The Makinohara Shouko Answer.

Well, the Rascal Does Not Dream of Dreaming Girl / Seishun Buta Yarou wa Yumemiru Shoujo no Yume wo Minai movie is out, and it seems that many have watched it before me judging by the number of people stumbling upon my “The Makinohara Shouko Question.” post, in search of some answers!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 7 months since I wrote that.
My movie predicting magnum opus!

And while the predictions are over, there’s still a LOT to unpack with this movie. Which means it’s time to dive back into the world of Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai one last time. I’ve got Kimi no Sei by the peggies playing on repeat, so here we go.

The Makinohara Shouko Answer!

Needless to say, this post will contain spoilers!
Images will be unrelated to the actual text, I’m just putting them in here in sequential order of what happened in the movie.

Makinohara Shouko x3

First off, let’s summarize of Shouko’s puberty syndrome.

There are three Makinohara Shoukos. There is the “present” elementary school Shouko, there is the middle school Shouko, and then there is the college Shouko. Meaning there are two future Shoukos, and one present Shouko.

How could this be?

“Rather than coming from the future, it might be better to say that she had reached it…
When I went to see her last, Shouko-chan was unusually vocal about her worries. She wished her body would stop growing altogether…
There’s a Shouko who wants to grow up, and one who rejected it.
That split may be the cause of her puberty syndrome…


The one who rejected growing up desperately tried to stop time for herself.

As a result, the world slowed down in her eyes, as though everything were in slow motion. If it were observed from this world, where we and the Shouko-chan who wants to grow up are, what do you think would happen?”


– Futaba Rio

Makes sense enough, given the world we are talking about and all the other “science” we’ve seen! One Shouko desperately wants to stop time for herself, fearing death. Another Shouko desperately wants to grow up, and live her life. And so, both of these things happen, because Shouko had split into two, just like Futaba had.

But then, why are there three Shoukos?
Because this only accounts for two.

I have a theory for that as well, two theories actually, that explain this.

First is that Shouko had not only split into two, with one slowing time and the other living on, but that she had actually split into three, with one slowing time, one living on, and one stopping time completely. And this all occurred in that exact moment when Shouko was faced with an assignment about her future in the 4th grade of elementary school. Basically, her inability to decide, and the extreme conflict within her, caused not just one option to occur, but all of them:

  • “I want to grow up and experience an adult life.”
  • “I don’t want to grow up, I wish I never had this illness and could live a proper childhood.”
  • “I can’t decide at all. This is a choice I cannot make.”

If you consider these three “answers” to the assignment, they could each have resulted in a different Shouko, explaining our three Shoukos.

My other theory is that Futaba’s theory only applies to the middle school and college Shouko. The middle school Shouko being the one that lived on, and the college Shouko being the one that slowed it down. However, something else happened prior to their split.

Just like Koga was able to “live” through the future using her “Laplace’s Demon” ability, Shouko was able to “live”. Only instead of a few weeks, Shouko was able to forecast much farther into her life. After she received the assignment, she developed “Laplace’s Demon” herself, and time essentially stopped for her – she continued living on, only what she was actually living was a forecasted reality. Just like Koga was able to see future events, Shouko was able to live and see future events.

And then, in addition to “Laplace’s Demon”, Shouko’s forecasted self somewhere down the line developed another puberty syndrome, causing her to split into two forecasted Shoukos, with one of them slowing down time. Resulting in the middle school and college Shoukos that we know, and three Shoukos. Although in this case, one real, two forecasted.

After everything was said and done, and the two future Shoukos re-joined together, forming the original forecasted Shouko, and was able to convict herself and accept reality, accept her future. Just like how Koga needed to convict herself to move forward in order to break “Laplace’s Demon”, Shouko also had to – although this means that took Shouko years and years to find that conviction.

However, the one question that the second theory leaves me with is: if they didn’t split on that day in 4th grade, when in her life did the forecasted Shouko split into two? It would have to have been prior to when Sakuta met Shouko-san for the first time, because by that time Shouko-san was in high school. And we simply don’t know of any other incidents that could have caused that split in Shouko’s life.

The other question I’d have is: if Shouko was forecasting her life, how come she never repeated it or any aspects of it, instead only moving forward? That was a key feature of Laplace’s Demon: being able to retry over and over. Perhaps it never happened because Shouko never actually died.

Of the two theories, I think the first makes more sense, because it simply leaves less questions. Plus, if Shouko is able to slow time relative to herself, the logic could extend to her stopping it completely by speeding time around her up SO much that she was able to remain in 4th grade despite so many years going by for her other selves.

Relativity

A few points I’ll bring up here: Shouko is able to slow time relative to herself, causing her to reach the future earlier than everyone else. But she still experiences everything on her own, in her own reality. Which means that by slowing time relative to herself, she is still entering an alternate timeline.

In this sense, there are three timelines. One for each Shouko. And we learn that through dreams, Shouko is able to access the other timelines of herself. I suppose, because she exists in all three timelines at the same time, even if the three timelines are not in sync, in regards to date. Same way Sakuta was able to access his alternate timeline, because he too had reached the future before another part of himself had.

What’s interesting about all of this is that there are three Shoukos, each seemingly complete. But this also means that time itself is relative to each Shouko. For example, for the longest time we thought there were only two Shoukos – middle school and college. And so, college Shouko was thought of as “future Shouko”, and middle school Shouko as “present Shouko”. Because we thought of time relative to middle school Shouko. However, in reality, one could think of time relative to college Shouko, which would make middle school Shouko “past Shouko”.

But this relativity is why Shouko was able to go all the way back to elementary school. She saw elementary school Shouko, who she knew existed because of the changing assignment, as the present Shouko instead of the past Shouko.

That said, the interesting thing is that because elementary school Shouko was changing the assignment, she was more than a memory, she was affecting the future itself. Which could mean that relativity in the end meant nothing, and that she truly was just the present Shouko all along. This is what the movie seems to insinuate in the end.

Shouko & Sakuta

Another interesting point is in regards to Sakuta’s scars. We learn that Sakuta’s scars are not the product of his own puberty syndrome, but the product of two copies of his heart existing in the same timeline. This is something that seems a bit confusing to me.

First off, just existing in the same timeline shouldn’t be enough, because Shouko herself exists in the same timeline twice, as did Futaba, and even Sakuta. So we’d have to assume it’s contact, right?

And Sakuta never met Shouko-san until after his scars opened up. Meaning that Shouko-san would have had to come in contact with him prior. His scars originally opened up after Kaede lost her personality, but we don’t know of a time where he ran into Shouko-san around then. If there was a scene of Shouko-san walking by Sakuta or something, I missed it, but I don’t think there was.

Which makes this whole scars deal a little odd.

My theory to reconcile this is that perhaps Sakuta’s body was somehow reacting to the presence of his future heart, and by extension, future body. Perhaps those scars were the product of that car accident, and the surgery. His body itself was remembering the future, or trying to re-join with his future self, causing the scars. Something like this at least, it’s all I can really think of right now.

What’s interesting about this though is that it means the opposite of what I had predicted – it wasn’t Sakuta’s trauma that caused the scars to open and then for him to summon Shouko-san, but the other way around. Shouko-san was purposely visiting Sakuta during times of mental trauma, causing his scars to then open up. Because Sakuta is in the same timeline as Shouko-chan, Shouko-san is able to visit him freely through dreams. And if Shouko-san never re-joins with Shouko-chan, it seems she just goes back to her original timeline once the dream is up.

Because of Sakuta’s heart being in both himself and Shouko-san, he is always able to observe her. Just like Koga was the only one who could observe Sakuta, because they are entangled together, Sakuta and Shouko-san are entangled. And once observed, Shouko-san can enter the timeline and interact with others aside from just Sakuta.

What this all means is that Shouko-san either knew precisely when Sakuta would be going through mental trauma, or she was watching over him all along. Sakuta was the boy who befriended her, who adopted a cat for her, who visited her every day in the hospital, who taught her kindness… When Shouko found out that she had received HIS heart, and that he was dead, perhaps she went back to Sakuta’s timeline and stayed there the whole time, observing Sakuta.

I mean, isn’t it odd that Shouko-san figured out how to visit the past?
How exactly would she have known the precise moments to go back and visit Sakuta?

She must have really desired to go back and see Sakuta. And because the Shouko-chan timeline existed, with her unconscious desire she was able to go back into that timeline, where her younger form existed. And there she was able to watch over Sakuta. Since she was never observed by anyone but Sakuta, she lived as a ghost for two years.

That is, until Dec 8, when Shouko-san shows up at Sakuta’s doorstep in order to initiate a plan to save him at the cost of Shouko-chan’s life. Because she was observed by not only Sakuta, but Mai and Kaede as well, she became a part of the world. Before that moment, she had only ever been observed by Sakuta.

Some dialogue from Shouko-san tells us that her plan was to save Sakuta all along, from two years prior when Sakuta had first met her on the beach:

“Whenever I’m with you, my heart skips a beat.”
– Shouko-san

“Stop it, my wounds will reopen.”
– Sakuta

“Don’t worry. You’ll heal for sure.
The wounds in your heart, and the wounds on your chest…
I’ll heal them for you.
I promise.”
– Shouko-san

Time Loop

All of this means that there indeed was a time loop, as I had originally predicted. It goes something like this:

  • Sakuta meets Shouko-san, learns kindness.
  • Sakuta meets Shouko-chan via abandoned cat.
  • Shouko-san arrives on Dec 8 to try and save Sakuta.
  • Sakuta visits Shouko-chan in hospital and teaches her kindness.
  • Despite Shouko-san’s efforts, Sakuta chooses to die on Dec 24.
  • Shouko-chan receives Sakuta’s heart.
  • Shouko-chan desires to go back and repay Sakuta for having saved her.
  • Shouko-chan becomes Shouko-san, goes back to the prior timeline.

And so on. I could include more details, but you get the gist. You can start from anywhere, and it will loop infinitely. Or so it would seem.

But the thing is, it actually only loops once.

We’ve already established that there are only three timelines, not infinite.

First is college Shouko’s timeline, second is middle school Shouko’s timeline, and third is elementary school Shouko’s timeline.

Which means that very likely in the first timeline, college Shouko’s timeline, despite all of the trauma, Sakuta was able to bounce back on his own, meet Shouko-chan, befriend her, and be an inspiration to her. And on his own, he filled out the heart donation card, and he went to meet up with Mai. This Sakuta probably wouldn’t have planned on saving Shouko, because he had no way to. Which means the first accident, where he was hit, was truly that, an accident.

The Shouko that was saved by Sakuta in the first timeline then went back and watched over Sakuta in the second timeline. And that’s where the events of the anime and movie play out.

And then finally, Shouko ends up rejoining with herself in the second timeline, and goes back to the third timeline. Which is the one where she was an elementary schooler. With her newfound knowledge, she never met Sakuta, and was somehow able to change her own fate. We see Sakuta still meet Mai and go through everything he went through, only without Shouko’s influence.

The Sakuta we see in the first timeline is very similar to the one that we see in the third timeline, where he never met Shouko-san. The only difference is that in the third timeline he also never met Shouko-chan, until a little later after she had been saved.

It also means that those words of kindness, those three phrases, the mindset of living life trying to always be a kinder person, that all came from Sakuta originally. The first Sakuta, from the first timeline.

The Fourth Timeline

Ok, I lied. There are actually four timelines.
And that is because, Sakuta himself, creates another timeline.

The second timeline, Shouko-chan’s, splits into two on Dec 14. The day Sakuta realizes that the one who saves Shouko-chan was him. That was the day that he split into two.

Interestingly, prior to Dec 14, we experience every single day. But after Dec 14, we skip days. We jump from Dec 14 to Dec 18, then to Dec 21, then to Dec 24. Then we jump one last time from Dec 25 to Dec 28, the day of Sakurajima Mai’s funeral. I believe this is to symbolize that the Sakuta we are following at the time was experiencing time faster than his other self.

And in that fourth timeline, where Mai dies, Sakuta meets a different Shouko-san. A Shouko-san that received her heart from Mai, and not Sakuta.

This was an area of confusion for me, because what this implies is that not just the future, but also the past changed in this timeline. I suppose when Sakuta split, and one part went into the fourth timeline, he was also going into an alternate reality.

If you think about it though, each timeline IS an alternate reality, so I guess it really isn’t that big of a deal for Shouko-san to have received Mai’s heart in that timeline.

One question I was asked, and it is a great question, is how come Shouko-san was able to appear before Sakuta on Dec 28, when she was supposed to disappear on Dec 25, the day of her heart surgery, and the day her puberty syndrome was cured?

My answer to that is, because her puberty syndrome wasn’t cured on the day of her surgery. If it was, then how come Shouko-san was able to go back at all? When Shouko-san told Sakuta that she’d disappear on Dec 25th, she did so to try and guilt him into visiting her on the Benten Bridge, far away from the aquarium and site of the accident. She figured that if she told him she was going to disappear forever, that he might be inclined to visit her on that fateful night. Her entire plan was to prevent Sakuta from being hit by that car.

And Shouko-san herself wasn’t even at the bridge. She was at the site of the accident, watching and waiting to see if Sakuta would be hit or not. Because it wasn’t about meeting Sakuta for a date on Christmas Eve, it was about saving his life, and confirming this for herself.

The bottom line is, had Sakuta been saved, Shouko-chan would have died. We see this in the second timeline, where Sakuta rejoins with himself, after having saved himself. Shouko also rejoins with herself in this timeline. And while I suppose it isn’t explicitly mentioned, I believe she died in that timeline.

To Sum It All Up…

When Shouko was in 4th grade, she received an assignment relating to her future. But when she thought about her future, she became immensely conflicted, developing puberty syndrome.

This puberty syndrome caused her to split, with one Shouko moving through time faster, one at seemingly regular pace, and one slower or completely stopped. As a result, there are three Shoukos – elementary school, middle school, and college. And also as a result, there are three timelines, one for each Shouko.

The events of the movie take place during the middle school Shouko’s timeline, with college Shouko visiting from her own timeline and influencing events to try and save Sakuta. This causes Sakuta himself to split and experience a fourth timeline, before revisiting the middle school Shouko’s timeline to save himself. As a result, middle school Shouko never receives a heart transplant. College Shouko then rejoins with middle school Shouko. With all of this new information, Shouko realizes that a third Shouko stil exists back in elementary school – because of the assignment.

Shouko then goes back to the elementary school Shouko’s timeline, and proceeds to live life from there, knowing all that she knows, in order to somehow save herself as well as keep Sakuta out of her troubles. And she somehow manages to do this.

However, because of the bonds that they had shared, when Sakuta sees Shouko on the beach with her parents, he calls out her name, and they are reunited.

Hopefully that answers most of the questions surrounding Rascal Does Not Dream of Dreaming Girl. The movie itself was really something else, and opened up a whole new can of worms. I’m happy that I was able to predict as much as I had, in regards to the time travel loop, a connection between Sakuta and Shouko, Shouko-chan’s illness…

While I was wrong about Sakuta having puberty syndrome, and his scars actually being the result of Shouko, I think I was still pretty close!

If anyone has any further questions regarding the movie, I’d love to hear them because I love thinking about these things also. Whether I can think of an answer or not, it’s always interesting to dive into the “why” and “how” questions behind media like this.

Perhaps there’s something I’ve overlooked, or an incorrect assumption… feel free to let me know. I did write this all pretty much immediately after watching the movie, although I went through it a second time as I wrote this.

That just about does it for me, and this post has gone on long enough!

So until next time,
Thanks for reading!

52 thoughts on “The Makinohara Shouko Answer.

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  2. Eiri Ri

    I legit cried many times in this movie. It was so good and confusing at some point to hahah, My concern is just … In that last scene where Shouko is at the beach with her parents, I wonder if she got a heart transplant or was she even finally cured?

    Like

    1. I wondered that too, because it isn’t stated. But the joy in her face and the tone of the scene seems to infer that she was cured.

      And yeah I was bawling my eyes out many times throughout the movie haha.

      Like

    2. tanya

      she did get a transplant and was cured! at the end of the movie when mai and sakuta are on their date, they see a poster of a movie that mai acted in and it’s abt a girl with a heart condition that longs for a heart donor. mai even says that she doesnt know why but she felt like she needed to play this role even tho she forgot all about the events that occurred in the other timelines. even tho they dont say this in the movie, it is to be inferred that the movie was very inspiring to the ppl that watched it in theaters (sakuta even says abt how people were crying in the theaters) therefore, people were motivated to signup as heartdonors, inspired from the movie mai played in. since there were way more heart donors than usual, (finding a new heart for heart transplants are very hard due to the low amount of heart donors) present shoko was able to get a heart donor and was therefore saved from her heart condition ❤ hope that clears it up for u!

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  3. The very fact that your post was lengthy shows that you got a great deal out of Seishun Buta Yarō wa Yumemiru Shōjo no Yume o Minai and have insights on the movie in equal measure! The movie, and series as a whole, was superbly written, full of small details. It is impressive that you’ve picked these out and used them to construct a hypothesis that ended up being fairly close to the final outcome; for the pieces that did not end up coming to be, I think that sometimes, it’s good to enjoy and be surprised by a work, too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely. At the time when I even made the hypothesis I didn’t even know that there was going to be a movie! I think that’s what made it all the more satisfying. And even though it was almost a full year out, the wait was certainly worth it in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Anonymous

    I believe Mai San’s movie about a girl with heart disease inspired elementary Shouko chan to motivate herself to get better, or have a heart transplant, we see that she actually wrote future plans in the class assignment in the end, so my theory is that in the last reality, first Mai San was influenced by her past reality to star in the movie about a girl with heart disease (which was shot at the beach where our protagonist Butayaro met Shouko in his dreams (which is actually past realities)), then elementary Shouko saw the movie before the future plan assignment, then became more optimistic and encouraged about her future so does not develop puberty syndrome, then actually wrote future plans on her assignment, then was somehow cured (maybe it’s next season content lol), then finally (re)unites with Butayaro at the end of the movie then due to entanglement remembers each other, happy ending. But one thing bugs me is that the entanglement still exist even though Shouko San didn’t exist, which I believe means past realities are still realities and the new one didn’t rewrite it but simply wrote on top of it, this is a physics problem so I don’t understand, are the realities intertwined similar to the concept of parallel universes? but the parallel universes actually interfere with one another? I’m so confused.

    Like

    1. Oh, you know that’s an awesome theory. When I saw the movie poster, I figured that it was a new movie that was just coming out then, not something that had already been out for a while. I really like that idea that perhaps young Shouko was inspired by it, and how that ties everything together. However, I think that young Shouko at that point had all of the memories from the other two Shoukos already too.

      The way I see it with the realities is that elementary school Shouko was always the true reality, and the two future realities for middle school and college Shouko were the product of her puberty syndrome. So when middle school and college Shouko merged into middle school Shouko, she then merged back into elementary school Shouko and reality continued from there.

      So either there are alternate realities, and they all exist, or it’s one singular timeline that changed when Shouko merged back with her elementary school self. Or some combination of the two…

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      1. Anonymous

        wow thanks for replying, it’s a great explanation, also great to chat with strangers with mutual interests online, thank you I really appreciate it.

        Like

      2. Parad0x

        Hey I am late to the party but I just watched the movie and found your wonderful explanation. Really great work ! I wanted to add something about that theory of the movie inspiring elementary Shouko-chan to get better.

        First, I think you are right saying that the young Shouko had all of the memories of the two Shoukos, doesn’t the fact that she calls him by his name at the very end of the movie proves that ? It should be the first time he ever interacted with her in this timeline.

        Second (my main point), I read it elsewhere but I really liked it. It’s the fact that Mai felt a strong connection with the story of the movie because of “past” memories, and Mai being a popular actress made the movie more popular, which influenced a lot of people into checking their donor card. This is how the elementary school Shouko got her transplant in the timeline where everyone is alive.

        Thanks again for the great read, it really helped me wrap my head around it. Tell me if I missed something, but I like thinking that way about the movie ending !

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      3. Parad0x

        Darn, I just read comments further down and found out you already said what I said ! Sorry about that !

        Like

      4. Haha yeah, when I originally wrote this my understanding of the ending was still a little hazy. However since then here in the comments with other people I’ve sort of managed to bang it out and come to those conclusions also.

        Still appreciate you coming in here to point it out too!

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  5. I haven’t seen this film yet, so I read bits and pieces of this to keep myself in the dark about a few things. Anyway, clearly there was a lot to talk about for this film and it is WAY more than I expected it to be. I may even like it more than the series, which would be good. Thanks for submitting this to the showcase 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries Jon, I thought that might be the case anyways. It’s definitely best that you don’t spoil the experience for yourself. I’d put the movie alone on par with the entire anime season, or thereabouts, you will enjoy it for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

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  7. Anonymous

    “When Shouko-san told Sakuta that she’d disappear on Dec 25th, she did so to try and guilt him into visiting her on the Benten Bridge, far away from the aquarium and site of the accident. She figured that if she told him she was going to disappear forever, that he might be inclined to visit her on that fateful night. Her entire plan was to prevent Sakuta from being hit by that car.”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the accident was at the Benten Bridge, not the aquarium. Here’s what I understand:

    In the first timeline as told by Shouko-san, Sakuta died “on the way to the place he was supposed to meet with Mai”. This was the Benten Bridge, on his way to go see the illuminations with Mai, but Shouko-san did not reveal this piece of information.

    In the second timeline, Shouko-san asked Sakuta out to go see the illuminations first, so that when Mai asked the same thing (just like Mai did in the first timeline), Sakuta changes their date to the aquarium. Later on, Sakuta made up his mind to sacrifice himself to save Shouko, and so he goes a place en-route to the aquarium and prepares to get run over. Nothing happens because that’s not where the accident took place. Ssakuta realises that this was Shouko’s plan all along – to save him and let herself die in the process – and so takes off for the Bridge where he manages to make it in time for the accident.

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    1. Anonymous

      Evidence to support this:

      You can see he was running along a bridge just before he got hit.

      Also when he realises his suicide plan failed, he flashes back to both girls asking him out to the same place, which hints that that was the actual location of the accident.

      Like

      1. Anonymous

        Another small piece of evidence (can’t edit comments anonymously):

        When rabbit suit Sakuta goes to see Shouko-san on the bridge, she was a little suprised to see him there initially (and ahead of time for the accident. because her whole plan was for him to not go see her), before deducing that he must be future Sakuta instead of present one.

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      2. Good catch. I hadn’t thought about the fact that in the very original timeline Mai wanted to go see the lights with Sakuta, meaning they would have met near the bridge. I guess what threw me off is how the accident takes place near the bridge, but I guess by “meet at Benten Bridge” what they really mean is the park next to it.

        Definitely makes sense that this is the case then. And yeah Sakuta purposely ran there in order to sacrifice himself.

        The one thing this makes me wonder then is why Shouko arranged that date in the first place, at that location? Was it solely to “beat Mai to the punch”, and cause Sakuta to schedule their date somewhere else?

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  8. Anonymous

    I still don’t get what happens after Sakuta saves himself? How did he and Mai travel back again, what impact did that have after shoko chose to die and what were the risks of them travelling back if everything still happened as normal? Also why do they dream about previous timelines? Arrghhh sorry but this is so confusing for me! You should make another post that explains the entire movie!

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    1. Haha, sorry if I raised more questions than you already had!

      Ok, so let’s say that Sakuta 1 is the one in costume, and Sakuta 1 saves Sakuta 2. Sakuta 1 then disappears because the timeline changed, and Sakuta 1 is from a future that no longer exists… or it exists, but on a different timeline, if that makes sense.

      After that, middle school Shouko is going to die, because she didn’t receive an organ donation, because Sakuta (or Mai) wasn’t hit by the car. However, college Shouko *somehow* merges with middle school Shouko, causing middle school Shouko to know everything that had happened.

      After that, just like how college Shouko visited Sakuta, and how Sakuta visited (and saved) himself, Shouko visited herself back in the 4th grade, which is the “original” Shouko in that I believe that all of these time travel / dream shenanigans began with 4th grade Shouko, the moment she developed this puberty syndrome. From there, with newfound certainty and confidence (thanks to Sakuta and friends) she lived on in this new “final timeline”.

      Technically Sakuta and Mai never met Shouko in this final timeline, but because of their bonds in the previous timeline, Mai becomes inspired to act in a film involving an organ recipient, which causes more people to donate their organs, which causes Shouko to be saved in this timeline. And then Sakuta, thanks to his bonds from the previous timeline, remembers Shouko when he sees her at the beach.

      Dreams are involved in that the way Shouko (and Sakuta) were able to travel “back in time” was through dreams. As for WHY, I don’t know for sure, but I guess it has something to do with the fact that EVERYTHING is the result of 4th grade Shouko’s puberty syndrome. And technically, by the end of the movie, EVERYTHING that had happened in the previous timeline was just a dream. 4th grade Shouko’s dream.

      Anyways… hope that helps. Sorry for the long answer haha, it’s really difficult to explain this movie in a concise manner.

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      1. Anonymous

        Ahh I see thanks. At the end when they fall asleep and there’s a flashback is that shouko’s changes taking place?
        So u don’t’ know how the characters time travel or how the side characters could dream of the previous timeline?

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      2. I think so, I apologize as its been a while since I watched the movie but that sounds right.

        I think its vaguely implied that through “quantum entanglement” memories of the previous timeline remain, which is supposed to explain why the new timeline ended up how it did and why they had connections still to the old timeline.

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  9. Mai-san

    There’s one thing I’m still confused with; if Shouko-san didn’t tell Sakuta about the kindness spiel after Kaede’s adolescence syndrome, then how was he able to convey that to Shouko-chan? The way he inspired Shouko-chan was through Shouko-san’s words, not his own. He said something along the lines of, “an old friend once told me that saying ‘thank you’ is better than saying ‘I’m sorry.'” Without Shouko-san telling him this first, how would he be able to tell that to Shouko-chan?

    This implication brings about a whole new set of issues. Sakuta decided to enroll in Minegahara High School because of Shouko-san. If in the original timeline that started the time loop, Shouko-san didn’t help Sakura during his time of need, he never would’ve gone to Minegahara, and likely wouldn’t have encountered Shouko-chan at all. Even if we assume that Sakuta dies by some other means and his heart ends up in Shouko-chan, who’s to say that she goes back to when Sakuta was having troubles, and tells him about the whole kindness thing? I feel like that’s too strong of an assumption to be okay with it. This is single handedly my favorite anime series, and yet I can’t seem to figure this out on my own.

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    1. Yeah I wondered about that too. I think the problem is just that the ending happens too fast, because they could have shown it better but… it’s implied that even though they are in an alternate timeline where Shouko never met Sakuta, lingering feelings / memories still exist from the previous timeline. This is why Mai decided to act in that movie about a girl that receives an organ donation, and presumably why Sakuta still was able to get through his own ordeals – I guess in this timeline he went to the beach and then just felt a comforting presence or something, and then possibly remembered Shouko’s words from the alternate timeline.

      The ending probably could have been a little more clear on all this, but Mai acting in the movie and mentioning why she did it, as well as Sakuta remembering Shouko are what the movie uses to tell us “Feelings / memories from the previous timeline still exist to some extent”.

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  11. TotallyConfused

    I had a question about this Shouko-san we see at he beach who has Mai-san’s heart.
    How does Shouko-san (with Mai’s heart)[Lets call her Shouko-1] show up at the beach?
    Like this is actually the future that Bunny Suit half of Sakuta sees (as time moves faster for this one), so where did this Shouko-1 come from? Is this Shouko-1 actually the middle school Shouko (from the future timeline that Sakuta sees) who gets Mai’s heart then grows up to be this Shouko-1 who then goes back to 28th December and gives the advice? And if it is so then why didn’t Shouko-1 go to a past where the accident didn’t occur instead and fix it in a different way?
    Oh help me please! It’s so confusing and I can’t sleep till I get it cleared.

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    1. It’s not really explained how Shouko is able to travel back in time beyond that she says it’s done through dreams, and what we see from how she gets Sakuta to do it. I guess it’s because they’re no longer in the real present but instead a potential future, so they can move backwards in the timeline using dreams.

      Ok so I believe that the moment Mai is hit by the car, Shouko indeed changes to have Mai’s heart instead of his, and we know that because the operation happened within days of Mai being hit as she had checked her organ donation card or whatever.

      I think you have to remember that future Shouko was always an aberration. So both future Shoukos, with either Mai or Sakuta’s heart, are a potential future, decided by who is hit by the car. The timeline basically branches either one way or the other depending on who is hit. So even if she has Sakuta’s heart at first, the moment the accident (and timeline by extension) change, so does she.

      And even if her heart changes, literally, she still would have the memories of the time she spent with Sakuta regardless, and the words he told her. So in that sense her personality shouldn’t be that different.

      As for why she didn’t go to a past where the accident didn’t occur, she can’t do that. She can only go to the past of the timeline she is in, because she can’t move between timelines, only move backward in it. But she did try to go back and create a new timeline where Sakuta wasn’t hit, and she didn’t get an organ donation. Didn;t end up working, but did result in a new timeline where Mai got hit instead of Sakuta.

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  12. Anonymous

    Thanks for the analysis! But there’s one thing that bothers me. In the present timeline where Sakuta did not meet Shouko, everything happened the way it was as in the anime, just without Shouko. Which means that Sakuta will should have actually died on christmas eve, since originally Shouko said Sakuta will die on the way to meeting Mai-san on their date.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess the idea that “their memories of the other timeline” carries over there too. Just like how they influenced Mai to act in the movie about a girl that receives an organ donation, and just like how somehow the events of this timeline happened the way it was in the anime minus the older Shouko.

      I feel like the ending is very ambiguous and open-ended, so it’s hard to say for sure but lately I’ve felt like the intention is to explain everything away with “their memories of the previous timeline remained”.

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  13. You made a little mistake: Shoko-san 1 wanted Sakuta to go to the Aquarium. She carefully invited Sakuta to see the fireworks just before Mai did, so that he’d come up for an alternative plan with Mai, and avoid dying on his way to the bridge. He knew Sakuta would choose Mai over her, and as long as he didn’t knew his actual reasons he would have let her go. She told him that she’d disappear because, with Sakuta going to the Aquarium with Mai, nobody would’ve died, she wouldn’t have received a heart, Shoko-chan would have died, and that would have erased the timeline where Shoko-san even existed, making her disappear forever.

    The only part that doesn’t make sense immediately is him being able to see Shoko-san 2. He was able to see Shoko-san 1 because she had his heart (that’s why she didn’t appear when it was Mai the one that went to the beach to meet her). Thus, Mai-hearted Shoko-san 2 didn’t technically had the tools to present herself before Sakuta on December 28th. But if a good old ass-kicking was able to tangle Sakuta to Tomoe during her arc (Laplace Demon), everything Mai and Sakuta experienced together, and their deep bond was surely enough for him to be tangled to her heart, making it possible for Shoko-san 2 to be observed and confirmed by Sakuta.

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    1. Yeah I probably mistook whatever happens with the aquarium or whatever, the movie doesnt do a very good job of showing where exactly Sakuta is going and whatnot.

      As for your second point, how come Mai is able to see Shouko 1 then when she shows up for dinner? Is it stated somewhere that the *only* reason Sakuta can see Shouko is because of the shared heart? I guess the logic would be that Sakuta observed her, and therefore she appeared.

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  14. argav

    Wow,really helped since I didn’t put much thought while watching the movie and missed many key points and left the movie confused.But I have three things to say:
    1. You say that the elementary shouko had time completely stopped so that the world sped up so fast around her making her remain in 4th grade. But that isn’t consistent with the explanation in your theory that the college shouko was the one whose time slowed down time.If slowing down time made her body relatively grow quicker and experience a timeline of her own because in her timeline she experienced everything at her rate,that would mean for the shouko who STOPPED time(which is obviously slower than the time which the college Shouko went through) her body would grow faster and she would also enter a timeline herself.I believe that it wasn’t that she stopped time rather as stated later in the movie she denied her future in the “present” when she was handed her assignment int grade 4.This caused everything from there to be the future,a reality constructed by her.This is explained by the college Shouko of the 4th timeline(the one here Mai passes away).She asks op whether he denied the future regarding middle school Shouko’s
    death,to which he agrees.She then says that since he denied it from that point he created a future of his own.Once he dies that timeline ends and he coalesces with his original self and retained memories of the “fake reality” he went through.As for college Shouko it appears as if what happens in this timeline effects her’s too hence the heart in her chest being Mai’s.So when her future was denied in this timeline it resonated to her’s and she passes away;disappearing for ever.Once Shouko passes away that timeline is brought to an end and all she ASSIMILATES with her elementary self,thus remembering everything from the timeline she created.She returns accepts her future no matter what,avoid the syndrome and sakuta all together.Meanwhile all the other characters only recall these as dreams but not actual memories.Hence the ending being such an intense one as Sakuta shouldn’t have any memories but Shouko should.I guess it’s just them being entangled to such an extent that he got the memories.

    2. Speaking strictly according to physics there is a big flaw.Not in your explanation but as to how the movie itself treats the concept of relativity.Sure,they have contorted many concepts of Quantum Mechanics to this point,but they were rather used it a crude fashion if I may say,but still held onto the solid foundation of the concept itself.But the “relativity” here is a whole new case.So here goes,if the original forecasted Shouko developed a similar issue to Futaba’s and split into two:one being normal and another wanting to slow time down.The issues is the one who slows time time.If time slows down for her,meaning the world moved slow relative to her then sure she would appear to move through time quicker.But that’s the point of RELATIVE,all events which would occur in the world would happen slowly and she would just grow up quickly,meaning that it would make no sense that she experienced a timeline where everything is experienced by her at normal pace.The author seems to have messed up the theory of relativity,I guess.Instead he should have come up with an other explanation as to why the older Shouko experienced everything before the normal one in another timeline.Since slowing down time wouldn’t. The FUTURE is the state of the world ,if she slowed down time and the world then she wouldn’t reach the future quickly,would she? It’s self contradictory.But anyways I took it at face value,or I’m wrong about the explanation.

    3.Finally, the pivotal Assignment sheet.They never made a proper explanation as to how the goals appeared on it.If what you say is that the present elementary Shouko knew about what was happening and changed her goals accordingly,then wouldn’t it mean that she knew what happened in that timeline.Then that would mean that the Sakuta before Mai died should also know what would happen in future since the same happened to him as he denied the future.all in all I didn’t get the Assignment stuff quite well.
    Thanks

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  15. William Wong

    errr quick question, in the end, how old shouko which sakuta met at the beach (the energetic and happy shouko)? is it the elementary school, middle school(before her disease got worse), or middle school(after heart transplant)? this question pops up cause i’m not sure which one is the present timeline.

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    1. The Shouko at the end I believe is middle school Shouko right after getting a heart transplant so shes probably the same age as the Shouko that was in the hospital.

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  16. Anonymous

    Good analysis, I’m still unsure of how quantum teleportation is affiliated with Shouko from your previous post, could you sort if elaborate on that please? Thanks

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    1. Well, that post was more of a theory than anything else at the time, prior to the movie coming out.

      But the idea was that just like quantum teleportation is able to create a second copy of Rio Futaba, in the show’s “logic” it could probably also create a second copy of someone in the past or the future also. And my guess was that this was possible because Sakuta was entangled with Shouko.

      The movie didn’t entirely go that route though, instead just making up a whole new puberty syndrome for Shouko where she was able to “dream” her future.

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      1. Anonymous

        Thanks for the reply.
        Could you also elaborate on why you stated that Shouko and Sakuta were entangled please? I’m confused since they weren’t re-living days. Thanks.

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      2. Anonymous

        Ik the entanglement stuff didn’t occur, I just want to know why you thought it could be a possibility. Hope I’m not pestering you.

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      3. Oh, I see. Not a problem.
        My idea was essentially that entanglement would be required in order to allow for some form of quantum teleportation to occur between a future Shouko and present Sakuta. Quantum entanglement is also mentioned as a requirement of quantum teleportation if I recall correctly.

        My theory was that something was going to happen between present Shouko and present Sakuta to cause the entanglement, which would then somehow (by the anime’s logic) allow a future Shouko to travel back in time to Sakuta.

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      4. Anonymous

        Also, one final thing, would the theory of quantum teleportation be regarded as time travel? I don’t think so since one is being created ina different time line instead of moving from to another. I may be wrong, please enlighten me. Also, ik this never happened aswell, just want to know your thoughts. Thanks.

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      5. It would probably be regarded as a step beyond the quantum teleportation we see with Futaba. The “science” goes something like observation > entanglement > teleportation. So considering how crazy the science can get in the anime, I don’t think it’s a stretch to think that they could try and justify time travel via quantum teleportation / entanglement / observation.

        They basically did just that in the movie, only instead of using some form of entanglement / teleportation logic, it seems they decided to go a different route with the whole “relativity” explanation.

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  17. Anonymous

    Thanks for all the replies up till now. However, I see an inconsistency with the explanation that observation is caused by entanglement (Koga and Shouko with Sakuta) since Sakuta was able to observe Mai and they never had an interaction prior to the anime. I believe that Sakuta is able to observe Shouko due to them having the same heart, with Koga it may be due to entanglement and Mai would be a totally different reason. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

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    1. Anonymous

      I think Shouko is in fact entangled, but I would like to know how you inferred that. Also, what about Mai? How was she observed by Sakuta?

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    2. I don’t think observation is caused by entanglement. Observation is just the first level of “science” the series introduces. Everyone, including Sakuta for a short while, stops observing Mai, and so she disappears, until Sakuta’s memory comes back and he does something crazy in order to observe her again.

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