Time and the Leijiverse Part IV (How many Licks?)

Yes, just how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Time Sphere?  I’m not sure, but I’m going to try to lick this problem in one short post.  It might be a good idea to go back and reread Part III of this series (just two posts down from here), then think back to those great times you had watching Neon Genesis Evangelion.  Remember when the show was reaching its climax and getting really really weird?  Then episode 23 came along and we found ourselves before this:

Bad things happen when Gaf runs empty...

Bad things happen when Gaf runs empty...

[The next paragraph contains MASSIVE SPOILERS for Evangelion, although there’s some heavy speculation involved and I might be very wrong!]

The secret to running an Eva is to implant a soul inside of it.  But since the Room of Gaf has run out of souls, NERV must overcome this deficiency by: 1) recycling souls of people actually living and forcing them into the Evas (ideally souls with a strong bond with each Eva’s pilot) and 2) by developing a cloning program, the Rei dummy plugs, that will eventually do away with the need for human souls.  The pic above shows Ritsuko’s annihilation of many of these dummies, but alas, not all perished…

The Room of Gaf is an actual concept in Jewish mysticism, an area in the Seventh Heaven where the souls who haven’t been born yet reside.  Some think that the apocalypse is triggered when all of the souls that were meant to be born have come into the world: i.e. when the Room of Gaf is empty.

The preexistence of souls has been defended by a small but select group of thinkers throughout the ages.  In Christian history, the first systematic theologian, Origen, actually held this view.  Notice that I don’t call him Saint Origen, he’s never been canonized principally for this preexistence of souls business.  These days, the only major Christian group that I know of who believes in something like this is the Latter-Day Saints.

So what does this have to do with the Leijiverse and the center of a Time Sphere?

One of the personalities in the Leijiverse

One of the personalities in the Leijiverse

As we discussed before, a Time Sphere is made up of several (maybe infinite) Time Rings sharing the same center.  Each Ring of Time represents one time sequence of events, a single timeline.  Now, looking at such diverse stories as Harlock Saga, Galaxy Express 999, Cosmo Warrior Zero, etc., we must find a single aspect that they all share.  And there is one: personality.

Or rather, personalities.  There’s always a Captain Harlock in a Matsumoto show, an Emeraldas, a Tochiro.  The circumstances change, of course, and sometimes even the species and name of the characters, but the fans can usually pick each out with ease.  What I’m saying in a nutshell is that the center of a Time Sphere is the Room of Gaf!  Harlock keeps coming back in the different timelines because all of these timelines share the same Room of Gaf, i.e. Harlock’s soul must be “embodied” all over the surface of this sphere.  Every Ring of Time sharing a given center X will see the emergence of the souls/personalities encoded in that center.

3 Spheres, 3 Rooms of Gaf

3 Spheres, 3 Rooms of Gaf

If, like me, you don’t like the notion of “souls”, then you could say that the center of a Time Sphere instantiates a set number of bodies on each Ring.  If you like the Gaia Hypothesis, then think of the Time Sphere as an organism, and the center as its DNA.  Harlock is in the DNA of the Leijiversal sphere, so every timeline on it will have a Harlock somewhere along the line.

Maybe then you can make another Time Sphere for “our universe with Adolf Hitler and Britney Spears in it”, another one for the Neon Genesis Evangelion universe, and so forth.  We can use the Time Sphere concept to explain how the Eva manga follows a different timeline from the anime, but sharing the same personalities all the way through.  Etcetera etcetera.

Post III had two questions: the center issue and the chronology issue.  I will work on the chronology issue in my next post.

[In essence, my choice of “Hitler-Spears” for the name of our universe comes from my deeply held belief that no other universe can possibly see the emergence of both of these individuals, so that this name denotes our universe precisely and sets it apart from all possible universes.]

~ by Haloed Bane on February 16, 2009.

11 Responses to “Time and the Leijiverse Part IV (How many Licks?)”

  1. Great read. How about naming our universe the LOGH-Akikan Sphere?

  2. This was a very inspiring post. Subjects of this nature always seem to interest most and it being compared with anime is a definite plus.

  3. @ghostlightning

    LOGH-Akikan meets the content requirements, but I find Hitler-Spears has a much better ring to it.


    Yeah, I like being able to discuss different stuff and see how it relates. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with this kind of analysis/commentary!

  4. The consistency of character personalities when everything else changes reminds me strongly of Satoshi Kon’s Millennium Actress where the main heroine relives the same story (her life story) in very different movie roles she plays (various other characters partake in this role-playing too).

    By the way, I’ve just posted a review of the original Captain Harlock series on my blog. Not much metaphysical analysis in it (none actually), but hopefully you’ll find it worthwhile. 😉

  5. @Igor

    I enjoyed your post. At some point I need to start watching Satoshi Kon. Definitely!

  6. My personal recommendation would be Tokyo Godfathers, although it’s not his most popular work.

    If you enjoy wintery cityscapes as much as I, then it is a must. 🙂

  7. Forgive me for saying this, but I personally do not believe in the rings of time theory. Sorry, but I just don’t see it the way you do. 😦
    I mean, if the Arcadia, Queen Emeraldas, and any other ships warp drives let travel through time, then why doesn’t Harlock go back in time to save Maya from dying? Why doesn’t Emeraldas pick a different timeline and life happily with Tochiro?
    I’m not trying to destroy anyone’s dream or Matsumoto’s, (Forgive me sensei-sama) I’m just talking common sense.
    I personally believe as well that each story except for the original space pirate series and some others are all linked together.
    For example, I read somewhere on a Japanese website that Wataru and Manabu are the descendants of Harlock or Wataru is the long lost son of Harlock, and Manabu his grandson, (I don’t fully believe it, but still…)
    So that’s that. Sorry for disappointing you, but if it all turns out to be true in the end, I’ll reconsider my decision.
    Thanks for respecting my opinion, 🙂
    Keep on blogging!

    • What you say makes perfect sense. Leiji Matsumoto believes in the time rings, and often the characters themselves will say stuff like “I’ll meet you when the ends of the ring of time meet again” etc. but if so, then why don’t they ever travel through time and fix their lives up??

      I guess Leiji believes you have to learn to live with the past. HOWEVER, there is one exception to this and it’s not very well known but it’s huge and it begins to answer your argument. The latest arc of Galaxy Express 999 begins with the Earth being destroyed by the Metanoids, and Maetel takes Tetsuro on a journey with the explicit purpose of reversing that destruction by traveling through time somehow. So I guess in these latter days Matsumoto might actually be trying to answer your argument, though since the arc stands unfinished who knows???

  8. Dang! I forgot about the new 999 manga! And I’ve been reading it too, for Pete’s sake! XD
    Not another unfinished arc! I’m like at-! Well, I actually forgot where I’m at, but still….. Anyways, yeah, I’ve heard plenty of Matsumoto characters says things like:
    “My name is Maetel. My journey ends where the rings of time meet.” Or,
    “This wormhole will take us to another time.”
    My dad, (Yes he’s a fan as well, I got him into it and his favorite series of the Lejiverse is Galaxy Railways and 999, moving on…) doesn’t believe in the rings of time either. We both start ranting about it whenever it pops up in any series; it pops up a lot and we have long discussions and gentle arguments about it and when I told him about the new Maharoba Robot Movie and the plotline, he slapped his forehead and jokingly said:
    “Matsumoto has taken a train to crazy island.” 🙂
    Moving on from that pointless statement, if the 999 can warp through time, then why not travel back and prevent the earth from being blown up?! Matsumoto might be trying to answer my argument….hmm… well, I really want to meet him and ask him that, but still… you make a good point! You’re a far better student than me and my dad in the Lejiverse and I thank you again for your replies. 😉
    If anything else pops up that may help, let me know and I’m still trying to FIND THAT DARNED LINK WHERE BULGE GETS EATIN ALIVE BY TIGERS!!!
    Warm regards,
    Suicunefan36, AKA the one who’s mad that she can’t find the freaking link.

  9. Good gosh, that robot is AMAZING!!!! 80
    Can hardly wait for the movie and LOL at the ‘false religion’ comment. I don’t why, it just made me laugh, probably because that’s kind of how it is here 😉
    And that’s all I have to say before I stop bothering you XD Thanks for the replies!


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