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Rewrite Primer/Review - Character Routes

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  1. Rewrite Primer/Review - Common Route+Character Routes
  2. by Feez
  4. OK let me start off by saying I'm not historically a huge fan of KEY visual novels. I don't like Jun Maeda as a writer. When I heard Rewrite was a large tangent from previous games and acclaimed writer Tanaka Romeo (of Cross Channel fame) was behind it, I became interested. After a long wait, Ixrec of Amaterasu Translations finally released the character route patch this past December. Here's my opinion/review of the game thus far.
  6. You take on the role of Tennouji Koutarou. You have a super power that lets you basically enhance parts of your body by "rewriting" it. It's pretty neat, and Koutarou's power develops and evolves over time in different ways based on what heroine route you're in.
  8. Common Route (by Tanaka Romeo):
  9. The common route is pretty good; it's fun, addicting, and you get to learn most of the personalities of the main heroines and side characters. One of main attractions is using your cell phone to scout an area and interact with many optional dialogs and events. The main purpose of this (besides for the extra, fun-to-read text) is to gain friends and complete "quests" so that you can get the super secret Oppai Ending. Sometimes there are optional events with some of the main heroines which adds to their character, so none of these are anything close to a hindrance to the game flow. The common route does give hints to the behind-the-scenes plot, but I felt it was too lighthearted for its own good. Also, it's REALLY long. Wouldn't be surprised if it's the longest common route in existence. The choices you make lead to a number of new scenes, and each heroine gets a large number of new scenes once you lock onto their route. The common route ends in the same fashion (with the only exception being Lucia's route), and then breaks off into each specific character route. 7/10
  11. Like most KEY VNs, Rewrite is written by multiple writers, with Romeo being the one who wrote most of it. He wrote the common route, two character routes, and the Moon and Terra routes. The other routes were written by different writers, and I feel like the shifts in writing style are too big here. At times it won't even feel like I'm reading the same VN. Also, this creates a number of inconsistencies between the routes, which could have probably been avoided with some proper editing and coordination.
  13. Rewrite's main conflict involves two organizations/groups Gaia and Guardian "fighting" against each other, and the character routes give you both perspectives of the conflict which is pretty interesting. Kotori's route also provides a more neutral pov.
  15. I read in the following order: Kotori > Chihaya > Akane > Lucia > Shizuru. You SHOULD read Kotori's route first, and then Chihaya's. From there you can go anywhere. Chihaya's route is necessary to unlock Akane's, and Shizuru's route is only fully appreciated if you've read Chihaya's route. Lucia's route is pretty standalone.
  17. --
  19. Kotori Route (by Romeo Tanaka):
  20. Pretty boring route overall. I was expecting more from Romeo but I've heard he doesn't truly try until Moon and Terra. Anyways, Kotori's route is basically an infodump. You get introduced to all the main terms and main conflict between Gaia and Guardian. I don't think the route was necessarily bad, it's just pretty boringly presented and Kotori never appealed to me as well. Kotori's relationship with Koutarou wasn't really developed that well (if at all), but the fandisc seems to dive into that pretty hard with this couple. 6/10
  23. Chihaya Route (by Yuto Tonokawa):
  24. This route seems to be hit or miss for some people, but I absolutely could not stand the shounen power fest that infested it. Also, the pacing is pretty bad; there's just event after event with no real buildup. Most of the fights are okay, but some of them are there just for the sake of being there (like the last one) and are obnoxiously long so they just feel like shit. It doesn't help that the Koutarou/Chihaya relationship was handled pretty badly and its progression literally made no sense. Koutarou just randomly decided he loved her. Also, Sakuya, who's presented as a side character almost felt like he was more important to the route than Chihaya herself. Good shit. Honestly sometimes it almost felt like Rin's route in FSN, with Sakuya = Archer and Chihaya = Rin. I believe Koutarou develops his power the furthest in this route, but it's hard to say with certainty. 5/10
  27. Shizuru Route (by Yuto Tonokawa):
  28. Tonokawa does a better job with this route, thankfully. I actually didn't like Shizuru much from the common route alone, but her route made me appreciate her a bit more. The thing I dislike about this route is that...nothing really happens. Koutarou doesn't actively try to get involved in the conflict himself and just kind of sits around; but when he does...well bad things happens. And then the ending is kind of depressing I guess, but nowhere near the level of Akane's route because there's a lack of proper buildup, whereas Akane's route focuses on it for its entirety. Also, Shizuru is more badass in other routes than in her own route. Go figure. Also, I felt there's an inconsistency between this route and Chihaya's route. Sakuya owns Shizuru in one hit in Chihaya's route, but here she fights him on more even grounds??? Well, whatever. I did like how a lot of side characters were notably major here, such as Nishikujou and Esaka. I did NOT like how Imamiya is basically a useless character; he's almost nonexistant in every other route and here he just exists to exist. What a waste. 6/10
  31. Akane Route (by Romeo Tanaka):
  32. The game shines here. I don't think I can agree with how "easily" Koutarou gets involved with and starts working for Gaia as Akane's bodyguard, but aside from that this route was pretty well done. I think the whole scale of what happens isn't too realistic though, considering how insanely relaxed the common route is. I really wish the transition between the common route and character routes made more sense. In any case, this route is actually depressing in a more believable way (compared to Shizuru's) and Akane and Koutarou's relationship is interesting. It develops into a more "already existing one" due to the timeskip halfway into the route. The fight at the end was pretty cool, but I think the prolonged battle in the forest halfway where Akane is guiding Koutarou with the bird familiar was super tense and well executed. I think this route is probably best saved for last. 8/10
  35. Lucia Route (by Ryukishi07):
  36. This route owns. I feel like Ryukishi was given a lot more freedom than the others because with Lucia's route the common route ends differently so I don't think he was "forced" to write towards a certain goal and instead focused mostly on Lucia herself. Because of this, you can argue that you don't even need to necessarily read this route, but it's still interesting and relevant to the plot in its own way. Nishikujou and Shizuru take on major roles here as side characters and I loved what Ryukishi did with them. I liked Shizuru more here than in her own route. The route starts off instantly with a mystery, which is amusing. There's even a pseudo-Beato laugh, which is always good to hear. Lucia herself is a great heroine; she does the tsundere trope right. She correctly goes from tsun to dere and it's absolutely adorable. Her relationship with Koutarou is the only one that's honestly done correctly from ground up. Ryukishi's writing has matured well and he demonstrates that clearly here. I think it's on the same level of Higanbana at least. The fight at the end was absolutely amazing too, and the cgs helped a lot. 9/10
  38. --
  40. Rewrite is pretty flawed, but I do think it's better than Clannad and Little Busters already, and I'm somewhat content, though I'll be honest I was expecting it to be better. I'm looking forward to the 'true' routes, Moon and Terra, which are where the game supposedly really shines (common with most KEY VNs it seems). I have faith in Romeo after seeing what he's capable of in Cross Channel and Jintai.
  42. So far I'd rate it around 7~8, though it's carried hard by the common route and Lucia and Akane's routes. We'll see how that improves once Moon+Terra get translated within a few months at most hopefully.
  44. (All scores relative to my current ratings on vndb)
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