Rewrite: Lucia (Spicy Demon of Justice!)

The tsundere in it's natural habitat

#1 Cause of brain dam­age in the Rewrite uni­verse. 

There’s tsun­dere — and then there’s this.  If you’re walk­ing out from a date in an ice cream par­lour look­ing like you just got ran over by a bus, three cars and a stam­pede of angry rhi­noc­er­osyou have to won­der if ‘tsun’ real­ly does your girl jus­tice. She beats you for watch­ing her eat, she beats you for say­ing jok­ing around, she beats you because your face is rather asym­met­ri­cal from all the swelling and could use some straight­en­ing out! And pri­mar­i­ly, you get beat because you are Kotarou, and just freak­ing deserved it, you friv­o­lous bas­tard you. Luci­a’s par­tic­u­lar type of tsun­dere is rem­i­nis­cent of Tachibana from Nichi­jou, in the sense that whole per­sona is so over the top that you may have a feel­ing they’re mak­ing fun of the whole tsun­dere trope in itself.

We need a name that can cap­ture the essence of these bla­tant­ly over-the-top kinds of arche­types. She’s like a tsun­dere, albeit mad­der…heh. Mad-dere. Infact, we might need to drop the dere por­tion of this all togeth­er. There’s only so much brain trau­ma one man can han­dle before dere becomes a word he can’t say with­out slob­ber­ing on him­self. Any­one have any good ideas here?

Right. Let’s move along here. Kono­hana Lucia!

Ծ_Ծ

I‑I’M SORRY.

Vio­lence and pain are the themes of this route and you are but a small, per­verse hea­then where Lucia is the right hand of jus­tice. Kotarou spends such a stag­ger­ing amount of time get­ting kicked around and air-com­bo’d by Lucia that he prob­a­bly spends more time fly­ing then most sky­divers and some young birds. Lucia might also be the most audi­ble char­ac­ter of the line-up as she prefers to com­mu­ni­cate in often very strange nois­es and shrieks, which at its best can sound like some sort of adorably small ani­mal and at its worst can be some­where along the lines of a moe­fied ver­sion of a ban­shee.

Luci­a’s char­ac­ter is filled with ups and downs. She makes you hap­py, makes you sad, makes you gen­uine­ly frus­trat­ed and makes you feel help­less, espe­cial­ly when you start see­ing the brit­tle shell under­neath the jus­tice-filled fists of pain. The route flesh­es out every col­or and shade that Lucia can be. See­ing her char­ac­ter grow and be hap­py is amaz­ing­ly grat­i­fy­ing and sin­cere, while see­ing the rug pulled out from under her is painful and heart­break­ing. Noth­ing ever real­ly feels over­ly dra­mat­ic and out-of-char­ac­ter, and every­thing makes sense as far as her feel­ings are con­cerned. Some peo­ple might feel annoyed with the frag­ile-flower han­dling of Lucia, but I have to sin­cere­ly ques­tion if some­one could man­age to go the entire route with­out feel­ing a sin­gle shred of sym­pa­thy for her. Rewrite man­aged to do a damn good job at keep­ing Lucia both respectable and strong whilst still allow­ing us to see the human under­neath it all.

…Okay. Right. Route. That was far too long. Let’s get going before I attempt to start a fundrais­er.

Missed the good part~

Kotarou, gen­uine mas­ter of romance.

So, I’m fair­ly sure every­one mod­er­ate­ly inter­est­ed in Rewrite has been told about how much Luci­a’s route dif­fers from the oth­ers. I can safe­ly say it is rather true! It’s appar­ent from the begin­ning, deal­ing with a whole new can of worms and even a new por­tion of the com­mon route. Lucia is such a depressed and lone­ly per­son at times that many read­ers might have trou­ble empathiz­ing or under­stand­ing how she feels. How­ev­er, to an extent, any­one who has had to go through the pain of adapt­ing to the envi­ron­ment of say a new school and the sub­se­quent fall­out of deal­ing with the local jack­offs could prob­a­bly find some­thing tan­gi­ble in the whirl­wind of Luci­a’s heart that is actu­al­ly relat­able to. Not to wor­ry, though! Short­ly after, Lucia reclaims her place as record hold­er for most con­cus­sions inflict­ed upon Kotarou in ten sec­onds flat!

Some­thing also worth men­tion­ing is that the begin­ning starts off as a rather odd yet fair­ly rat­tling hor­ror-mys­tery sec­tion. Now, I’m not sure why this was so unset­tling to me if I’m going to be per­fect­ly hon­est. The answer to the mys­tery is fair­ly obvi­ous even when the VN did put in a good effort to con­vince me oth­er­wise. It’s a bit too short of a sec­tion to be tru­ly mind-blow­ing  but for some rea­son it real­ly freak­ing got to me. Maybe it’s because I was invest­ed into Lucia so ear­ly on, so the left-turn into One Missed Call ter­ri­to­ry was a bit ran­dom, espe­cial­ly con­sid­er­ing the oth­er routes I had played before this. Maybe it’s because I am secret­ly a lit­tle girl and hor­ror scares me. I don’t know. Either way, for the short time the hor­ror sec­tion was shown and the mys­tery was­n’t imme­di­ate­ly guess-wor­thy, I will admit, It got to me. I’ll leave my man card on the desk at the front.

Damnit Rewrite, I came in here expect­ing some crazy oth­er­world­ly non­sense and some tsun­dere moe’ on the side, not a damn con­sti­pa­tion aid. Hav­ing said that though, I can’t exact­ly say I know what the whole creepy sus­pense atmos­phere was for in the first place. Sure, you could prob­a­bly say that the whole thing was fore­shad­ow­ing and for some rather inter­est­ing char­ac­ter insight into Lucia, and I’d prob­a­bly agree. You could also say that the whole pur­pose was to estab­lish the depres­sion and anx­i­ety with Luci­a’s back­sto­ry and I could say that’s true too. Yet, I don’t real­ly get why it had to feel like a sec­tion from The Ring. All ten­sion gets tossed out the win­dow fair­ly quick­ly and it’s not like any oth­er parts of the route ever take on the same atmos­phere, but this sounds like nit­pick­ing, even to me. And like I said before, the route STILL man­aged to creep me out quite a bit for some rea­son, so maybe we’ll just chalk it up to a cre­ative dif­fer­ence.

Of course, this was­n’t the high­light for me, as I made it per­fect­ly clear ear­li­er that Luci­a’s rather incred­i­ble char­ac­ter devel­op­ment that starts near the end of the com­mon route and does­n’t ever freak­ing stop was the run­ner of the show for me, and this por­tion cer­tain­ly helped that. And while the atmos­phere could be arguably a bit redun­dant, it was a rather inter­est­ing spin on things I had seen so far in Rewrite and I can’t say I can think of a bet­ter way of estab­lish­ing Luci­a’s back­sto­ry, so that point will prob­a­bly remain point­less. Yes, that was an oxy­moron. I’m a cre­ative but­ter­fly. Sue me.

She did promptly shove food down your throat after giving you a punch to the jaw.

I feel a lit­tle less safe than before.

You’re prob­a­bly think­ing, “Wow! This char­ac­ter sounds great! Too bad I’ll nev­er get to see her moe’d out since Rewrite puts romance on the back­burn­er!” Well, my over­ly cyn­i­cal friend, not to wor­ry! Luci­a’s route breaks this almost entire­ly and throws.. well, I would­n’t say all the eggs into the romance bas­ket. About eight of them. And you get to dress them up! In dress clothes, make up and maid out­fits. That’s kind of a weird thing to do to your eggs but god speed you crazy nut­ter.

See, I’m not too fond of the tsun­dere trope, because a lot of the time you end up with a girl that seems to be out­right dis­like­able only to have her turn into an entire­ly dif­fer­ent per­son like she had devel­oped some sort of damn men­tal dis­or­der.Writ­ers of these char­ac­ters seem to for­get that it’s sup­posed to be a grad­ual change to see the fluffy under­side of an oth­er­wise pissed off lion that’s been kick­ing you around the entire time. She’s not a char­ac­ter that flips on the tsun and dere por­tions of her brain out of con­ve­nience. It’s a char­ac­ter that starts out harsh and grad­u­al­ly becomes warm and fuzzy. And there real­ly are only a hand­ful of these char­ac­ters that real­ly fit and man­age to grab me, because some­times they real­ly make no sense.

You could prob­a­bly say Lucia bor­rows the ‘per­verse mis­un­der­stand­ing’ inci­dent a bit too much dur­ing the com­mon route, and you might be right, but Lucia most­ly unleash­es her tsun­dere wrath on an inci­dent-by-inci­dent basis and does­n’t real­ly hold a grudge as much as she deval­ues Kotarou’s worth every time he decides to for­get his brain at home. Some­times the tsun­dere char­ac­ters hold a grudge to the point where you would have to seri­ous­ly start ques­tion­ing if you acci­den­tal­ly kicked their dog on the way home, but Lucia most­ly just smacks Kotarou around until he has­n’t met the dum­b­ass dead­line of the day and has to go see Lucia to make that goal hap­pen.

It does­n’t real­ly feel like there are two sides of her per­son­al­i­ty, but rather one side of her per­son­al­i­ty that she sad­ly has­n’t had a rea­son to show any­one else and has­n’t real­ly been giv­en a chance to. It feels like a reward in itself with­out being forced into any sort of awk­ward split per­son­al­i­ty, which is some­thing I don’t feel like I see enough with­out it being either fetishized or extreme­ly ran­dom and unlike­able.  It got to the point where I actu­al­ly wish I saw it more, not because there was­n’t enough of it, but just because I feel like being greedy, damnit.

Of course, this is Rewrite though, and we can’t have hap­pi­ness with­out some­one across the back­yard attempt­ing to toss shit in the fan the entire time, so of course we have to be ruth­less­ly slapped for get­ting com­fort­able before being pushed out­side our house into the oncom­ing tor­na­do.

Crydere.

NO. FUN. ALLOWED.

Well, that could­n’t last too long! Remem­ber that this is still a Key game when it wants to be, which means that dur­ing the devel­op­ment they decid­ed that the play­er expe­ri­enc­ing any sort of hap­py feel­ings dur­ing the sto­ry was con­sid­ered a design flaw. To counter-act this prob­lem, they have to slap every sem­blance of hap­pi­ness out of your hands before you start get­ting hope or hap­pi­ness on its new, pol­ished floor they spent all day soak­ing in sac­ri­ficed goat car­cass. So, the plot quick­ly takes a turn on 4th and Shit­storm, where the rug is pulled out from under you so fast and so rough­ly you’ll prob­a­bly be mad at Rewrite for not at least tak­ing you to din­ner first.

ANALOGY TRAIN AHOY!

So the route goes the Shizu­ru way of things here where it tricks you and just when you’re not look­ing decides to dump the house on you. And I must say, it’s pret­ty damn jar­ring at times as the plot seem­ing­ly gets dark­er every extra sec­ond you spend read­ing it. Every­thing just seems real­ly bleak and even the laps­es in dark­ness dur­ing this seg­ment of the route seem like out­right lies and attempts to steer you away from the next slap in the face Rewrite is about to deliv­er. I don’t want to give this part too many com­pli­ments though. The spot on my face where the route picked up the kitchen sink and hit me with it still hurts.

I must say though, the Rewrite uni­verse is filled with some real ass­holes. Even after Chi­haya’s route I had been strug­giling to real­ly find any­thing good to say about Gaia. I’m not sure if I’m sup­posed to think they have a point but dis­agree with their meth­ods or if I’m sup­posed to view them as out­right douchebags. Hon­est­ly, it did­n’t real­ly feel like there was much rea­son to side with them over Guardian, but holy shit was I wrong! Not because Gaia is any bet­ter, but turns out, Guardian isn’t all that much bet­ter either! Turns out they too are filled with hyper extrem­ist dip­shits that seem con­vinced that giv­ing the world a hefty offer­ing of bleach would be the best way to solve all the plan­ets prob­lems! Well, seems like the world is deter­mined to wipe itself out. We should gath­er all the peo­ple that don’t want the world to end and go hang out with those great bam­boo aliens over on the moon.

I would say they are car­toon­ish­ly vil­lain­ous like Midou over on Chi­haya’s route, but it’s not total­ly true, and these peo­ple have some mer­it. It lets you see both sides of the coin here. Until now I had always thought Guardian made way more sense then Gaia, but now I real­ize that ‘pro­tect­ing’ some­thing can mean a lot of things, real­ly, and what peo­ple want to pro­tect dif­fers great­ly from per­son to per­son. It was a bit bor­der­line insane, though, and you would won­der how some­one would get such high-rank­ing author­i­ty while being com­plete­ly off there rock­er, but at least it let me see the dark­er side of Guardian, which I’m thank­ful for, because I’m quite a deal less biased against Gaia now.

And final­ly, to get to the end of his mon­strous biased as shit post, Luci­a’s route cli­maxed prop­er­ly. It was a lit­tle dark, but it did every­thing I could have asked for giv­en the cir­cum­stances. It’s hope­ful, a bit sad, a bit trag­ic but uplift­ing, sat­is­fy­ing AND leaves stuff open for the fan­disc. I can’t real­ly ask for more, here. So, to cut this short because this is get­ting far too long, I’ll just say that apart from Kotarou’s incred­i­bly frus­trat­ing and bor­der­line com­plete fuck­ing idio­cy at the end, I real­ly liked this cli­max and it topped off the route nice­ly.

Sunflowers!

Don’t wor­ry, just a lit­tle more splurge to go!

OVERALL THOUGHTS, REVIEW AND WHATNOT?!

I don’t real­ly think I need to put any­thing here, but for a TL;DR, I’ll sum it up. Luci­a’s route may not have been the best sto­ry-wise and it does go quite a huge deal left from the rest of Rewrite, and some­times the sym­pa­thet­ic pain does feel pulled straight out of a hat. Lucia, though, real­ly struck home with me and con­nect­ed on almost every­thing I could have asked for. It was relat­able in quite a few ways, the char­ac­ter devel­oped in both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive ways lead­ing to a rather vio­lent roller coast­er of ups and downs, remained con­sis­tent and was just as live­ly and vibrant as any side-char­ac­ter slot would ever allow, per­haps even more so. Noth­ing ever felt like sta­tus quo. When she was hap­py, it real­ly meant some­thing and felt real, and when she was sad you knew why and it could make you feel sad or help­less. Lucia has to go down for me as one of my favorite side char­ac­ters and maybe even char­ac­ters in gen­er­al.

For you, though, it’ll vary. This is all com­ing from a guy who was instant­ly con­nect­ed with iso­la­tion and depres­sion, along with oth­er things. I found a ton of things to take away from it, but you might not. Espe­cial­ly if you don’t con­nect with Lucia, don’t like her stereo­typ­i­cal mad-dere per­sona dur­ing the com­mon route or just don’t like how dark and sym­pa­thet­ic the game tries to make her come off as. The route, also, is quite dis­con­nect­ed from the rest of the sto­ry, but to me that’s what made it so inter­est­ing. It might not be that way to you. I’ll leave that to you to decide.

If you’re a fan of tsun­dere, she’ll prob­a­bly come off as a treat, too! Albeit on the more vio­lent side (I still want to find a new name for these types) of things and a bit more extreme, but it’s real­ly nice to see the tsun­dere char­ac­ter treat­ed with a bit of respect and not have her dip­ping into her oth­er per­son­al­i­ty every half a sec­ond. Some­thing not seen enough for the arche­type, sad­ly.

So, I’ll lay this mon­ster to rest, I think. It’s the long haul now, where all the emo­tions start pound­ing on me and I’m pret­ty wor­ried if I’ll make it out alive. Akane’s route has a pret­ty intense rep­u­ta­tion, so I’m a lit­tle freaked out, but I got­ta brave the storm! So, see you when­ev­er I decide to pick up my man-card again and get on Akanes route.

I’ll be okay, right?

WELL FUCK

I’m so screwed.

4 thoughts on “Rewrite: Lucia (Spicy Demon of Justice!)

  1. Yeah I think the only rea­son why they snuck in that mys­tery part was sim­ply because Ryukishi07 wrote the Lucia route and he did it for his fans.

    Those who read Hig­urashi and Umineko would know that Ryukishi07 excels at mys­tery and even though the mys­tery por­tion was short, it was extreme­ly well writ­ten and show­cas­es Ryuk­ishi’s tal­ent quite nice­ly

    1. Ohh­hh right, Ryuk­ishi. That’s why I was so creeped out. Now it makes sense.

      Thanks for the slight clar­i­ty.

  2. Ryukishi07 should just stick to romance from now on, that date was pure gold.

    If you don’t like Gaia now, just wait for Akane’s route, Moon, and Ter­ra. Your opin­ion of them will be far worse, par­tic­u­lar­ly one char­ac­ter who shall not be named here.…

    1. I agree. That date was more then I could have asked for. I kind of want to see what a full on moege would be like with him behind it now. Can’t believe it.

      And I nev­er real­ly liked Gaia, I was just unsure if Rewrite was actu­al­ly try­ing to get me to hate them or not. Was a bit on the fence.

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