Did you finish Wonderful Everyday (SubaHibi) and think the ending was lacking or confusing? This post is for you!
It is my hope that by explaining the narrative structure of SubaHibi, we can begin to see SCA-DI’s reasoning behind the controversial ending.
This is not meant to be a comprehensive analysis of SubaHibi or SCA-DI’s philosophy. Such a piece is better suited for a Ivy League doctoral thesis than a blog post. I wrote this blog post for people who simply want to understand what happened in the game’s narrative at a fundamental level.
WARNING: SPOILERS for the ENTIRETY of Wonderful Everyday.
The Inner World
The first clue to understanding SubaHibi’s narrative structure is revealed in End Sky II, where Yuki starts recalling events from other chapters of the game for the first time since Down the Rabbit-Hole I.
Consider the all the other chapter in the game except End Sky II and Down the Rabbit-Hole I . In these chapters, the same event is observed through a multitude of different perspectives. There is no instance when characters from one chapter starts recalling events from another chapter. It’s like ants running around on a 2-dimensional plane – any single ant won’t have knowledge on what other ants are doing. Similarly, Takuji from It’s My Own Invention won’t have knowledge on what happened in Down the Rabbit-Hole II, and so fourth.
Every chapter in the game except End Sky II and Down the Rabbit-Hole I can hence grouped into a single layer I will refer to as the “Inner World”.
Yuki recalling events from other chapters in End Sky II Down the Rabbit-Hole I shows the availability of knowledge transcending layers. Think of a 3-dimensional human looking down on a 2-dimensional plane where it can see all the ants running around at the same time. I will refer to that as the “Outer World”.
Within the “Inner World”, Tomosane is the subject, and his knowledge essentially becomes the limit of the world.
5.632 The subject does not belong to the world, but it is a limit of the world.
SubaHibi hinges upon Wittgenstein’s early philosophical works. This means for every world, there is a subject of that world, and there is also a Sense of that world. The subject does not belong to the world – it is a projection of the Sense, which lie outside the world.
That’s quite a mouthful, so I will use an analogy to make it simpler. For example, if you, a subject of the real world, create an imaginary world inside your head right now, you become the sense of that imaginary world. Every entity in that world are essentially projections of yourself.
6.41 The sense of the world must lie outside the world.
The concept of metaphysical worlds should be a familiar concept to those of you who have played Umineko no Naku Koro ni (which is actually quite a bit more complex in terms of metafictional layers), but essentially, in order for a world to exist, it must be created by someone outside the world.
So if the subject of the “Inner World” is Tomosane, then who is the Sense of the “Inner World”?
The Outer World
In Yuki’s conversation with Ayana in End Sky II, she thinks back to when she acted as the Sense of the “Inner World”, projecting herself into a multitude of different characters which resulted in different scenarios.
This is why, for Yuki, what goes on in the “Inner World” is a performance, where Tomosane is the hero.
6.432 How things are in the world is a matter of complete indifference for what is higher.
The “Inner World” is what Yuki created for Tomosane so that he can reach a good ending – the Wonderful Everyday end or the Hill of Sunflowers end after Jabberwocky II.
As we know, if Tomosane makes the correct decisions, he survives the fall from the roof at the end of Jabberwocky II and arrives at one of the two happy endings.
If he doesn’t make the correct choice in Jabberwocky II, he ends up dead after jumping off the roof of building C. Then, he essentially “wakes up” as Yuki in End Sky II.
The easiest way to understand this is to use dreaming as an analogy. Say I go to bed in the real world and start dreaming. I essentially create a dream world and act as the Sense of the dream world. In most dreams, I will then place a copy of myself as a subject in the dream world.
The dream world version of myself won’t realise the fact that it is a dream world until a trigger happens. Say the dream world becomes a nightmare and that becomes a trigger. I will probably then wake up in the real world, and only then do I realise I was just a subject in the dream world – a projection of myself from the real world.
In the same way, when Tomosane doesn’t make the right decisions, and falls to his death in Jabberwocky II of the “Inner World”, he “wakes up” as Yuki in End Sky II of the “Outer World”.
Yuki then journeys through Down the Rabbit-Hole I, and at the end, she creates the “Inner World”, where Tomosane once again begins a journey to find his wonderful everyday, starting with Down the Rabbit-Hole II.
Down the Rabbit-Hole II is actually the true beginning of SubaHibi.
However, as you know from the ending of End Sky II, things don’t stop here. Just like how Yuki is the Sense of the “Inner World”, there must also be a Sense of the “Outer World” in order for it to exist.
The Outermost World
In SubaHibi, the first time we catch a glimpse of the Sense of the “Outer World” is at the very end of End Sky II. As Yuki thinks about what Ayana tells her, Yuki suddenly hears a voice calling out to her.
While on the screen, the text is displayed as “—-“, we can distantly hear “Otonashi Ayana-san” being said. When Yuki turns around, she sees Miu who again calls out “Otonashi Ayana-san”.
At this point, the POV switches to Ayana, and Yuki is nowhere to be seen.
Just like how Takuji falling to his death is a triggering point before he “wakes up” as Yuki in the “Outer World”, what’s happening here is essentially the same thing. Miu calling out to Ayana is the triggering point for Yuki to “wake up” as Ayana in the “Outermost World”.
Let’s first think back about what the purpose of the “Outer World” was. It was to ensure that Tomosane of the “Inner World” gets to either the Wonderful Everyday end or the Hill of Sunflowers end after Jabberwocky II. If Tomosane happens to “wake up” into the “Outer World”, he simply wakes up as Yuki who will simply project him back into the “Inner World”.
Now back to the subject at hand – what if Yuki of the “Outer World” decides to “wake up”? The final scene of End Sky II implies that Yuki simply wakes up as Ayana in the “Outermost World”. That’s nice and all, but let’s park that thought for a moment, and recall a certain ominous scene from Down the Rabbit-Hole I.
In the Spirit Room, a creepy gondola ride takes Yuki and Zakuro through a convenience store, a living room and a classroom, all completely devoid of people, before arriving in a hospital room called “The Final Abode”.
So why did the Spirit Room scene show up in the “Outer World” at all? It’s a stark contrast compared to the peaceful rooftop depicted at the end of End Sky II. This is even directly mentioned by Yuki at the end of the Spirit Room ride.
The alarming difference between the beautiful rooftop and the a hospital bed cannot be more straightforward – the blue sky viewed from the rooftop is what anyone in a hospital bed would dream of seeing.
Yet, when Yuki “wakes up” as Ayana, she is on the rooftop under the same blue sky. This implies that the Spirit Room which appeared in the “Outer World” was Ayana’s “dream”, while that beautiful rooftop is Ayana’s “reality”.
This brings us to the most important question in this post – why is Ayana’s dream and Ayana’s reality the wrong way around? There’s no reason for someone who on a beautiful rooftop to imagine being inside a gloomy hospital.
Luckily, SCA-DI left an answer for us where we least expect it. Here is a certain light-hearted moment from Jabberwocky I when Tomosane tries to scare away Hasaki with a nasty and vulgar joke. (Thanks zeality for tipping me off about this one!)
Putting aside whether the above line is SCA-DI actually dropping a hint or being a huge troll, Ayana being a schizophrenic patient is actually a logical way to explain this contradiction. Patients suffering from Schizophrenia lose the ability to distinguish between dream and reality.
Even without that hilariously obvious line above, it’s very difficult for me to imagine the gondola ride as anything but a representation of a mental health patient’s descent into madness. The ominous hospital room is actually Ayana’s reality, while the beautiful rooftop is the dream.
The updated world map now looks like this:
Now let’s head back to our previously parked thought. What if Yuki of the “Outer World” decides to “wake up”? Is it better for her to wake up on the bed inside a mental hospital? Or is it better for her she to wake up on a beautiful rooftop, unaware of the “reality” outside her world, and head back into Down the Rabbit-Hole I?
The way SCA-DI handled this outermost layer of SubaHibi where Ayana is the subject has always been the most controversial topic about the game. Confusing clues about Ayana are scattered throughout every chapter of SubaHibi, ranging from Lovecraft to Norse Mythology. Even the schizophrenia theory I mentioned above is based off nothing but a montage of still frames. It is the epitome of an open-ending.
Yet, it’s difficult to think of a better way to close out SubaHibi and its Wonderful Everyday.
- Subject: Mamiya Tomosane
- Tomosane is a projection of Yuki of the “Outer World”.
- Tomosane not have transcending knowledge over different chapters within the “Inner World” due to his PTSD / MPD.
- Tomosane will always arrive at either the Wonderful Everyday end or the Hill of Sunflowers end – both of which are considered happy ends where Tomosane manages to obtain a wonderful everyday.
- Sense: Minakami Yuki (subject of the “Outer World”)
- Subject: Minakami Yuki
- Yuki is a projection of Ayana of the “Outermost World”.
- Yuki acts as a buffer in case Tomosane makes the “wrong” decision within the “Inner World”.
- When Tomosane makes the wrong decision, he simply wakes up as Yuki in the “Outer World”, who will again project herself back into the “Inner World” at the end of Down the Rabbit-Hole I as Tomosane.
- In other words, Yuki exists so that the “Inner World” cannot result in a bad end. The loop continues until Tomosane reaches the Wonderful Everyday end or the Hill of Sunflowers end.
- Sense: Otonashi Ayana (subject of the “Outermost World”)
- Subject: Otonashi Ayana
- Ayana is a projection of SCA-DI of the real world, the author of SubaHibi.
- There are confusing, often contradicting clues as to who Ayana is throughout every chapter of SubaHibi ranging from Lovecraft to Norse Mythology.
- The unsolvable mysteries surrounding Ayana ensure that Yuki cannot wake up from the “Outer World” as Ayana.
- Ayana cannot distinguish what her reality is, which makes it impossible for Yuki to ever “wake up” in Ayana’s reality.
- This setup is designed to protect Tomosane and his wonderful everyday. After all, in order for Tomosane to escape, he would essentially have to “wake up” TWICE.
- Sense: SCA-DI / Yourself (subject of the real world)
This section is updated as I receive more questions.
- Isn’t Ayana being a schizophrenic just a cheap twist?
Ayana being a schizophrenic is actually plays the most important part in protecting the “illusion” for Tomosane. Because Ayana cannot tell the difference between what is reality and what is a dream, it’s essentially impossible for Yuki from the “Outer World” to “wake up” into the “Outermost World”. After all, how can you wake up from anything if you can’t tell what is or isn’t a dream?
This is demonstrated at the finale of End Sky II, where Yuki does momentarily “wake up”. However, instead of waking up on a hospital bed, she wakes up on a beautiful rooftop. As a result, Yuki does not find out the truth of the “Outermost World”. SCA-DI created Ayana with schizophrenia in order to protect Tomosane and his wonderful everyday.
- I understand SubaHibi now after reading your post, but I still don’t really think it’s a masterpiece.
While SubaHibi’s narrative structure is quite special, the philosophy and how it’s presented throughout the game is what actually takes the game to its next level. Understanding the narrative structure of SubaHibi is only the beginning when it comes to appreciating SCA-DI’s writing.
Of course, with anything to do with philosophy, it either resonates with you, or it doesn’t. That’s why it’s just as likely for someone to think SubaHibi is a masterpiece as for someone to think it’s nothing special.
And if all else fails and you don’t understand the philosophy in SubaHibi at all. I reckon the game is quite good simply based off its narrative merits, especially at the cost of $29.99. Remember, live happily!
I currently have no plans to go into the philosophical aspects of the game because that’s beyond what my free time can allow.
- A lot of your post looks like theory to me. How do you know it’s the truth?
How do I know it’s the truth? Because I can say it in gold! SCA-DI wrote SubaHibi to protect Tomosane’s wonderful everyday. Ayana was created by SCA-DI to fulfil that purpose.
(Seriously, play Umineko already)