「君とかわした約束」 (Kimi to Kawashita Yakusoku)
“The Promise I Made With You”

So I only just found out that Key’s latest ‘kinetic novel’, Harmonia, was out on Steam (and 20% off until 29th September /unpaidplug). I really want to go off to read that, but I can’t. Instead, I’m here writing about Rewrite. Y’know, the older title. It really impresses in me how late I am with this post, and for that I apologise. Yeah, like I said last week, I had some personal things to take care of, and had to delay my anime blogging. Since we’re a bit short on time, let us roll the episode impressions and the overall final impressions for the series together and keep it snippy around here.

Speaking of short on time: Rewrite in general (how’s that for cringe-worthy segues?). I think this finale is rather demonstrative of the constraints Rewrite has been working with. This is the episode, folks. After a lengthy staring contest between Gaia and Guardian, and a lot of dilly-dallying by Kotarou & Co., the plot has now come to a head. The two sides have made full-contact collision, and the city is at war. This is supposed to be the exciting part, and in most stories like this it is. After the all the slice-of-life and comedy set in Kazamatsuri, seeing it embroiled in conflict should be a poignant juxtaposition. Let me use a Harry Potter example, even though I’m not the biggest Rowling fan, since I assume every English-literate person in the world has read it. Hogwarts is home turf, right? It’s safe and familiar to our protagonists. So when it comes under attack, that’s a big deal. It’s the same thing in Rewrite; when the peaceful city suddenly becomes the set for a disaster movie, that should be represent real upheaval to for our protagonist, and perhaps we should dwell on that a bit longer. But it seems that Rewrite can’t really find enough time to. It montages its way through much of the battles—the juicy action that could really spice up the series—and has Kotarou narrate philosophically instead of actually addressing the chaos and death around him. He simply doesn’t have the time to care; he can really only afford to care about Kagari in the limited episode time, and everything else has to be sort of background noise that we have to trust is happening off-screen.

And that’s the thing: there’s really not enough time to care. Commendation to the anime for making a good attempt at condensing so much of Rewrite into 13 episodes (well, 14 if the pilot counts for double), but the sacrifices, even if smoothed over, show. So much time is already needed just to get through the plot—and there was hardly enough time for that (look, text!). There doesn’t seem to be as much left over as one may want to actually tell the story. You know, all the extra bonus stuff that makes the watch engaging and entertaining. For example, giant monsters and showdowns and Yoshino beating on raptors with a baseball bat are hardly necessary for the plot, but they do add flavour to the story. It would have really shown off the advantages of the anime medium over a visual novel. Too bad we had to turn away so hurriedly from all of that, after which they get thrown onto the pile of little details and explorations left on the cutting floor. Had 8bit been a more skilled studio, and managed to deliver a few well-choreographed and well-animated action sequences in this finale, much could have been forgiven. Instead, everything from the depth in storytelling to the aesthetics of the show are burdened by a veneer of mediocrity (though some of the background art was pretty). It’s too bad, because this anime could have been a definitive Rewrite adaptation. The Kagari route thing was a good idea; one of the big flaws of the VN was that while Kagari turned out to be a very important character, and we were expected to care a lot for her, she didn’t get enough focus. Working her into the common route helps with that, as well as giving her a story arc of her very own before she does her big dramatic thing. And make no mistake, watching the world end was pretty cool, and this finale is definitely the strongest we’ve had so far, which is a promising sign for the future. It’s just that overall the execution was a tad lacking and the timeframe too limiting, so Rewrite, while functional, never really rises to any aspirational heights.

Still, there’s a second season, and we shouldn’t make any final judgments until then, perhaps. CLANNAD comes into its own with After Story, and Little Busters! would be nothing without Refrain. Rewrite is similarly incomplete without Moon and Terra, its linear ‘True End’ chapters. It should get better and better as the story escalates, so if you’ve enjoyed Rewrite so far or at least have found it interesting, then you should look forward to season 2 coming with Winter 2017. Oh, but hasn’t everyone gotten a face-full of Instrumentality, the world has ended, and our protagonist has become a vegetable. Where can we go from here? Well, this show is called Rewrite, after all. I know I’ve said before that adaptations don’t get second chances, but here we have a curious case. Let’s try this again.



  1. The number of ???? keep rising in my head with each episode and it end with a big wtf bad ending, i won´t give a 2 chance to 8bit with this, but i got a bit curious about chihaya, it worth check the vn for her??or it is a bad route???

    1. Chihaya’s route was somewhat weak, I have to say. Mostly, she’s kinda overshadowed by Sakuya in her own route (since the latter is the more important character). But the VN is probably worth checking out anyway, or maybe Rewrite+ if that comes out and gets translated.

  2. I’ll be very honest and say I have no idea what I just watched. Admittedly I wasn’t completely engrossed in the whole thing but the episode made little to no sense for me much less the ending. I love most Key works even if they do tend to stab your heart a bit but I kinda feel that if you don’t have the benefit of reading the original this won’t make much sense.

      1. I got that it was supposed to be Sakuya, but why was Chihaya was him when at the end of the previous she still was with the others?
        Just one example why this final was very confusing.

      2. I imagine that between ep. 12 and 13, there was one of those scenarios where the group was confronted multiple times, and one of the girls stayed behind each time to hold the enemies off. Chihaya probably faced off against someone too strong when Sakuya came to her rescue. After that, he turned into a giant monster and took Chihaya along. Of course, they montaged through a lot of what seemed to be thrilling action, so it’s hard to know for sure.

  3. The anime seems dont too hard to understand, really some of this literaly shout thigs in your face, like chibi moth close up when they refer as corpose is better to make a familiar, and in the end seems that was a dog, chihaya being a familiar, etc.

    as an only anime fag i liked the anime, for me it was the start Kagari and Koutaro relasionship/history but all got shit so early for them, so they get stomped knowing nothing,why is it happening?, what’s happening?, i like this type of history if we get a retelig w good end, we will dont need anoter introductory arcs, ill be roting for a S2

  4. The relationship between Kagari and Kotarou in the anime makes them seem like brother and sister, or at least that’s the way I see it whenever the two of them interact.

    Its good that were getting another season, as it was sad to see how things had to end between them.

    I wish they would have had more time together, as I would have liked to see her join the Occult Club at least before the Salvation happened. Well you can’t always get what you want, but at least it was a fun ride while it lasted. ^_^

  5. This was a mediocre looking show (those CGI raptors!) with a rushed story. Probably my disappointment of the season, considering the high hopes I had for it.
    Is this going the way of the “parallel world” trope? Kotarou failed to save the world, so bad end and “try again”? I would have prefered some kind of continuation instead of an easy way out.
    Anyways, the 2nd season can hardly get worse.

  6. Even with its flwas I enjoyed the ride and I have high hope for the Moon/Teerra arc next year, let´s Koutaro can save everyone this time around because this was one hell og a bad ending.

  7. just as i thought… they will end it with terra like ending where kotarou and everyone died… and as i predicted as well, to end it fine, the only choice is to kill KAGARI which didnt happen or let the world end. kinda bummer though because i like happy ending.

  8. Somewhat related news – Key’s co-founder and Rewrite’s character designer, Hinoue Itaru, has resigned from Key to become a freelance artist. Add this with longtime Key writer Maeda Jun being hospitalized for heart problems, and these are something major that Key will have to adapt to in the future.

  9. While Rewrite anime has many problems, it conveyed the message quite fully so I have no more complains. Episode 13 is the strongest episode of the anime, I have re-watched it countless times without being bored. Even with the abysmal quality of Rewrite anime, Mr. Romeo still delivered his best by carefully building the script. Not to mention that the anime staffs really love the anime they was working on too. Rewrite is the proof that even without enough money, you can still make a decent anime with love.

  10. I must say that I liked this more than I ever thought I would!
    It starts as an ellaborate mess of ideas but then, as the episodes started coming out, one realises that everything has a pretty decent explanation. When it comes to routes, it is obvious that Chihaya’s route was obliterated in the making, but I never cared much for her anyway. On the other hand Lucia’s route was very well done and from that moment on, the show starts escalating in quality. The last three episodes are also very good… and that ending is powerfully sad to say the least. I’ll definitly watch the second season! Damn it, I may even pick the game to know everyone’s routes in detail.

  11. Out of the two low budget anime I watched this season, I think Qualidea Code did a better job than Rewrite. Both are rather messy, but I was never unintentionally confused with Qualidea Code. With Rewrite, I actually had to look for episode 12 to see if I missed an episode or not. Starting to figure out how people with Alzheimer must feel.

    Cautiously curious about the sequel though. But the real question is: To VN, or not to VN?

    Regarding that new “kinetic novel”, I’ll wait for an anime adaption. Didn’t regret doing that with Planetarian. (That was a decade ago right?)

  12. This was such a rushed episode, and there are still several loose ends that haven’t been addressed, though some of them can be guessed with enough observation.

    I’d still recommend reading the VN if you liked the shenanigans of the Occult Club, want to know more about most characters besides Kagari (even the minor ones), see the rest of the Shizuru or Lucia routes, or see more from the Gaia perspective (though, even in the Gaia character routes, Kotarou notes they seem more like the villains). For reference, this adaptation felt mostly like a watered-down Kotori route, with some stuff from Akane’s to show Gaia, the common route portions of Lucia’s and Shizuru’s to show Guardian, and not a whole lot from Chihaya’s, though her route didn’t bring a lot to the main plot besides learning about Sakuya. The VN does have its flaws (having 3 separate writers means some inconsistencies across routes), but the medium allows it to have much more time to tell its story, time this adaptation badly needed. Even if you can’t play the VN, watching an LP of the character routes could be useful before watching the second season.

    As far as next season goes, the Moon and Terra routes are qualitatively different from the character routes that you must play through before they unlock. There is no common route lead-up, so there’s little to no high school slice-of-life involved. Most of the set up comes from the previous routes, so they jump more quickly into the story, which probably makes these routes a smoother adaptation. However, some of the details cut out this season are relevant, so how they deal with that remains to be seen.

  13. So I’m interested enough to watch season 2 hoping they blazed enough of the mountain of revelations that character development will be more focused. Not enough music in this for my liking. Kagaris voice “singing” was horrid lol. I like her seiyuu but that role sould have been more delicate sounding i thought. In speech and in sound. Overall it’s very intricate but clumsy in its execution. Even Air and the original Kanon felt more structured and made their points. The did do enough for me to enjoy the characters though. I want to see if season 2 brings them forward again so I can really get a better look. That way if the drama comes down again I’ll be more engaged with the feelings in the moment than the details and bulletpoint chronology. I want to just pull for the characters to get their better end. I swear the producers saw RE Zero doing well and thought lets cash in on reset anime lol.

      1. According to what I’ve read, Kagari is a secret girl that eventually appears – more or less like she did in the anime. Being a VN, there’s no declared main girl, it’s all a matter of taste. The one your choosing will lead to a route where she will have the main role.

    1. According to the creator there is no main heroine but there is a main role which belongs to Kagari, all the other heroines give a their share to fullfil the true ending of the Terra Route we´ll see in the winter adaptation.

  14. If you ask me Both Guardian and Gaia are both insane as hell:

    -Gaia follows the words of a spirit that only feels hatred and looks only at worst humanity, never helping, never trying understand, it´s just fueled in all that haterd. That way we are all the enemy, it does not matter to that crazy ghost that the overwhelming majority of mankind is good and can become better.

    -Guardian talks about sacrifices but wants to keep it to a minimum, never considering that drastic chages to our society are mandotory in oder to bot the Earth and Mankind can have a future.

    At the End, oly Koutaru and the Occoult Research Club are the sane ones in this pointless war.


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