Funimation’s Link Click Is a Refreshing Take on Time Travel

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episodes 1-2 of Link Click, now streaming on Funimation.

After the successful debut of Funimation's first donghua series Heaven Official's Blessing, the streaming platform is increasing its donghua presence with a new original series titled Link Click. The story follows a time traveling duo who uses their special abilities to complete their clients' requests. Refreshingly, the time travel mechanism is different than the usual trope thanks to the use of photographs.

The first two episodes of Link Click both left viewers crying -- but for entirely different reasons. Here's what you should know about Funimation's latest donghua.

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What Is Link Click About?

link click lu guang cheng xiaoshi qiao ling

On the outside, it looks like an ordinary photography studio called "Time Photo Studio" run by two young men and a young woman. On the inside, the three of them are running a business where the two men have the power to enter photos to fulfill a client's request. With a single high-five, Cheng Xiaoshi can take over the body of the person who took the photo while Lu Guang can see what happens within 12 hours of the photo being taken. The two of them share the person's consciousness with Lu Guang directing what Cheng Xiaoshi should say or do. Qiao Ling is the studio's landlord and the one who deals with clients while giving the mission details to Cheng Xiaoshi and Lu Guang.

There are three rules. One, they only have a 12-hour window to work with. Two, listen to Lu Guang's instructions and don't change anything. Three, let the past stay in the past and don't ask about the future.

Link Click Has a Heartbreaking Premiere

link click emma cheng xiaoshi

The duo's mission in Episode 1 is to extract financial data. Unfortunately, it's overseen by the CFO who is extremely careful to not leave it lying around -- the closest they can get to the data is through his assistant Emma. Using the photo Emma took of her spring rolls, Cheng Xiaoshi gets transported to her body at the time she took the photo: 10pm the night before. Emma's late nights at work highlight one of the experiences that many young working women face -- sexual harassment from men in high positions. In this case, her boss.

Because Cheng Xiaoshi and Lu Guang share Emma's consciousness, they're able to access Emma's feelings. Emma's homesickness hits Cheng Xiaoshi hard when he sees how loved she is by her parents: sending her a late-night text to check on her or coming over to her place to give her a fresh batch of spring rolls and warm clothes. Emma doesn't want her parents to worry over how bad her situation is. But Cheng Xiaoshi knows how she really feels and gives her one last gift before returning her body: a text to her parents, telling them how much she misses them.

Cheng Xiaoshi gets the job done, and his time with Emma left a lasting impression on him. He wonders aloud how she's doing now and Lu Guang chides him again for breaking the third rule. What Lu Guang doesn't tell him is that, shortly after Emma saw that she/Cheng Xiaoshi had sent that text to her parents, she tried to catch up to them before they left on the train. On the way there, she bumps into a stranger who offers her a ride. And now she's dead.

Link Click's Second Episode Follows the Search for a Secret Ingredient

link click yu xian lin zhen

Link Click's second episode follows a businesswoman named Yu Xia trying to find the secret seasoning to a recipe of delicious noodles. Her partner, Lin Zhen, had kept the recipe a secret before disappearing into the countryside to start her own shop. Fearing Lin Zhen will steal all the business, Yu Xia seeks out Time Photo Studio.

It turns out the secret ingredient is a sprinkle of a plant called fragrant flower from Xiang Zhuang, Yu Xia's hometown. Lin Zhen goes there to collect the plant and grind it into a powder -- all for Yu Xia, who hasn't returned home in years because of business. From the start, all Lin Zhen wanted was to see Yu Xia happy while she ate the noodles, giving her a little piece of home. Expanding the business would have meant taking that intimate moment away. There are hints throughout Episode 2 that the two women are likely lovers. Or it's a one-sided love for Lin Zhen, at least in the beginning. But it's a happy ending for the two women when Yu Xia reunites with Lin Zhen back in Xiang Zhuang.

We already see hints of a clash of ideals between Lu Guang and Cheng Xiaoshi. Since Cheng Xiaoshi is the one transported into the photographer's body, it's no surprise that he's more empathetic to people's stories compared to Lu Guang. Link Click's three rules are there for a reason but we're left with a complicated feeling at the end of Episode 1. It's hard to be angry at Cheng Xiaoshi for sending the text because he wanted to bring Emma's family together -- but unbeknownst to him, his act of kindness accidentally led to Emma's death.