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I am reading the visual novel known as Kanon.

I'll include some context, but the final sentence is where my question is:

片隅には、白い羽の生えたリュックがあった。

(In a corner, the rucksack with white wings sprouting out the back)

あゆは、確かに存在していた。

(Ayu existed).

たとえそれが、どんな奇跡の上にあったとしても、俺はこの街であゆと再会した。

(???) Even though it was more than a miracle, I had met her again in this town.

So is 「それが」 in this context referring to the 「存在していた」in the previous sentence or 「再開した」 later on in the same sentence? Also, why is it using が rather than は in this context?

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The それ here is referring forward to the event referenced later in the sentence - the fact that 「俺はこの街であゆと再会した」. The use of が rather than は is because the whole たとえ~としても clause is subordinate to the main sentence. Just like in relative clauses, you don't usually use a topic marker in subordinate clauses like this, because topics are generally defined at the sentence level or higher.

Incidentally, I think your translation of this clause ("Even though it was more than a miracle") seems a little off. I'd translate it loosely as something like "No matter what kind of miracle may have made it possible..." (The の上に is not referring to a comparison in scale, but rather about the miracle being a foundation which was necessary for these events to occur - they were metaphorically "built upon" this miracle. It's the same usage as in expressions like ~の上に成り立つ.)

  • Thank you! it's all much clearer to me now. I still have much to learn! – Ubz Oct 17 '17 at 13:33
  • It's not "don't usually" but just "cannot use a topic marker (to denote the subject)" in a conditional clause unlike other subordinate clauses. In other words, if it was それは, it connects to the part after …としても. – user4092 Oct 17 '17 at 23:45
  • I'm sorry I have to correct my comment above; the contrastive usage of は can denote the subject in としても. – user4092 Oct 18 '17 at 0:27

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