5 Random Time Travel Theories

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

These fools can't comprehend

Someone has really got to stop me from talking about time travel all of the time. It’s such a fun topic, so I can never help myself. Either way, I didn’t want to go for a standard “top 5” with time travel shows, since I’ve probably done a variation of that in the past. Instead, I’m going to try something different and talk about five different time travel concepts and the shows that propose them.

Tejina can do it

5. Everything already happened – Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara

I couldn’t come up with the greatest name for this theory, but it’s essentially the idea where a time traveler has no real control over the events in the past. Because the future relies on events that the time traveler orchestrates, any variation would end up being a paradox. In many senses, the ending is already decided. It seems like a weird idea for reality, but it’s perfect for a story.

In Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara, the main character, Hitomi, is sent back to the past by her grandmother, where she ends up meeting her grandmother’s younger self. As a result, Hitomi’s grandmother, Kohaku, is inspired to research time magic to make sure her future self can successfully spend Hitomi to the past. This is an example of the Bootstrap Paradox. Still, the story itself is a lot of fun, and it goes in surprising directions despite how rigid its time travel premise is.

Latina ruins another one

4. Shared movement of time – Time Travel Shoujo

I can’t come up with a good way to label this concept. Basically, I’m talking about shows that feature a future time stream and a present day time stream side-by-side. Somehow, time seems to move at the same rate despite the fact that one of those time streams has already happened. I think the best

3. The infinite loop – Buddy Complex

Sometimes, the time traveler is completely helpless to change a course of events, and must constantly go back to . I won’t go into too much detail since it’s kind of a spoiler, but Buddy Complex is a good example of this. You always think that your extensive knowledge of the future can only be helpful in the past, but maybe you’re just engaging in an act of futility.

Hana wins the color debate

2. Just destroy the world – Sakurada Reset

Time travel always seems like such a surgical endeavor. By making small changes in the past, you can try and achieve a much more favorable future. Well, Sakurada Reset takes a slightly different approach. When the character Misora uses her ability, she completely destroys the world and rebuilds it in an earlier state. The physics of it makes no sense, but it’s pretty darn effective for avoiding a paradox.

1. Traversing the multiverse – Steins;Gate

I’ve said this many times, but this tends to be my favorite time travel theory. Treat the various timelines as alternate universes, and the time traveler is just a visitor in a foreign land. It gets past the paradox problems in other time travel proposals because you’re not directly affecting your own past. You’re messing with an alternate universe’s future.

I think Steins;Gate captures this concept better than any other show or movie I’ve seen. Rather than trying to fix his world, Rintarou is attempting to find the timeline with the best outcome, firmly acknowledging that all of the other tragedies he has seen will still exist.

Endro Review: The quest to become a great hero

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

The hero's party faces off against the demon lord

Somehow, this series wasn’t actually a video game adaptation. It certainly seems like it from the beginning. The legendary Hero faces off against the Demon Lord with three fellow adventurers. They cast a forbidden spell and the Demon Lord is sealed away. The credits roll. Wait, this is all from the first episode. In reality, this forbidden spell turns out to be a time spell that sends the demon lord to the past, where she resolves to sabotage the Hero’s journey.

Seira gets embarrassed

To be honest, that introduction was enough to catch my interest for this series. As a whole, the series has a charming sense of playfulness that I greatly enjoyed. It takes the standard fantasy adventure premise and turns it into a goofy slice of life with both the protagonists and the main villain. I probably would have preferred if the hero, aptly nicknamed Yuusha, wasn’t actually the airhead she seemed to be, but I suppose it fits with the story.

Mao tries to jump above the podium

Along those same lines, I thought that the characters in the series had an equal charm to them. Even the girl whose only gimmick was that she’s obsessed with the cards they use to cast spells had her own character arc of sorts. The demon lord herself, who takes on the name Mao, also has a nice transition, making real connections outside of the main character to help her redemption story.

The legendary hero wields a club

All in all, I don’t have too much to say about this series. It’s that kind of show. It does have a pastel color style that I think is a bit overboard, but I can live with that. I thought that the series was surprisingly funny, so it was always fun to watch. Also, the number of scenes that were screenshot-worthy in this series was truly impressive (and that’s definitely important, right?).

Overall Score: 7/10

Steins;Gate 0 Review: The other time travel series

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

Mayuri reaches towards the sky

Boy did this series have a lot to live up to, given how much I enjoyed the original series. Based off a separate timeline, the series follows a version of Okabe Rintarou who is unable to save Makise Kurisu. The story portrays his attempt to move past the trauma of that event. For a series that inevitably lives in the shadow of its predecessor, I thought that it did a relatively decent job, but it definitely took its time getting moving. The tone is also considerably more tense than the original, as it’s largely missing the goofiness that was Hyouin Kyouma.

Mayuri meets up with Rintarou

My favorite part about this series is that it continues to explore the concept of time travel that was introduced in the original series. Rather than dwelling on the same concepts, it plays with new ideas. There’s an episode where Suzuha seems to be in danger of erasing herself from existence, and it’s probably one of my favorite episodes in the series.

Granted, some of these attempts get a bit confusing (without knowledge from the visual novel), especially with anything concerning Kagari. But in this sense, I think the series played to its strengths a bit.

Maho announces a new AI

The other major theme in this series was the implications of artificial intelligence, namely through Amadeus. The series toys with the idea of using Kurisu’s image to further interfere with Rintarou’s healing process, but I thought that the AI angle was ultimately squandered as the series returned to its time travel concept.

Feris is not amused

And while I truly enjoyed the final scenes in the series, I have to say that many of the developments leading up to that ending felt incredibly similar to the original series. Without getting into details, there’s the example of Rintarou having to repeatedly time travel once again for effectively the same reason.

Maho gets annoyed about her height

Overall, this series is a much slower version of the original series, but I think it works as the spin-off that it is. It got me thinking about time travel in different ways than I did when I was watching the original, and I greatly appreciated that experience.

Overal Score: 8/10

Random First Impressions: Endro, Girly Air Force

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

I’m nearly done with the first impressions for shows I’ve watched. Here are two more.

The hero has a simple wish to make people smile

Endro First Impressions (1)

Honestly, there’s not too much to say about this series. I tend to like this kind of show, but it’s not for everyone. The basic idea is simple. In this fantasy world, the hero, playfully named Yuusha, and her party defeat the demon lord with forbidden dimension magic. This magic ends up sending the demon lord back in time as a little girl. Adopting the name Mao, the demon lord attempts to change history and prevent her inevitable defeat at the hands of the hero.

Yuusha pulls out the cursed sword

It seems unfair to judge this series as a time travel series, but it incorporates that element to a small degree. Unsurprisingly, it’s not great as a time travel series, since history seems to follow the same course despite Mao’s interference. That inevitably begs the question of why Mao doesn’t know this already, which I’m sure will have some boring explanation. And given the straightforward nature of Yuusha, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s eventually revealed that this is her plan all along, giving the demon lord a chance to smile or something.

Roll credits

That being said, I still think the episode was fun to watch when I didn’t take it too seriously. The scenes are cute, and I appreciate a series that doesn’t mind poking fun at itself. The early credits scene makes a lot more sense with the time travel aspect, and I definitely thought it was hilarious when Yuusha was forced to use a club as a weapon.

Kei waits outside of the base

Girly Air Force First Impressions (1-2)

A non-trivial amount of my interest in this series comes from the fact that I grew up near an air force base. The first episode sets up the basic story, which follows Kei Narutani, a Chinese refugee who lost his mother to an attack by the unknown flying creatures known as Xi. In an attack over Shanghai, Kei meets Gripen, an Anima designed to fight the Xi, and becomes tasked with helping Gripen.

Gripen is scatterbrained

I mean, I guess this series works as a typical cute girls story with some sci-fi aspect incorporated. I just have a hard time taking it seriously when I see an episode like the second episode, which seemed like it was filled to the brim with the standard, almost romcom-esque, setup.

Gripen feels like something is missing.

They’re really going full force into this whole “the girls are planes” thing, huh? I suppose I can’t be too upset with Kei. He still probably sees Gripen as the pilot, so he can’t be expected to assume that he should pilot her.

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara Episode 13: Back to the future

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

Yuito remembers a time when he drew alone

I think this ending was satisfying overall. It didn’t feel like it was trying to overreach, and it seemed to cover the missing pieces that I was hoping would be addressed. When I say it didn’t overreach, I mean that I was happy to see the story avoided going through unnecessary hoops to force a happy ending. The bittersweet ending worked out for me.

Yuito remembers his time with Hitomi

The episode opened with Yuito looking back on his days with Hitomi with a sense of longing. Honestly, part of me wondered whether this tone was meant to convince the audience that something went wrong in the time magic spell (even if it would have made no sense at all in the context of the show).

Hitomi learns to let go

All in all, I do like the idea of not getting in your own way, as Hitomi says. At least, that was my understanding of the ultimate theme of the show.

Hitomi remembers her time with Yuito

It was nice to see Hitomi sharing her final moments with Yuito before returning to the future. I like that the memories were shown in black and white as Hitomi goes through them. It could just be because the world was black and white at the time, but that’s a less meaningful interpretation in my eyes.

Kohaku realizes that Hitomi was casting the time magic

It is a bit of a bummer that Kohaku ends on a low after Hitomi leaves, as she realizes that Hitomi’s magic was what sent her back. I guess it makes sense that Kohaku wouldn’t be able to figure it out so quickly, but it definitely raises some questions for me about Kohaku’s relationship with her daughter. I wonder if she might have gotten too obsessed with her granddaughter, and forced her daughter to suffer as a result.

Kohaku knew about the past events before sending Hitomi back

Well, I can’t say I’m surprised to find out that Kohaku knew what would happen before sending Hitomi back. It does definitely call into question how time magic really works, but I could probably speculate forever about that.

Hitomi visits a grave

It was kind of sad that Hitomi didn’t get to reconnect with her older friends in the future, but this scene in particular has me interested. Given the immediate context, the quick assumption would be that Hitomi is visiting her mother’s grave. However, that doesn’t really make sense, since she wanted to go see her mother with Kohaku. In that case, I would think it’s most likely that this is actually Yuito’s grave, which explains why there isn’t a tearful reunion.

Hitomi joins the future Photography Club

As I said, it would have been nice to see more of the other characters, but this is a solid ending for Hitomi herself. Also, the bookstore owner is confirmed as Kohaku’s husband, maybe?

Final Score: 8/10

Looked great, and the show had the kind of subtlety that I tend to like. I think many of the side characters get heavily pushed aside, but I did like watching Hitomi’s progress as a character.

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara Episode 12: Last hurrah

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

Yuito is hoping for Hitomi's safety

With this nice, wholesome episode leading up to the finale, I have to say that I was happy to see how much restraint it had. The episode had a clear tone with its attempt to make Hitomi’s final moments in the past as nice as possible, and it stuck with it. The way the episode ended was a bit mean, but it felt fine with the pacing of the episode. Yuito and Hitomi still have a lot to say to each other, right?

Hitomi and Kohaku prepare for the show

There were multiple moments when the show had the chance to throw a wrench into everything, by having Hitomi disappear in the haunted house or having her magic go haywire when sending people into the painting. Anything like that would have felt overly dramatic to me, so it was nice that the episode just went well.

Yuito's drawing seems fine now

Something that bothered me a bit in this episode was how things seemed to work out for the other characters. Watching Hitomi’s character progression has been interesting, but we just get a brief glimpse of Kurumi with her sister in a montage. As for Yuito himself, I like the idea that his drawing has improved after he started drawing for Hitomi, but we still haven’t seen what caused his slump in the first place.

That being said, they could be saving that for the final confession. Yuito could start out by spelling out how Hitomi helped him. It’s what I’m hoping for, at least.

Hitomi meets the bookstore owner

Maybe I’m just imagining it, but it seemed like there was a bit of a lull in this scene. I’ve seen the theory that Ichiyanagi is Hitomi’s grandfather, so I might just be overly sensitive to it.

Hitomi sees the colors in the fireworks

On the one hand, it’s a bit sad to see Hitomi return to the past with monochrome vision. Other the other hand, it does feel more realistic to see a more gradual recovery for her condition.

Hitomi still has one thing left undone

I’m looking forward to seeing how this ends up going. I’m going to feel silly if I praised this episode for restraint just to have Hitomi disappear in a critical moment next week.

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara Episode 11: Time catches up

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

What's an event?

Well, this episode introduces an interesting hurdle. Recent episodes have been hinting at the idea that Hitomi has a time limit to her stay in the past, but I wasn’t expecting an actual danger to her existence. Part of me wonders whether this intentionally adds too much drama to the series, but I think I can accept that it was becoming too difficult for Hitomi to go back without something extra to push her. I’m looking forward to seeing how bittersweet the ending is.

Hitomi feels the effects of the time gap

The whole idea of the time gap is actually quite intriguing. Based on the excerpt we get from Kohaku’s emails, it seems to be a manifestation of the self-correcting nature of time, but we don’t get too much more. It’s times like this one that I wish the series went a little bit deeper into how its magic works. I’m fine with the fact that the story focuses more on the romance part, but I just get that feeling.

Kohaku is worried about the sand

I’m actually curious what this scene is trying to get at. From a story perspective, I would have preferred if Kohaku had just acknowledged that she needed too much sand to gather alone before time ran out. However, this is a time travel anime, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this scene was meant to show that the timing of the typhoon is important for Hitomi’s return, given that a later scene shows that the typhoon brings a lot more sand to the beach.

Hitomi returns from the time gap asleep

Once again, I really do wonder why the time gap manifests itself in this way. I would have expected Hitomi to just return to the point where she disappeared without realizing what had happened, but she returns asleep.

Chigusa and Asagi react in different ways

I find myself relating more with Chigusa’s response to the fact that Hitomi is leaving. When hearing that Hitomi could be in danger, it would seem more important to focus on fixing the problem rather than dwelling on losing Hitomi. I guess Asagi was much closer to Hitomi, so it would be harder on her.

Hitomi finding it hard to part with Yuito

I did like this scene between Yuito and Hitomi in the end. I look forward to seeing what ends up happening with their relationship, since it definitely doesn’t look like it will end well.

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara Episode 10: Art hopping

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

Asagi and Hitomi feeling the awkwardness

This episode certainly shifted gears quickly, but it was nice to finally hear why Hitomi hated magic. And to be fair, it was a decent reason that made a lot of sense, so no complaints here. I’m sure there’s still more to that story, but this is a good start.

Shou wonders what's going on between Hitomi and Asagi

Well spotted, Shou.

Hitomi and Asagi finally talk

It’s a nice development to see Hitomi valuing her friendship with Asagi enough to take deliberate steps to reach out to Asagi. Even with how awkward the two were around each other, Hitomi still chose to follow Asagi into what could only be a more awkward situation. It’s nice that they made up, even if it was strangely quick.

Hitomi practices her magic in preparation for the show

The whole idea of bringing people into a drawing is cool, but the magic part of it felt a bit sketchy. Kohaku states that Hitomi has a special talent for casting the spell to enter the drawing since she needs to touch the heart of the artist. It makes sense for Hitomi to resonate with Aoi’s drawings because the two have a connection, but Hitomi’s practice runs are done with other random paintings. How exactly does that work out?

Hitomi sees colors with everyone else in the painting

I like this line from Hitomi. It’s nice that Aoi’s art gives her the ability to feel more normal with everyone else.

Hitomi remembers her mother leaving

I’d be curious to see how Hitomi’s mother actually felt. Given the circumstances, it actually makes sense for her to resent Hitomi, who seems to have a gift with magic, if she herself had no talent for magic. It could also make sense for Hitomi’s mother to have gone through a situation similar to Hitomi’s, repressing her own magic. Given how passionate Kohaku is about magic, I could definitely see that. Hopefully, the story goes over that too.

Hitomi lets out her frustration

I really expected Aoi to insist that Hitomi did nothing wrong here, but he totally lets her vent. That’s kind of different…

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara Episode 9: A valiant effort

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

Shou offers to take Hitomi out

This…was kind of a weird episode. As always, I like how the episode used its scene to “show” more of what it was doing, but I think maybe the melodrama was a bit much for my taste. Hey, props to Shou for actually making a move, but I’m getting a little tired of watching the rift between him and Asagi. I’m curious to see how their relationship will get resolved, since I find it hard to come up with a solution that doesn’t make Asagi seem like consolation.

Shou consults with Yuito before going out with Hitomi

It’s nice of Shou to come clean with Yuito about going out with Hitomi, but I think this scene is one of the reasons I have a hard time seeing Shou with Asagi in the end. If he truly had some clue about her feelings for him, it feels like he’s being pretty cruel to talk to Yuito about the date thing and not Asagi. Maybe it’s just a “bro” relationship thing with Yuito, but it still seems weird to me.

Shou takes Hitomi to his favorite spot

I think it’s a nice touch that we’re shown so many scene with Hitomi and Shou together, and Shou is looking at Hitomi for most of them. Meanwhile, Hitomi’s usually focused on something else entirely.

The class is curious about Hitomi's confession conversation

I like this scene for injecting a lighthearted moment into the drama. I always appreciate that kind of shift in tone, and this one feels pretty natural.

Yuito messes up at work

I also liked seeing Yuito screw up at work when he hears about how distressed Hitomi is. The episode isn’t super obvious about it, and Chigusa doesn’t tease him for his mistake. It’s a simple scene to show how he feels about Hitomi.

Asagi talks things over with Hitomi

This scene between Asagi and Hitomi also had some good moments. Overall, it’s a painful experience for Asagi, but I do like the fact that she figures out what’s going on between Hitomi and Shou by seeing the picture of Shou’s spot in Hitomi’s phone.

Hitomi responds to Shou

I know it would never happen, but the way Hitomi responds to Shou at the end almost made it sound like she’d agree to go out with him. But I guess there’s no time in the show for something like that. Maybe I was just getting the wrong impression…the translation in this episode was a bit sketchy.

Asagi admits her feelings for Shou to Hitomi

Being Asagi is suffering.

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara Episode 8: Is this show really going to have a happy ending?

Click here to check this post out on my personal website.

Hitomi still needs to take her photo

This series is really fun to watch, since there’s a lot of room for speculation and the episode feels like it’s rewarding me for paying attention. I tend to like that kind of thing. That being said, this episode definitely seemed ominous to me. With the focus on Kohaku’s magic and Shou’s unrequited love it, I’m sensing a spike in drama in our future. Maybe I’m just being paranoid.

Kohaku uses magic for the first time

It’s the little details in this show that tend to capture my attention the most. Even in a minor flashback to explain why Kohaku loves magic, she’s casually destroying parts of the room with her magic.

Kohaku runs an experiment with Yuito and Hitomi

I’m still enjoying seeing how much Kohaku tries to support Hitomi, even if it’s for the sake of science (magic science?). When she proposes the idea that Hitomi subconsciously took her own color away with her magic, it was something that had to be said even if everyone was already thinking it.

Hitomi remembers a book with color from her childhood

I’ll be shocked if Yuito doesn’t turn out to be the person who wrote the picture book from Hitomi’s memories.

Kohaku is determined to send Hitomi back to the future

I’m curious to see what ends up happening with the time magic in this series. The simplest solution is the deterministic continuum, meaning the older Kohaku sends Hitomi back because she already experienced the events of this story with Hitomi. I can always hope there’s more to it, but I recognize that it’s the most logical ending.

Shou wonders whether Hitomi will leave

The parallels between Shou and Asagi are actually interesting. Given that the two having unrequited feelings of love, I’m actually wondering if we’ll get an awkward ending in which Shou kind of “settles”. That might be strange.

Kohaku reverses time on a broken camera

I was happy to see that the whole business with Kohaku’s time magic went in a different direction than I expected it to go. Given how her magic reverts in her experiments, it suggests that the spell that sent Hitomi back to the past will also revert itself.

Granny wonders about the future Kohaku's motives

Kohaku’s time magic in this episode also makes this particular scene pretty loaded. Kohaku’s grandmother suggests that Kohaku doesn’t tell Hitomi how to reverse the spell because she knows that the past Kohaku would figure it out. But if Kohaku’s magic ends up reversing itself, the future Kohaku could just know that a reversal spell isn’t needed. I like this concept of using words of comfort in a seemingly sinister way.