📚📚 Read every day challenge - Winter 2022 ☃❄

Summary post

January 18 update:
Read 8 pages of 時をかける少女 today. I managed to squeeze my reading time right after the lunch, and it made all the difference! I’ll definitely try to keep reading during the day rather than late at night as I usually did. Thanks for the (belatedly implemented) advice, @rikaiwisdom!

What I read today seems to have wrapped up a major part of the story (while setting up a huge cliffhanger), so I decided it’s a good point to reflect on it, and there was one specific observation that I particularly wanted to discuss. Trying to present my point, I ended up writing basically a short version of the first half of the story :sweat_smile:

Reflections on the plot so far (major spoilers!)

I find the story quite fun and engaging, but Fukushima-sensei sure has some funny ideas :joy:

The other characters are high school kids, so they’re bound to be a bit naïve and come up with far-fetched explanations. But the teacher? He’s supposedly the most reliable teacher to discuss such matters with, which is why they chose to talk to him. And so he listens to their story, which, I guess, goes roughly like this:

Kazuko has been feeling weird after happening to smell some unknown chemical in the school science lab. Four days later, she goes through her day as usual, and then a bunch of events happen at night – an earthquake, then a fire at a neighbor’s, and then in the morning she and said neighbor are crossing the street and nearly get run over by a truck. Once the truck is dangerously close, Kazuko finds herself awakened in her bed early in the morning (of the previous day, as is soon revealed). She goes to school, finds out that she somehow “leaped” to yesterday, and goes to discuss this with her neighbors-classmates. They’re skeptical of her story, but decide to see what happens at night, and at night the earthquake and the fire happen just as she “predicted.” Then she saves one of them from the truck, and they decide that the best explanation of this whole thing as that she has some superpower of time leaping.

(Granted, their version of the story is not presented to us as they speak to the teacher, so whatever they actually tell has probably been processed and interpreted twice before getting to him – first by Kazuko, then by Kazuo who does the talking.)

And so they tell all this to Fukushima-sensei, who seems to agree with the superpower theory, and concludes that smelling something four days ago is the most likely explanation of the power’s origin. Kazuko confirms that she doesn’t want to have a superpower, and the teacher goes on to suggest that she time leaps again – this time, four days back. Her ability to time leap more or less at will is pretty much not debatable at this point (sure, hasn’t she already done it once?). Having leaped, Kazuko is supposed to meet the culprit behind her chemical intoxication and prevent them from doing their deed.

Sounds fairly reasonable for a sensei, right? :rofl: At least I hope that passing by a construction site after this conversation is not intentional on Fukushima’s side – that would’ve been a cruel way to test a theory, as exciting as that theory may sound.

By they way (beware: mild Steins;Gate spoilers to follow), this time leaping ability seems to have had a major influence on the Time Leap Machine in Steins;Gate (or was the similarity accidental?). Although, this only applies to the ability as seen from the reader’s perspective, which presents it as being moved into your past self’s body while retaining the present self’s memories and, arguably, consciousness. The characters seem to interpret it differently, suggesting that it’s a combo of time travel and teleportation, – an explanation that doesn’t really fit, since there would be two independent Kazukos waking up in the same bed existing in the same physical world, which apparently was not the case.

@sumsum Oh hey, I’m glad to see we’re reading the same book! Yeah, the chapters do seem to carry a single simplistic message, but that’s understandable given that they are short, and the book is not exactly action-driven. I also find that this quality helps me follow the story without excessive dictionary look-ups (because vocab is probably my weakest point :caught_durtling:).