I love you too, don’t worry.
I always like giving credit where credit is due, and nobody deserves more credit then Akane’s voice actress, Eri Kitamura. I could never shake off that feeling that she’d make a killing working in phone-sex service. Even the most banal conversations gave off a sultry and very dirty feeling to them. I really have to
wonder long for question what an H scene would be like with Akane in question. There would probably be a lot of whips. And handcuffs. Possibly rope depending on how frisky Kotarou is feeling at the time.
Releasing my inner masochism aside, I feel like I want to know where the.. inspiration for Akane came from. Did someone have a really hot and dirty sounding sadist for a girlfriend one time? How did they bring it up when they were discussing characters? “So! This girl here. Yes. Make sure her route is really sad. With a lot of thought provoking messages and character development for Kotarou. And don’t forget the sexy voice and attitude, too! If we’re going to get all serious and gritty we might as well give a stiffy at the same time.” The bastards.
Ladies and gentlemen, Rewrites leading cause of awkward erections, Senri Akane!
Not a single damn was given that day.
Akane is one of those rare treats that occasionally doesn’t fall into much of any fixed archetypes at all. She’s eccentric, sadistic and rather dark / gloomy when she wants to be. None of that detracts from her hilariousness, though. She’s quite the NEET, which becomes no more apparent by the time she (no, that’s not photoshopped) calls Kotarou a literal noob. However, because some dark power is afoot, she is somehow pushed by fate into the position of president of the Occult Club… despite her personal scepticism towards all things supernatural. Contrary to what one would expect from the laid back, docile demeanour of a neet, the insulted, humiliated Kotarou never lives down a single mistake when crossing her — suffering either mental or the occasional physical trauma for doing so. If there is one thing Akane has going for her, it’s that she manages to be damn sexy while doing it.
She also promised to let Kotarou touch her boobs if he proved supernatural stuff existed. Which I did. Take that, you witch.
On the serious side of things, Akane’s character is quite gigantic, to the point where I’m not exactly sure how to sum it up very neatly. Especially since you could half call this the Kotarou route since his character is so deeply interwoven in the growth undertaken alongside Akane. Her ‘true’ character isn’t something that’s hidden from the audience at the start, as contrasted to the Lucia’s route. Akane is a very forward yet a rather large labyrinth of a character. She is so multifaceted that the reader might not be able to keep up with her, but I think it’s part of her charm, honestly. Of course, loving Akane is a bit of a trial in and of itself, as you learn very thoroughly during her route. What with all the holy woman shenanigans along side the sheer magnitude of the crazy shit she tries to pull you into. It’s quite a lot to take in. Although, after Chihaya’s route, I guess I can’t say I didn’t see the crazy train coming. Even so, Akane is still somehow honest to the core. And even through the darkest portions of her route it’ll be hard to dislike her.
Personally, I really liked Kotarou’s growth as a character here. Someone who has to dismiss his own humanity and embrace some really twisted ideals in order to live for someone who is already so beyond that line herself. He crosses this line at such breakneck speed that he can no longer recognize his old self anymore. He endures a lot. One time he comments on how he’s starting to look as if he aged ten years over the course of the last year alone, which I think sums up his growth rather accurately. Kotarou works hard, albeit for quite some odd ideals at times, seeing how he’s fully fledged with Gaia this time around. It’s a rather interesting way of looking at the whole protagonist and player relationship, as Kotarou gets closer and closer to the breaking point and you feel him slipping away from his humanity along with.. well, humanity. It gets to the point where you wonder how much you actually knew him in comparison to all the other routes.
Sorry, this is getting a bit too melodramatic. Here, have some Akane being mean, you masochistic pervert.
I‑I mean, no. This was degrading. And insulting. Yeah.
Akane’s route is a little more then incredibly bleak and hopeless. It really showcases one of Rewrites main themes (which I’ll probably talk about more in my full review after I finish Moon/Terra) which is humanity’s relationship with the world. I can’t say it doesn’t seem a little.. small in scope though, since we never really see the rest of the world, but it really showcases how small we can be if the natural order of things just decided to give us the finger. It is hopeful in a small sense where you can kind of see humanity coming together at certain sections and actually try and better themselves, but there’s not much of it. Akane really made me think a bit. It’s actually kind of hard to think of words on how to sum this route up without spoiling anything without just saying ‘it’s good.’
There’s a little bit of Science vs Religion here, but it never really gets fleshed out into that much beyond a passing detail, which I’m a bit grateful for. It mostly showcases how neither side can be good but how both sides can be equally as wrong. It would have been a bit interesting to see it get pushed a little farther but I don’t think that’s what it would be going for. After all, it doesn’t really matter if you’re a bishop or if you’re a scientist, you’re still a human, and in this universe being a human is reason enough to get mother natures footprint implanted into your face. So, the whole thing gets kind of brushed to the side, which I’m thankful for since it’d probably have been a bit out of place in the grand scheme of things.
Also, the fighting in this scene seems to have gone up a bit in quality since it’s less about detailed flashy moves and more about lives being ripped away from people. It’s a lot more.. violent in this route then the other side ones, which I guess fits into the whole dark bleak brutality of the rest of the whole scenario. I’m actually a bit hard pressed to come up with criticism besides one, which is once again a bit of a romance cry. Look, I understand that Rewrite isn’t about the romance and that it’s supposed to take the passenger seat, but it’s really hard to connect to a character where his sole motivation is being with somebody he loves when we never get to see anything besides the romance’s damn shadow. It’s less about the quality of the romance and honestly more about quantity. Kotarou is willing to sacrifice his own life a hundred and twenty times over, I get that, but if every nice thing and happy toast they share is time skipped and glossed over, how are we supposed to know it’s even the slightest bit fucking genuine? Kotarou and Akane could have gotten freaking married and I would have never known about it.
Besides that though there’s really not much to complain about. The pacing is pretty good, if not a little draggy towards the end. The characters it focuses on are explored and grow believably. Lots of conflict. Of course, it is all rather bleak and harrowing at times, quite possibly leaving a few people dead inside. The ending is even bleak despite it’s rather hopeful way of looking at things. In some cases it’s a frightened girl getting too much put on her plate and being forced to inherit power and ideals that she never asked for, and in some others it’s a guy struggling with what he’s becoming as he descends into some sort of wicked spiral of self-deplorability taking one one life after another and–
Okay, pardon me if I’m not feeling very damn funny about it. Here, have some more Akane:
Screw the rules, I have money.
Well, if Kotori managed despite everything to sell me on the main plot of Rewrite, Akane might as well been the scantily clad model behind her, promising me pancakes and beer by the bucket-load if I gave them my time and effort. I’m really starting to get into Rewrite’s story here. It all feels very.. creative. It’s a very thought provoking story with some rather mature themes that I’m not so sure everyone’s going to get, but I suppose I haven’t seen everything yet. Moon and Terra still await, after all. Either way, the story got.. very interesting here. I still have a lot of questions though. I will say, Akane has got me even more interested then I was before, and I’m really curious to see where it all ends up.
Honorable mention of this route goes to Yoshino. I was actually.. incredibly warmed up by the big idiots appearance near the end. He was actually the happiest part of the route to me, seeing him after so long. It was kind of cruel seeing him at the school during a scene, kind of a reminder of the life Kotarou didn’t have anymore, but the scene at the end with him was.. rather heart warming to say the least. Another mention goes to a little girl that I wont mention the name of right now incase she comes back up later, but she kind of reminded me of Ushio a bit. And she was pretty amusing at times. Kind of wish I had seen more of her. The last honorable mention goes towards a rather specific fight scene in this route. I said before that Rewrite’s fight scenes have been rather lackluster, but this one changed my mind a bit. It was damn good.
I’m not really sure what else I can talk about for this route, so I’ll just throw in a bit of padding about Rewrite so far since it’s the last side route I’m going to be doing before entering into the Key Finale. I can kind of see what people mean when they say that the game is really long and could have used a small trim. And that some of the earlier side routes really take a bit of a overall quality shift in comparison to Lucia and Akane. I will say I don’t find the earlier side-routes nearly as bad as other people do, but I will say I think the bright and incredibly good character cast and the overarching story of Rewrite kind of carried them a bit. I’m pretty terrified to go into the main routes as I’ve very rarely heard anything bad about them, so. I’m looking forward to it.
Doesn’t seem all that bad, does it?
OVERALL THOUGHTS, REVIEW AND WHAT-NOT?!
Honestly very little to complain about. Besides the aforementioned romance gripe I have with this route, if you were at all invested into Rewrite’s plot and message you will probably really like this route from start to finish. It’s a very interesting way of looking at the Gaia side of things, and while it doesn’t make me like them or anything it was at least good to see the actual workings of the whole organization. Congratulations. The people that want to help the world all fight amongst themselves like a pissed off daycare center. Yay. Glad we’re in such fucking capable hands.
I’m really having trouble coming up with any criticisms. I can’t even nitpick here because everything sounds so small when I say it in my head. I could say the ending drags on a little more then necessary but that’s kind of irrelevant I could say there’s one guy in particular that gets in your way alot that I think they could have done without, but that’s probably not right. And I could bring up how Akane comes off as a bit antagonistic at times and it’s hard to like her then, but I also don’t think that’s right either. Hell, I could even say the other characters are sidelined to shit to the point of forgetting them — but that doesn’t even matter when left with the scale of everything this route is about. Really. I’m stuck. And no, what I did there was not disguised nitpicking. It’s just blatantly shitty nitpicking that I’m calling even myself out for.
Guess I’ve lost this round. I’ll just go ahead and say Akane is really the one route you want to read. I’d highly, highly recommend Lucias too, of course, but I could probably see why someone who likes continuity and someone who wants there story to relate a little more to the main plot wouldn’t consider it a must-read. Akane’s route just hits a lot of perfect spots and there’s not much to say other then that. I kind of wish I was more spoilerific like I used to be, cause it’d be alot easier to talk about if I was.
And.. well. It’s that time, I guess. Moon and Terra are the only ones left. Once again, like Akane’s route, I’m fairly terrified. Especially considering what most people consider ‘good’ in relation to these type of works is most often in the same sentence as ‘sad, depressing, soul-wrenching and heart-breaking.’ Oh well, I knew what I was getting into. I’m not sure if I’ll compile Moon and Terra into one super-post. Should I? Hm. Guess I’ll see if anyone has a preference.
Until then, ciao!
Seems a bit more omnious now, really. ;;