My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday (ぼくは明日, 昨日のきみとデートする)note is a Japanese romance/drama movie that was released in 2016, based on a 2014 novel written by Takafumi Nanatsuki. The film stars Nana Komatsu, who played the titular character in The World of Kanako, and Sota Fukushi, who previously starred in the Strobe Edge live-action adaptation a year prior.
On a train ride to university one morning, cartoonist Takatoshi Minamiyama falls in love at first sight with hairstylist Emi Fukuju. As he strikes up a conversation and tries to make plans to see her the next day, she starts crying inexplicably. The following day, Emi approaches him while he's drawing and casually mentions seeing his artwork hung on his classroom, which actually does end up happening — the day after that. Despite her many cryptic statements, and the strange moments when she bursts into tears, Takatoshi musters his courage to ask her out, and they start dating. When he inadvertently discovers a notebook containing very specific details of events that haven't happened yet, Emi reveals the unusual circumstances that brought them together.
This film contains examples of the following tropes:
- Anachronic Order: After the exposition in the middle of the movie, several flashbacks explain the other times that they met each other at different ages. Also, once said exposition is clarified, it becomes clear that each of the two leads have their own definitions of "chronological order" as far as their relationship is concerned.
- Arc Symbol: Sine waves, clocks, the phases of the moon, and hourglasses are seen several times throughout the movie.
- Back to Front: Played half-straight... in a manner of speaking. As the story plays out, Emi's actually moving backwards day by day.
- Bookends: The train where Takatoshi first sees Emi.
- Chekhov's Gun: Many minor details become more significant as the plot progresses, including: the moments when Emi cries, the giraffe drawing, the chocolate in the stew, Emi noticing a puppy on the street, etc.
- Fantastic Romance: A romance amidst a truly confounding situation.
- Love at First Sight: Takatoshi is instantly smitten the first time he sees Emi. Truth is, it's at least the third time that he's encountered her; he just didn't know it then.
- Meaningful Echo: When Takatoshi meets Emi for the first time, he asks her if she's sure they'll see each other again. Emi simply answers, "We will meet again." It turns out they had the same conversation when she was 5 and Takatoshi would be 35, right after he saved her from an explosion.
- Merlin Sickness: Since Emi's moving backwards relative to Takatoshi's time, what Takatoshi remembers from his previous encounters with Emi are things that haven't yet happened from her perspective. Takatoshi first notices this when he realizes Emi didn't recognize the Pomeranian puppy that they saw several days earlier.
- Once More, with Clarity!: When Takatoshi comes to the realization that his firsts were Emi's lasts, he recalls the moments when she cried and finally understands how painful their interactions must have felt for her, even if she already knew they would happen. After Takatoshi's last day, several events are revisited, this time viewed through Emi's perspective.
- Retroactive Precognition: Emi hints at one conversation with Takatoshi that she might have this ability. It's later revealed that she had a notebook to refer to on what would happen between them during each day that they were together. And on his last day (her first), she uses another notebook to get more accurate details from Takatoshi.
- Stable Time Loop: Somehow, both Emi's and Takatoshi's stories, despite diverging in time, reinforce one another perfectly. For one, both their 35-year-old selves rescued the other at 5 years old. The most important piece that keeps their loop stable is Emi's notebook containing all the information that they both need.
- Stealth Hi/Bye: At one point Emi disappears in the middle of a phone call with Takatoshi. Apparently, every midnight, Emi instantly moves backwards one day. This also occurs during Takatoshi's last day; while he's holding Emi's hand, a train passes by as the clock strikes 12, and after the train has gone, so has Emi.
- Time Travel Romance: More accurately put, they're both on The Slow Path, but moving in opposite directions, intersecting only for 31 days every 5 years. They're only able to have a relationship when they're both 20 years old.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Takatoshi gets frustrated at one point when he complains that his relationship with Emi felt scripted based on her notebook. When he realizes the importance of their short time together, he gladly follows the plans in the notebook.