「ただ、友として」 (Tada, Tomotoshite)
“Simply, As Friends”
In the visual novel, Kotori was the kind of character to whom bad things happened because the universe hates her. To say that she is unfortunate—of the Unfortunate Childhood Friend archetype—is only the half of it. In Rewrite, Kotori is the designated victim. Amidst the war between Gaia and Guardian and the clash of their high ideals, Kotori represents all the little people who get screwed. Sure, she may look like a holder of influential neutral ground, closely connected to the Key, but she’s here mostly by circumstance. And really, all she’s really doing is sitting, and waiting, while the organisations close in around her. She is a victim, waiting to be attacked.
And so when Kotarou brings the midgets into her super secret Fortress of Solitude for no reason, allowing her to be betrayed from the inside for no reason, because they had telecommunications equipment for no reason, I was outraged at the script on her behalf, but also understood that this was par for the course of her life. I was more surprised that she came out of that really well, with Sakuya defecting so quickly, and Kotarou and Kotori trusting him so quickly in return. Things working out for Kotori? Inconceivable! Instead of stuff happening to Kotori, stuff is instead happening around her, skirting her territory but either managing to miss their mark or be momentarily deflected by friends on the outside. It’s strange. I thought Rewrite was building up to this huge-scale conflict between Guardian and Gaia, but instead it has deflated, with everyone sitting around waiting for the Occult Club to all be in the same place again.
I’ve stopped holding my breath for any big developments, since there’s just been a general lack of tension recently. Again, our protagonist, Kotarou, is still kept out of the loop as the plot happens around him, and so he whiles away the time with an impromptu training arc. Now, the training arc is a staple of shounen-battle-stories everywhere, but they’ve always felt like time sinks to me. This is especially true in this case, where I don’t really know why Kotarou would ask Sakuya for training out of the blue. Really, the best he’s seen from Sakuya is that he can block swords with his arm. Is that the trick Kotarou wants to learn? I don’t think one gets to do something so patently ridiculous via training. Otherwise, the only thing we and Kotarou really know about Sakuya is that he doesn’t like Kotarou, but even that is dropped in a hurry as Sakuya becomes awfully pliant. Yesterday’s sworn enemy, today’s strict mentor. There’s just no conflict anywhere to be found any more. Not even the quest for breasts stands.
Well, I guess the Guardian action girls are on hand to bring us a fight, at the very least. Fire! Explosions! It’s good that something exciting happened before the episode was over. But does anyone truly believe that Lucia is dead? Main characters are immune to fall damage—that’s a physical law inherent in the genre. Lucia has smote the Balrog, and fell into the abyss beyond light and knowledge. I’m sure she’ll be sent back in time as Lucia the White or something. I think that Rewrite is simply trying to contrive a way for her to join the rest of the cast, or at least get her out of the way while the re-grouping happens. We already know that Akane is sending Chihaya away; how long until the Super Friends assemble? It does seem that Rewrite is not intending to do much of import until that happens. Oh well. Wake me up when we get there.