by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 7 of
The disappearance of Inoue at the end of last episode seemed to mark a turning point in the series. Now presumed dead, some connections she had to Kotarou result in the Occult Club being suspended on a likely path to being shut down. (Frankly, I found the logic behind that process to be tenuous at best.) Kotarou is not about to let the club he's worked so hard to build up disband that easily, however – after all, how many times in his life does a young man get to hang out with so many cute girls? – so he and the girls decide to go out looking for Inoue themselves in the hopes that finding her will convince people to back off on accusing the Occult Club. Ironically, this decision, rather than what the school authorities might do, ends up being the final straw for the Occult Club.
I've speculated for a while now that Akane and Chihaya were aligned with the force (Gaia) that opposes the Guardians, and that gets confirmed here. Whether or not they were aware of Shizuru and Lucia's affiliation is less clear, and apparently they did not have anything to do with what's going on in the forest (although their fellows in Gaia probably do). But hey, there's nothing like discovering that your friends are actually mortal enemies to split a group up, right? Chihaya's displeasure at this turn of events isn't going to make the peace either, not when the groups have such diametrically opposed objectives. By all appearances, Kotori is not affiliated with either, but I'm not at all convinced that she's just an innocent bystander either; after all, she clearly knows Ribbon Girl well enough to get her to leave Kotarou alone. Ribbon Girl's game is equally mystifying at this point, as she defends Kotarou from a monster (again!), and yet she's still going around biting him.
Even with all of this going on, we cannot overlook what's happening with Kotarou. Now his Rewrite ability can manifest claws sufficient to kill wolves, in addition to jacking up his base physical abilities, and that certainly can't be a coincidence. With all of this talk about an individual who can herald either the world's salvation or destruction, the likelihood that this is the Ribbon Girl, and the increasing probability that Kotarou's abilities are somehow connected to her, I'm starting to wonder if the story isn't going in a similar direction to Gainax's environmentally themed 2004 series, This Ugly Yet Beautiful World.
Regardless, the action component here is more prominent than in any previous episode, which only confirms what the first episode seemed to suggest: action is never going to be a strength of the series. As with the crab monster in the first episode, the dinosaur-like critters and the flying half-plant, half-dragon are both CG creations, and while they are pretty good-looking, they're also still too clearly distinct from the 2D art to integrate flawlessly. Yes, Lucia and Shizuru reveal some nifty moves, but the animation on both them and Kotarou's side of the fights is not all that impressive. Since action is not a focal point of the series, it gets a “passable” rating here, but only just.
With the end of the episode showing all of the girls absent from school and battle lines now clearly drawn, I am curious to see where the series will go next.
Rewrite is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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