How Link Click Time Travel Works
Link Click’s approach to time travel is very unique, even in anime and donghua. Here is how it works.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Click on the link, now streaming on Funimation.
Time travel is a proven trope in storytelling. However, recently there has been a change in the way anime and donghua have interpreted it. In Click on the link, which was part of the spring 2021 anime lineup, time travel is done through photography, and its two protagonists, Cheng Xiaoshi and Lu Guang, mainly use it for business, responding to requests from various clients – whether to help solve a crime or a more personal request, such as delivering messages to a loved one. here’s how Click on the link’s unique use of time travel works.
Link Click’s Time Travel Mechanism, Explained
Cheng Xiaoshi and Lu Guang’s time travel powers are activated by high fives. As soon as they do this, Cheng Xiaoshi is sent into a photographer’s body and momentarily takes over. Not only does it take control of the person’s body, but it also releases their emotions. When he’s inside Emma’s body in Episode 1, for example, his homesickness hits him so hard that he decides to help her by texting his parents. In episodes 4 and 8, Cheng Xiaoshi senses the infatuation of each of his respective hosts when they meet their crushes.
However, Cheng Xiaoshi does not have to use someone else’s body when entering the photos. The donghua presents a few instances where it appears as itself. In Season 1, this only happens if the photo is taken by a surveillance camera. While it can be handy in several ways, Cheng Xiaoshi has to be very careful not to be seen while he’s in the photo – after all, he’s not. Assumed exist in that particular person’s past.
The rules of time travel in Link Click
Time travel can be a fickle thing, that’s why Click on the linkThe duo have three rules to follow. The first is that Lu Guang can only see 12 hours into the future from the time the photo is taken, which means he and his partner only have that specific amount of time to complete their business. This is due to the limitation of Lu Guang’s future vision, and it is assumed that Cheng Xiaoshi is automatically removed from the photo after the 12 hours have passed. However, this does not prevent Cheng Xiaoshi from leaving the photo of his own accord.
The second rule is a rule Cheng Xiaoshi sometimes struggles with: listen to Lu Guang and don’t change anything when he enters the photo. The third rule is perhaps the most important, however. Don’t change the past.
Most of the time the two – or at least Lu Guang – try not to change anything when they travel to the past, because if changed it will have a butterfly effect on the future, potentially creating an alternate timeline. . The only time we change the past would not change the future is if death is a factor. If Cheng Xiaoshi tries to save someone who is destined to die, then the future will change.
How Cheng Xiaoshi and Lu Guang’s Time Partnership Works
Cheng Xiaoshi and Lu Guang work transparently as partners throughout Link Click. Lu Guang is the “watcher” while Cheng Xiaoshi is the “executor”. Lu Guang uses his powers to figure out a case and then tries to see what will happen within 12 hours of the photo being taken. However, his powers are limited by who took the photo – he can only see what is going on from the photographer’s movements. If the photo was taken by a surveillance camera, then its field of view is limited by the camera. It doesn’t seem like the two can swap these roles; their powers seem to be set in stone.
Cheng Xiaoshi usually relies on Lu Guang’s ideas when he enters the photo. Lu Guang will tell him if the photo is really helpful to them in solving the case and tell him what to say or do. This does not mean that Cheng Xiaoshi at follow what Lu Guang tells a T, however. The problem is, if he does something that isn’t like him, it will look suspicious.
At first glance, it seems that Cheng Xiaoshi doesn’t have much autonomy since he has to rely on Lu Guang to capture the photos. But there is a flaw: Cheng Xiaoshi can jump on photos if he hits the nail on the head himself. The downside is that he loses all contact with Lu Guang and won’t be able to communicate with his partner if he does. Cheng Xiaoshi will also not know what is happening in the photo, leaving him considerably vulnerable. We’ll have to see if a second season of the donghua adds or changes any of these unique rules and mechanics.
KEEP READING: Link Click: Season 1’s Wild End, Explained
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