I HAVE FEELINGS, OH YES. SO MANY FEELINGS.
-------SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRETY OF SPEC BELOW, SERIOUSLY THERE ARE MAJOR SPOILERS HERE, SCROLL AT YOUR OWN RISK-------
1: Toma's SPEC was the ability to put things together. Like the way, in the first episode, she could look at scattered puzzle pieces and determine one was missing. That's what her little paper ritual was about -- she wrote down all the important clues, tore them up, and then her SPEC kicked in and made her brain re-connect them in a way that made sense. Just like a puzzle.
2: Toma found a way to unlock SPECs. She kept reminding us that human beings have unlimited potential, that we can do anything with our brainpower, etc. She talked about "waking herself up." Somehow, she found a way to give herself SPECs.
3: SPECs can be stolen by killing their original owner. Personally, I like this idea a lot.
- It would explain why Team Evil kept collecting SPEC holders only to kill them later. If they were really planning a war, wouldn't they want those superpowered folks for soldiers? The fact they killed them never made sense to me, unless they weren't important at all. Only their powers were.
- It means the timeline would go like this:
I like to think Ninomae survived, but if he didn't, it explains if/how Toma was able to speed around the room, stop time, etc even when she showed no hint of those powers before.
4: Another idea is that Toma was a member (maybe even a leader?) of Aggressor. I'm thinking something like Death Note, where she planned to lose her memories, knowing that she was smart enough to eventually figure it out and get them back. The only question is how Chii ties into it, which takes me to the murky waters of pre-series canon.
(Warning: this is long and ridiculous and I'm 100% positive I've thought about it more than the screenwriters did. But the ending was so awesome! I want it to make sense because it was so awesome.)
Let's start with the plane crash, as we know Ninomae's ability was awakened during that time. Let's say Chii comes in and steals him away. I don't know, work with me. Maybe Chii was on the same plane. He figures out Ninomae's ability (what he calls "the best SPEC among humans") and he realizes there's some serious potential there for his plans of world chaos.
He takes Ninomae away for brainwashing, and poor 17-year-old Toma is left reeling with the dual shock of dead parents and a dead little brother.
The only problem?
If Chii took Ninomae, there would be no body.
He would be a missing piece.
And we know what Toma does with missing pieces.
So she starts digging into it like the intellectual BAMF she is. We don't know when she discovered her paper-tearing SPEC, but in this theory, I think it's entirely possible it awakened out of her need to piece together the truth of the crash. She hunts for answers, and something tips her off about Chii.
This is when she flies on Chii's radar, and I'm thinking she came at a time when it wasn't so hot in Chii's world, either. Something had to happen for him to decide to want to "defeat Ninomae." Maybe Ninomae was too strong, or too unstable? Maybe he resisted the brainwashing?
(ETA: HAHAHAHA I JUST REMEMBERED THAT HE STOLE NINOMAE AS A LITTLE BOY. No wonder he brainwashed that random woman into thinking she was Ninomae's mother. Chii didn't want to raise a kid!)
At any rate, Chii sees both siblings and decides to kill two birds with one stone. He can have his "game" of pitting two siblings against each other (this is canon) while also betting on Toma's sharp mind to find a way to kill Ninomae (again, canon).
Then he falls in love. Well, as much love as a guy like Chii is capable of. He starts messing with Toma's mind and implanting fake memories of a relationship, engagement, etc.
This is where canon could've gone one of two ways:
1: Exactly how we saw in the drama. Toma/Ninomae were at odds until their final confrontation, Chii always lurking in the background, etc etc. Toma was never anything but a paranormal investigator with a tragic past, and the ending was just meant to make us go "BWUH??" without any deeper thought.
2: Somehow, Toma figured out what Chii was doing to her. Maybe after she lost her hand? Maybe that was the trauma she needed for her brain to wake up in self-defense.
The hand and the ring. That sight could've been the trigger for realizing what Chii was doing to her.
(ETA: I totally forgot -- she'd even broken up with him after her hand! What if she dumped him because she knew the truth, but as usual, she was playing oblivious to throw him off?)
Anyway, she knew Chii had been fucking with her mind, but she was still missing the critical piece of how Ninomae was involved. That's when she started planning. She nursed her arm, researched SPECs, etc etc. Somehow, she discovered Aggressor -- or maybe they recruited her. Whatever happened, she wound up joining them. She and Ninomae were now on the same side.
Why the fuck would Ninomae be stroking his enemy's hair? Unless they weren't enemies. Maybe there was a period pre-series when they were both working together. Maybe they even realized the truth, that they were siblings. It would be extremely dangerous knowledge, because Chii was still lurking around and they were supposed to be fighting for his amusement.
This is where Death Note comes in: what if Toma deliberately allowed Chii to mess with her memories in order to protect her brother? She knew, eventually, that she'd put the pieces back together again. She had faith in her brain. She made Ninomae promise to act like the enemy until she could figure out a way to take Chii down and save them both.
Which brings us back to the start of the series...
Why did Shimura go nuts? They never answered this and it drove me crazy. Someone obviously used a SPEC on him, but why? What was the purpose of breaking up a random SIT mission?
I think Chii gave us the answer when he admitted to "bringing Sebumi into it." We know the chief was responsible for Sebumi transferring to Unsolved Crimes, but what if Chii was at the warehouse that day? What if he was the one who set everything in motion? It would've gone something like this:
- Chii implants false memories in Shimura so he'll go wild and start shooting.
- Shimura survives, which isn't part of the plan, but he isn't exactly a threat when he's comatose -- he's only killed when he wakes up, before he can remember anything incriminating.
- Ninomae stops time and reverses the bullets, killing Shimura in an unexplainable accident that reflects badly on Sebumi.
- Sebumi is demoted and scooped up into Unsolved Crimes.
This is all according to Chii's plan.
But again: why??? What does he get out of it? There's no reason for him to fixate on Sebumi. It was always about Toma for him.
The only thing that makes sense is if it wasn't his plan at all.
It was Toma's.
Toma, gathering resources to rescue her brother. Toma, who may have left instructions with other members of Aggressor within the police force. Toma, who still commanded Ninomae's hair-stroking loyalty.
It's obvious he was brainwashed again sometime before his killing spree -- otherwise he wouldn't have wanted to kill her in the snow -- but I think his deterioration can be linked to Chii's mental state. He started getting psychotic and bloodthirsty at the same time Chii did. (I remember having a moment of "OH!" when Chii was skipping around in the same way Ninomae used to. It was obviously a personal trait that he'd accidentally leaked into Ninomae.)
Chii got to Ninomae in the end because Toma didn't catch on fast enough. She remembered everything eventually, as she knew she would -- she just hadn't counted on it being too late to save Ninomae.
So she got pissed. And she sewed her fucking hand back on to take Chii down once and for all... all according to plan.
Fanwanky as hell? Sure. But really awesome if it were true? I THINK SO.