Muv-Luv time. After all this time. Spoilers be due if you haven’t read the story yet, so be aware of this.
Some time ago we got translation patch for Muv-Luv Alternative Chronicles 01, which has all sorts of interesting stuff to read, but one thing most people are most interested in is Muv-Luv Unlimited; The Day After storyline.
As the name already implies, The Day After story is set in the continuity of the Unlimited timeline, where things just didn’t go all too well. Humans bombing, the Earth to hell, salt deserts covering half of the Earth, population on the verge of extinction and the BETA still roam the landscape without much trouble while only a handful of people were sent to space and migrate to a new world. I’m pretty sure that in this sort-of-continuity space migration is only something that will lengthen the time when BETA find you and start munching on your population.
Personally, I am not too interested in The Day After. I’ll give them a proper read one of these days rather than glancing them over and most likely turn my head, but the main reason for my disinterest at them at this time has more to do with the fact that it’s Unlimited continuity, which does not exist after Alternative’s events. The reason why Unlimited can’t exist alongside Alternative without retconning is our main man Takeru himself.
First of all, in Alternative the main motive Takeru has most of the time is to prevent that horrible future he has seen. We know that he has seen it many times, experienced all of its horrible events. In the beginning of Alternative, he finally begins to remember these events little by little and begins to affect how things go. Small things at first, until he drastically changes the future history, ending with Operation Cherry Blossom’s assault on the Original HIVE and making that contact with the Superior Existence.
One of the motifs in Muv-Luv and Alternative is that our choices have effects, and so does when we choose not to choose. Every action has a reaction and so does inaction. Takeru is given practically infinite chances to make choices that prevent a horrible future. Or Takeru is forced to take certain path in order to return home, depending on your view on Sumika. Even if your point of view is the latter, it is Takeru who chooses to go against the future he has seen more than once and decides to, essentially, rebel against the set destiny and change everything for the better. Nobody else chooses this for him, and it he who wills himself to stain his hands with blood in order to grasp a future with a brighter hope.
Takeru succeeds in changing the future. The horrible future is no more. His task is done, and it is time for him to return home, and this is the second reason The Day After can’t exist alongside Alternative.
The Takeru we have in the BETAverse, in the other world, is a collection of all Takerus from different worlds. He is all of them, which is why the Takeru we see in Altered Fable has his own flashbacks. This amalgamation Takeru is the one we follow in the BETAverse in both Unlimited and Alternative. He is the one who goes through the hellish future and the one who loops back. There’s unmentionable number of loops, thou one could always calculate the minimum number of loops he needs to go through, before he begins to regain some memories he can grasp one. Indeed, there might be loops where he has some memories, but nothing concrete he could comprehend or put in use, and there might be loops where he simply fails to create the 00-Unit, the key to it all. After all that, he is dispersed back to his home worlds, making all things right.
In short; TDA’s Takeru can’t exist as he is unique in the multiverse, being one existence made of many. There is only one of him who is many, and him being dispersed means that the wholeness he was no longer exists. He, as he is, cannot exist as a separate being in multiple worlds because of his composite nature and as the Causality Conductor. If TDA could exist even as a separate timeline alongside, it would mean it would have one Takeru of its own, but that is not the case. We know that the Takeru of BETAverse was killed when he was protecting Sumika in a HIVE.
Of course, The Day After is a neat storyline and all. It is a timeline that does not exist in the end, but it is still a story that needs to take place before Alternative erases it. This might be a thing that certain people do not like, as there seems to be a mindset that a story needs to be canon, as in to take place, to have some value. The Day After has an interesting position in this that the story in itself unmakes it while it still happens, which is all kinds of neat.
There is an opposing view that views these things from another point; every uncertainty branches into a new universe and timeline, eg. a thing that might not happen will happen in another and doesn’t in another, meaning with all timelines effectively run alongside each other. By all means, as this is fiction, both of these are just as valid.
As you’ve collected, I’m in the camp of The Day After taking place multiple times before Takeru’s final loop, which erases it from existence. Perhaps it’s because I want to see something that resemblances hope and happy things in the BETAverse’s otherwise bleak and bloody world. It might be that I just Alternative’s time looping like the old timey view on Back to the Future, where you travel in one time, affecting one timeline and no alternate worlds or any quantum juggling like that. But in the end, it’s the point of Takeru being amalgamation that brakes the deal for me.
In the end, this is fiction and as with all fiction, it’s in the whims of the author or authors. Muv-Luv as a whole, outside the main two Visual Novels, has its own brow lifting issues and perhaps this whole The Day After thing is the most apparent. I’m not sure if the authors are clear on this issue either, and perhaps one day we’re get a source book on The Fay After and sombody will scan and upload it. Joushi Eishi Cryska is clearly another separate timeline, so it’s not even an issue to discuss, unless we’re going to discuss the way the BETA in that world might want to get peace with mankind.