I honestly can’t believe how few people enjoyed this anime. Well, I enjoyed it so let me tell you why:
This series starts where the first one left off and continues to follow Kotarou after the events at the end of the first season. The second season is, by far, much better than the first, but you need to watch the first to get the context of the second. The first slightly gave off a “harem” vibe to it, but it actually wasn’t one. I can totally see why people wouldn’t like it. However, the second focuses more on the relationship between Kotarou, Kagari, and an
entirely new set of mains other than those two. I won’t spoil any of the new details, but the series follows a much older kotarou and also gets pretty realistic and dark. Also, I laughed pretty damn hard when it suddenly became “James Bond” the anime. The ending was pretty touching, but it felt super rushed.
(Summary at the end)
Rewrite S2 is an anime that takes you on a journey with Kotarou. The story follows Kotarou as he makes some hard “main protagonist” decisions, grows closer to Kagari, and lives a new life after the world ends in season one. Some of the most important and enjoyable aspects of the season were his relationship with Kagari in an world with only the two of them, the philosophical discussion of existence, and his compassion towards various children with sad circumstances. The story actually draws you in if you can empathize with his back story. In this season, he's loner and outcast who has the power to control his blood and he slays random small monsters as a kid while calling himself a "hero" or something similar. He eventually makes the hard decision to leave home and set out on a journey to become stronger and faces many tragedies in various war zones, which causes him to mature into James Bond triple solo agent of sorts (watch the anime to see what I mean by that).
The story itself was actually great, but a different studio probably could have presented it better. I think the pacing was kind of weird and some things could have been examined further. It occasionally felt like they were rushing through some scenes.
Additionally, I’m often told that the visual novel is much better, and I believe the people who told me that. However, having not played the game, I feel that this series is definitely not a “bad” anime. It’s been awhile since an anime has taken me on a journey with a main protagonist as he makes decisions that could have an impact on the entire world’s future. The story itself was great and well thought out, but the presentation could have been much better.
The art is both good AND bad at the same time. The background art and effects are pretty high quality, but the 3DCG monsters did not blend at all. The action was “meh”. Sometimes the animation felt really awkward, but there were also certain scenes that felt magical and eye-catching to me. Other times it felt like a low budget studio’s anime. Mixed feelings about the art. Same as season one.
The OST in this series is great and there are quite a few that I could listen to outside of this anime. The opening theme fit, but it wasn’t anything too special. However, the ending theme was actually relatively stunning. It reminded me of a music video that tells a story.
I also enjoyed Kotarou’s voice because it sounded pleasing to the ears and almost poetic. The characters were all voiced pretty well in general, and all of the background noises/sounds fit as well.
The characters weren't particularly unique. The characters all seemed pretty archetypal, except for Kagari, who was my favorite from this series. I would actually say that the characters in the series received a really large amount of development. From season one to season two, you could really get a sense of the personalities of the characters as they slowly introduced the new characters.
While the characters themselves were't especially unique, the amount of development that they received helped create a truly unique experience in this anime. I think the character development was spectacular and is one of this series' more defining traits; especially the development of Kotarou. The amount of development in this series allowed me to bump the character section from a six to a seven.
I thought this series was actually really enjoyable, so I was pretty shocked to see that so many people didn't enjoy the series as much as I had. There really aren't any other stories out there like this and if the 3DCG blended better, this could've been something even more interesting.
This series was definitely something worth watching. I don’t regret watching it at all. We see Kotarou in a new setting, in a different age group, growing closer to Kagari, and becoming James Bond. He’s mainly a lone wolf in this season and the story is unlike any anime that I've watched before.
Would I recommend this to you:
Well, it’s really not for everybody but if you saw season one, you might as well see it through to the end. Otherwise, I think this appeals mostly to sci-fi, harem, romance, shounen lovers. It also has a small amount of philosophical concepts in it, if that's your kinky turn on.
Hmm...you know what this series needs? A rewrite. (Yes, I know that joke has been done to death already, but it's still fun to use.) Rewrite is a much anticipated adaptation of one of Key's most well-known visual novels that had mixed results. Its poor and attempts to compact the source material while trying to finish off its story with an anime original ending created polarizing feedback from those who watched it. So, for its second season, 8bit took another shot at the series and well...had about as much success as 8bit would have for these kinds of things.
To summarize, Rewrite follows the story of Tennouji Koutarou and his quest to save the earth by aiding the Key, named Kagari, in her quest to understand humanity and save the world from its attempt at restarting itself. While doing this, Koutarou must fight the two factions known as Guardian and Gaia from 'saving humanity', which their methods entail destroying the Key and destroying the world respectively.
Rewrite is a very dense visual novel. Featuring 9 different routes, each of which hold a fraction of the overall story, it's no wonder where the problems of the series lie when trying to adapt roughly 100 hours of gameplay and textboxes in a grand total of 24 episodes over the course of two seasons. Focusing exclusively on the last two routes of the game, Moon and Terra, this season of Rewrite fixes a large portion of the problems the first season had, but also has similar pitfalls and wavers in quality in different ways.
As far as content goes, Key's doing what Key does best, and that's romantic visual novels that have a story pertaining to one individual learning about the world/themselves, usually with magic involved, while providing an overarching lesson to the player for them to think about once they're done with the game. Contrary to the first season, Moon/Terra feel a lot more concise and focused because it didn't have to do the background work that its predecessor had to fulfill. The entire runtime focuses solely on Koutarou and his growth on what he's trying to do in order to save the world, and while it does get a little messy at times, is something that's much better written than anything it was before. The plot gets a lot more serious, a lot of the pieces start falling into place better, and it's just overall a better story. That however doesn't say very much because being better in context to its previous season isn't a very high mark to surpass.
The biggest problem that stands out to me for Moon and Terra at the beginning is context and continuity. The anime thrusts the viewer in an unfamiliar scene and setting that, when continuing on from season 1, doesn't really click right away. Indeed, the series is beginning a new route, and thus a new story, but from the perspective of someone who hasn't played the visual novel and is going into the new season blind, this break in continuity hurts more than helps.
Another thing that doesn't help is pacing. Dense content, small time frame, pacing issues ensue. A lot of what this season is about is both personal and public conflict from either Koutarou or the rivaling factions. But due to how much conflict they need to show in order to get to the end properly, a lot of it feels meaningless. A character you learn/get to know about may be introduced in one episode then offed the next. There may be a dramatic showdown between two characters that have history with one another that ends in a flash before moving onto the next scene. The lack of proper pacing doesn't give the viewer time to let a person's death or a tragic event sink in, and that creates a lot less value in whatever trials may ensue. This problem plagues the whole show, and is even more so shown in the end of the series once again where it's clear that they were trying to show end by making scene after scene go by at a snap's notice.
Overall, Rewrite's story is another case of an adaptation that bit off more than it could chew. The sheer amount of content that needed to be told in such a small time frame muddled the story's philosophies about humanity and our place in this world and cut away a large majority of the story without much return. I really saw the potential for redemption in this second season, but there honestly isn't much I can say when it's clear that what was shown was only a fraction of the whole story.
+ Interesting story/philosophies
- Hard break from the end of S1
- Some of the worst pacing I've seen (even by 8bit standards)
- Still difficult to understand for those who haven't played the visual novel
Characters: Characters take a dramatic shift in Moon/Terra. They take such a dramatic shift that it makes my job a lot easier since because everyone but the MC is a side character.
Tennouji Koutarou. The player character. The MC. The arbiter of the world who has lived through 9 different routes. Koutarou's character is the defining trait of Moon/Terra. Rather than focusing on the individual girls and largely the conflict between Guardian and Gaia, Koutarou takes up almost all of the series's runtime due to the sole fact that the entire series is told through internal monologue. We understand a lot more about Koutarou's thoughts and understand his actions a little more by hearing how he thinks, and this dramatic change in how the series writes itself in turn makes his struggle and his motivation a lot more personal and in-depth. However, he still suffers the same pitfalls as the story. Due to his character being so dense, the pacing made him feel incomplete, as a large portion of his decisions at the end of the series could come up to question. He's better, but there's still something missing. And the explanation as to why his powers work they way they do still aren't explained. Koutarou has definitely improved, but he's still far from being the complete character that he should be.
The rest of the cast, yes, the literal rest of the characters are all side characters that serve as wrenches to Koutarou's plans, characters who help influence Koutarou, or those who've watched the previous season will become familiar with. As far as they're concerned, they only help to move the story along. They're no longer a part of the main cast and have no real weight in the situation aside from being the puppeteers who help dictate what Koutarou will do in any given situation. They help shape the story, and that's a role they do very well. Beyond that however leaves a lot to be desired.
+/- Koutarou is a lot better of a character (though not as good as he probably should be.)
+/- Side cast isn't impactful character-wise, but impactful story-wise
Art: 8bit comes again and mimics the Key style very well. Using the same style that they did in the first season, Rewrite comes back with a mix of Key's normal style with a touch of CGI in order to make those monsters feel like they seriously don't belong in this series.
Art looks like Key's, CGI is still kinda jarring to look at, animation for the fight scenes are semi-fluid, and the quality is standard fare. Nothing really spectacular, but nothing that looks terrible either.
+/- Decent art
- Stop using CGI. It looks awful.
Sound: While Key works usually have great, memorable OSTs to coincide with their works, Rewrite doesn't really have the same feel. Admittedly the tracks aren't pushovers, and Terra's OP in particular has the sense of urgency that coincides with Koutarou's journey to try and fulfill his duty. They're just not anything that I would regard as a memorable track that I could listen to on repeat.
Personal Enjoyment: I'm a firm believer that you don't need to read or know about the source material before watching an adaptation. An adaptation should be able to stand on its own merits, and should instead be another medium that you can watch the story through. As someone who went into Rewrite's adaptation blind, I can safely say that I have no idea what the fuck is going on. I had to do my own research of the story in order to get any handle as to what in god's name I was watching, and doing that entails that the adaptation didn't adapt the source material correctly, and in my eyes, is considered as a failed adaptation.
Did I like this anime?
I didn't like it. While I admit the content was good and Key's adaptations are things that I'm a fan of, its piss poor pacing ruined any form of enjoyment that I may have had from this anime.
What didn't I like about it?
Pacing. Damn you pacing! Aside from that, I'm not really a big fan of Gaia's ultimate plan because it really doesn't make any sense. Saving the world by offing humanity, and there are many, MANY people who are ok with that concept/idea. That doesn't really make sense to me.
Would I recommend this anime?
Honestly, I can't see myself recommending this to people, even if they've played the visual novel. The pacing screws up a lot of its content that I honestly feel like the show could use more than a few passes on how the story should be executed. It may be a joke that Rewrite needs a rewrite, but there are so many problems with it that it honestly could really use one.
The second season of rewrite is definitely more coherent and flows better than the first season. I don't think it deserves a better score overall though.
The story revolves around Kotarou as he learns how to utilize his rewrite power more effectively while also working with the Key, Kagari, to try and prevent the world from being destroyed. He does this while being apart of both Guardian and Gaia throughout the episodes. I should mention that the battles at the end were kind of a let down. The ending (spoiler) still has the world being destroyed like season 1, but the
final battles are not as good; almost all of the action is cut out and all but one or two fights don't even show Kotarou dealing the final blow.
The art is about the same as the first season, maybe a little better. I like the backgrounds and I didn't find any major design flaws besides the fact that most of the monsters still seem to be animated using 3d cgi.
The sound is still good within the show as well, but it's not really memorable.
The only characters that get more development here are Kotarou, Kagari, and Kotori. Every other character from the main crowd in season 1 is only shown like 2-3 times at max for minor things. They are first shown through flashbacks and later just as young kids.
I enjoyed this season though, despite the flaws. I think the ending fight wasn't as good/well done, the sound and art didn't improve much, but every other aspect seemed better. I don't think the show averages out to be more than a 7/10 still, even though a few of the areas improved. There's still some things that could've been added and if they were it would've been an 8/10 for me, like actually showing the final blow being dealt in one of the final fights in episode 11 (you'll know what fight I mean if you watch the episode), since there was enough build up for it and it just fell flat. I'd say give it a shot despite its shortcoming, but don't expect it be any more than just good.
This is a massive improvement from first season. I didn't expect this to improve that much to be honest, and, while still has many flaws, shows how an anime studio can learn, even if it's just a bit, from its mistakes.
Disclaimer: I didn't played the VN so i'll review this, as i did with the first season, as an anime-only viewer.
The story adapts the Moon and Terra routes from the VN and because of that this season is clearly split in two parts: Moon route (3 episodes) and Terra route (8 episodes)
The Moon route is rather confusing at first showing as memories a lot of
scenes from previous rutes that i didn't know because the first season adaptation was total bullshit. Because of that, i didn't care about the main heroines and anything related to them because they are barely developed in the first season, but still act as we know things about them. Fortunately, the entire show focus around the relationship of Kotarou and Kagari which were the only characters worth something in S1, both in Moon and Terra routes, despite being very different each other, while still related.
Moon was very short and its last episode felt again extremely rushed again forbiding the arc to have a pleasant ending after the first 2 good episodes. However, in Terra finally Rewrite fixes its incredible problem with the pacing. The pacing is smooth and enjoyable, being the entire arc pretty solid with an interesting development by Kotarou, who was a pretty lame and childish character in S1. Plus, the fact the main heroines not being present in the plot avoids major plot holes to the arc, that has a just fine ending which is appreciated in a series with such a complex thematic like Rewrite.
However, Terra is not flawless. Some secondary characters felt like they have a major character arc but they left it absolutely incomplete. Also, some pacing problems to explain some things are present too. These flaws are present during all the series but they are not as blatant as in S1, thankfully.
The character focus in this S2 is Kotarou in almost its entirety. He was a pretty beta VN main character in S1 but the pathos presented in the Terra arc made him an at least bidimensional character who makes appropiate decisions (and i'm not talking about his power). His behavior is believable too, being a grown and mature character which is rare in an anime of this kind and even in anime nowadays. Not perfect, but hey.
The animation is average to good. The CGI is very bad and action scenes can feel anti-climatic because of that but 2D animations is just fine, like first season, maybe a bit better. The sound is good, with the soundtrack and seiyuu's perfomance being quite nice. Nothing wrong with that.
Overall, Rewrite 2nd Season learnt from its predecessor. Maybe it's because they are straightforward routes, maybe because they are just better routes, or maybe they are just better adapted. No incredibly well adapted, but the pacing is WAY better. And this alone can make this show potable by its own.