I’ve talked before about how a limited anime run time and increasing the speed of the storytelling necessarily demands a sacrifice in subtlety. This is something that Rewrite is evidently going through right now. This week, it finally decides to shed some light on the enigmatic leader of Gaia, who up until now has little more than a decrepit old lady who occasionally said something uselessly cryptic. This development is welcome, since up to this point we’ve only known Gaia as that one weird cult with access to Jurassic Park technology. Some fleshing out will do them good, especially if they intend to play up their antagonistic side with the ‘kill all the humans!’ plan (I don’t care how green you are, global murder places you firmly in the ‘evil’ camp). When the development is delivered with a hammer, though, I am less receptive. However Rewrite may dress it up, Kashima Sakura basically narrates her way through her life story and character motivation. In a dream sequence, no less. Lady, if you wanted to vent your resentment for humanity so much you should have started a blog.
This is when Rewrite is already trying desperately hard to simplify. It’s mashed all its routes together, forced all of its main cast to crash at Kotori’s place, and left only Shizuru with Guardian and Akane with Gaia. Even then, it finds that it has to explain everything anyway. That’s mostly been what Rewrite has been doing for the past few episodes, explaining its plot so that it can actually have a plot. That and, in the meantime, moving pieces into place to maximise convenience for later. That’s right, as expected Lucia’s tumble last episode was transparently for the purpose of reuniting with the rest of the merry band, tying off one more potential loose end. Of course she wasn’t going to die; every damn character has points in white magic in this setting. And if she did die, who else would provide the half-hearted fanservice, the Lucia specialty? Actually, I guess Kagari would, but let us agree that they’re better together.
That’s what I’d like to say, at least. Normally, I wouldn’t turn down anime belles licking each other (…okay, I’ll stop) but it really doesn’t feel like Rewrite has the time for fanservice right now. Hello? This is episode 11, and you’re only now explaining that these shady organisations are not just bumming around baking cookies for their charity drive. Look at all these people with nothing to do but get OD’d on caffeine! They’re bored to the point of drug abuse, like Sherlock Holmes. How can there only be three players and everybody has a bye? Who’s coordinating this thing? For a series so compressed and with so much to do you’d think the pace would be a bit crispier.
But now, at last, everyone has given their reason their fight. Everyone is in position to fight. We have simplified down to Gaia, Guardian, and FRIENDSHIP YEAH. We can get to the fighting, right? Look, we’ve double-checked the luggage, everyone’s gone to the bathroom, the engine’s been warm for hours. We’re off. Sing, Valkyrie, sing.