Metaphysics, RH1 thoughts/questions

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#1 by myopius
2012-06-20 at 19:17
A while ago, I finished Subarashiki Hibi all the way through Tsui no Sora II, and afterward searched for explanations, but most of what I read was just people restating Ayana's hypothesis #7 at face value.

I think that the idea of all things sharing a soul or being personalities within a single soul, as an explanation for how people can connect to each other, has some merit, because I think that some phenomenon that are witnessed by both Zakuro and another, such as the visage of "tsui no sora", could be explained if those people are connected at some higher level, which allows one to say this or that was indirectly a "group hallucination". Also, right now I'm sort of weakly assuming that individuals began to have delusions, and through a connection mechanism like the one in hypothesis #7, were able to spread those delusions to others (the sky being full of anxious words, the "atama reverse", and Takuji's brain crush ability would be instances of this).

But what I most want to understand are the true metaphysical consequences of the "spiral matai" (Zakuro's jump) and what Zakuro came to understand that guided her actions toward Yuki in Down the Rabbit-Hole I. My impression is that, keeping with the theme of "discontinuous existence", both the events of Down the Rabbit-Hole I and the events of Down the Rabbit-Hole II are "canon" and moreover causally (not temporally) related.

So I'd like to hear what other people think about Tsui no Sora II, but also Down the Rabbit-Hole I... What happens to Yuki at the end of Down the Rabbit-Hole I: did she literally return to the start of Down the Rabbit-Hole, with the newly added choice possibly the result of "Zakuro's" influence on her, or did she enter a new world/iteration we haven't seen?Last modified on 2012-07-21 at 18:01
#2 by bminorkey
2012-08-07 at 17:09
I read the game what, two years ago so I don't remember my exact thoughts on these two topics. Take what I say here with a grain of salt, it's a vague, incomplete recollection of my impressions at the time.

First off, what Ayana says in Endksy (I've taken to calling it that) II should be considered an allegorical reading of the story. The question of whether and how it ties with the plot is, at face value, irrelevant. Much like Subahibi's plot might be considered a literary reading of Wittgenstein's Tractatus, so can Ayana's speech be considered a philosophical reading of Subahibi.

By the way, Endsky II also seems to foreshadow the Philosophical Investigations, which I found interesting.

Now, what does the actual ending tell us about the plot, concretely? Well, it is directly tied with the second ending (Yuki's ending) in the sense that these two endings complete, from two different perspectives, the Endsky metaphor that has been an ongoing thematic element since day 1. I really can't remember the plot in that much detail so I can't provide you the full progression of events but, do try and reread the story, paying special attention to everything they tell you about Endsky. The overall message is this: the limit of our perspective is the limit of our world. Just as Yuki, Takuji, and "Tomosane" each present to us the world from their unique point of view, so are Tomosane and Ayana perspectives of the world. Which one of them is valid is a question that shouldn't be answered. Endsky II simply *shows* us another perspective, in which Ayana is in a sense the "reader" or "narrator" of Subahibi, and should be taken very literally in that sense. But this fact does not make Subahibi's plot so far irrelevant, it is exactly the factor which gives it /meaning/ (Why? Read about the Tractatus).

What the "main plot world" of Subahibi is for Rabbit Hole I, is exactly what Endsky II is for that world.

Also I seem to recall the amusement park scene in Rabbit Hole I is incredibly important given something someone says near the end of the story (I think in the normal ending but possibly before that) but I forget.

Going with the "literary reading" theory: Rabbit Hole I is a poetic, Lewis Carrol-esque reading of Subahibi. It's a bit complicated to explain, but in my opinion it's basically Takuji's reimagination of Yuki's world. By Takuji I'm not referring to the Takuji in Jabberwocky II or in My Own Invention, but rather the "Takuji" who Tomosane thinks he is. And this reimagination probably happens in one of Takuji's dreams if we take Endsky II literally. Yeah. In any case, its ending is simply Takuji's understanding of what happens in Endsky (as in, the actual prophesied Endsky). I promise it'll make sense if you think about it.


So yeah sorry for that jumbled wall of text. I'd have liked to write something more coherent and justified but I can only remember my conclusions. In any case, read the game again, and pay attention to the Endsky metaphor. Oh but read a lot about Wittgenstein before you do since the metaphor is basically a direct homage to Wittgenstein.Last modified on 2012-08-07 at 17:27
#3 by metaler
2012-08-08 at 02:48
Now I didn't read any of the spoilers so I don't know much about the discussion, but bminorkey mentioned Wittgenstein and I gotta say me and a good friend of mine have always been interested in reading his stuff. But we're a little disencouraged because his ideas are very difficult to understand, which is, well, not surprising, of course. But we've been wondering how we should start with Wittgenstein, if we should start reading the Tractatus or PI first, or if there are any other good authors out there who write about Wittgenstein, and so forth.

I really want to read SubaHibi, but not before having a relatively good understanding of Wittgenstein, whose ideas seem to be the bread and butter of the story.
#4 by bminorkey
2012-08-08 at 03:31
You can't really understand Wittgenstein without being at least somewhat versed in 20th century analytic philosophy, since the problems his works address are problems that arise from that context. So here's a reading list for you (most of these are relatively short articles, not books):

Frege's "Sense and reference" (Sinn und Bedeutung)
Russell's "On Denoting"
Rudolf Carnap's "The Rejection of Metaphysics" (and also the wikipedia pages on logical positivism and Carnap, I suppose)
Wittgenstein's biography, "The Duty of Genius" by Ray Monk (this is the most important item in the list)
The Tractatus
Whatever books you can find about the Tractatus
Philosophical Investigations
The first chapter of Gilbert Ryle's "The Concept of Mind" (or all of it)

Try and follow this list in order. It's a bit daunting but, most items here are 20-30 pages at most. Duty of Genius is like 600, though.

That being said: You don't need to understand Wittgenstein to understand the main plot and enjoy the story.Last modified on 2012-08-08 at 03:38
#5 by metaler
2012-08-08 at 04:00
@bminorkey: holy shit, thank you so much for this, man. I'll be sure to check all of these out. Really, thanks a lot. This is just what me and my friend needed.

I understand that SubaHibi is perfectly enjoyable without knowing much about Wittgenstein, but I've always has an interest in philosophy, and having a VN where the story is influenced by a specific area of it just makes me a lot more excited about it.

That, and I study linguistics, and Wittgenstein wrote some stuff about language too, so I've been wanting to check him out because of that as well.Last modified on 2012-08-08 at 04:02
#6 by tosiaki
2016-05-17 at 23:24
In Tsui no Sora II, it clearly started with Yuki's perspective, and then there was a voice that said "Otonashi Ayana-saaan!" (turn up the volume to hear it) and then said "a voice calling my name." Miu then shows up and clearly calls out "Otonashi Ayana-san" a second time. Now that you have this, I'm not sure how there's any sensible way to interpret that other than by saying Yuki=Ayana in some way. I think this is intended to say: this was a fictional story and a reminder that there is your real life for you to live happily in.

After achieving this ending, you unlock a new selection once you enter into Jabberwocky II. Each of these allow you to go to one of the three endings, plus an additional choice of "inside a dream" which leads you Rabbit Hole 1. Yuki is the "girl that is the world" so of course it'd be Yuki's dream.

In Rabbit Hole 1, you see for just an instant the picture of a hospital as she says out a time the first time you meet her on the roof. Perhaps this is related to Zakuro and her time of death but perhaps it could relate to Yuki instead and it's showing how Yuki might be unconscious in a hospital bed.

Also, it's puzzling how Zakuro seems to know about what is happening at in the real world. Even if Rabbit Hole 1 was all Yuki's dream, it still wouldn't make sense for Zakuro to say all these things that Yuki isn't really supposed to know. One possibility is that through death, Zakuro became a somewhat Ayana-like person i. e. a story-teller, influencing the whole story on a meta-level just like how Ayana does. So when Zakuro drops those dolls, she's essentially "changing the main story."

Perhaps when Yuki wakes up at the end of rabbit hole 1, it actually meant waking up from one story into another. So Rabbit Hole 1 is a "separate story" from the rest of the chapters but they can have causal influence (in the same way an author is influenced by their own past works) because they are both stories told from Ayana and Miu's world.

Another interpretation I've come across is the idea that the "real world" consisted only of the small moments when Yuki met the Wakatsuki sisters and before she came across the mansion. The instant she crashed into Zakuro, she was transported into a kind of "Alice in Wonderland" where Yuki is Alice and Zakuro is the rabbit. After that, Chapter 1 (Rabbit Hole 2) and beyond represent "Through the Looking Glass" In this interpretation, only the first few moments were real (and therefore the Wakatsuki Sisters were real) and the rest wasn't.

Regarding Zakuro and Insects, Wittgenstein's passage here is probably the most relevant: "If suicide is allowed then everything is allowed. If anything is not allowed then suicide is not allowed. This throws a light on the nature of ethics, for suicide is, so to speak, the elementary sin... Or isn't even suicide neither good nor evil in itself!" This is also perhaps what Zakuro is talking about when she says to Yuki in Rabbit Hole 1 that she is trying to "make up for something".

Perhaps you could try reading more about it in:

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