Today I got my hands on the soundtrack to Somedays Dreamer’s Season 2 and as I was playing this most awesome cd, I started wondering if music made for a slice-off-life anime would sound good while reading slice-of-life manga. To test this hypothesis out I opened up my scanlation of Yokohama Shopping Trip and started at volume 1.
If you’re not familiar with Yokohama Shopping Trip, aka Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou or YKK, it’s a fusion of two genres that normally don’t intermingle much: slice-of-life and SF. The story is set at some point in the future, in Japan, after some sort of cataclysm that has raised the world’s oceans by dozens of feet. This future Japan has only a small fraction of the people of today so even with less land, much of countryside is reverting back to how it was before humanity (with a twist). It appears that science advanced enough that human-like robots where created because our main character is a robot named Alpha that runs a coffee house in the sticks. This sounds like a recipe for either a very depressing story, a story meant to admonish us, or a chest-thumbing tale of how humanity will always preserve over adversity. None of these are the case though, instead we get a relaxing, slice-of-life story about Alpha’s life as she runs the coffee house. In fact, the manga is told with such warmth that it makes me wish that I could live in the world and have the chance to visit Alpha’s cafe, even if I don’t like coffee.
Getting back to my experiment, I found that listening to the soundtrack to Somedays Dreamers Season 2 did enhance my reading pleasure. I actually couldn’t stop reading and after about five hours, I had read all 14 volumes of the manga in one sitting with the soundtrack looping the entire time.
This marks the third or fourth time I’ve read YKK in it’s entirety since discovering it about a year ago and because it hasn’t lost any of it’s greatness or impact, I can easily say this is the best manga ever. Which is why I find it astonishing that this title is still unlicensed for the US. I’ll leave an actual full review of YKK for some later point, though you can probably guess how I’ll rate it. 🙂
Finally, discovering this fact, I’m curious how many other people do this – listen to music to enhance the reading of manga?