Author’s Note: I apologize for the delay in getting this posted. I’m in the middle of moving and my work shift Sunday night just mopped the floor with me, and since then I’ve had a hard time regaining my energy no matter how much I sleep. >< So this week’s episode is a little later than usual, but I’ll do my best to be on time with this next episode.
[ *rubs hands together* ] Alright, now things are ramping up! Huzzah! We learn quite a bit this episode about Rinne’s backstory and get answers to a couple of the questions raised so far.
For the last few episodes, the first few moments of screentime have been showing Setsuna’s memories. I’ve assumed up to this point that they are memories of his past. After watching this episode, my question is now which past?
In this episode, Setsuna wakes up on the beach with Rinne instead of in his own bed. He seems uncertain about what he’s remembering.
We get a comedic moment between Setsuna and Kuon, who is still overly concerned with whether or not Setsuna has slept with her daughter yet. Setsuna continues to insist to Kuon that he needs to be kind to Rinne, treat her gently and show her how much she means to him before he’ll jump into bed with her. Setsuna gets a gold star from me for being a genuinely nice person and a gentleman. ^_^b
Elsewhere Sara and Karen are having tea together. Karen’s worried that when Setsuna regains his lost memories he’ll lose all the happiness he has now.
Down on the beach Rinne and Setsuna are having a barbeque together. Rinne talks about wanting to only look forward, to forget what happened in the past, while Setsuna continues to show some reluctance whenever she talks like this. Rinne clearly wants to put her past behind her, while Setsuna (being from the future) wants to investigate his past. This is a conflict of interests which will eventually have to be dealt with.
Karen and her three school friends come across Rinne and Setsuna on the beach having fun together, and Karen interrupts them to tell them that a storm is coming so they should be careful not to get caught off guard. It’s a nice note of foreshadowing despite being very obvious.
Rinne and Setsuna leave the beach to get some shaved ice from the old lady’s shack, but she’s out of medicine for her soot blight syndrome so Setsuna leaves to get her more from the clinic. Rinne stays at the shack to wait for the shaved ice. While Setsuna is gone, the little old lady speaks of seeing Rinne together with the original Setsuna and some of Rinne’s forgotten memories start to return to her.
Setsuna runs into Karen’s fake fling at the clinic while he waits for the prescription to be filled. The young officer shows a current newspaper (well, current as in a new edition is printed once a week or so…) to Setsuna, specifically pointing out an article about Rinne.
And here’s the bombshell: Rinne’s 23! Ha I’m just kidding, that was pretty surprising but it’s not the read bombshell. The shocker is that Rinne washed up on the beaches of Urashima about a month before Setsuna arrived. However she’d gone missing 5 years earlier, at the age of seventeen. When Rinne was found she was wearing the same clothes she’d worn when she disappeared, and they didn’t show much wear at all. So where was she for 5 years that her clothes didn’t wear out?
Setsuna theorizes that Rinne really did cross time, and therefore he must have too. He wonders how they knew each other’s names even though they supposedly had never met before. I have a theory about this which I will explain later.
Setsuna arrives back at the shaved ice sack only to learn that Rinne’s gone missing. He just missed her by only a few minutes. But where could she have gone??
Setsuna finds Rinne down by the concerete wharf at the beach. Setsuna keeps having flashes of Rinne sinking down into the ocean’s depths, eyes closed, her pale dress billowing around her body. He doesn’t know whether this is a flashback or a premonition, or maybe it’s neither.
When Setsuna catches up with Rinne, she confesses to him that she wants to “go back to the real Setsuna.” Rinne explains what happened after she and the first Setsuna fell into the ocean together. The first thing she remembers is that they woke up together on a mysterious island called Boryujima, an island which appears only after a storm has manifested. I would ask if the black shrine maiden from Urashima’s legends existed on this island, but Rinne says the island is deserted.
Rinne’s ok, but Setsuna’s head was injured. For awhile he is unable to move, and Rinne keeps him alive by wringing out her wet dress into his mouth. Slowly the original Setsuna recovers, and Rinne looks after him as he regains his strength. She builds a pool out of stones to help store fresh water. But something is wrong. Every once in awhile Rinne has moments of weakness stemming from an unknown cause. Together Rinne and Setsuna continue to gather what resources they can, but they make little progress.
One evening Rinne rushes down to the beach to find Setsuna clutching his head. He had been trying to build a boat out of logs. However his head hurts, and he’s acting strange. Later Rinne wakes up alone and runs around the island trying to find Setsuna. She discovers him down on the beach alone, rambling about a boat that doesn’t exist. What could be wrong with him? (The close-up of his eyes in this shot is super creepy, btw.)
After sharing some soup Setsuna says that he’s made a boat for Rinne, and he wants her to leave the island. He’ll stay behind; he doesn’t mind as long as she’s safe. Presumably Rinne boarded this boat and left the first Setsuna behind on Boryujima. Rinne starts to cry as she shares that she’s not over the first Setsuna, and as long as she thinks he might still be alive she wants to be with him.
Naturally the second Setsuna is upset. Rinne’s chased after him and they’ve fallen for each other, but now she’s changing her mind? What gives?! Setsuna reminds her that he came from the future to the past to save a girl and kill someone, and he’s trying to act based on the very little he remembers. He’s trying to look forward as best he can, so why can’t Rinne do the same?
The storm Karen warned them about earlier starts to blow up around them as Setsuna tries to convince Rinne to forget her past and look to the future, and Rinne screams at him that she can’t do that. She tries to tell him to leave her alone, that he’s fired. Sara shows up unexpectedly with a fish and Rinne passes out.
Sara takes an exhausted Rinne back to her place and Setsuna comes with. As Rinne rests, Sara and Setsuna talk about time travel. Sara has a theory for the memories Setsuna keeps remembering at the beginning of each episode: this is not the first time Setsuna has come to the past. Sara thinks that the memories he’s remembering are from other “paths”, other timelines. What if Setsuna didn’t get the past he wanted the first time, so he continued trying to come to the past until he did?
Sara thinks that a side effect from all these trips to the past is that the information he’s retained from each trip is starting to cross over. Sara thinks that a “singularity” that’s opened between Urashima and Boryujima is what’s allowing time travel to occur. We see a brief flashback from the first episode when Setsuna is sitting in the police station. Karen’s young officer says, “Once again, a storm has brought a mystery along with that island.”
Within the first episode, “that island” is not clarified and the viewer has no way of knowing which island the officer is referring to. Upon learning of Urashima’s legends I had guessed that “that island” meant the island where the black shrine maiden lived. Now “that island” has been clarified to mean Boryujima.
Upon learning of this knowledge, Sara exclaims excitedly that storms, for whatever reason, cause a connection to form between the present and the past 5 years ago. Rinne went through that wormhole which is why she(or her clothes) hadn’t aged while she was missing. 5 years in reality passed by as maybe only a few days or a few weeks on Boryujima. Sara says that another storm is coming, and implies that traveling to Boryujima might be Setsuna’s only chance to find out the information he’s missing.
Rinne awakens that this moment and reveals that she’d been listening to them all along. Rinne is gripped by the notion that if she returns to Boryujima she can see her Setsuna again. She grabs her change of clothes and runs down to the wharf where she steals a boat and leaves Urashima. Setsuna and Sara are right behind her, but somehow Rinne manages to make her way out to sea by the time her friends reach the wharf. As the storm rains down on everyone, Boryujima looms menacingly in the distance…
Here’s my theory which I referenced: this second Setsuna is just the original Setsuna with amnesia, and a haircut. Unable to live alone on Boryujima he cut his hair, then dove into the ocean to follow Rinne in the hopes of washing up on Urashima. Somehow his mental stability was restored when he left Boryujima, but amnesia has left some holes in his memory. He knew Rinne’s name the supposedly first time he met her because they already knew each other, even if Setsuna couldn’t remember that detail.
The second Setsuna being the first Setsuna also explains why the first Setsuna was remembering a boat that didn’t exist while he was on Boryujima. Maybe in another past or another timeline, Setsuna had managed to build a boat and that’s what he was remembering?
I really felt for Setsuna in this episode. He and Rinne have been growing closer during the last couple of episodes and they seemed like they were bonding well. Rinne had also told him several times that he was the Setsuna for her, that she didn’t care about her past, that she only wanted to look forward…. But as soon as she remembered the first Setsuna, all of that went out the window and Rinne tried to go back on her words. I can understand why Setsuna is so upset.
With that being said, Setsuna was wrong to raise a hand to Rinne and luckily Sara interrupted the couple before Setsuna could actually lay a hand on Rinne. Bad Setsuna. >:/
Will Rinne and Setsuna make it to Boryujima in the next episode? What will they find there once they arrive? Will they find the first Setsuna? The smile the first Setsuna had on his face when he told Rinne he made her some soup has me a little worried, and I don’t completely trust him. But he wouldn’t try to hurt Rinne, would he?
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I actually really enjoy this show, but it lacks a lot of the stuff to make it as compelling as the likes of other VN adaptations like Steins Gate or The Fruits of Grisaia. Granted, hopefully this is where the story starts to pick up, as the previous segments involving the other two girls felt neglected and curtailed, which kinda ticked me off.
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