Rewrite Review — Needed A Few Rewrites Of Its Own

Preferably one that rewrites itself out of existence.

Well well well, Romeo Tanaka. We meet again. It hasn’t even been a year since I reviewed that last atrocity with your name on it, and now you’re teaming up with a company that people only remember at this point because After Story still ranks high on MAL after all this time in order to get recognized by anime fans who will never play your supposed masterpiece Cross Channel, and thus will only remember you as the guy who made Humanity Has Declined and a load of shit that no one cares about. I sympathize with you. I really do. The anime industry is a fucked up place that holds back actual talent. We all know that by now.

But like the people who okayed that godawful Ratchet & Clank movie, you’ve got to ask yourself this: is having an anime adaptation of your work really the ultimate prize it’s all cracked up to be? Don’t you realize by now that you work in a video game industry, and thus are inherently incompatible with an entertainment medium that the viewer can’t physically interact with? Don’t you realize that for ever Steins;Gate and Madoka Magica that ends up making it big, there are fifty World Conquest Zvezda Plots, Robotics;Notes, and Classroom Crises. And assuming you do know this, don’t you know that teaming up with fucking 8-bit is considered a mistake in every sense of the word? I mean who even remember what anime they made? Oh right, these are the guys who made Grisaia. And yet somehow, even when you’re working with them, they end up creating a product several times worse to the point that could have done better.

You’d think I’d have spent all my outrage regarding Rewrite after the last post I wrote about it and you’d be mostly right, but the thing about this show is that it’s my favorite kind of bad to review on the grounds that it fucks up so royally that you could write more essays about what it does wrong than you can about the many interpretations of Utena. It’s not bad in that “incredibly lackluster to the point that I can’t even remember what it is I’m supposed to be complaining about” that characterized the last few shows I reviewed. This is straight up “I see how this could have been better if it was handled by people with actual talent, or at least a chimpanzee” bad. And even when I’m being calm about it, there’s so many words dripping with unsubtle bile I can write about the product that I can actually cause some impact on the industry by making the producers lose even less money than they already have. Hell, I’ve already written quite a bit and I haven’t even actually started describing Rewrite as of yet. Girls Beyond the Wasteland wishes it could have fucked up as much as this.

Asshole

Rewrite is an anime about a young boy named Kotarou Tennouji, living all by himself (of course) in the incredibly environmental-friendly town of Kazamatsuri. A town which houses a bunch of mysterious secrets such as dodgy CG crabs and annoying fairy creatures that our git of a main lead just has to discover the truth about, so he ends up joining an occult club and recruits members to help him out that all happen to be female and only two of them at best exist for the sake of more than just fetish fuel. Of course, in this show’s defense, there is some semblance of a reason for his decision to only invite girls to hang out with him on one of his nature walks whilst ignoring the one male dude who he antagonizes more than Bugs Bunny did to any of the other Looney Toons. It’s because he’s a grade-A pervert who thinks sexually harassing his friends and touching their boobs is a charm point. Hey, I didn’t say the reason wasn’t “pants-on-head”levels of retarded.

But as is usual for visual novel anime, this is all just a smoke-screen for some upcoming serious plot that the writers seem to think would be a good idea to wait until halfway through the show to introduce for some reason, and in Rewrite’s case, it turns out that Kotarou’s friends actually belong to secret government organizations that are in conflict with each other because one side wants to destroy the world in order for it to be birthed anew and the other side wants to protect humanity even though said world is a morbid state of affairs where humans can kill trees without any repercussions. Yes, the plot is basically X/1999 if you replaced all the pretentiously cool CLAMP characters with little girls who would rather drink tea and bathe in hot springs than actually do something interesting. And yes those are your eyes that just rolled on the floor right now, because your mind can’t comprehend how fucking retardedly mismatched the two plotlines are. I mean what’s next? Harem school club anime that suddenly turns into Breaking Bad?

All the moe tropes together for a forest orgy, unfortunately not looking their best.

Admittedly though, Rewrite does lean heavily on one of its mismatched sides to the point that the other one doesn’t cause much interference. It’s just too bad that said side is the banal school life side where nothing interesting ever happens and there’s no drive to events other than curious retardation. Yeah, remember how I said before that I hate most visual novel anime (and most anime in general for that matter) because for some reason people can’t get it into their heads that “comedic episodes and light conflicts that solely exist to build up the world and the characters so that when the true dramatic story hits, it’s all the more effective” is an absolutely awful concept that no one with a brain would possibly enjoy, let alone prefer to just “starting the dramatic story at the very start”? Well generally, these sorts of shows stop with their inane prologues by the halfway point, but Romeo Tanaka adaptations just can’t seem to grasp the definition of the word “stop”. It takes more than three quarters of the runtime for both Girls Beyond the Wasteland and Rewrite to get something even approaching an ongoing plot, and even then the latter seems to think that it can take a break and let girls relax in hot springs as a sort of reward for all the action that occurred previously, even though said action is only a minor skirmish against a twat that looked awful and no lasting impact because apparently stab wounds are easier to recover from than paper cuts.

The show is just littered with every bad adaptation choice you could possibly make when adapting an interactive non-linear product to a non-interactive linear world to the point that it feels like we’re living in that shitty visual novel adaptation phase of anime again. Do you remember how one of my big complaints about Charlotte was that it had a severe lack of drama when it was desperately needed? Well it seems Rewrite misinterpreted the complaints people have made about Key products being overly manipulative even harder and decided to only give service to the company’s token melodrama in the worst way possible. There’s only two episodes that try to tug at the viewer’s heartstrings and of course, it’d be directed towards the two girls with no plot-importance whatsoever, as well as being fucking botched to boot.

Just as an example, one of the episodes in the first half of the show is centered on the purple-haired girl, Lucia, and plays out like a bad horror story with its poorly directed attempts to be creepy that end with Kotarou discovering it was her who was causing all the strange things to happen because she has the ability to poison anything she touches thank to experiments done on her. Said episode ends with her throwing a hissy fit, accidentally poisoning Kotarou, him fixing himself up, revealing that she works for a secret organization, and then happy school life continues again in the very next episode. Excuse me Rewrite for not having the tear ducts required to appreciate sadness caused by “magic” that has never been foreshadowed until now, has no impact on the story beyond a few plot points that you could have conveyed better by shooting someone, doesn’t further anyone’s characterization, and indeed is never brought up again after it’s told!

You would not believe how much I laughed when these two bit the dust.

I could go on listing all the bad adaptation decisions…so let’s continue, shall we? You know how the saving grace of most Key anime is that they are at least nice to look at? Well Rewrite’s animation is uglier than Andrew Lloyd Webber, resembling one of those crappy flash animated shows from the early 2000s with the shining buffed up a bit. And that’s not even getting into the 3D animation for the monsters in this thing, which looks so retarded and clashes so badly with the backgrounds that Polygon Pictures themselves would have fired the people working on it. And even by visual novel standards, the characters are just completely unlikable. Kotarou basically bullies and sexually harasses his friends for no reason, constantly begging to touch their breasts even during serious moments to the point that you sympathize with Lucia in regards to wanting to murder the bastard. But for some reason, the girls still hang out with him like the moe tsundere sycophants they are. Even dressing into cleavage-exposing maid costumes at his request because apparently we’re living in an age where people still think it was funny when Higurashi did this. It’s like someone took a bunch of dating sim stereotypes, tacked on an arbitrary twist to each of them, and then beat them over the head with a crowbar that was made out of concentrated STUPID.

Finally there’s the ending, which is both the best part of the show in how laughably terrible it was in a “I can’t believe you did that” kind of way, as well as the worst part of the show because you couldn’t believe they actually did that. To those who played the visual novel, remember how every single girls’ route would end with the world getting fucked? Well instead of using any one of those endings to cap things off, the producers decided to go a bit more original…by ripping off Evangelion like every other anime under the sun. One of the girls performs a ritual that kills off every human being on the planet and turns them into glowing orbs so that our plant life sovereign can reign supreme in a manner that would make Poison Ivy blush. No, I am not kidding. That is actually what happens, and before you guys start thinking “hey, that actually sounds pretty awesome”, note that a sequel adapting the true route that will no doubt retcon the ending harder than Aldnoah Zero did after its three-month break is coming out next season because the creators were so confident that die-hard fans would want it after sitting through this misery. Starting right at the end of this sentence, you have one second to name a single anime where keeping the prologue and the actual meat of the story divided into two distinct series was a good idea.

Time’s up. That’s what I thought.

This is what the Key/Rewrite fanbase looked like after finishing the show.

I am not exaggerating when I say there is literally no audience for this show at all. If you’re a fan of the visual novel, you’ll be turned off by the insipid adaptation choices that basically scream “fuck it, if they paid full price for that Little Busters anime, they’ll pay full price for this”. And if you’re not a fan, you’d be clawing your eyes out at the complete lack of fun on screen assuming you can work up the interest necessary to acknowledge Rewrite’s existence in the first place. I don’t know how well the blu-rays sold, but the number can’t be high. I mean we’re living in an age where the fujoshi market makes up the numbers now and Rewrite definitely doesn’t have much in the way of manservice for fangirls to slobber over. The only people I can possibly see enjoying this show are those with a lead pipe shoved in your brain’s front lobe, and if that’s the case, it’d be cheaper and more exciting to just shove poo down the pipe’s hole.

Minor Quips

  • You could watch Planetarian twice in the amount of time it takes for Rewrite to get anything resembling an overarching plot.
  • I know there was some explanation for why getting an anime is the ultimate goal in Bakuman, but fuck me if I can remember what it was, or whether it’s still relevant at this point.
  • Feel free to decipher what STUPID is an acronym for in the comments section.

2 responses to “Rewrite Review — Needed A Few Rewrites Of Its Own

  1. I’m really glad I dropped this. Having no familiarity with the subject matter I found the first episode intriguing and then the second episode completely dull and more or less decided if it couldn’t even figure out what the tone of the show was it wasn’t really something I was interested in watching when it came out.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • I don’t get the appeal of episodes that are nothing but foreshadowing. Why not just give it to us now, and if it’s supposed to build up impact for when the inevitable happens, what are you building that foreshadowing on?

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