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Stable Time Loop / Anime & Manga

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  • In Simoun, Dominura and Limone travel back in time using the Emerald Ri Maajon, purportedly to stop Simulacrum from using the Simoun. To avoid a Temporal Paradox that would prevent them from meeting, however, they instead teach the very Emerald Ri Maajon that got them there to the local inhabitants and show them how to use the Simoun that they have lying around... thereby ensuring that history unfolds exactly as they remember.
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  • In Inuyasha, Kagome discovers that her friend Hojo's ancestor was married to someone also named Kagome, causing her to get worried if she would get married to his ancestor. After a perilous journey, it turned out that Hojo's ancestor met an entirely different girl with another name and requested she change her name to Kagome.
  • In El-Hazard: The Magnificent World, the main character and company are sent to El Hazard by Ifurita. They meet her in El Hazard, but as an enemy who doesn't remember them. After a Heel–Face Turn, Ifurita rescues everyone from a time-space distortion weapon, and realizes that she must be caught in it in order to go back in time in order to start everything. The final scene shows that the loop also involves an older Makoto returning to Earth to reunite with Ifurita. Unfortunately, the sequels were so poorly-received that we never got to see how the loop is completed.
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  • The entirety of Girls Go Around is based on a time loop. Kyosuke commits suicide on graduation day. Chihiro is distraught and tries to Set Right What Once Went Wrong, creating a time loop to their first day as High School Students and tries to have Kyosuke open up, make more friends, join clubs and make happy memories. Back to graduation day, Chihiro dies and Kyosuke creates a time loop to save her... which results in one of the other girls dying. Repeatedly trying to save all of the girls, Kyosuke commits suicide and Chihiro creates a time loop to 3 years ago, going back to their first day as High School Students. And so on.
  • Takahashi's Fire Tripper one-shot story (in some ways a dry run for Inuyasha), avoids the trope almost completely. One can trace the time lines of both characters, and they never "loop" themselves. There is one small loop though that leads to a Fridge Logic moment after the show is over. Where did the bell come from?
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  • Mendo from Urusei Yatsura traveled to the past to try to prevent himself from acquiring his fear of darkness and cramped spaces, but he got so angry at his younger self that he ended up attacking his younger self and thereby causing his own phobias.
  • In Martian Successor Nadesico, Inez Fressange, whose first clear memory is being lost in a desert at age 8, discovers that she got there through time traveling from the future... which is now the present, as she's taken The Slow Path back. She meets her younger self just before the temporal disturbance that triggers the loop.
  • In Tenchi Muyo! in Love!, the criminal Kain attempts to go back in time to kill Tenchi's mother, Achika, so as to prevent Tenchi from ever having been born. Tenchi and company go back in time to stop him, and the climactic showdown forces Achika to utilize her power to the point that she shortens her own lifespan in order to protect her future son, thus causing her premature death that Tenchi had already experienced in the present/future.
    • In the 3rd OVA series, Tsunami, Washu and Tokimi agree on letting history play out normally and let Tenchi grow into his godhood normally. Thus, history is reset and events play out normally up until the point Ryoko goes to drag Mihoshi to breakfast the morning Tenchi's sister arrives. Mihoshi makes sure that her original message gets sent through, but Noike, wanting to be with Tenchi (and ensuring the events of Tenchi Muyo! GXP happens), makes sure the altered note gets set instead and the Chobimaru is launched.
      • HOWEVER, the presence of the big bad, Z, is averted.
  • During the (rather long) Day 1 of the Mahora Fair sub-arc in Negima! Magister Negi Magi we get to see a Time Loop following Negi's use of it. Negi redoes the same day four times to make sure he has enough time to spend with every student. At various points Negi will run into students he hasn't run into yet because he's not that far in the loop. Setsuna, Asuna, Konoka and Kotaro all go along with Negi at one time or another in this loop. Naturally when Time Travel isn't a neat parlor trick it stops being so stable... or loop like, and quite wibbly-wobbly.
  • In Sailor Moon, Chibi-Usa is able to exist because she "stole" the silver crystal from Usagi in the future, returned to the past, and saved Usagi's life in the battle with the Death Phantom.
  • Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- has two very complicated and mind-screwy examples:
    • The first instance of this is when Sakura chose to leave the feather (that contains a piece of her memories) behind in Tokyo country reservoir in order to allow the inhabitants to live. Then it is later revealed that Tokyo is in fact Clow Country from the past (Sakura and Syaoran's hometown) and the reservoir created from Sakura's feather is what led to Sakura losing her memories and scatter the feather in the first place which eventually led them to Tokyo and start the loop all over again.
    • Another even more complicated instance is the existence of the Real Syaoran. Basically, after both the clones of Sakura and Syaoran have been killed, Yuuko sends them back to the past to start life anew. Then, sometime later they eventually gave birth to the Real Syaoran who after a series of events, led to the creation of both him and Sakura's clone under Fei Wang Reed's influence where they inevitably die and start the loop again. Indeed this in effect makes Syaoran a Paradox Person and once the dimensions began to revert to normal, Syaoran is also about to fade from existence, forcing him to travel between worlds as price for his continued existence.
  • Dragon Ball
    • Dragon Ball: Kami sends Kid Goku back in time to help his future instructor Roshi.
    • Frieza had the Saiyans wiped out due to his growing fear that they would overthrow him, with the legend of the "Super Saiyan" being a key part of said fear. Episode of Bardock shows that when Goku's father Bardock was hit by Frieza's Supernova that destroyed Planet Vegeta, he was somehow thrown into the past. There he defeats Frieza's ancestor Chilled, going Super Saiyan in the process. Chilled uses his dying breath to warn his minions of the Saiyans' Super form, thus creating the very legend that led to the genocide of the Saiyans and Bardock being sent to the past. Of course, Episode of Bardock's status as canon is up in the air.
    • Dragon Ball Super: As it turns out, the existence of Goku Black depends on this trope. Zamasu is weary of mortals. One day a mortal named Goku shows up at his door and asks to fights him. Zamasu gets the idea to steal Goku's body and start a genocidal rampage from this. The time loop comes from the fact that the reason Goku showed up at Zamasu's in the first place is because of his future genocidal rampage. Additionally, even though Whis’s Temporal Do-Over ability basically lets them hit the Reset Button and have Beerus kill Zamasu before he can become Goku Black to break the loop, Goku Black himself wields the Time Ring that protects him from suffering Ret-Gone even though his origin story no longer happens, though an alternate timeline where he never attacked the future is still created. The manga changes this by having Zamasu watch Goku on GodTube instead.
  • In Natsu no Arashi!, Kaya's diary was lost sixty years ago. So, Arashi time-leaps back to 60 years ago, grabs the diary from before it was lost, and brings it to the present. Which, as Hajime immediately explains, is why it went missing in the first place.
  • When the heroes of Rave Master reach what was once the Kingdom of Symphonia they discover, along with the grave of Resha Valentine, a skeleton wearing a necklace identical to one Elie currently wore, complete with engraving, that she had purchased from a store. Many volumes later, characters go back in time. Elie loses her necklace while in the past and Sieg Hart sends Haru and Elie back to the present but is forced to remain in the past himself. This is when Sieg realizes that he was the skeleton they found back then. That knowledge in mind, he takes the first opportunity he can to snag the necklace back and puts himself into position to be found fifty years later.
  • In Pokémon 4Ever, it's revealed that Ash inspired a young Professor Samuel Oak to invent the Pokédex by showing it to him after he was taken to the future by Celebi, inadvertently creating a bootstrap paradox.
  • In the Bamboo Rhapsody episode of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyon travels back 3 years and ends up being the cause of Haruhi attending his highschool. When Kyon complains that this contradicts Mikuru's explanation of Time Travel, a sufficiently-advanced Yuki brushes it off with, "since there's no conclusion to the paradox theory, there's no way to prove there's no paradox." It gets tied in knots in The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi, where we see that three copies of Kyon and Mikuru actually exist at the same time for a brief period on December 18 (and Kyon actually memorizes the words he heard from his future self, to later tell them to his past self). Mikuru is the embodiment of stable time loops anyway; an entire book is dedicated to her walking around with Kyon triggering key events for her future. This phenomenon pisses off the anti-Mikuru, Fujiwara aka "Sneering Bastard," to no end; he hates that You Can't Fight Fate.
    • When Kyon first meets Future Mikuru, she tries to prove her identity by showing him a star-shaped mole on her breast. When he freaks out and exclaims that he doesn't have any idea if his Mikuru has anything like that, the future version is confused. After all, he's the one who told her about it, and she didn't even know she had it before.
  • In Mx0, Taiga fails to get into Senaigi because when he is asked "what would you do if magic were real?" and he answers (for reasons he doesn't understand) "Conquer the world." This causes a girl to laugh at him. After steaming over it all summer he decides to confront the girl at Senaigi, where he's mistaken for a student and ushered into the school. Once the faculty find this out, they decide to give him a chance at staying at the school to save their own face. They then send him back in time (possessing his own body rather than existing twice at one time) and tell him to read the invisible words on the final page of his interview book and he'll automatically pass. However, the book is lost and then found by his older sister who rushes it to him, but not before meeting her idol. She asks him for an autograph, but has no paper, so he signs the seemingly blank last page with the words "Conquer the world!"
  • During the Great War in Kyo Kara Maoh!, Suzanna Julia doesn't fully accept that she's going to die and that her soul is to become the next Maoh. So, to convince her, what does Shinou do? SEND HER YUURI, OF COURSE. Yuuri's presence in the past makes Julia finally accept her fate, and in turn makes it possible for him to exist as Maoh in the future.
  • Yuki Saiko of Silent Möbius has a mysteriously great deal on renting her apartment and cafe (in Tokyo, no less). Then she gets sent back in time to 1999 before the Project Gaia catastrophe and meets a young man named Tohru and the two fall in love. It turns out that he grows up to be her landlord. The TV series also hints that he has something to do with the Tyke Bomb project that produced her.
  • Yoshikage Kira in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable eventually has his Stand Killer Queen evolve to learn its ultimate ability, which revolves around this. Stemming from his desire to maintain his anonymity and quiet life, the "Bites The Dust" bomb is implanted inside someone who has learned his secret. If they try to divulge said secrets - whether by outright telling someone or leaving explicit written notes - the bomb goes off and resets time to the beginning of that day, forming the loop. If the target attempts suicide or otherwise dies during the day, the bomb still goes off... only now Killer Queen will fix it so that the circumstances of the death can't be used twice.
  • The Lupin III special Elusiveness of the Fog is Mamo Kyosuke's revenge against Lupin, for trying to kill him as he builds a time machine. He's from the far-flung future, bearing a grudge against the Lupin family. Originally, he just wanted to kill Lupin III, but when he was testing his time-machine, he saw a rock vanish before his eyes, proving that it had been erased sometime before the future. Because he had planned to chase after Lupin, he assumed that Lupin somehow managed to steal his time machine and made the rock vanish. So he sent Lupin III from the present, to the far past. Turns out, while he was trying to kill Lupin (in the past), he accidentally blew up the rock, making it vanish (in the future), and in the process, causing himself to freak out and go to the present...
  • When Geronimo goes through a trial to become a true Chojin, he enters a canyon where he and his sister got lost as children, but were saved by a mysterious stranger. While he's there, he finds another little boy and girl who've gotten lost, whom he saves. After saving them, he realizes that he was the mysterious stranger, sent back in time to save himself and his sister via STL.
  • This almost happens in Occult Academy since it turns out Fumiaki accidentally meeting his younger self is what triggered the alien apocalypse in the first place. The one Fumiaki was sent back in time to avert. Fumiaki manages to Screw Destiny using his reawakened psychic powers to save the world, sacrificing himself in the process.
  • Doraemon is fond of this. Many time the titular character and Nobita time-travel to fix an event in the past only to find out that they are actually the culprit of what they are trying to fix.
    • In a heartwarming example, in an episode that Doraemon and Nobita goes back in time to help his father decides to continue pursuing his artist carrier which almost resulted in Nobita ceases to exist as his father not married Tamako but Kaneko instead. Fortunately, he refused to marry her and met Tamako which ensured Nobita's existence.
  • In Gall Force, the spacecraft used to evacuate the last surviving humans and yumans in New Era bears a striking resemblance to the one shown in historical records showing the original colonization of the solnoid homeworld in Stardust War, which suggests that the humans, yumans, MME, solnoids, and paranoids may all be each other's ancestors.
  • After being sent back in time in the third Fairy Tail OVA, Lucy saves the life of herself as a child. Her past-self is inspired by Lucy's Fairy Tail tattoo to join Fairy Tail. Natsu gets disgusted by his past-self and beats him up, creating the scar on his neck. The magic book that brought them to the past is left behind, and the past-Makarov finds it and stores it in the archives, where the protagonists found it in the beginning.
  • Viewtiful Joe once stole his own cheeseburger through this method.
  • The sundial watch in Humanity Has Declined seems to exist in one: "Watashi" gets it from her grandfather he says he got it from a pretty lady that wasn't her grandmother. Then Watashi gets sent back in time, where an annoying brat steals it from her...
  • Kamisama Kiss has Nanami traveling back five hundred years to Feudal Japan to save a Little Bit Beastly Kitsune, Tomoe, that she has fallen in love with from a curse. Turns out she is the one who saved a wounded Tomoe from the village militia, not Tomoe's first love Yukiji, and that she is directly responsible for Tomoe falling in love with "Yukiji" to begin with. Not to mention the catalyst that past!Tomoe used for the spell to turn him into human was actually the hair pin present!Tomoe gave Nanami and she had brought it along with her into the past. And this is the original event that sets all other parts of Nanami and Tomoe's story in motion.
    • On the side note, the reason Mikage gave Nanami his position as the Land God was because he had met future!Nanami and knew what he needed to do from her, which lead to him leaving the shrine for decades.
  • Actually invoked in The World God Only Knows. Dokuro Skull knew that there were so many powerful enemies trying to destroy New Hell (and by extension, Earth and Heaven) that their chances of survival were astronomically small. So she constructed a beacon device that could be used to communicate with the future. Once the future version of the device determined that they had survived the catastrophe, it would send someone back in time, where he could ensure that this good future came to pass.
    • Notably the time loop is somewhat unstable and needs to be forced into stability. The device allows several attempts at ensuring the timeline and will send the user back to the beginning of the loop upon a failure. If a traveler comes from a bad future, then the designer planned to kill them and let the resulting paradox bring someone new.
  • In Date A Live, events that occur near the tail-end of Volume 10 reveal that the entire series, up to that point, had been running on one of these.
  • Sgt. Frog: Sometimes invoked during the rare few time-travel episodes. The final Kero Zero chapter has our heroes responsible for putting their first human friend Kiko into space in the first place.
    • The Musha Kero saga turns out to be one too.
  • Part of the plot of Birdy the Mighty: Decode involves this: as Nataru uses his abilities to jump back in time twice: once to get rid of a bomb meant for him, to back when he was in school, resulting in his meeting Shoko's brother, and the other reveals himself to be the man who saved young Birdy from the Central Tower attack.
  • In Attack on Titan it is revealed that the special ability of the Attack Titan allows its user to view the future. Unknown to anyone, this meant that every user was also bound to the will of Eren Yeager, the ultimate successor of the Attack Titan. His desire for freedom was forced on all previous Attack Titans, which shaped the history of Eldia. Most particularly, Eren's will is what compelled his father and Eren Krueger to take the actions that led to Eren inheriting the Coordinate.


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