Black coffee and coffee with milk
How do you like your coffee? Black, or with milk? Enomoto explains the space-time transfer device by likening Kokoro to coffee with milk and Satoru to black coffee. However, this is really explaining something besides the space-time transfer. Black coffee is pure, but milk coffee has a foreign substance mixed in. Satoru’s consciousness is pure: it is completely occupied by [ORE]. Kokoro’s consciousness is impure: it is a mix of [WATASHI] and Kokoro’s consciousness. That’s why Kokoro doesn’t lose her memories, and this situation allows for the player to be introduced into the story.
EVER 17 SPOILER ALERT (highlight to read)
To put it in terms of Ever 17’s Blick Winkel:
Kokoro = Kuranari Takeshi
Satoru = The Kid
It’s not exactly the same, but it’s kind of a similar concept.
The secret behind the choices and the TIPS
This concept appears in more than just the coffee scene. First, let’s consider the choices you make throughout the story. In the choices that appear in the Kokoro route, the choices use the third-person “Kokoro”; however, in the Satoru route, the choices use the first-person [ORE]. This wording reflects the perspectives of [ORE] and [WATASHI]. From [WATASHI]’s point of view, Fuyukawa Kokoro is not [WATASHI]. Therefore, it refers to Kokoro as Kokoro. On the other hand, from [ORE]’s perspective, Satoru is [ORE]. That’s why the Satoru choices use [ORE] to refer to itself. This phenomenon also shows up in several places in the TIPS as well. [WATASHI] views the story more as an observer than a participant, and this is why the TIPS from the Kokoro route are written in third-person. However, [ORE] views the story from the perspective of Yukidoh Satoru, so the TIPS from the Satoru route are written from [ORE]’s perspective (with a few exceptions).
(Translator’s note: I checked some other Japanese R11 references, and as far as I could tell there’s only one choice that actually uses the third-person “Kokoro” in the choice text (if you’re curious, it’s the choice on day 4 where you have to decide whether Yomogi or Kokoro is going to be in charge of the tin with everyone’s rations. TLWiki translated the choice as “I’ll safeguard it”, but it’s true that the Japanese is more literally “Have Kokoro hold on to it”) Furthermore, there were several choices that I saw on Kokoro’s route that use the first-person [atashi]. I’m not sure if this is an oversight on the author’s part or if my research just wasn’t thorough enough. I will admit it’s likely that the guides I checked didn’t list every possible choice in the game, but there’s also clear evidence that counters the point he’s trying to make here.)
The difference between [ORE] and [WATASHI]
From the perspective of Blondie’s body, [ORE] is the dominant consciousness. From the perspective of Kokoro’s body, [WATASHI] is a consciousness that is mixed together with Kokoro’s normal consciousness. If you look at it the other way, to [ORE], Blondie’s body is [ORE] itself. To [WATSHI], Kokoro’s body is just one part of [WATASHI]. In other words, [WATASHI]’s consciousness isn’t just mixed with Kokoro, but also the world itself. You could say that [WATASHI] still has some of the will of the player contained in it.
The being that decides the world
I’m going to propose a theory: “As long as it causes no contradictions, it’s possible for the player to change the world.” Basically, [WATASHI], which contain’s part of the player’s will, has the power to decide things about the world. It sounds crazy, but there are examples of this in the story. First is the dinner scene on the first day of the Kokoro route. If you say you want to eat stew, everyone wants to eat stew. If you say chuuka-don, everyone wants to eat chuuka-don. What you want to eat propagates to everyone else. This is because the player’s will—[WATASHI]’s will—decides how the world is. Next is on day 4 of the Kokoro route, when deciding who will manage everyone’s rations. If you choose “Leave the food to Yomogi”, Kokoro will try to pass it off to Yomogi, but if you choose “Have Kokoro hold on to it”…Kokoro still tries to get Yomogi to do it. In the end Kokoro holds on to it though, so rather than deciding Kokoro’s will, it’s more accurate to say it decides something about the world. Finally, there’s the 6th day of the Kokoro route, when the satellite phone miraculously connects. There’s no hard proof, but it’s possible that [WATASHI] influenced that incident.
NEVER 7 AND EVER 17 SPOILER ALERT (highlight to read)
At first this might sound like a crazy theory, but when you consider that similar phenomena exist in both Never 7 and Ever 17, it’s not so farfetched.