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Old 01-30-2016, 12:24 AM   #26
Doppleganger
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I finished Episode 04 two nights ago.

Spoiler: show
I think the series hype is starting to impact my enjoyment. Episodes 01-03 were so good, I was very fearful I would be disappointed by Episode 04.

I was, but not in the way I expected.

It was a solid episode, although fairly predictable given the director's MO has been to end each episode on a cliff-hanger. Given that, I thought Satoru's "I changed the past!" happiness was a bit over the top, and out-of-character for him. Perhaps it isn't OoC, but I don't know enough about Satoru to say otherwise. My impression was he's made so many Revival-jumps he should be pretty adjusted to changing the past and avoiding death in the present.

I say that because now I feel Satoru is under-developed. We're seeing he has a good relationship with his mother, but his motivation in the past (as referenced by my other post) isn't clear. What is motivating him -

1. Wanting to save his mother?
2. Genuine love for Hinazuki?
3. Concern for Hinazuki and his mother?

Of course, I have to compare this with MLA, the gold standard for a story of this type. Takeru, like Satoru (who I will now refer to as the Russian Bros.) was missing memories. Takeru was however motivated by a very strong, overpowering emotion he didn't understand, which triggered whenever he saw his friends. The readers had more of a clue as to what it was than Takeru did, but Takeru's single-minded resolve made it very clear the whole story what he was fighting for.

Episode 04 didn't really build on Episode 03 much for Satoru's character. Hinazuki is probably full-blown in love with him, after just a week. But I still don't know what Satoru thinks of Hinazuki, or what he thinks of his mother. His development has been flat since Episode 02. We may get a challenge next week,

It makes one wonder about why Satoru is forgetting so much about the past. Was he one of the abductees, and he was just made to forget it? There has to be a purpose behind spamming scenes like the museum where Satoru "coincidentally" met Hinazuki there.

With 30% of the series already put away, I worry if the director will have enough time to convincingly cover Airi, Hiromi and Sachiko's stories. Hinazuki still isn't done and we're entering Episode 05.

I also worry that the director risks stagnating the series by not changing Satoru's objectives enough. To take an example from Steins;Gate, Kyouma had multiple barriers to overcome to undo the fatalistic bad future he'd forced himself into. Each barrier involved a different character and a different problem to solve, Kyouma didn't just spend half the series trying to overcome Nyan Nyan and then spend one episode on the trap, Makise Kurisu and Tyler Durden.

Again, if Boku dake ga Inai Machi were slated for 24 episodes, I think this pace would be fine. But 12? Things need to pick up fast, or else the ending will be rushed and un-satisfying.
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Old 02-01-2016, 10:06 AM   #27
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Episode 03! This post is going to be divided into two parts. First, I'll offer my own thoughts on the episode, largely untouched by others' thoughts or opinions. Then, I'll write a second post after I've taken the time to read through what you guys had to say.

Spoiler: show
Episode 03 was really good. Great, even. I didn't get as excited for it as I did for Episode 02, but the things I had expected to get excited for I still did; and then in addition there were a number of pleasant surprises that I hadn't yet gotten to in the manga.

Now that you've all seen the episode, I can go ahead and say: I got as far as the part where Kayo's mother dunks her head in the icebath. I put the manga down right there, so hurriedly I actually mistook several things about the scene. So now that we are where we are, I am pretty much unspoilered on the future of the manga. And I plan to keep it that way! The story is too good, and I'd rather my first experience be through the gorgeous anime rather than the shabbily-drawn, black-and-white manga.


One thing I'm really enjoying about BokuMachi so far is the ambiguity of who Kayo's killer is. It could be Kayo's mother. It could be Kenya. It could be Yashiro-sensei. It could even be Yuuki-san! We have four prime candidates right now, and there's still the possibility that none of them originally did it.

I say "originally did it" because, I'm getting the Steins;Gate vibe too that I am sure many of you are feeling where, like, Kayo let's say is "cosmically fated to die" and if it isn't one person who kills her then it's another. I'm wondering if that's where this story is headed or not -- Steins;Gate: Elementary School Edition, where the male protagonist has to desperately fight Fate to save the life of a person he cares for.


The speed skating race features another interesting ambiguity of the story's: the nature of Satoru's Revivals. He has a déjà vu moment at the end of the race, and it's left unclear whether he's reliving the same outcomes with different geneses or whether he's reliving everything the same, geneses included. Likewise, it's left unclear whether this is Satoru's first revisit to 1988 or not.

As for the ice skating race itself, it surprised me with how much better it was than in the manga. Nothing was changed, it's just ... animation and color and voice acting really do a lot to bring a scene like this to life, y'know? Hinazuki is adorable, and I'm shipping Satoru x Kayo pretty hard at this point despite the reasons not to.


I love the soundtrack for this series. Kajiura Yuki has really outdone herself. It doesn't have the epic grandeur of a lot of her earlier work, but in most spots it shouldn't -- we're in quiet, sedate 1988 Hokkaido right now, we don't need songs that fit better with a battle royale or an MMORPG gone terribly awry. My favorite track is probably the one that plays towards the end of Episode 02 and again throughout the series, the one with the sweeping strings. (I love strings! ) It hits all of the emotional notes for this series just right, it's something both beautiful and earnest that's also showered in tragedy and sorrow. But pretty much the entire soundtrack is good. It may not all be "I want this on my MP3 player so I can listen to it on repeat!" material, but it's the sort of thing you want from a great soundtrack: to complement the material onscreen without overshadowing it. The music should help to set the tone. Kajiura's soundtrack does so wonderfully.


Yashiro looks much more sinister in the anime version of his confrontation with Satoru than he does in the manga. Whether this is the anime studio making it more obvious that he's the killer or whether it's the anime studio baiting us with a red herring, we'll have to wait and see. Regardless, they're doing the whole "he's in the shadows while the protagonist is in the light" lighting effect thing that you see so, so often in animation when dealing with hero-villain confrontations.

It isn't just the animation that points to Yashiro-sensei as Hinazuki's killer. His interest in the girl, coupled with the fact (as we learn later in the episode) that he's been watching her since May but has done nothing to help the authorities clamp down on Kayo's mother ... all of this seems to point to Yashiro being a pedo who has taken an interest in Kayo. He doesn't want to hand the authorities a victory over Kayo's mother because then, as he tells Satoru, that would mean Kayo is taken away from him. So he just sits and watches. Watches as his adorable pariah of a girl keeps taking beatings from her mother.

Maybe. ^^; We'll have to see! Could all be red herring. There are so many great candidates for Kayo's killer.


Speak of the devil. Kayo's mother. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh my god, Kayo's mother. Yeah. Here's our face of true evil for this series.

Obviously this was the big sad scene of the episode, the first of two that made me tear up. Satoru and the mud-caked mittens ... Satoru and the shed ... Kayo in the shed ... all of it is just so tense and heart-wrenching. And then you hear that simpering evil voice and you see that face and those demonic red eyes and yeah ... every parental instinct in your body kicks in, how could it not!? Poor Kayo.

The part where Satoru confronts Kayo's mother on the source of Kayo's bruises, and she pets Kayo on the head and says, "Go on, Kayo. Tell him" ... ohhhhhh maaaaan. ^^; So, so good (drama-wise), and so, so sad (content-wise). The author does a magnificent job of conveying child abuse in such a short span of time.


Yuuki-san. I'm on Team Satoru with this one: I don't think Yuuki is guilty of any of the child abductions. At the same time, I have to admit the possibility that Satoru might be blinded by his bias -- and that we as his audience might be blinded by his bias too.


When I first saw this scene, I thought that the part with the porn collection was just Yuuki hiding porn from a child's eyes and being embarrassed that a child saw his tastes, generally speaking. But a closer look reveals that some of the titles contain words like 女子校制服 ("Girl-Student School Uniform") and 美少女 ("Beautiful Girl," 少女 girl to be contrasted with woman). They're the sort of terms that the overwhelming majority of Japanese porn collections are going to contain yet at the same time could be used by a criminal investigation to peg Yuuki as a pedophile. Vice versa, because the majority of men reading this manga / watching this show have similarly-titled DVDs or books in their porn collections and because they're then likely to dismiss the evidence as weak and to write Yuuki off as a misunderstood non-pedo, that could very well be the author's intentended trap: it turns out that, lol, Yuuki really is a pedophile and these really were clues that should have been given the serious weight the police gave to them.

Someone told me that in the manga ...

Spoiler: show
... the evidence is a little more damning. One of the videos' titles was ロリータ Lolita. It's missing from the anime version of his collection. This change downplays the evidence against Yuuki as a pedophile with probable cause to abduct children. Whether it's meant to obscure the fact that he really is a pedo (i.e. the manga made it too easy to figure things out), or whether it's meant to bolster the fact that he really isn't and the police misjudged him by his porno stash (i.e. the manga led too many readers on a goose chase), we probably won't know for a while. Regardless, the change is likely deliberate.



They learn pi * diameter = circumference in the 5th grade? O_o In 1980s Japan? O_o; I don't think we learned about that until the 7th grade (1997), and I was in the honors math class one year ahead of the general populace. Maybe I'm just remembering wrong. But I don't think so ... I sure don't think I learned about pi in the 5th grade.


The school lunch fee scene. Not too much to say here other than d'aww Satoru x Kayo ship fodder and lol @ that dumb bitch Misato.


The Christmas tree scene. >w< This was the second scene of the episode that got me to tear up, and it's a much happier (though still tinged with sadness ^^; ) one than the scene with Kayo's mother. I love the part at the very end of it where her voice changes, sounding much less sullen. It's like we're hearing "the real Kayo," like the sullen Kayo we've had up until this point has been a husk of a girl who has had the life beaten out of her by her abusive mother, and now thanks to Satoru the girl is reinvigorated and we get to hear a happy, more lively girl. It's just really, really adorable and every time I've rewatched that part I've teared up. :')


If I had one thing to critique about Episode 03, it would probably be the decision to end the episode the way they did. I get that they had to, that there's no other way you can squeeze a scene like this one in. But ... man if it wouldn't have been better to have just ended the episode with Kayo's final "Baka nano?" and the pan up to the starry sky.

Still, the final scene is obviously exciting for all of its cliffhangeriness and plot twistiness. What could Kenya be telling Yashiro-sensei? What's going on? We'll have to wait and see. This scene pours some fuel onto the Kenya-is-Kayo's-killer fire, but like everything else we've seen up to this point it's too little evidence with which to make any concrete claims.


Circling back around to the top of the episode, let's look at a few curiosities and make some hypotheses. First up, we have the scene where Satoru lists off the 1988 abduction victims -- Nakanishi Aya, Sugita Hiromi, and Hinazuki Kayo. When Satoru mentions Hiromi's name, he then says "Souda Hiromi too." Now here are my questions:
  1. How many kids were murdered? Is it three or is it four? We have three pictures but four names.
  2. When he says "Souda Hiromi too," the camera stays put on Hiromi's picture. Is this because it's the same person? Or is it not? Because don't forget: Hiromi isn't the last name, it's the first name. The only way Sugita and Souda Hiromi can be the same person is if the same student goes by two different last names.
  3. Is Souda another way to read Sugita? Suda would be, but Souda I don't know about. (And the IME doesn't seem to support it, out of dozens of choices for how to write Souda.)
  4. What even is the significance in bringing to our attention that Hiromi has two different last names (or two different readings of the same last name) if that is indeed the case?
Lots of little questions raised by this scene.


Alright, next. The OP credits' visuals. Let's start with the fire. There's a part in the OP where adult Satoru is shown trying to make his way through a building on fire but he's having difficulty because of the fire's intensity. Where is this? When is this? It looks like it'd have to be 2006ish, given Satoru's physical resemblance to his 2006 self. It's hard to tell whether the location is a school, an apartment complex, or somewhere else, but regardless it's the interior of a building with multiple adjacent rooms. Could it be the school in Hokkaido? Might he visit it in the future to try and unearth clues? I don't think it's the apartment complex he lives in that we saw in Episode 01, because you can clearly see a painting hanging on the wall and a vase sitting on a table to his left while he's standing in what clearly looks like a long hallway. This better suits a building like a school or a hospital, and categorically doesn't suit either his 2006 apartment's exterior or interior. But who knows. Could be someone else's apartment building. (Airi's? Future Kayo's? Future somebody else's? The killer's, maybe?) We'll have to see.

Not pictured, let's move on to the part where he's grabbing his head under the bridge. What's up with that? It lends credence to multiple theories I've heard. A friend of mine believes that Satoru isn't going to be able to get a happy ending (or at least not easily) and so we see him under the bridge circa 2006 holding his head in frenzied despair as he racks his brains trying to come up with a solution to the problem of everyone's deaths.


Also not pictured, the part with all of the alarm clocks. This could simply suggest time travel ... or it could suggest something much more Steins;Gatesian. Perhaps Satoru starts noting the times that various events occur. For example, say Kayo is strangled on 1988/03/01 at 10:38pm in one timeline but is drowned on 1988/03/05 at 3:11am in another timeline, is hit by a truck on 1989/08/02 at 6:53pm in another timeline, and so on. Say if Satoru isn't at the city rec center at 5:53pm on June 1, 1993 to prevent a burglary then it means his mother will die in 2006 due to butterfly effect reasons. We start going down the Steins;Gate rabbit hole with Satoru desperately trying to carve the path towards a future in which everyone survives and lives happily ever after.

Finally (for now! ), we have the scene pictured above: the part where Satoru is shown running on a rooftop and then gets shot. If you freeze it on a specific frame (which I found out by sheer dumb luck of when I took my screencap O-o), you can clearly see the shooter reflected in Satoru's lenses. It's the killer from Episode 01. And he looks ... an awful lot like a grizzled, older Yashiro-sensei. Sooooooo ... we'll have to see! ^^; Is Yashiro-sensei the killer overall? Is he just the killer in one version of the events? Is he never the killer and I'm barking up the wrong tree? Time will tell.

When Satoru is shot, the bullet would appear to hit him square between the eyes (given the destruction to the glasses), which would suggest insta-death via headshot. Then as if that weren't enough, he goes toppling over the edge of the building, hurtling towards the asphalt below. Soo ... does he die? Is that possibly a key to all of this? "In order for Kayo, my mother, and everyone else to live, I have to die"? Is that it? We'll have to see. I hope that's not the answer because I really want to see a happy ending for adult Satoru x adult Kayo.
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Old 02-01-2016, 10:49 AM   #28
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Alright. Now to reply to some of your guys' thoughts on Episode 03. I don't have much time right now, so I'll have to be selective. I will try to respond to more later.

Spoiler: show
I could've sworn I read one of you say something about the foxes the other day, but I can't seem to find any evidence of that discussion in the thread now. Weird. ... Well screw it! I'm still talking about the foxes!

I thought the fox scene was cute. IIRC somebody originally suggested that Satoru could not have experienced an event like this all by himself way back when. I forget the specifics you offered for why you couldn't take the scene as presented, but I can at least reply to the general assertion and say that I don't think you're right. I'm perfectly fine with Satoru's claim being true as presented, with no additional details needed. In original 1988, he came to this mountain on this night. In original 1988, he did so all by himself. In original 1988, suddenly two foxes showed up out of nowhere and did the most remarkable thing: they ran around him in a circle for 30 to 60 seconds, for no apparent reason, and then ran back off into the woods. He told kids at school the next day but nobody believed him. Now we fast forward by eighteen years. He probably didn't remember the exact day it happened, but he never forgot the event because it was a moment of childhood magic. Now he's back in 1988 and he realizes that the fox thing happened this night. (Maybe because he remembers it happened the same night somebody did or said something else. Maybe because he remembers it happening x many days before his birthday. Who knows.) So he decides to take Hinazuki with him this time because a) it's a magical moment that b) he wants to share with her because c) she's a lonely, neglected girl who could use something like this and d) he feels more complete now that he got to share this moment with somebody else.

Really wish I could find your post so I could respond more specifically to what you took issue with. Oh well. ^^; Maybe it's for the best since I thought this scene was adorable and wonderful and I was all "Hmph! >(" when you said you didn't like it.


A little word on manga spoilers. With the exception of the one iota of information Doppel got spoiled on that he didn't want to get spoiled on, the anime has already shown everything I read when I skimmed through Vol 1 and the first half of Vol 2 several weeks ago. So as far as my posts go, going forward they ought to be 99% spoiler-free. (The 1% accounts for hypotheses formed based on the later volumes' cover art, which I have seen.)

If it's any consolation, the spoiler that you didn't want to be spoiled on, Doppel, shows up originally in the fourth chapter of the manga. (Relevant sample pictured above.) I approve of the anime team's decision to withhold this information from viewers, as it does make the twist into a proper twist and allows for it to be much more exciting. But just know: manga readers knew {spoiler} from even before Satoru returned to 1988. Heck: from even before his mother got murdered! The information is delivered that early.


Midgeorge notes that the OP credits' juxtaposition of Airi, Kayo, and Satoru's mother in this one frame (see above) indicates that Satoru has to pick one to two people to save in any given timeline but that he refuses to accept this, wants to save all three of them, and that formulates the basis of our Steins;Gate-flavored story. A friend of mine in town mentioned this as well, though he specifically settled on the "pick two, sacrifice one" model rather than allowing for the "pick one, sacrifice two" model as well.

I question whether Satoru's attachment to Airi is strong enough yet that he would keep rewinding over and over again if he managed an otherwise Good End where both Kayo and his mother survive. I feel like we need Satoru to return to the present (whether it's a motherless one or a Kayoless one) and develop more attachment to Airi before we can really get going on this "all three of them must survive" expedition. Then again, Satoru has been presented as being a Hero of Justice™ and whatnot, so like ... Airi's pure heartedness may be all it takes for Satoru to refuse a future in which she doesn't make it.


Some people are speculating that Satoru's déjà vu with the ice skating race indicates this isn't his first revisit to 1988. I respectfully disagree. I'll admit we don't have enough facts to go off of concretely yet, but my position is that we are witnessing Satoru's first revisit to February 1988. When he remembers what happened in the race last time, I think he's simply recalling what happened in his original childhood experience in 1988. I think the scene is meant to convey to the reader/viewer that in some ways Satoru hasn't changed even after 18 years.

Furthermore, I think the author may be sowing the seeds for a psychological thesis that people's personalities/identities are fundamentally the same across their lifespans. While people are undoubtedly shaped by their life experiences, the author may wish to argue that age has little or nothing to do with who we are as people and how we will react to certain situations.

As for why the author would want to argue this position of human psychology, I think that this may end up being something used to justify the Satoru x Kayo romantic pairing. Because it's clear that Kayo has a crush on Satoru. And it's clear that Satoru can't help but to be a little smitten by the totes adorbs Kayo himself. Yet it's just as clear, both in universe to 29-year old Satoru and out of universe to everyone watching the show, that there are moral quandaries involved when a 29-year old time traveler tries to be with a 10-year old girl. Some people have tried to answer this problem by supposing Kayo is a fellow time traveler. I've offered an alternative hypothesis at lunch that perhaps Satoru will "sync up" with his past self the longer he spends in 1988, slowly becoming his 10-year old self as far as memories and mental abilities are concerned. There are lots of possibilities! But the one I'm thinking is likeliest right now is that the author isn't going to accept axiomatically that 29-year old x 10-year old is creepy and that he is instead going to explore how it could possibly be not creepy. And one way you could try to do it, while it may not be persuasive to you or to many other people, is to try and say, "Look, people are the same on the inside whether they're 10, 30, or 75." Whether he argues it or not, we'll have to see. And whether he does so convincingly or not, we'll have to see. But I'm thinking he's going to try for it, and I think we're seeing the seeds for this in scenes like the ice skating race. "Satoru hasn't changed in 18 years. He's the same person all this time later. The same personality traits that led him to throw the race in 1988 have led him to throw it again in revisited 1988."


I don't think the guy we see is Kayo's father. Pretty sure Kayo's mother is a single mother and that that guy is just her boyfriend / lover. They look like a typical crackhead couple.


The language Satoru uses when he thinks Misato is the culprit isn't that coarse. I mean, it's plenty coarse, but it's not like ... F-bomb vulgar or anything. てめーの仕業だろ…コラ. "This is probably your doing ... C'mon," where the "your" (or "you" + の) is てめー temee (teh-MAY), a crude masculine form of てまえ / 手前 temae, itself a crude way to address the 2nd person. Its cousin is おまえ / お前 omae. I'd say in the past they were probably closer together in terms of crudeness but omae is used so often now, many times lovingly, that I think the gap has widened between it and temae. You only hear temae when the speaker dislikes the 2nd person.
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Old 02-01-2016, 10:59 AM   #29
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Spoiler: show
If the teacher really is the killer, I wonder if he only targets individuals who might have abuse going on in their family? He has mentioned he noticed the Kayo abuse early on, so perhaps that motivated him to target them?
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:18 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
If ______ really is the killer,
Spoiler: show
I wonder if he only targets individuals who might have abuse going on in their family? He has mentioned he noticed the Kayo abuse early on, so perhaps that motivated him to target them?
Who knows. We'll have to see. The story is doing a fun job of giving us loads to speculate on while at the same time not giving away the entire plot all in one go either. We've wanted a mystery series again for a long time and now we've finally got one and it's great.

Also, while I've got you here ... I know the posts are both really long, but direct your attention to the second post, paragraph that goes with the ice skating picture. I want to discuss this topic with you since I see it's been a cause of concern for you in a lot of your posts:

Spoiler: show
The whole Satoru x Kayo thing. My friend at lunch is similarly disturbed. For whatever inexplicable reasons, I have not been so far. I can cerebrally appreciate that we have a 29-year old pairing off with a 10-year old and wtf eww so creepy, but whenever I watch the show I just don't get that vibe at all. It feels top to bottom like 5th grader x 5th grader and I am d'awwing left and right at these two as they fall in love with one another. So yeah. How do we reconcile the adorableness of Kayo in love with the moral quandaries presented by Satoru's status as both 29-year old and time traveler?

I'm not going to repeat myself verbatim from the arguments I provided in Ep03 Post 2. They're there for you to read them. But I'll just briefly reiterate, I think one possibility the author is going to try for is, "People are fundamentally the same regardless of age" and he's going to somehow argue for SatoKayo being okay so long as they're both the same calendar age physically.

Another possibility, raised by my friend at lunch, is that Satoru is going to be tormented by the ethical quandary -- he falls in love with Kayo but he knows it's wrong to pursue anything because eww fucking hell you're 29 mate -- and that he's going to have to re-live the next 18 years waiting patiently for the two of them to catch back up with one another -- and that's why he's so tormented, it's the agonizing wait of waiting 18 years to be together with the one you love. Again, not really sure if that's where the story will go. (Kinda doubt it?) And not really sure if it's satisfactory to all viewers either.

A third possibility gets its legs from what you and Yuki have observed. So far, the manga's had occasional signs of "the glorious otaku" or "the Hero NEET." Things like the protagonist being an aspiring mangaka. Things like this aspiring mangaka having a superpower. Things like this aspiring mangaka with superpowers being a better ice skater than the boy who is #1 on the ice hockey team. So on and so forth. The signs haven't been too numerous, as you noted to Yuki in one of your Ep03 posts, but they're there. And don't forget -- that all this time, hovering in the background, we have the underlying theme of "write what you know" that the one manga editorial dude was telling Satoru in Chapter 01. So like ... okay, point made, "This manga may be one giant exercise in writing yet another Glorious Otaku tale." Fine. We get it. But where am I going with it more specifically?

... Well ... the third possibilty for Satoru x Kayo is, what if there is no justification offered? What if the author just straight up says, "29-year old Satoru x 10-year old Kayo: I ship it " ? What then? I don't know anything about this guy. I don't know whether he's a lolikon or not, whether he believes in adolescent-adult relations, etc. What if he does? What then? Then the story becomes Steins;Gate: Lolikon Edition" and becomes a fan favorite of all the lolikons while all of the people left crying over Usagi Drop's ending are left crying again over this one's. ^^;

Honestly, I have no idea where the story is going to go from here. I have no idea whether I am reliving Usagi Drop all over again, pouring so much emotional investment into a story that is going to end up betraying me or not. Am I going to be left here in April with egg on my face as you all point and laugh at how much I said BokuMachi was Anime of the Year? Or are we all going to be standing arm in arm together as we proclaim this story to be one of the all time greatest? Who knows. I certainly don't. Not yet, anyway. We won't know until we get there.

Until then, all I can say is:
  • I think it's undeniable that Kayo has fallen in love with Satoru.
  • I think it's undeniable that Satoru is falling in love with Kayo.
  • I think they're both pretty adorable being in love.
  • And I think the best possible Good End would be one where Satoru is back in 2006 and is happily married to a very-much-alive Kayo.
All I need of the author is to somehow get me / preserve me this ... while also delivering a satisfying reason for why we shouldn't be oh so totally creeped out by the fact that a 29-year old from the future is enabling a 10-year old girl from the past to fall in love with him.
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Old 02-01-2016, 12:01 PM   #31
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@Talon

Spoiler: show
It's cultural resistance due to the context of exploitation.

When I've described to people why I disliked the idea of marrying someone younger than me with similar interests, I've pointed out that it's largely narcissism and proper relationships should strive toward being as least narcissistic as possible. It takes a lot of exploration and interaction to determine if an interest is genuine, and not an artifact created by by the relationship.

What do I mean by this?

Young people are impressionable and molded by powerful voices of persuasion. The media, teachers, parents - anyone with authority can program someone with their ideas. If you take a young girl, say age 13 or something, and basically program her into your 'ideal' wife, her opinions and views end up nothing more than a reflection of your own. You don't love this individual girl, you love yourself.

But does that mean opposites attract? Not necessarily, no - it's very hard to have a stable relationship with someone who shares nothing in common with you, but one could say that if this relationship ever forms, it's the most likely to be genuine. So of the spectrum of pairings in the world, there's going to be some overlap of interest. The trick is to figuring out if the interest was arrived at organically, or was programmed in due to narcissistic tendencies.

Really, someone who is mentally 29 and someone who is mentally 10, both are biologically 10, how is this different from two people who are biologically male, but mentally transgender and have a female romantic relationship? It's not, and from how Satoru acts you wouldn't know he's mentally age 29. But there's the culturally-loaded contextual fear of paternalistic programming, or exploitation, so on face value it's tougher to accept. Satoru has all the intelligence of an adult, and that's what he's using to manipulate Kayo.

Do I find it creepy? Yes...but on an instinctive level. Cerebrally I say "no" and just get used to it. Generalized more broadly, I can say I dislike dishonestly or manipulation like this applied to anything. Cons where someone loses all his life savings, like in A Raisin in the Sun? Same breed of distaste with antipathy thrown in.

But that isn't what I was focused on, as seen here here. Satoru isn't in the past to fall in love with Hinazuki. If anything, I find the dishonest is because he's making Hinazuki fall in love with him without having the reciprocal feelings for her, so he intends to backstab her eventually by jumping back into the future (or you could see her as a means to an end, saving his mother). But Satoru's motivation isn't clear yet. The anime hasn't established firmly why he is in the past. It's only suggested it (that his primary target is his mother).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87
I'm not going to repeat myself verbatim from the arguments I provided in Ep03 Post 2. They're there for you to read them. But I'll just briefly reiterate, I think one possibility the author is going to try for is, "People are fundamentally the same regardless of age" and he's going to somehow argue for SatoKayo being okay so long as they're both the same calendar age physically.
This is the only way it's acceptable for age 29 Kayo x Satoru to get together. Because otherwise, Kayo in 2006 is going to be a different person from Kayo in 1988.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87
(1) I think it's undeniable that Kayo has fallen in love with Satoru.
(2) I think it's undeniable that Satoru is falling in love with Kayo.
(3) I think they're both pretty adorable being in love.
(4) And I think the best possible Good End would be one where Satoru is back in 2006 and is happily married to a very-much-alive Kayo.
I'll take you to debate on #2. While #1 is clear as day, #2 isn't apparent at all, given we haven't had any Satoru monologue to reflect on the philosophy of this. Most of his monologue is commentary on what he's observing, and what isn't is reflection on the past. The moral philosophy isn't there.

There have been some cute scenes, and jokes related to grandpa Satoru and granddaughter Kayo, but I have not seen anything where Satoru has thought he wants to protect Kayo for her own sake, and not as a means to an end (changing the future). It feels like a one-sided romance at this point, and that's what upsets me the most.
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:48 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
@Talon
Spoiler tagging my reply to your latest post. Safe for anyone to click who is through Episode 04.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
Satoru isn't in the past to fall in love with Hinazuki. If anything, I find the dishonest is because he's making Hinazuki fall in love with him without having the reciprocal feelings for her, so he intends to backstab her eventually by jumping back into the future (or you could see her as a means to an end, saving his mother). But Satoru's motivation isn't clear yet. The anime hasn't established firmly why he is in the past. It's only suggested it (that his primary target is his mother).
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Time out. I disagree with so much that's said here, so let's back up the train a station or two, shall we? ^^;

First off, I think you and I fundamentally disagree on what role Satoru's mother's death plays in the story. You're coming at it as Satoru's prime motivator now that he's back in 1988, the thing he is 100% here to prevent, the thing he cares more about than anything else in the world. (And the show would support you in this hypothesis, I would argue ... only up through Episode 01. The moment you finish Episode 02, your hypothesis is rejected. But we'll get to that in a second.) Me, I look at Sachiko's death through the lenses of Episodes 02 thru 04; and in hindsight, I say it's little more than a macguffin. "I gotta find a way to justify why an amnestic 29-year old would travel back to 1988 to save a loli he will soon come to care about but whom he didn't care enough about originally to go back and rescue." So we start off with a death he does care about -- his own mother's -- to get him to go back to 1988 in the first place. And once we have him there, it's easy to have him fall in love with Kayo (or even the zero-romance, 100%-friendship equivalent) and have his mother's death take a backseat to Kayo's.

Second, you claim his motivation isn't clear. The Talon doth protest! I'd say Satoru's motivations are plenty clear. While we initially had the macguffin of "Gotta save Mom," now we have the arrow of "Gotta save Kayo" flying its straight course. Satoru has no proof that Kayo's death has any connection with his mother's other than that Revival has never let him down before (i.e. Revival has never taken him farther back in time than he needed to be to prevent the relevant death Revival was helping/forcing him to prevent), yet he's poured himself into preventing her death 100%. 100%. When he finds out Kayo didn't come to school the next day (Ep04), the look on his face isn't, "OMG NO: WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN TO MOM NOW?" It's, "OMG NO: THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING I MUST SAVE KAYO." Kayo is more than a means to an end for Satoru at this point. He isn't intent on saving Kayo just because he thinks it'll help him save his mom. Satoru wants to save Kayo because he wants Kayo specifically to live. I'll stop short of saying, "To hell with his mother!", but it's clear to me that Satoru's #1 drive right now is trying to prevent Kayo's death.

Third, you claim that the anime hasn't firmly established why Satoru's in the past. While I'd say you're technically correct, I'm going to slam the gavel down on you by saying you're only half-right: we can deduce which of two and only two reasons he's back in the past. The only two possibilities, sayeth Occam, are:
  1. he's back to save his mother; and in order to save his mother, he had to go back to 1988
  2. he's back to save Kayo; and in order to save Kayo, it was necessary to have him live a life all the way to the age of 29 first
It's one or the other, and I'll give you that it could well be the second one and that the anime baited us all to accept on prima facie evidence that it was really the first one. But c'mon, Doppel. While it could teeeeeeeeeeeechnically be any other of an infinite number of possibilities, realistically it can only be one of these two reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
I'll take you to debate on #2. While #1 is clear as day, #2 isn't apparent at all.
WHAT.

WHAT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
Given we haven't had any Satoru monologue to reflect on the philosophy of this.
WHAT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
Most of his monologue is commentary on what he's observing, and what isn't is reflection on the past. The moral philosophy isn't there.
How many times has he reacted, "C'mon, man! You're 29!" And what on EARTH do you think he means each time he says this!?

It's not just that gag either, Doppel. All the blushes. All the boyfriend-esque remarks. ("Your face is pretty today.") All the boyfriend-esque behaviors. (Wearing her scarf to school the next day rather than simply stowing it away in his backpack to return to her later when no one was looking.) C'mon, Doppel. I know I'm pulling quite a bit from Episode 04 here, but don't make me rewind back to Episode 03 to prove you wrong. The evidence was quite clear even in 03 that Satoru has started to develop feelings for Hinazuki, even if he cerebrally knows it's wrong. That's why we have these constant inner monologues of his where he asks himself to quit it -- because the heart wants what the mind knows it shouldn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
There have been some cute scenes, and jokes related to grandpa Satoru and granddaughter Kayo, but I have not seen anything where Satoru has thought he wants to protect Kayo for her own sake, and not as a means to an end (changing the future). It feels like a one-sided romance at this point, and that's what upsets me the most.
But that you were where I am! Because I am standing on the opposite face of the Earth from you right now, and that's where you say you want to be. I can't disagree with you enough: the anime has totally provided evidence, heaps of it, that Satoru has become single-mindedly invested in saving Kayo for Kayo's sake rather than rescuing her merely as a means to an end. (The saving of his own mother's life.) The romance doesn't even come close to feeling one-sided by Episode 04's end. It's really, really abundantly clear that 1) Kayo has head over heels fallen for white knight Satoru and 2) Satoru is likewise starting to fall in love with Kayo despite his mind telling him not to.

Now whether this is a better pole to be at or not, I don't know. Because over here on my side of the globe, I have to contend with the problem of a 29-year old man falling in love with a 10-year old girl. And I have to pray to the anime gods that the author pulls off some amazing mental jujitsu to get us to a non-creepy ending where the two are happily married and grown up and maybe even have a family. Because unless the author manages that, this is going to be goddamn Genji all over again. "Adult male takes interest in young girl. Girl is too young. Adult male decides he will cultivate her into his ideal woman and will wait to do anything until she is of age. Girl becomes of age. Adult male makes his move." C'moooooooooooooon, Author Man. Pleaaaaaaaaaaase don't make this "Steins;Gate meets The Tale of Genji."
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:41 PM   #33
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@Talon

Have you seen Episode 04 yet?

Spoiler: show

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Me, I look at Sachiko's death through the lenses of Episodes 02 thru 04; and in hindsight, I say it's little more than a macguffin. "I gotta find a way to justify why an amnestic 29-year old would travel back to 1988 to save a loli he will soon come to care about but whom he didn't care enough about originally to go back and rescue." So we start off with a death he does care about -- his own mother's -- to get him to go back to 1988 in the first place. And once we have him there, it's easy to have him fall in love with Kayo (or even the zero-romance, 100%-friendship equivalent) and have his mother's death take a backseat to Kayo's.
The anime has focused on Satoru's pursuit of Hinazuki thus far, and I feel like you're treating that focus as evidence it's taken priority over his mother. I don't think so - he sees his mother every day at home, scenes not depicted by the anime with frequency after Episode 02. When he first jumped into the past, the person he looked for was his mother, whereby he cried upon seeing her alive.

He didn't focus his attention to Hinazuki until a day later, and was kind of pushed into it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Second, you claim his motivation isn't clear. The Talon doth protest! I'd say Satoru's motivations are plenty clear. While we initially had the macguffin of "Gotta save Mom," now we have the arrow of "Gotta save Kayo" flying its straight course. Satoru has no proof that Kayo's death has any connection with his mother's other than that Revival has never let him down before (i.e. Revival has never taken him farther back in time than he needed to be to prevent the relevant death Revival was helping/forcing him to prevent), yet he's poured himself into preventing her death 100%. 100%. When he finds out Kayo didn't come to school the next day (Ep04), the look on his face isn't, "OMG NO: WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN TO MOM NOW?" It's, "OMG NO: THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING I MUST SAVE KAYO." Kayo is more than a means to an end for Satoru at this point. He isn't intent on saving Kayo just because he thinks it'll help him save his mom. Satoru wants to save Kayo because he wants Kayo specifically to live. I'll stop short of saying, "To hell with his mother!", but it's clear to me that Satoru's #1 drive right now is trying to prevent Kayo's death.
His motivation was clear as of Episode 02:








One of the major things people criticize Muv-Luv Alternative about is Takeru repeating himself. He's constantly reaffirming what he's fighting for - he just doesn't say it at the start of MLA, and then expects the reader to remember it throughout the novel. He's constantly giving the reader and earful and a lot of people found it annoying.

But the counter-point to this is the reader didn't get confused on his motivations, which is the main criticism I have of Episode 03+. The only reason you can interpret the blushing and cute embarrassment as evidence of romantic progression is because Satoru isn't constantly linking back how these actions are relevant to his goals.

I'm open for Satoru's motivations changing. But from Episode 03+ I don't know what he thinks anymore. He hasn't blogged about his feelings in two episodes. Is he still 100% there to save his mother? Does he now have feelings for Hinazuki and it's causing his resolve to waver? I don't know. He doesn't talk about it...at all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
How many times has he reacted, "C'mon, man! You're 29!" And what on EARTH do you think he means each time he says this!?

It's not just that gag either, Doppel. All the blushes. All the boyfriend-esque remarks. ("Your face is pretty today.") All the boyfriend-esque behaviors. (Wearing her scarf to school the next day rather than simply stowing it away in his backpack to return to her later when no one was looking.) C'mon, Doppel. I know I'm pulling quite a bit from Episode 04 here, but don't make me rewind back to Episode 03 to prove you wrong. The evidence was quite clear even in 03 that Satoru has started to develop feelings for Hinazuki, even if he cerebrally knows it's wrong. That's why we have these constant inner monologues of his where he asks himself to quit it -- because the heart wants what the mind knows it shouldn't.
You're doing what I did for Natsu no Arashi, where I pointed out all the suggestive hints of romance and you demanded concrete evidence of development. Compliments, blushing, hand-holding and other symptoms of twitterpation are not substitutes for internal monologues like "I love Hinazuki". We the audience have access to Satoru's mind, and he hasn't uttered anything of the sort.

I would think that once we know the identity of Hinazuki's present, perhaps a change might be more apparent in Satoru, but as of Episode 04 he's completely using her. The romance isn't reciprocal: Hinazuki has fallen for Satoru, Satoru is using her as a means to change the future.

Quote:
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But that you were where I am! Because I am standing on the opposite face of the Earth from you right now, and that's where you say you want to be. I can't disagree with you enough: the anime has totally provided evidence, heaps of it, that Satoru has become single-mindedly invested in saving Kayo for Kayo's sake rather than rescuing her merely as a means to an end. (The saving of his own mother's life.) The romance doesn't even come close to feeling one-sided by Episode 04's end. It's really, really abundantly clear that 1) Kayo has head over heels fallen for white knight Satoru and 2) Satoru is likewise starting to fall in love with Kayo despite his mind telling him not to.
I don't know what to say, except I'll see you in Episode 05.


Reeeally hoping LBC/BBB weigh on on this one. They've also played MLA so I feel like they can understand my perspective.
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Old 02-02-2016, 04:48 PM   #34
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>OP

Just noting that I brought up the "shooter being reflected in Satoru's glasses" before. Simply didn't bother saving/taking the screencap myself. XP

>Satoru x Kayo

I don't really have an opinion on this so far. As we haven't seen much of (older) Satoru's own thoughts on the developing relationship, I've just been taking it at face value and cerebrally appreciating the cute moments. I don't necessarily think of it in terms of romance; I'm just glad to see Kayo smiling and being able to open up to someone. Will let the author worry about it when the time comes to face ramifications. Either way I'm not too concerned at the moment, especially since I read a slight spoiler (not really one, more like a vague warning) regarding the pairing. Basically if you ship the two, then

Spoiler: show
don't get your hopes up.


That's all I know, so take it as you will.

In a way I agree with Dopple that I still think Satoru is being very shortsighted in his goals. He only focuses on one thing at a time, and for an aspiring manga writer, he seems to be incredibly lacking in genre-savviness. I also felt he was being far too exuberant over his "success" at the end of 04, and was waiting for the inevitable cliffhanger.

Personally, I suspected that

Spoiler: show
Misato might actually turn out to be the first victim this time in a surprise twist. I do think she might actually have a crush on Satoru based on their interaction, and part of her ploy to get Kayo in trouble was out of jealousy.

I also wonder whether Satoru's sense of déjà vu at the museum points to this not being his first time back in 1988. Guess we'll have to wait and see.
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:33 PM   #35
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Can Satoru use Revival at will, basically what Kyouma did, or is he not really in control of it?
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:32 AM   #36
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Episode 04:

Spoiler: show
The fourth episode of Boku dake ga Inai Machi brings us to the harrowing climax we've been waiting for since Episode 01: Satoru reaching the day in 1988 on which Hinazuki Kayo died. For me, the episode was this weird Schrödinger's cat of both being less exciting at times than Episodes 02 or 03 were but at the same time being relentlessly tense (and thus exciting) the entire time. Literally on the edge of my seat, I spent the entire second half of the episode wondering if/when we were going to be shown that Hinazuki had indeed lived or died.


Needless to say if you've already seen it, the end of Episode 04 is just gut wrenching. That adorable girl ... that adorable mittened good-bye wave ... that promise that will never be fulfilled ... A tidal wave of emotions washes over you, and all you can think is, "C'mon, Satoru: you've gotta go back in time again and fix this."


So why did Kayo die? And how did she die? Who killed her?

My friend at lunch hypothesizes that it's the mother. For now he rejects the Steins;Gate idea that the killer can be different every time. He believes it's always going to be the mother, and that the only circumstances which might change are the place and time. At the very least, he points to the mother as the probable culprit in first pass(?)-Revisited 1988.

I agree with him. (Maybe. See very bottom of post for another hypothesis!) As he points out, the animation team goes and shows that the life has utterly left Kayo's mother's eyes whenever we see her on screen following the incident with Satoru's mother. Her eyes are blank, hollow. She walks like an automaton. The implication with her heavy makeup and nightly sojourns is that she prostitutes herself to make ends meet, and prostitution's a pretty classic case of the woman being the one in the relationship who feels powerless (with respect to Fate, not necessarily with respect to the client), who feels like she has no escape, no other alternatives, that she's stuck between the rock of annihilation and the hard place of selling her body. My friend notes, "Kayo was the one situation she felt she had any control over." That's what the beatings are: subconscious reaffirmations that she (Kayo's mother) is the one in control. She takes her frustrations out on a little girl who can't fight back, in part because the little girl is the only person in this woman's life who can't fight back. She can't very well beat her neighbors. She can't very well beat her boyfriend. But her 10-year old daughter ... her, she can beat. So she beats her. She's "in control." But then Sachiko snatches that away from her and suddenly life's a shithole again, an existence in which Kayo's mother lacks absolutely any control at all. Even this snotty-nosed brat Satoru has more control over her life than she does. She feels humiliated. Robbed. Defeated.


And that's the thing: Satoru's plan very likely backfired. In trying so hard, so aggressively to save Hinazuki, he clumsily pushed Kayo's mother into killing her daughter. The shouting loudly at night so that everyone could hear him ... the frequent early-morning visitations ... Satoru appoints himself CPS, and in doing so he pushes the mother to resent Kayo even more than before. When Kayo stays up late at night to finish Satoru's birthday present, the mother probably walked in. "What are you doing!? GET YOUR ASS TO BED RIGHT THIS MINUTE!" Kayo, likely emboldened in recent days by Satoru and certainly in love with him, talks back. "No. I'm going to finish this and then I'm going to bed." The mother thinks, "What!? HOW DARE SHE! Kayo talks back to ME!? I'll show her!" She readies to beat the ever-loving shit out of her daughter. And then she spies what Kayo is working on. And she realizes ... it's a gift for the brat. He did this. He did this to her. She flies into another one of her "PERVERTED CHILDREN! " rages and ...!

If Satoru hadn't been so blunt in his efforts to save Hinazuki, she'd probably still be alive. But he was too strong. The invitation to his birthday party was already risky. But then he invites her on a date to the museum. And then he camps outside their house each morning to escort her to school. He's doing too much. In his efforts to scare away a predator outside the home, he unwittingly drives the one person best motivated to kill Kayo to the deed -- her own abusive mother.


Alright, shifting gears. Let's talk time travel.

With Episode 03, several of you advanced the theory that this isn't Satoru's first revisit to 1988. I acknowledged you could be right but I disagreed with your position. Well, I've gotta say ... Episode 04 certainly bolstered the case for your argument. ^^; The visit to the museum is principal among the episode's many scenes in which Satoru experiences déjà vu. While many of the episode's other scenes credit the memories to his first (and presumed only) time in 1988 as a boy, the museum makes it seem like maaaaybe this isn't the first time Satoru's been back to 1988 and tried to save Hinazuki.

That stated, it's still not clear whether you guys are right or not either. The evidence we have is vague. And it can be used to support several hypotheses, not just one. For example, one hypothesis my friend at lunch raised was that the reason Satoru is having these weird memories is because as he changes the past, his very own brain is being rewritten Back to the Future style. Remember how when Marty made changes that ruled out his own existence he began to disappear? It's similar, my friend hypothesizes. Because there can only be one past, with one 1988 Satoru in it, any changes 2006 Satoru makes to the past then impact his very own existence -- including his memories. That's why everything gives him so much déjà vu -- because he has already done it before (in a manner of speaking), because his brain is being rewritten to match what we'd expect of someone who came to 2006 from a 1988 in which these changes took place.

To be fair, my friend's primary hypothesis is your guys', that we're either looking at some sort of temporal feedback loop (and so Satoru's perpetually stuck in a 1988-to-2006 eighteen-year cycle) or else we're looking at this not being his first revisit to 1988 and something weird is happening to his memories that makes him forget this fact every time he goes back. But for now, nothing is concretely clear. We still need more evidence before we can rule out many of the theories floating around right now.


Let's talk about Kayo's mother -- or more specifically, her animation. I was really surprised by just how different she looked in this episode compared with last time. It was almost like they had completely different character designs for the face. It makes me wonder, are there two different animation teams under the same roof working on this project, and they take turns each week with who animates what? Maybe. Guess we won't find out until we have more episodes under our belt. But Kayo's mother looked a lot less demonic and realistic-faced in this episode, a lot anime-ey-er and more like the other humans we see in the show. Whether the change is a welcome one or not is a matter of opinion. I prefer what we had in Episode 03, to be honest, but that opinion might change as time goes on. Who knows.


How about Kayo in love? Oh man is this girl smitten. d'aww Whether you side with me or Doppel in how you interpret the situation between Satoru and Kayo, I think everyone can agree that Kayo has amorous feelings towards Satoru at this point. We'll have to see how and where this goes, but Kayo's ridiculously adorable so I'm excited for a good, well-thought-out ending. Don't let me down, author man!


Circling back to animation, can I just say how much I am loving A-1 Pictures production values? Holy cow, this anime is gorgeous. I love it when a great story gets a great animation budget, and so far that's what's shaping up to be the case with BokuMachi. All of the key frames are exquisite, and even the throwaways aren't too shabby.


Quick note here: I don't know why CrunchyRoll translated this part the way they did but I am 99.9% certain they got it wrong. ^^; を being the direct object marker and が the subject marker, it isn't the polar bear who ate the sensei: it's the sensei who ate the polar bear. Both versions of the joke work -- in the one, you have the teacher-hating student who has the teacher get eaten by a bear; and in the second, you have the teacher-hating student who thinks the sensei so monstrous he eats polar bears for breakfast -- but I'm just surprised CR assigned the を and が to the wrong parties. (And fwiw, it's not the verb changing things up either: the verb is the super grammatically simple 食べる, straight up "to eat." Not "to be eaten by," not "to be made to eat," no shenanigans like that. Just plain "eats.")


While the anxiously-anticipated gut punch at the end of the episode is arguably the biggest moment of the episode, for me one of the other biggest (and possibly the biggest overall) was the montage the night of March 1, where they showed all of the probable killers and where they were at the time. You've got Yuuki-san on the riverbank, and then his father picks him up (HOORAY, PARTIAL ALIBI!) and takes him home. You've got Kayo's mother walking to the red light district. You've got her lover boozing it up in a bar where he's witnessed by the bartender and other patrons. You've got Kenya at home in the backyard, kicking a soccer ball. And you've got the sensei at his desk, grading homework. Everyone had an audience-vetted alibi on the night of March 1. The animation during this scene, the music, the pacing ... all of it, it was just so perfect. A really tense scene that felt magical, and once Kayo's survival was confirmed became magical, for being "the night where everybody lives/wins/nobody dies or kills another."


So where do we go from here?

One question I have is, will Satoru immediately go back in time to rescue Hinazuki or not? Does he even have the power to will himself back, as he appeared to have when he went from 2006 to 1988 in the first place? We don't even know if that's what really happened. For all we know he was predestined to go back from 2006 to 1988 that night regardless of how much he wanted it or didn't want it. But say he can will it. Then will he? Or will he keep going forward in time? If Doppel's interpretation is correct, and Satoru is just using Kayo as a means to an end, then I think it's quite possible he'll keep on moving forward and will try to use Kayo's death to piece together the clues of who murdered his mom in 2006 and why. But if my interpretation is correct and Satoru has started to fall in love with Kayo, then I think it's 50/50 on whether the author will have him immediately go back in time or not -- and it's gonna hugely depend on whether Satoru can will Revivals at this point or not. If the author deems that he can't, then he might be doomed to relive 1988 to ?? even though he badly wants to go back and save Kayo. If the author instead deems that Satoru can totally control his mutant powers, then I expect either Episode 05 or Episode 06 to deliver us safely back into the hands of February 1988 or earlier.

Another question is, what's going on with Satoru x Kayo? I've already discussed this at length in 03 and my follow-up posts with Doppel, and I still don't have the smoking gun Doppel is demanding so I'm going to let this one rest for right now. Maybe 05 will have more to share on the matter.


One last thing before I forget. After I watched Episode 03, I began to wonder ... And after I watched Episode 04, I wondered enough that I shared my hypothesis with my friend at lunch ... I'm wondering:

What if Kayo wasn't even murdered in the first place?

What if that's the big plot twist the author has planned? In Episode 03, I didn't have enough to work with and my post had already gotten so long that I decided to hold off even mentioning it. But with Episode 04, I received a huge piece of ammunition:

The birthday gift.

What if the reason Kayo was found dead in a landfill was because she went there to get scrap parts to create a gift for Satoru? (She fell, broke her leg, couldn't crawl away, no one could hear her, and she died of hypothermia within the day.) What if -- and brace for the emotional gut punch here -- what if Satoru is the reason Hinazuki Kayo dies in 1988? ^^; Because she falls in love with him, she wants to make him a birthday present. Because she's poor, she has to use junk from the junkyard to make his present. Because she falls and hurts herself in the junkyard, she dies.

The date can change. She died on the night of March 1, 1988 in the original timeline because it was the night before their birthday (March 2), she pulled an all-nighter, she went out to the landfill late at night when her abusive mother was asleep and couldn't tell her no, she got hurt, and she died. Then in the new timeline she dies on the night of March 2 because, after Satoru drops her off at home, again we have the issue of Hinazuki wanting to finish making a birthday present for Satoru, having to go to the landfill to get parts, etc.

I'm wondering if this is going to be the big twist. So we're not dealing with 4+ different killer candidates each of whom could be the killer in any given timeline. We're dealing with 0 killers, with Kayo dying from an accident. Or we're dealing, you could say, with "1 killer" ...

Satoru.
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:10 PM   #37
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So I watched Episode 05 yestereve, courtesy of BBB (since Nyaa is down, killing my access to torrents):

Spoiler: show
I don't mind that Satoru jumps back into the future. If anything, it sets a clock for him and also helps illustrate that he can't simply "jump" into the past to escape like Hououin Kyouma could. He can jump into the past, but he's still tied to the present. His life in the present goes on.

Episode 05 also established a few things:

-Talon may have been spot-on identifying Hinazuki's mother as her killer
-I may have been spot-on pointing out the Hinazuki romance isn't as centralising as this recent debate would have suggested
-Satoru's future is still progressing in spite of his changes in the past, he's not going to "re-live" his whole life

The big hint from Satoru's mother, like the advice you get at the end of a bad route, is that Satoru needs to enlist his friends better to protect Hinazuki. This might imply the two running away and hiding in the base, as evidenced by the promo image in Talon's OP.

While the anime is heavily suggesting the teacher is the guilty guy now, I still doubt it. I feel that the teacher might be antagonistic, but he's not the main culprit. We still haven't met the main culprit yet. Especially because the teacher is literally the only suspicious figure thus far, which is a great place for a red herring to bait the viewers.

All the stuff happening in the present feels a lot more poorly written than the stuff in the past. Satoru's teacher being involved with his boss is too convenient. Satoru lives in a different place from where he did as a child - his mother visited him, presumably she still lives in Hokkaido. So Yabuki and Satoru in the same city with that close a connection...unbelievable.

The boss had me thinking he was adult Kazu until revealed he was a paedo. Really, the paedo characteristic defining him felt cheap. He's basically a stalker at this point, following Airi and trying to spy on her.

Trying to kill Airi was dumb. I don't understand the killer's motivations, or his ability to track her. Also, Satoru being framed and escaping from police are still ridiculous.

What I liked in this episode that didn't involve the past:

-Satoru's calm, deadpan attitude in the face of his social annihilation
-Airi demonstrating affection without being romantic about it
-Their conversations

Basically, the entire plot and non-main characters in the year 2006 were pretty weak. Satoru/Airi almost feel like fish out of water.
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Old 02-07-2016, 09:59 AM   #38
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Episode 5 stuff
Spoiler: show
Airi can pack one hell of a punch. She not only made blood shoot out from boss's nose from a punch, but she injured his eye in that same punch! She's a regular ol' Saitama! Too bad Satoru can't bring her back. She would destroy all that get in her way with ONE PAWUNCH!

I hope the story about her father was a child's misinterpretation. That was just ridiculous. Her father's life was ruined because he was accused of stealing chocolate? Seriously? For such a childish crime? Maybe it's a cultural thing.

I still enjoyed the episode. I originally thought Hinazuki might have killed herself and had nothing to do with the murders.

Also it seems mister murderer made it to Hinazuki's house. Not sure if he killed her while mother dumped her in the shed, or mother really did kill her, but if he did kill her, that's alot of effort to make sure Hinazuki dies.


I'll probably read the manga when the show ends. I doubt the anime will have a conclusive ending.
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:05 AM   #39
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Episode 05: I watched this one shortly after submitting my 04 post. I'm going to break this post up into two halves again. This time, the first post will be focusing just on discussion about the killer's identity. The second post will handle the rest of the episode.

Spoiler: show

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
Even before they revealed that Yuuki might have been innocent, I was thinking that he was framed and that the murderer might very well be a police officer. Then they have to go and show it () when the officers come to arrest Satoru. One of the cops, the one standing on our left, looks just like the murderer now in uniform.
When I first watched Episode 05, my impression was that I had halfway called it back in Episode 01. It was revealed, or so I thought, that the killer was with the police force. But it was also revealed that the killer is much older than the man we saw standing outside Satoru's apartment in uniform at the end of Episode 01. So I was wrong about that leapt-to conclusion, but I was still right that the killer was part of the '88 police investigation and is still with the police force today.

I thought that the killer appeared to be the Chief of Police or someone similarly high ranking. And he sounds like he's in his 50s. The conversation he has with the pizzeria manager implies that he's the same age as the manager's father. (Although that doesn't necessarily have to be true: he could've been a boy when he impacted the manager's father's life, and so could be as young as the manager himself.)


But then, five minutes after the episode had ended, a light bulb went off in my head. I recognized two problems with the theory that the killer's a police officer, and formulated a new theory to take its place.

First, the killer has this little button/badge on his suit lapel. It's the sort of thing the chief of police might have, sure, but more than likely it's a parliamentary button that is meant to signal to us that this guy is a politician. (Possibly the governor. Possibly the mayor. Possibly a Diet member. Who knows.) I wouldn't expect an ordinary police officer to have something like this on their suit, and frankly I'm not sure that even the chief of police would have one. Really seems like something a career politican wears.

Second, the news reporter introduced in Episode 05. (Pictured above.) There are several factors which point to him being the killer of Fujinuma Sachiko in 2006, if not also the child abductor in 1988.
  1. We have reason to believe Sachiko's killer was someone she would recognize. She would certainly recognize a former co-worker.
  2. It's conceivable that this guy would move from Hokkaido to Tokyo between 1988 and 2006. Many news anchors in America get job offers that take them around the country, and a lucky few get promotions that take them onto the national news which films in New York City. I'd certainly believe that Japan's news organizations work similarly.
  3. He's the right age to be the killer in both 1988 and 2006.
  4. He knows Sachiko's background as an investigative reporter. So he knows she's likely to unravel the case, and thus has a motivation to kill her once he learns she's been looking into the case files again.
  5. When I first revisited their respective speaking scenes, I felt that his voice in 1988 sounded like it was the exact same voice actor for the killer in 2006 only the voice actor was producing different voices for different ages. After rewatching the scenes several more times since then, I'm now not so sure. But if they are the same voice actor, then this would be huge evidence. (I'm going to refrain from actually looking this one up in the ending credits, because I'd like some semblance of excitement when they reveal that the killer is indeed the Hokkaido news anchor if that is indeed who he is.)
So the policeman theory is out, and in its place is the news anchor theory. Five minutes after watching the episode, I felt it was quite safe to say that Fujinuma Sachiko was murdered in 2006 by her former co-worker from Hokkaido.


The next day, I had lunch with my friend. And he said, "Lemme tell you why you're wrong." I hate when people take that attitude, especially with a show like BokuMachi where it feels to me like nothing is set in stone just yet. But my friend offers a decent hypothesis that I think is worth discussing.

The guy we see in the pizzeria in 2006 is none other than Yashiro-sensei.

My friend's reasoning is as follows:
  • Like the news anchor, he's the right age.
    • He's old enough in 1988 to be the killer.
    • The guy in 2006 looks and sounds like he's in his 40s to 50s. That would require him to have been in his 20s to 30s in 1988: the perfect age for Yashiro-sensei.
  • Like the news anchor, he's someone Sachiko would recognize but might take a second or two to process.
    • In fact, you could argue even more strongly that she's less likely to take a few seconds to identify her former co-worker of several years than she is to take a few seconds to identify her son's 5th grade homeroom teacher.
  • Arguably, Yashiro would recognize Sachiko's talents as an investigative reporter just as well as her former co-workers would and thus he'd be just as inclined to kill her in 2006, upon discovering she's reopened the cold case from 1988, as would be her former co-worker were he the killer.
  • When the mysterious guy in 2006 is talking to the pizzeria manager, he has that bit where he says, "Besides, it's a school route. We would occasionally talk about it at city council meetings."
That last bullet point is where the Yashiro theory and the news reporter theory pull away from one another. My friend is of the strong opinion that the 2006 killer is Yashiro. And he strongly points to the line about the school route as evidence. I'm more skeptical. It could be that Yashiro is the 2006 killer (if not also the 1988 killer). But I don't think that one throwaway line of "we would occasionally talk about your father's business being located on a school route when we attended city council meetings" is proof positive that the 2006 guy is a former teacher, or even connected with education period.

I'll agree though that we can't not consider Yashiro right now. There's still the problem of the animation frame from the OP credits where we see Mystery Guy's face reflected in Satoru's shattered lenses -- and he looks an awful lot like an older Yashiro. The simplest theory would be that he is an older Yashiro. It's the stretchier theory to say, "Well, he's somebody else who just happens to look like Yashiro."


But the thing is, there are some problems with my friend's theory too. Problems that turn into strengths for my own theory that the killer's really the news reporter.

Principal among these is the 2006 guy's name. Y'see, he has a name already. It's Nishizono. He tells us as much in Episode 05. And here's the thing:
  • Yashiro already has a name: it's Yashiro.
  • The news reporter guy conspicuously is given no name in Episode 05. He's simply introduced to us as 1) Satoru's mother's co-worker and 2) a news reporter at Ishikari TV.
  • Aside from adult male adoptions, there aren't many instances where a Japanese adult male would change his family name.
  • The 1988 killer would not likely change his name to Nishizono to try and hide. That would simply draw too much attention to himself. "If you want to hide something, the best place to hide it is in plain sight." The '88 killer is likely to leave his family name intact, barring extenuating circumstances like adult male adoption.
For these reasons, I feel like Yashiro has to be bubbled down the list a bit and the news reporter has to be bubbled up a bit.

I keep mentioning adult male adoption though, so let's address that. It's entirely possible that the man we know as Nishizono was adopted into a political family some time between 1988 and 2006, took their surname of Nishizono, and now we meet him in 2006 with this name. So let's say that it's Yashiro-sensei. Sure, he could have gotten involved with the city council, changed career tracks from teaching to politics, gotten involved with the Nishizonos, and been adopted by the patriarch of the clan. Now he's "Nishizono" the councilman (or parliamentary member, or governor, or whatever), but he's still Yashiro Gaku that we remember from 1988. That is possible. But it's not common. We're really just going to have to wait and see before we can rule anything conclusively in or out.


This is one of the reasons I love BokuMachi. We haven't had a murder mystery anime this entertaining since Another, it feels like, and just like Another this is a story where the possibilities are numerous, the evidence both ample and lacking. None of the hypotheses seem terribly farfetched nor stupid. It's exciting to see the evidence pile up that rules in or out various theories, all the while keeping us in suspense as to who the culprit really is.

We don't even know if the killings are related or not. That's huge. There's this operating assumption that Kayo, Aya, Hiromi, and Sachiko were all killed by the same person. And it's like ... not only might the '88 killings and Sachiko's murder have been carried out by different parties, but even the '88 killings might not all have been done by the same person. (See Kayo discussion in the next post! As well as previous posts.)

I'm excited to get some answers and don't want to be teased indefinitely, but at the same time I am enjoying BokuMachi's pacing and delivery quite a bit. It neither feels too slow nor too fast, and that's wonderful to have from any story.
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:48 PM   #40
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Alright, let's discuss the rest of Episode 05.

Spoiler: show
On the one hand, I liked this episode. I thought it was fine, good even. On the other hand, I think this was the weakest episode thus far. I was both disappointed by our sudden departure from 1988 and found 2006 to be a less interesting setting in this murder mystery than 1988 is. I'm clearly emotionally invested in Satoru saving Kayo in 1988, so clearly 1988's where I want to stay for most of the story. But that doesn't have to mean that 2006 is bad. And indeed, I found it to be lightly entertaining numerous times throughout the episode.


Episode 05 answers the question of whether Satoru will have to relive the intervening years from 1988 to 2006 or whether he will be able to "gate jump" back to the future. It's the latter.

On the one hand, this should offer a sigh of relief for many SatoKayo fans. Satoru won't be doing anything much that is age-inappropriate in 1988. And then when he gate jumps back to 2006, he's 29 years old again -- and so is Kayo. And even if he doesn't remember any of it, Kayo has an entire lifetime's worth of memories from 1988 to 2006 that she's spent with Satoru -- there's nothing at all creepy or unnatural for her about winding up with him.

On the other hand, maybe this development's not the panacea that SatoKayo fans were hoping for. Just because Satoru gate jumps between 1988 and 2006 doesn't mean he still isn't sowing the seeds for romance between himself and Kayo -- and that, when he does so, she has the mind of a 10-year old while he has the mind of a 29-year old. That's still awfully Genji. ^^; >_< Gate jumping is also just really, really convenient. There's no major penalty to having to revisit 1988 each time. All he has to do is will it strongly enough and he'll go back -- and once he's bored with being in 1988, he can return to the present. (Maybe. See next paragraph.) There's no suffering here, no equivalent exchange, no having to give something up to gain something in return. If Satoru were subjecting himself to an Endless Eight, he'd become that much more of a tragic hero. If Satoru were stuck in Groundhog Day, we might better understand the psychological horror he suffers every 1988 when Kayo dies despite his best efforts to save her. But he isn't. And that's disappointing at worst, a missed opportunity at best.

"Maybe," I said, about his ability to return to the present at will. To be honest, we still don't fully understand the rules that govern Revival. It's quite possible that everything we've witnessed up through now is all part of one giant, cosmic Revival arc and that it won't reach its conclusion until Satoru successfully neutralizes the threat that costs Kayo, Sachiko, and Airi their lives. Once he neutralizes said threat, it's entirely possible that he will re-live his life from 1988 to 2006. Because at that point, according to the author's logic, we might not be dealing with "Original Timeline Memories Satoru" anymore but a Satoru that belongs in full to the new timeline and who needs the new memories that go with it. And the only way to get those is, well, to live them. Because let's face it -- it would be really sad and maybe even wrong for Satoru to live a life in Alternate Universe 2006 where he just smiles and nods every time Alternate Kayo asks him a question about 1988-2006 but in reality he's Original Timeline Satoru and he has no clue what on earth she is talking about. For Satoru and Kayo to meaningfully share a past together, they have to share that past together! It's not enough for Kayo to have experienced it. Satoru needs to have experienced it too if their happy ending in 2006 is to work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
So why did Kayo die? And how did she die? Who killed her?

My friend at lunch hypothesizes that it's the mother.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
What if Kayo wasn't even murdered in the first place?

What if that's the big plot twist the author has planned? [...]

The birthday gift.

[...]What if Satoru is the reason Hinazuki Kayo dies in 1988?
Episode 05 doesn't help us to rule out either of these two theories, though it does introduce some new evidence to the crime scene.

We learn that Kayo was knitting mittens for Satoru (d'aww), and when Kayo's mother throws them away they look like they're pretty much finished. Mittens aren't the sort of thing requiring a trip to the junkyard; so unless Kayo's gift for Satoru in Original 1988 was different from the mittens planned in Revisited 1988, it looks like my theory about Kayo breaking her leg in the junkyard and dying due to hypothermia was incorrect. But that's the thing: we don't know yet whether the gift changes depending on the timeline, and so we still can't rule out the "death by birthday gift making" hypothesis.


What about Kayo's mother being the killer? Well this is similarly obscured by the new evidence. Kayo's dead body is shown inside the Hinazuma home ... but there's no proof that she died there. Satoru finds a man's footprints leading to the shed ... but only the one pair, that's it, indicating that no one else approached or departed the shed after the snow had stopped falling. It's possible that Kayo was murdered and dumped in the shed while the snow was still falling, and that the killer's tracks were filled up by snowfall ... but that's just blind speculation at this point. We don't know. But what we do know is that both Kayo's mother and her lover believe it's smarter to hide Kayo's body inside of the house than inside of the shed -- which means that if Kayo's mother killed her, then it's unlikely she killed Kayo anywhere outside the house. (Because then we'd either expect a woman's footprints in the snow or else we'd expect none at all.) The scene seems to imply, without confirming, that Kayo was missing, the mom got pissed, she and her boyfriend start looking for Kayo around the house, the boyfriend decides to check the shed, and that's when he discovers the dead body. They bring the body inside, they panic, etc. We still don't know if Kayo's dead body winds up in the landfill because of them or not, but at the very least it seems to be the case that Kayo was not murdered in the landfill in Revisited 1988.

While I can believe a girl would die of hypothermia in a landfill, I really doubt she died of hypothermia in her mom's shed. People would have heard her screaming (if broken leg), she would've chosen to go back inside the house (if bothered by the cold), etc. We don't know the specifics of Kayo's death still -- strangulation? stabbing? concussion? -- but it seems likely to me that, at least in Revisited 1988, Kayo was murdered inside the shed -- and that she wasn't killed by her mother.

If I'm right, this rules out both of the two hypotheses I wrote about in my Ep04 post. But just like with the 2006 killer's identity, we just don't know yet. Still too little information to go off of. We still can't rule out the possibility that Kayo's mom killed her inside the house. Nor can we rule out the possibility that she killed her outside the house while the snow was still falling. Nor can we rule out the possibility that Kayo simply died without being murdered (e.g. fell asleep in the shed and died of hypothermia). We need more evidence.


My friend at lunch thinks that Kenya and Yashiro-sensei are working in cahoots. I kinda doubt that's going to prove to be the case, but let's go ahead and talk about Kenya anyway for right now.

Kenya brings up Nakanishi Aya's disappearance (when walking home with Satoru) before Satoru is shown watching the nightly news and seeing the broadcast about Kayo's disappearance. My friend submitted this as evidence that Kenya has access to privileged information -- and that, more specifically, he might have the privilege of such knowledge precisely because he was involved in the girl's disappearance. I think this is not a red herring: it's either legit evidence planted by the writer or else it's completely irrelevant. Kenya offers an alibi shortly afterward: he explains to Satoru that he has a friend who goes to Izumi Elementary, the same school as Aya, and that's why he knows about Aya's disappearance.

In the same exchange, Satoru informs Kenya that he knows about Aya's disappearance. This is a bigger problem. Because whether or not Kenya's involved with the killings, Satoru doesn't have the same alibi as Kenya. He shouldn't know about Nakanishi Aya. This might be something that Kenya picks up on. We'll have to see.


When Satoru is at his boss's place, the TV news announcer mentions that "the police received a tip and hurried over." This seems to suggest that the killer intended to frame Satoru for Sachiko's murder from the beginning! This might possibly shift the killer's agenda over from neutralizing Sachiko to neutralizing Satoru. Or since I don't doubt that they wanted to neutralize Sachiko, perhaps they wanted to neutralize both. Either way, it's not as though the killer was satisfied with just silencing Sachiko. He had to incriminate Satoru too. We'll have to see why!


Let's get this bozo out of the way. While the boss could be forgiven for turning Satoru in to the cops, he becomes a completely loathesome character after the Airi scene.


Airi, on the other hand, conjures the very same feelings in the audience that we condemn the manager for having! She's basically a waifu who is just ten years too young. She's beautiful, she's spunky, she's kind, she's vibrant ... there's a lot to be attracted to there, and neither the author nor the animation studio are pulling any punches. Specifically, this shot of Airi is, I am 99.3% certain, an homage to a very well-known eromanga cover that I just can't place right now because it wasn't written by one of my favorites and is quite old at this point.

That's what I find funny about the Airi-Manager relationship: we hate the guy for being a lecherous stalker, but take out the stalker part and 99.9% of your adult male audience watching this show is thinking similar things about Airi. It makes me wonder if the author intends any sort of social commentary here.


I was less interested in watching the manager get pulverized than I was in watching Airi get angry. The animation on her face was really beautiful to behold. It's a rare treat to get that "eternally cheery" character showing genuine anger, some might even say ugliness, like this. It humanized Airi, who was previously too perfect to be anything more than a character archetype. She's still the Airi we've always known the other 99% of the time we see her, but this 1% is important in lending her the weight of humanity. Now that we can accept her as human, her angelicness is that much more stunning. Now I'm actually interested to learn more about her.


It is interesting though how this author keeps turning attention to the wrongness of an older man wanting to get with a minor -- first Satoru telling his mom that Airi is way too young, then the manager lusting after Airi -- but juxtaposes this with Satoru and Kayo. We won't really know what the author is trying to say with this until we get to the end, but at least for right now one of the theories I'm operating with is that he totally plans for Satoru to wind up with Kayo and he's trying to convince everyone reading the manga that he isn't a lolikon "and here's the proof that I'm not!" I dunno. It's weird. We'll see. It's just kinda humorous that one of the themes this series seems to have -- see, Doppel! THEEEEEEEMES! -- is that it's immoral for an older guy to pair off with a younger girl no matter how great a catch she is (and in Satoru's case even how much interest she may be showing in you).


Airi says "Baka nano?" to Satoru often enough that he notices it. This isn't the first time Airi's said something that we later hear / earlier heard Kayo say. Remember: Airi's philosophy that she shares with Satoru in the hospital in Episode 01, "I feel like if you say the words over and over, it'll actually happen somewhere along the line," ... Satoru's response at the time was, "Those words ... For some reason, they resonate with me." And then later, we hear Kayo saying the exact same words to Satoru in 1988. Now we come to Episode 05, and we have Airi going "Baka nano?", "Baka nano?" to Satoru. Kayo's trademark.

There's got to be a connection between the two. But I can't figure out what that might be. The best I've got is the (imo) silly, "Well maybe Airi will turn out to be Satoru's and Kayo's daughter in a future timeline" hypothesis, the one that one of you shared from the Internet some weeks ago. But I think that theory's silly, and is beset by a boatload of problems like how could Airi even exist in the original timeline if Kayo and Satoru never made her? Not to mention that for a 17-year old girl to be around in 2006 she'd have to have been born in 1989 -- one year after the fateful 1988. Satoru and Kayo would have only been twelve back then. There's just no way. No way Airi's their kid. But then what's going on here? Why do Airi and Kayo seem to share some of the same thoughts or ideas down to the letter?


Quote:
Originally Posted by big bad birtha View Post
I hope the story about her father was a child's misinterpretation. That was just ridiculous. Her father's life was ruined because he was accused of stealing chocolate? Seriously? For such a childish crime? Maybe it's a cultural thing.
We'll have to see. Now that you bring it to my attention, I have to agree with you. It does seem pretty ridiculous that a man's life could be ruined over a bar of chocolate. I hope you're correct about it being a scene misunderstood through a child's eyes. Like, the way Airi tells the story it's as though the bar of chocolate was the beginning of the end -- but when you think about it like an adult, it seems far more likely that the chocolate was merely the final straw that broke the camel's back of her parents' marriage.


My friend at lunch had the usual "THAT'S NOT HOW FIRES WORK! AND THAT'S NOT WHAT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO DO IN CASE OF A HOUSE FIRE!" criticisms that we see when shows have a character do things during a housefire that would normally get you killed or severely injured. First, Airi should have put her hands on the door itself, not on the door handle, to sense if there was fire on the other side. Second, Airi should not have attempted to open the bedroom door. Not only did that expend what little clean breathable air she had left in her bedroom, but more importantly it created the backdraft which blew out the windows and knocked her to the ground. In real life, a backdraft like that would've likely incinerated her face. I can roll with this sort of thing ("It's an anime!"), but my friend was more peeved ("It's so stupid! SHE SHOULD BE DEAD!").

He really wants her to be dead at the start of the next episode (for physics' sake), but I not only want her to be alive but believe she will be too. I think the episode will quickly reveal that Satoru was already in the house by the time the backdraft explosion happened (though obviously not before the killer set fire to the place), and that soon after Airi loses consciousness Satoru swoops in to save her.
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Old 02-08-2016, 11:21 PM   #41
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One thing I forgot to mention in my earlier posts is ...

(Each spoiler box is safe to click if you're through Episode 05.)

Spoiler: show
I'm wondering, did Satoru return to the future because as of March 13 he more or less conclusively had Game Over'd and re-locked in the Bad End? So like ... there's no point in allowing him to relive 1988-2006 now, his mom's still gonna be targeted for murder some time along the way. If that's the case, it could point to the plot development of, "The more successful he is, the longer he has to stay back in the past." Game over quickly, get sent back to 2006 quickly. Game over in 1993, relive 1988 to 1993. Game over never ... relive the entire time period. The Revival assumes that so long as you haven't Game Over'd but you also haven't returned to the present, there's always the chance you'll Game Over yet. The moment you Game Over, it wastes no time bringing you back to 2006 to try again.

It's kind of weird that it would work that way rather than bringing him back to February 1988, but whatever. I think that's more to do with the IRL consequences like ... the author wanting to tell a certain kind of story, one where you can't solve the mystery in just the past, you can't solve the mystery in just the future, you need to be actively applying clues between the two time zones to both time zones in order to crack the case.

Kind of Ever17-ey in that sense. :o

On a related note, another thing I think I forgot to mention ...

I agree with those who have noted that BokuMachi feels VN-inspired. I hadn't made the connection before reading it in your posts, but now that I have, I can't unsee it. It's not a bad thing either. It's just, the plot definitely feels like it's right at home with how visual novels are written.

Spoiler: show
Especially the idea of having to piece together the mystery by using clues procured from different (for lack of a better word) "routes." Whether it's temporal routes (1988 vs. 2006), whether it's character routes (playing as Person A vs. playing as Person B), whether it's love target routes (aiming for love with Person C vs. aiming for love with Person D), the idea that the mystery can't be fully solved with just one route or another but you need to play all the routes to get all the information to unlock the best possible ending ... it certainly feels like that sort of thinking, consciously or subconsciously, went into BokuMachi's plot writing.
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Old 02-09-2016, 07:42 AM   #42
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That scene with Satoru's mom right before he jumped back was classic visual novel material, like the cryptic advice you would get for doing better in a Bad End.

I really think this applies only to the 1988 stuff, though. As suggested before, it's very similar in concept to a plot-line in Muv-Luv Alternative and Ever17's Coco Route, so the visual novel elements - heavy internal monologue, application of insider information - definitely lends itself to that medium.

Another example is Kenya's hint about Hinazuki's essay. Obvious VN-style lead-ins.

I didn't interpret the mittens as something Kayo was knitting for Satoru. It looked like the mittens Satoru had given her. He wouldn't have had that reaction to a present he wasn't totally aware of, but if they were his gift, the reaction would make sense:

-it's confirmation Kayo was murdered
-it's confirmation the mother really didn't love her at all

I also had a talk with Morg, trying to sell him this anime as "Monster meets 20th Century Boys", but it made me think, if this anime really is taking after 20CB, Kenya is probably the manipulative villain, and is using two other characters (Yabuki, Talon's TV show reporter) to pull off this stunt.

That would be horrible, though!
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Old 02-09-2016, 12:01 PM   #43
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About the mittens ...

Spoiler: show
They're 99.9% certainly Kayo's gift for Satoru. They're 99.999999999% certainly not the mittens Satoru gifted Kayo.





The ones Kayo received are pink, large, smooth, and look store-made. The ones in the trash bag appear pale yellow, are small, braided (Talon name for the weave style), and above all else unfinished -- they're almost done, but you can still see the yarn thread sticking out of the bottom of one of them. See the ball of yarn on the bottom right?

Come on now, Grandpa. I thought this was obvious on first pass.
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Old 02-11-2016, 12:44 PM   #44
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Won't be able to write up a longer post for at least the next 24 hours, but I did just see Episode 06 and:

Spoiler: show
We have lots to discuss!

If there's one thing I'd want to draw attention to immediately, it's Fujinuma Sachiko's name being present on the list of suspects. That sure was strange. I could see it only for Kayo (and even then it's super weak). But for the other two as well? So weird. Why on Earth would she be a suspect before somebody like Yashiro or Kayo's mother ...

Anyway, will save the rest for later!
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Old 02-13-2016, 09:41 PM   #45
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I watched the episode on Thursday, but I'm working for the next two days so I don't have a ton of motivation to detail it in-depth.

All I will say is that, how the episode presented it, I have a ton less motivation to mentally digest it. I just want to watch, because I think the author is deliberately trying to surprise us with twists.

When, I would have rather the killer been a simple child predator/rapist and not some ridiculous criminal mastermind, which makes the Japanese police look stupid and inept. They're often portrayed as such in anime anyway, but it's incredibly annoying in this case.
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Old 02-18-2016, 02:01 PM   #46
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I'm about to start Episode 07 and forgot to post my prediction for this week, based on the OP:

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Satoru goes back in time as an adult, alongside his younger self, this time around. Perhaps replacing Yuuki?
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Old 02-18-2016, 11:17 PM   #47
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Episode 06:

Spoiler: show
Alright ... I don't have nearly as much meaty or passionate discussion as previous times, but I wanted to at least write a couple of things down before watching today's episode, Episode 07. So here we go: a couple of brief thoughts on last week's episode.


The pizzeria manager saying, "I'm getting the credit for this, >3" as he took Airi out of the housefire ... He was fine until he said that last sentence! Right up until then, he seemed kinda cool. It was almost as though the author was redeeming the character for us immediately after tarnishing his image in the previous episode. But then no, the author has to go and reinsure that the pizzeria manager is in fact a scuzzy, creepy weirdo.


When first watching the episode, I was quite confused by how Satoru got in touch with Sawada, the former TV Ishikari news reporter. I figured that he was using the caller ID on Airi's cell phone to place a return phone call to whoever had texted Airi the night of the fire. Satoru figures, "Whoever texted Airi must be the killer" and he takes advantage of the caller ID system and the killer's own arrogance to track him down. The way they introduce Sawada in his office, the noticeably crimson color of his eyes, my theory from Episode 05, all of it came together in a flash to convince me that we were dealing with, at the very least, the man who attempted to murder Airi.

But then Satoru has lunch with Sawada. And neither man makes a move to either kill the other or to land him in jail. Sawada offers his services to Satoru and pleads his case as a man eager to bring Fujinuma Sachiko's murderer to justice. And seemingly, Satoru just accepts it. He just flat out accepts that Sawada is an ally and not an enemy.

All of this second part would make it seem like Satoru already knew Sawada's contact information and was calling on Sawada because Satoru knew him to be an old family friend and, like Mom, an investigative journalist who could surely help Satoru to crack this case.

But a problem resurfaces when you revisit the office scene, the one where Satoru first phone calls Sawada:
Sawada: Yes?
........ Who is this? Why don't you just identify yourself already?
Satoru: It's Fujinuma Satoru.
Sawada: If you are Fujinuma Satoru, nice to meet you. I've been waiting for your call.
... Yes, by all means.
... No, not here. Let's meet at a public place.
... Ah, I haven't given you my name yet, have I? I will when we meet tomorrow. Because you may have murdered Fujinuma Sachiko.
So now wait a second. How is that Satoru knows to call this guy's number ... but he doesn't know the guy's name?

And that was when it hit me -- THE SLIP OF PAPER. ^^;;;;; Satoru called the number his mother left on the slip of paper. Once I realized this, it all made sense how their meeting and pre-meeting went down. But until I made this realization, I was just lost. All the episode needed to do was to show Satoru pulling the paper out of his wallet in the previous scene and I would've been fine.


Episode 06 presents the "answer" of Kayo's death: she was beaten to within an inch of her life by her mother, left in the shed, and died of hypothermia. My friend was hasty to say, "YOU CALLED IT! ", but the thing is, Sawada dismisses this hypothesis same episode in favor of an alternate theory. First, he offers the official police report: Yuuki accelerated Kayo's hypothermia and is more directly the cause of her death. Later, Sawada tells Satoru that Kayo's mother called Satoru's mother at like 12 in the morning because she wanted to know where Kayo was. So ... what I would say, to both my friend (which I did say :p) and to you guys is, we still don't know how/why Kayo died. While there's certainly evidence that points to Kayo's mother at least being partly if not fully responsible ...

... the very fact that she even bothered to call Satoru's mother would to me seem to narrow this down to one of only two possibilites:[list=1][*]She staged the phone call to create an alibi. Kayo was already dead / near dead when the phone call was placed, and her mother knew exactly where she was at that time. It was all poppycock that Kayo had gone missing.[*]The phone call is 100% legitimate. In which case not only do we know that Kayo went missing several hours before the police report's indicated time of death, but perhaps more importantly we also know that Kayo's mother cared. I'm not about to say this woman deserves Parent of the Year or anything , and indeed her reasons could have been 100% selfish and nasty. But the point remains, she expressed some concern when her daughter had gone missing. That would seem to suggest that Kayo's mother actually had little to do with Kayo's disappearance the night of the murder.

Guess we'll find out.


I feel like Airi's mother, and I suppose the entire hospital scene in general, is the sort of thing I'm supposed to have a lot to talk about but I just don't. IIRC Airi's hospital room didn't have her name on the door. If that's the case, it would seem to suggest that the mystery politician has some major pull. It isn't just anybody who can get a hospital to make a patient disappear!

I guess one other little thing to note is, the fact that Airi's mother agreed to do this goes to show just how much faith she has in her daughter, just how good their relationship is, etc.


I feel like we're also supposed to have lots to talk about with Satoru's manga idea with the Grim Reaper. Again, though, I don't really have much of anything to say. Not right now, anyway. Maybe once we have some more information to work with.


Someone was telling me that a corner of the Internet is shipping Satoru with Airi. While Airi is definitely waifu candidate-ey, I don't think that's the direction the writer intends to go in. As far as romance is concerned, I think Airi's role in the story is to help legitimize Satoru x Kayo. Because face it: Satoru x Airi is still shipping an adult with a minor. And it's not like Satoru's age gap with Airi is particularly small either: there's a whopping twelve years separating our 29-year old aspiring mangaka from the 17-year old pizza delivery girl. If you're able to say, "So what!? I ship it! " to that, I think the author then turns to you and says, "Ahhhhhhhh! Soooooo, then! You're saying you're okay with 29 x 17? Then what's a little hop, skip, and a jump to 29 x 10, 'ey?"

Let's approach this from a completely different direction. Kayo seems more like the one Satoru's designed to wind up with given that a) they are the same calendar age, b) they have the potential to share their childhoods together (assuming he docks them onto the Good/True End), and c) he's going to be her knight in shining armor for saving her not only from an abusive mother but also from a possible serial killer. Airi feels more like the cheerleader rooting Satoru on from the sidelines. She's always going to be his twelve-years-younger junior. She's always going to be the girl he only just met in the mid-2000s.

I dunno. Maybe I'm wrong! We'll have to see.


The end of the episode was shocking. With Satoru now in handcuffs and on his way to jail, I feel like he has to change the past now -- or else he's going to be screwed the next time he returns to 2006. But if he does return to 2006 as we more or less know it, and if he is in jail when he returns, it'll be interesting to see where the 2006 story goes from there.


Friend is super, super convinced the man we see at the end is Yashiro-sensei. It very well could be -- they do appear to have similar facial designs -- but I'm going to mention again that it could also be a grown-up Kenya, or even someone else entirely. We still don't know yet. And even if the guy is Yashiro-sensei, that doesn't necessarily prove he's a) the same guy as the city councilman, b) the children's killer, or c) Sachiko's killer. We could be dealing with one perp, we could be dealing with several. We still don't know enough to answer for sure.
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Old 02-19-2016, 12:06 AM   #48
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I wonder if the perp is Satoru's father. That would explain the physical resemblance looking between Satoru and the villain guy.

I've also seen artwork of Fujinuma Sachiko in her teens, and the photograph with her old newsroom colleague suggests they've known each other for quite some time. Satoru is 12 years old in 1989 and Sachiko is said to be 50+ in 2006. That means when she gave birth to Satoru, she was at least 21 years old.

Given that she was listed as a suspect, it makes one wonder if there's more to her story than meets the eye.

I still don't buy that it's Yashiro. I bet Yashiro is some undercover cop or something.
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Old 02-25-2016, 12:04 PM   #49
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Episode 07:

Spoiler: show
Going to keep the discussion short(er) this time. Episode 08's out and I want to watch it!

I enjoyed Episode 07. It saw a predicted and thankful return to 1988. Delightfully, it didn't even take us back to the original starting point or earlier! Instead, we got to start off with the trip to the museum, only a couple of days before Hinazuki's death. The episode took a few interesting new turns, got us farther in 1988 than we've ever been, and ended on quite the cliffhanger!


I'll be brief for lack of time: Kenya's conversation with Satoru in the stairwell, his following Satoru throughout town, along with a few other signs, it all seems to point to the fans being correct that Kenya is a fellow Revivalist. The test he applies with the "lent book" to determine that Satoru isn't really who he claims to be, that's the sort of thing that only a super-brilliant child could think of ... or else it's the sort of test we'd totally expect a time traveler to hatch, to sniff out a fellow time traveler. We'll have to see whether the fans prove correct or incorrect, but I'm definitely starting to wonder now if Kenya is going back in time just as Satoru is.


The scene with Yuuki-san, where he starts to sweat and talk nervously, his eyes darting left and right, when Satoru brings up Hinazuki ... it definitely seems to incriminate Yuuki-san to at least some degree. Again, it's hard to say where the story is going to go without more information, but the theory that Yuuki-san really is Kayo's original abductor, the theory that he might become her abductor in one of the later timelines, the theory that even if he's not her abductor he's still a legit pedophile ... each of these theories is lent some weight by the eyes-darting scene in Episode 07.


I didn't get Satoru's line to his mother about the train. Was he trying to plant a seed in her head so that when she got to 2006 and Adult Satoru told her a similar thing it would clue 2006 Sachiko in to the fact that her son in 1988 was actually her son in 2006 traveling back in time? Or what? Because it felt like the sort of line you'd tell someone to help them avoid their cause of death, and yet I don't recall her cause of death having anything to do with train lines.


There seems to be a definite motif going on with red eyes in this show. Hinazuki's mother had them in her introductory scene but hasn't had them again ever since. The news reporter had them when we met him in 2006 but has never had them again. The killer has had them numerous times. And now Satoru is shown having them when he has murderous intent to push Hinazuki's mother down the stairs. Whether it's a motif for evil intent, whether it's a motif for murderous intent, whatever it is, it's definitely there. I'm intrigued by it and I like it. We'll have to see where it goes.


Satoru is divulging far too much information to 1988 Kenya. You'd think he learned his mistake from last time. You need to try to save Kayo as solo as possible, dude, because you can't trust anybody back here: possibly not even your own mother.


Setting up base in the school bus surprised me. Having seen the website's official artpiece almost as long as I've known about the show, I've been waiting for the inevitable trip to the much-talked-about,little-shown secret base that the kids have. It seemed like a no-brainer to me that Satoru would hole up with Hinazuki in the secret base. Well, he does hole up with her in a secret base ... kind of ...! A, it's Izumi Elementary's abandoned school bus (the school where the second missing kid went to school), not the kids' secret base. And B, Satoru can't even be bothered to run away from home with Kayo -- he abandons her there every night while I sleeps at home with his mom. What the heck! Dude! You're practically begging for Kayo to get murdered again!


Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeell shit. ^^;


Yashiro didn't have much screentime this episode but when he did he looked rather suspicious.


Kayo was once again adorable. Loved the "I win :3" scene.


Hoping that Episode 07's cliffhanger ending was either a prank (and the nighttime visitor is harmless) or else, if Kayo was indeed murdered for the second time in a row, we waste no time rewinding to go for a third try at saving her. We just got back here! (To 1988.) I don't want to leave it again so soon.

I would put my money on Kayo having been killed again (sadly ) and the third or fourth time we rewind is going to be when we see Satoru using the kids' secret base instead of something Kenya's thought up for him.
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Old 02-25-2016, 12:34 PM   #50
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Just watched Episode 08. Detailed post later. For now:

Spoiler: show
So much Kayo. X3 So adorable.

Cute, fun, happy episode.

Yashiro's being hugely hinted at as a/the villain. We'll have to see how it plays out.
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