"Toki no Wa" concept is probably one of the most important philosophy in order to understand how Matsumoto Universe is laid out. In Matsumoto universe, the term "Toki no Wa" appears quite often in many of his creations. In the very end of "Arcadia of My Youth" movie, Harlock says good-bye to his beloved Maya in her casket. And his dialog is as follows: "Tooku Toki No Wa No Sessuru Tokorode Mata Aou." (rough translation: "I will see you again where the loops of time touch together." ). In the final episode of "Galaxy Express 999" Andromeda Series comic, Maetel says the exact same words to Tetsuro before she takes off to her new journey leaving Tetsuro behind. In "Nibelung's Ring", that line is also mentioned over and over again.
"Toki' means "Time" in direct translation, and "Wa" means "Ring", "Circle", "Loop", etc. So the really the direct translation of "Toki no Wa" is "Time Loop" or "Ring of Time". I have my own non-direct translated version of the line, which is, "I Will See You Where The Ends of Eternity Meet Again". I feel that captures the essence of the "Toki no Wa" idea rather nicely although it does not contain any direct word from the original line. I use that line in my HP, and I even used it for my Christmas Message I sent for Siegfried. :-)
Matsumoto universe is based on the concept that in the far, far future, the line of time ends up merging with that of the past, therefore, time is really forming a "Loop" which contains no end or beginning. Especially for Maetel, the "Toki no Wa"concept has its' own significance, since she is a woman who travels in eternity; she keeps existing in the past, present, and in the future.
In one of Matsumoto's comic "Miraizer-Ban" dives in that concept with more details. "Miraizer-Ban" is the story about several special human (?) beings called "Miraizer", who can retain their memories and recollection from their previous lives and future lives. So in essence, "Miraizer" have eternal lives, not so much as physical beings, but in their consciousness level. "Miraizer Ban" also draws out the interesting conclusion with added twist, which takes the step ahead of "Time Loop" concept, and introduces "Time Sphere" concept. "Time Sphere" concept can be interpreted as existence of multiple universes each taking it's own course of time parallel from each other. Which may explain why Matsumoto creates so many similar (or almost identical) characters and stories yet each one is in slightly different setting and situation from others. After all, Tochiro dies in too many different deaths and there are so many different Harlocks in Matsumoto creation. But this "Time Sphere" implication resolves all conflicts in story and character establishments in Matsumoto Universe rather nicely.
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