「ブタ野郎には明日がない」 (Buta Yarou ni wa Ashita ga Nai)
“There Is No Tomorrow for a Rascal”
To kick off the new arc, we’re building off of the foundation created from Futaba’s lesson on the theory of Laplace’s demon in which someone holds the key to knowing the mechanisms behind every atom. But instead of it unlocking the secrets behind the Adolescence Syndrome as a whole, it gives Sakuta a clue on who is causing him to get stuck in a time loop. However, your mileage will vary on whether you appreciate that the only person that can get Sakuta out of this time loop is Koga, and she’s looking to capitalize off of a misunderstanding to date him.
One fear that new-timers to the series have is whether Mai will be phased out in favor of every arc’s newest girl. While she shows up at the end to possibly play a larger role in Sakuta’s new dilemma in having to fake a relationship with Koga now that the school thinks they broke up, the fact that a misunderstanding occurred regardless does not give Mai a vote of confidence. Admittedly, I am biased in disliking misunderstandings in their entirety, and the fact that Mai automatically walks away from Sakuta under the assumption that Koga following over him was proof of infidelity did little to convince me not to get frustrated about the twist of events. It certainly doesn’t help that Koga is gung-ho about their “break-up” because that means she can try to convince him to play along with the rumors by dating her.
The impact of Sakuta’s new predicament, while irritating, is still brought out because of how effective the story shows the chemistry Sakuta and Mai have. With their lunchtime banter, it definitely brought out cuter moments where they agreed to go out at some point soon until she’ll reciprocate Sakuta’s confession. It was funny to see Sakuta holding out for Friday to repeat only to move onto the next day where Mai is upset at him, and the revelation that Futaba is a student that has a crush on Kunimi was a humorous development too. At the same time, Sakuta didn’t seem quick enough to try to reach out to her to explain himself, especially considering how quick Koga was able to capitalize off of the rumors. Luckily, Mai hasn’t been completely discarded since she should be playing a larger role given that she’s still willing to visit him and hear him out on why he didn’t explain himself, so it’s not like this is the end of their relationship altogether. However, I can’t say I’m excited to see an arc where Sakuta is stuck in a fake relationship with Koga because her plight reminded him vaguely of her sister.
Aside from the relationship drama, it’s also important to explore Laplace’s demon. Whereas the Schrodinger’s cat theory felt oddly lumped into the previous arc, Laplace’s demon is integrated into the story to look into the structural composition of past, present, and future. If the present is seen as the effect of the past and the cause of the future, then the wheels may already be set in motion for a certain future to happen based on one intellect or formula that knows how every atom will fall into place. As with Schrodinger’s cat, it simplifies the process by linking the current syndrome’s effect to the idea that there must be a way out of Sakuta’s time-loop because there is a series of events that must fall into place for reality to shift back into normalcy. By finding the correct pattern of behavior/actions to trigger the next day, every atom is shifted towards the correct direction, allowing for time to pass naturally and for events to unfold as the universe will allow it. Does this explain anything about Adolescence Syndrome? Considering that it would only apply towards Koga’s syndrome as the barrier that prevents time from moving naturally past the next day until the correct shift in public opinion and her subconsciousness occurs, different theories are situational to different cases. Taking the Bakemonogatari parallels further, you could probably call this arc “Koga Demon” and the last arc “Mai Cat” to differentiate which theories are the most relevant in determining which is the most relevant theory to follow as a guide into how Sakuta would need to resolve a specific case. Off of this logic, Adolescence Syndrome appears to change its rhyme, reason, and mechanics with a specific guideline depending on who its target is, and the only constant is how it all ties into public perception. How Koga’s emotions and feelings about dating end up allowing time to progress will be interesting to look into, but it will also have to keep in mind how theming each syndrome behind a theory will be relevant to the case. With such a broad principle like using determinism as a means of figuring out that every action has a predictive reaction, Sakuta will just have to guess the right action to let time calculate the right outcome for the present to get back on track with the future.