WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Sonny Boy Episode 6, "The Long Goodbye," now streaming on Funimation.
Anyone who thought Sonny Boy was going to get any easier to follow has been thoroughly proven wrong. While the main characters by now have been well-established enough that it's no longer a struggle keeping track of them, the story keeps introducing so many new concepts per episode that truly making sense of it all is a fool's errand.
In Episode 6 alone, there's a two-month time skip, Nagara hiding out in different universes, Aki training her army, a time-traveling student transformed into a dog who reveals the principal is "God" and foretells future doom, the students' shelter turning out to be an "ark" protecting them from said doom and an almost-successful plan to return the castaway students to their homeworld. Simple, right?
This plan gives Episode 6 a structure to grasp onto despite the barrage of twists and confusion, though it requires its own leaps of magical logic combined with some basic knowledge of quantum mechanics to really make sense of. The "magic" comes in the form of a new editing ability Rajdhani figures out in a universe built like a movie theater. The film reels in this theater come from different realities. Using a "Director's Cut" editing technique, Rajdhani is able to take footage from one reality, transpose other elements from other realities and essentially combine the two. With this ability, all that is theoretically needed to return home is a reel of footage from the school in their original universe.
Sure enough, a reel exists. While there's some debate among the students over whether it's even worth trying to change the future -- with Hoshi arguing the existence of time travel would render this an impossibility -- the group ultimately decides to use the ark to attempt a journey home using the new "Director's Cut." The ark's travel sequence between worlds makes for one of the most stunningly trippy pieces of animation in Sonny Boy so far.
Sure enough, the castaways make it back to their world during graduation, but now they exist essentially as ghosts watching duplicate versions of themselves, unable to merge with them and truly return to their reality. Why they ultimately stayed separate from the versions of themselves in the original film reel is attributed to "God playing dice." Albert Einstein famously dismissed the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics by writing "God does not play dice," so it seems the inability of the two universes to merge was just the result of random fluctuations. Further quantum theory discussions reveal that Nagara's world-creating powers might be more properly described as world-observing powers, a reference to the observer effect.
The students seem to take this particular failure to return home in stride; they're closer than they've ever gotten before, and even with Aki and her forces opposing them, they have genuine hope. However, one thing witnessed in the "Director's Cut" might be a genuine reason for fear -- while all the other students are able to find doppelgangers, Nozomi only finds flowers and mournful classmates at her desk. If Hoshi is right that the future is unchangeable, Sonny Boy's transfer student might be doomed to die.
New episodes of Sonny Boy premiere Thursdays on Funimation.