The Winter 2017 Anime Preview Guide
Rewrite season 2

How would you rate episode 1 of
Rewrite (TV 2) ?

What is this?

Kotarou always wakes up in a strange bedroom in a ruined and desolate city, alone except for a mysterious girl by a tree on a hillside, a girl with a red ribbon that she can manipulate like a weapon. He has vague recollections of dreams about other realities where he's paired with one girl or another, sometimes to a positive end, sometimes not. Or are they just dreams? Regardless, he feels compelled to try to make contact with this girl, which typically results in his death at the end of the ribbon, until he finally finds the one method that can break through to her. Rewrite season 2 is based on a visual novel and can be found streaming on Crunchyroll, Saturdays at 11 AM EST.

How was the first episode?

Theron Martin

Rating: 3

The first season of Rewrite literally ended with the destruction of the world and the implication that it was but one of many that the Key (aka Kagari) had access to. So where does a story go from there?

Well, to other variations on the original world, of course. And that's an especially natural move if your story is based on a visual novel with multiple potential paths.

The story isn't interested in playing those worlds out in detail, however. Instead we just get brief snippets of other realities, each featuring Kotarou in a different situation and/or with a different girl. In one he's married to one of the girls and has a child by her while in others he's dating different ones; one even has one of the girls somehow twinned in his ultimate fantasy scenario. Not all of them are pleasant, either, as some are still apocalyptic scenarios. In each case he always comes back to the default state in the ruined city. And he knows that he has to figure out a way to approach and communicate with her without dying, something that he fails at many, many times, sometimes in bloody ways, sometimes in comical ones – and sometimes both at the same time. What ultimately breaks the ice probably won't surprise anyone who saw the first series (and it's not like the episode title doesn't spoil it!), as I did say back during the episode reviews for the first season that I always expected that to come back and be a big factor in the story rather than just a running joke. But sometimes it's the simple things which allow people to make connections, isn't it?

I'm not familiar enough with the source material to say definitively whether this episode begins the adaptation of one of the follow-up story paths of the original visual novel or whether this is a transitional episode which is just borrowing snippets from the good and bad endings for the various potential love interests in the story. I'm guessing it's the latter, however, and if so then it is a slick and convenient way to work in little bits of those storylines. That goes doubly because the episode also doesn't give any indication at all about where the story is going to go next. What will happen now that Kotarou has had his breakthrough?

At this point I'm interested enough to want to see more, as there are numerous possible options. I'll also be curious to see if the alterations and truncations done to the base story (which were generally not popular with fans) which didn't seem to lead to anything meaningful in the first season were actually setting up for something in this season. Whichever is the case, the technical merits haven't improved one bit; this is still far from being one of the better-looking or better-animated series out there. But as episodes in this series go, I don't see this as one of the problematic ones.

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