Rewrite Episode 2: Where Youth Begins
Why is Akane so perfect?
I hate how terrible the production values are. I hate how rushed and inconsistently paced everything is. I hate how only a select few of all the common route scenes are ever going to be animated. So why am I so hyped? Why did I thoroughly enjoy today’s episode? Why is Rewrite, of all things, quickly becoming the series I’m most looking forward to every week?
If we put aside my love and lust for Akane, I think the answer might have something to do with the OP. And the ED, with all its wonderful Terra references, but mostly the OP. I haven’t been this fucking excited over an OP in what seems like forever, it was fantastic. I can’t believe the entire first scene was dedicated to Kazamatsuri Bond facing off against Kagari, complete with a split-second frame featuring a hospital room and a certain small hand reaching out for Bond – I never thought I’d see that scene animated in my lifetime. And I loved the shots of all the characters, from Esaka to Imamiya to Inoue. Imamiya’s part would have been even more amazing if it’d been him, Kotarou and Nishikujou standing together. Even Mappie and the Rewrite dial from the game made an appearance!
I didn’t recognise the last key frame of the OP though – the one with Kotarou sitting in what seems to be a destroyed club room whilst reminiscing about his ‘good memories’ with the occult club members. I mean, it’s very possible that the club room and school both get destroyed during certain late-game events in many of the routes, but I don’t remember it ever being of particular note – not least of all because Kotarou usually had much bigger problems to deal with at the time. Alternatively, it could be something completely original from the upcoming Kagari route, which would make quite a lot of sense as it’s what this anime is supposed to be covering. If Bond is also featured in the OP, however, does that mean we’ll be having certain events in Terra playing a significant part in the Kagari route somehow? During the pilot episode Kotarou even had a painful ‘vision’ of that exact scene, where Kagari cuts his hand and lower arm off as she stands in front of a tree – they really seem to want to emphasise it for some reason. I do agree that it’s a really important encounter as far as their relationship goes, but it’s so bizarre at this point that it’s only going to make people more confused if they don’t understand exactly what they’re looking at.
The same issue applies to the breakneck pacing, although there’s reason to believe that things will slow down after this. If you’re an anime-only, the second half of the episode must have seemed like extremely poor writing. And it is – I’m a little incredulous that they managed to make Kotarou gather every single occult club member together within half an episode. A lot of the common route material in between each additional member joining was skipped over. But those who have finished the VN are not only in a position to understand why this has had to happen within the constraints of the adaptation – they’re also able to roughly fill in the blanks themselves as they’ll have run through the common route multiple times (and the most industrious of fans might even have repeated it from start to finish five times to pick up on new foreshadowing and completely reset their Kotarou before starting a new character route). And I thought the scenes that did make it into the anime were done brilliantly – everything from the parfait scene (ONNA NO TEKI, TENNOUJI KOTAROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOU) and the shikigami dreams (TOMOKOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO) to that one scene where Kotarou has Shizuru repeat his lines to Lucia over the phone. Like with the first episode, I couldn’t help but think the entire time how it was a real pity that the animation is such an utter pile of crap, because the banter and dynamic between the characters has turned out to be really, really good. It’s almost perfect, and that’s not just the nostalgia talking (although it has made me want to play through the common route again).
I say ‘almost’, because nothing’s perfect. Except Akane. Being this irresistibly sexy shouldn’t be allowed. If there happened to be a genocidal religious cult that worshipped her as a divine prophet, I would join in a heartbeat for her sake. I want to do lewd things to her. I want her to do lewd things to me. Even Kotarou wants to perform horrible reproductive acts together with her, and I suspect that someone at 8bit does too (given how much focus there was on her thighs and legs). I don’t usually care for H-scenes in visual novels, often because they’re not very good and can be jarring at the best of times, but Rewrite is an all-ages game and I really, really wanted some lewds of my snarky, FPS-loving NEET waifu. You don’t know how many times I clicked the ‘ravish her’ option when it came up as a choice during one scene, hoping that something would change if I went for it repeatedly. Sadly, I think Rewrite+ is all-ages too and so I’ll have to content myself with fan art and that one CG from Harvest Festa featuring Akane coming out of the shower. What a semen demon.
If you’re an anime-only viewer, what you have to understand (and you’re most likely already vaguely aware of this, depending on how much promo material you’ve seen) is that every member of the occult club is unlike what they appear to be at first blush, and that Kotarou remains unaware of this for now. Kotori is no exception, as hard as that may be to believe – she can indeed see Kagari standing outside the club room, for example. I won’t fault Kotarou for having spilled the beans to Akane about literally everything he experienced last episode, because at this point he doesn’t know any better, but he might come to regret it in the future. I don’t know what she thinks of the ‘ribbon-clad ghost’ he mentioned, but there is a very high likelihood that alarm bells went off in her head when Kotarou talked about encountering a massive monster in an odd dimension under the school. I’m confined to mere speculation because these events are all anime-original, but Akane probably knows about Krivoy Rog (or at least has a vague understanding of what’s being kept down there). As a result, she’s now been put on a higher level of alertness and suspicion than she’s ever been before at this point in the story, and it’ll be really interesting to see how that changes events in the common route and beyond, if at all.