Hello and welcome to Project Nitsuj. We continue are look into 8bit by taking a look at the second season of Rewrite. Boy, I have not been looking forward to this one. Based off the visual novel under the same name, Rewrite is one of Key’s most successful and well-known games. The anime, not so much. It was poorly paced, poorly done, left a lot of questions, and was confusing to those who hadn’t played the game. I give Grisia some credit, while that series had its problems as well, I was at least able to follow what was going on. This anime. . .I had a better time following accounting. The second season was released in 2017 roughly 4 months after the first season ended adapting the last two routes of the game, the Moon and Terra route said to be the best arcs in the game. Can this season succeed where the first failed? Let’s hope so. This is Rewrite S2.
Opening and Ending Theme
The opening is “Last Desire” by Maon Kurosaki. The song is okay. The melody is nice and all but the problem I have with this song is that the singer never really goes all out here. She maintains a steady flow in her singing which comes across as not really caring to me.
Our ending is “Instincts” by Runa Mizutani. This was a very beautiful song. I enjoyed it a lot more than I originally thought I would. There’s an air of sadness to it but also an air of hope as well. Which perfectly sums up this series. There’s a lot of bad things going on but there’s this sense of hope that things will somehow work out in the end.
We start the new season of Rewrite in another timeline where in this timeline Kotarou died and Kotori used her druid powers to bring him back to life inserting a new personality into him to her liking (so she created her dream guy). Kagari is now about to start the Salvation and in order to keep Kotarou from vanishing Kotori plans to kill Kagari herself and prevent the Salvation but Kotarou won’t let Kagari die so Shizuru does the deed for them and runs away (okay, I guess in this timeline Kotarou and Shizuru were distant from each other). The screen fades to black and we get that dream scene we saw at the beginning of the first season where Kotarou once again tries to talk to Kagari only to have a heart attack (you are way too young to be having a heart attack but then again the fate of the world is in your hands). This causes him to go into another timeline where in this one Salvation has happened and he choose Shizuru as his girl (good choice). After that timeline ends we return to the dream scene where Kotarou tries to spark up a conversation with Kagari but she instead rips his heart out, shows it to him, and crushes it (badass). This causes him to go into another timeline where he in Chihaya are a couple (guys, I think we might be stuck in a time loop here. I blame Dr. Strange). Despite Kotarou dying and going back to the dream scene God knows how many times he does retain the memories of these timelines (even if they are a bit inconsistent) such as having a family with Kotori, being a soldier fighting off the remnants of Gaia, being in a timeline with two Lucia’s giving him a bath and even one where he and Akane are in an adult relationship (now those timelines I would have loved to see. At least we can say he didn’t have a boring life). But no matter what happens all he knows is that he must find some way to talk to Kagari as it’s the only thing he has to cling onto (and it’s the only way to advance the story). For those out there confused on just what the hell is going on, here’s the jest of it. Kotarou lived many lives all in effort to get close to Kagari in the hopes of stopping the end of the world. As for Kagari, my only guess is she’s trying to find that one thing that gives humanity the right to live as opposed to destroying them and she doesn’t want to be bothered. After many failed love confessions and deaths, Kotarou finally manages to get through to her by giving her coffee. I don’t know how many days, weeks, months, or years it took but Kotarou managed to get through to her and managed to make to the next step of the story.
I honestly have no idea what the hell is going on throughout half of episode 2. The only things I can figure out is that Kagari is trying to search for a way where everyone including the planet lives (aka the perfect ending). She’s been working on a theory of life in the form of a tree (a digital tree. She’s way ahead of the time) which shows every possible timeline of humanity and she’s trying to find that perfect ending but in each timeline something goes wrong and it has to do with Sakura who hates everything so much that it transcends across the timelines and has manifested into the world Kotarou and Kagari are in where she’s sent monsters (still horribly rendered) to kill Kagari. Kotarou defeats the monsters and tells Kagari to keep going saying that she’s close to completing her theory and he calls for help to keep Kagari safe which he now has the power to do after touching and experiencing the vast knowledge of Kagari’s theory of life (oh this anime just keeps getting harder and harder to review). There’s also this one scene where Kotarou actually dances with Kagari. It’s one of the best scenes from the game and they perfectly nailed it here.
Episode 3 is the end of the Moon route as everyone fights to defend Kagari from Sakura’s horribly rendered monsters (these things are worse than the raptors in Jurassic World). Thanks to Kotarou, Kagari has finally finished her theory of humanity and is setting it into motion but it’ll take sometime meaning everyone has to keep her safe from Sakura’s army. As you would imagine we get your shounen ending where everyone fights to their last breath but sadly die leaving only Kotarou to face the army himself but not even he can overcome these odds and survive. Luckily, he stalls long enough for Kagari to set into motion her theory of humanity and they get sent back to Earth. Yep, in a twist this whole time they were on the moon (hence the title of the arc). Kagari created a replica of Earth in order to escape her loneliness but thanks to Kotarou she no longer feels lonely however she won’t be reborn into the timeline that she’s set in motion. We end the arc with humanity being born and the world beginning anew (try not to screw it up this time).
It’s the start of a new route in episode 4. In this route we see that Kotarou is a lot older than the girls (so we’re making him a lolicon. That’s nice), has the power to manipulate his blood (I guess this means he escaped the hellhole that was Deadman Wonderland), a delinquent who doesn’t get along with his parents and sees everything as pointless (dude, haven’t you heard, the goth thing is dead), has no friends, and is just an unpleasant person to be around. We do get to meet his parents who work for Martel which is the cover of Gaia and meets a young Akane who takes a liking to him. He spends his night hunting and killing CGI monsters (small ones) but comes across the big ones where he almost dies but gets saved by Esaka and his men forming a small friendship with Esaka. Eventually Kotori and her parents move in next door where Kotarou and her just don’t get along with each other until Kotarou breaks his character and helps find Kotori’s lost puppy that was abused in the past. Their relationship doesn’t really change however as the two are still distant from each other however Kotori’s determination does inspire Kotarou to change his life if only a little.
In episode 5 and 6 not much really happens. Kotarou decides to leave home (I say leave because he left on his own free will without much resistance) and joins Guardian. He’s taken to their training facility where he graduated near the bottom of the class with three other students with one of those students dropping out. Once his training is done he and his friends return back to the city (we keep trying to escape but it keeps pulling us back in) under a new name and everything. He’s placed in the scouting team and is given the mission to find and kill the Key. During his investigation he once again runs into Akane who got lost and delivers her back to Gaia and then after reuniting with his team, they intercept a message of another team in danger. Kotarou shows up where the team that made the distress signal got killed by Gaia’s horribly rendered CGI dinosaurs (dear God would you guys please watch Jurassic Park so you can see how to animate a dinosaur. Do that or make it 2D). One of the dinosaurs corners Akane up in a tree since she followed Kotarou and he manages to save her. After getting her to safety he spots a green light coming from a tree and goes to investigate where he runs into Kagari (okay, now I know what you’re thinking, I have to kill her. But let me just tell you that plan does not end well for you). Thanks to his blurry past memories, Kotarou instead retreats and decides to keep Kagari’s existence and location a secret from Guardian. After this event, Kotarou wants to learn how to use a gun so Esaka sends him to a war zone to learn how to shoot a gun (we have a shooting range for a reason) but also gain that experience of killing people.
In episode 7 Kotarou goes into a war zone where he gets his first kill which traumatizes him quite a bit to the point where he almost tries to kill himself (next time you want to learn how to shoot a gun, you go to a shooting range). While there he meets and befriends Luis another soldier and a group of orphans who are being exploited by Gaia and have been subjected to experiments which gave them the power to summon the horrible CGI monsters (I know I keep calling them horrible but it’s true). One night while Kotarou’s team is raiding a Gaia warehouse they find the orphans working for Gaia but Kotarou doesn’t want them to die so he and Luis hide the remaining orphans and escape with them however Luis dies keeping their path open. Kotarou gets the kids to safety in another town where they create their own safehouse and Kotarou rejoins his regiment where he finds out he was the sole survivor of his team which gains him a little bit of power around the camp. Kotarou than uses this new power to raid Gaia camps, save orphans, and get them to safety all while keeping it a secret from Guardian. After 2 years he finally gets a call from Esaka to return.
Things take an interesting turn in episode 8. Kotarou returns to the city and gets summoned by Kagari who tells him of the coming danger (if you were talking about the emoji movie we already know). The only way to stop the end of the world is for Kagari to experience fond memories and she wants Kotarou to show them to her. He agrees to team up with her and decides to play for both teams to get information out of both Gaia and Guardian. He easily becomes a member of Gaia learning how to summon and control monsters (which he’s surprisingly good at). He has a few clashes with Kagari who wants him to hurry up and destroy both Gaia and Guardian, but he begs her to stay patient and leave everything to him. Near the end of the episode Kotarou runs into Kotori who has become the druid who protects Kagari. She and Kotarou get into a fight (what is with you and arguing with lolis, Kotarou?) about her using her powers to bring her parents back to life (https://youtu.be/2yqUpypQwGs). He tries to get Kotori to go home but she refuses saying she has nothing left in this world anymore.
In episode 9 things progress slow in the saving of the world. We find out that Suzaki a member of Gaia’s branch is trying to undermine Sakura. He knows that the world is coming to an end so he’s secretly creating an artificial world to sustain the life of I want to say about 100,000 people with him as their leader (this plan will fail). Kotarou gets the privilege to meet Sakura one on one (kill her! End everything right now and kill her) and just talks with her (you had a chance to end everything and you didn’t. you fail). Kotarou finds Akane once again in the forest and takes her back to the orphanage where we see she’s friends with Chiya now and the caretaker used to be a hunter that trained with Kotarou until she left. She got her memory erased so she doesn’t remember Kotarou or any of the Gaia/Guardian business (but she will soon I’m sure). Suzaki finds out that Akane will be the next saint and plans to kidnap her as well as reveal that a hunter is her caretaker in front of the board and everything but Kotarou leaks the plans to Sakura (you just keep screwing yourself and us over don’t you Kotarou) and she announces to the board that Akane is the next saint making his plans useless. When Kotarou goes to report this to Kagari she’s rightfully pissed at his actions which has bought the world one step closer to doom but Kotarou like an idiot says he doesn’t regret his choices and this causes Kagari’s emotions to go berserk as she has no idea how to process this level of thinking (and stupidity). Kotarou kisses her and confesses that all this time he didn’t really care about the future of the world (well fuck you too), he just wanted to be with her because he loves her. She orders him to get out of her sight, but he refuses so she runs away saying that she’s done with him.
Kotarou finally decides to stop playing it safe and start taking risks in episode 10 (finally! Enough with dancing around the burning bush, get some water and put it out). Using Kagari as bait and with the help of Kotori’s monsters, Kotarou begins killing summoners of Gaia left and right and even taking out a few members of Guardian who get close to finding Kagari (yeah there’s a lot of death in this episode). Kagari has somewhat of a breakdown and can’t talk straight anymore (she’s caught the Chaika flu) so Kotarou takes her back to his place and keeps her safe from both Gaia and Guardian. Gaia and Guardian quietly fight each other in the background and once Suzaki gets killed by Guardian, Sakura decides it’s time to roll out the big guns for one final fight for Kagari. Kagari runs away into the forest and Kotarou goes after her where he runs into Kotori trying to figure out what exactly he’s doing (that’s the first legit question I’ve heard throughout this anime?). Kotarou says he’s choosing Kagari over everyone else and shoots Kotori’s parents (?) which results in them dying and then goes on a rant about how he couldn’t stand Kotori in order to get her to hate him which works and she runs away crying (for a guy trying to create fond memories you sure are good at creating cruel memories). Kotarou soon runs into Esaka and manages to kill him which Esaka is surprisingly okay with. Eventually, Kotarou finds Kagari wondering aimlessly in the forest when the song of salvation begins to be sung (out of all the people you killed in this episode you didn’t think to kill the choir or Sakura!? That would have been at the top of my list).
In the final episode the end of the world begins (at this point I’ve lost count of how many worlds they’ve destroyed to reach the perfect ending). Kotarou tries his best to stop the song of salvation pushing his body to the limits and even using the rewrite ability so much that he has to use his own life force to sustain the powers. Kotarou makes it up to the choir but it’s too late the song of salvation is complete, Sakura is dead (well that’s good news), the world is ending, and Kotarou is turning into a tree. The only way to save the world now is to kill Kagari and she openly allows Kotarou to kill her and they kiss before she vanishes, and he turns into a tree (truly, their love story was the most complicated story I have ever seen. Still better than Twilight and the 50 Shades series). So, the world gets saved and enters into somewhat of an ice age but slowly rebuilds itself as everyone in the world has come together. We see our 5 heroines grow up into teenage girls and turn Kotarou into a familiar where he takes them into space, he returns to his teenage form, and they all go to see Kagari where the series ends with her and Kotarou kissing each other in a loving embrace (well it took us a while, but we reached the perfect ending).
So how was the second season of Rewrite? Well, it’s a must needed improvement but not by much. The Moon route had its share of confusing moments and was rushed through. I did enjoy the parts with Kotarou and Kagari but again, it was a rushed arc with a number of confusing moments. Thankfully, the Terra arc fixes a lot of mistakes. The pacing is done a lot better in this route than in the previous routes, and the development of Kotarou was done incredibly well here. He’s an adult now and he’s a pretty realistic character. He doesn’t make all the right decisions and will make mistakes but he’s doing what he thinks is best and that’s all he can do. He doesn’t pretend like he has the answers to all the problems of the world but does what he believes is right. I did like how the focus was kept entirely on him and Kagari and not the other heroines as they would have gotten in the way and distracted us from the story. The ending was good and satisfying for this series as humanity is able to keep on living just like Kagari and Kotarou wished. While the Terra route was definitely better than the previous route there were a few pacing problems and there were a few characters who seemed like they had arcs only to have them incomplete and pointless.
The animation is still the same as the first season so not much has changed there and the CGI on the monsters is terrible, it honestly makes Berserk look passable. The soundtrack is also good and maintains a high level of quality to it.
Is it better than the first season
Yes, but that doesn’t make it a good anime. If the first season was terrible, then this season is passable. Barely.
The final score for Rewrite S2 is a 5/10. It’s not a good anime but I like it more than the first season. If you like this anime, that’s fine, but I think you be better off checking out the game. The routes are better, the pacing is better, and you get a better feel of the game’s philosophy and ideas. I will give 8bit credit and say they learned from their mistakes in the last season but it’s not enough to make it a good anime in my opinion. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj.
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