「回り始める運命」 (Mawarihajimeru Unmei)
“Fate Begins to Turn”
It really is like Rewrite is starting again from the very beginning, as it seems to feel the need to retread all the cliche romantic comedy hijinks for Kagari’s sake as well (though with an arguable gender reversal (except not really)). Tension? What tension? Sure, a lot of plot has been building in the meantime, but it has been built around our protagonist rather than with him. Sure, to the various shady organisations that are currently hatching shady agenda, Kotarou is a person of interest, but little more beyond that for now. He is, for the most part, completely out of the loop even though his newfound companion, Kagari is the ‘Key’ and whatnot (product placement?). Although it was played for laughs, Kagari was sort of right; now that she is reunited with Kotori Kotarou is sort of lacking a role. Sure, he still has the mysterious powers, and whatever reason Kagari was haunting him in the first place, but in the immediate timeframe he’s just not very necessary. Kotori could have grabbed just the Key instead of both of them and that would have been the end of it for Kotarou.
Eh, but I guess Kotori is too nice to just leave Kotarou in the cold (noticed her leitmotif yet? Whatever else Kotori may be, she does have the most soothing theme music). If Muhammad cannot find his way to the mountain, then the mountain must find Muhammed—and so rather than have Kotarou be left clueless forever, it’s up to Kotori to actively engage him in the plot. Yes, even the unassuming childhood friend knows more than Kotarou, owing to a chance encounter with E.T. earlier in her life. Her Druidic skills are actually somewhat more hinted at in the VN—for example, she helps Kotarou with his pot plants, and she’s uncannily good with them—but it’s not too important where her knowledge comes from, just that she has the knowledge and is willing to share it. That’s right, Kotori is our latest iteration of the Finite Exposition Engine, here to make sure the protagonist, and by extension the audience knows Relevant Stuff before the story can move on to something actually important. It’s an inelegant business, but a weighty fantasy like Rewrite could scarce avoid an infodump at some point. In fact, in the original VN, the character routes were also often co-opted into being exposition routes. Which is why it is hard, I think, for the anime to just simply skip them. And now the anime is mashing them together! So I guess we’ll need to know all of the stuff, all at once.
And so, lots of monologue about the backstory of the Key, the backstory of old people, the backstory of Lvl 7 Human Druid Kotori. The last one I’m most concerned about, because I really do hope they give the Kotori route some coverage in this anime. It’s not just a matter of liking the route or not. I think that Kotori, her role and her relationship with Kotarou actually have a significant thematic place in the overarching narrative of Rewrite. It’s hard to describe without spoilers, but in this conflict between Gaia and Guardian Kotori is a neutral party, and that perspective is, I would argue, the most important one. At the rate Rewrite has been going though, I won’t be surprised if all that gets skimmed over. There’s so much to do still, like gearing for war, ending the world, and writing a new origin story for Godzilla in preparation for a crossover with Jurassic Park. Not that I know what this adaptation really intends to do. It is its own creature by this point. And that’s exciting! Hopefully, in a good way.