「オカ研活動記録」 (Oka-ken Katsudō Kiroku)
“Occult Club Activity Log”
Aaand after a bout of serious development we’re back to the comedy hijinks, by which I mean that Lucia, having expended her dramatic purpose and freshly out of stable soap opera work, has to fall back on providing fanservice. There’s never a lack of demand there, that’s for sure; does the demographic have any greater love than maids, blushing tsundere, and bondage? Unfortunately it’s not all as sexy as it sounds, and Lucia doesn’t last. She is added to the quasi-harem, and her brief stint as Person of Immediate Plot Relevance ends without much fanfare.
Rewrite doesn’t move straight away onto milking the next heroine for narrative potential, though, instead going for even more comedy hijinks, returning those Occult-Club-mischief sketches that sort of looked like they’d be recurring segments back in Episode 03 but turned out to be not really. Rewrite the anime breezes through a bunch of them montage style this week, but in the visual novel, they were actually the bread and butter of the common route, sandwiching the more meaty character-centric filling as we had for Shizuru and Lucia. These sketches were not just for comic relief however. You may recall me talking about how Rewrite liked to play with our perception of what was real and what was not. The Occult Club going out of searching for proof of the supernatural was the main way it did it. While for the most part Rewrite lampoons popular urban legends (and the Japanese love them and have many) and in the end Akane would always debunk whatever supernatural phenomenon or cryptid they’re investigating in the name of Rationalism and protection of her chastity, there was always a bit of room left for doubt. Twilight Zone twist: what’s to say that Yoshino is not actually a ghost? Spooky!
All the fun and games, though, comes screeching to a halt with the introduction of the mystery goop. That was actually a pretty big dynamic change in the VN, as suddenly all those strange creatures that we may or may not have seen can all be explained away as pollution mutants (noting, of course, that the Godzilla story is not exactly hard science either). The effect is somewhat lessened in the anime, I’m guessing mostly because it’s moving so fast, but it still signals a significant development in Rewrite. After all, suddenly everything is serious business and our cast needs to start debating philosophy. This is also where Rewrite gets hijacked by James Cameron and its heavy-handed environmental message rears its ugly head. That’s not to say that Akane speaks for the entire show with her depressing rating of humanity, but the overall point is hardly a subtle one.
This is the serious side of Rewrite, about humanity relationship with nature. Though it may be lacking in subtlety, it does at least beat us over the head with its point in a different way than the usual university campus rally. Rewrite takes all this chuuni-shounen stuff, about superpowers and whatnot, and tries to tie it all into some story about the relationship between humanity and nature. And it does put some thought into it, for what that’s worth. To demonstrate, first at the bar to make their case is Akane, proposing a logical extreme: hypothetically expunging the human race. Hmm. How ominous.
The goop and Inoue’s disappearance are the trigger for the end of the common route, so does this mean they’re just gonna skip (at least) the common route portions of Chihaya, Akane, and Kotori? I expect they’ll get to the actual split point next episode and finally progress with the main plot. Makes sense if they’re actually gonna dive deeper from here on out, there might still be enough time to make this adaptation work out. As a VN reader, this felt awfully rushed, though. I still feel like they could have interwoven the occult club activities with the rest of the stuff better, rather than dumping them into a montage that lacks any real flow and is just kind of there.
The zipper scene transition got me.
For a show that hasn’t really been making me laugh that moment was golden
Fore me this series is top of this season. Funny and the girls really cute. I heard that VN is better but they may got only 13 episode. This series should got 26 instead of kuromukuro.
Eh, not the best episode. A bit jumbled IMO with a feeling of trying to cram several things together. Comedy being subjective, still not working for me so the SOL stuff was just there. Good comment in the review about how the VN uses the “dead end” type myths to amplify the overall mystery. I can see how that would add to the overall VN experience, but from an anime only standpoint, the SOL myth montage didn’t add anything IMO (especially in montage form). Again, one can see what the anime is trying to do – check off some VN inclusion boxes, but while I can’t speak for all, I do wonder how effective that was for core audience (VN players) as well as anime only viewers. Some may enjoy that (JMO and all), but personally I have to wonder if the anime would have been better off skipping that stuff given limited air time.
Ribbon Girl had her usual cameo of late, but to me that’s more of “BTW, she’s still around” rather than doing much to move that plot line forward. While I understand it’s something to dole out over time as a mystery (nothing new there), I also think the anime’s presentation/execution of that leaves something to be desired. We also got a “Guardians” shout out and… that was it for that. Is the anime going to do anything with that? Now we’ve added the mystery of the newspaper club pres disappearing. Still a decent amount of time left in the season, but also still a lot of balls in the air. As time passes, VN player concerns about compression & time limits become more apparent. :/
As for the environmental topic, that point was made very clear. Show’s not being subtle about it. Still, Akane’s “solution” of “kill all humans” felt a bit over-the-top. I assume she’s human so… wouldn’t that include her (and any family)? If not, then who’s going to make the video games she enjoys, the computers to run them, provide electrify, etc.? She probably didn’t mean that literally, but then again dialog was done in a serious manner. Makes me wonder a bit about her.
that zipper scene made me disappointed… WHY? well, IT MEANS WE WILL NOT SEE THE YOSHINO THEME GET ANIMATED. ~~ WHHAAAAAATTTT IIIIISSSSS YOOOOOUUUUTTTTHHH!!!!
anyway, inoue is missing and as a VN player, it means we are finally into a route… whose route? rumors and certain number of news says they will animate the route of that 6th girl, but that remains to be seen. i honestly wanted to see the kotori route since its the only route that can be continued (harvest festa duh) and end it on a positive note. but well, its KEY’s decisions.
I absolutely agree with you. I hope KyoAni or some better animation studio would adapt Rewrite again just like how Kanon got adapted 2 times (’02 and ’06) by KyoAni. Its such a waste that there are way too funny scenes got deleted just to rush the story
Should have continued blogging New Game.