sensei said I don't think that there was a mass production like we think, I guess there is a short number of robots like Alpha and Kokone around there. Sensei said that it was the objective, not if it was reached. We still have much more to know about the robots, and principally about the owner, I agree with you that the manga is being a path to reach the owner, we will know all about them before to meet with him properly and it will fortify even more the encounter.
Anyway, I still want to see a robot that have the opposite attitude of the Alpha and Kokne.
About the mysterious character in chapter 30, I have the same memory than you about cafe au lait but I didn't seek about this like you. We are crazy or actually have a mention about this before? I should look for this after. XD
I think that there is mass production, but like you said in your previous post to this, alpha and kokone and even the robot in the glider are unique each in their own way. I mean, the point is that they can develop their own features, their own personality beyond their original design and specifications. So mass production and being unique can coexist and be possible at the same time.
You want to see a robot with an opposite attitude. I'd like to be a male robot. The advanced model talked about sisters and bros. But you should have a more interesting desire there. It would be nice to see a robot that, to said it so, spoiled his/her chances using his free-will wrongly. ... Still we have to know where this story is going to.
Now that you mentioned a male robot I got curious, too, it would be interesting. I think that a robot with a opposite attitude is the same as one that use his free-will wrongly, I think that this is what I meant before.
My notes on Volume 5:
Continuing our chat about mass production, the thing about it is that simply being every robot capable of free-will, the mass production becomes just a mere unimportant data. They can be 10 or 10000, still the story seems to be about the way each of some few robots develops and make their way beyond its initial specification and design.
Chapter 32's question: How Mt Fuji has an ancient form, different than its current one? Is it a geological event? How old is Alpha?
The reading chapters 34 to 36, just made me thought it'd be a interesting twist if, using their free-will, Kokone and Alpha decide to become lovers? Wouldn't it?
Well, they have had great time being together. They can experienced pleasure as when they were humming together the song Alpha was playing with the Gekki, but I wonder if they are capable or more human passions and feelings.
This page, when Kokone seems to remember the kiss/transfaration seems to suggest love between them… She even blushes and then the panels are just really funny with Alpha asking her if she can stay at her home, lol.
Also the main topic of chapter 36 seems to be the fact that the aroma of the city is the same Alpha have smelt in Kokone’s hair and clothes… I know women has better sense of smell than us, guys, (and I don't know about robots like those) but… when did she smelt Kokone’s hair? …
Sensei is a very nostalgic character. She is old. She also the last one of the team who created the ship. And in chapter 37 she makes an invitation to Alpha, but she doesn’t pressure Alpha with it. She simply waits Alpha to come. But at the same time, she knows about the ship in the quay, and that that ship has never flew… That made me think, how many days sensei pass knowing about that flying boat? Sure she’s a calm person … but also she’s portrayed as a nostalgic character. Pretty much a topic from the following chapter.
Now, the boat is quite a poetry. I mean if we thought about sad things, a vehicle made to fly that never has flew is really a good example of sad things. And also its first flight is a good example of happy things. And, last but not least, there is some beauty in the fate thought by Sensei for her ship… to fly to its tomb in open sea, I’ say. The whole thing, sadness, happiness and the hara-kiri it’s just superb poetry, isn’t it?
But, did you see the ship and Alpha have a conversation? … Alpha has developed her own personality, I was just wondering what the personality of that ship would be. I mean, if you would have to choose a character from manga, who would had its very same personality? We would have to say things like; the ship was waiting in the quay, to fly, to live, to fulfill ... There is certain resemblance between sensei and the ship. I wonder how will be the days of Sensei after the ship’s departure. Possibly she can fell herself old...
A note on life and knowledge
I suppose the fact that Sensei assesses that nothing concrete resulted from the investigation with the ships (ch 37), is a hint to let us know that what happens to the robots when they develop their own personality is just something that it’s beyond scientific explanation. That would be pretty nice, since the same thing happens with the most important things in ordinary human life; they are also beyond scientific/rational explanation. Love, death, life… Those things just happen to all of us, and we experience them … but our rational explanation are just powerless to give a full account of them. I mean, they are not there to be explained, but to be lived... Coming back to the manga, I hope the story will tell us about it in Alpha, and Kokone's destinies.
Chapter 41. Nostalgy needs the knowledge of what is present and what is pass… Without that knowledge, we would fell nostalgic. I never have thought about it...
About the drawings.
I really liked so much the last panel of the page below. Also it's a lovely page... very much a slice of life page.
And lol at
---------- Post added July 22, 2013 at 10:02 PM ---------- Previous post was July 21, 2013 at 12:19 PM ----------
Spanish translator make a note about a joke in this page:
In Japanese, koko = house and ne = true? So when Alpha enters he says something like: “Here we have the little house, true?” and the end of the comment sounds “kokone?”
Last edited by ukimix; July 21, 2013 at 06:55 PM.
Late~ However, certainly I will post this sooner or later. XD
I will read posts above and reply later as always.
Impressions about volume 5
Chapter 32 was a chapter full of thoughts. I guess is the first time that we saw Alpha complain about what she is living, in a area that naturally doesn't have much things to do, I think it's normal even for us, have a moment that we think that our life is stopped. However, in the final of the chapter we see that even with this Alpha still likes to see the landscape and do nothing once in while. It's healthy. hahaha
Alpha is a consumerist! At each chapter Alpha seems less with a robot, she has all aspects of a human, she stays happy with shopping and make plans just in time, like her visit to Kokone. I get curious of what mysteries she have in your body to behave so human, I guess only the owner can answer this question.
I guess Kokone was tense with the kiss in other robot because when she do this she thinks in Alpha right away, the robot that left the strongest impression in her. After this thoughts she sees Alpha in her home with suprise. xD
And one more robot with the same behave as Kokone and Alpha, apparently she is painter, a type of profession that need a lot of feelings to transmit in your paintings, I want to know more about her.
I guess I was right, Kokone thinks very much in the kiss that she gave in Alpha. XD This chapter was funny, Kokone hardly could mantain the conversation with her thoughts and Alpha is clumsy too. hahaha
Kokone really likes Alpha, but I guess there is much more than this. Will we see a love between robots? It would be interesting.
This color chapter was nice and I have the feeling that my theory above can be right, we can notice in this chapter that Alpha ahve almost the same feelings about Kokone but she doens't notice this yet.
This chapter was unexpected for me, see Alpha being called to drive this "boat". Sensei is mysterious, too. I gonna read the next chapter and complete here.
In the beggining fo the chapter I felt a little disapointed, I think that the chapter would come down with only the Alpha's controll at distance, but the connection between the "boat" and her was much deeper and even with no words I could felt the feelings of happiness of the "boat" for its first flying and at the same time the feeling of farewell. Being a robot, too, but with more intense feelings, Alpha understood the "boat" and cry with this. It was a beautiful chapter, full of meanings.
Misago appearances are always nice, this time wasn't different, it's hard to explain her expressions, why she would appear and stuff. She is a complete mystery and all the times that she appear I want more informations about her, and, who knows, a meet between her and Alpha.
Chapter 40 didn't have much dialogues but left a good message in my opinion, that we have to wait until the right moment to do the things, calmly and soft, this let the things much more beatiful. I had this feeling in this chapter, what about you?
Chapter 41 returned the subject of memories times ago. It must be interesting see a photograph just in front of your eyes as if you were there one more time. Also, there is moments that we can't describe, for this we have cameras to remind these moments, I understand Alpha very much.
Last chapter of the volume was a boredom moment of Alpha, nothing more to say. hahaha
she talks as if she had seen Mt Fuji in its olden-days... Because the shape of a mountain only change with a sudden and huge geological event (volcanic eruption). Now we know there was a huge inundation, and that Alpha knew the shape all things had before that inundation. Is it that the inundation is related with the change in Mt Fuji's shape? I have no idea what to thought about it.
Kabu no Isaki, another great comic by the same author. I wonder if that thought about to wait calmly to the right moment has something to do with Zen-Buddhism.
Also, talking about certain symbols, certain poetic images that appears over and over in Ahisnano's works, the dragonfly is one of them. Dragonfly is a metaphor or something else, of flying, but also of using your free-will wisely. Notice the dragonfly is capable of keep flying in the same position, against a current of wind. The Kamas can do the same thing, to keep his position in the same place, waiting for the precise moment to do something. This was portrayed in chapter 19, when Alpha meets Ayasse for the firs time. But if you notice, that same idea, namely, to wait for the precise moment to do something- is portrayed in chapter 40 of this volume. That idea is somehow also focused in the 7th tale of Position by the same author.
Now yo make me notice that that could make sense of the title given by Ashinano to his short comic Position. What Ayasse has (in chapter 40) when he knows how to wait and how to accompany to his Kamas is certain position. And also the Kamas has a certain position when he's waiting for the precise moment to fly. In short to know how to wait, and when to walk or to fly requires you to know how to adopt certain positions:
Coming back to the dragonfly is pretty much a symbol in Kabu no Isaki. Notice all the things that can fly in this story: the tarpon, sensei's ship, the dragonfly, the kamas... and in a symbolic way, Alphas's intent to use her free-will appropriately is an intent to fly, it's the intent of her soul to fly, to say it so.
Last edited by ukimix; July 25, 2013 at 04:01 PM.
---------- Post added July 27, 2013 at 10:56 PM ---------- Previous post was July 25, 2013 at 11:23 PM ----------
My notes on Volume 6
Alpha dances alone, or better lets herself to be driven by the music while she walks. You know, in psychology there is the concept of flow, which, imho, is possibly one of the best mental states a human can have:
Very similar to what happens to Alpha in this chapter, but also to Alpha and Kokone when they were humming the song and playing the Gekki, back in chapter 17, entitled Waves (certainly, in that chapter Alpha and Kokone were riding the wave of the music) . There is also this metaphor of that state in the fly of Alpha on board of sensei’s ship. To flow, to fly… to be one in the flow of life…. Those are thoughts this manga always bring to my mind.Quote:
Kokone, in chapter 47 provides a new poetical definition of the concept: state of flow is the state in which you are when you have music in your blood.
Analogy between Onisan and Alpha and the two in the tarpon. I find very intriguing the robot in the tarpon and the whole ship. Why is she cut off from her peers? Why they are in that plane, and what is that plane for?
Chapter 46 to 48
I wonder why are these 3 chapters connected: Record, Record II and Record III? Mainly because the last one seems to be no related with the other two chapters. Anyway, the place from where Alpha is looking at the lights in chapter 48 entitled Record III, is the same she once visited with her owner, and the one she went in chapter 22, when she met Sensei Koumishi.
From ligth to darkeness to light…
From no wind to cool breeze…
I don’t think Alpha is a sleep drunk walker, so I’d say, in chapter 52 she actually flew! Before and right after that night flight.
The thing with the sizes of things in Ashinanos stories. Suggested by sensei’s when she thinks about her riding her bike…. Flying, flowing being in a state of flow increases the size of the world… that's another sign of Ashinano's poetic language, I guess.
Last edited by ukimix; July 27, 2013 at 10:59 PM.
I've always wondered how and why the Alpha models were created, and it's good to know that Kokone is just as interested. It makes sense that it would be her instead of Alpha who would try to uncover their origins; the latter is not very concerned about the past nor the future, and she simply wants to enjoy the present as it is. Hopefully Kokone will obtain some clues during her search!
I'm at chapter 24. Not quite to where you guys are but I'm catching up! I'll let you know my thoughts when I do.
---------- Post added August 04, 2013 at 12:50 AM ---------- Previous post was August 01, 2013 at 07:03 PM ----------
My notes on Vol 7
55 White sky
Does Alpha flies? Every time she dreams she flies, after the dream, we have clear evidences she actually flew. It walks like a duck, it quacks like a duck..
57 White paint
Spanish version of the last page of this chapter makes more sense. Alpha says something like: “It’s been a long time since I thought about owner... Now I have more memories of Ojisan and Kokone than of him.” In that way Alpha's last lines echoes all the other pages about her weak long term memory: here: "I was already here by that time. Owner told me this a long time ago" and here: "I suppose it was my idea at that time...". Also Alpha think about the fact that with the time she cant differentiate memories of imaginations ,and after that she began to take pics of the house... as a way to not forget about what she has been living for real. The chapters portrays Alpha as a robot with weak long term memory, and the camera should be useful to help her with it.
58 Two Drops of Indigo
The drops are the Alpha from the coffe (Alpha-Coffe) and the Alpha from the Tarpon (Alpha-Tarpon). First, Alpha reminding Sensei Koumishi ofan old friend, and Alpha-Tarpon having a necklace with the symbol created for Sensei Koumishi is clearly an indication that the old friend who Sensei talked to in the past was Alpha-Tarpon.
Time doesn’t pass for Alpha models. But also they have a weak long term memory, since we see how Alpha-Tarpon barely remembers the meaning of Sensei’s symbol.
A general idea is that a robot has a safety mode memory, and also has no free-will. I’m wondering if a collateral effect of the accomplishment of a robot with free-will is his weak memory for long term events.
In two previous chapters of the volume Alpha is worried about the house (White Paint and Indigo Eye). Also in this volume the house is destroyed by the typhoon. Alpha’s reaction towards this, is to play music with her Gekki… I don’t’ know if in her initial specifications it was written she should have to react in that way facing towards disasters like this, but I’d bet it wasn’t. I mean, that should be her development, that should have to be what she has accomplished with the time being far away of her owner. That distance between her and her owner is in some way the distance between her initial specification and her own achievements beyond those specifications. It should be also the path she has been walking.
63 My place, 64 Letter and 65 Shore
Alpha talking about her development:
I found lovely this idea in Ashinano’s work: the size of the world is the size of your trips, or the size of your walks. Because, taking it in a philosophical mode, it's like if the world doesn’t exist outside there until you decide to make your path walking it. That’s a poetic version of European idealism, but also of contemporary constructivism: the world is a construction of the mind. Existentialism (Sartre) version would be like this: your world, your existence is a construction of your will. And surely, that is what the chapter and the page tell us. Behind those excursions that enhances Alpha world, it’s Alpha’s free-will the origin of all goods, of all steps, of all decisions.
Before the last chapter, I was thinking Alpha was planning on moving with Kokone in the city. Kokone’s face after reading the letter Alpha wrote to her owner was a clear hint to me. But it seems there are no gas station where Alpha went to. So that’s not Kokone’s city. Where could it be?
---------- Post added August 09, 2013 at 04:18 PM ---------- Previous post was August 04, 2013 at 12:50 AM ----------
One page recommendation for Position:
---------- Post added August 13, 2013 at 12:49 AM ---------- Previous post was August 09, 2013 at 04:18 PM ----------
My notes on Vol 8:
There is no much to comment about this volume. We see Alpha working in several places and making some money, supposedly to rebuild the coffee shop.
The travel brings Alpha entertainment and experiences. Even if it’s a business travel. This two sides of everyday life: work and entertainment/joy are a main topic of the other great work of Ashinano: Kabu no Isaki.
Other than that, now we know robots have parents (human parents?), and also that they can die. And once more it appears the poetic image of lights in the middle of the dark night as a symbol of nostalgic.
Spanish translator wrote an interesting note about the chapter entitled ‘Sasage’:
---------- Post added August 17, 2013 at 10:40 PM ---------- Previous post was August 13, 2013 at 12:49 AM ----------Quote:
I'm so deeply touched by this manga...
Last edited by ukimix; August 04, 2013 at 12:52 AM.
What chapter are you at?
Alpha models are made of music and scents. That has been there all the time. Kokone had said it before in chapter 47. But also I bet those experiences gathered by Sensei in her earlier experiment with the ship to provide useful information to the project to create a robot with free-will, should be the reason why she says to Alpha: “you and I seem more like relatives than anything else”. So that they are made of sounds, scents, images and also feelings.
But what has been completely breathtaking to me was the note written at the end of the volume by the author:
Those are the worlds of a lonely soul. Or better, the words of someone who feels an overwhelming or absolute solitude. Absolute because it’s not like if you are alone today but could be accompanied by someone else some day in the future. Rather it’s about a solitude that can’t be denied ever: even if you can revive those thing stored in your memory, you can’t ever share them with someone else. It’s like if the only being that can accompany my feelings and memories is me; nobody else. Like if I were alone since and for ever and ever.Quote:
Now I’m wondering if alpha project was not the project to break that absolute solitude that can’t be denied by humans. If it was not the case that the creators of the Alpha project and models asked themselves: if we could be able to share our feelings, and if someone would have thought a solution: Maybe if each of us could put his/her own feelings or the memories of his/her feelings in a robot, and if we design the robots in such a way that they could pass the memories stored inside her to other robots, at least in that way we would have created a being that would be able to feel both your feelings and my feelings. I mean, not you neither me, but another being with the feelings of both of us…
...Because Alpha and Kokone just can do what that note wish for us humans: to share images and sounds.
On other hand, Alpha and her robot friends were made with the purpose to have free-will. Some results have become happy: Misago in some sense, and Alpha and Kokone in many senses. Those later have become able to live in society, while Misago has created her own world. In our everyday life, I suppose Misago should be taken as disturbed person. At the beginning of the story I took her as a charming character of certain fictional story. And now, that character makes me think about certain standard ideas and rules we have about normality and insanity in our societies. Michael Foucault, the French philosopher has thought about it, and has shown how there could be certain arbitrariness in categorizing a person as a disturbed one.
To me chapter 77 it's a master piece. The drawings are absolutely powerful in telling us about Alpha's feelings and essence. YOu can see there her search, her intimacy, her feelings of unease; that together with the fact that the chapter tells us about Alphas's essence in a glorious scene:
I found this page all powerfull in telling things, so intense and beautiful:
Ashinano is really good in creating those moments and representing the essence of his characters in just one perfect panel. Shirosan from Kabu has this one:
Last edited by ukimix; August 18, 2013 at 10:39 PM.
Vacations finally! I am back with the reading and I finished volume 6 today, so I will catch up soon.
I'll post all when I catch up, you're in volume 9, right?