originally posted at https://canmom.tumblr.com/post/722404...

Gif source: @animestheticc

Good evening everyone! It’s time at last for Animation Night. And what do we have this week… did you guess an OVA from the 1990s? That’s always a safe bet with me and sure enough that’s what we have tonight: ヨコハマ買い出し紀行 Yokohama Kaidishi Kikou, or in English, Yokohama Shopping Log.

I’m going to keep my writeup tonight brief, because I am fully kvin’s homework on this one and I think rather than paraphrase what he wrote, lemme link the article. Here is an introduction to the series…

An Eternal Anime About Transience: The Influences And Legacy Of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou

Nearly 3 decades after it was first published, Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou remains the poster child of mono no aware works in otaku media. Vaguely set after a catastrophe that collapsed both the planet’s ecology and human civilization as we knew it, an event that the series has no intention to explain, YKK stars android Alpha as she runs the desolate café that her long-gone master entrusted her with. Her episodic adventures are all about the appreciation of the moment, often with an emphasis on the evocative environments she casually comes across; after all, author Hitoshi Ashinano was inspired to pen this work by his fondness of taking a stroll or riding a motorcycle without a specific goal. Despite being an ode to spontaneity, YKK is also a thoroughly focused work—and the recipient of that focus is the passage of time, as well as how different beings process the ephemerality of things.


The manga is beautiful, and highly influential in establishing a certain genre of gentle post-apocalyptic works like Girl’s Last Tour. But tonight we’re here to see the OVAs, each of them just an hour, pulling out a selection of favourite episodes from the manga.

These two adaptations, despite coming just a few years apart, come at a point of major historical change: the first part is in the cel era, the second in digital.

For the first, we have director Takashi Anno, veteran of The Hakkenden (AN122) and magical girl anime such as Magical Emi. His characteristic direction style puts a huge emphasis on setting and atmosphere, lingering on quiet moments - something he truly ironed out in Semishigure, which returns to the protagonist of Magical Emi years after the events of the story. Which made him a perfect fit for Yokohama. kVin is full of praise for the colour design, the strength of the layouts, and especially the soundtrack.

The second OVA Quiet Country Café dir. Tomomi Mochizuki takes a radically different approach, skipping forward in the manga and introducing a boldly experimental style:

Though its color design can’t match the exquisite work of the preceding series, it makes up for it with the radically distinct art direction by the late legend Shichiro Kobayashi—best known for the likes of Utena, Gamba, Ashita no Joe 2, Castle of Cagliostro, Beautiful Dreamers, Windy Tales, and unarguably being one of the most important figures in the history of stylized Japanese animation. In contrast to the grounded scenery of the first OVA, Kobayashi’s evokes reality with stark forms, implications of movement, and downright expressionistic paintings. Compared to the gentle embrace of the first series, his work feels like it’s demanding your attention in a more proactive way.

Gif source: @shimeji-simulation

kVin describes the second episode’s direction as characterised by more active and layered camerawork and a more ‘involved’ score - he’s particularly taken with the sequence where Alpha returns to her café after the devastating storm that sets the OVA going. He compares it to Mochizuki’s direction of the Ghibli film Ocean Waves.

So two approaches to the same material, two different vibes, but it sounds like both should be very strong. Tonight the plan is simple enough: we’ll watch both OVAs back to back! (Apologies for the late start, as mentioned I’ve been having tech problems.)

AN 163 will be going live shortly at twitch.tv/canmom. Both OVAs are pretty short so we’ll be watching from about 11pm to 1am UK time. love to see you there nya~


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