See you in the next life.
Can I just say, I think it’s a real pity that Kotarou stopped ageing during that ten-year coma. He looks so suave as an adult. Really handsome. I’m into cute girls like Kotori, but I have to admit that my heart nearly skipped a beat. I don’t actually remember him growing up (or reverting to his true age, rather) at this stage in Moon, but Kotarou has never had a sprite and without one it’s not hard to have forgotten that one line from Kotori about it after all these years. We’ll never see him exactly like this again, you know. He’ll be wearing his suit all throughout Terra, but it’ll be as a teenager instead of a proper adult.
Of course, this episode was where he explicitly revealed that he was actually a good ten years older than the girls. The flashback that he kept having all throughout Kagari’s route (a lot more often than in any of the other routes, but probably spurred on by the fact that Kagari was around him all the time) is an absolutely crucial turning point in that it marks the difference between Terra and literally every other possible route on that blueprint. If he hadn’t gone into that coma for ten years, and left Kagari messing about in vain trying to collect good memories for all that time, without her designated rewriter there for her, something might have changed. By the time he woke up again, salvation was literally about to happen. Thinking back on it, it’s actually a miracle that he managed to do as much as he did in such a short space of time. And that’s the answer. Not falling into a coma is going to make a huge difference, and that means not stupidly attacking Kagari and trying to stuff her in a bag for Guardian’s sake. Kagari doesn’t like being bagged up very much.
That also means that Terra will be wildly different to any of the other routes. It was so different when I first started it up that I was honestly confused as to whether I was still playing the same game. Because it’s set ten years earlier than any of the character routes, it’s practically a different story. Which is kind of sad, really. As cool as it is to see Bond and him being a double agent and all of that, it’s not the same. There’s something really comfy about the common route and Kotarou living a peaceful school life and having fun in club activities. I know some people disliked how long the common route was, but it’s one of those things that you take for granted and end up missing after you realise it’ll never be back. Sort of like childhood. And because that’s the only route with a future for the planet, that’s the only route that’s going to exist going forward. None of the common routes will have happened yet. Kotarou will never get to know any of the girls in their current forms, and Lucia, Shizuru and Chihaya at all until the end. I’m not even sure his interactions with Akane count, given how little a role she plays. He basically has just Kotori with him during Terra. Which isn’t bad, because Kotori is the softest and the cutest, but she was also kind of a brat when she was a kid. Not that Kotarou himself was much better, given all the terrible things he does to her. I’m not looking forward to that scene.
On the whole, this episode was quite the tearjerker. In theory, anyway. Sakuya sacrificed his entire existence in all timelines to gain enough power to stand up to all those familiars. Yoshino went out with style. Everyone died one by one to protect Kagari, including Kotarou himself. In practice, it was a little too fast-paced to actually make me cry, what with all the mood whiplash at various points (e.g. when they ran simulations of the planet’s development). But it was good. I think that’s the one general issue that’s befallen this adaptation of Moon. I was always assuming they’d complete Moon in four episodes, but it seems that 8-bit plans to slowly and carefully animate Terra at the cost of some minor time constraints with Moon. I don’t remember enough of the finer details to know whether it’s really worth nine episodes, but from what I can tell it sounds like all the stops are being pulled out for this. It better be worth it. Even Little Busters, whose adaptation by J.C. Staff met controversy for not getting the red carpet treatment from KyoAni, managed to pull off an amazing final route with Refrain. I’m hoping Rewrite can do the same.