「失われた場所」 (Ushinaware ta Basho)
“Place of Parting”
For those of you who haven’t been fond of the Rewrite OP, good news: it seems that Rewrite intends to skip its OP every other episode in order to create more real episode time. I am not especially fond of the OP myself, so I’d certainly take the extra content over the same old credits roll. But the practice does show that Rewrite is indeed very hungry for every minute, and perhaps even without an OP does not really have enough time for everything that it may want to do.
This week, the plot sharply pivots back to drama and finally returning, perhaps, to the action of the first episode. And accordingly, it’s now time to shoo out the clowns, to set aside the fun and games and adorn our frowny faces as the Business gets Serious. In fact, one notable point in the VN, which received a bit of emphasis in the anime as well (though I usually don’t enjoy comparing an adaptation to its source as much as I do), is that Kotarou goes out of his way to avoid the Serious Business. The Occult Club was supposed to be his refuge where he could just goof around, and up until Inoue went missing and his club was threatened that he actually jumps into the fray (remember how he declined to publicise the Occult Club’s discovery of the mystery goop last episode because it was too serious? Yeah, that). But now that he does, everything goes south in unexpected fashion. That’s irony, I suppose.
The thing is, though, it’s hard to get as attached to the Occult Club as Kotarou evidently is because, well, they haven’t actually done all that much. Unfortunately, the compressed, anime version of Rewrite mostly montages its way through the club activities, which decreases the memorability of each scene. Plus, it’s hard to gauge a clear passage of time throughout these episodes. How long, exactly, has the club been around and active? For us, watching episode by episode, it doesn’t really feel like all that much, does it? If they’ve only been friends for a week (which is admittedly lowballing it), then there’s not really much club worth saving. The private room is nice, though. That’s something worth fighting for.
This was also supposed to be the big payoff of the common route though. After the Occult Club goofing around, looking for UMAs that may or may not exist, suddenly there’s this ugly thing. There is, fittingly, no explanation for it, for no explanation can really suffice for giant mosquito dragons and, at the very same time, CGI chicken-saurus. And adding to the the chaos is everyone everyone suddenly wanting to be an X-Men. I’d love to hear what the anime-only crowd think of these developments, actually. I think the confusion is deliberate; the question is whether you enjoyed it. Was it Kotarou’s idyllic school life being swept away in a moment of anarchy? Or was it non-sequitur nonsense?
The balance of the former vs the latter would no doubt weigh heavily on where Rewrite goes from here. What I would like is a Kotori route, even in the face of the unlikely probability of Rewrite going deep into character routes. As far as the Unfortunate Childhood Friend archetype goes, Kotori takes it to 11. I hope the anime at least lets her have some spotlight time for her trouble.