What would happen to him…
What would happen to him if I were killed while in this body?
What will become of my existence? What will become of his existence?
That anxiety remains inside my head. This world and that world.
Fuyukawa Kokoro boards a plane to meet a research subject in the Specified Psychiatric Hospital for Isolation and Aegis, or SPHIA. For unknown reasons, her plane crashes in the mountains in the middle of a snowstorm. Only four people, including herself survive. Unable to establish communication with the outside world due to the fierce snowstorm, the four decide to take shelter in an empty cabin and wait until the storm passes. Satoru Yukidoh falls from the SPHIA clock tower. He later awakens with some memory loss and the realization that someone is out to kill him. Unable to leave the SPHIA facility due to a snowstorm, Satoru’s only chance at living is to find that person among the three other residents (or perhaps the hidden culprit) of SPHIA. Both Kokoro and Satoru soon realize that, their “consciousnesses” are experiencing a kind of exchange, in which Kokoro’s mind takes control of Satoru’s body in SPHIA as Satoru’s mind enters Kokoro’s body in the mountain cabin.However, a boy named Yuni appears at both locations. How is this possible?
Several hours ago, I finished the first half of Remember11 and felt pressed to write my thoughts down as quickly as possibly before eagerly diving into the second part. It was thoroughly gripping, and I only took breaks to get more cups of lady grey tea, which I felt was necessary throughout the reading. Felt somewhat guilty at enjoying such a lovely warm drink while Kokoro and the rest were suffering in the cold, it must be said.
The story doesn’t have a particularly remarkable start. The protagonist Kokoro begins with a monologue regarding the first women in space, and it turns out that she’s on a flight herself – or as she says, that’s the closest she’ll get to heaven. This child in front of her keeps singing a rather creepy song (Kagome~ Kagome~), and then plays a joke on our heroine. He winds up sitting next to her, and a very warm exchange between the two is shared. The child’s name is Yuni, and is eleven years old. I felt like this was worth noting because for his age, he’s oddly in tune with the world around him. When speaking about the childish song he was singing moments beforehand, he attempts to analyze it, and breaks it down piece by piece questioning the eerie lyrics. He also attempts to guess our heroine’s age, all based on a single feather on her head by coming up with a scarily accurate story to go along with it. He’s off by a year, but his accuracy is startling regardless. Alongside this lighthearted exchange, another viewpoint is offered, belonging to a man called Satoru. He appears to be doing something suspicious, and at first I thought that he was a terrorist of sorts on the plane.
While I’m enjoying the story at that point, nothing of real note happens until the plane begins to shake. Kokoro assures Yuni that they’ll be fine, even telling him that they have something like a 0.0000% chance of dying in an airplane, saying that they’re much safer above ground when people die in more grisly ways on land, like in murders or car crashes. This does nothing to soothe Yuni, of course. It’s around this time where my interest becomes truly piqued; it turns out that Kokoro is studying something akin to criminology, and is on her way to meet a murderer. She reads a case study in which a seventeen year old girl committed a massacre in a hospital, going so far as to rip out a patient’s heart and even kill the guards on night duty, and any doctors who intervened. But, she never got properly apprehended, as it turned out that she was suffering from DID (dissociative identity disorder). She was then sent to spend the rest of her days recuperating in a facility called SPHIA, which is home to the mentally unsound. The plane does end up crashing (to no one’s surprise), and that Satoru fellow ends up being pushed from where was. Looks like our protagonists are shrouded in misfortune.
Our heroine ends up waking in somewhere mysterious, with nobody knowing who she is, who keep calling her a name which isn’t hers, ‘Satoru’. Placed in an unknown setting, she meets unfamiliar characters… including the girl whose file she just read, Inubashi Keiko. Saying that the poor girl was shocked was an understatement. But at least, Yuni is there… right?
I kind of suspected that both Satoru and Kokoro’s worlds were happening on different time planes, and I felt like I was allowed to think that based on the ominous newspaper clipping. It was almost like a greenlight for us to think that. I never once thought for a second that the Yuni in Satoru’s world was a close, or a twin… it would have been a total cop out. So when Satoru’s Yuni (I’ll just refer to him as S!Yuni) seemed to be aware of the plane crash, and Kokoro’s existence, I figured that it wasn’t just an alternate world version of Yuni. There was also the first time when Kokoro entered Satoru’s world (now referred to as S!world), and Kali told her that Kokoro had already died. It all seemed to add up, and I was pleased when my theory was proved correct. What I wasn’t anticipating though, was Kokoro’s Yuni (K!Yuni, K!world) having the scar and charm, both of which he received in the S!world. As soon as Kali gave S!Yuni the charm, I felt a sense of dread as I immediately associated it with the charm that K!Yuni showed Kokoro. Was some sort of time warp occurring…? It also made sense that K!Yuni knew that Kokoro and the rest of them were going to die, if that were the case. If K!Yuni did come from the future, then he could have easily brought that paper with on the plane, kept as a momento regarding his precious Kokoro. I think, that Yuni was involved in the crash, and did survive, hence the newspaper article. But he was sent to SPHIA. Then, somehow, he managed to relive the world in which the crash occured, in a miraculous, desperate attempt to somehow save Kokoro.
I found the parallels between the S!world and K!world very compelling. In the K!world, it was a terribly harsh environment. Food was sparse, and there was absolutely no heat. However, the company (for the most part) was pleasant, and people were able to depend on and trust each other, and were able to comfort each other in times of need. The S!world was the complete opposite. The food was delicious and plentiful, and the house was very warm, and a hot bath could be run at any time. However, the company… You’d already know there’s something wrong when that murderer is there, living a normal life. Something just doesn’t add up. The tension rises higher still when Satoru tells Kokoro that someone is after his life. What one world has, the other lacks. However, death is always looming over either. Kokoro’s scene in which she breaks down wanting to meet Satoru was especially heartbreaking; he was the only one that she felt that she could rely on in such a situation, and she felt like she would never meet him, with that foreboding prophecy and Satoru being possibly killed at any time.
Now… that brings up the issue of who the culprit could be. But I wonder could that be properly theorized on the information we have now. Despite Hotori being Japan’s most dangerous murderer with DID, I couldn’t place the blame on her, even with knowing that if her other personality awoke, it would mean literal hell for everyone there. To be honest, I’m more inclined to believe that Kali is the head honcho there. On two occasions when thinking that she’s speaking with Satoru, Kali spitefully tells him that she will continue with her ‘plan‘. Now, what plan is she about to execute? In this route, we never find out. As soon as she realizes she’s talking to Kokoro, she quickly stops talking about it. There’s also the fact that she smiled when she was attempting to kill Kotori down in the basement, amongst several other things. She has the motive for killing Kotori, of course, but in regards to her plan… Could it be something about time warping? Or something which requires an experiment, hence why she’s using the people at SPHIA as her experiments? I’m curious as to who that murdered man in the basement was, too. I think that Satoru did in fact kill him, but it was purely for self-defense. He was an official looking man, so I’ll assume that he was in cahoots with Kali.
The most curious thing of all, is how, and exactly why Kokoro and Satoru’s consciousnesses are being exchanged. They’re clearly both in dire situations where their lives are in danger, and there are connections between the people surrounding them (Yomogi and Kali being married, and their son being killed by Hotori’s other personality, Lin and Satoru having went out together, and of course, Yuni). But, is there something deeper than that? Kokoro must be a relatively sane person, but Satoru, on the other hand… He said that he was experiencing memory loss, but it’s not like he was instantly moved to SPHIA, having knowledge of it before being pushed from the clock tower. If he’s at a facility like that, could it be that he too is mentally unsound? If we look at the people at the facility, he clearly stands out. Hotori has DID, and Yuni was clearly still suffering from the trauma of the crash. Kali, while being the caretaker, had to go to hospital for a while after her son died so she still must be feeling some effects. Satoru really is a black slate here. While he’s resourceful and clever, he can also do unpredictable, and downright odd things. Stabbing that man, and wolfing down Kokoro and the other two’s share of biscuits, for example. I can understand that Satoru must have been hungry for three days, but he should have known better than to eat someone else’s rations like that. There’s also the odd philosophy he has with wrist watches… Things just don’t add up.
I’m also very puzzled over the ending, and how Satoru finally managed to meet with Kokoro. And most importantly, why on earth did the landscape change? I was thinking that maybe it was the merging of the two worlds, but… I’m finding it hard understanding how the S!world, which is not only several hours away from where the K!world is, but a year forward in the future was able to merge… Perhaps it’s because Kokoro was able to defy their fate? Regardless, I’m feeling slightly confused, but overall was left satisfied. Now, on to the next and final part!