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Sorry for another silly question so soon. :S

マジかよ。本当にユーがやったのか?だとしたら、俺が探している犯人はユーなのか?いや、京子ちゃんの事件は連続殺人事件とは別件なのだろうか?だから生き残ることが出来たとしたら?逆に、俺の事件が連続殺人とは関係なく、連続殺人の犯人がユー?

For quick context, the main character (who's thinking the above) and Kyoko both respectively happened upon a murder (so two different cases) perpetrated by what is believed to be a serial killer. Yu is a good friend of the main character. The main character is asking Kyoko about the murder she witnessed (and barely managed to survive) and she's saying that the killer looked just like Yu which the main character refuses to believe, cue the above exposition.

I'm having a hard time pinpointing the exact meaning of とは関係なく here. So the character ponders with the idea that Kyoko's case may have been an isolated incident not connected to the serial murders which is why she managed to survive. Then he entertains the idea that Yu may have been the serial killer.

  1. He says 逆に here but I'm not exactly sure if I'm supposed to read this as(それとも)逆に, contrasting the previous statement(京子の事件は別件なのだろう?それとも僕の事件が別件なのだろう?)or if this is some sort of continuation of the previous statement and I'm interpreting 逆に wrong. If it's contrastive, my next question is redundant.

  2. How am I to understand とは関係なく here? Is it "On the contrary, the case I was involved in doesn't have anything to do with the serial killings and Yu is the serial murder?" or is it "On the contrary, regardless of my case having to do with the serial killings, is Yu the serial killer?" (doesn't make any sense but at this point I'm completely lost on this whole scene anyway).

The way I see it とは関係なく can have two different meanings, "~is unrelated" and "regardless" and I'd lean towards the former translation for the sentence above but as I said, the 逆に is throwing me off here.

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  • I’m not quite sure how 逆に is causing you so much confusion, but irrespective of that, 俺の事件が連続殺人とは関係なく cannot mean “regardless of my case having to do with the serial killings.”
    – aguijonazo
    Sep 16 at 13:39
  • The problem is that I don't understand why the above quote is being said in the first place; whether any of the murder cases are related to each other or not doesn't change the fact that Kyoko witnessed who she believed to be Yu, them not being related doesn't suddenly rule her out or anything, not to mention that we're still just speculating at this point. Thus me rereading that part a hundred times and questioning myself whether I just missed something on a grammatical level and 逆に caught my eye.
    – Boolicious
    Sep 17 at 7:28
  • I thought the two sentences being connected with 逆に, expressing two contrastive statements (either Kyoko's case is a 別件 or mine is a 別件) without a word like それとも before sounded weird so I started questioning it and subsequently とは関係なく then stopped fitting into that picture too. Maybe something was implied that I just simply missed? I don't know, my exposure to the language is still lacking to be able to confidently refute that. Chalk it up to me overthinking things and trying to force interpretations that are absolutely nonsensical. :p
    – Boolicious
    Sep 17 at 7:30
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I’m not sure I get the context right.

Let

  • A = 俺の事件 
  • B = 京子の事件
  • C = 連続殺人事件.

Now 京子ちゃんの事件は連続殺人事件とは別件なのだろうか? means the speaker's suspect B ≠ C and 俺の事件が連続殺人とは関係なく means A ≠ C. These make contrast whence 逆に. It is more or less or here.

関係なく here is used synonymously with 別件(だ), that is to be unrelated.

The passage describes the following line of thoughts:

  • The first sentence seemingly assumes A = C, and ユー is the murderer for both;
  • The second means B ≠ C, whence 京子 survived;
  • the third, A ≠ C, ユー is the murderer for C.
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  • So basically I'm reading it as(それとも)逆に and there's no connection between the two clauses. とは関係なく being synoymous with 別件 makes sense then indeed. Not sure I still understand what the thought process behind this whole exposition is since it all seems so far out there but at least grammatically I'm on point now. Thank you!
    – Boolicious
    Sep 16 at 12:17
  • I think the implicit assumption is that either 俺の事件 is related to 連続殺人 (exclusively) or 京子の事件 is related to 連続殺人. So the second case (B ≠ C) implies (A = C). Then the third is A ≠ C, whence the 逆に. This way, 逆に might make sense, but in general 逆に is used rather vaguely and you don't really have to think something is opposite to something else.
    – sundowner
    Sep 16 at 12:27
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Regardless of how you interpret 逆に, your second interpretation of 俺の事件が連続殺人とは関係なく is syntactically improbable. This is because 俺の事件 is necessarily the subject of 関係ない in it.

For your interpretation to be possible, the subject must be something else, such as the question of whether or not Yu is the serial killer, and 俺の事件 must be put inside a subordinate clause to be part of what that subject is unrelated to or unaffected by, as in:

(〜が)[俺の事件が連続殺人(の一件)であること]とは関係なく

or

(〜が)[俺の事件が連続殺人(の一件)か(どうか)]とは関係なく

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