I figured I’d try something different with my episodic write-ups on the new season of Haruhi (or at least I’m going to try. This post took me forever to write.) Less focus on standard summary and impression, more focus on a tangential issue that piqued my interest. Haruhi’s one of the few shows that has enough depth beyond what’s happening on-screen to capture my attention and warrant some extra thinking (I’ve no intentions to wax poetic about K-ON! for example).
In this episode, there was something about the whole idea of past-Kyon sleeping in the room next to Nagato when current-Kyon is meeting her for the first time that makes my head twist and turn. It’s interesting because a.) time travel is inherently interesting and b.) I think about some of the little hints that were present in the first novel and series (for example when one of Haruhi’s first questions for Kyon is “have we met?”, referencing the Tanabata event) and wonder if they were intentionally placed with future stories in mind (in which case I marvel at Nagaru Tanigawa’s foresight).
So let’s think about this for a second.
- Kyon meets Nagato in her apartment for the first time around April 2009 (I’m just going to say 2009 for clarity’s sake), according to the Baka-Tsuki timeline (spoiler free).
- Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody happened in July 7, 2009 (which is after the closed world kiss, BTW). Kyon goes back in time to July 7, 2006 (Tanabata) and meets chibi Haruhi for the first time.
- He and Mikuru then meet Nagato that same day and theoretically are put to sleep all the way until July 7, 2009.
- Nagato notes that Kyon and Mikuru both disappeared from the world for 2 hours on July 7, 2009 while they were time traveling.
- Kyon then returns with memories of both Kyon’s intact.
So how does that look? Something like this:
(note: If I would’ve known how long it’d take to make a decent looking timeline I wouldn’t have bothered. First I tried Photoshop. Then I tried Excel. Finally, I ended up using PowerPoint. Now I’ve forgotten the whole point of this post. Forgive my subsequent rambling.)
Kyon recalls that Mikuru said that there’s no continuity between the past and the future. This explains how there could be two separate Kyons at the exact same time. But what’s going on in that 2 hour gap when both are missing? If time is not continuous as Mikuru says, how do the memories of both Kyons sync up to become the new Kyon? If “time-traveling” Kyon overwrites “current” Kyon’s existence, shouldn’t the memories of “current” Kyon get erased by “time-traveling” Kyon? Or vice versa. But the memories of both Kyons have somehow become synchronized.
Similarly, if you’re to think about Mikuru, you’d realize that there’s 3 versions of her at certain points: “current” Mikuru, “future” Mikuru and “sleeping beauty” Mikuru. But again with Mikuru, at some point the memories of “current” Mikuru and “sleeping beauty” Mikuru coalesce to become “post-sleeping-beauty-current” Mikuru. Follow that?
The episode easily addresses the Nagato memory synchronization problem by giving “past” Nagato and “current” Nagato the ability to synchronize with each other to ensure that each of them has the same exact memory, but that’s not as easily explained with Kyon and Mikuru. Considering that there’s some type of memory synchronization happening for all time travelers, I’m inclined to think that Mikuru’s theory is incorrect, and time is indeed more continuous than disjointed as Kyon points out. (Does this make sense?)
Considering the complete illogicality of time travel and Tanigawa’s purposeful skipping of details, I don’t know if there’s a real answer to this. But I wonder…