Akane is a miracle of the universe.
Today, I got to witness Akane-sama coming out of the shower while wearing nothing but a loose bathrobe. My life is complete. She’s just too perfect. Ravishing a clean and fresh Akane doesn’t even begin to describe all the immoral things I want to do to her. I’m sure that scene was something from the early common route that I’d forgotten, not least of all because there was no sprite or CG for it until Harvest Festa, but don’t worry! I’ll never forget it now. I’m already a fan of the club room scenes because of the beautiful lighting and concept art that’s used for it, but from today I’ll also get to look forward to the many lewd Akanes wandering around in various states of undress. For a studio unfortunate enough to have to animate a scene of students walking in the hallways with terrible CGI, they sure have patrician taste when it comes to best girls. Last week’s camera angles of Akane focused on her thighs and legs, and this time it was her boobs and ass – and it’s not the forced sort of fanservice you sometimes get, with artificial sound effects or exaggeration. It’s just small movements, like Akane leaning back in her chair so a bit more of what’s under her bathrobe is exposed, or her curling up on the sofa in such a way that her blanket hugs her butt curves. I don’t know who’s responsible for this, but they’re doing god’s work.
Anyway. A butler, an old man and a flashy guy were all supposed to appear this episode, according to Tensho. While the butler and old man ended up being Sakuya and Esaka respectively, as many expected, the identity of the flashy guy was a surprise. You’d immediately think it’d be Imamiya, but it was Midou! I have three things to say about Midou. Firstly, I would love a Jasmine reference, no matter how subtle it is. Their relationship is one of those unexpected endgame surprises, and I’m hoping for a mention of her given that the anime hasn’t shied away from embracing Moon and Terra. Second, the relevance of both him and Krivoy Rog to the adaptation (as well as a brief appearance for Sakuya in his true form) indicates that the Kagari route will be making use of the several Chihaya route characters that never had any role in the other character routes, perhaps due to the lack of communication between the scenario writers of the original game – I hear this is something Rewrite+ aims to improve on, alongside adding new character sprites and CG images. Finally, was Midou really flashy? It’s only when he uses Fuego that I’d call him flashy, and just summoning a dog familiar doesn’t quite meet the mark for me, no matter how edgy his character design is. It also felt like the summons itself was rather dubious, both in terms of the cheap animation and the fact that it’s not exactly how the process is supposed to go from what I remember – was he creating it or calling it to his location? I really hope it’s the latter, because from my vague recollections of bird familiars and frog puppets in the Akane route, creating a familiar should take a lot longer than that.
In general, I thought it was an odd scene. For an adaptation that’s done so well with depicting Kotarou’s internal thoughts and personality (at least as far as the common route is concerned) I was hoping we’d get to hear more than Kotarou just running and panting from the dog the entire time. A related point is that Kotarou rewrote himself this episode – it was a great opportunity to finally go into detail about his Rewrite power and all the thorns that come with it, but his explanation felt like it barely scratched the surface. The most important thing to take away from it all is that the process is irreversible, and therefore each change must be made out of necessity and nothing else. His legs can never return to the way they were before, and there will come a point where, if he keeps rewriting them, they will no longer look like human legs. As for this scene’s place in the wider narrative, it’s rare that those dog familiars even end up in the real world to begin with – it wouldn’t be surprising at all if Kotarou stumbled across one in the alleyway entrance of the closed space replicating Kazamatsuri, but to see it chasing Kagari was really unexpected. It could be a consequence of Kagari having killed Krivoy Rog – Terrorist Greenpeace are now on the move, and Kotarou having unwittingly told Esaka about his experience might prompt Guardian to take action too. It’s a pity he ran into Midou of all people, actually – I remember a common route scene where a genuinely lost Kotarou was helped out by a kind Gaia cultist, who silently directed him to the exit. If not for Chihaya-san’s
tree knight, it definitely would have been a bad end.
Shizuru was rather bold in healing his wound and then telling him that his encounter with both Midou and the dog was all a dream. As I said last week, underneath the slice-of-life facade of the common route, absolutely no-one is who they appear to be on the outside. Not even Shizuru. It’s amazing how many subtle things there are to pick up on in all the early-game scenes – the entire Esaka scene is a good example, but even seeing Kotarou enjoy school so much is a little melancholic. Nagai (or Tsukuno, I suppose) is also cuter than I thought she would be, and is equipped with an excellent poker face as I expected. Actually, she probably already knew that Kotarou was in Kazamatsuri High. It’d be more interesting if she ran into Nishikujou one day. I can’t remember why she managed to leave Guardian with her memories still intact, but she’s one of the very few who have.
It must have really hurt Esaka for him to have to ask Kotarou what his affiliation was. I mean, the answer clearly won’t be Guardian, or he’d already know about it. His aim was probably to ascertain exactly how much Kotarou knew at this point, because he was able to identify the dog as a ‘familiar’. I guess there was a slim possibility that he’d now be with Gaia – but even if he was, Esaka must be aware that it’d be the last thing Kotarou would reveal to a complete stranger who clearly didn’t recognise Esaka and his status in Guardian. Note that Esaka’s question would be just as valid even if he was absolutely certain that Kotarou was affiliated with Terrorist Greenpeace. It just goes to show that Gaia isn’t monolithic by any means, as we learned in the Akane route – and Gaia is a shitty organisation anyway, both in terms of its people and its goals. I’m sure I made this clear when I covered the game, but Guardian made a far better impression on me in practically all of the routes, even in Terra – and I think that’s what you were supposed to feel, especially given that Gaia treated Kotarou worse in the Akane route than Imamiya treated Bond when he first joined Guardian. Being with Akane is literally the only conceivable reason to join Gaia. She’s just that perfect.