he second-parter to the first book, Yukikazi, written some 20-30 years after the first by a master of Japanese scifi, Chohei Kambryash.
If you haven’t read my first review, linked above, the Yukikaze universe is one of perpetual (at least, three decades) war. An unknown race, the JAM, pushed through a hyperspace gate over Antarctica and attacked us. So we pushed them back to the planet “Fairie” and established bases. So we’re in daily air combat against the JAM, both sides upping their technology. Yet we are left with questions: Just what are the JAM? And how can we trust our own computers, now that they’ve secretly been communicating with our enemy? Are the JAM even aware of humans, or is it just fighting our technological forces? WTF?
I knew how the anime ended and I had questions that the first book helped solve. Unfortunately, the plot in the anime and the second book dovetailed so I’m left unanswered in both regards. While it was a good book, all full of “who can you really trust, since the JAM can corrupt our computers and duplicate our humans”. But then again, this follow-up attempt really didn’t hit the spot like I hoped it would.
Maybe it was my distractions with a kidney stone, but I found Good Luck, Yukikaze a bit too esoteric. It kept asking questions that it couldn’t answer. We never do find out what the JAM really are, even after chapters of talking about self, relationships with computers, and what it means to be alive. Oh, there are some grisly scenes, like when the JAM realizes that its phony plane and phony humans are not working well for negotiations and it ejects the two sentient clones to their deaths as one might swat a troublesome fly. Yeah, that was nightmare fuel. And the traitor’s reasoning for why he turned on humanity are good, rather a Benedict Arnold mix of duty and ambition. But through it all, gallons of metaphysics. And if no truth is ever arrived at, then all these pages are pointless musing. Sure, I might have my own beliefs of what is going on here, but it’s rather like Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency where the detective doesn’t explain everything at the end. The difference is, in Holistic, it worked (and I did figure it out (three days later)). Here, it didn’t. I still don’t know what the hell the JAM are/is/might be.
All I know is that Yukikaze and Rei were left climbing towards a doomed battle (and I’m no longer sure what side the FAF was now on), to do battle with everything with wings it seems. Yes, metaphysics are all fun and stuff, but by the end, you need to show us if the cat is alive or dead.