Wahfuu Review! Full Review of Rewrite.


Gar­den­ing Team Alpha Squad Redux.

I always hate fin­ish­ing a VN I real­ly like. It kind of feels like a friend is going away and you’ll nev­er know when you’ll see them next. In this case, how­ev­er, I do know when I’ll see them next, which is Har­vest Fes­ta, but I’m not sure if that total­ly counts. Either way, Rewrite is some­thing I’ll prob­a­bly remem­ber for a pret­ty long time. Flawed in quite a few ways but enjoy­able in far, far more. From it’s incred­i­bly cre­ative way of show­ing it’s mes­sage, it’s incred­i­bly dark shift in tone, its great sound-track and one of my favorite com­mon routes I’ve ever expe­ri­enced, most­ly due to the hilar­i­ous­ly bright cast of char­ac­ters. Speak­ing of which, I think Key is going to have to find a way to mix a straight-up for­eign­er in there next VN. Kud was half and even she has been eclipsed by the ever so absurd Kotori as far as butcher­ing the eng­lish lan­guage goes. I don’t know how Key plans on top­ping them­selves after this one. Maybe the next set­ting could be in boston. That’d work.

So, I’ll just say this now, because the first cou­ple of things I’m about to say are prob­a­bly going to make it sound like I don’t like Rewrite and that could­n’t be fur­ther from the truth; I think Rewrite is the best thing Key has made. By a long shot. My favorite will prob­a­bly always be Lit­tle Busters due to the relata­bil­i­ty of its mes­sage, but as far as just being good, Rewrite takes it. I think every­one could guess at least the bare­bones of Rewrites mes­sage just by read­ing the syn­op­sis, which at first glance can prob­a­bly come off as.. a sort of pro-recy­cling/pro-envi­ron­ment sto­ry with the occa­sion­al “humans suck!” chant from the VN, but at it’s best that’s a skele­ton. Rewrite is far big­ger in scope than that.

Rewrite gives us a rather dark look at human­i­ty’s rela­tion­ship with the world we occu­py. It show­cas­es how humans can real­ly resort to sledge­ham­mer tac­tics and infight­ing even though it’d be in every­one’s inter­est to work togeth­er. Human­i­ty has to get pushed to the break­ing point and to the point of crum­bling all-togeth­er before they work togeth­er which can result in far too many sac­ri­fices because we all seem to be caught up in our own agen­da unless the future is star­ing at us in the eyes. This does­n’t even cov­er all of the char­ac­ter lessons it shows from Kotarous per­spec­tive, and I could prob­a­bly sit here and think of a ton more ways that Rewrite is thought-pro­vok­ing and cre­ative, but we have lim­it­ed space here, and I must always look to stem my gush­es at least some­what constructively.

I’m sure every­one has prob­a­bly read a few of the Rewrite reviews float­ing around already, prob­a­bly most peo­ple have seen Ixrec’s pri­mar­i­ly, so you prob­a­bly know what cons I’m about to list. Not so much about the shō­nen tropes, but the length is some­thing worth men­tion­ing. A rather small amount, but notice­able amount of scenes go a bit far­ther than they need to. I would­n’t say it’s any sort of deal break­er, but this VN would still be real­ly long even if you trimmed out the scenes that dragged on for longer then they should have. And I don’t real­ly see how, but if you don’t like the humor of the com­mon route, the whole sec­tion might hon­est­ly seem a bit point­less out­side of char­ac­ter show­cas­ing. It’s bor­der­line, real­ly, but I think it’s enough to say that Rewrite’s length does work against it some­times and it prob­a­bly will for most peo­ple too.

One oth­er thing that I feel like I should men­tion is that Rewrite does occa­sion­al­ly suf­fer from a bit of a mood swap. This seems to be one of the big­ger com­plaints I see with Rewrite. Hav­ing mul­ti­ple writ­ers some­times does­n’t real­ly do it any favors as we switch from one genre to the next, so some­times just the sheer dif­fer­ence in style can be off-putting to some peo­ple. Any­ways, I admit that Rewrite does some­times suf­fer from a bit of a jar­ring iden­ti­ty cri­sis, but I don’t think the shift in mood is as break­neck as peo­ple say, and I think the rea­son peo­ple find these shifts so jar­ring is because they mis­sile in on the shon­en tropes being played so straight. So, real­ly, it’s up to you, but I feel like the shift in mood is notice­able and might gen­er­al­ly be off-putting to enough peo­ple to war­rant me say­ing it.

At the end of the day though, these com­plaints are quite minor. Although I seem to be one of the rare peo­ple who actu­al­ly liked all the side-routes despite how flawed some of them are. And to be fair, I think that even the worst side-routes of Rewrite are above the worst side routes of some of oth­er Key works. Some zig-zag in qual­i­ty with absolute fright­ful pre­ci­sion to the point where you could swear they were doing it inten­tion­al­ly and I feel like I always got at least some­thing answered in most of the side routes, but this seems to be quite argued among peo­ple, so I’ll just leave this here and see what you think.

Any­ways let’s not be total­ly 2serious4everyone here. Need to keep this enter­tain­ing enough so that every­one does­n’t imme­di­ate­ly TL;DR it. Let’s get into a cou­ple of specifics. Lii­ike.. the com­mon and side routes!


Crush­erdere vs The Chi­haya Dozer

You know, the thing I’ll always give Key is that no mat­ter who is doing it, they always pro­duce some rather hilar­i­ous com­mon routes, and they real­ly out-did them­selves with this one. The incred­i­bly goofy and fun atmos­phere of this left me always hap­py when I was going through it. I remem­ber actu­al­ly dread­ing going into a side route because I kind of knew I was going to get a big kick in the face for it. I feel like Key is real­ly start­ing to inten­tion­al­ly screw with us here. I used to think that Key was just mak­ing it eas­i­er to con­nect with the hap­pi­ness of the char­ac­ters before rip­ping it out of our hands, but in this one it feels like they’re just sta­pling still fresh meat on us before releas­ing us to the lake filled with sharks. With all the lit­tle bits of fore­shad­ow­ing in the com­mon route get­ting placed beside all the humor and fun slice of life seg­ments I swear you can almost sense the mal­ice in Keys eyes here. You aren’t fool­ing me, you heart­less bastards.

Awk­ward and unfun­ny anal­o­gy aside, if you don’t like the humor por­tion of Rewrite, I would prob­a­bly accuse you of being satan. Before that though you’ll prob­a­bly find that a lot of it is.. a bit point­less. It real­ly is a lot of char­ac­ter high­light­ing with tinges of mys­tery splashed on here and there to remind you that you aren’t in Kansas any­more. Then again, though, even if it is just using glow­ing lights to point at char­ac­ters, I’d still argue there’s a point to that. Of course, though, too much of a good thing can be bad. And arguably the com­mon route is a bit too long, but it’ll prob­a­bly depend on how much you your­self enjoyed the whole thing. And I did. Enough to actu­al­ly go back and find a few more things that I missed before.

Some would even say the com­mon route left me feel­ing quite boo­by.

Just gotta let the booby feelings flow through you.

 I, too, was over­come with boo­by feelings.

Now, before I go into the side routes, I need to enter a slight ranty-esque mode of mine for a sec­ond. Yes, Rewrite does have a prob­lem with the side routes real­ly look­ing real­ly small and seem­ing­ly worth­less sto­ry-wise. Is it a flaw? Yes. It is. Do Rewrites side-routes make sense with­in the con­text of the sto­ry? Yes. Do they offer any­thing? Yes, albeit some more then oth­ers. Rewrites side-routes are made specif­i­cal­ly to clear the sky, lay the blan­ket, buy the fire-works and set it all up before let­ting the fire works fly for Moon and Ter­ra so you can enjoy the show while they sink into the shad­ows. Almost every­thing Key has done has the same flaw of turn­ing side-routes into noth­ing but par­ty con­fet­ti, the only dif­fer­ence is Rewrite is a hell of a lot more freak­ing blunt about it. Yes, Oth­er Key works side-routes might mean more to the over­all sto­ry, but i’d argue Rewrites mean a lot more to the read­er and about as much to the char­ac­ters. The rea­son it’s not as obvi­ous in the oth­er Key works is because Rewrites sto­ry is just sim­ply big­ger and broad­er so that it’s a hell of a lot more notice­able. So, yes. Rewrites side routes do lack a lot of route con­ti­nu­ity and it is a prob­lem that I wish most VN’s would solve. Yes, Rewrite does make side routes look small. Yes, they tie in and yes there is a point in read­ing them, but as I said, some are bet­ter then oth­ers in this.

First, Chi­haya and Shizu­ru, since there’s no point in putting it off. Shizu­ru is real­ly a lot of fore­shad­ow­ing which I guess isn’t real­ly entire­ly nec­ces­sary, but I think it helps to see what Guardian is like. Most­ly because it helps see the char­ac­ters in Guardian who become rather impor­tant lat­er on so it won’t feel quite as ran­dom, which Luci­a’s despite being on the Guardian side of things aswell does­n’t real­ly do all that much of. And I’d also say Shizu­ru’s route is a rather good indi­ca­tor of what hap­pens when shit gets real­ly, real­ly bad, incase you were won­der­ing what a worst case sce­nario would be like. Chi­hayas, which I man­aged to like despite all its hilar­i­ous­ly obvi­ous flaws for rea­sons I have a hard time explain­ing, is most­ly there to explain most things relat­ed to the Rewrite abil­i­ty. What it can give, what hap­pens if you do too much of it, etc etc. And of course Sakuya, my hus­ban­do. I guess you could prob­a­bly say it’s just fore­shad­ow­ing, but I think that’s kind of unfair.

Akane and Kotori’s.. well, they set quite a lot up, real­ly. Those are prob­a­bly the most impor­tant despite Kotori’s route being a lit­tle der­py on one side. Akane’s route real­ly is a must-read though, although I can’t say a lot of it would make much sense if you decid­ed to read hers quick­ly, and it sure as hell can get hard to read some­times. Kotori’s is.. well, a pret­ty gen­er­al scope that it gives you. It kind of lays the basic frame­work for every­thing else to take place on. It’s like.. the set-up for the set-up, if that makes any sense. Kotori’s route kind of suf­fered from hav­ing half of it have a romance focus that was incred­i­bly ambi­gious and far too in the air to take seri­ous­ly, and Akane’s route had a prob­lem where it tried to sell us on a rela­tion­ship that seemed to most­ly take place off-screen and away from view, but the lat­ter has a lot more going for it. So, yeah. Take it for what you will.

Then theres Lucias which get’s its own sec­tion because I’m biased as shit. She wins my award for best side-route of the VN. It comes equipped with one of the most col­or­ful side char­ac­ters I’ve seen in a while, emo­tion­al ups and downs, a rather intrigu­ing sep­a­ra­tion from the rest of Rewrite, was relat­able,  a rather rat­tling hor­ror seg­ment and a sat­is­fy­ing con­clu­sion. I find it actu­al­ly hard to crit­i­cize besides the fact that it does­n’t real­ly offer much as far as sto­ry-build­ing goes towards the main plot of Rewrite. It is fair­ly inde­pen­dent, but I think it adds to what makes it so inter­est­ing in the first place. So, good job Lucia for win­ning my side-route award, now please stop hit­ting me.

So, yes. Akane and Lucia are the two win­ners here as far as the side-route roy­al rum­ble goes. I would­n’t call any of them point­less but the two here def­i­nite­ly stand.. above them. Kotori’s real­ly is a good set-up, but I felt like it could have been quite a lot bet­ter. So, mov­ing on from this, let’s start repeat­ing what I said before about Moon and Terra!

Best key girl.


I’m not sure real­ly what to say, besides damn. Real­ly, even if you found the rest of the game aver­age before get­ting here it’s hard to not notice just how awe­some Moon and Ter­ra are. It is, as I said before, a bit sad to see how much qual­i­ty jumps when it comes down to the true-end­ings of visu­al nov­els, but, what­ev­er. I find it hard to com­plain if it’s the only way to give us great stuff like this. Moon, even for all it’s absurd­ly cryp­tic ways of deliv­er­ing infor­ma­tion, was just real­ly inter­est­ing way of answer­ing a lot of the ques­tions we had in the side-routes. I would­n’t say the big reveal is drip­ping in wow fac­tor, but it’s cer­tain­ly cre­ative, and rather depress­ing to see unfold. I slight­ly under­stand all the con­fu­sion when it comes to Moon, but not it’s not like it tries to hide things from you. You just.. actu­al­ly have to read it. It’s a sim­ple con­cept, real­ly. Who knew. Any­ways, I actu­al­ly think Moon is quite a bit under­rat­ed. Every­one, includ­ing myself some­times, always talk about the great­ness of Ter­ra, but I don’t think it would have had near­ly the impact of Moon was­n’t deliv­ered the way it was.

Speak­ing of Ter­ra, that was pret­ty good too. Y’know.. with the whole.. well, every­thing. All of Rewrites themes real­ly play a part in Ter­ra and almost all the good I’ve men­tioned about Rewrite takes place inside the games finale. I still hold on to the state­ment I made before, which is that Ter­ra real­ly could use a damn trip to the amuse­ment park some­times, because I swear if it gets any sad­der it’s going to need ther­a­py, but again that’s not even a com­plaint. Ter­ra real­ly is all the good com­ing togeth­er in Rewrite and deliv­ers a rather sat­is­fy­ing and, in my opin­ion, sur­pris­ing­ly hap­py con­clu­sion to Rewrite. If you’re won­der­ing why I don’t say more, it’s that I real­ly don’t know how to word Ter­ra in gen­er­al. So, this is what you get.

One more thing to say that I beat to death in my finale Review is Kagari. Think­ing back on it now, I am real­ly, real­ly glad they stayed away from some sort of romance between Kotarou and Kagari. Too often do we see the whole prob­lem revolve around a cou­ple that seems to only get fed bull­shit because a real­ly bored grim reaper and luck decid­ed they’d fuck around this two peo­ple specif­i­cal­ly. Sure, it does­n’t car­ry the same emo­tion­al impact, but it goes to show that the theme of love does­n’t always have to be nailed to some sort of heart break­ing rela­tion­ship to get its point across. Kagari not only did­n’t need a rela­tion­ship to estab­lish her­self as a char­ac­ter, she did­n’t need one to come off as some­one you could gen­uine­ly care about. Of course, this is for me and your expe­ri­ence will prob­a­bly dif­fer, but I find it a bit unbe­liev­able to say that Kagari has no mer­it as a char­ac­ter with­out a rela­tion­ship. If they had put a roman­tic focus here, I think it would have either A) com­plete­ly over­shad­owed the main point of Ter­ra, or B) Been unnat­u­ral­ly forced in for no real rea­son AND along with either of those, been a detri­ment to the mys­tery behind Kagar­i’s char­ac­ter. Kagari did­n’t need it, the theme of love did­n’t need it, Ter­ra did­n’t need it. I’m glad it stayed that way.

I feel like this whole review is just me rip­ping up stu­pid prob­lems I see a lot of peo­ple com­plain about that either don’t exist or have no basis for them. Ugh. Too late to go back on it now. So, let’s try to at least end this with an actu­al sem­blance of san­i­ty, aye?

Not really but still~

I’m walk­ing on sunshine~


It’s hard for me to real­ly rec­om­mend Rewrite. The iden­ti­ty cri­sis I men­tioned ear­li­er real­ly makes it so I’m not real­ly sure what it’s tar­get audi­ence it’s sup­posed to be. Even if it was sim­ply Akane’s route, Moon and Ter­ra I still don’t think I’d know who would real­ly enjoy a sto­ry like Rewrites. This is prob­a­bly why it’s so polar­ized in the first place, which I think I’m going to for­ev­er call  Chaos;Head syn­drome. Peo­ple expect Rewrite to be some­thing it’s not and get a lit­tle bit too mad when see­ing that it did­n’t fit their vision. Rewrite has a lot to offer some­one, I think. A lot of imag­i­na­tion and thought-pro­vok­ing themes go into it, and I would like to see more peo­ple read it with an open mind rather than expect­ing to be some­thing it’s not.

How­ev­er, that crap isn’t going to stop me. Yes, you should read Rewrite. I enjoyed it immense­ly and it man­aged to fit itself into my Top 5. If you’re look­ing for a score, I’m afraid I can’t offer you one, but I can sim­ply say it’s all damn worth it. How­ev­er, remem­ber what I said before. There is a rather slow but notice­able shift in mood and tone as you read on, and it is real­ly unlike any­thing else Key has made before. It’s also quite a huge time invest­ment and the side routes real­ly are per­son-by-per­son. I found a way to enjoy some­thing out of all of them, but you might not. Also, if you are look­ing straight enter­tain­ment, Rewrite real­ly can be quite the down­er. All the side routes are rather depress­ing, includ­ing Moon and Ter­ra, so I can’t say it’s exact­ly fun to read sometimes.

Even with all that being said, there’s sim­ply too much Rewrite offers to the open mind for me to real­ly say you should­n’t read it for any rea­son I’ve said. An incred­i­bly cre­ative and damn great sto­ry, a rather fun and great cast of char­ac­ters, some deep and thought-pro­vok­ing mes­sages about how we inter­act with the world we live on and some inter­est­ing insight about how human­i­ty deals with the future. Not every­one will find it as enjoy­able as I did, but I think if giv­en the chance Rewrite will have some­thing for almost every­one, regard­less of how much you liked X or Y. I real­ly do think it’s the best thing Key has ever released. It may not have the emo­tion­al impact of Clan­nad, the big ‘wow’ moment of Air, or relat­able theme and ener­gy of Lit­tle Busters, but the sto­ry and scope of every­thing are big­ger, broad­er and far, far more creative.

So, try it! Go in with an open mind. Don’t expect to like every­thing like I did, though. I’m prob­a­bly a bit dif­fer­ent in this case since it hit a lot of cylin­ders which I real­ly liked. Don’t go into it com­par­ing it with any­thing else Key has done or what­ev­er. Don’t expect a high romance focus. Just go in and try to take some­thing away from it. It’s worth your time, I promise.

So! With that, what’s next, you might ask! Well, thanks to Ixrec point­ing me in the right direc­tion and my own inter­est, my next big VN will prob­a­bly be Sekien no Inganock, how­ev­er it looks like I might be a bit busy for a bit, so I might need some­thing a bit lighter. I might do a small thing for Har­vest Fes­ta if I’m feel­ing up to it, but I kind of shot these reviews out in rapid fire, so I might take a bit of a break for now, so I’ll see you when­ev­er I decide to write again!

Ciao for now

What the hell is Shizuru doing?

See you next time!

7 thoughts on “Wahfuu Review! Full Review of Rewrite.

  1. I pret­ty much agree with all you’ve said though I find the “iden­ti­ty cri­sis” you men­tioned just comes from peo­ple expect­ing a spe­cif­ic genre. I rather liked the shifts in mood, and its clear­ly obvi­ous oth­ers don’t feel the same way. To reit­er­ate, the sheer amount of thought pro­vok­ing Rewrite has done is enor­mous. [spoiler=Needless part of the com­ment I felt like writing]As I’m writ­ing this, I’m remem­ber­ing one par­tic­u­lar moment in Lucias route straight up made me become the def­i­n­i­tion of melan­choly. It just tore at my insides and quite frankly, I LOVED it. I seek out ani­me and oth­er media that make me want to bawl my eyes out. Rewrite cer­tain­ly had those moments and then some in my opin­ion. [/spoiler]

    1. I don’t real­ly think the shifts in mood are as break­neck as peo­ple like to say, and I think a big rea­son why peo­ple see the shifts is because they imme­di­ate­ly lock on and mis­sile in on the shon­en tropes. Truth­ful­ly, look­ing at these shifts as a flaw does­n’t make too much sense, but I think that enough peo­ple are going to see it for it to deserve men­tion. I might need to rephrase though as it might not be a flaw to some people.

  2. > Do Rewrites side-routes make sense with­in the con­text of the sto­ry? Yes.

    Some­day, I won’t be a lazy fuck so I can write about Rewrite because it’s such a flawed visu­al nov­el. For all the side-routes do make sense in the con­text but they don’t advance the plot. Luci­a’s, for exam­ple, is a mys­tery-cum-dia­bet­ic-rom-com. Her char­ac­ter vir­tu­al­ly does noth­ing in the game and this makes sense when you real­ize that she was added in after the com­mon route was writ­ten. In Shitzu­ru’s route, she appears for a frac­tion of a sec­ond before dis­ap­pear­ing. Great character.

    I’m prob­a­bly pissed that Rewrite could have been a bet­ter work. Like every KEY VN, there’s a huge deal of poten­tial wait­ing to be tapped; its writ­ers and guest writ­ers though don’t use it. It’s such a ter­ri­bly good waste it just makes me sad.

    1. I actu­al­ly did­n’t know Lucia was added in after the com­mon route. That makes sense look­ing on it now, though. Key real­ly does­n’t do its own work jus­tice with all this mul­ti­ple writer shenani­gans they con­tin­ue to pull in every work. 

      Then again, almost every­thing pos­i­tive I have to say about Rewrite comes from its mes­sage and Romeo, so.

  3. Don’t get me wrong: I think Rewrite’s a good visu­al nov­el. That’s why I rat­ed it 7.2/10. Whether it deserves the crazy hype and love is anoth­er thing. Like how peo­ple rate Katawa Shou­jo as a mas­ter­piece against all the visu­al nov­els, Rewrite is over­rat­ed. I don’t get the pop­u­lar­i­ty when it’s just a good VN, not a great VN. Same with most KEY works that isn’t Clan­nad. And Rewrite’s too long and I only liked two hero­ines out of five. There’s so much prob­lems it pulls the VN down from the potential.

    1. I sim­ply think that what Rewrite does well it does real­ly, real­ly well. I agree with most peo­ple when it comes to Rewrites flaws. You can’t real­ly deny them. I sim­ply loved the idea and real­ly liked what Romeo did. Also it’s one of the best com­mon routes I’ve ever done, so. That’s my explanation. 

      I can’t com­ment about KWS. I thought it was mneh. Fan­fic­tiony. Seems like a lot of peo­ple that explod­ed over KWS were peo­ple just get­ting into VN’s.

  4. I real­ly REALLY liked this VN. I nev­er even noticed the “iden­ti­ty cri­sis” until I read this review (^_^”)

    But yeah, Lucia being added after the Com­mon Route sort of makes sense in hindsight.

    I actu­al­ly liked all the side routes, espe­cial­ly Lucias, but that was main­ly because it felt like Meis from Kanon, wich was the exact feel­ing Romeo was aim­ing for. Moon was just great, it added so much to the plot and was, abstract. Ter­ra was also very enjoy­able, more so than the Common+Side stories.

    But then again, this is com­ing from a small-time KEY fan who actu­al­ly thinks Clan­nad was so-so, and yet nev­er fin­ished it(don’t burn me!).

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