What makes a story telling work unique isn’t only on the originality. A work doesn’t have to have a theme that never been explored before to become unique. Uniqueness is more of a result of a combination of some factors instead of one alone factor. Exploring an overused theme in a different way or from a different perspective can also end up producing a unique work. Mikake no Nijuusei is one example where a unique work comes out from an overused theme.
Since the middle 20th century, many science fiction that explore the philosophy of time, specifically time machine, have been produced and there’s no exception
in manga and anime. But even though the theme isn’t new at all, the different approaches or focuses of the work make some works stand out and unique on their own. A live action drama called Amigos for example, focuses on the adventure of kids in the past, delivering us an interesting survival journey while being educational at the same time. An anime called Suzumiya Haruhi, while also explores the time travel, focuses on the exploration of the theory of time and is providing an interesting theory of alternative time line. And a newer series called Stains; Gate delivers us a story of an attempt to change the future for the better with some romance drama and detail explanation of how its time machine works.
Despite some shows are unique for using a different method or focus, there’s something common in the work of time travel sci-fi. It’s on the how they see and deal with the time paradox. Some works try to make the story believable by using a realism approach through reason while others try to avoid talking about it. And here’s where Mikake no Nijuusei is different.
Mikake no Nijuusei never denied the time paradox. From the start of the time machine is used, it has already showed us how the main character meets her copy and live together. It even shows the main character telling other s about the situation she is facing.
This manga never tried to take its time travel story seriously. It doesn’t explain the reason behind the time machine experiment. The person who makes the time machine himself is just a mad scientist who put 10.000 yen on the street as a bait to get a subject for his experiment. He is drawn as a genius who knows a lot but at the same time drawn as a carefree person who doesn’t think before doing something. But despite how negative and flawed it sounds, thanks to him and his time machine this manga surprisingly becomes a funny one and easy to read.
While how stupid it’s sounded, the manga is still a science fiction that has the philosophy of time as one of the main theme explored. But instead of trying to reason of the possibility to travel time, it focuses more on how time changes human relationship and what’s the bridge between the past, the present and the future. Surely though, it feels more like a fantasy than science but it’s not by any means unbelievable.
This manga while being funny and somehow stupid if you want to reason the time travel thingy, also has a good drama related to relationship and encourage you to be more honest to yourself. There are many you inside you and the one that connect them is your heart. Be honest with your current feeling so that feeling won’t ever completely disappear.
It made me shed tier a little when reading the last few chapters.