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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