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Start date: 18 September 2021
Previous part: Week 13
Next part : Week 15
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Guess who makes a reappearance in this part…
As for Kei, what can I say, there’s impulsive, and then there’s Kei.
(having never met someone before:) “Make me your wife.”
(answer:) “I *(or you?) will work in a coffee shop.”
Most romantic start of a relationship ever or what?
Oh, yes, and the fun vocabulary continues. This week we learn about cicadas.
Ooh, thanks for these! Very interesting. Although ミンミンゼミ makes a very annoying sound, rather like a siren.
They all make a really annoying sound.
Only if you’re trying to sleep. Otherwise, they’re the background music of summer.
You reminded me of this Tofugu article on Japanese bugs:
A word of warning though, it’s not for the faint-hearted.
It bugs me a bit that Kazu’s rebuttal against traveling into the future is “you can’t be sure the person will be there”. Well sure, you can’t guarantee it 100%, but you can certainly make an appointment with the person in the present to meet in the cafe at such-and-such a time. Since travelling into the future and returning to the present with new information would change the future, surely the rules of the cafe would prevent it - Fumiko muses to herself that it’d be pointless, but surely it’s more that it’d be impossible.
That’s a special case though, isn’t it? If you just want to show up for an appointment, surely you can just wait until that time to show up, no reason to time travel. And with no appointment, and no knowledge of how the future will unfold, who knows where (when) you will land. With a time window of only a few minutes, I feel she does have a point.
My problem with it is that if you do travel to the future and then return, then you have prior knowledge. Does the no changing rule mean that even then you can’t change the future? If the universe still does all it can to keep the main facts unchanged, then that prior knowledge you’d gain from traveling to the future would be as good as worthless. And it also means that the future is already written, and nothing can ever be changed. Which doesn’t seem to be the point of the book. Kazu specifically tells Fumiko that she can still change the future earlier in the book, doesn’t she? Did the writer make up things as he went along? Because that’s how it feels sometimes.
And what bothers me even more is that we’re only now told that you can only time travel once. Surely people who want to time travel for trivial reasons should be told that, but also the ones who will only get the one chance at something important to them. But no, we are only told now in passing.
Agreed. I think the thing that makes it off-putting is a lot of the explanation is so unnecessary. I guess we’ll see if future travel comes into play, but it sort of has the same feel as the part about changing the past where 川口 could have just had the characters say you can’t change the past, but instead felt the need of throwing in that story about the guy being shot which didn’t make a lot of sense and felt really out of place. It’s like he’s taking the time travel logic very seriously, and wants us to take it seriously too, when it really doesn’t seem all that important to the story. In fact, he invites us to ponder the logical and physical implications which I think detracts from an otherwise good story.
It was more like “the future has not yet been written, so you can do whatever you want with it”.
So many of the explanations feel unnecessary. It still feels to me like these chapters were released in some manner of periodical, and each chapter he gets fan mail saying “hold on, what if I took a gun back to the past and shot someone?” which he decides to address directly in the following chapter.
No direct indication of that on the Wikipedia article, but if I’m reading it correctly, I think it says that he took four years to write it, so I’m sure he was getting feedback from his editor and probably friends.
Also, thanks for posting those cicada videos. I had a live Tokyo Walk 4K Youtube video on the other day, and now I know it was ミンミンゼミ singing in the background!
Surely an editor’s job is specifically to avoid this sort of thing, and make sure the book is a cohesive whole with no inconsistencies? Friends and fan mail sounds more likely.
Right, when I (as a non-time-travelling person) say “change the future” I basically mean “change the present’s direction so it leads to a different future than the one it seemed to lead to”, I guess. But if you can actually travel to the future, then isn’t that future set in stone? Or do you just travel to a possibility of the future? I keep promising myself I’ll stop worrying about the time travel aspect of the book, but it bugs me too much to ignore.
Earth calling Planet @Kawazoe! Please come in!
My life is not complete if I can’t tick myself off on a reading list every week.
Planet is here! (Almost. My baby started going to kindergarten in September and thanks to her contacts with fascinating brave new microworld our family cycles thru waves of flu, so there is at any time at least one person who is ill. I am so DEAD.)
Anyways, that shouldn’t burden the club members, so my apologies. Yet again
The 15 week discussion is here finally - welcome!