Resides in Austin, TX (USA). Long time connoisseur of anime and manga - I'm an art director, media critic and eccentric. I love to write, draw and travel.
This week our introspective hero and his happy-go-lucky AI friend, Yumemi, go on a casual stroll through the scenic post-apocalyptic quarantine zone. Today, I’ve tossed out the tissues. I’m fairly certain everything will go swimmingly well for the pair, so there’s no need to keep them by my side anymore.
The storm continues for hours and the Junker asks Yumemi how long her batteries will last. She replies that she has four more days on her current operational mode. The Junker questions whether or not she’ll be able to make it back to the planetarium without any problems, and she assures him that she won’t have a problem within a three km radius. She then trips over a rock. There’s a good bit of humor in this episode, even though there’s a large foreboding cloud hovering over Yumemi and the Junker. When she picks herself up, she helpfully instructs the Junker to watch his step because there’s a bump on the road.
Yumemi enthusiastically gives the Junker a top-tier tour of the old city that she used to know. She points out a store that apparently had delectable cream puffs, but which is now just an abandoned building. The Junker tells her he’s never had cream puffs and anxiously asks her to pick up the pace. As they press forward, she continues her tour, suggesting they stop at a local beer garden – the Junker is noticeably annoyed and asks her to stop with the tour and to please be quiet. Yumemi calmly says yes and then asks to stop because her power unit is overheated. As they rest, the Junker tries to add up the distance they’ve crossed. The rain continues to pour down, and they are on their fourth break. They are making slow time, at only about one km per hour. Yumemi inquires if the Junker likes rain. He hates it. She says she loves it. He cracks a grin and suggests that she likes it because it brings customers to the planetarium. She smiles back and says yes – the rain makes the stars more precious. Their conversation continues and he explains to her that he is a junker – a garbage collector. She thinks that’s a noble profession.
As they resume their journey, the Junker tells Yumemi to leave behind the electronic bouquet that she made for him. She protests and says that it is his gift and that she is carrying it for him. He begrudgingly takes it from her. She smiles and thanks him for accepting the gift. As they near the outside perimeter of the quarantine zone, the Junker finally finds a shop worth salvaging – an old liquor store. It looks blown to bits and he’s doubtful that there’s anything to save. By chance, he finds a single unbroken bottle. He contemplates whether or not to take it, remembering the lessons he learned from his mentor. It could be a trap. While he considers his options, Yumemi appears behind him and just picks it up. They don’t explode and he laughs. He drinks some of the booze and they venture forth.
Yumemi sees another bump in the road, and points it out.
Be careful, there’s a bump here.
Despite noticing it ahead of time, she still trips over it. The Junker gets serious because there’s something he’s been contemplating. He asks Yumemi if she gets bored, but she says she enjoys her work. She asks him if he has ever made a wish to God. He says nothing important – obviously she wants him to press her on the same question. She wishes for a heaven that doesn’t separate humans and robots. She wants to serve humans for eternity. The Junker is put at a crossroads. He can either leave Yumemi to return to the planetarium to die of an empty battery, or he could try to convince her to come with him. He wonders if the alcohol has made him drunk, but he realizes that he’s been overwhelmed with emotion since he met her and that it clouded his judgement. He seems to have come to terms with this, however. Despite a past warning from his mentor, the Junker has made up his mind. He presents Yumemi with an option: return to the planetarium to run out of batteries and never help humans again, or join him. She says she does not have sufficient information to answer this inquiry, and he tells her to think it over while he goes to “hunt” a mech that’s blocking the path to his vehicle. The Junker takes a grenade launcher and as he lines up his shot, he contemplates the kind of life he could have with Yumemi, should she decide to go with him. It’s a beautiful life and one full of hope, but he thinks it sounds stupid. He aims his weapon and fires.
It’s a misfire.
There are consequences to his actions, but I won’t be the one to spoil this for you.
As of now, the Junker wants to bring Yumemi along. Yumemi may or may not go and there’s a mech blocking their exit. This mech is incredibly deadly and will be a major obstacle. The results of the grenade misfire may prove to be disastrous. Will the Junker be able to make his pipe dream come true. Will he convince Yumemi to come with him? Is it possible for the world to have some beauty in it? Excuse me, I have to go rgrab the tissue box I tossed to the side.