Rewrite Route Review – Chihaya Ohtori

Rewrite - Chihaya Ohtori

Since this isn’t the review for the entire game, I’ll only do a brief introduction of the information to it:
Rewrite is Key’s 9th and currently most recent visual novel. It was released on June 24, 2011 and a fan disc that is an extension to the game, Rewrite: Harvest festa!, was released on July 27, 2012.

For the longest time, I’ve been dying to play Rewrite. After some serious searching, failing, giving up, re-motivation, rinse-and-repeat-another-10-times, finding, failing again, giving up again, retrying again, and finally acquiring accomplishment, did I get the English Rewrite game at last! Courtesy of Amaterasu Translations. It was certainly well worth all that effort… and 7.5GB on my laptop… ;w;

First Impressions

Since I’m such a big fan of Key, naturally I expected a lot. Especially in regards to comedy, fantasy, romance and some serious drama. Have you ever had a time when you are planning on reading, watching, or playing something where you already thought you had a general idea of the characters or plot or something to that effect? But then getting through the story and seeing the characters and getting a better understanding, you view it all a whole different way? Let me use an example; I always thought that Kotori would have more of a quite, timid personality. Boy was I wrong, plus I once thought that she was the main heroine… well nope!

On a side note, after giving it some thought and not finding any recommended order to go in I went ahead with Chihaya’s route. This is primarily due to Sakuya and his bishounenness… heheh. Now, was this route interesting, entertaining? I didn’t know what to expect at first, but let me go ahead and just say that I so did NOT expect that ending. How was it? Let’s see…

Story/Plot

02

The story is certainly a unique one. At first it gives off the feeling of a normal anime story line where the main protagonist gets involved with some dangerous organization/situation because of those that surround them and has to rely on their aid to get stronger… or something to that effect. However, near the end, things take an unexpected turn. Just when you think it is gonna end, something happens to keep the story going and flows nicely along with it. There is also a very interesting and touching background to Chihaya and Sakuya, so it kind of feels like it revolves around them near the end of the route. One thing though, in regards to some confirmation to a character’s past, you need to look up their description in your *Friend List, which is quite bothersome. I’ll use Sakuya as a perfect example, because I would love to know a lot more about his past, but some things just don’t go into much detail or are even explored. There is even a mention of “someone” who we never knew who they were to him unless we looked it up in his description on the Friend List. Now, for the side characters. There are few we learn about, such as Midou, Gil, and Pani. But this is to be expected as they are mostly restricted to the Chihaya route and thus do more contribution to the route than the others that contribute to their respective routes themselves. The story’s pacing was nicely done. It never felt rushed or too slow, but just right. The drama applied surely wasn’t lacking. Bravo Key, for another job well done.
*Friend List – A list in the game that keeps track of your friends or well, basically random people you meet. Some are pretty pointless. They give descriptions that update themselves when you learn more about a character as the story progresses.
Score: 9/10

Characters

Again, because this is a route I’m reviewing, I’m not going to conclude every aspect. Let that wait till I get to the full review in the future. So, for the characters, I’ll only be reviewing those that have a role in the second part of the visual novel, where we actually enter the character’s route. I’m going to try to be as subtle as possible, so there shouldn’t be any large scale spoilers.

Kotarou Tennouji:
The main protagonist. He is the owner of the Rewrite ability, a power to rewrite oneself. He is arrogant, a pervert, and tends to meddle in the business of others without realizing it.

Chihaya Ohtori:
A transfer student and one of Kotarou’s classmates. She is clumsy, has a huge appetite, and some tremendous physical strength. You could say she is an old friend or acquaintance of Akane’s. Chihaya is a rich girl with little common sense. At first she hates Kotarou and believes nothing good comes around being with him. This is probably due to the fact she fell out of a tree and then down a cliff and was then kidnapped by a passing by ambulance when she first met him. Chihaya gradually warms up to him and of course falls in love with him. Beware of her Miso Soup of Hell.

Sakuya Ohtori:
He is Chihaya’s butler. Sakuya always looks after Chihaya and is like a father to her, despite how close they may appear in age. He dislikes Kotarou and while he treats those around him kindly, he treats Kotarou rather coldly and enjoys giving him new nicknames, such as Shitarou and Fatarou.

Akane Senri:
A hikikomori and a charismatic NEET. Akane’s the president of the Occult club and yet she denies anything related to the paranormal. She is a 3rd year and no one ever sees her attend class. She has good connections, to the point she can cover up just about anything. The club room seems to have been turned into her own private living space. Akane is selfish, arrogant, and its almost impossible to win a debate against her.

Gil:
A familiar. He is loud, childish, arrogant, and has a bit of a crush on Chihaya. As a familiar, he only wants to be of some use to someone. Due to this he goes to great links to help out Kotarou, saving him on one occasion and refusing to leave him behind to save himself while facing a strong opponent. He can be mature when he wants to.

Pani:
A familiar. She is Gil’s other half and a serious NEET. She has more common sense than Gil and often has to look after him or lecture him on his actions. Like Gil, Pani only wants to be of use to someone.

Midou:
He is a summoner for Gaia and an assassin. He has a fire familiar named Fuego. Midou is a war-orphan and as a result he feels hatred toward all living things. Its possible he envies Kotarou.

Esaka Shugen:
An old man who runs an antique shop called, Forest. Esaka is on good terms with Kotarou and knows Shizuru. He has a few screws loose and a weird sense of humor.

Touka Nishikujou:
A new teacher of Kazamatsuri Academy. She is quite fond of Shizuru.

Shizuru Nakatsu:
She is a first year. Shizuru takes people a little too seriously, but has a nice and honest personality. She doesn’t talk much and mostly uses hand signals and expressions to communicate, most of which Kotarou understands.
Score: 9/10

Art & Animation

08

The art is pretty good. Character designs are nice and there are beautiful CG images and backdrops. It isn’t anything grand, excluding the backgrounds and the designs of the monsters we see during this route. Some CG images looked weird, like this one of Akane on the ground working with some computer parts. There was some animation, but it wasn’t anything regarding the movement of the characters, just magic, so there isn’t really much to say on it except that it was very fluent. Overall, character designs: average, CG images/background: above average.
Score: 8/10

Sound

Key music is always a pleasure to listen to. The music really stands out and you start recognizing each piece quite quickly throughout the story. The opening song, Philosophyz has become one of my favorite Key opening themes and I’ve really come to like the ending, Yami no Kanata e (Beyond the Darkness). The voice acting is quite good throughout it all and near the end of the Chihaya route, Saya Shinomiya did a wonderful job voicing and bringing out the emotion of Chihaya’s sadness in regards to the events that occurred. So much so that it brought tears to my eyes; and it is rather difficult for me to cry unless the emotion is just right in a drama. The sound was certainly the greatest aspect.
Score: 9/10

Enjoyment

06

I thoroughly enjoyed this route, more than I had anticipated. I didn’t know what to expect, but even with that I was caught off guard with the ending conclusion. The Chihaya route brought tears to my eyes and I was crying non-stop near the end. I was so caught up and drawn in to it all that I didn’t even notice the clues leading to an event that would be considered “expected,” thus giving it the feeling of being unexpected. I’m pretty certain that if I replayed the route, the same emotions would be there within me and trigger the exact same result and the same amount of tears shed. The final CG before the credits role was enough to push me over the edge of no return and the tears spill out once more. I really love this route and is thus far, my favorite. This is how a good drama is played out.
Score: 10/10

Concluding Thoughts

07

Because I don’t go to any Rewrite discussion threads (if there even are any), I wouldn’t really know just how popular the Chihaya route is. But even so, if you are about to or thinking about playing Rewrite, I, at the moment, recommend playing her route right off the bat. This is just to get a good kick-off to the drama that the visual novel will dish out throughout the rest of the other routes. Its not without flaws, but there are few to hurt it. If you’re a lover of Key or a good drama, then you’ll love this route. Lovable main and side characters. You WILL get attached to some of them, which will make the ending cause an even greater impact on you.

Route Rating: 9


If you want to read/play the visual novel, then you can download it with a full English patch here: http://fuwanovel.org/novels/71

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