君を愛したひとりの僕へ :Email: ・ Off-shoot Book Club

I’ve finished up the second chapter and the subsequent intermission.

第二章 and 幕間 Spoilers

Well, it was exactly the kind of story I both wanted and didn’t want. :face_holding_back_tears:

Seeing Shiori and Koyomi’s relationship develop was great. The way Koyomi described the parents’ blatant questioning of that relationship stood out to me quite a bit. The description of the relationship being like a painting where he and Shiori were carefully selecting their colors and the parents coming in and deciding the color on their own was actually pretty decent. I guess this Koyomi is a lot more poetic than the other; but still prone to fits of childishness given that his response was to hit his dad. :sweat_smile:

It didn’t feel totally out of place, even if it still surprised me a bit. I mean, a teenager lashing out in anger is totally normal. I just wouldn’t have necessarily expected the violence from this Koyomi.

I did like the little back and forth between Koyomi’s parents. The way the conversation was interspersed with his thoughts as they continued talking over him really brought me into the scene. It felt like my own kind of thought process, in a way. I certainly know the feeling of being in my own head, trying to focus on my thoughts, while a conversation that involves (or should involve) me is just flowing onward without my input, no matter how badly I want to give it. Giving only partial answers that don’t fully express how I actually feel because I’m expected to answer but haven’t organized my thoughts yet… yeah. I definitely understand this Koyomi a lot more than 僕愛’s. :joy:

But also, again, I can’t shake the feeling that this novel really does just feel a bit better written. It’s a different style than 僕愛, for sure, and I like it a lot.

But now… the part we knew was coming. :face_holding_back_tears:

Knowing it was coming didn’t make it any easier when we had that brief moment of hope before the sudden return to reality. The slow realization that Shiori wasn’t breathing, the panic of realizing the box wouldn’t open, and the subsequent shock as things just unfolded around him. This Koyomi’s sense of helplessness is heartbreaking. :sob:

The scene where he is standing at the intersection (side-note: guess we now understand the bit about the girl in the leotard from 僕愛) contemplating suicide… oof. That was a gut-punch of emotion. Without getting too explicit, I understand the thought process more than I would like to admit, down to the lacking courage for it. The intermission being entirely from Shiori’s point of view was also heartwrenching. Definitely a more melancholy feel to this one than 僕愛, but I’m finding myself pulled into it so much more consistently. I wonder if 僕愛 didn’t suffer a bit from the slower reading schedule to some extent. :thinking:

As far as the weird instances of 僕, I have to wonder of there isn’t some like…delayed or confused mixing of consciousness from the sorta forced way he is doing the shifting to parallel worlds? I’m not really sure. I expect it’s not a typo, but maybe I’m off-base entirely. Hopefully we will see some clarification on this as we read on.

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Oh it definitely did. I was worried about that from the moment I nominated it, and many people’s criticisms (not all of course) I felt could be traced back to the slow schedule.

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第二章と幕間

You kind of motivated me to read through chapter 2 and the intermission :sweat_smile:. But it wracked my brain now.

I think this is one of the few books where adults are mature and teens behave like teens. A lot of bad choices come from Koyomi and Shiori being teens. That’s super believable actually :slight_smile: .

The fact that step siblings can marry is a new to me, tho. The fact they shouldn’t marry is literally the foundation of every single smut manga/anime I went through :joy:.

The story feels better written for sure. The plot is more coherent. Things happen and have consequences. We don’t have jumps between life periods without particular meaning. In this book they’re all meaningful.

But the ending of this chapter and the intermission. Holy smokes, big oof :disappointed::disappointed::disappointed:.

I want to continue reading, but at the same time i am afraid. This is obviously not Your Name so we won’t get a Happy End (Koyomi saving Shiori and getting her out of the comma), but a True End.

Well let’s see.

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第三章 + spoilers!

The emotional rollercoaster of emotions continues. At the beginning of the chapter I was a little more hopeful, but as the chapter progresses, I’m slowly starting to lose hope :frowning: .

The chapter shows similar problems as the recent Flash movie - there are “fates”, series of events, which lead to certain break points in the timeline and cannot be avoided no matter how hard one tries. However, much like in the Flash movie, the consequences are explored only at surface level of A->B->C->A :confused: .

One thing that sort of bothers me also is the fact that Shiori and Koyomi are effectively robbing other versions of themselves from the future they could’ve had. Shiori committed unintentional homicide on her other self from a parallel universe by invading it and then leading to a car crash. More so, she might’ve impacted a 3rd Shiori when trying to “jump” parallel universes once again. As a result, we have a brain dead Shiori 1’s body with dead Shiori 2 inside and a ghost of Shiori 1 in the same universe. It’s a complete mess :joy: .

Meanwhile, Koyomi, stricken by grief, embarks on an egoistic spree of abducting another Shiori to somehow replace Shiori 1.

What’s the most interesting is that the understanding of parallel universes and how they overlap is completely different in this book than in the other one. There is the whole sea + foam bubbles metaphor, but it seems like Koyomi’s dad and Shiori’s mom look at the problem completely differently and the universes work differently? Suddenly, it is apparently possible for people to jump between the universes without the need for the chamber and not only Koyomi, but also Shiori is able to do it.

Also, which universe is actually universe 0? Based on Koyomi’s explanation it seems like the universe of Shiori’s Koyomi is universe 0? That contradicts with the other book :sweat_smile: .

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Every universe is universe 0 to someone. It’s literally keyed to each individual. Let’s say there are worlds A and B that are 1 apart. From Koyomi A’s perspective he is 0 and B is 1. From Koyomi B’s perspective he is 0 and A is 1.

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Oh! From the prior discussions about the previous book I understood that there is a central universe 0. My bad!

Do my other points make sense or did I miss something also?

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Unfortunately I don’t remember the story details well enough to comment on the rest.

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No worries! Let’s see what @MrGeneric says. I think they’re reading it a little more carefully than me right now.

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I’ll let you know my thoughts once I dive into the third chapter! I’ve not started it yet. :joy:

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I finished chapter 3 and still need to make my way through the intermission after (hard to find time), but… holy smokes was it sad. Did she really have to die? :cry: I nearly effing cried on my way home yesterday…

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Finished the book. Have quite the mixed feelings about it. @MrGeneric how are you with schedules? Were you able to continue reading? :slight_smile:

Some thoughts below

chapter 4 + spoilers

I was super hyped to see Kazune in this book and that she again steps into Koyomi’s life with a bang, but this time a different one. While this Koyomi doesn’t remember how he “stole” her chance of being top of the class and then gave it up for free (because he didn’t give it up, ha!), he did experience (tehehe) a lot of Kazune in parallel universes and she eventually becomes aware of that through chats with other Koyomis during optional shifts.

However, I don’t like the overall direction of this chapter - Koyomi is coming up with all sorts of reasons why he can’t save Shiori and that she’s doomed the moment they meet. While largely true (explained in the chapter), it’s also strange that he never considers how wrong it would be to invade another Shiori’s and Koyomi’s parallel universe for the sake of his own Shiori.

I will write about the time travel thing in the next block.

last chapter + spoilers

I think this is effectively where things start falling apart. The time travel explanation is somewhat believable, but the problem are the moral and philosophical implications of what Koyomi is trying to do.

  1. Why does Koyomi assume that if him and Shiori meet later in their lives is she going to be doomed? I don’t feel it’s mentioned anywhere that he specifically explored these possibilities in parallel universes. It’s only said that their “fated” encounter when they were both 7 years old was a trigger for all the unlucky events later. It’s however fair that he wouldn’t be able to feel love for any Shiori who he hasn’t spent time with, because each of them is a little different.

  2. Him traveling back to when they were 7, preventing them from meeting back then doesn’t exclude the possibility of him meeting her later and them becoming a regular couple. Also, it effectively erodes the “him” Koyomi and “her” Shiori from any timeline and to me personally is not a solution.

  3. Koyomi spending his entire life to find a way not to meet Best Girl Shiori (it’s actually Kazune, but ssshhh!) has to be the weirdest take ever. This is effectively worse than the latest Flash movie :sweat_smile: . If he succeeds, and 4 things can go wrong at any point, it’s still a Bad Ending, because Koyomi and Shiori never meet and never leave happily ever after.

  4. The book has actually no ending and it’s too disjointed from the ending of the previous book for it to form a whole. While in the other book another Koyomi meets some Shiori and they’re both happy, there is no guarantee that this Koyomi actually succeeded. Also, since there exist universes where Shiori and Koyomi never meet, why even pursue the whole ordeal in the first place? To me it feels meaningless.

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We will see how I feel after the last stretch of my move today (one more 5 hour leg of the drive left!), but I plan on trying to read at least the 3rd chapter today. I may go on to finish the book if my brain isn’t pure mush by then.

I considered reading the 3rd chapter last night, but decided to take it easy instead because I was so tired after that first 10 hour leg of the journey, so I just played some Rune Factory 5 instead because the dialogue is so simple, but it still counts as Japanese. :sweat_smile:

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Oh god :smiley: . No rush at all, don’t worry! In the meantime I started reading ある男 with my girlfriend and playing through Fatal Twelve (wink wink).

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Nice! Let me know how ある男 goes. I’m definitely still interested in it. I just know I shouldn’t start anything overly difficult right now… especially since it’s looking like I may be running the next ABBC pick also, the way the votes are shaking out. :joy:

I also need to start scheduling Fatal Twelve again soon. Just haven’t set the time aside for it. I guess if worst comes to worst, I can do some of the scheduling as we read. That’s how a couple of the other VN clubs already run. :stuck_out_tongue:

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At the beginning it definitely wasn’t easy and it took me around 5 pages to get used to the writer’s style, because it wasn’t always clear who says what. The writer has this manner of writing clauses without subjects, including nested ones so sometimes I wasn’t sure who’s doubting whom in a dialogue :sweat_smile:

There was also a load of words unknown to me at the beginning, but thankfully my copy of the book has furigana for the more challenging (for Japanese readers lol) words.

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So a vague writing style and frontloaded with unfamiliar vocab… that doesn’t sound too intimidating, at least. Maybe I don’t need to put it off all that long in the end. :thinking:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

I am starting chapter 3 this morning, by the way. I decided to take a walk and do a bit of decompressing after the long drive the past two days, so didn’t pick up anything more than just the super easy manga I’ve got going on last night in the end. :joy:

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Wrapped up my reading today! Forgive typos. I’m on my phone and typing quickly before I go to a bbq with my family. :grin:

第三章 + 幕間

Rollercoaster of emotions is an apt descriptor for sure. It sets you up like there might be some hope, and then snatches it away again by the end. :face_holding_back_tears:

I always struggle a bit to wrap my head around the idea behind “fated” events; the idea that if one thing happens, then another thing will always result. Mostly because I dislike the whole idea of fate; I believe choices have consequences, of course, but there’s so many little things that can make those consequences slightly different. In a book that focuses on the idea of minute differences between worlds, one would think that at least one Koyori/Shiori combo would have reacted more calmly somewhere along the line, right? Otherwise, I don’t fully wrap my head around the premise. I guess this is what the Schwartzchild Radius theory of Koyomi’s attempts to explain, but I think it’s going past me a little bit.

I’m not sure if that’s because we are definitely venturing into a scientific field that I am definitely not super familiar with, or if it’s because it’s just Sci-Fi nonsense that puts a name on something and says, “This is the rule. Don’t question it too deeply.” :joy: The joys of reading sci-fi in a language one is still learning, I suppose.

That aside, the situation is tragic. The idea that Shiori is basically stuck as this consciousness in one spot, literally only unable to return because there’s essentially a dead version of her stuck in her body is heartbreaking. What a situation to be in.

This jumps out to me. Did I miss something in the reading that made you feel this way? I didn’t get a sense that he was going to really try and abduct another Shiori, only that he wanted to find a way to try and save her by jumping through the worlds until he found a method.

What is interesting to me is just how different this Koyomi is from the other. The lessons and experiences with parallel worlds have them totally at odds with each other in a way, with Takasaki basically resolving that he loves every version of a person, and Hidaka coming to realize he only loves one version of another, made all the worst because that version is the one he can’t possibly hope to reach.

He used the word 皮肉 to describe that he is the one who proved that Schwartzchild Radius theory, and, man, if that’s not the understatement of the century. That would have to be such a bitter feeling, to have dedicated your entire life and career to something, only to be the one to prove that what you are trying to do is essentially impossible. The teaser that he is now going to be looking into time travel has me interested, but I have to stop reading for the day. I hope this doesn’t turn into a complete mess.

Yeah, this is a bit strange to me also. I read and re-read the section where Shiori’s mom is theorizing why this is possible, but I came away with the same feeling as the Schwartzchild Radius thing – it feels more like the author has set a rule, and you are just expected to take it at face value with some talk about some people, like Koyomi (though not Shiori; if I’m following, she was only really able to jump because of his influence…or maybe it’s a case of the two of them together is what allows for this extra confluence. I’m not quite clear on that) having a higher amount of imaginary particles, and thus being better at jumping between worlds than the average person. Got some midichlorian vibes from this explanation, not gonna lie. :joy:

But, I have to say, I’m still enjoying this a lot. I tend to enjoy sci-fi best when I tune out some of the jargon, because if I start looking too deeply into it, I tend to get lost in the cycle of “but why?”

When I turn off the jargon in this story, though, I really do enjoy (and am saddened a lot by) the star-crossed lovers thing going on in this novel, and I am definiteky looking forward to see how it concludes and how it may connect up with the other book in the end. I already have some thoughts on how that may go, so I’m curious to see how they line up.

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第三章 replies

Yes, usually one would assume it’s a matter of “cause” and “effect” that are causally related, and I too would agree that it would be far more realistic to assume that any number of minor things can happen which would prevent the tragic events from unfolding.

I had to look up Schwartzchild Radius, because A) I couldn’t navigate through the butchered English in the book and B) I didn’t know Schwartzchild Radius is a thing. However, yes, it’s related to the event horizon and in the book it’s kind of used more metaphorically, because it relates to imaginary matter and not actual matter. What Koyomi meant was that there is a radius (number of parallel universes) within which the tragic event is inescapable and will always happen and beyond that radius Koyomi and Shiori never meet (to my understanding).

Some of it sounds a little bit like sci-fi nonsense, but I would put it down on us not understanding Japanese well enough :sweat_smile: . Usually the level of physics used in anime/manga is “basic”.

That was pretty effed up, I have to say…

I didn’t mean it literally, but what Koyomi and Shiori committed before was effectively manslaughter - Koyomi as accomplice and Shiori directly by jumping universes. The premise of “finding another universe just for them” is tragically romantic, but the consequence is that some Koyomi and some Shiori are now stripped of the chance they were originally given to live a happy life.

This is similar to the shenanigans in the previous book. Takasaki Koyomi just suddenly ends up somewhere as a kid, his life turned upside-down, etc. The fact that he might stay in that universe forever would be quite dreadful. Fortunately, our Hidaka Koyomi and Shiori knew each other before jumping to the parallel universe so there is a non-zero chance Takasaki Koyomi would still end up with some Kazune.

To the point - I understood that originally Koyomi wanted to find a universe where Shiori still lives and wanted to stay there himself or move his Shiori there or some such.

Hahaha I think you might’ve read this explanation more carefully than me :smiley: . Yes, you might be right that it’s because of Koyomi specifically. However, interestingly, it’s only this Koyomi who has this power? But there is more evidence for that later I believe so you’re right anyhow :slight_smile: .

Bunny girl senpai also has tons of physics jargon and the second season gets really confusing because of that. But there it actually does make sense. The thing with Bunny Girl Senpai is that the physics is just an expression of psychological aspects of puberty and both work super well in a story!

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I wrapped up the book today.

Overall, non-spoiler thoughts: I still liked this one overall better than 僕愛. Pacing issues aside (both from the book club schedule, and the way the book is written – especially since I sorta feel like 君愛 also started to struggle a bit pacing-wise at the end), I connected with this story a lot more than I did 僕愛’s. I feel like having the higher stakes from the beginning did a better job at keeping me looped in, as opposed to 僕愛, which seemed to rely on being vague to keep your attention.

With that in mind, I actually find that I’m happy I read the books in the order I did. Since 君愛 answers the mystery proposed by 僕愛’s opening, I don’t know if I would have been able to push through the originally unlikeable Koyomi in 僕愛 without that. There otherwise weren’t any stakes in that book until most of the way through it, so I don’t know if there would be anything that would keep me in. So for that reason, I actually feel like going from 僕愛 to 君愛 works better for me personally, even if 君愛 is the more somber book.

More spoiler bits/responses

I definitely agree that there’s probably some stuff going past me. I appreciated your explanation on how the Schwartzchild Radius actually played in, since that was definitely something that wasn’t connecting for me. What’s interesting to me is how differently authors will attack trying to explain physics. This book tried to use a lot of analogy, and I think that conversely, that made it a little harder for me to wrap my head around. I’m better with more specific examples than analogy. I did like the Guinness Cascade explanation, but otherwise, yeah, I would prefer a more direct explanation.

I think that’s why I agree so much with you here:

Bunny Girl Senpai dives into physics jargon, but I never felt completely lost because Rio is usually pretty well straightforward in her explanations. She’ll use some analogy, but not nearly as abstract as 君愛 got. It also probably helps that literally each volume is fully expressive of whatever physics it is using as a jumping point, so you have a roughly 300 page explanation playing out in front of you as you read, to be fair. :joy:

I definitely liked the Kazune in this book a lot, too. She got to have a pretty big role. They danced around it a lot, but I think it is pretty clear that this Kazune actually has some unrequited feelings for this Koyomi, who is obviously fully emotionally unavailable given the circumstances. Yet another little bittersweet tidbit in a book full of them.

This does still bother me. I still can’t fully wrap my head around why this is inevitable. It really seems to undermine the overall premise of the universe that was established, wherein there are always choices and subsequent parallel worlds from that. There’s really not a single instance where Koyomi and Shiori can meet, fall in love, but they don’t make a rash decision to jump between worlds to elope?

I get that event horizon metaphor, thanks to you’re explanation, but this is the part of the book where I have the most mixed feelings, and it feels the weakest to me. It’s like, I recognize that the author has an explanation… I just have a hard time buying it. :sweat_smile:

Because of that, there are times that it feels a bit like despite Koyomi saying he will never give up, it really feels like he has given up at least on the possibility of a truly happy ending, and is now just settling for any solution.

This is where the pacing issues I mentioned earlier come in; we jump a lot of time where they pretty much already have a plan, and it’s just a waiting game until the other Koyomi is dying. Nowhere in that time period did either of them think to try and come up with another way? Like, you don’t have to throw away the bird in hand here – you have a solution if all else fails – but why not at least try to find a happier end? Seems odd to me, but with more details on what they did in those time skips, maybe that feeling could have been banished, you know?

Honestly, I also would have loved a bit less dancing around Kazune’s feelings here. I would have liked a chapter inside of her head, kinda like the little bits we get from Shiori’s POV. That would have been interesting, imo.

Even if it’s just short bits from her conversations with the other Koyomi’s she spoke to over the years.

I’m left with this question, also. :joy:

Largely because I agree with your second point. We are told it’s inevitable that something bad happens to her if they meet, period, and have time to develop feelings for each other, but I still don’t understand why.

I think this is where I might disagree a little bit. It doesn’t have a real ending, for sure, in that it cliffhangers a bit if you hadn’t yet read 僕愛, but I do think that 僕愛 does give a fairly satisfying conclusion to this and lets us know that this Koyomi succeeded in a couple of ways:

  1. Koyomi comes across the ghost of Shiori, keeping the promise to meet her (though he doesn’t fully realize it), which allows her imaginary particles to dissipate and be free to merge, wrapping up the little “I’m waiting for someone” ending of the Shiori chapter. This is in the prologue of 僕愛. He thinks he may have jumped worlds and that is why the girl is no longer there, so he checks his watch, which leads to the second way it confirms he succeeded with the merge

  2. He gets an ERROR message on the watch when checking what world he is in. I suspect this is because the merge was successful; it can’t read his location because he effectively has both himself and the Hidaka consciousness (obviously to a very subconscious degree) within him.

I take this to essentially mean that his time-travel solution was that Hidaka basically never allowed himself to become Hidaka, canceling out the choice to ever live with his father, and, for lack of better phrasing, making it purely “canon” that he only ever goes to live with his mom (thus never meeting Shiori).

This does open up the question of why it takes until he is 73 before the watch ever glitches and recognizes the other consciousness, since in theory, it would have been there since he made that (now presumably “only” choice), but if we start talking about time paradoxes and inconsistencies in media, we will be here forever.

I also might just be misinterpreting something because I do agree, it was rather vague.

I also suspect that the woman he met and was happy to hear she was happy was Shiori, but I don’t recall from 僕愛 if they ever actually give her name, but that would explain why he feels like he knows her, and why he is subconsciously very pleased to hear she has lived a happy life, since the Hidaka consciousness would know that the spirit Shiori had merged successfully.

I’m very much just leaning on vague interpretation, though, since like I said, I don’t know if they ever gave the woman’s name. Think it just said, “A name I had no memory of,” but I would have to go back and check.

Overall though, I’m pleased with the book. I did like it more than 僕愛, but I think reading them as a pair is absolutely the way to go. I still feel that personally, 僕愛 then 君愛 is the only way I would have finished the prior, though. :sweat_smile:

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I just didn’t like feeling sad for a week and a half while I read it. I don’t mind sad movies since they are over in 2 hours, but a week and a half of sadness was too much for me. :sweat_smile:


Spoilers

I talked about this a bit in the main book club’s thread, but I see it as being about probabilities. There are surely worlds where Koyomi and Shiori meet and fall in love, but don’t make that rash decision. But if those worlds are orders of magnitude less likely than the chance of them meeting and making that rash decision or simply never meeting, it may be practically impossible to find such a world.

Also, I like the way it’s explained in Steins;Gate, which you could apply here as well if you want. Steins;Gate has the concept of an “Attractor Field”, which is a set of world lines (parallel worlds) that lead to a single converging point. In this case the converging point is Shiori’s death. Meanwhile, the worlds where they didn’t meet are in a different attractor field, so she doesn’t die. What you’re asking for with Koyomi finding a world where they can happily be together is like finding his Steins;Gate worldline, which is easier said than done.

I don’t think it’s explicitly stated, but it’s strongly implied. Also her statement “名乗るほどの者ではありません” is a direct reference to some dialogue from 君愛, so I think that’s as close to a confirmation as we need. But it makes sense not to say her name explicitly so as not to “spoil” 君愛 if you read 僕愛 first.

That’s interesting. I always assumed the ERROR was because he had jumped to such a faraway world that there was a number overflow or something, but I like your explanation better.

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