Dirt: Do we know whether it’s dirt specifically yet? For example, could they take a tree and turn that into a weapon or whatever else as well? Whatever they can use has the property of being transmutable at will. Almost like it’s merely data.
Angel Player: There’s the potential that this is something that existed with the world. It might just be my (mis)interpretation of AB!, but it seems to me that the world was created – programmed if you will.
Both of these, among other factors (such as time being unlimited), imply to me that the afterlife might be nearly equivalent to a computer simulation. I’m not saying that it is literally a computer simulation though. For example, in Isaac Asimov’s The Last Question the Multivac at some point exists outside of time-and-space – its processing occurs there. This might be similar in nature, to the point where it’s practical (though not necessarily precise or even accurate) to call it a computer simulation. This is assuming there’s a creator of their version of the afterlife… (Anime) It’s heavily implied there is one, by the AI.
@Pepe and I were talking about randomness and determinism a little bit. It’s difficult to say, regarding their world, but do they have true randomness? This might be difficult to discuss without arguing (and perhaps in some instances quarreling) about whether our own universe has true randomness. So to avoid that we should limit discussion to the two worlds of AB!: the world before the afterlife, and the world of the afterlife.
I don’t have anything to cite for this, but I think the world before the afterlife would be “true random.” That would probably mesh better with Key’s general tone. It’s unfortunate, but I can’t actually assert this idea. As for the world of the afterlife, if it is deterministic then it implies (but doesn’t necessitate) the world being a simulation, which in that case corroborates my current theory.
Disclaimer: I have not read HD (beyond the first chapter) yet. Further, my memory is generally really terrible. Even after having watched AB! three times, I don’t remember some of the important details. So it is more than likely that I am missing a few major points. I have not explicitly looked at other theories.
Regarding the timeline thing… (Anime) Not all of Otonashi is dead when Kanade receives his heart. Kanade dies, with his heart, and she arrives. All of her organs might’ve died prior to Otonashi’s heart. Otonashi’s heart ― his last organ; the last part of himself ― dies. Thus he continues his “transfer” to the afterlife and winds up there after Kanade. In this scenario, time doesn’t need to be magic. Time of the afterlife would merely need to be accelerated (operate faster than time outside the afterlife). Unfortunately, that does not necessarily work for the “reunion” unless disappearing also takes some time to complete.
Limbo: This doesn’t need to be a separate world from the afterlife. It could be the afterlife, but with a person not yet placed physically into the world. They would still exist, but without a body or consciousness. It’s still Limbo, but we don’t need to introduce a third world for it.
Anyway, those are my thoughts for now. I welcome extreme arguments and criticisms, since it’s funner that way.