Rewrite Episode 22: Battle Behind the Scenes
Horrible reproductive acts.
Huh, we’re proceeding a little slower than I was expecting. I’d fully prepared my heart for that Kotori scene to happen, but it looks like her suffering will be prolonged for a little while longer yet. Not much happened with Kotori this week, other than her being as comfy as usual and doing cute things like sleeping in what looks like a massive flytrap plant. She’s already started building Chibimoth out of Pero, but I guess it’ll take a few years before she’ll start building her log cabin and the familiar-filled forest paradise that Kotarou comes across in both her route and Kagari’s. She might actually only ever build the cabin well into one of the character routes when she stops going to school and starts living in the forest full-time. Kotarou’s also finally realised that it might not be such a great idea to send Kotori back to Kazamatsuri, as safe as she might be with her parents protecting her as puppets – as I mentioned last week, Kotarou is literally the only person she has left in her life, and it wouldn’t be great for her mental well-being if she had to live all alone without any emotional support. Not that Kotarou is doing a particularly great job of providing that support to her.
That’s something I’ve noticed about Bond. Sure, he’s the saviour of lolis, but that’s only in terms of their lives. He’s not very good at protecting their smiles. Beyond Kotori and Akane, think of Jasmine and all the other orphans. He rescues them from Guardian and Gaia, sets them up with a place to live and provides them with an income. They start thinking of him as family. Then he flies off to another country, maintains minimum contact with them and isn’t even willing to chat with Jasmine online about things other than official business that he has no choice but to contact her about. Loli aftercare is important, you know.
As for Kagari, I’m not sure the scene of her rampaging was something that translated over to the adaptation well. Partly because I don’t think it was as emotionally charged as it was in the VN (although I’d have to re-read that section) and also because the animation quality of both Kagari and Kotarou’s expressions was terrible at times. In general, that scene reminded me of why I’ve always approached the idea of romance between Kotarou and (any incarnation of) Earth Kagari with a lot of caution. Apart from the fact that it’s not possible for things to work out, since she’s by definition going to die at the end of every route regardless of whether Guardian kills her or Gaia remotely makes her begin salvation, my main issue is that nothing in Terra has really suggested any sort of romantic inclinations between Kagari and Kotarou, or even one-sidedly from Kotarou’s perspective. Wanting to do horrible reproductive acts with her doesn’t really count, that’s mostly just Kotarou being a pervert. To me, she’s a bit like his cute, easily-frustrated and impatient boss that doesn’t like being patted on the head.
But that’s it. It might be believable that Kotarou is in love with her, especially as a major part of his personality is that he has a strong desire to form close and genuine connections with other people, but it’s difficult to accept from a viewer’s perspective, as there’s comparatively very little romance. A kiss in itself doesn’t qualify at all, and most of their interaction consists of her shouting at him and being disappointed that his progress is so slow. There aren’t any common route-like scenes beyond the occasional short gag like where Kagari-chan suggests that Kotarou should remove class conflict or buy a tank or something. I suspect that this is precisely what the Kagari route added in the first season and Rewrite+ was designed to mitigate – through her amnesia she could interact with Kotarou more naturally and it’d be easier for us to see her as just a cute girl. But from a Terra-only point of view, any sort of Kotarou-Kagari romance feels abrupt and a little out of left field. Compare that to the relationship between Moon Kagari and the convergence of all Kotarous in Moon. I thought that was relatively a lot more romantic, with the coffee scene and the rooftop dancing amongst others. But then, both of them were existences outside of time and space, so it’s a little different with them.
Two more brief points. The first was a fleeting thought that I quickly dismissed after realising it was just dumb. I wondered for a moment whether Suzaki could have possibly asked for help from Guardian, but that’s absolutely impossible. It’s that ideological difference rearing its head again here. Kashima Sakura wants to destroy the world with the Key. Guardian wants to save the world (at any cost) by killing the Key. Suzaki wants to see the world destroyed, and profit off it by developing an artificial afterlife. He still wants salvation, he just has no intention of seeing himself die along with it, which makes him the exact sort of person that salvation was designed to eradicate. Second, it did cross my mind that, if Kashima is aware that Kotarou was the one who saved her, she must have realised that it’s because he knows Nagai and Akane. He might be able to pass off saving Akane by saying he’s a lolicon, but Nagai is ex-Guardian. I doubt Kashima would tell Suzaki outright, given that it’s also in her interests to have an untrustworthy person near Suzaki that she might be able to exploit, but it’s something hanging over Kotarou’s head now. He dun goof’d.