Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Rewrite Episode #04 Anime Review

Mom told me that becoming an adult meant becoming able to eat bitter things.

What They Say:
Kazamatsuri, a modern, well-developed city renowned for its burgeoning greenery and rich Japanese culture, is home to Kotarou Tennouji, a high schooler least privy to the place's shared values. Content to fill his pockets with frivolity, the proud and nosy boy whiles away his time pestering the self-proclaimed delinquent Haruhiko and indulging in his amorous feelings toward the oddball Kotori.

Equipped with the superhuman ability to permanently rewrite any part of his body to multiply his strength or speed, Kotarou is naturally drawn to the supernatural. One special meeting with the lone member and president of the Occult Research Club, the "Witch" Akane Senri, leads to Kotarou reviving the Occult Club by recruiting Kotori and three other members: the clumsy transfer student Chihaya, the strict class representative Lucia, and the unassuming Shizuru. As Kotarou unveils hidden secrets of each member of the Occult Club through their shared adventures, he will inevitably encounter a fate that only he might be able to rewrite.

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers).
Just like any normal male, I love me some eyepatches. Suffice it to say, when I realized this week's Rewrite episode centered around Shizuru Nakatsu, I was pretty darn excited. I mean, we've already seen quite a bit of her in comparison to some of the other heroines, but who doesn't like an extra dose of twintailed loli eyepatch goodness, am I right?

Anyway, this week's installment begins with the occult research club (Mainly Kotarou) trying to figure out, once again, how to prove the existence of the paranormal in Kazamatsuri. Working off of his memories of Esaka from the night before, Kotarou sets out to find the antique shop the older gentleman originally told him about. The main problem is that Kotarou has no idea where this place could be and the one person who might be able to help him (Shizuru) is completely MIA. So, Kotarou sets off into uncharted territory all by his lonesome in an effort to uncover to mysterious antique shop, ultimately stumbling upon the slums of Kazamatsuri. After bumping into some suspicious dude who definitely knows who Kotarou is for some reason, our protagonist stumbles across a bunch of thugs in the heart of some random alleyway. Luckily for him, these thugs answer to none other than good ole' Yoshino, who is finally more than just a side character Kotarou picks on.

With the help of these thugs, Kotarou uncovers Esaka's antique store and -- Oh, look, it's Shizuru! After scolding her about the proper usage of modern-day cellular devices, Kotarou heads home with the loli, stopping at random thrift stores along the way that showcase how economically responsible she is. One thing leads to another and Shizuru eventually winds up in Kotarou's room (In a totally platonic way) and he gifts unto the joys of the MP3 player, which soon after becomes her favorite thing in the entire world. The next day, the two embark on a journey into Shizuru's past which becomes surprisingly depressing and equally as moving.

Shizuru takes Kotarou to her old home and asks him to wait there with her. Some time later, an older woman shows up -- Shizuru's mother. However, there isn;t a heartfelt reunion or a hug or anything like that. Shizuru's mother doesn't remember her. In fact, neither does her father when he shows up just moments later. As it turns out, Shizuru also has a supernatural ability -- the power to erase one's memory. For many years, Shizuru enjoyed a happy life with her parents. However, that all came to a close after some giant dragonfly thing destroyed their home and nearly killed her father. As she weakly stumbles over to his body, we see a shard of glass lodged deep into her right eye. A group of men (Who we can assume to be a supernatural task force of some sort) find the remnants of the Nakatsu family home and take the entire family to the hospital, where Shizuru's powers are discovered for the first time. Following the accident and utter destruction of their home, the Nakatsu's slip into an economic crisis. So when that supernatural task force shows up and offers an incredibly large sum of money in exchange for the studying of Shizuru, the young girl (Who has since begun to understand her family's position) accepts.

But when Shizuru returned home a year or two later, she discovered that the relationship between her mother and father had only gotten worse. In a last-minute attempt to "fix" her family, Shizuru attempts to wipe the memories of her parents back to a time in which everything was happier and better. In doing that, however, she wound up erasing all of their memories of her, forcing her into a life aided only by the organization that conducted studies on her.

In Summary:
This emotionally-driven episode drives up the backstory exposition that the past several KEY animations have been lacking, becoming a step or two closer to series like Air and Kanon while still possessing an endearing modern-day charm. With the gates into the supernatural aspects of Rewrite finally beginning to creak open, it's only a matter of time until the show propels down the familiar road of tragedy and drama. Shizuru's character shines throughout this entire episode and fans of this particular heroine will be quite happy to watch how it progresses. Episode #04 is powerful on all fronts and I'm once again excited to see how things continue from this point on.

Grade: A-

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

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