Rewrite Episode 9: Fate Begins to Turn

Gao Gao Stegosaurus.

Impression

Rewrite 9 Img042What the fuck, Gil and Pani?! I thought they were cool! I mean, Gil is annoying as fuck, but I still haven’t forgotten how they chose to stay with Kotarou to the bitter end when he became a tree – yet here they are, ratting him and the barrier out to Sakuya. I know he hasn’t exactly been treating them well, but doesn’t he have a contract with Gil? And they were the ones who raided his house to begin with! Sakuya arriving to take custody of the Key is honestly the last thing Kotarou needs right now – no-one except possibly Kagari will be able to do anything to the strongest familiar. On top of that, Gaia are preparing the Earth Dragon and rehearsing the song of destruction. With Midou also around, the cumulative result is that Gaia should be the biggest threat to Kagari in the coming episodes, the irony being that Guardian actually want to kill her outright instead of using her for their ends. It’s also interesting that Akane seemed a little unsatisfied at the end there when she was watching the Earth Dragon being nurtured with Shimako, although as much as I want to see more of her I doubt anything will come of it. As her route proves, she’s never been one to let her personal feelings sway her from her allegiance or the role she has to fulfil as the next holy woman. What I do really hope to see is the Earth Dragon talking. Maybe even in a fight against Kotarou where it agrees to wait patiently whilst Kotarou rewrites himself?

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Creamy Kagarin is too lewd. I definitely wasn’t expecting a naked Kagari-chan, but if Romeo knows what’s good for him he’ll have that scene as a Rewrite+ CG. Maybe even a lewd expression for her character sprite when she begs Kotarou to hurry and give her it. In fact, coffee (and horrible reproductive acts) might be the good memories Kagari uses to decide that salvation isn’t worth triggering. Coffee will literally have saved the world.

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Rewrite 9 Img022The fact that she has a defence mechanism that activates whenever she’s in serious danger all but confirms that her amnesia was Moon Kagari’s doing – it’s probably something she built into the current Kagari so that she wasn’t inadvertently killed. It actually would have been easier if Kagari had taken out both Midou and Fuego right there – she’s easily capable of doing so, and it’d avoid Midou being a pain in the ass in the future. In fact, Kotarou alone could take on Midou himself just fine, given how a lack of physical ability isn’t unusual for summoners, at least in relative comparison to both the familiars they control and Guardian superhumans. Exceptions including Chihaya and Takasago, though I think the latter ended up reinforcing himself with familiars anyway. Kagari then deals with Fuego, and that’s one threat gone. Of course, neither of them know anywhere near enough to do what’s best for them – it’s hilarious how he literally brings the Key to Guardian’s doorstep through looking for Esaka and meeting Lucia, and at the end of the episode both of them prepare themselves to hunt the very thing that’s been under their noses just moments earlier. I’m wondering whether Midou knows what Kagari is, though. He can sense her – but as what? As a familiar not affiliated with Gaia?

Rewrite 9 Img034I have to say though, I enjoyed the Kotori scenes the best this episode. The remix of Soft Windflower was amazing. It’s probably where there’s the most overlap between the Kagari and Kotori routes (most of the other scenes were all original) but I was waiting to see how much they would reveal of Kotori and Kotarou’s past. In particular, I wonder whether it raised any alarm bells for Kotarou to realise that he hadn’t previously heard of such a major incident like Kotori being in a classic Key bus accident (that may or may not have killed her parents – just like Kotarou himself, my memories are little fuzzy on this). His most painful memory involving Kotori is probably her rejecting his confession during middle school, which of course is because of her fear that he only confessed to her because she does in fact like him, and thus as her familiar she thinks he’s doing what she wants him to do. Which turned out to not be the case. Who wouldn’t fall in love with someone as sweet and precious as Kotori?

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What I’m worried about is what Kotarou and Kotori plan to do from now on. It can’t possibly be the same as what they did during the Kotori route (because that’s not what this is supposed to be adapting) but if Kagari doesn’t get her memories back, that’s effectively what it’ll be since Kagari will be just as useful as the relatively mute version that was dragged around by Kotori during her route. Midou, Sakuya and the Earth Dragon will make a huge difference, as Kotarou is now more involved in the Gaia-Guardian conflict than he ever was during Kotori’s route – and there’s also the song of destruction to contend with, although I’m not sure how far away it has to be before it starts having an effect on Kagari. This’ll be exciting! It’s been a bumpy ride, but I think we’re finally getting there.

Rewrite Episode 8: My Name is Kagari-chan

Kagari-chan a cute!

Impression

I-I’m strangely excited. I’ve forgotten how exhilarating it is to not know exactly what will happen next in a route of Rewrite. We are now officially into anime-only territory (at least until the full version of the Kagari route in Rewrite+ is localised or fan-translated) and it’s pretty bizarre to say the least. It’s a little sad to be honest, because all we have to work with is less than half a season – and this could potentially be a really informative and interesting route for existing fans of the game. Now that I’ve seen this, I’m definitely going to be playing through Rewrite+ when I get my hands on it – meaning that Key and Romeo have achieved their main objective with this adaptation.

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Rewrite 8 Img014Kagari-chan is talking! Holy shit! I kind of understand how Romeo plans to give Kagari some character development now. Kagari-chan was always the Key heroine that never was, and this route is apparently supposed to change that (although there’s only so much they can do given that she’s destined to never have a happy ending in every timeline). Giving her a personality is a good start, although Moon Kagari making her Earth counterpart amnesiac was quite a clunky way to go about it – it came out of the blue precisely because it’s never happened in any of the other routes. I actually thought Kotarou would get to know this iteration of Earth Kagari through similar methods to what he did during Moon, and that he’d slowly teach her things and bond with her that way. Maybe even over coffee. Instead, she seems to have become a very smug and spoiled Creamy Kagarin and is now living in his house of her own accord, sleeping with him and playing with turtles in her spare time. It’s actually really cute. The inside jokes are as on point as ever – she tells him she doesn’t know how to find herself, and he replies ‘Go on a journey or something’. Heh. It almost felt like an abridged series at times, even.

Rewrite 8 Img025It was obvious what the first scene was meant to be – we’re exploring a single branch of the complex blueprint being studied by Moon Kagari that represents all the parallel timelines. In other words, it’s a route. And I have my suspicions that this route is one of the solutions thought up by Moon Kagari which she later abandoned – sending a rock down could be her attempt to have Kotarou bond with Earth Kagari so that the latter would be able to collect good memories. It’s super cute that they’re casually living together, it’s going to be the Kagari-chan romance we never got! I don’t see any other reason why Kagari would suddenly be able to communicate with humans and have everyone see her other than if that rock was loaded with lots of information enabling her to (sort of) function within society. From a story-telling perspective, it’s impossible to do a Kagari route in any real sense if she can’t talk. And it’d be really awkward doing horrible reproductive acts with her as well, although I hear that Rewrite+ will be no less PG than the original Rewrite was. Speaking of which, I’d wipe Kotori’s sweat off for her any day.

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Rewrite 8 Img034Apart from the Kagari scenes, the rest of the episode felt purely preparatory – it set the scene for the future Gaia-Guardian conflict over the Key, and introduced all the major players on each side. It’s at this point that Kotarou usually ends up following whichever girl he grew the closest to during the common route, but nothing really happened this time other than Shizuru momentarily coming back to say goodbye to him (it’s a little strange that Lucia never appeared, given all that he’s done for her). I guess this is how you would enter the Kagari route during the game, although it sounds like a thin line separates that and a common route bad end. Anyway, Guardian is comprised of many characters we’ve already been introduced to, from Esaka to Nishikujou and Imamiya. They’re generally a close, efficient and cooperative organisation, although by no means monolithic. Getting to see Gaia must have been an interesting experience for secondaries, if there are even any left – it was actually much the same for me, because this is the first time many of the Gaians have gotten proper character designs. They were primarily silhouettes in the game, which was an intentional attempt to present them as being detached and bitter individuals that you had to imagine for yourself (and with that in mind, both Suzaki and Takasago were depicted in the anime pretty generously). Apart from the main characters, the main exception was Shimako – the cute but silent loli who is yet untainted by the twisted world-view possessed by Gaia.

Rewrite 8 Img030That being said, the scene with Akane, Chihaya and Sakuya felt really warm and homely. I’m also pretty sure it’s the same room that Kotarou and Akane lived in during her route, going by the wallpaper and the fact that it’s connected to the occult club room by a hidden passageway. It’s super ironic, because Kashima Sakura or Akane herself might well be the last boss if the OP is any indication – all those scenes from the Akane route are hinting that it’ll be her (the latest in a long line of holy women) who tries to trigger salvation on behalf of Gaia. Also, did anyone else feel like that OP just appeared out of nowhere?! To start with, it’s not Rewrite of the Life, but I don’t think anyone was expecting that. It’s better saved for a Moon and Terra adaptation (if ever) and it’s absence implies that that’s still a possibility sometime in the future. What’s most concerning is that it features lots of events from the various non-Kagari routes, from Sakuya sacrificing himself to Yoshino fighting familiars. Are they going to be able to include everything they’ve teased in the OP, not least of all the (presumed) Kagari route-exclusive scenes like Lucia vs Midou? They still haven’t delivered on Bond. As for why it’s titled ‘End of the World’, the intention is probably to remind us that the world is eventually doomed in every timeline except that of Terra’s – and as we all know, this is not Terra. Even the ED depicts a Kagari cradling an Earth that eventually dies out and becomes a ball of light, joining the numerous other lights floating towards the sky.

Finally, Inoue was super cute! I want to protect her smile.

Bleach 686 and The End – A Fandom’s Disappointment

8 years ago when I was 16 years old I was a Bleach fanatic. My entire teenage fandom was Bleach and it changed my life in a lot of positive ways. For instance, I met a very dear friend of mine through Bleach. My art and writing all grew because of Bleach. I am a member of this blog because Eva and I met through Bleach. In a lot of ways Bleach is my origin story: my first genuine fandom and my first love. For years I followed it religiously, though when I picked it up it was about midway through the Arrancar Arc. I loved Bleach in the arc post-golden age. I was willing to forgive the inadequate pacing and unhappy direction that it began because I loved everything it had done. The first thing I ever bought with my own money was two plush dolls of Nnoitra and Nel, and so now you know exactly what Bleach means to me.

So I wish I could say this was good. Really, I wish I could say that Bleach had been genuinely good in a long time. There was an entire year I stopped reading Bleach because it stopped being what I remembered. Soul Society was an arc where we were learning about new things and being introduced into a blind zone, an inequitable area where Ichigo could not compete and was unable to go after anyone without it nearly ending his life. Once Soul Society arc ended a new enemy with mysterious unheard of powers was introduced, and then after that another group and then another. Eventually the series ended with the ultimate ‘other group’, the third one we ever learn about comes back as the Quincy reach for their revenge. What was established as a three party story ended up in. . .5…6? The Shinigami, the Quincy, the Hollows, the Vizard, the Fullbrings, the Arrancar and eventually the Quincy resurfacing. Humans were also a group as Orihime and Chad were never quite as powerful but never quite as weak. What was once deep interest and an amazing world of mystery was, well, Ichigo is 5 things now so what is he going to be next? Well, Chad and Orihime and Uryu are unimportant so when is Ichigo getting a new powerup? Complaints we had from the Soul Society arc ended up being complaints to the end, and every new piece of information was like WELL OKAY!!!

Bleach stopped being good when we could expect the same concept from the show. Many people thought it should end at the Fullbring arc and indeed what would have been different about that ending than this one? If we were to cut out the knowledge that Ywach killed Uryu and Ichigo’s mothers or even the Quincy in general then what would be different? If Ichigo was fine just running his dad’s clinic and chilling with everyone else then why was it really so imperitive that we go through so many arcs? Bleach 686 features Ichigo doing exactly what his dad does (even though he has never seemed to show any desire to be a doctor or to do anything in the human world) with a wife (Orihime) and a son. Now, here is the thing. At one time I really cared about Ichigo ending up with the ‘right’ girl or something, but every ounce of my shipping fight died when he stopped really doing much with anyone. The last time I felt a genuine connection between Ichigo and someone else was with Ishida, and the last time I felt a connection between he and a girl was even longer. I preferred him with Rukia but by the very end I was going ‘Well now he is CLEARLY setting up RenRuki endgame’ an endgame I don’t feel is developed much. Now for Orihime, that girl has been in the game for years. Despite shipping Ichiruki I always kind of felt she was showing her love and support even though I only ever once felt Ichigo return that (in his fight with Grimmjow) whereas with Rukia he had that heartbreaking scene where he could no longer see her and it seemed to cement it for me. So the ship I was vying for didn’t win, but that’s not really why I’m let down. If anything I’m mad because it feels like every loose end was given the same treatment. Sure, Ichigo and Orihime can get married! Why didn’t they get an ending scene where he looks at her fondly and declared his love?! Seriously, Renji gave more of a serenade and I actually think his child with Rukia is adorable enough I’m willing to give it a shot.

But what the hell is, HEY ORIHIME WHERE IS OUR KID? Why didn’t the IchiHime fans get the solid, groundbreaking, absolutely happy ending they deserve? If the 5 lifetimes 5 love speech was genuine and absolutely true then why didn’t Ichigo get his chance to reciprocate those feelings? Why are we left seeing the aftermath and not the true ending? Orihime never confessed to Ichigo while he was conscious and so everything we have from them is conjecture and one sided. Hell, where is Rukia and Renji’s heartwarming ‘I wanted to belong to YOUR family back then’?! I’m angry because Kubo Tite started Bleach as a man with a plan. He ended the rain, he made poems, he showed the importance of bonds and trust- but the only person who got some closure seemed to be Uryu and Ishida’s relationship. Not even with their mom’s, they didn’t get a flashback there, but they both got to work together to kill Ywach. No one in this manga got the ending they deserved, not even the protagonist. I’m not the only one who feels this way, one of the main thoughts is that Kubo had to end Bleach before the ten years he wanted because he had such horrible ratings in the end. Fans wanted something different than they got, and Bleach suffered even more for it. Yet after the Arrancar Arc the true villains seemed to be more and more boring. Tsukushima rewrote the past repeatedly and Ywach could alter the present to reflect the future: we didn’t even see all the bankais. We don’t know who ended up where, what life is really like in soul society. What even happened to Nel? I ship NnoiNel but she couldn’t end up interacting with anyone, Grimmjow, Halibel, or anyone else even one more time?

People are fighting over ships, disregarding each other, or even thanking Kubo for what Bleach did. But can I give it any of those things? Yes, Kubo Tite wrote an amazing manga that changed my life. But he screwed it up. He wrote half of a great manga and he wrecked the other half. He didn’t even do the winning sides justice: he didn’t even give my sweet baby Ichigo the proper closure. Where are Isshin and Ryuken’s smoking and crying over their wives? Where is Ichigo crying for his mother and Orihime comforting him, telling him she loved him and will be by his side for good? Where is Uryu’s happiness and his finality “This was for you, Mother.” and RYUUKEN BEING PROUD OVER IT! So yes, I am grateful to Kubo for creating Bleach. But I am not happy he made the ending of his amazing manga into what it is. I’m happy some people get to be excited over it: I’m sure if IchiRuki was canon even in the watered out way it is I might be somewhat happier. But . . . really? Would I be? Never hearing Ichigo say he loves his wife, kiss her, or hold her? Never knowing just how perfectly happy things are without exposition, not expression, to show it? I don’t know. I mean, the only thing that I can say would’ve changed my opinion of the ending is if Noitra came back to life and made out with Nel. Look, some people never change and I’m that person. I’m not shouting my crazy conspiracy theories anymore I’m just saying the ending of this manga needed more kissing. Or at least a real movie! What the hell, Naruto got a movie to fall back in love with Hinata and she already confessed to him in person! Everyone got an awful ending.

I have to say this and it pains me: Naruto ended better than Bleach. I had a lot of issues with Naruto and it was definitely my least favorite of the big three. Why don’t women do more, I don’t like the art style, I like Bleach’s powers more. But.. . well, Kishimoto ended up making a better manga. Bleach ended in a very unsatisfying way. Kubo Tite let me down. If he had written the manga the way he did until the end of the Karakura Town arc that would have been fine. . .but what is Keigo even doing?! And don’t get me started on fucking.. . Rukia. . . WHERE WAS HER AMAZING FINAL BANKAI BATTLE? WHY WAS SHE MARGINALIZED? SHE WAS THE DEATHBERRY AND NOW HER VAGINA SOMEHOW PRODUCES THE MAGIC OF DEATHBERRY? Where was the ultimate show of their friendship? Dead, apparently. Even if you don’t ship Ichiruki those two are connected at the hip and to see them kind of. ..talk to each other more than anyone but get a virtually meaningless ending sucks too. Everything sucks. Everything!

That being said, I will now talk about what I liked. What a fucking precious button cupcake this little shit Ichigo has is. I seriously want to smother him with love and kisses. And what happened to Karin, oh my GOD! And Renji and Rukia’s kid, wow. If they get together when they’re older. . .does…does that mean EVERY ship won? Well no, but Chad. Chad is the real star.

hiimchad

hi i am chad and i got as far away from this ending as possible while still winning

HOLY FUCKING SHIT. CHAD. CAN I BE YOUR WIFE NOW? plz. Chad. HE IS OLD ENOUGH TO MARRY ME AND I AM INTERESTED CHAD PLEASE RSVP IMMEDIATELY. Uryu is a doctor but I demand he have a sexy wife. I’m serious. I want an update to this chapter where he has literally the hottest wife in the series. GO. THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE KUBO, IT WILL ALL BE FIXED WITH A HOT WIFE AND CHAD MARRYING ME. And sadly, that’s about it. There is so much more to discuss with the series and my feelings but honestly, I can only do it by answering questions. Feel free to comment and further discuss this topic. Even though I am happy to expand the truth is pretty much this: I don’t think Bleach 686 is the ending any fan deserved.

But guys there is one last thing. The true loser of this comic, the true loser of the entire story. I am sorry, but the ultimate loser is. . .

ichigos hairline

Ichigo’s fucking hairline.

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Bleach Ending: Disappointment

Oki

Rewrite Episode 7: A Place Lost

Playtime is over.

Impression

Rewrite 7 Img033I still don’t know why girls go to the bathroom in groups, but they’re definitely not a group any longer. Playtime is over. According to Sakuya, if Kotarou treasures his current, ordinary life, he should stop sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong. I’m not quite sure how to respond to that, not least of all because Kotarou is and should be involved in the struggle over Kagari more than anyone else – and as the person who previously held the rewriting ability, Sakuya should be perfectly aware of that. Yotarou only ended up being able to leisurely enjoy his ‘youth’ in school in the first place after Kagari wiped the floor with him when he was still a Guardian agent. You can tell from his passionate speech at the start that he really did love the Occult Club, though – it felt a little out of place in the anime given that they haven’t animated enough of the many Occult Club activities contained in the common route, nor have we heard much of his inner thoughts on this matter, but it was a really important place to him. Remember that despite his seemingly outgoing nature, Kotarou has very few real friends outside of the club members and Yoshino – he believes that the girls think of the club as highly as he does, which is why he teared up when they accepted its demise without arguing against it at all.

Was it Inoue’s fault? Kind of, but not really. In the end, the girls all have very different prior affiliations, and this is why the Occult Club was doomed from the very start. Even if Inoue hadn’t disappeared, it’s not like Kotarou would be able to continue living like he has been for much longer – in the near future, it’s possible that everyone’s ordinary lives will be over if Gaia succeeds in invoking the song of destruction. And even if Kotarou hadn’t chosen to stick his nose in, the club would still have fallen apart – the escalating conflict between Gaia and Guardian means that the girls in the Occult Club would have gradually drifted away in the days to come regardless of whether they found out the truth about each other. So although the breakup was accelerated by Inoue’s disappearance, it was inevitable either way. It’s just a matter of when, and that time just happened to be now.

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Rewrite 7 Img032I liked the Leaf Dragon fight! I was never a fan of the CG used when animating the dog familiars, and somehow they managed to make the dinosaurs look even more bizarre than they already were in Moon, but I really liked what they did with the Leaf Dragon and how it was illuminated from behind by the moonlight. It gave off a similar sense of imminent danger to what I felt whilst reading through the fight in the VN, especially when it was sucking Kotarou’s blood out with its proboscis. It would have been nice if the entire Occult Club had been there during the encounter though, as from what I can remember it was the crucial turning point that got everyone to realise that they were all involved with the supernatural in different ways – and the dinosaur familiars just don’t have the same impact. I’m pretty sure they’re only supposed to appear in Moon actually, and only because of Kashima Sakura. I’ve also always wondered why the Leaf Dragon chose to attack Kotori – was she just the easiest target? It wouldn’t attack Akane or Chihaya, but it’d be interesting if it had some sort of reason for going for Kotori over Kotarou. Like if it could sense the druid in her or something.

Rewrite 7 Img030Just like in the game, Kagari-chan saves the day! It’d be pretty funny if Akane and Chihaya now believe that Kotarou is strong enough to beat a Leaf Dragon on his own – they must already know that he’d killed some familiars prior to meeting them given the blood on his clothes. I’d like to think that Kotori was the one who brought Kagari to save Kotarou, instead of Kagari just wandering to him on her own volition – but it’s possible that Kagari sensed that he was in the forest and went over for a snack. Kotarou is still far more terrified of her than he should be, you’d think that he would have had a conversation or two with her by now given that this is supposed to be a Kagari route – I guess all he can remember of her is that she has a shocking level of combat ability and that she’d grievously wounded him sometime in the past. It definitely looked like a ribbon was about to attack him as she approached him at the end there, although I can’t tell whether Kotori didn’t want Kagari to hurt Kotarou or the other way around. Maybe both? I’m fairly sure that Kagari only becomes a threat when someone tries to do something to her first.

Rewrite 7 Img044So the cat is out of the bag, and we Guardian now. I think. I actually don’t know – this is supposed to be the point where Kotarou chooses a heroine based on how he’d interacted with them during the common route, and given the two episodes dedicated to Lucia and Shizuru you would think we’d be leaning towards a Guardian alignment. It’d be really helpful to know what option Kotarou chose on that questionnaire Akane gave him during the first episode, although maybe there’s something to be inferred from the fact that she wasn’t too impressed with his choice. It’s unlikely to be the Gaia-affiliated response, in other words. Add that to how the confrontation between the girls went down, and everything seems set up for Gaia to be the antagonists. But then there’s also Kagari to think about – this is supposed to be her route, and I really doubt her route involves teaming up with hunters to kill her. Whatever happens, we should be onto anime-original material from next week onward, and I just hope it involves Kotori. I want to give her a big hug, she doesn’t deserve to suffer alone in the forest.

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Rewrite Episode 6: Occult Club Activity Log

Life and living aren’t always beautiful.

Impression

[embedded content]

OOOOOOOOOOOOHHHH, YOSHINOOOOOOOOOOOOO

MINNAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

OMAE NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

KANSHAAAAAAAAA SHITERUUUUUUUUUUU

WOAH WOAH WOOOOOOOOAAAAAHHHHHH

Rewrite 6 Img017A Yoshino song reference. If that wasn’t fanservice, I don’t know what is. To be honest, the entire episode was fanservice. It was, quite literally, service for fans of the game – even more than it already has been so far. From an anime-only point of view, it must have felt like nothing really happened – but in reality, there’s a lot of tension subtly lurking beneath the surface, and we’re rapidly hurtling towards the end of the common route. Even putting aside that Bond flashback, the dam that is the Gaia-Guardian divide has now burst. The girls (Akane and Lucia in particular) shouldn’t have anything more than suspicion toward each other for now, but once we get to the Leaf Dragon scene the Occult Club will be done for. It’s also fairly obvious that we’ll be going down a Guardian-focused route, as I mentioned last week – we’ve had a crash course into developing Shizuru and Lucia, but there’s been absolutely nothing for Chihaya or Akane – and pretty much everyone predicted after Shizuru’s episode that the next four would be dedicated to each of the girls. Given how shocked Kotarou was when Akane proposed that they literally use the Final Solution as the method to solve all of the Earth’s problems, and how he thinks there are people like Lucia and Shizuru doing their best to save the planet, I doubt he’ll be joining Gaia any time soon. Akane was absolutely perfect in that scene, by the way – as well as the cute ice cream one that came before it. Look at her. So evil, yet so irresistibly alluring. So ideologically immoral, yet so lewd. Being this sexy should be illegal.

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It’s odd that Guardian will be his secret organisation of choice (again) as they ultimately want to kill Kagari, but I can live with it. Shizuru makes it sound so shady – she wants him to lead a peaceful life, far from the ‘clutches of the organisation’? They’re not that bad, although to be fair they would probably pull him in if not for the fact that Esaka still has influence despite being retired and doesn’t want to see him back either. Guardian is still better than Gaia from a promotional standpoint – an anime-only won’t be very impressed if they see Kotarou joining Terrorist Greenpeace, and they’d walk away being even less interested in playing the game than they already were before. In fact, the only route in which he genuinely joined Gaia and played an active role in their operations was Akane’s, and he only did so for her sake. During Chihaya’s route it felt more like he joined a Chihaya-specific camp that was so far away from the inner workings of Terrorist Greenpeace that he didn’t really have any connection with them.

Rewrite 6 Img037If there’s anything I’m really surprised about, it’s Kazamatsuri Bond. I was already happy to see so much of Terra hinted at in the OP and in the first few episodes, but it’s honestly weird that Kotarou seems to be on the verge of remembering his time as Bond – which I swear he never managed to do during the character routes in the game. That’s why Terra was such a shock, right? Everything we knew about Kotarou prior to Terra came from the small hints dropped by Kotori and other characters like Imamiya in the various character routes. Could him recovering from his amnesia come from the increased common route contact he’s had with Kagari? Just staring at her face triggers brief flashbacks, and returning to that clearing with the massive tree made his head hurt so much he couldn’t even stand. The closest he ever came to the truth was probably during Kotori’s route, but I don’t think I ever appreciated the significance of her saying that she saved him when they were ‘younger’. It’s made really, really obvious in the anime that something isn’t right, because Akane and Kotori are now lolis (and Kotori has that adorable Gao Gao Stegosaurus shirt on) while Kotarou still looks the same age – if not older, given the suit. Actually, what am I saying? That’s not Kotarou. That’s the legendary spy, Kazamatsuri Bond. UMA-hunter and saviour of the Earth.

Rewrite 6 Img003The remainder of the episode was essentially made up of selected common route Occult Club activities, with a dash of plot and Doki Doki Maid Party thrown in for good measure. A subtle thing I noticed was that the Rewrite dial from the game has now moved forward slightly – it’s now almost at 3 o’clock, and so Kotarou has used up almost a quarter of his total rewriting capacity between strengthening his legs and resisting Lucia’s poison. I’ve always wondered what happens if it reaches the end, and I remember trying my best to make it happen during Chihaya’s route – but it never did in the game. I think it went on overdrive during one of the Earth Dragon fights? It’s something that I think worked really well in the VN – you’re told that there will be irreversible inhuman changes to Kotarou’s body, but because he’s not normally featured in the CG images you’re left in suspense as to what they look like. The same applies to what his voice sounds like, it was a lot deeper than I had been imagining up until Terra. He sounded older than I’d thought, in other words.

Rewrite 6 Img025I didn’t finish all of the UMA stuff when I played through the VN, so some of the episode was new to me – like the Excalibur one for example, as well as the one where Yoshino turned out to be the ogre that lives in the school building at night. I remember the dinosaur investigation though, and of course the ‘rainbow paradise’. It only looks rainbow because it’s toxic waste. That scene really struck a chord with me during the game – I think it was way better portrayed there, as we weren’t too exposed to all the supernatural stuff until then. It was basically a wake-up shock that helped us transition from the slice-of-life segments to the true plot of Rewrite, and that sentiment is a little diluted after the premature character development they shelled out for Shizuru and Lucia. There were slight hints though, especially the fact that none of the girls wanted to go into the forest – they know there are familiars, and they know it’s dangerous. Lucia and Shizuru momentarily running off was almost certainly to kill some familiars that had strayed nearby so as to not endanger everyone else (whom they think to be civilians).

Rewrite 6 Img023I also had the impression that Black Star Sickness was supposed to play during the river scene, and that it was only Kotarou and Kotori who came across the toxic waste. Which had quite some significance in itself – Kotori being there is important as she’s supposed to represent the forest and the Earth by extension (which we later learn is literally close to the truth). As she says, life and living aren’t always beautiful, and all of the girls probably know that better than they’d like to. Chibimoth is a perfect example from Kotori’s perspective – actually, I was rather concerned with Chibimoth appeared. Didn’t the Gaia girls recognise it immediately as a familiar? Didn’t all of them? Kotarou recognises him because it’s made from the corpse of that vicious dog Kotori used to have, but the rest of them should immediately know something is off – Guardian might think Kotori is with Gaia because she can create familiars, and Gaia will think she’s a rogue summoner of some sort. Couldn’t Imamiya immediately tell that Chibimoth was a familiar during Kotori’s route?

It’s absolutely adorable though. My absolute favourite line of the episode was when Kotori estimated Chibimoth to be three Yoshinos strong. Kotori is truly marriage material, there’s no-one softer and comfier than she is. I don’t think I’ve said this before, but she’s been my phone wallpaper ever since the season started. I’m thinking of changing it now. To another Kotori.

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