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Spoilers really only go to the second episode if you haven’t watched it.
I have too much of a history with talking about time travel series, so I’m here to add Sakurada Reset to the list (are people still watching this show?). As the name of the series may imply, one of the main characters of this series, Misora Haruki, is able to reset the world to a previous point in time. This story’s twist, though, is that Misora is also reset, and therefore loses her memories of her own reset. Though the series explains that the reset works by reconstructing the world at a previous point in time, I would argue that this does qualify as a form of time travel. I suppose it’s a cheap way of getting past the paradox of two diverging timelines…by just destroying one and rebuilding an entire universe. Okay, maybe not so cheap.
The determinism question comes into play here pretty easily. Since we know nothing about reliving a scene twice, it’s impossible to know whether a reset would cause a scene to occur in the same way the second time. Honestly, I think the show handles this issue fine. The concept of a “reset” itself carries an implication of a perfect repetition and the series has so far never shown us a case where events after a reset can be altered outside of a power that cheats the reset. So I see no problem with making the assumption that a reset without any outside influence will always play out the same way as the original timeline.
If you’ve been following my posts on this series, I’m going to sound like a broken record. My recurring question with this series has been how Misora knows so much about her power if it affects her as well. In her first meeting with Kei, the other main character who is capable of retaining memories across resets, Misora is able to explain all of the rules of her ability. She has forgotten every successful activation of her ability, so she’s never actually seen it work. It doesn’t actually matter whether the events on the second timeline are the same as the original or wildly different because she only knows one timeline. Initially, I thought that people in Sakurada inherently knew about their powers as a side effect of living in the town, but a couple of characters have been introduced in recent episodes that have no idea how their powers work.
This all leaves me with one remaining conclusion: someone must have told Misora about her power. Given the dynamics of the town, I think it would have to be the Bureau, since they seem to be involved in anything related to people with powers. They could easily have access to someone with the power to know what another person’s power is. The only remaining question is…is that relevant? If we see the Bureau as the benign observers they claim to be, then this may not even be relevant…just a random bit of flavor to explain the odd circumstances of Misora’s ability with no real impact on the story.
However, I have to admit that we don’t really know all too much about the Bureau yet, meaning they could very well be a shady organization. We’ve already seen evidence that they’re willing to drop their observer role if there’s an incident, specifically a case where a person with abilities harms another person with abilities. In a similar post on 100WordAnime, Karandi proposes that the Bureau could have orchestrated the death of Sumire Soma in order to test Misora’s power or scout her for her current role with Kei helping others with powers.
I don’t doubt the possibility that Sumire’s death was staged by the Bureau, but what if it’s simpler? What if they’re just keeping Misora’s power a secret and imposing rules on her to keep her from abusing it? In a recent episode, Kei mentions that the powers in Sakurada activate in response to the wishes of the user. So would it be possible to impose artificial restrictions on a person’s power by convincing them that their power won’t work under certain conditions? That’s my crackpot theory of this post.
I admit, though, that I hesitate to fully accept this theory because I don’t really like what it implies. If Misora’s power is truly stronger than she knows, then one potential conclusion of the series is to use this new power to go back to the day that Sumire died and save her. While it brings things around full circle, it’s erasing two years of the world and effectively erasing the events of the entire series.
Before I finish up, I want to touch on another theory. I originally thought that Misora’s power may not apply to the entire universe and only affected a local area, maybe the town or the planet as a whole. Honestly, it’s still possible since we’re talking about a town of people with physics-breaking powers, but I think it unnecessarily overcomplicates the story. In both examples I gave, the stars would go out of alignment, so any stargazer would be notice. Even if the idea of replicating an entire universe seems implausible, I think the story has to explain a lot of complexity if it goes down another route.
But anyway, that’s what I think of Sakurada Reset, focusing specifically on the “time travel” power. Do you have your own theories? Think I’m completely nuts? Let me know.