「ここにない世界」 (Koko ni Nai Sekai)
“The World is Not in Here”
After what’s seemed like an eternity, the episode we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. It doesn’t make up entirely for the flaws from previous weeks—odd pacing, quick resolutions and the like—but there’s no denying this is a game-changer that flips everything on its head, answers many vital questions, and firmly emphasizes what’s been at stake all this time.
Up until this point, the part about “big bad scientists keeping ability users in research facilities” seemed to be nothing but an urban legend, and why not? The only thing we had to go on was Tomori’s story, and despite the “threat” they posed and the rampant usage of powers from Tomori and the Student Council, not a single of these proverbial boogeymen made even a single appearance. As it turns out though, Tomori was on the mark all along, and things end up being on an even larger scale than we ever anticipated.
The catch is that it never happened in this timeline, and I’m in awe at how this episode brings together almost all the series’ loose ends in one go. One could reason that the scientists haven’t shown up because they’ve been preemptively thwarted by Shunsuke (and may not even know of the prevalence of such abilities), and the latter’s appearance not only confirms the existence of another Otosaka family member, but the identity of the “mysterious benefactor,” and the fact that there’s a huge variety in the strength and type of abilities people can possess. At the same time, we now know who the mysterious orange-haired figure from the end of episode 6 is, and it goes to show how intricately linked our main cast’s members are and have been from the start.
As expected however, answers only lead to more questions—the most pressing of which is how Yuu is able to remember something that he never experienced in the current time line. Assuming Shunsuke seized the opportunity to go back in time and change the past, it would reason that he should be the only one who knows the past he’s changed. The members of the new timeline shouldn’t possess memories of events from the other, and while it’s easy to see how Kumagami would know (Shun could’ve just explained things to him), it doesn’t explain how Yuu knows or why he had to have his memories erased in the first place. I suppose the erasure of memories is only a step away from altering or transplanting memories, but is that really it? Could it related to his relationship to Shun? Does he also possess the ability to time-leap?
Either way, there’s a measure of predictability in regards to how things’ll work out, and it seems all but confirmed that Yuu will use his “plunder” ability to acquire Shun’s powers (assuming he doesn’t have it already) and use them to go back in time to rescue Ayumi—perhaps in a plan codenamed “Charlotte”? The setup is there for a heartwarming ending involving the reunion of our brother/sister combo, but count me as someone who suspects it’ll be one more bittersweet than anything. The fact that Shun’s ability left him blind (is it a coincidence that Sala is blind and has similarly colored eyes?) makes you wonder if Yuu may not suffer the same fate, and it could very well be worse. After all, he’s utilizing an exceptionally powerful ability that wasn’t his own to begin with, and it only figures the drawback could be larger than we ever expected…