Rewrite Episode 24: A Promise Fulfilled With You [Final Impression]
I want to see you again someday.
What a fantastic ending. That final scene where Kotarou killed Kagari before dying himself was beautiful. Although as ever, it’s not particularly pleasant to see him turn into a tree. It’s one of those things that the VN never depicts in full, and just leaves it all to your imagination. And this one was even worse than the one in the Kagari route, because it looked like one of his eyeballs had exploded by the time his body gave out.
Not all of the important scenes in Rewrite have been handled as well as they could have by this adaptation, but I really liked the way they did this one. I felt much the same about the end of the Kagari route in the first season as well. I was also surprised by how happy it was, given how Terra ended in the original incarnation of the VN (i.e. the anime might have adapted Rewrite+ and I’m not sure what changes there were to the ending in that, although I know that some were made). It’s been a while, but from what I remember, it was never made clear exactly how much Pochi remembered after becoming a familiar. I know he got a black-haired sprite in Rewrite+, but in the anime it’s implied that Pochi is actually Moon Kotarou. He must be, if he remembers the promise he made with Moon Kagari and that line of writing he added into the blueprint. Which means that Moon Kagari won! I can definitely get behind that, I’ve said before how much I preferred his romance with her in comparison to Earth Kagari (and their personalities in general too). Moon Kagari is a platinum qt and has been through a lot of suffering, I’m happy for her. Did he really kiss her in Rewrite+? Something tells me that that might be anime-original, although if so it’s a particularly bold change to make. It’d tie into Key’s whole attempt to make Kagari more heroine-like, which is what this anime adaptation and Rewrite+ were for in the first place.
It was also really nostalgic seeing the Occult Club back in Kazamatsuri High’s uniform as they journeyed to the Moon, with Canoe playing in the background. Times were much more peaceful back then. As I said, it’s definitely different to what I took away from Terra in general, which was that it was a happy ending for the planet but not necessarily for Kotarou, since technically he did die. And that was after a long route of suffering in which he killed lots of people, betrayed or drove away literally everyone he knew, all for the sake of a girl he ended up having to kill anyway because the Song of Destruction meant that she was already too far gone. He does become Pochi, but based off the original Rewrite it was ambiguous as to how much Kotarou was left in him. I guess he would recover his memories eventually, even if we assume there to be none in him originally? Sakuya did remember everything after all, otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to give as much implicit advice to Kotarou as he did.
Other points to note. There wasn’t much of an Earth Dragon fight, but I don’t think there was supposed to be. At least we got something, and the key thing to take away from that was that, in order to win, Kotarou went past the point of no return and made his tree transformation inevitable. To see the real Earth Dragon fight in Rewrite, you’ll want to check out Akane’s route. It probably wouldn’t make much sense to repeat a similar fight over and over in multiple routes where Kotarou does encounter it. I also loved how there were not-so-subtle hints of lolicon coming out of Kotarou, even in the final stages of a very serious route. Apart from how he cautioned Akane to stay away from lolicons, did anyone else think it was weird that he had a picture of a sleeping Kotori on his phone? It looked like he took a creep shot while she was sleeping in that flytrap plant a few episodes ago. I can imagine Kagari having made some snarky comment when he did. Nishikujou should have totally called him out on it.
The epilogue had some of the best scenes, I think. Or maybe it’s just been so long since we had any light-hearted scenes that I loved them more than I should have. I’ve really missed things like Kotori’s terrible jokes, or Lewdcia’s ironic aversion to lewd things. It was also even more obvious than it was in the VN that Kotori and Akane remembered him from when they were young. I think Akane still did in the character routes, even though Kotarou had less interaction with her in those timeline due to the coma, but she definitely does in Terra. She still has the blue and yellow Chibimoths with her, after all. Which were Kotori’s to begin with. Makes you wonder whether the two of them ever talked about Kotarou while he was still gone. Trading unflattering stories about him, of course.
I guess it’s over for good this time. I wrote some paragraphs on the Rewrite anime in general when the first season ended, and I’ve said a lot about the VN in my coverage of that too, so part of me wants to spare you having to read (and me having to write) a repetition of what you’d find there, since my feelings in general haven’t changed even though almost four years have passed since I first started writing about it. I think it’s a wonderful story. Flawed in places, and especially where its anime is concerned, but I think it’s a hugely enjoyable work and definitely deserving of a place in Key’s library of visual novels, though it’s quite different from the other stuff they’ve produced (Air, Kanon, Clannad, Little Busters). I remember saying it was my favourite VN all those years ago, and that statement probably holds true even now (although I did play The House in Fata Morgana last year, and in some ways that left an even greater impression on me than Rewrite did).
What did I think of Moon and Terra’s adaptations? They were good. You can tell that the quality went up, and that’s unsurprising given that Tensho had a greater number of episodes to play with (and a linear story to adapt, too). Moon was… well, it’s confusing to begin with, and I think the adaptation did a good job in conveying the key points across. And both the rooftop dance scene and Three Cups of Coffee were done well, which were the parts I cared about as I found those the most endearing. The way the anime ended Terra also made for a good link to the end of Moon, which a lot of people found a little bittersweet as Moon Kagari was left all alone by herself. Terra was also much improved compared to the sort of quality the first season indicated it’d be like. The last few episodes did feel rushed, and in conjunction the first few dragged at times, but in hindsight I can see that it’s hard to find adequate stopping points as far as the latter is concerned, as the setting kept changing (e.g. from Kazamatsuri, to Guardian’s bootcamp, to the Middle East and so on). Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised. I’ll be sad to see this go for sure, but I feel like I’ve already said my farewells to Rewrite upon finishing the VN, and so that empty, hollow feeling I often get when an enjoyable show ends isn’t as strong as it should be.
Lastly, I’d like to share a little something that I came across via a certain source. I’m not exactly sure what it is, but it seems to be a set of sound clips recorded by the seiyuus for various characters in Rewrite, acting in-character and having various encounters with the listener. Some of them sound like dates. Something like an ASMR track, although it’s not quite the same. I think it’s legit, I’d recognise Kitamura Eri and Saito Chiwa anywhere, and they’re not lines from the VN. You’ll need basic Japanese to understand them, but that’s nothing a prolonged exposure to anime won’t help with as it’s fairly basic (I understood about 80% of Kotori’s). Pick your favourite character(s) and have a listen. I’ve only fully listened to Kotori’s, and I thought it was extremely soft and comfy, just like she is.
It’s been fun. See you, space lolis.