Kagari-chan a cute!
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.
Kagari-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.
It 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.
Apart 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.
That 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.