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"The Great Game", also known as simply "the Game", refers to what scholars have dubbed the Sherlockian game, a pastime by Sherlock Holmes fans attempting to retrace the biographies of Holmes and Watson and root their fictional lives into the real world. They construct elaborate chronologies of the adventures, try to bridge inconsistencies and retcons in the Holmesian canon (and Arthur Conan Doyle made lots of them), create biographies and family history for the duo, that kind of thing. It is usually a light hearted activity and not to be taken entirely seriously, but can be useful, like in resolving contradictions in a writer's canon or simply having fun filling in the blanks the author did not think of.

So this blog was created because I want to do that for the ToAru verse...sort of. I was inspired mainly by this thread, wherein people tried to list hints towards what year ToAru takes place in, and this trivia note about the same on the Timeline article. I am aware that Kamachi most likely didn't think about it (as can be seen when "6 billions" humans change into "7 billions" in later volumes once we reached the number in real life); that ToAru is in an alternate universe; and that "the current year" is probably whatever year a book comes out in despite the story taking place in a single one. But I thought it might be fun to try and come up with ways to reconcile ToAru as close to our world as possible.

For example: In ToAru, Roberto Katze is President of the United States and the third POTUS of Hispanic origin. There hasn't been an POTUS of Hispanic origin in real life, but I speculate that, in that world, Benjamin "Ben" Fernandez, a Presidential contender in real life, was one of those Hispanic American Presidents, elected either in 1980, 1984, or 1988.

This blog will mostly be like that, where I give headcanons on the timeline, geographical locations, politics, etc., and, I hope, provide reasonable explanations for my assumptions.

Do note this blog will keep being updated.

Precise Year

Inspired by the many posts on this old thread:

  • the Roman Catholic Church, the largest Christian sect in the world with two billion believers[1]: In our world, as of 2018, it's Christianity as a whole that has 2 billion believers (2.19 billion to be exact), while the Catholic Church had 1.285 billion at the end of 2015 according to the Census of the 2017 Annuario Pontificio (Pontifical Yearbook). Either Catholics have higher birth rates in ToAru, or it takes place after 2050 (where the ROC is expected to reach 1.64 billion[2]).
  • [Aleister Crowley] was active about seventy years ago, but the evolution of magicians during the past seventy years has surpassed the progress gained throughout the history of the past several thousand years.[3]: I will assume the 70 is from his death in 1947 onwards, which would place the series in 2017 if taken literally, but definitely in the 21st century.
  • For the land Constantine ruled over about 1700 years ago, you can use the C-Document even today to make symbols appear that indicate that that land was inherited from the emperor.[4]: Since Constantine the Great reigned as emperor of whole empire (he had to weather through some civil wars against other claimants to the title) from 324 to 337, that firmly place the year in the 21st century.
  • Using world population to determine the year of ToAru is a tricky thing. Depending on what you consider the earliest reference to the world population numbers (She was the archangel who had held a Saint like Kanzaki Kaori in check while also constructing the Sweep spell that would kill 6 billion people[5] or but if espers spread to entire population of 6 billion[6][Notes 1]), it would mean that, like our world from 1999 to 2012, the world of ToAru has a population of six billion, placing the year in between those years. However, later novels would use the formula "six or seven billions", from NT4 onwards (In all seriousness, she would unhesitatingly make an enemy of the six or seven billion people that made up the world.[7]), though it was done inconsistently: NT6, NT8, and NT9 were back again with six billions, while NT10 returned to "six or seven" billions and NT12 fluctuates between six billion and "six or seven" billions. The formula is finally used consistently throughout NT13. Finally, NT19 describes the world population as properly being of 7 billions (Even if 7 billion people are hiding behind someone’s back and spouting boring arguments, you can fight back against the world as long as you never forget for a moment the simple fact that this is undeniably your life!![8]). Time will tell if it sticks. In any case, one headcanon could be that the earth of ToAru passed the 7 billions milestone only in December, hence why it was of six billions and between the two number in October and November.
  • [Aleister Crowley] had been officially reported to have died over 60 years before, but a Crowley-specific post still existed in order to deal with magic cabals claiming to be his successor or the theorized survival of the man himself.[9]: As Crowley died in 1947, that would make the story take place slightly beyond 2007.
  • Kamijou thought it was called Big Ben, but he vaguely recalled hearing it had been renamed.[10]: this seems to be a reference to the fact that Big Ben, which was formally known as St. Stephen's Tower, was renamed renamed Elizabeth Tower in September 2012 to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Leaving aside Elizard being the queen in this universe, this might make the series take place after 2012.
  • …Might I remind you that that would be in violation of the treaty we have banning cluster bombs?[11]: a likely reference to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, which seems to mean that the British Halloween, and thus the current year. happen somewhen after 2008.

Geopolitical situation

  • but they could only match England, which had a population of 90 million.[12]: This is the first of the many references to the UK (and it does mean the UK here, not England) having a population of 90 million in the ToAruverse. As of 2017, the UK in our world has a population of 66 million, and, if current trends continues, would only reach over 90 millions in more than 50 years.[13]. As for why the UK has a higher population, my best guess is that it could be explained by more immigration in the latter half of the 20th century and throughout the 21st.
  • He was the President of the United States and the third Hispanic person to hold that position.[14]: As mentioned earlier, I speculate that one of those previous Hispanic Presidents was Ben Fernandez Benjamin "Ben" Fernandez, a Presidential contender in real life in 1980, 1984, and 1988. Some of these years might be when he was elected.
  • “An emergency financial meeting of the G14, hm?” [15]: In our world, the G14 was an expansion of the inter-governmental political and economical alliance, the G8+5, proposed in 2008 by the then Presidents Silvio Berlusconi (Italy), Nicholas Sarkozy (France), and Lula (Brazil)[16]. It didn't amount to anything and one could even say that, with the renewed tensions between the world leaders and Russia from 2013 onwards, it won't ever come to fruition. Evidently, the nations in Toaruverse got luckier: though the year of its formation is unknown, we know that, based on Roberto Katze's deception to form the anti-Gremlin Alliance, it must includes the United States, Italy, France, and Russia.

Religious context

  • "Although most of the believers have no involvement in magic, they do have two billion believers led by the Pope and 141 Cardinals, and there are parishes in 131 countries"[17][Notes 2]: The number of believers has already been addressed. The number of cardinals is interesting: in October 1975, in Romano Pontifici eligendo, Pope Paul VI had set the maximum number of Cardinals at 120, though it went as high as 135 with Pope John Paul II[18], a figure not yet surpassed by his successors IRL, though I suppose Matthai Reese did in the world of ToAru.
  • Considering Matthai Reese's importance in the Church even after his resignation, I suspect he is probably Pope Emeritus, just like Benedict XVI IRL.

Other

  • In NT3, Hawaii's international airport is the New Honolulu International Airport. The "New" adjective here is interesting, especially when Hawaii's real life airport is still called "Honolulu International Airport", or more formally Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. My suspicions is that, as NT3 came out in December 2011, by that time the Honolulu International Airport was undergoing a massive billion-dollar modernization since 2006. Kamachi, I suppose, correctly assumed the airport would be renamed when the modernization would end in 2018. He couldn't know that, in 2016, the Hawaii state legislature would pass a resolution requesting the renaming of Honolulu International Airport after the late US Senator Daniel Inouye, which would take effect in May 2017.

Notes

  1. Could be considered the first reference, even if it is only implied, since the chapters of Liberal Arts City SS were released throughout 2009.
  2. It should be noted that Yen Press translates it as 113 countries.

References

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