Week 5: コーヒーが冷めないうちに (Intermediate BC)

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Week 5

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Start date: 17 July 2021
Previous part: Week 4
Next part : Week 6
Wordlist : Google doc

Reading

Week Start Date End Phrase End Page (PB) Page Count
Week 5 17 July (end of 1st story) 90 16,5

Discussion Rules

  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter(s) and any content in future chapters.
  • When asking for help, please mention the chapter and page number. Also mention what version of the book you are reading.
  • Don’t be afraid of asking questions, even if they seem embarassing at first. All of us are here to learn.
  • To you lurkers out there: Join the conversation, it’s fun!

Participants

Mark your participation status by voting in this poll.
(Please feel free to update your status whenever you like!)

  • I am reading along
  • I am reading behind the schedule
  • I have finished this part
  • I have decided to drop the book
  • Don’t mind me, just show the results :durtle_tomato:

0 voters

Week 6 - Onwards reading pace

There are 3 more stories (and around 258 pages in my PB version) to read in this book.

  • we can either step back a bit for a reading pace of ~15 pg/wk (13-17 pages), so it will take around 17-18 more weeks to finish the book;
  • or we can play hard with a reading pace of ~20 pg/wk (18-22 pages) and finish the book in around 13 weeks.
    I have also an option in mind to be flexible with the pace and prioritize most logical breaks. The poll is below, if there are any other suggestions - please share :slight_smile: Poll will close automatically on Saturday evening (or Sunday midnight).
  • I prefer ~15 pg/wk reading pace
  • I prefer ~20 pg/wk reading pace
  • Pace may fluctuate, just make good breaks
  • I have another suggestion, will post the details
  • I’m just passing by…what are ya’ll voting for?

0 voters

1 Like

I really liked the story. It wrapped up kind of like I thought it would (Being able to change the future). Looking forward to the next section. I wonder if they will all get tied together somehow.

3 Likes

I totally agree. The ending was hopeful, but still kind of bittersweet. For whatever reason, I’m a sucker for those kind of endings.

Considering that I didn’t care much for either Fumiko or Goro as we moved along in the story, the ending provided enough of a turnabout for me to feel pretty emotionally invested in both of them. I like stories like that where my initial judgment of a character turns out to be pleasantly misguided.

I haven’t changed my mind though that Hirai, Nagare, Kei, Fusagi, etc. all seem to be much more compelling characters though. So I’m excited to read on and see how the cafe’s power impacts all of them.

6 Likes

Quite. The big answer to the question of “what’s the point in time travel if you can’t change the past?” :slightly_smiling_face:

2 Likes

It was a nice enough ending, true. Mild ending spoilers: I once again got frustrated with Fumiko when she seemed intent on wasting her second chance just as much as her first, but the ending was hopeful in a way. You can always change the future. But you can change the future anyway, no need to go to the past, at least in Fumiko’s case. Was there really no way to ever communicate with Goro after he went to America? Oh well. Very much looking forward to the rest of the stories. I’m hoping we get the backstories of everyone mentioned so far.

3 Likes

just-shower-thoughts-when-people-talk-about-traveling-to-the-past-they-44108980

That said, it’s more that Fumiko herself had to be changed first, before she could change the future.

6 Likes

Beautiful takeaway, isn’t it?

2 Likes

Rather than wanting to change the past, it makes more sense to me to go back to the past in order to relive a happy moment that is not possible to experience again, or to get some information that is impossible to get some other way. Both of these can happen within the cafe’s rules (At least I think so, although not being able to leave a specific seat might be a hindrance in reliving a happy moment ). I wonder if any of the next stories have to do with that.

4 Likes

I can’t find the finish line of this week? What is it?

It’s the end of the chapter. At least in my version, there’s a big splash page for the next chapter on the whole next page, so you can’t miss it. :stuck_out_tongue:

The actual line is 『恋人』というタイトルと小説を静かに閉じた。

1 Like

I feel like that’s essentially what happened in Fumiko’s story, no? Although she wouldn’t come right out and tell Goro she didn’t want him to go, she was more honest with her feelings than she was the first time by at least expressing that she was hurt that he didn’t bother to tell her before decided to leave for the States. And because she did, she finally got to hear Goro’s true feelings. He wasn’t leaving her because he didn’t care about her; he had some real insecurities and basically assumed she was better off without him, and would leave him eventually anyway. He also hopes to be able to come back in three years and maybe he’ll have self-actualized enough to feel worthy of her and the relationship. That new information definitely gave her the perspective she needed to gain some closure and look toward the future with hope.

5 Likes

That’s a very good point. I was referring to her initial motivation for going to the past, which was merely to change it. She never really seemed interested in Goro’s point of view, but only in how it affected her/them. After she learned that she couldn’t change the past, her motivation became unclear. But in the end, getting important information is exactly what she did. She learned more about Goro’s point of view, and did get some vital information about the future. Some good character growth for Fumiko there, and just possibly a basis for a healthier, more balanced relationship in the future.

3 Likes

Thanks a lot :laughing:

1 Like

So, Fumiko now knows something which she didn’t know before going to the past.

Isn’t this a violation of the rule that you can’t change the present? There is no material change, but a change in her mind.

I wonder: What would Goro say when asked about his last meeting with Fumiko? Would he remember the first or the second version?

2 Likes

Good question, I wondered about that too. I would say Goro probably remembers the first version. It’s been a while since I read it (I haven’t managed to reread this week as planned), but wasn’t Fumiko sitting at a completely different table from Goro? That must have been an odd conversation to remember, and rather hard to explain . Reality isn’t supposed to change, after all, so Goro shouldn’t be affected. Or maybe his memory has turned fuzzy? I don’t know, time travel is always confusing.

As for the rules, my understanding is that you can’t change the facts of the past, in other words you can’t undo what has already happened. But changing the present and future is something we do all the time, with every little action of ours. So one might argue that the rules were bent a little bit, but they weren’t broken. A change in Fumiko’s mind could have happened even after some serious contemplation, no trip to the past needed. And this change in her mind will only affect what will happen from now on.

5 Likes

Aside from the fact that it’s “you can’t make changes in the past”, the rule is not “changing the present is forbidden” but rather “it doesn’t matter what you do in the past, nothing will change”.

5 Likes

It seems that the rules were not quoted often enough for me. I hope there will be some repetitions in the next stories. :wink:

3 Likes
Thoughts on time-travel mechanics

I was kinda of the hope that “you can’t change the past” was like the Lost-style “whatever happened, happened” rule - that is, you can’t change the past because your travelling through time is already part of the established timeline (i.e. from the point of view of someone watching from the outside, like Kazu, future you suddenly appears in the cafe, has a conversation or whatever, then disappears, and then later on, a slightly earlier you walks in and travels back to the past).

Unfortunately, the fact that Fumiko’s time-travelled conversation with Goro appears to occur at precisely the same time as her original conversation scuttles that theory, suggesting it’s more like Endgame-style time travel… ish. That is, you’re less travelling to the past, and more travelling to a bubble universe that just happens to exactly resemble the past, so even if you, say, burn down the cafe, it’d make no difference to the prime-timeline cafe. Or something.

4 Likes
on time-travel mechanics

This is exactly my understanding as well. You don’t actually return to the past, you just get to re-experience the past, more like watching a video that you can strangely also interact with. This way, you can certainly be changed by the experience, but nothing and no one else is affected at all.

4 Likes

I loved this little story…really, so glad I’m reading it :relaxed: I’m also reviewing some new grammar alongside it, and some other point I’m going to ask you all :grimacing:

1 Like