Funny story, I was actually planning on re-watching Rewrite, and then I didn’t have to thanks to this anime studio challenge.
And.. that’s the story.
So the studio / producer this time is 8bit, who actually has worked on plenty of other anime such as Infinite Stratos, that slime anime, The Fruit of Grisaia + sequel and more.
Anyways, from what I’m seeing, Rewrite looks like 8bit’s best work.
Rewrite is a story about a boy, Kotarou Tennouji, who lives in a modern city built around a giant corporation that seeks to protect the environment. He has the ability to rewrite his own DNA in order to irreversibly make himself stronger, faster, smarter, et cetera. And Kotarou is just a regular school boy, until some things happen and he gets caught up in a much larger predicament with the world itself at stake.
Visual Novel Basis
Now, to my knowledge, Rewrite is actually based on a visual novel of the same name.
And because of this VN basis, you can expect the anime to try and wrestle with the fact that VN’s generally are made up of many branching story paths. Which is exactly what the Rewrite anime tackles.
It’s not inherently a bad thing, although some might consider it to be I guess. Having not played the game, I can’t comment on how well the anime “captured the source material”, something that I think is irrelevant anyways. The moment Rewrite became an anime, it became a standalone piece of media that merits it’s own critique free from the source material.
Oftentimes I feel like anime adaptations of a visual novel either nail it, or don’t. Especially when it involves stories that have so many different paths that one can choose. It’s clear that anime based on a visual novel tend to have a much different feel, and different qualities from those based on manga / light novels.
Continuing on, I wanted to point out that because Rewrite is based off a visual novel, it benefits from the visual novel’s amazing soundtrack. I’m listening to it now on YouTube, and I think the game’s soundtrack is actually more extensive than what we hear in the anime. But even then, the songs that are used in the anime are excellent.
The first time I watched Rewrite was when it originally aired, with S1 in 2016 and S2 in 2017. After re-watching it now, I can tell you that many of the songs sparked up some nostalgia.
And so, if you’ve seen Rewrite before, why not share in that nostalgia with this amazing track? You should recognize it immediately.
Also, there’s this song from the game that’s awesome. I don’t think it’s in the anime though, and was just a part of the visual novel. I don’t remember hearing it in the anime, but then I also don’t watch OPs very often let alone EDs.
One 24 Episode Season
While Rewrite was released in two parts, two seasons, the way the anime flows really lends itself to be watched in one go. Something that I remember happening back when Rewrite first came out was that the ending of the first season felt so abrupt that people were disappointed – myself included.
But then the second season came out and blew my mind. It was such an amazing change of pace, and everything really came together in this season. I used to regard Rewrite Second Season as one of the few cases where the second season of an anime “saves” the anime.
However, I’ve changed my mind on that now, because I believe that Rewrite is meant to be watched as one 24 episode season. Last time I watched the two seasons many months apart, this time I didn’t. The anime simply flows perfectly from one season to the next, and while the seasons are very different, they work very well together. A sort of yin and yang deal.
Two Seasons Coming Together
As I said before, the two seasons are very different, each serving it’s own purpose, but when combined I feel like everything just clicks.
The first season serves to create a bedrock for the story. We learn about all of the characters, and experience the Rewrite story in a singular timeline. In these first 13 episodes, the Rewrite world becomes something that we learn very much about, and so we finish the 13th episode with a good foundation. Overall, this season feels very ordinary in comparison to other anime of this genre, although the “ending” of this first half is an interesting one.
The second season then seizes that foundation, and takes flight. It gets crazy, giving us glimpses into the various routes of the Rewrite game, before moving into what I imagine is the “true end” route. Things get convoluted at first though, before settling into that route and ultimately delivering a very powerful finale to the story.
The second season also incorporates many situations of what I imagine are the in-game choices. Situations where Kotarou has to make a decision, and then multiple options flash on screen before he chooses one and goes with it. I’m going to assume that these options are taken directly from the game, and that choosing them in the game leads the player to the true end. I’m assuming this, but only because I think that’d be really cool if it is the case.
In the end though what we get is two very different seasons coming together to make one great story. The first season creates the foundation, and the second season builds something wonderful. The second season would not work without the first, and on it’s own, the first season is a tad underwhelming. But together, they manage to tell an amazing story.
May as well throw this out there, because there is indeed one girl who is a cut above the rest. A best girl, if I may use that term.
The best girl for the Rewrite anime is Kotori.
Not only do I really like her character, especially in the second season, but I love her voice actress, Chiwa Saito, who also voices Hitagi Senjougahara in the Monogatari Series. I can’t really describe it, but I really like how she voices Kotori in Rewrite.
I’m really happy that I rewatched Rewrite, because I feel that my memory of this anime didn’t do it justice. It really is best watched all in one go, one complete package.
I’m going to give the complete Rewrite a 9 / 10.
I’ve just finished it and part of me is already planning to rewatch it again sometime in the future. Or perhaps I should take a crack at the visual novel.
It’s just a great anime, and I really love how the two seasons work in tandem. I always appreciate when anime go out on a limb like this. The second season of Rewrite is such a wild ride, and it was only possible thanks to the first season being what it was.
This dynamic is just something you don’t see that often.
Anyways, that’ll do it for 8bit’s Rewrite.
The hard part now is saying goodbye to another great anime done and over with. But I’m sure I’ll come across other great anime as we go through every studio / producer on MyAnimeList’s list.
And with this, we’re officially out of the #’s on the studio list, and moving onto the letter “A”. Where we will be for the rest of 2020.
Until next time,
Thanks for reading.