Saturday, April 1, 2017

Rewrite Episode #24 Anime Review (Season Finale)

One day, I realized I had nothing.

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:
(Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
When Rewrite's second season started, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't the slightest bit sceptical concerning whatever the hell its game plan was. Now after watching all eleven of its episodes (Equating to a full 24 over the course of both seasons), I would be a fool to say that the series fell flat. At the same time, I would also be a fool to say that I understood everything that happened. Rewrite is a damn confusing show -- season two proves that. And this episode may just be the most confusing one yet. After all, the end of the world can't possibly be all that simple, right?

The final instalment of season two begins with a brief monologue from our protagonist about how he has betrayed everyone he loves all for one person. Well, one person and the fate of the world. You get the point. However, shortly after his monologue comes to a close, Kotarou is discovered by Imamiya and several other Guardian hunters, where he is clearly and obviously labelled a traitor. But after finally showing his former comrades his true power of blood manipulation and overall superhuman strength, Kotarou is able to escape and sets his sights on Gaia's headquarters, where they have once again broken out the choir to usher in the end of the world. By the time he gets there, it's already too late.

The song has ended, but the world still stands. And amongst the bodies scattered all over the glass floor is none other than the original Martel foster mom, Iko. Iko, having lost all hope for raising orphans, wound up trading in her position for a chance to 'make the world a better place'. After a sentimental monologue and a surprisingly emotional reaction from Kotarou (Who I thought was supposed to be devoid of everything at this point), Iko passes away. I imagine that the reason for this intense grief brought on by the passing of Iko is that she was never really the bad guy. She was always just some lawful-good foster mom who wanted nothing more than to watch over her children -- no matter how terrible she was at it.

After leaving the Gaia sky-platform, Kotarou pays a quick visit to the City of Stone where he meets up with Akane and gives her a few mammoths to keep her company. This is an extremely kind gesture because everyone she knows just died. Immediately after entrusting a ten-year-old girl with the lives of two animals, Kotarou comes back to the normal realm and sets off to find Kagari. However, when he finally reaches the hill they always meet on, his body has given up on him. Kotarou collapses to the ground and starts transforming due to the Rewrite power's side effects. Before he is fully gone, however, Kagari walks up to him and essentially tells him that they failed their mission and that the world is still doomed. Also, she has long hair now for some reason. It's probably a metaphor.

The most confusing part of this episode is everything surrounding this scene and everything that comes afterwards. One thing I'm concerned about is pretty much everything about Yasmin. There is a monologue from her perspective somewhere around this scene where she's basically talking about how she misses Kotarou and how he's trying so hard to save the world. Which is all fine and good, until she looks out the window and says, "I hope you're happy on wherever planet you go next," as she stares at some celestial body that is clearly way more important than just a normal moon. And as if that wasn't enough to start messing with my head, all five of the main heroines then show up and then summon Kotarou out of a tree. But before we get into that, I'm obligated to talk more about the thirty seconds leading up to it.

Apparently, Kotarou has somehow managed to unify Guardian and Gaia. I think. Once again, I never played the visual novel so this is just my interpretation. But after Kotarou dies, we see a short montage of the five main heroines pretty much growing up together and attending the same foster care. In said foster care, Shizuru and Lucia are doing normal badass combat stuff while Akane and Chihaya play with monsters. Once again, this is all fine and good, but what was the deciding factor in allying these two forces that were enemies moments ago? I feel like something was missed there. Okay, NOW we can talk about the tree.

So, plain and simple, the tree is Kotarou. After he dies and Kagari vanishes, his body continues transforming over time and eventually grows to be the height of the world tree we've been seeing for two seasons now (Or maybe he was the world tree all along?). This idea, in itself, is phenomenal. I love it. But as soon as I realized how much I loved this, Rewrite's weirdness kicked in again and the heroines all joined hands in front of the tree before summoning a butler version of Kotarou with the dude from NeverShoutNever's haircut. Then, Kotarou sucks all five of them into the tree, they turn into a ball of light, and then they go to the moon to visit Kagari. But there are so many questions. Do these girls know Kagari? We clearly saw alternate timelines colliding in Kotarou's memories just moments ago, so the idea is possible. But instead, Kotarou and Kagari just kiss and all of the girls gasp. What?

I promise that moment was a lot more emotional than I just made it sound.

In Summary:
Despite having one of the rockiest starts in recent memory, Rewrite's second season wound up being significantly better than its first -- even with its unanswered plot-holes. But, from what I understand, there is still a lot that we've missed out on. I'm unsure of where the visual novel ends, but there's something about this ending that just seems so...incomplete. None of the heroines besides Kagari and Kotori even had a chance to do anything this season. And even then, Kotori's role was exponentially smaller than expected. There are still too many unanswered questions and there's still too much that needs to be uncovered. If this truly is the ending of the series, it was not articulated very well. However, if there is more to come after this, I have complete faith that Rewrite will be an incredible series overall. This season, by no means, deserves to be wrapped up with an "And then they all lived happily ever after" ending.

If you can look past how rushed that ending may feel and how confused the first several episodes are in terms of what they hope to accomplish, Rewrite's second season is great. The score is phenomenal and the backgrounds are some of the best in recent memory. This show has a lot of heart. It just has so much that, sometimes, it forgets how to show it.

Episode Grade: A-

Series Grade: B

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

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