While reading this novel, I first found it interesting that the entire story took place in one night. I can not recall reading any novel that took place over one night or day, likewise. I found this sort of significant to why the author made the novel occur this way. As I read further, I discovered alienation to be a theme of the novel by seeing the issue between Eri and Mari. We see the novel taking place as part in reality and in part, the dream. It opens up with Mari spending her night reading in a Denny’s restaurant. There she meets a few individuals, including Takahashi (who we get an idea from at the end that Mari is involved with romantically) and the story falls into play. Alienation occurs as the eerie dream unravels with their hopefulness to reach dawn as they are “trapped” in the darkness and we learn of Eri and Mari’s relationship problem.
Alienation is also found between the two sisters, Eri and Mari. Eri is the beautiful sister, a model since a very young age, and who their parents see as the “better” sister. On the other hand, Mari can be seen as the intelligent sister, the bookworm, not so beautiful but has plenty of brains. One of them struggles under the pressure of being perfect, whilst the other suffers from lack of attention. Both problems persist with the sisters, without one of the other realizing each other’s problem. Hence, they become alienated from one another. Takahashi, who knows both Eri and Mari, provides the bridge between the two girls. He listens to Mari slowly but surely opening up about her and her sister’s complicated intertwined relationship. Both believe the life of the other to be easier; Eri thinks Mari has it easy because she has no pressure on her, and Mari believes Eri has a simpler life because she is perfect. Takahashi tries to dismiss the alienation between the two at the end of the novel by helping Mari to make the first move to reconcile herself with Eri. We can see Takahashi as the “hero” of the novel, well the relationship between the two sisters (a main concern of the novel) by helping them to get their relationship back on the right track.