Rewrite Episode 17: Earth-Saving Hunter

His name is Bond.

Impression

It’s begun. Welcome to Terra. It’s been almost three years since I first played Rewrite, and now a proper and hopefully well-executed adaptation of Terra will be airing for the next two months. If you told me exactly that all that time ago, I doubt I’d have believed you. I never really did have much hope to see either Moon or Terra animated, but here we are. The true route. I’m actually really enjoying it so far. This first episode had great pacing, and it accomplished a great deal. We had that brief teaser of Bond being deployed to the Middle East to fight terrorists for Guardian as a wake-up call and signal that Terra will be extremely different from a lot of what we’ve seen from Rewrite, and that was followed up by establishing Kotarou, Esaka and Kotori. All of whom will be major players throughout Terra. It also feels like the art style and animation has improved slightly. It wasn’t always noticeable, but some of the key frames were really nice, like that one close-up shot of loli Akane or the scene when Pero was first introduced.

I’m also super excited about the OP. It’s amazing. I honestly did expect it to be Psychic Lover, but we’ve had that played so many times now (near the late stages of the Kagari route as well as last episode when Sakuya appeared) that it’d lose its impact if it became the OP all of a sudden. I’ve also tended to associate it more with Moon over Terra, so having a fresh song works out just as well. Last Desire gets my blood boiling so fucking much. It’s so cool. Very typical of Tensho to direct an OP like that, full of Grisaia vibes and complete with Maon Kurosaki, but it’s everything I ever wanted in a Terra OP. I initially forgot that there might be a new OP, so that opening scene with Bond, Nishikujou and Imamiya got me so unimaginably hyped. Other than appreciating the small moments given to Jasmine and Luis, the most important thing to take away from that OP is Kotarou’s triple agent status. It’s hinted first when he points his gun at Imamiya, and then again when he’s seemingly working for both Gaia and Guardian at the same time. That precarious balance becomes very significant later on, and it’s right to highlight that from the very outset.

Bond was an edgy kid. That’s the second line of the copypasta, and it’s not wrong. I’d forgotten how edgy he was. Like damn, did he really have to kill that blood-sucking leech that way? He was edgy, bored and probably quite broken inside, no thanks to his parents and upbringing. Despite his superhuman abilities indicating an alignment towards Guardian, his personality is very Gaian. Ironically so. That question he shouted about wiping out humanity as an answer to global environmental destruction is pretty much what radical Martel (i.e. Gaia) adopts as its world view, as terrible as mainstream, public Martel might say it is. Kotarou hates himself, and I think he’s always hated himself. Athough this is never made explicit until Terra (or possibly Moon) you can piece together certain clues from the character routes. He talks about himself a little in Shizuru’s route (although it’s technically still part of the common route at that point) for example, and Kotori lets things slip during her route too. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but imagine how she must have felt throughout all this. She meets her neighbour, a sullen and angry teenager. She’s also kind of the same, and because of that they sort of, but not really, get along. He leaves to fight terrorists in a war, and she becomes a druid in the meantime after her parents die in a classic Key bus crash. He comes back and almost gets killed by the very thing all druids are supposed to protect. She saves him and he drastically changes into a happy, friendly person who hasn’t aged a day, and doesn’t remember her from probably before they were in middle school together. All whilst thinking he’s meant to be dead, and would actually die without her. It must have been terrible for her.

Terra Kotori is, of course, the real Kotori. I think she’s the cutest. I might even like her even more than normal, vanilla Kotori. I mean, she’s not soft at all, but there’s something super adorable in how thorny and bratty she is. Her constantly sullen expression, standoffish behaviour and Gao Gao Stegosaurus shirt just makes me want to hug her tight and never let go. She also makes the cutest movements, like during that moment when Kotarou handed her Pero in a bag and she  jumped when the bag moved. It’s kind of sad knowing that she’s going to be in for a lot of pain from here on out. Perhaps not as much as during the character routes, as Kotarou won’t ever fall into a coma this time round, but she’s still not going to have a great time. I’m glad she’s here for Kotarou in this timeline, though. Not that either of them will ever know that any other timeline exists. Makes you wonder what happened to the versions of them that were on Moon, the ones which were the culmination of all their various selves from each of the alternate timelines. I guess they just dissipated after they were killed.

Esaka now knows that Kotarou is a superhuman, and once he’s recruited into Guardian and begins his transformation into Bond, the substance of Terra will truly begin. This episode is pretty much as comfy as it gets. It’ll be a wild ride from here on out.

Vantage

I love cute things.

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5 Responses

  1. Noc says:

    I haven’t played the VN, but I’m still following the series. The first season was fairly enjoyable, but this is probably the moment I was waiting for. I’m sure I’ll enjoy Terra the most of all. The OP got me more excited – I sort of wish I knew what all the references were, but at the same time it’s fun to just enjoy it as-is, wondering what it all means.

    …But when Kotarou handed lil Kotori that bag, I genuinely thought it contained a dead Pero, and he was just casually giving this little girl an animal’s corpse in a tote. And that didn’t feel strange at all. I was very surprised when it started moving.

    • Vantage says:

      Wow! Props for getting this far, there can’t be many anime-only viewers left. Or even viewers. Terra is definitely the big payoff of the entire series. It’s the culmination of everything that’s happened so far, and it’s one continuous hype train once the setting changes to the Middle East.

      If Kotarou hated her, he might have done that. It wouldn’t be beneath the current him to do something that spiteful given how angry and disillusioned he is. He’s more grateful to her than he’ll ever admit, though. Finding Pero was his way of doing her a favour after being inspired by watching her resolve to leave Martel with her parents and actually following through with it. It’s because they see themselves in each other that they’re always at odds.

  2. Hayate says:

    Nice review! I’m a VN fan who have been lurking here ever since the first season became a thing. I’m glad you like this episode. I’ve noticed that there’s still a fairly good amount of non-VN reading audience that are still following this season, and while a lot of them felt jarred at the sudden change in tone, I’ve noticed that there are still some who are enjoying this season as well. I think those people just want to see Kotarou get a happy ending, ahaha.

    I’m really looking forward to how they’ll adapt Terra from here on out. The part with the war country, and the last parts starting from the all-out war, are my very favorite parts of this route, and I’m excited on how they’ll play out.

    On a side note, I was fangirling so hard at the new theme songs. They’re awesome.

    • Vantage says:

      Thanks! I’m surprised, I had the impression that most of them left after a couple of episodes into the common route when nothing much seemed to happen. I can see why they’d feel Terra is suddenly a lot more jarring, but it didn’t entirely come out of left field. There were small hints that Kotarou was more than he seemed to be all along, although I appreciate it’s a lot easier to pick up on those as a VN reader.

      It should make relative sense even to an anime-only by this point. The first season was a failed world on Kagari’s blueprint, Kagari found the answer to how a good end can be achieved in Moon, and Terra is Kagari’s solution playing out, starting from Kotarou’s real teenage years a decade in the past as that’s where the key turning point actually was.

      As for Kotarou getting a happy ending… well, I guess it depends on how you define ‘happy’. Terra is about a happy ending for the planet more than anything else, so those people might be disappointed! I’m looking forward to how they adapt those crucial decisions where in the game everything else is blocked out and we only get to pick from the one linear route pointed out to us that leads Kotarou towards the true end. I hope they do something with those somehow.

      I was too! The first 15 seconds of the OP was incredible. It was everything I ever wanted. Him pointing the gun at Imamiya was so symbolic. And Kagari growing from the seedling in the ED gave me chills.

      • Hayate says:

        Yeah. The non-VN reading audience the series attracted is much lower than I wanted it to be, but I’m glad that there are some.

        I’d say Kotarou did get something like a happy ending… but it’s a definitely more complicated than just being happy. XD

        As for how they’ll play out the choices, I’m guessing that it will come out on screen in the form of a beacon. I’m not sure on how they’ll portray it, but the little flames might be their way to go with it. Especially when “Kagari’s beacon” took appearance in Episode 15. And the new OP made it a thing, too.

        My favorite part of the OP has to be the triple-agent part. That’s just so cool.

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