Tag Archives: time travel

Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (Re: ZERO -Starting Life In Another World –

I’ve been fairly distant from anime for some time, but it’s not as though my interests have changed in any drastic way. This behavior of mine actually follows my usual patterns all a little too well. I’ll become overly obsessed and absorbed into something and then burn out on it. This applies to most things in my life. Who knows when I will have those interest rekindle. Oh well, now is the time for anime again I suppose.

This anime is one I remember hearing about from a colleague at work and decided to give it go. I was interested in watching it at the time and never got around to it, so it’s been sitting in the back of my mind for awhile. Since there are just too many anime out there to worry about I’ll just have to choose by instinct what I want to actually sink my time into. That’s how I’ll approach anime for now.

As far as the story goes, after both seasons are complete there is still much unexplained. This isn’t a bad thing though! I was certainly satisfied with the stopping point at the end of season two. What I mean is that there is plenty of room for the story to grow, and that is most definitely a good thing. I’m much more used to a series hitting a stopping point and, well it could end right there, yet it develops another season and a new story picks up out of nowhere. With Re:ZERO there are obvious developments that haven’t played out yet, so the anticipation for a continuation is all the more palpable.

So what is this anime about? Well, basically a guy we know little or nothing about, Subaru, is dropped into a fantastic world out of the blue.

re-zero-002

Being someone who is familiar with light novels, anime, and typical story tropes, he isn’t fazed by the situation at all and begins acclimating himself rather quickly to the new world around him. Bungling along, he is helped by a half elf girl who wields magic and has a strange fuzzy companion. She seeks something that was stolen from her and Subaru wishes to help in order to repay her for helping him. So, they spend the day together trying to track down the thief and just when they seem close to meeting with this thief in person… everything goes awry. The place they come to in the night is dark and quiet and Subaru investigates alone. He peers into the room with a lantern and sees a myriad of objects: weapons, a suit of armor, chests, and boxes, but no one is around. He steps into something soft and wet, and when he looks, a horrid realization seizes him as he looks upon a severed arm lying on the floor, further away lies a mutilated corpse. Intense fear grips him and a voice calls out of the darkness. In the next instant he lies in a pool of his own blood. The half elf girl, who had stayed outside comes now looking for him, but she soon joins him on floor. He grips her hand in his own as his life flies away and promises that he’ll save her–and then he’s standing there, there back in town, back before so much began. Somehow he’s been sent back in time.

re-zero-003

More is learned about this strange phenomenon, or power later on, but this is one of the key features of the story. When Subaru dies, he goes back in time. Like a video game, as he progresses through the events surrounding him, the point to which he returns changes like a save point. Or at least this is how he seems to describe this ability. If he dies, he has failed, but he gets to try again. He must find a way to not only live, but succeed in protecting those important to him. By doing that he can escape the cycle of death.

My impressions concerning Subaru’s character took a downward spiral as the series progressed. His motivations and his personality became questionable, but we were just finally learning what kind of person he was before this story began. Yet he is able to change; he is able to grow. I don’t know if I’ve come this close to hating a character and than having that sentiment turn around on me like this before. Please don’t stop watching if you find yourself loathing Subaru! You’ll know what I’m talking about when you get there.

Subaru is a true imperfect hero who must change and grow. What ended up impressing me most about him was his capacity to forgive. It doesn’t become much of a focus of the series or anything, but simply a part of who he is. Because of his ability to return back in time upon death, Subaru sees many different sides of people depending on how the events play out. Sometimes such people might treat him coldly or in unimaginable ways. Yet you can tell he holds no malice for them. It makes me wonder if I could do the same if I were in his place. I hope I could anyway. So yes, the characters are well done and actually show growth, which is something of a boon in the series I watch lately.

Another satisfying element to this anime were the fight scenes. The were choreographed well and tense. Some anime I’ve watched hype up their fights only end up giving you the dull and predictable. Unfortunately that included some anime that had fighting as one it’s main features. It’s nice to see something more original for a change.

Overall I was very pleased and hope that the anime adaption continues.

Time Traveler’s Guide – Life is Strange

I’ve gone over time machines and magic that allow time travel to occur, but what I haven’t considered is that there are other cases of time travel as well. There are times when strange things happen in the universe that leave us in the grips of time and in Life Is Strange this is certainly the case.

One day Max Caulfield, while in photography class, has a vision, a most real and terrifying vision of an enormous tornado heading to wipe out the town. She comes to as if she were dreaming, but can’t get the images out of her mind or the sense of reality she felt. From what we see in her journal and her interactions with others, Max is a shy girl who isn’t confident in herself. When asked when she’ll turn in a photo for an upcoming contest, she just tries to avoid it. Wanting to hide away from the world around her, she escapes to the bathroom to be alone. At first she reproves herself, “I have a gift,” but then, “Fuck it,” she tears up the photo she was thinking of turning in. What happens next though will lead her down a road most strange.

While hiding in the back of the bathroom, Max witness two people come into the bathroom who get into a heated confrontation. One pulls a gun and someone ends up getting shot. At this moment Max cries out and reaches out toward them and in a few brief moments finds herself back in class at the moment she had woken from her dream. She discovers that she suddenly has the power to reverse time at will. With her new found powers, Max once again goes to the bathroom, but this time intervenes to save the person who was shot.

Time travel has a way of entering into the lives of people without warning. It is yet another caprice of the universe that seemingly chooses its victims at random. Groundhog Day is another example of this, where a person finds themselves caught reliving the same day while remembering everything that happens. These characters travel through time either by their own will or through something else’s. How they choose to use this power or this opportunity is up to them, but the choices they make may affect more than they could ever imagine.

Time Traveler’s Guide – Reading Steiner

Welcome again to the continuation of The Time Traveler’s Guide. Today I will be discussing a particular problem that time travelers will face, and that is keeping their mental state intact despite changing the past. This problem also exists for those who are part of an effected world line. If you don’t know what a world line is check out my previous post. Essentially, if a world line is altered than everyone within that world line will become altered as well. A person may cease to exist, or their memories will change accordingly to fit the new world line.

Understand that world lines exist as part of the parallel universe theory where many divergent future exists. Say you live in world line ‘A’ and currently you exist in time and space at a point on this line. If you were able to move back to a previous point and alter a significant event or perhaps even an apparently insignificant event, the future beyond the previous point would no longer belong to world line ‘A,’ but would belong to a new world line because the path has branched off from ‘A’.

Spoiler alert

Steins;Gate and the Reading Steiner

Now I will introduce the concept made by Steins;Gate, the Reading Steiner. The main character Okabe Rintarou, an eccentric, named the ability, not me. The Reading Steiner  is the ability to retain one’s mental state including all the memories they have experienced so far after a world line shift. Okabe is the only person aware of the shifting line, while others are oblivious to the change. Everyone’s memories except Okabe have in a sense been deleted and replaced by the memories of the new world line. This is the Reading Steiner. Other characters begin to show signs of having memories from other world lines, but only after a significant provocation. The other characters could be said to have the Reading Steiner ability, but at such a degree that it is almost untraceable.

Many time travelers exist in fiction, who despite changing the past remain the same person. They too must have the Reading Steiner ability, or their own memories and experiences would be altered.


 

While these next anime series don’t necessarily have the Reading Steiner ability, they do share some similarities.

Katekyo Hitman Reborn!

In Hitman Reborn!, the character Byakuran has an ability very similar to the Reading Steiner. After he meets the same person in two different world lines, Byakuran awakens the ability to share the knowledge and experience of every Byakuran from parallel universes.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

In Madoka Magica, Homura travels back in time and essentially replaces the consciousness of herself in the past. Unlike conventional time travel, where meeting oneself is possible, Homura completely takes the place of herself in the past. Similar to Steins;Gate, Homura is unable to make significant changes along the world line to reach a different future through many of her attempts. Strangely enough, by making so many attempts Homura finally creates a path to a new future–not by a single action that changes the future, but through the entire process of going back in time over and over again.

Dragon Ball Z

This series uses another theory where despite changing the path of a world line, one is able to travel the original path back to the future. When Trunks goes back in time and changes the events of the past, he is still able to return the future from which he came. He has effectively changed the world lines path. Doing so in Steins;Gate would mean that Trunks path to the future would now move along a new path and lead to a different future, but he is able to return to the same future he traveled from.

Time Traveler’s Guide – World Lines

So you want to be a time traveler? Well if you ever get your hands on a time machine, find a magical portal, or discover you can time travel at will, you are in luck! I’m going to be releasing a series to explain the benefits and pit falls of time travel, so you’ll be ready to take that harrowing trip through time and space.

Time Paradox and World Lines

There are however many considerations to take into account before starting a trek through time and space. One of the most regarded problems involves the potential of creating a time paradox. Famously, there is the idea that if one were to go back in time and cause the death of one’s own grandfather, than the question of the one going back in time becomes a paradox. How would that person have come to exist to go back in time to cause the death of their grandfather if they never existed in the first place. Theories abound concerning time paradoxes. One way of handling these paradoxes is the theory of world lines or parallel universes. Say you went back in time and did cause the death of your own grandfather. Instead of challenging your own existence, you have merely changed one world line where you would never be born. However the world line you came from would still exist in parallel to the changed world. It might be trick though returning to that world line. In this way you could say that both world lines exist and remain unalterable and self contained. Of course the number of such world lines would have to approach an infinite number. Events that would normally cause a paradox are simply gateways which link such world lines together. If such an event occurs, the world line shifts appropriately.

Steins;Gate

Let’s get a little help from anime now shall we. In Steins;Gate Okabe Rintarou has a very bizarre experience and finds himself searching for answers. Familiar with John Titor, a real figure who claimed to have come from the future, Okabe seeks information out online and discovers something strange, John Titor is relatively unknown. All of Okabe’s previous information and books on Titor are missing and no one else seems to know of him. He finds John Titor has recently appeared online in what looks something like 4chan and Okabe reads and joins the discussion.

John Titor: “You mean the so-called Grandfather Paradox, right? There’s no such thing. It’s possible to meet yourself in the past. If you do, you simply move world lines. Let me begin by saying that time isn’t a single line, moving from past to future. It’s comprised of an infinite number of parallel lines, like rivers, called ‘world lines.’ For example, let’s say a serial killer was to murder you today. If I came from the future and prevented it, the world would diverge into two streams: a world in which you survive and a world in which you died.”

This pretty much follows what I discussed before. Time moves in an endless number of streams leading towards many different futures. The idea is that these world lines all exist within the fabric of space and time. To travel back in time is to move backwards in the stream. In order to reach a different future, one would have to go back to point where the path to that future began and make the subsequent changes.

John Titor: “You all seem to have fixed ideas about the nature of time. Time isn’t a single line, moving from past to future. Let’s say I were to go back in time and kill someone we’ll call ‘A.’ This alters something called the divergence number, and the world line moves to a world without A. When there’s a world line shift, people’s memories are altered. In other words, memories of the world line where A existed are deleted, and replaced with memories of a world line where A doesn’t exist.”

John Titor is explaining what might happen if someone were to attempt to change the future. He posits that when the divergence number is altered by an event, such as someone being killed in the past, the present would shift world lines to a world where that person had been killed. This shift would be instantaneous and everyone would completely forget the events of the previous world where that person had lived. The shift would go unnoticed and life would continue as if nothing unusual had happened at all.

So don’t be too worried about creating a time paradox, because world line theory has got you covered!

 

Time Traveler’s Guide – Machine vs. Magic

Warning Spoilers Abound!

Have you ever wished to travel across time and space? Now you can learn about this elusive art from anime.

The Time Machine

There are certainly many different approaches to time travel and one of the most popular is the time machine. If you want to travel through time, a machine built just for that purpose will certainly help you along the way. Such a machine will be hard to come by and will require technological innovation, but don’t worry anime has got you covered.

Be wary however, since the chances are high that your time machine will have some kind of malfunction or likely fall into the wrong hands.

Dragon Ball Z

When the Capsule Corporation’s own Bulma Briefs created her time machine with the purpose of preventing a horrible future, she had no idea what would follow. In Dragon Ball Z, when a strange visitor dramatically appears on the scene, we learn that our heroes’ future looks bleak indeed. Trunks arrives from the future with a tale of terrible androids who wreak havoc on the Earth.

In his future, Trunks is the only person remaining who stands any chance against the androids. He reveals his identity to Goku in the present and warns him of future events to prevent Goku from dying from a heart virus and also warn everyone of their need to train in preparation for the androids who will appear in three years. Trunks mostly succeeds in his mission, but unexpectedly during their fight a new threat appears.

In yet another time line, Dr. Gero’s final creation Cell uses the Capsule Corporation’s time machine to go back in time so that he can fulfill the purpose of his creation, which is to absorb the androids and become a so called perfect being.

Steins;Gate

A common use of time travel is as a method of preventing an apocalyptic future. Thankfully someone is able to create these machines capable of time travel as a last chance at a brighter future. Unfortunately if you’re depending on said machinery to work when you need it most, the chances are it will malfunction or cease to work at all. Steins;Gate is has such an example. In the future, the character Daru has invented a time machine capable of sending a person back in time: Future Gadget 204 2nd Edition Version 2.31 (Don’t ask about the name). This machine is used by Suzuha to travel back to our present day. During her stay Suzuha at one point is convinced by Okabe to stay longer than she originally intended. As a consequence, lightning from a storm does damage to the machine which further causes more chaos to the situation.

Katekyo Hitman Reborn!

It’s all fun and games when Lambo runs away from his problem by bringing out his ten year bazooka to temporarily switch places with his future self, that is until the bazooka no longer works as expected. In Hitman Reborn! Tsuna unintentionally uses the bazooka on himself, but instead of returning after five minutes, finds himself stranded in the future. Other characters soon follow after him realizing what has happened and everyone soon find themselves fighting in a war in place of their future counterparts.

Time Travel By Magic

If you don’t have the technology capable of creating a time machine don’t worry, magic can help! Another means of time travel involves magical portals, magical abilities, or other such phenomena.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Towards the end of the series we find out that one of the magical girls, Akemi Homura, is actually obtained the power of time travel from Kyubey. The wish that granted her this power was simply to save her friend Madoka from her terrible fate after the battle on Walpurgis night. After obtaining this power Homura lives out the events until Walpurgis night doing everything in her power to change Madoka’s fate, but fails. The current timeline is just one of the possibly thousands or more attempts by Homura to change the future. By repeatedly going back in time to save Madoka, Homura shifts the importance of Madoka’s existence into the focal point of the universe.

Inuyasha

Kagome is suddenly dragged into a well on her family’s shrine grounds and goes back in time around 500 years. This magical portal between the past and present seems to only work when someone carries the sacred jewel. In the beginning of this series, the jewel resides in Kagome herself, who is a reincarnation of a priestess who had the jewel burned with her body.

Anime Quiz Question

I’ve currently been re-obsessing over a certain anime and I’m curious over the answer to this question:

How many anime include a time traveler?

Think of as many as you can.

Include the name of the anime and the time traveling character.

(Without any searching, I can think of six different anime. I’m wondering how many more there could be.)

Steins; Gate

Okay, I’m a fan of science fiction, I can’t help it. I’m drawn to it. So when I started picking up that Steins; Gate had to do with time travel, butterfly effects, and other such things, I was beginning to feel a great desire to watch it. Then I saw an AMV at AWA that sealed the deal.

Mysterious beginnings

Story

Steins; Gate was definitely an experience that needs repeating. We have a cast of characters, some slightly bizarre (especially a certain self proclaimed “mad scientist”), who are currently striving for who knows what goal at the Future Gadget Laboratory. Now don’t go imagining something remotely close to a normal conception of what this laboratory should look like however, since it is after all only a kind of studio apartment above a CRT store. The Future Gadget Laboratory is currently highly interested in the development of its eighth invention: the Phone Microwave (name subject to change). While working on this newest gadget, a strange glitch in the microwaves function was found. To operate the microwave, instructions are sent by phone, but when these instructions are sent in the incorrect format… bizarre things happen to what is microwaved. Perhaps the most strange effect being the gelification of microwaved bananas. As the development of this gadget continues, our characters soon find themselves in the middle of a heavy conspiracy that will soon lead our “mad scientist” on a journey that will truly test his sanity.

Gel bananas

Characters

Ahem… of course we have the “mad scientist” HOUOUIN KYOUMA! Or just call him by his real name Okabe Rintarou. He’s a little… imbalanced or at least appears to be. His true nature shows itself in time. Then there is his faithful right arm and Lab Member 003, Super Hacker Itaru Hashida, better known as Daru. Daru is a bit of an otaku who has some pretty amazing skills. We also have Lab Member 002 and childhood friend of Okabe, Mayuri Shiina. Mayuri has been around Okabe the longest and has no complaints of being his “hostage” by choice. These three are the original members of the Future Gadget Lab. Some additional members to the lab are made as the story progresses. The characters exhibit some of the moe characteristics prevalent in anime, yet the characters go far beyond the typical moe role.

Disbelief

Impressions

Steins; Gate follows the dramatic arc very well with everything building towards that single moment around the middle of the series. After that turning point is reached the conclusion finds its way nicely. There were times during this anime I was genuinely shocked (I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing/hearing sometimes). I find it hard to probe at any mistakes in the plot and now I’m highly interested in seeing whether I’ll enjoy the Chaos; Head or Robotics; Notes anime adaptations as much as I enjoyed Steins; Gate. Steins; Gate is one of the few anime I became glued to my seat for. If I wasn’t working I might have watched the 24 episodes in one sitting. It became nearly impossible for me stop after the climax of the story.

Plot: 10/10
Music: 8/10
Animation: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Sentiment: 9/10
Overall: 9/10