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Rewrite – Fundamental Pessimism »« Rewrite – 13 (END)

Rewrite – 14

OP Sequence

OP: 「旅」 (Tabi)

「三杯のコーヒー」 (San Hai no Kōhī)
“Three Cups of Coffee”

I must admit, I wasn’t too positive about Rewrite when I was writing the preview and in my final impressions for the previous season. And, I was thinking, perhaps I was overly harsh. After all, it’s not like the crew over at 8bit didn’t ‘try’, it’s just that they lacked both the resources and the ability to deliver on such a big project. That’s sort of tragic in its own way, but at least we can’t fault them for lack of effort; more responsibility perhaps lies with Visual Arts for not caring enough about their anime properties. And even if the Rewrite adaptation had received more money and talent, the more time I spend on this subject the more I am convinced that it is perfectly impossible to do make an adaptation of that properly captures the experience of the visual novel. Yes, more time would, without a doubt, have helped the first season. If Rewrite had three cours of anime then, perhaps, it could have afforded to let us soak in the common route and actually properly flesh out the character routes. If it had looked better, and had better cinematography, perhaps we would have been more engaged with the narrative. In the end, though, Rewrite is a game. Well, a visual novel with questionable amounts of actual gameplay, but since we have no better general word for interactive media, let’s call it a game. Point is, playing the game and working through each of the routes is an innately different experience to just passively watching the anime. Making choices and exploring the different branches of possibility is part of the narrative. There’s no way for an anime to communicate that.

That’s not to say that there’s no way that anime adaptation could have been ‘good’ (CLANNAD did fine with basically the same issue, and so did Little Busters!, to a lesser extent), but that, for one who read the VN first, the anime adaptation will never feel exactly right. It doesn’t entirely excuse all the adaptation’s faults, especially since it didn’t really get to do any exploration at all. Here, this second season, Moon tries to correct that by throwing in some snippets of, er, [spoilers], it’s hardly enough, is it? While it’s neat to see whichever your favourite heroine is be tragic or act cute or get the CLANNAD end (or be stuck playing the cheesecake forever), it’s hardly the same experience as the full thing, is it? One can’t really just jump straight to the musical number and the catharsis and call it a day. Acts I and II are there for a reason. The way Rewrite did it, it’s basically saying: ‘Hey, wouldn’t this story be cool? Well, we’re not going to tell it.’. When the stories you hint at look a lot more interesting than the one you actually told, I think you have a problem.

Now that we have got Acts I and II out of the way, though, even if by skimming, we should be good to go. As I have mentioned before, Moon and Terra are completely linear and should make for an easy and straightforward adaptation. And, being Act III, they’re where Rewrite finally pays off. Just as how we wouldn’t make such a fuss about the CLANNAD anime without AFTER STORY and Little Busters! would have been nothing without Refrain, the last two routes of Rewrite tie the entire story together and makes everything worthwhile with the highest drama it can deliver. Is it actually as good as AFTER STORY or Refrain? Probably not, but that’s a discussion we can have after we’ve all watched it. There will be VN readers, like myself, who will still grumble that it’s not the ‘full’ experience, but since that’s impossible, let’s make the most of what we have. The temporary OP (featuring Maeda Jun’s Journey, just to remind us who the master is) is already better than basically anything we got in the first season, so I think my optimism should hold. If you’ve managed to make it this far, enjoy Moon and Terra. You’ve earned it.

January 15, 2017 at 1:41 am
23 comments »
  • January 15, 2017 at 2:03 amskyer

    ahh~ that nostalgic soundtrack the best part of the vn

  • January 15, 2017 at 2:56 amSK

    Figured this was how they would try to incorporate the endings of the various character routes (and HF), though the start of Moon in the VN was already kinda disjointed to begin with. I guess they’re hoping that anyone who’s interested goes out to buy the VN to see those particular stories? I did like Kotarou finding signs of the other Occult Club members at important locations.

    http://randomc.net/image/Rewrite/Rewrite%202nd%20Season%20-%2014%20-%20Large%2013.jpg
    Dango, dango, dango, dango
    Dango daikazoku…

  • January 15, 2017 at 5:24 amBukszie

    I also recall while watching the episode and seeing what where kotaru’s memories of the other routes thinking that “man I would have loved to see this story or that other story instead of what i am seeing now”

    • January 15, 2017 at 5:39 amPasserby

      Rewrite says: buy the VN!

      • January 15, 2017 at 11:10 pmronelm2000

        Even better: Let’s buy Rewrite+ when it comes out on Steam. It also comes with Harvest Festa too, iirc.

      • January 16, 2017 at 2:42 amfishell

        Man….I feel like being left out of loop as I don’t like the VN due to limited scenes and unfunny jokes, at least for me. Prefer the start of Fortune Arterial and its atmosphere. Maybe should have bought Little Busters Perfect Edition instead….

  • January 15, 2017 at 12:27 pmLyfe

    Is it me or did the animation quality decrease this season? Also, the first season ended with such a ridiculously sad ending, it didn’t have the impact that Clannads did, but it was still sad. The overwhelming sense of hopelessness when the end finally comes.

    • January 16, 2017 at 6:21 amPasserby

      Actually, I think they brought in a new animation director, but I’m not sure if that helped any.

      • January 16, 2017 at 8:40 amLyfe

        Oh that explains it. It was like the first thing I noticed too. Still, I think they should have just given the show 24 episodes straight away and then did these arcs afterwards. It would have made a much better adaption.

  • January 15, 2017 at 1:39 pmSageM

    The imagine spot of Kagari as tsundere was a nice touch, and it also reminded me Ayumu and Eucilwood from Is This A Zombie? As Ayumu keeps having imagine spots of Eucilwood talking to him in different voices and saying things she never would.

    Also, out of all the various deaths Kotarou experienced I think the funniest were the ones where he was killed by pebbles and melted by lava.

    Can’t wait to see the next episode!

  • January 16, 2017 at 12:31 amL002

    Natsuki Subaru (Re:Zero) would be great friends with Kotarou

    http://randomc.net/image/Rewrite/Rewrite%202nd%20Season%20-%2014%20-%20Large%2014.jpg
    Notably, I am shocked with this random Office Lady. Strange feeling that they put some random girl as a love interest; I guess it’s because it was just too sudden. I am saddened that there was no “teacher route” or “onee-san” route; I wouldn’t mind “random” girls if those types of routes were optional.

    http://randomc.net/image/Rewrite/Rewrite%202nd%20Season%20-%2014%20-%20Large%2016.jpg
    And dear me, there were two of her? I didn’t know. How enviable for our MC to get such treatment.

    It’s good we got the see a glimpse of multiple routes; I am confused about Kotori’s statement, so Kotarou was originally an unsociable guy? What made her like him to begin with?

    • January 16, 2017 at 6:20 amPasserby

      Moon and Terra will probably explain most of the important stuff in the end. Probably. As for Kotori and Kotarou, let’s just say that they go way back.

  • January 16, 2017 at 10:01 amtheirs

    Where can I see this scene?
    http://randomc.net/image/Rewrite/Rewrite%202nd%20Season%20-%2014%20-%2015.jpg
    I take it he finally managed to fondle Akane’s boobs?

    Anyway, let me get this straight, did Kotarou die in each route? Did Chihaya kill him with that punch? Or did he get a happy ending and ended up replaying things in his next life?

    Out of all those scenes, I really wanted to see that Kotori route animated. Not really sure about getting the VN.

  • January 17, 2017 at 3:46 pmJuan

    I tend to like this genre even if we all know that the Anime will never truly capture the VN. For that to happen they really need to animate individual routes separately, like what we saw with Unlimited Blade Works. But that’s few and far between. The original Fate series was as fractured as any other where they try to impose a “Super Route” into the picture.

    That being said, I personally haven’t played Rewrite. Often when I hear that it’s VN based, and havent played it, I check out the Anime to see if it sparks my interest enough to go out and get a copy. The thing with Rewrite though is that although it seems interesting, absent any prior VN knowledge, you’re basically just out there in the cold. I don’t know about other Anime Only viewers but I’m pretty much confused on what exactly is going on.

    I get what they are trying to do. The whole multiple lives and multiple routes mesh well together similar to what Little Busters and Clannad did. The problem is I’m kinda confused on what exactly is up with the “main story line”. Season 1 ended with, well the end of the world, but there is hardly a transition into season 2. In fact, Season 2 starts of on some seemingly random scene with no connection to the prior end. So yeah. A little compass or guide would be nice to help us poor lost wonderers find out way through this maze of a plot

    • January 18, 2017 at 9:48 amronelm2000

      It’s not completely random, if you considered the first scene of EP1 and the very last scene of EP13. (Aka you watched through the end)

      • January 18, 2017 at 7:29 pmsealouse

        I guess I’ll keep watching this then. This episode got so random it was comical.

    • January 18, 2017 at 6:09 pmvand

      This was just episode 1. You´ll get the answers you want sooner than later, although enough hints have already been presented to you so as to make a good educated guess like you were told above.

      Also, just a friendly piece of advice. If you ever have an interest in whatever VN I would strongly advise against watching its animated adaption for reference. Maybe an episode or two would be okay but anything more and you may end up losing the opportunity of truly enjoying a good story the way it was intended by its creators.

      • January 18, 2017 at 6:58 pmLyfe

        Anime isn’t the problem. The problem is studios taking lengthy VNs and trying to squash what could have been a 24-26 episode story arc/arcs into 13 episodes. What you’re left with is a mess of cuts, changes, and things completely skipped because they simply don’t have the room.

        If you’re a studio wanting to adapt an VN but only have 13 episodes, stay absolutely faithful to the material and don’t skip or overlook anything. You will only irritate the people who would have bought the show at retail.

  • January 19, 2017 at 5:43 amronelm2000

    Rewrite is actually a unique one in that, it’s Season 1 is, tbh, an advertisement to just read all the VN routes until EP13. And, for an anime-only watcher, only serves to introduce the characters and what they stand for, their values/ideals, etc.

    • January 19, 2017 at 6:05 amPasserby

      A lot of adaptations end up being marketing, I’m afraid. I suspect that a lot of rights holders, like Visual Arts, are fine with whatever anime comes out as long as it helps sell their ‘core’ product (in this case the VN) in the belief that there’s no bad publicity. No longer do they don’t see anime as a worthy investment that will add to their brand.

      • January 19, 2017 at 12:37 pmLyfe

        Which is kinda annoying because you have shows like Re Zero that were commercially successful but the powers that be won’t touch it until it has more printed material out.

  • January 19, 2017 at 11:59 amRedRocket

    As Clannad is the only thing in my life that made me cry I have to hold it at the highest level of achievement. The fact that my sci fi, minor knowledge of Japanese culture and fantasy background allowed me to truly understand and be touched by the wonderful last episode made it my favorite anime.

    I see no way a visual novel can be done in 13 at all though. Quarterly Profit reports messing with long term profit potential again, if you want a Clannad, something that will sell for a very long time you have to invest more.

    • January 19, 2017 at 12:29 pmLyfe

      Pretty much. Either give a VN an initial 24 episode season or walk away, far away.