“Now, let’s begin. A story about the last person in the world, waiting for the one he loves.”
Title: Rewrite (Shizuru)
Developer: Key, Visual Arts, Amaterasu Translations
Release Date: June 24, 2011
Genres: Action, Fantasy, Romance, Tragedy
Rating: All Ages
…What the fuck was that? What the actual fuck was that?
That was supposed to be the good ending? An Urobutcher-style tragedy where almost no-one is left alive after being exposed to salvation? And Kotarou is forced to rewrite himself into a tree to survive it?
Kagari, you bitch. I’m heartbroken.
You know, although I wouldn’t say Kotori and Lucia’s routes ended happily either, at least they were both alive and together with Kotarou by the end. And they were all still human. Sort of. Shizuru’s route was just tragic in retrospect – maybe it’s just the order I’m playing them in, but each route seems to be ending progressively worse and worse with more people dying each time. In the end, even though I found Lucia’s route the best overall so far, Shizuru’s ending was a real shocker – I almost didn’t want to believe the tree was Kotarou until I saw Pani & Gil (what the fuck are those things, by the way?) in the branches. Thinking rationally, it does make sense to an extent – the salvation brought about by Kagari’s song of destruction is supposed to wipe out humanity, and thus for Kotarou to change to withstand it, he has to become something that is no longer human at all. That’s just… so, so sad. And it answers the question I posed in Lucia’s route – yes, Kotarou is indeed able to survive salvation, but at the cost of his humanity. I guess this is what Sakuya was talking about when he mentioned a guy who lived forever – given his knowledge and the state of his arms and legs, I have a feeling he too is a being who can rewrite himself. I used to think that Rewrite and Aurora were really cool abilities, but the price Kotarou has to pay is far too high, and while countless characters have said it, I never really believed them until it was demonstrated for the first time in this route. I should have taken Akane’s little questionnaire more seriously, because in hindsight Kotarou’s willingness to change himself was the key choice needed to get onto Shizuru’s route in the first place. I’m sorry. That was my first triple entendre, but it was a terrible joke. I’m still a bit traumatized by it all.
Actually, wait a minute.
That title screen. With all the girls positioned around a tree. Please, please tell me that tree isn’t supposed to represent Kotarou.
“You have power, and you are dissatisfied with the world. Would you want to change the world? Or would you want to change yourself?”
I wonder what happens if you choose to change the world?
The romance was also strong in this route, although I don’t think it was as abundant as it was in Lucia’s route. I wasn’t really a fan of Shizuru to begin with, but she grew on me as the days went by – she’s very cute, I can’t deny that. Perhaps even the cutest – although I find that I’m thinking that for every character when their route comes up. If Shizuru is indeed the cutest, then Kotori can be the softest, while Akane is the sexiest. Lucia is the best tsundere, and Chihaya is the… uh… hungriest? I really should have savoured their everyday life together a little more, because Shizuru’s diary at the end was really painful to read, as was Kotarou’s love letter – part of me wanted an option to just follow Shizuru to the shelter and stay there forever, consequences be damned. This was a route where I felt Kotarou really thought hard about his relationship with Shizuru and pondered properly before making a decision and acting on it – this wasn’t something so apparent in Lucia’s route, although admittedly the situation was slightly different there. It makes you feel that Kotarou genuinely does love Shizuru, and even though she’s not my favourite heroine she was really precious in her route. Alongside all this there was a sizeable amount of action and conflict too, from high-speed car chases to conflicts with the Earth Dragon in the forest – it was Chibimoth’s worst death yet, although outside of Kotarou’s end I think I mourned Nishikujou’s sacrifice the most. Someone should make a Nishikujou route. I’d totally play that.
A few of the missing bits and pieces from other routes were revealed in Shizuru’s – the rainbow water is revealed to have been water altered by a power spot, while the Earth Dragon is controlled by someone named Kashima Sakura. I have a feeling that name will become important in the future, if that thing is really as strong as it looks. Kagari spoke in full sentences for the first time, and she’s after good memories – although if the heart-warming scenes between Kotarou and Shizuru weren’t enough, then I don’t know what will be. And the alternate dimension is supposedly properly termed the compressed space, which is a place Gaia uses to keep their familiars. Speaking of Gaia, they’re really sounding like douches to me – bad things have happened in both Guardian routes (like the destruction of humanity) that would never have been as bad had Gaia not been around. Chihaya and Akane had better give some damn good excuses. It’s going to be pretty unfortunate going up against people from Guardian in future routes (including but not limited to Lucia, Shizuru, Nishikujou, Esaka and Imamiya) but I guess you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do when you’re on opposing sides.
…Although if I get to ravish Akane for real this time, that might not be so bad.