Rewrite S2

September 1, 2017

After that horrifying bad ending in the first season, I am really hoping that the second season of Rewrite would make amends and at least give me some salvation. I know it feels like a tall order from viewers who are having high expectations since the way the first season ended but at least we can always hope for a reasonable ‘miracle’. After all, what was the name of this anime again?

Episode 14
We start off with Kotarou trying to protect Kagari in pain from Kotori who is trying to kill her and blaming him for whatever things he did that eventually didn’t save her. Just when Kotori backs down and believes in him, Kagari is sniped out by Chizuru. Kotarou then wakes up from a dream. Apparently another dream. He makes his way to the same hill where Kagari is always seen doing something to that giant circuit. Each time he gets killed off. Then we see the many different dreams of Kotarou. In fact, each one is a different alternate reality. That’s right. He has dated each of his occult club girls in different timelines. In other worlds he is some monster hunter. Thus each time Kotarou is killed in that world, he is reborn again and has been doing this loop for countless times. So for now, he tries to concentrate in getting close to Kagari in which of course always gets him killed. Maybe his ways aren’t friendly enough? Until one time he just got depressed ranting how lonely he is and cannot understand why he has been singled out like this. That is when Kagari opens up to him and allows him to be close by. Curiosity really kills the cat as Kotarou is curious about the circuit. Putting his face close to it, he suddenly sees the different timelines of humanity. The dense information is hurting his head. He notices that in each of them, everybody and the world died without knowing what the Key is really for. Kotarou thinks Kagari is trying to find a way to destroy humans for ruining the environment too much. Kotarou continues to watch Kagari. He wonders what he can do to help. Maybe some coffee? Hey that worked! And after 3 cups of coffee, it finally broke down the barrier between them. She allows him to step on the circuit. He is so happy that he starts crying despite not really understanding what the heck is going on in the big picture.

Episode 15
Kotarou thought he could help out with her research. But with his brain being overloaded with all the information, his head explodes! OMG! Sometimes Kotarou finds himself in some astral space but there seems to be some sort of limit in which he can go higher. He needs to go higher to see for himself about the meaning of life, etc. But for now he wants to help Kagari’s research. So far he narrates this circuit is a flowchart shaped like a giant tree. It contains information on the very origins of the world in which the primal form of life is called Aurora. As it gave the Key to aid with the creation of life, it also can have it destroy life. Branches that disappear represents worlds that have ended. With different possibilities, thus the tree branches out. More information flowing into his head but luckily didn’t pop this time. Bad news: Kagari killed him. The next time he comes back, he apologizes. Nothing like a can of coffee. As he continues to observe her, he realizes Kagari’s goal is to start a re-evolution before the planet’s resources run out. But everything ran out and even an intelligent being like Kagari is at her wits end. So to take her mind off for a while and change of pace, he takes her somewhere. A little dance on the rooftop? But then they are interrupted by a demon attacking. After he kills it, he realizes Sakura is the one behind this. Does she hate life so much that she wants to eradicate it? He believes he is here to protect Kagari. Sakura sends more demons to attack. This makes Kotarou realize he wanted to save everybody at first. So he had to pick one out of the different possibilities. But in each choice led to some loss. He thought he was Kagari’s protector but it turned out he was her killer. So thanks to Sakura, he realizes the truth, has changed and freed from that role. Declaring war on Sakura, he wants Kagari to finish her research. He knows he can’t protect her alone so he is going to gather the other occult club members. And just like that all his harem girls are back. And don’t forget Yoshino too.

Episode 16
Kotarou briefs his girls about their roles to protect Kagari. He hands them their weapons. Hmm… Kotori has twin Chibi Moths now, Dima and Lyuba. But Chihaya has a giant log? Whatever. The gang then try their hands at a simulation in trying to find a way to save Earth. Somehow they all end up destroying it. Some instantly! They get to see the evolution and revolution of mankind in one of the timelines. Kotarou hits that void in his memory again. He starts remembering he was killed by Kagari and ended up in coma for 10 years. He is much older than his harem than thought to be. Is it why Kotarou looks like all grown up now? So he believes that lapse of time in which he got involved too late was the cause why the world gets destroyed. Kagari shows Kotarou branch worlds that ended in deaths now have uncertain futures. He praises her for a good job and writes a message far away from the tree to commemorate it. But then it starts linking up to everywhere! Not sure what new future is born. Although Kagari has completed her research, she locks herself up in a cocoon as it will take time to put her theory into action. At this point, Sakura has sent countless of demons to attack. But as everyone try their best to stop them, the waves are endless and one by one they fall. Kotarou is the last one left. He is surprised to be saved by Sakuya. He apologizes for being late as it took some time to unite his various selves to come here. Eventually they fall and Kotarou turns into some vicious beast to go all out before getting devoured too. Dying Kotarou sees the moon and wonders if this is where they’ll start over. He thinks Kagari used the remnants of Earth’s Aurora on the moon while she was all alone to make a replica of Earth. He can’t accept it but then vanishes into nothingness.

Episode 17
Kotarou is named Bond and with his comrades in the desert fighting against, uh, ISIS?! Anyway, he narrates he has been an outsider his entire life since young. He attends seminars held by Martel, supposedly some scientific organization trying to save the environment. He met Iko Fuku who had him babysit Akane. So boring his life that by night he becomes the self-proclaimed Earth Saving Hunter going around hunting demons. He doesn’t bother to learn more or why they exist. He is just in for the thrill since he can control his blood. One day his hunting in the forest almost had him killed by those demons but was saved by Esaka and his team. He becomes friends with them and learns that they are just ordinary people with requests by the university to hunt those demons. They are trying to investigate new species and hopes he could keep this a secret. Don’t worry. Kotarou has no friends. Kotarou soon meets their new neighbours and is left alone with their child, Kotori. They don’t like each other. Especially she didn’t like how she saw him beating up thugs to return a kid’s wallet. That’s still violence, right? Her family also attends Martel’s seminars. She calls it crap, their so called scientific way of natural selection of letting natural disasters wipe out civilization. She accuses him of running away despite he attends the seminar because of his obligation to his parents. One day Kotori brought home a dog. It was abused by its previous owner so it is wary of anyone like Kotarou who just doesn’t give a damn. Then it desperately ran away (bit off its collar till there is blood!) and since Kotori was shaken, Kotarou ‘coincidentally’ found it and brought it back to her. She cried tears of gratefulness. Although the dog opened up a little bit, it still remained wary till the day it died. Kotarou starts thinking how similar he is to that dog (staying idly in one place). His relationship with Kotori also didn’t change but he gets anxious thinking about how she cared for that dog. He thinks of quitting Martel.

Episode 18
Being the coward he is, he can’t quit Martel easily. He told his parents about it but they wouldn’t allow it and they argued. They then arrange him to talk to Sakura. Although she asks trivial questions, there are a few odd words she used like night, forest and demons. She asks the last question if he would change himself or the environment when encountered with something unacceptable. Don’t know. To really quit Martel, he runs away from home and has Esaka bring him to a special facility that trains people with special abilities. Kotarou trains and learns the basics to become a demon hunter. However reality hits him when he always scores last in rankings. He is put into the weakest group that includes Imamiya, Touka and Nagai. The top elite is Mikuni. Kotarou tells us their superhuman abilities are divided into 3 categories: 1) Poaching that specializes in hunting; 2) Slashing that specializes in cutting; 3) Tainting that specializes in controlling body organs. This last category is where Kotarou falls in. Kotarou continues to do averagely. It demoralizes his spirit as he wonders if being superhuman is all that great. Esaka then personally trains him. Of course he still sucks. Though, he continues to train hard. In the final mock battle training, all teams lost except for Mikuni. A small party is thrown for them after that. Kotarou still feels he is lacking a lot so Esaka advises him not to be negative. If everyone was an ace like Mikuni, the organization would collapse. For his current ability, he can be a fine soldier. Kotarou realizes Nagai is not around. Esaka tells him she has quit. She was already at her limits. As superhumans don’t take setbacks well, he hopes he won’t break too.

Episode 19
Kotarou is now part of Guardian as a trainee and goes with the name Suzuki Bond. Taking after some super spy? Better work on your introduction. While hanging out, he stumbled upon lost Akane. Thanks to the tag on her, he manages to return her to Iko. Akane might look like she hates him but she’s just being tsundere and shy since she obviously likes sitting between his lap. Kotarou learns more about demons, Guardian, Gaia and all those other stuffs. His team are supposed to do some surveillance in town for the Key. Touka likes getting posted to school for her day shift. Esaka promises if she does well, they can arrange graduation for her. So they’re in town doing their surveillance but is it me or do they stick out like a sore thumb? They hear an emergency signal that the team nearby is being attacked. Kotarou advises going against orders to help but Imamiya and Touka want to hog the glory and climb the ladder. Of course Kotarou had to chase after them. In the forest, he gets more worried when he sees Akane’s dropped tag. Sh*t hits the fan when he sees Mikuni’s team get wiped out and Mikuni himself getting killed by the armless T-rex. He manages to find Akane cowering up a tree. But first he has to take care of a wolf demon. Once done, he puts Akane safely somewhere since some glowing light nearby is attracting his curiosity. He sees Kagari and knows she is the Key. Despite he knows he must destroy her, he spares her and leaves. Kotarou reports to Esaka about Mikuni’s death and the demons. However left out reporting Akane and the Key. He hopes these mini betrayals will not become regrets later. Kotarou wants to learn how to use a gun since he knows he lacks in offensive power. Esaka tries to caution what he is doing as he explains why Nagai quit was because she was losing her superhuman ability. It somewhat weakened over time due to her frail mind. But having too much could be a problem too. Take a look what happened to Mikuni. Many want to be heroes but end up dying. Kotarou assures he only wants the strength he needs and not become a hero. Esaka recommends him to a private security firm where he once trained in his younger days. If Kotarou survives, he hopes he will become his elite soldier. Kotarou narrates he was looking for something to get him out of the rut. He couldn’t find it in school, Martel or Guardian. His act of letting the Key go somewhat saved his life. He can’t work in Japan anymore and is running away out into the world.

Episode 20
In some Middle Eastern country, Kotarou and his team of superhuman soldiers are fighting terrorists. Kotarou had his first kill and goes into trauma. He wanted to kill himself but a local girl, Yasmin stopped him. He is also treated poorly by his comrades who look down upon him because of his inferior power. Everyone except Luis. During their off days, they usually hang out and play with Yasmin and the local orphan kids. On a mission to destroy a narcotics factory and seize its ingredients, the team is besieged by demons. Kotarou and Luis go in search of the summoner. Luis fires and shoot in his reflex thinking he has found them. To their shock, the summoners are Yasmin and those kids. Some of them dead and a few gravely injured. When Kotarou reports to his commander, he shoots and kills the wounded! Luckily Yasmin and a few others were hiding somewhere or it would have been a complete massacre of kids. This makes Kotarou and Luis feel sick of Guardian’s methods. They make a run as far as they could before the factory is being bombed. Luis sacrificed himself to let them escape. Yasmin and the rest are also wounded and want Kotarou to leave them behind and escape. He will not and uses his Rewrite to heal them. It converts some of his life force into power but he doesn’t mind. In the aftermath, he relocates Yasmin and the rest to a safer city. He then goes on secret solo missions to rescue kids who have superhuman abilities or summoners. He then puts these kids under Yasmin’s care. All of them got along well as Kotarou surmised that human nature is the reason Guardian and Gaia were at odds. After 2 years away from home, Kotarou gets a call from Esaka to return to Japan. He sees Yasmin for one last time and she thanks him they can live with smiles on their face. Erm, wrong time for a pun but isn’t she crying now?

Episode 21
Kotarou returns to Esaka. Seems he lacks manpower for Guardian’s operations. Kotarou doesn’t think his power is of any use. Esaka notes he is still the same but that suits him best. Kotarou meets Kagari. Although it is his first meeting, he felt they have met elsewhere before. She tells him Earth is dying thanks to its sad memories. At this rate it has not the vitality needed for re-evolution. Thus the ruin comes naturally when Kagari is filled with sad memories and the only way is to bring her fond memories. She chose him as he is the only human who can see her and needs a servant to influence others. As reward, she allows him to fondle her boobs. Imagine the saviour of Earth is known for boobs fondling too… Kotarou returns to his old Guardian team to gain access of information. Then he easily infiltrates Martel since their followers are like zombies. He manages to get into its inner circle, becomes a summoner and full-fledged Gaia member. However Kagari wants him to stop his investigation as there is no time and wants him to eliminate Gaia and then Guardian. Kotarou reminds he is not some superhuman and to trust him. He promises he won’t betray her and everything will work out. Yeah, trust in him. He scolds her about the thought of killing Gaia’s demons because they will notice her and once they find her, it’s game over. Kagari is sad that humans are intelligent and perceptive and yet failed to create fond memories. Kotarou goes to see Shuuichirou Suzaki, Martel Group’s leader. There is a faction war between him and Sakura. Unlike Sakura who hates everything, this guy wants to make profit. Kotarou’s job is to spy on Sakura’s faction. One day Kotarou gets upset when Kagari wandered to town by herself just to understand humans more. What if she gets into a crossfire with Guardian and Gaia? She threatens him not to get hostile with her but he says he is mad because he cares. One night he stumbles into Kotori. She knows Kagari too. It seems the girls know each other the same time Kotarou discovered Kagari. Amazingly they managed to miss each other all this time. Kotori has been protecting Kagari all this while with her barrier. Of course she always wanders. Kotarou is horrified upon learning Kotori revived her parents as zombies. He threatens to drag her home but she starts crying he doesn’t know how lonely and sad she was. She doesn’t understand why he is mean to her by wanting her to live by herself. Kotarou notes this is the second time seeing her cry and this one hurts him deep.

Episode 22
Kotarou goes to see Sakura and knows it won’t be easy deceiving her. After he leaves, he finds Akane looking for bugs (demons?!) in the forest. He returns her to her house. He realizes Nagai is now her guardian. It seems Nagai’s days as Guardian has been erased from her memory and she goes by the name of Tsukuno now under Gaia. Kotarou is summoned by Suzaki thinking he is trying to betray him by meeting Sakura. But from the recording excerpts, she already knows all about that and even Suzaki’s goal. Suzaki then brings Kotarou to an alternate space where an alternate city is being built, City of Stone. This is the worst case scenario when the world is destroyed. A small population would come to live here in this artificial afterlife project. Suzaki has sold rights to those who wants to live here and use it to fund its development. The more it approaches completion, the more the Key became indispensable for him. After Esaka is posted overseas, Kotarou takes over looking after his café. Kotarou gets into another argument with Kotori about her zombie parents. Again he makes her cry as she will not give up on mom and dad. Soon Suzaki gives Kotarou information that Sakura has made this Tsukuno woman as her protégé. Knowing about her Guardian background, he believes Sakura must have found her successor there and is Akane. Imagine the scandal it would become if they suddenly disappeared. Kotarou’s job is to kidnap them and this will make it easier for him to be promoted. While he waits for the signal, Suzaki has gathered his executives for a meeting with Sakura. However she jumps ahead first by announcing she has found a successor. She is Akane and Tsukuno will be her guardian. She also knows about their past and if it will cause a scandal, she will resign immediately. Suzaki calls Kotarou to call off the mission. Later Kotarou meets with Akane and she hints about Kotarou once saved her was it because he had someone else to save. He is frustrated he is busted so Kagari chides him for making the same mistakes. His head understands the planet will die but his heart acts differently. If it comes to pass, he will accept Earth as ruined. This makes Kagari mad that humans haven’t the slightest shred to survive. Why being born then? For the first time she shows emotions as she goes berserk. To stop her enrage, Kotarou kisses her. Some sappy romance drama here as he claims he is doing this not to save Earth but because he loves her! Kagari only feels humiliated and doesn’t want him around. If he won’t remove himself, she will leave herself. Bye.

Episode 23
With Martel showing signs of large scale operation, Kotarou kills summoners before they could find Kagari. At the same time, he also betrays Guardian by killing agents who are getting too close to her position. With the conflict getting worse by the day, Kagari is also regressing like her speech slowly becoming simple and retarded. At this time Esaka returns. He gathers his men to round up Suzaki. During interrogation, Suzaki recognizes Kotarou among the agents and when that happens, Kotarou immediately puts a bullet in his head. Kotarou who has been communicating secretly with Yasmin for some operations all this years, gives her a final order as Sakura has finally set her plans in motion. Kotarou hopes that the people will learn about the truth of Guardian and Gaia and be forced to change. Looks like tomorrow will be Judgment Day and he wants Kagari to witness those fond memories together. With Gaia sending in countless summoners, Esaka also has Guardian send more backup into the city. Kotarou meets Kotori one last time. She doesn’t care about this planet or fond memories. She cares about the promise they made younger to show her around the festival. This is when Kotarou pulls the gun and shoots her ‘parents’. He decided to choose Kagari and has planned to do it a long time. He also reveals he hated Kotori. In turn her face lights up in rage as she curses him. Kotarou sabotages Guardian’s helicopters in the area. Kagari is already resigning to fate that this planet will cease but Kotarou doesn’t want her to give up until she sees it. But now he is forced to fight Esaka who has deduced he has been the rat. Esaka dominates but falls for his blood trap. Kotarou admits he has been betraying Guardian by protecting the Key. He tells his plan to stop Kagari from slaughtering mankind to have a promising future. Everyone’s death won’t be in vain.

Episode 24
Sakura is really pressing on in destroying the world with demons killing everybody. Kotarou knows he needs to stop the singing Gaia people at the top of their tree temple to avoid Kagari from suffering and causing ruin. I take it, they are horrible singers! Jokes aside, Kotarou is intercepted by his Guardian pals who are mad at him for betraying them. He manages to escape, save them in the process and enough time to tell them how he is going to do something and leave the rest of the future to them. At the temple, Kotarou faces off with the Earth Dragon who has taken a mind of its own. It considers all Gaia members as its children and if they want the world destroyed, it shall make that wish come true. After a hard fought battle, Kotarou reaches the top. Lots of dead Gaia singers. Hah. Their own singing killed themselves! Okay, stopping with the bad jokes. Kotarou is shocked to see Iko among them. She felt her children had no future and ended up here. Kotarou finds Akane and leaves Dima and Lyuba to her. Kotarou is slowly turning into a tree. He treks to where Kagari is resting and wants to see her badly. Here she is. She is thankful for the fond memories. However it is too late. Had it been a little earlier, things could still be saved. Among the last talk include Kotarou confessing he loves her. She tells him to do his final job so he forces himself to stab her. After she kisses him, she disappears. Yasmin writes in her diary the legacy of Kotarou and how he helped guided and saved many. It seems there are still many survivors eking out a decent living in the world although Earth is slowly headed for ruin. Kotarou’s girls are before a tree. They do some spell to extract a supposedly demon familiar. Kotarou in a butler outfit? They might regret doing so because Kotarou isn’t just going to do whatever they want. I mean, 5 contractors won’t be enough. Tens of thousands if he is to do great things with his great power. So how much can they get for the price of just 5 contractors? Enough to the moon. Kotarou then transports them there. Kotarou and Kagari happily and emotionally reunite. They wanted to see each other for so long. They kiss and leave the girls in shock. Hey wait. No boobs fondling reward?

Re-wreck: Please Save My Earth
Erm… Wait… What? Is this considered a good ending? Man, I thought it was going to be a bad ending again but since Kotarou ended up with Kagari in the end, I guess it wasn’t a bad ending? Oh heck, I don’t even understand the whole lot especially the ending in which he needed his harem girls to just fly to the moon. Oh, he was waiting someone to extract him and enough power to get him there? Are they going to live on the moon forever because you know, Earth is on a slow death process. It’s like saying that there is no ultimate hope for humanity. Live your last wretched lives the way you want. Adios. Screw all you humans while we who tried so hard to save the world continue to frolic and enjoy our golden eternity together. Plus if Kotarou ever gets bored, he gets to play with other girls. Assuming they’re staying. Oops. Strayed too far…

It is sad to say that this second season doesn’t fare any better than the first because despite a big chunk of this season can be simply put as Kotarou playing double agent in order to save Earth in the bigger picture. Making it worse is that the harem factor is totally gone. I mean, isn’t what this visual novel is supposed to be? Not sure. Didn’t really play the game. Come on, what is this anime without the girls around the main character guy even if he is so cliché? So instead of having cliché female girls, we are now treated to a totally brooding young adult Kotarou on a personal secret mission to save Earth. The supposedly interesting interaction of Kotarou and his girls are missing as Lucia and Chihaya are close to non-existent and Akane reduced to a kid who strays. Kotori has a better screen time but she sounds like a lonely stubborn little brat and didn’t really feel important. I know Kagari is the main star too but she too feels meh. Her lesser screen time means lesser impact and although I felt she was an annoying character in the first season, at least she was funny to say the least. Here, it’s like she lost all of that and just feels monotonous. Like as though all that we have seen them gone through together in last season didn’t happen. No more naughty fanservice jokes? You might argue that this is another timeline and alternate world. In that case might as well just rename it to a different anime. It just feels different in the sense you rearrange the same blocks of a puzzle to form a different outcome.

Speaking of that, the first 3 episodes which tries to explain to us the craziness of everything, I think I just got overly confused there. What? Parallel worlds? Different outcomes? Whatever. If I was in Kotarou’s shoes, my head would have really exploded if I got too close to that giant circuit. No kidding. I’m just too dumb to understand what’s going on. Then they decide to kill off everything and everyone and perhaps start anew (or maybe restart, because rewriting doesn’t sound right either) with this Bond thingy. Heck, I don’t even get it why they nicknamed this the Moon and Terra arc. I know, I said I didn’t play the game so I am pretty much clueless about the route this season adapted. I don’t really see it happening on the moon, that’s what my thoughts are. Unless you’re telling me this Bond arc thingy was happening on the moon. I thought it was on Earth? Oh right, that is what the Terra part is. Wait. I thought they said they were restarting from the moon? Damn this is so confusing!

As for the characters, Kotarou as said is hogging the limelight since he is going to be the hero and destroyer of Earth anyway. I feel he has changed for the better although not as good as he should have been. Better than his teenage version in the first season but comparatively he is still useless in many sense. Like his low self-esteem. I mean, if he didn’t deem himself as useless, why run away to another country in the first place? I still don’t completely understand his Rewrite powers. Last time I remember he is supposed to rewrite laws that would suit him the way he sees fit. He can’t seem to use it often here because it has its drawbacks and side effects. So he relies mostly on his blood weapon thingy.

I don’t have much to comment on Kotarou’s girls because I already said about them in a few paragraphs ago. Because of the various different alternate worlds, they could really make a spin-off series if they really want to milk some cash to give fans of certain pairings something to squeal about. If you still remember those comical fairies, Pani and Gil, feel free to forget about them because they don’t even make a cameo. Even Chibi Moth had its screen time. And Sakuya too despite he was coming in late and at the end of the first arc. What a waste but better than nothing, right? Whatever. And Yoshino whom I was hoping would play a more significant role here too didn’t matter in the end. I also wondered the point of Nagai and her becoming Akane’s guardian when we don’t really see it happening. This must be one of those mini trivia for those who remember an unrelated moment in the first season of a mysterious lady chasing a tsuchinoko. Yeah, there’s your dotted lines connected.

At first I thought it was refreshing that the opening theme for this season is an instrumental. A very short one too as it only lasts for 30 seconds. Even the ending themes are instrumental. It feels different and unique but unfortunately those are for the first 3 episodes. For the remainder when Kotarou became super spy agent, somehow I feel Last Desire by Maon Kurosaki just doesn’t really fit the theme. Fast paced, lively, heavy on the strings, has some enigma feel to it. I don’t know. I just don’t feel it is right. The ending theme, Instincts by Runa Mizutani is a slow piece. Sounds slightly better and has this Key feel to it.

The artwork and animation remain pretty much the same as last time. The background and sceneries are still decently gorgeous despite I want go so far to say they are breath taking or a masterpiece. Though, the CGI demons still feel out of place and don’t really blend in with the whole thing. Sometimes the quality drops and becomes very obvious especially during action sequences (which isn’t particularly that exciting either) but then again, this isn’t supposed to be an action adventure. Blood still aplenty, though. One thing unique this season is the choices/options in the form of words that Kotarou has to make that pops up on screen before the one he selects becomes the only word visible. It might not seem like much as this is more of visual than anything.

Overall, my guess is that hardcore fans and those who played the game and understand its lore well enough would comprehend and appreciate what both seasons offered. Otherwise, casual viewers like me will be utterly confused as we are thrown into something so unfamiliar with like as though we are watching a foreign language movie with no subtitles that is very heavy on the dialogue part. Interesting but not quite enough that it will want to make you have forum discussions of it. Despite I did mention the spin-off possibilities of stories from other alternate worlds, I won’t be calling for any more rewrites (needed to do a pun on this. Sorry, can’t resist) because sometimes it is better to just keep the series buried and dead. Give it a rest. No more sequels, no more prequels, no more reboots, no more remakes. No matter how you keep beating a dead horse, it won’t come back to life and become a better horse.

Rewrite

April 9, 2017

There was quite a little hype surrounding the anime adaptation of Rewrite. Long time fans won’t be surprised since this series is adapted from the visual novel game of the same name which is written by no other than one of the famous and prominent visual novel studio company, Key. They have a reputation for making visual novels with great storylines and characters. With successful past adapted works like Air, Clannad, Kanon, Little Busters and Angel Beats, they are further cementing their legacy in this industry. I might have not played any of the visual novels and some of the series I might not really sing high praises for it, but something tells me that their brand of storytelling follows a certain pattern. You have elements of fantasy and supernatural. A peaceful place starting to move as fate of the future inevitable event sets in. Harem. Protagonist plays a key role in determining the outcome. Some sort of twist to it all. My curiosity was to see if it fits this pattern. Yeah, really. And reading from Rewrite’s synopsis seems to feel it is going to have all that.

Episode 1
Starting off this 1 hour special, Kotarou Tennouji must be happy meeting this cute girl in his dream. Until he gets stabbed by her! Thank goodness this is just a dream. Right? Kotarou is then tasked by Rikako, the mother of his childhood friend, Kotori Kanbe to bring her back since she went ‘missing’ again. Kotarou knows where Kotori will go. There is a forest she comes to play all by herself. Along the way he meets this strange, uh, Pokemon creature in which he identifies as a mammoth! He finds Kotori sleeping by a tree and brings her back but when she wakes up she isn’t aware of where she was. Kotarou tugs in for the night and he gets a rude awakening when somebody (that cute girl sneaking under his blanket) bites his hand! In class, Kotarou tries to be friends with this grumpy delinquent, Haruhiko Yoshino. Well, if he keeps bugging him, definitely he is going to get angry and challenge him to a duel. And he doesn’t mean a card game but a fist fight. The class rep, Lucia Konohana only to be ‘tackled’ by her homeroom teacher, Touka Nishikujou. Kotarou continues to piss off Yoshino and it gets worse when Kotori enters the fray and sides Kotarou. When Kotarou is sleeping back in his home, he felt his body getting heavy. It’s like something is on it. He peeps under his blanket and sees that cute girl staring at him! Yikes! Is she a ghost?! No time to think. He fainted. Next morning as he ponders about this, he stumbles upon Chihaya Ootori who is somehow stuck on a tree. After all the follies in trying to get her down without seeing her panties (he did anyway), he tries to help her carry her box but it is heavy. It contains lots of those old heavy books. And would you know that Chihaya is the new transfer student in Kotarou’s class? Because he keeps identifying her as her panties design, she feels like throwing the desk on him. Why the heck nobody notices this? Later Kotarou helps out Shizuru Nakatsu who is part of the disciplinary committee and is having problems blowing her whistle. Inoue from the newspaper club tries to write a story thinking Kotarou is trying to ensnare Shizuru by covering up his mistakes. She tries to get him to admit to the rumours that he paid his way to enter this school. Of course he denies all accusations.

Kotarou hears from Kotori about the school having a famous witch with supernatural powers, Akane Senri. There are rumours she has the highest authority among all students, commands magic over everything supernatural and has managed to advance to the next grade without being expelled despite rarely showing up in class. She suggests meeting her in hopes he might meet someone special. The duo snoop around for more information and when they enter the supposed room, they get the scare of their lives when they switch on the wrong light button because it gives out a hideous scream! Prank? Nobody is in so he leaves a note. That night, Kotarou realizes he is trapped in his own room. There is some invisible magic barrier that prevents him from breaking out. It’s that ghost girls stalking him! When he cries out Kotori’s name for help, everything returns to normal. He revisits the classroom again and sees his note has been responded with a survey test. After spending the day with Chihaya and showing her around town, Kotarou gets an email to come to a classroom alone tonight. He thinks he might be given the run around doing errands because one riddle leads to the next. Horror time begins when he spots the ghost girl. He starts running but has the corridors been this long? And the stairs going on and on forever too. When it finally ends at a door and he goes through it, he smacks some little fairy who wants to suck his blood! Luckily her friend admonishes her for being rash because they are not to be seen by humans. They introduce themselves as Pani and Gil. I supposed they are lost in some strange forest and their worst fears come true because there is this huge last boss tentacle monster attacking them. They are saved thanks to the ghost girl fighting back with her whipping ribbons. The monster is destroyed but the dimension is collapsing. Kotarou falls through the abyss. Before he knows it, he is back in the school’s corridor and a statue of Colonel Sanders is before him. As instructed, he takes it to the classroom where the witch welcomes him.

Episode 2
Akane introduces herself with all the mumbo-jumbo but since Kotarou doesn’t look surprised, she quits all that acting. After experiencing that death defying phenomena? Can this even move his heart? Apparently Akane doesn’t believe all the supernatural encounters he said. She reads his survey and wonders if he did it seriously especially for the final question that involves him changing either himself or the world. To help with his ghostly visit problem, she gives him a paperclip and a few paper talisman charms. Well, it might look like a hoax but as long as it works, right? Akane will have him report and follow up on this in which she wants him to join her club, the occult research club. That night, he dreams of this girl, Tomoko. She is one of the paper talisman and is here to protect him. Although she was easily defeated by ghost girl, it was enough to make her lose interest for the night. Kotarou must be really sad that the paper talisman is all squashed up. During recess, Kotarou tries to play a prank on Yoshino by making his parfait spicy. Yoshino knows better and won’t fall for it. In trying to convince him, the parfait is swapped with the one Lucia is having. In order to protect her, he quickly eats it all! This irks her as she beats him up. Kotarou spots Shizuru sleeping by the tree and rests next to her till she wakes up. Touka must have some sort of fondness for her because she loves to squeeze and hug this eye-patch girl. When Kotarou reports to Akane, she doesn’t believe it happened because she just gave him ordinary stuffs with no powers. Although this is the occult research club, she doesn’t do anything related to it. She merely took over the club and is now her private room. She thinks all those supernatural stuffs are just his imagination. This has him challenge her to see who is right. Akane mocks that Kotarou has super powers because he believes they exist. He suspiciously denies it. So if Kotarou manages to prove the existence of the supernatural, he wants to fondle her boobs?! WTF?! She agrees as she is confident they don’t exist anyway. The talisman again helps Kotarou get a good night sleep as it is able to make ghost girl lose her interest for another night.

Kotarou introduces Kotori to Akane as he wants her help with his investigation. Kotori is not amused hearing the boobs deal but Kotarou convinces her about her money and power that he is after. After they set up the club’s website, Chihaya drops in and is surprised to see the duo in this club. Chihaya knows Akane and has a few ties with her. Kotarou must be dreaming about groping Akane’s boobs but only to wake up in horror realizing he is groping ghost girl’s boobs! Even ghost girl didn’t want to stay and harass him further. Kotarou also brings Shizuru to join the club to help out. She gets a call from Lucia asking about her whereabouts so cheeky Kotarou has Shizuru say word by word that she is engaging in something steamy with Kotarou. Before they can correct this misunderstanding, Lucia becomes faster than Usain Bolt and comes all the way down here just to beat the crap out of him. He gets another beating after learning that boobs deal. Despite Lucia calling him a pervert and all, Shizuru stands up for him. She thinks it is normal for boys his age to think about boobs. Because she’s is the flattest? Oops… So to keep an eye on him, Lucia agrees to join his motley crew.

Episode 3
When Kotarou enters the clubroom, there is this obnoxious guy telling him to leave. He is Sakuya Ootori and somewhat a butler (knight in shining armour as he puts it) who sucks up to Akane. He is also Chihaya’s older brother and is here to bring her lunch she forgot. In short, both guys hate each other. Well, this series is not big enough to have 2 guys for a harem. In class, Kotarou asks Yoshino as he notices Lucia is always wearing gloves. They speculate she is hiding some sort of terrifying power but they go overboard with their chuunibyou as they act it out aloud in the middle of class. The occult club receives a message from the website that a tsuchinoko (obese snake as Akane puts it) on their campus. They go look for it and when they spot it, Kotarou has a hard time catching it but it was easily caught by Chihaya. It seems there is an outsider named Tsukuno who is also hunting this tsuchinoko. She is an UMA hunter and is trying to catch it for a great prize (which is of course a scam). But since her day job is a clerk, break time is over and she returns to work. Kotarou joins Shizuru eating lunch. Because her eye is itchy, he wants to look at it thinking it is an infection. She feels embarrassed but since he promises not to tell others, she relents. Her eyes are different colours and he views them as beautiful. Kotarou almost gets beaten up by the tsundere for almost recycling the wrong aluminium and steel cans. She teaches him how to crush those cans and sort them properly for recycling. Kotarou goes too far when he teases Lucia as the rep to save the world and environment and gets another beating.

That beat up took him the entire day to recover so it is already late at night when he goes home. On the way back, he sees the ghost girl being chased by a demonic dog. He decides to help her as he unleashes his Rewrite that gives him super powers. Kotarou is cornered by a psychopath who thinks he is a fellow hunter and extra competition. Knowing this guy is bad news, Kotarou makes a run for it but he summons his demon dog to hunt him down. Eventually Kotarou can’t outrun the dog but before he gets devoured and collapses, he sees some hero taking it out. When he wakes up, he is at the park’s oden stall. A couple of old guys saw him unconscious nearby and brought him here. When Kotarou explains what happened, they seem to believe him. Well, they are online game enthusiasts. Sometimes they get mixed up with games and reality. Sougen Esaka runs a small antique shop so he hopes Kotarou can drop by when he is free. Shizuru patrons the stall and is shocked to see Kotarou here. It’s like she never expected to see him here. When he shows her the scar on his hand from the attack, she doesn’t see any. Was it a dream? He thinks his abilities have been rewritten. A few oden regulars join in and they start teasing Kotarou as Shizuru’s boyfriend. Kotarou then accompanies her home as he tells us she lives alone in a run-down apartment. He wants to help her but his hands are tied. Kotarou has the bad luck to bump into Sakuya and as usual the latter spews more insults to remind him like as though fate has drawn them together as enemies.

Episode 4
With boobs as motivation, Kotarou is enthusiastic as he tells Akane he knows someone who knows about UMA. However he doesn’t have the address to Esaka’s place and since only Shizuru knows it and she is not around, the girls lose interest and leave. Kotarou looks around the bad part of town by himself and stumbles upon a group of delinquents. They claim they are under King whom we all know as Yoshino. This is his area. But since Kotarou says he is Yoshino’s buddy, they become his friends and lead him to Esaka’s shop. Shizuru is here. Esaka hands him a few photos of UMAs but they are blurry and even so not close to the monster Kotarou saw. Goal to boobs getting further… Shizuru has a CD but no player since she is poor. Rich girl Chihaya won’t understand why she can’t buy one. So Kotarou has to lend his. In class just as Kotarou thinks the ghost girl has never shown up since, here she comes right into class! Only, everyone else can’t see her. She blatantly bites his arm before leaving like as though this is her house! He wants to show the bite mark as proof but Shizuru wants him to follow her as thanks for the CD player. In a neighbourhood, Shizuru from outside shows the real home where her family lives. Kotarou is stumped when Shizuru leaves instead of greeting her mom. Even puzzling, mom doesn’t recognize her. Shizuru has Kotarou say her name. When he tries the second time, he seems to have forgotten but tries hard again and manages to remember. Shizuru has this power to erase memories, thus her parents don’t remember her.

Shizuru explains her happy and peaceful life with her parents till an incident one day where by some monster caused some fire in her home. Shizuru was blinded in one eye and her parents were close to dead. A small unit chasing the monster saved them. Her parents recover and Shizuru gets her sight back although her new eye is of different colour. But this is the start of torment as her classmates often bully her about it. Mom also had phobia on fire. One day, she overhead strange men talking to her parents that they will give them large amounts of money if they allow Shizuru to go to a certain institute. Shizuru volunteered and after a week when she returned, her parents were fighting. She realized money changed their kind nature. She wanted them to get along so badly like how they used to that her power went berserk and wiped out a big chunk of their memories. Kotarou thought there is hope since he remembered but Shizuru clearly states this one is beyond repair. Nevertheless she is happy he came along. Touka drives Kotarou back and he thinks she is part of that institution. She doesn’t give any clear answer and hints Shizuru wasn’t born with such power as the institution ‘creates medicine’. Shizuru is leaving a poor life because she is saving up to buy a house. At school, Lucia refuses to help a bunch of boys pick up and throw back their baseball. She will not touch something dirty. Kotarou help out on her behalf. Chihaya berates Lucia for being a clean freak but she snaps back that she it is the flowers she doesn’t want to touch. Or anything else she doesn’t want to touch. But she can touch and push away Chihaya? Lucia feels hurt over Chihaya’s insensitive comments about her twisted feelings. She is also frustrated because she is living this way not because she wants to.

Episode 5
Kotarou receives mail about the case of a cursed girl name Haruka Asahi. If you attempt to wake her from her slumber, you will be cursed. Story has it that she was from an orphanage. Plants and animals she touched will die. Eventually this also affected some of those in the orphanage and it was closed down. 7 years ago a boy, Ryuugo Kishida transferred to this city and told about this. He died shortly. Kotarou notices Lucia isn’t around so he goes to talk to Shizuru who reveals about Lucia’s secret since he is her friend. Because Ryuugo was from the same elementary as Yoshida, Kotarou bugs him for help. Despite saying no and all, he warns to watch his back when the glass shatters and even gives him a roster of those classmates. Kotarou goes to copy it and Lucia thought he left a copy behind. But this isn’t his copy. It is written with a warning not to wake up her slumber! Then the glasses break! Oh no. Lucia learns from Kotarou about his investigation although he tries to keep his optimism that this copy might be a recycled paper and somebody must have thrown rocks. Lucia on her way home is spooked when little Haruka pops up before her. She warns not to wake her up and reminds they both share the same sorrow. Kotarou tries to call the people on the list but all of them refuse to answer his questions as they are scared that the curse is coming back. Haruka continues to haunt Lucia and remind her their suffering and that they are cursed. Though, Lucia tries to fight back she is trying to face this head on. As Kotarou continues his investigation, he now gets spooked when it is Lucia (looking possessed) warning about waking her slumber. She then collapses. He brings her back to his place and when she wakes up, he assures he didn’t touch her or anything. It gets serious when Lucia demonstrates anything she touches withers and dies. Kotarou thinks it is his fault for continuing with the investigation when he remembers Shizuru’s words. Lucia suffered this curse of withering and killing living things when she was young. She convinced herself it was her fault and filthy hands. She tried to overcome this by wearing gloves which was her only respite. Kotarou tries to calm her down but she pushes him away. Oh no. The curse has affected his hand.

Kotarou visits the orphanage. He easily jumps over the high security fence and snoops around. Inside the building, as he looks at the group photo, it breaks. He calls out Haruka. Or rather Lucia. He knows they are the same person. Because when he called one on the roster, that person has moved but the old address experienced the glass breaking curse. Surely, the curse couldn’t be making such mistake. After all, Lucia also had that list. Lucia admits she was the one breaking the glasses to stop him from investigating. However her powers to shatter glass and wither life is real. All she wanted was to hide her hideous past and true identity. At this point Kotarou collapses from the poison covering half his body. Don’t worry. Before Lucia can blame herself, he’ll use his Rewrite to make his body accept the poison. It works. Now that he has accepted Lucia’s world, he is now her friend so don’t ever say sad stuffs like she’ll always be alone and can never touch anyone. When Kotarou is able to touch her without being affected, she breaks down and cries in his arms. Sorry to interrupt but Touka is here to take them back. Kotarou is curious of her organization so she explains it because it beats having him snoop around. Her organization is called Guardian and they are trying to gather people with super powers to protect the world from destruction. Right now in this city, there is an individual codenamed as Key who is trying to destroy the world. Of course there are groups who are supportive of Key’s effort. Gaia is advocating for Earth’s destruction so a new one could be reborn. Touka wants him to keep all this a secret or else. He too has his own conditions. He wants Lucia to make handmade lunches for him. In a maid outfit. I second this!!!!!!!!!! I see no problem in this small price for something big.

Episode 6
Kotarou is kidnapped. Don’t worry. It is Lucia. She put on a maid outfit to serve him. I guess it’s too late to say that was a joke, eh? So as not to put her effort to waste, he eats her handmade lunch. He learns Lucia’s abnormal taste buds. That’s why she was able to handle that spicy parfait. Shizuru has been helping her to create antidotes to keep her poisons neutral. Lucia surprises Chihaya by apologizing to her. Likewise she does the same. They notice Lucia clinging closely to Kotarou. She claims they are friends. Shizuru also does the same and this makes Lucia jealous. With everyone back to their normal, time to do some occult club activities like solving cases people posted on their website. However all turned out to be some sort of hoax. Like that legendary sword, it’s just some toy shop in a candy store. Maybe it never got bought? Yoshino has trained to pull it out but Chihaya easily pulls it out. And broke it. What about laughing echoes in the dark? Well, aside the porn magazines around, there are laughing mask props lying around. The ogre who lives at night in the school building? Just Yoshino flexing his karate chops. Even the T-rex that lived till the 2nd century turns out to be a movie poster. So you bet the girls aren’t interested in coming along to investigate the rainbow paradise at some river basin. I mean, they have to trek through the dense forest and deal with bugs. I think Kotarou vetoes it all so they’re coming.

Kotori thinks they need a bodyguard so she brings along Chibi Moth. Remember that cute little ‘mammoth’? It’s a dog. She picked it up and now it’s her pet. She claims it is 3 times stronger than Yoshino. Chibi Moth proves it by bumping into Kotarou’s gut and sending him flying away. After trekking into the forest, they stumble into this rainbow swamp. It’s hideous by the way. They think the toxins from pollutions must have made it so and the trees and animals in it are dead and rotting. It is too much for them to handle so they decide to leave. On the way out, Kotarou stumbles into a familiar scene. When he sees the ghost girl, he immediately remembers this is the place where he killed her in his dream. Back at the clubroom, Kotarou decides to take his mind off by writing what has happened although he has no intentions of publishing it. Akane mocks his simple conclusion of environmental damage. She argues while a large portion of humanity is indulging in pleasures, another portion is suffering. How long more till Earth reach a point of no return and humans go extinct. Unless we of course migrate to another planet. Kotarou still believes there are some good people trying to save the world. In that case Akane has a very simple answer on how to stop this. No, not stopping factories. Destroy all humans! Next day, Inoue calls Kotarou and claims she is going to investigate the swamp since she has good information about it. A few days later, Inoue’s fellow club member talks to Kotarou and asks if he knows anything. Because Inoue has not come home ever since.

Episode 7
With Inoue’s disappearance, there are directives for the occult club to suspend all activities. Only their club is targeted because they suspect Kotarou who was the last person to talk to her and with the occult club as a shady club, they might be looking at disbandment. Kotarou gets passionate arguing about them being together so I guess the girls change their gloomy mood to be on his side. As Inoue’s disappearance isn’t made public yet but the search is called off as they assume she is dead (no body is found), Kotarou thinks that everything will be okay if they solve this. So the gang head back into the woods. Kotarou waits as the girls go take a toilet break. But he realizes they are taking too long. He goes to look for them but spots a shady character in a robe. Then a pack of demonic dogs hunt him down. Kotarou Rewrites his powers and escapes from their jaws of death via conjuring up some blade (Vega’s claw?). He follows Lucia’s voice and sees her and Shizuru fighting, uhm, feathered dinosaurs? Of course they don’t need his help as they are skilful in taking them out with their blades. They explain that these monsters are from Gaia. Perhaps their base is nearby or searching for the Key. They tell him to go look for the other girls who got separated from them. Kotarou manages to reunite with them as he tries to convince them to get out of the forest. But suddenly a huge wyvern hovers over them. It attacks Kotori but Kotarou uses his hand to block. He tells the girls to run for it as he gets dragged around and his blood sucked. His Freddy Krueger blades may have saved him again but it is ghost girl who ultimate destroys it. Kotarou fears her and is about to attack her but is stopped by Kotori. Obviously she can see her. Ghost girl goes away. When they reunite with the others, it seems the other girls are in a showdown. Lucia and Shizuru just finished cutting down the last demon as they question Akane and Chihaya. When they came into the scene, some of the monsters didn’t attack them and instead sided with them. Furthermore, they didn’t look surprised to see the monsters. Akane and Chihaya admit they are from Gaia. When Lucia attacks, Sakuya blocks it. He reveals he works under them although this incident has nothing to with them and just happened to be an unfortunate accident within the organization. Sakuya takes his ladies and leave. Kotarou tries to catch up but faints. He returns to his normal school life but is obviously spacing out more often. He acts like there is nothing when Yoshino asks but keeps thinking why he didn’t heed Sakuya’s warning of not meddling in other’s business.

Episode 8
After that incident, Kotarou has not seen the girls (all absent from school). Kotori too is absent from class and doesn’t reply to his messages and Inoue still has not been found. That night when he tests his blades in his room, ghost girl comes in and for the first time speaks. She says something about an emergency before collapsing. Next day, the school informs its students that Inoue is found recovering in a hospital in the next town and her memories are still fuzzy. Kotarou is glad that Shizuru finally shows up but she is here to say goodbye. Kotarou thinks someone ransacked his home but he believes it is that ghost girl. This funnily cartoonish scene shows ghost girl following Kotarou like a shadow behind and each time he turns around, she quickly follows his back. This goes on till she is discovered. Had fun? She introduces herself as Kagari. That is all she remembers and needs help to find herself. That’s you, Kotarou. He think this is all a dream but next morning he wakes up to find her sleeping next to him. In school he is shocked that Kagari is a new transfer student and is facing off with Yoshino! Now everyone can see her? Kagari easily defeats Yoshino and everyone is excited she will be the new gang boss? Kotarou quickly takes her away. It seems she has learnt all about humans. From the internet. Ah, yes… The internet… So she enrolled in this school out of jealousy? She also thinks Kotarou is in love with her thinking he is being mean to her is a sign he likes her. Curse you internet! He shows her around school like the cafeteria but since she is making a ruckus about the coffee, tour’s over.

At the park, he is surprised to see Inoue. Is she safe to be discharged? Because she doesn’t know who he is. She passes him a memory card as she notices she has been clinging on tightly to it. Meanwhile Akane attends a meeting of Gaia guised under an environmental protection company named Martel Group. Among the topics discussed include the failure to find the Key. It seems Akane is kept close to Gaia’s saint, Sakura Kashima as it is believed her days are numbered and she is to be her successor. On the Guardian’s side, Shizuru and Lucia are seen exterminating demons along with Esaka. He has retired as commander but called back to help out. They wonder if this place holds the Key as it is a place for many Gaia followers to gather. Even so, Esaka doesn’t think it is a reason for the abundance of monsters. Sakuya seems to have captured Pani and Gil. All because they played a prank of dropping bird sh*t on Chihaya?! He has a job for them. Kotarou goes through the memory card and finds photos of monsters, demons and mysterious robed people. Kotarou is happy he finally gets message from Kotori that she is recovering from a cold even though he knows it is a lie. In fact, Kotori is in a mythical forest surrounded by mythical beings.

Episode 9
So the house is too small for Kagari and now she wants Kotarou to take her around town? Whatever. He realizes he is being tailed by several parties. They are the fairies, Chibi Moth and an idiotic agent from Guardian. Kotarou takes Kagari and run into the alley but stumbles into Yoshino and his gang. They let him pass to buy him time. However the agent gets owned by the non-human side and then gets beaten up by Yoshino’s gang. Just not his day. Kotarou is forced to go get coffee for Kagari since she has already become an addict and she is acting ambiguously like a deprived ‘love slave’ in public. He meets Lucia at the vending machine. She assures him that although Guardian and treating him and Kotori as subjects with special care, if nothing happens, surveillance on them will be dropped. Kotarou and Kagari are being confronted by that psychopath who is pissed he might have done something to his demon dog. He is obviously from Gaia and sets his dogs to attack them but Kagari’s ribbons easily destroy them. Before the guys can fight, Chibi Moth distracts him to let Kotarou and Kagari escape. Back home, they find the place ransacked. No, it’s not from that psychopath. It’s Gil and Pani. How the heck did they get trapped in the fridge and roach motel? As Kotarou tries to interrogate them, he gets a call from Kotori to come to the forest with Chibi Moth. She knows all about Guardian and Gaia and that Kotarou has been marked by them. She pulls them into her portal that leads to her fantasy world-cum-secret base. Kagari thinks Kotori knows a lot about her and instantly becomes her pal and dumps Kotarou. Thanks a lot.

Kotori begins her explanation that she creates all the demons here including Chibi Moth. Although her goal is to safeguard the Key, she is neither with Guardian nor Gaia. Long ago, a summoner sealed his knowledge into a mistletoe to leave it for future generations. 10 years ago Kotori had an accident and fell off a cliff. She wandered into this forest and plucked this mistletoe. She became a druid inheriting this knowledge. In exchange for a few of her wishes, she shoulders the responsibility of this duty to protect the Key. Kotarou doesn’t recall any of this. At this point, you might have guessed that Kagari is the Key. Sort of. She brings him to some energy spot which gave birth to Key and Kagari in human form. That rainbow swamp is actually caused by this energy spot. With this, Kotori can control demons without sacrificing her life. Although she doesn’t know why Kagari was born, it is believed that salvation will come. But nobody has witnessed it and they will only know until it happens. Kotarou isn’t fazed by all this. Because this is his proof and ticket to grope Akane’s boobs! Esaka briefs his Guardians and warn them about Gaia bringing in a large number of summoners here. They are to focus in getting the Key. Gil and Pani report to Sakuya of Kotori’s hideout. Akane witnesses mages after mages trying to revive some T-rex. She believes Sakura really wants to end the world.

Episode 10
Kotarou is shocked that Sakuya is here. When stupid Gil comes out and blows his cover to get his revenge, more shockingly Sakuya reverts to butler mode. So he isn’t going to kill them? He was sent by Akane and Chihaya to look after them as precautionary measures. Sakuya trains Kotarou how to fight. The butler might be skilled in fighting but he makes the worst coffee. Fail! Since nothing much is happening these few days, Kagari is bored. It is suggested they take her to town but it would be dangerous if she is seen by relevant parties. Don’t worry. That’s why Sakuya will tag along. After doing their shopping, Sakuya brings them to see Akane. Kotarou learns about this saint and Martel thingy. Akane asks Kagari a few questions but she doesn’t know. I mean, she’s still searching for herself. Not sure if that expression means Akane is disappointed or relief. But she is surprised to learn that the reason Kagari is sticking with Kotarou was because he offered the best gift: Coffee. Ah, coffee… Akane remembers Kotarou wrote “I don’t know” in the survey. She will do what she can in the place she belongs and cherishes the time she spent in the clubroom. In that case, does this mean she has lost her bet with Kotarou? Boobs time! How can he think of something so perverted at this moment? Because boobs transcends everything! So stop whining and let me have those jugs! However Kotarou was just trolling her. He just wanted to see her squirming face and will do it later back in the clubroom. She is a saint now and not the club’s president, right?

Esaka shows footage to his team of a girl in a forest. Shizuru recognizes her and once everyone knows they know each other, she is transferred to other duties. Sometimes honesty doesn’t pay. At first Shizuru thought of doing this alone to save Kotori but Lucia stops her and will do it on her behalf since she isn’t thinking rationally. Kotarou continues to train under Sakuya. The latter advises him to stop using his Rewrite so often because there is a price to pay as he will stop to be human after overusing it. Kagari asks Kotarou why he is trying so hard. To protect her. He doesn’t know why but he is truly doing it for her. It is also he has found a place where he fits in. She takes it as because she loves him. Then she bites his right arm. Love bite? Kotarou notices she is a bit odd when she says something about homo sapiens. Akane wants Chihaya to leave Gaia to where Sakuya is as she believes she was always sceptical of Gaia’s policies. After this war, she hopes everyone can reunite again. Lucia is in the forest and sees several hooded Gaia people entering. She thought of letting them lead the way to Key’s location but after remembering Kotarou, she decides nothing else takes priority over protecting her friends. She attacks them and after knocking out a couple of them, she faces off with the lava summoning Midou. Because her sword is no match for the intense heat, she uses her poison to kill everything around. Midou is also poisoned but in his desperation to kill her, uses all his power to summon a huge lava blast. She is blown away, impaled by his spear and falls down the abyss.

Episode 11
Flashback of humankind throughout the ages killing each other. The watchers grow in despair seeing this that their modest desire turned into disgust at mankind’s nature. They question if mankind truly deserves to be a part of the future. Chihaya is lost in the forest when she stumbles upon Lucia who is barely alive. Luckily Kotarou and Kotori are passing by. Kotori uses her healing powers to heal the wounds but it is ultimately Kagari’s ribbons that saved her live. Kotarou is so happy and grateful, he hugs her only to be unappreciated as she gives him whiplashing slaps. So you don’t want him to love you back? Akane is starting to inherit memories of Sakura. This means grandma is going to kick the bucket as she has just collapsed. Akane then sees Midou coming back and heavily damaged. Midou warns not to stop him because her friends are his prey otherwise he will kill her even if she is from Gaia. Akane says she can give him a new power but on one condition. She shows to him the Earth Dragon (that T-rex) which is Gaia’s ultimate weapon. He can have this as long as he protects the Key and keep her alive. As for her friends, he can do whatever he wants with them. Midou likes this and agrees. We see the girls in the forest bonding, even a little hotspring fanservice and the unfortunate Kotarou having to stumble into them bathing naked. I suppose to change the topic, he asks why are Gaia and Guardian fighting if they have the same goal to fight humanity. Obviously it their different methods. Gaia believes in eradicating humanity and then restarting the world anew whereas Guardian believes in preserving mankind as it is now. Their intention with the Key also differs. Although they do not know what kind of salvation it will bring, Gaia intends to shelter and protect her while Guardian wants to dispose of her, believing it will maintain status quo. Lucia assures she will not harm Kagari as she saved her life. This has Kagari in her rare moment coming up with some thoughtful wisdom. Why do humans continue to fight each other and slowly destroy the planet when they could have used their energy better and resolve differences with conversation. Despite the negative aspects of mankind, there are still some good aspects so Kagari will continue to watch a little longer. Midou and his subordinates make their move. Esaka and Guardian realize that a couple of their scouting parties have gone missing. They are assuming a powerful demon has appeared most likely because of the appearance of the Key. They will be sending combat troops to an area where they went missing: The forest.

Episode 12
Kotori senses someone has breached the barrier. That moment Kagari goes crazy and becomes broken. Midou is here to cause chaos and he has brought his T-rex to play (Sakuya is kept occupied by his subordinates). While Chibi Moth and the forest familiars stall the beast, the rest make a run for it. Kotarou is shocked to see Kotori’s parents fighting Midou to buy them time to escape. Eventually they lose. Kotori explains they are just demons created by her magic. When she first became a druid, she used that power to recreate them. That’s why they’re so lifeless. Midou’s lava wall separates Kotarou from the girls. Their fight is interrupted when Guardian’s troops intervene. It is that oden stall guy and his regulars. But upon seeing Kagari, they turn their attention to kill her. Shockingly, Midou fights off the Guardians to let Kotarou escape with her. Before Midou could finish them off, he has past his limits. Flashback of his tragic childhood whereby his friends were executed by soldiers. Midou then disintegrates. Kotarou is still in shock because Midou’s last words to him were Kagari will destroy the world if kept alive. In a dilemma as he tries to ask Kagari for the meaning of salvation, he collapses from exhaustion. Luckily Shizuru who has defected found him and takes him to reunite with the other girls. They are now in some secret stone city base of Gaia. So when Kagari decides to stop being a doll, she starts crying because she couldn’t find a good memory involving mankind. Was that why she was spacing out so long? Well, that says a lot about us. Sakura is starting to make her move. A member isn’t pleased she is trying to start a war and really end the world because the Key is just a tool to monitor destruction. Eh? What? He is devoured by a demon. I guess Sakura must really hate the world so much to see it end this way. When she activates the Key, Kagari goes berserk. The tree in the secret city grows. Kotarou and co find themselves back in town. Demons are everywhere killing the people! The end is near! This is salvation?

Episode 13
In addition to monsters killing everybody, natural disasters are occurring everywhere. There is also a giant monster rampaging and I am guessing it is Sakuya who turned into one after surpassing his Rewrite limits. But when Kagari wakes up, the destruction stops. Esaka arrives and knowing about Kotarou’s stand, there is nothing more than to fight each other. Obviously Kotarou lacks experience and would have been defeated had not Shizuku come into the scene in this epic but ridiculous way. She rides her bike up to bump Esaka off and then they square off with each other. Kotarou realizes his body is slowly turning into wood. Kotori admits this is her fault. It is because Kagari is inside him. Eh? What? After Kotori’s accident, Kotarou was also involved and was dying. Kotori didn’t want him to disappear like her parents so she made a wish to Kagari to save his life. Therefore it is Kagari’s power that is plugging up the wound and keeping him alive. But it’s not possible at this rate. That is when those fairies decide to do some good by using their lives to patch him up. Bye. Kotarou feels better but the song of destruction continues. Akane has now become the new saint as she orders the Key to end the world. Kagari screams as she slowly turns into a tree. Kotarou also continues to turn into one as he tries to reach for her. His struggle seems futile until he accidentally grabs her boobs. She snaps out and ribbon smacks him. Do we have time for this kind of joke?! And she can think this is a sign he really loves her? The world is ending, can we be serious here? Kagari says the end of the world is her will. Of course she also mentions the positive things this world has offered her. Coffee and internet. Jokes aside please… She thanks Kotarou and the girls for giving her precious memories and worth her time. She hints she would let him save the world by killing her. She doesn’t mind dying by his hands. Of course he can’t do that. He can only cry and hug her. Lucia joins Shizuru. They disappear. Akane laughs like a maniac with the world’s end only to come to her senses when loli Shimako holds her hand. They disappear. Chihaya carries Sakuya away. They disappear. Kotori is holding injured Chibi Moth in her arms. They disappear. Defeated Yoshino. Disappear. Defeated Esaka. Disappear. Kagari and Kotarou… They turn into trees. The entire world turns into one big ball of light souls. End of the world. Goodbye. Yeah Kotarou, it’s your fault for not having enough time to come up with something better.

Re: Zero – Restarting Life For A New World
Wait a minute! This is how it ends?! How long has it been since I have watched an anime that ends with a bad ending. No, I do not mean an ending that is unsatisfying or sucked. A bad ending as in a bad route. Since School Days? But don’t fear. Because there is another season as announced at the end of the final episode to redo the whole thing again! Basically, rewriting the entire story for a better ending, right? Yeah well, I can see why this series is named so and for more than a dozen episodes they trolled us with it. And as to why this isn’t necessarily a bad end is because in the final scenes it shows Kagari on some sort of monolith that resembles like the lines of a big motherboard. I’m thinking those are different routes and possible futures. Ah, see where this is going? And as we see the route of this anime vanished, I guess it tells us a lot that this bad end isn’t meant to be. Sort of. Can’t end a series having chosen the destruction of the world, can we? And with me feeling confused and disappointed it ended like this, at least I am glad they killed off everybody and save the trouble of tying up whatever loopholes. Woot! I supported the end of the world!

At first the story might be a little hard to follow. Just like when you start off watching a new series, everything is brand new from the plot to the characters thus it is a crucial time for viewers to learn about the setting and the likes. Because the first half deals with introducing the characters and then spamming a few unexplained supernatural events (especially the first episode which was already twice as long so you can bet it is a little ‘heavy’ for me to digest) so it doesn’t make sense at least to me. It was going in all directions as I was trying to figure out what was happening. Kotarou’s Rewrite seemed to very vague and lacked any sort of explanation of what it really was and its origins. What was the deal with those pair of fairy idiots who appeared in the first episode and then disappeared a long time before suddenly appearing back later? They were also seemingly rushing things when we have an episode focused on Shizuru and Lucia in succession and perhaps the other girls will follow suite as well. Not until the second half till the revelation something about world destruction thingy and some of the pieces of the puzzle put together did it make a little sense. But then, it was already more about the opposing sides trying to up each other to get the Key for their own organizational goals. Which was pretty obvious who the Key really was from my perspective. So this is the plot of the series? Why do I have this feeling of doing puns of the series’ name to rewrite the story?

Yeah, speaking of Key themselves, probably I have noticed in their adapted works that they love promoting themselves and advertising their brand a lot. So you might have observed that their name is placed in product placements in the series especially from can drinks from the vending machine. I guess it is better than making up hilarious parody names of popular brands to avoid getting sued. So much so it was pretty obvious that they love themselves when they decide to call the key revelation after themselves (pun intended too). Despite Kagari could mean bonfire (or something sexual…), I suspect they named Kagari from the word ‘kagi’ (key) so as to not make it obvious and to avoid people getting confused or playing wicked puns had she been obviously named Kagi.

In short, I have found many comments and reviewers saying how this series is a piece of garbage especially the story and the characters. Not sure if they are Key fans or just casual viewers who just started watching anime or this is their first time watching a Key adapted visual novel. I didn’t read much in detail so as not to be ‘corrupted’ by the hatred and all. I just wanted to find out how this series stand as compared to other Key productions. I guess one even joked how the anime was aptly named and that the producers should just, wait for it, rewrite the script. Get it? I know I didn’t enjoy this anime because of the confusing things at first but I won’t go so far to pan it that bad. In today’s age of the internet, expectations are so high and attention spans are so short. After all, maybe I’m just simple and dumb.

The characters are nothing much to shout about and as cliché as you can get so as to help drive the storyline. That’s why when you have Kotarou as your main protagonist, he doesn’t seem that all special because for those who have been watching practically the same thing every year, we could guess he looks like a normal high school student but isn’t because he has some sort of hidden power. And because he is the main character, he has to show how much he cares about his friends as he goes around helping this and that. Oh, so as not to make him seem so perfect, they give him this ‘flaw’ of being a pervert. I mean, no man is truly perfect when you’re thinking of groping your buchou’s boobs as a reward, right? Yeah. Great motivation (for us viewers to continue watching). Great fanservice comedy (because boobs). And then they decide to put in some twist of how Kagari and Kotarou are ‘related’ in the end but I’m so confused at that point that I don’t know anymore.

Main characters are nothing without their harem. At least for this genre. And so this series has a list of yet cliché female protagonists. You have the (easy going) childhood friend, the (super) tsundere, the (eye-patch) loli, the (idiotic) airhead and the (moody) cold introvert. Guess what they all have in common? Heck, they all have a tragic past to tell! Am I seeing a pattern here? Because girls like Inoue whom we know nothing much is ‘exempted’ from part of Kotarou’s harem and look how she turned out? She literally lost her mind. So yeah. Tragic pasts for female characters give our main lead guy the motivation to help them and in turn they emotionally break down and rely on him and hang out with him for the rest of it. It’s an unofficial way to say that they are officially part of his harem. Though, we can see this coming from a mile anyway. I want to note something about Akane. She might look serious each time she is facing her computer monitor. But she is actually playing a first person shooter game! Yeah, this is the most important and busy thing to her.

Then you have Kagari who starts off as a mysterious character initially. At first she is intriguing because as I have said how the first half of the series doesn’t reveal much and the plot is just about everywhere. Therefore there is this mysterious and curious feeling of who this ghost girl is as she constantly stalks Kotarou in his bedroom. Even if it looks funny, it’s just creepy to think some mysterious girl is giving him love bites. But the moment she starts to talk, that is when she turns from a beauty mystery to just an idiotic amnesiac tool. You might have noticed she then gets hooked on the internet, gets her knowledge from there and gets addicted to coffee (for some reason she calls it fee-cof in reverse). But I can connect with her that after clicking a few sites on the internet, she thinks she knows everything! I know. I have that feeling all the time… So with her like this, it’s like saying she has to be the funny girl before sh*t starts to hit the fan. Because once her true purpose is revealed, she has to play her role and can’t go back to that idiotic ways again. So if you dislike her in this role she is created for, we can always think back at all the good funny times we had with her.

Other supporting characters also feel forced in. Like how Chibi Moth is supposedly the cute animal mascot of the series. You can’t do without one these days if you want people to at least think of one kawaii aspect of your anime. What about Pani and Gil then? Are they supposed to be mascots too? Yeah, sure. If Chibi Moth is more on the cute furry side, then the fairies are more of the idiotic side especially Gil’s role seems to be the idiotic comic relief (aside Kagari being in retard mode) and gets whatever his payback plans backfired. They try to justify their existence by sacrificing them to do something good. Like it all mattered anyway. Sakuya is like the sarcastic guy to rival Kotarou despite his skills that could rival Shizuru and Lucia. Of course he too needs his own running joke by being a bad coffee maker. Esaka and Touka play supporting roles and don’t appear much so we don’t really give a damn. Even Esaka’s final fight with Kotarou feels forced because Kotarou has to at least face off with one of the members of Guardian he knows who isn’t part of his harem, right? Most disappointing is Yoshino whom I thought would play a prominent role but is relegated to just a minor character. I believe he has an important role thereafter but for this season he is reduced to just somebody who is full of angst and the leader of a street delinquent group that we don’t really care. Aside that, he is slowly becoming a joker character. When Kagari becomes a joker, he too becomes more joker material because he can never beat this ribbon girl. Still remember that Tsukuno lady chasing after the tsuchinoko? No? Doesn’t matter. Nobody remembers her because it’s like she’s forgotten anyway.

The artwork and animation is pretty standard and expected from a Key production. Thus you have some character designs looking pretty familiar with past Key works like Air, Clannad and Kanon. Is it me or does Midou somehow reminds me of a grownup and taller Edward from Fullmetal Alchemist. That red cape and blonde spikey hair… The backgrounds are also okay and I won’t go so far to say that they are a masterpiece but it’s nothing to shout about it. CG is also used although it is mainly reserved for the demons and monsters. I am not sure if I want to call their designs poor or horrible because you know, there are monsters so they should look this scary. Oh, sorry. They look crappy is the right word. I mean, that T-rex creature is supposedly and Earth Dragon but it has no arms! Not even tiny arms to make it an outright copy of a T-rex! And this is supposed to be Gaia’s ultimate world destruction weapon… I’ve seen scarier stuffs that will end humanity. Although the series is from Key, the anime studio producing this is 8bit who did the Grisaia trilogy, Infinite Stratos, Tokyo Ravens and Absolute Duo. There might be some artwork differences in the anime adaptation but at least it is still close to the original and key aspects (pun intended) retained.

Voice acting is pretty okay with me only recognizing Kana Hanazawa as Kagari and Eri Kitamura as Akane. I haven’t heard Chiwa Saito in a long time so I couldn’t recognize her as Kotori. It was also surprising to hear Masakazu Morita as Kotarou. Not that I recognized him at the start or ever but if you remember the guy who voiced Bleach’s Ichigo, yeah, this is him. He sounds so different. This is what happen when your character is always in angst mode for an entire series. It gets imprinted in your head forever. Other casts include Risa Asaki as Lucia, (Tae Sugimura in Hanayaka Nari Waga Ichizoku), Keiko Suzuki as Shizuru (Haruka in Little Busters), Saya Shinomiya as Chihaya (Mahoko Imai in Brothers Conflict), Katsuya Konishi as Sakuya (Oga in Beelzebub), Souichiro Hoshi as Midou (Son Goku in Saiyuki series), Ryouko Tanaka as Touka (Kurugaya in Little Busters), Junichi Yanagita as Yoshino (Ranbanein in World Trigger), Hiroki Touchi as Esaka (Lily in Fairy Tail), Naomi Wakabayashi doubling as Gil and Sakura (Kud in Little Busters), Noriko Ueda as Pani (Ayaka in Softenni) and Yoshimi Watanabe as Inoue. Heck, even Chibi Moth has his own seiyuu, Asuka Nishi (Shinobu in Kiniro Mosaic). Must be the easiest voice acting role in the series, huh?

Key is also renowned for their great music and soundtrack but somehow those in this anime didn’t really resonate with me even though there are a handful of them here. The first opening theme, Philosophyz by Runa Mizutani has this lively rock beat that reminds me of other Key anime openings. The second one is End Of The World by Anri Kumaki which sounds more or less the same. The first ending theme is Sasayaka Na Hajimari by Runa Mizutani while the second ending theme is Word Of Dawn by Aoi Tada. If I had to really pick one favourite song from this series, it would be the latter because of its dramatic feel. Other ending themes that only last an episode (some are more like insert songs if you ask me) include Koibumi by Nagi Yanagi, Sunbright by Ayaka Kitazawa, Itsuwari Kimi E by Nagi Yanagi and Yami No Kanata E by Runa Mizutani.

Overall, not really appealing and impressive to me although some parts do make me chuckle (Kagari’s retard and small naughty fanservice jokes…), but to be fair all I can say that this is just half of it. Because till I watch the second season, perhaps I could formulate a better conclusion and understand about everything. You need to be a super devoted blind Key fan and lover to enjoy this and say 100% positive stuffs about everything. But for everyone else, it’s just another popcorn entertainment that you shouldn’t put too high an expectation. At least for this season. Let’s hope the next season’s story and big twist won’t be about groping boobs that leads to saving or destroying the world. Oh yeah. I’d pay good money to watch that anyway.