by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 4 of
As of the middle of this episode, the adaptation of the source visual novel's general path is now apparently over. The transition to stories focusing on each individual girl has begun, and Shizuru is up first. (This is a curious choice, since from what I understand, in the original visual novel another girl's route had to be completed before Shizuru's became available.)
Before getting to that though, the story piddles around for a while in typical Key fashion, providing sometimes-amusing little snippets involving various characters. We learn that Haruhiko is secretly a street gang boss who united a lot of the riff-raff in town with the force of his fists. This actually explains a lot about his behavior, especially his strong desire to duel Kotarou. The older gentleman encountered at the ramen stand last episode also pops up again, and in addition to displaying a quirky sense of humor (reading his business card is a must), he has some blurry photos of supposed unidentified animals. Akane is still playing shooter games while talking to Kotarou, and in the weirdest incident, Ribbon Girl wanders into Kotarou's classroom during the middle of the day, bites his arm, and then leaves. No one else apparently sees her (but is Kotori's look a reaction to Kotarou's reaction or to the girl?), but they do see evidence of her passage like the door to the room mysteriously (from their view) opening and closing. Some guy also bumps into Kotarou on the street and recognizes him by name, though Kotarou doesn't seem to recognize him back.
The real meat of the episode is the focus on Shizuru in its second half. We get to learn about both her backstory and the special abilities she possesses: she can both heal and delete a person's memories with a touch. (These may be different aspects of the same power though.) Her tragic aspect stems from two directions: her family's house burned down, nearly killing them, during some incident involving a giant dragonfly that was in one of the old guy's pictures, and at a later point, in an effort to stop her parents from fighting, she accidentally deleted nearly all memory of her from their minds. She can control the power better now, thanks to having worked with a certain organization which seems to specialize in abnormal creatures and abilities, and the homeroom teacher is possibly involved in this too. Now that the trend is established, this leads me to believe that all of the other girls are involved in this as well, and they probably have their own powers. The real question at this point is whether or not they all belong to the same organization, as early revelations suggest that Akane and Chihaya are affiliated. And if there are two organizations, then which is aligned with the hunter of the ribbon girl from last episode?
Whatever proves to be the case, it looks like we're finally getting into the juicier parts of the story. Unlike with previous Key adaptations, time constraints are going to limit what would normally be multiple-episode arcs for each girl into some more limited form, but since none of the five main girls is likely to be the ultimate main focal point, I'm fine with that. Based on the end of the episode, the next girl up appears to be Lucia, who is already showing some weird problem concerning flowers. Regardless of what her deal proves to be though, delving into these revelations is finally starting to get my enthusiasm up for this series.
Rewrite is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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