Yes, I seriously worry that the book will end with one huge recap, reintroducing everyone once more and then re-reminding us of the rules. (then after we’re done reading, we may start getting regular email reminders)
But I still don’t get this pre-arranging thing. Is it enough to announce a time and date a second before you time travel, then people should just strive to be there? So is the future already written? Or is it being written the moment you start time traveling to it? If it’s already written then nothing you do now matters, or rather it does, but it’s not like you could do anything else anyway, it’s all predetermined. Or maybe the future is a great unknown, and you force it to take shape the moment you travel to it?
In any case, if people can forget appointments in the present, or need to cancel or are somehow delayed, then appointments in the far future shouldn’t be any easier to keep.
Well, more specifically, Kazu is making a promise to ensure that Kei’s child will be present in the cafe at the designated time. The selection of the date and time before travelling is so that Kazu knows precisely when they need to be there in order to meet Kei.
Well yes, but failing to keep said appointment is on you, not on the magics of time travel. The intent of the appointment is so that you know when to be there to meet the other person. You’ve only got a fairly limited window, after all.
So Kazu of the future (along with Nagare and everyone else present) know that Kei is going to be visiting*, because she said so in the past /present, so they can even prepare a birthday party for the appointed time if they like. Then presumably Kei comes back to the present and tells them how it went, so now they already know what happens in the future. So they don’t really need to remember to keep the appointment, because it will just happen (or won’t). My mind is going in circles.
Yet when Hirai goes back to the past Kei is also there, but present Kei doesn’t remember anything of that meeting, nor does she seem to remember the reason behind it, which she deduced in the past.
*It somehow took me too long to realize why Kazu was insistently asking about the precise date and time. But wouldn’t it be more useful if she asked after Kei returned? It would still be the past, so they could still keep the appointment. But then, the future would have already happened. But it’s still the past. I give up.
PS. Anyway, yes, last week I was debating against the usefulness of setting a time traveling appointment for the future, but I can see now that in some cases it makes sense. Not in Fumiko’s case, but certainly in Kei’s.
Presumably the magic of the cafe will intervene to prevent that, just as it prevented them from thinking over the implications of what it meant last chapter for the girl to come back from the future purely to get a photo with Kei.
That’s because changes in the past don’t affect the present. Somehow. It’s apparent that you can change the past - if for no other reason than because the travel in chapters 1 and 3 explicitly took place while the traveller was already in the cafe the first time around - but said changes don’t propagate through the timeline. I guess it splits off a new timeline a la Avengers Endgame, but the time traveller always returns to their original timeline?
If that’s so, then the future they travel to is also not necessarily the future that will eventually happen in this timeline? So Kei may return from one version of the future, but then the actual future the others experience may be somehow different, just with the main facts always staying the same?
On a different topic, I was certain that we would get a back story for the one-piece woman at some point, but as we’re nearing the end it seems increasingly unlikely. Does she remain a mystery? Just a random novel-reading ghost, move along, nothing to see here.
Honestly, the nebulous way that the rules are applied to travel to the past almost makes things even worse for travel into the future.
Her story is in the movie, in place of this current story - I read somewhere it was taken from the sequel novel. Or possibly the third book in the series. Or maybe I imagined reading that - from looking at the book synopses now, it’s hard to tell.
I was planning on discussing book/movie differences once we’d finished reading, but I can summarise it if you like.
I was suspecting it would be in a later book. So the author must have known there would be multiple books from the beginning, otherwise it’s strange to introduce an intriguing character and then just leave them in the background with no further comments.
I’m looking forward to the book/movie comparison, but it probably makes better sense to keep it for the final week’s thread. I’ll wait.