Key’s latest visual novel, Rewrite. I don’t have my hopes up for an English Patch any time soon so I decided to go raw Japanese here. ITH doesn’t hook the text properly so I can’t use Translation Aggregator and I have to read through it in Japanese only. Suddenly I long for my broken English translations T_T
Like Key’s other visual novels, Rewrite begins off in a lighthearted slice of life style with the protagonist talking to various girls at school. Rewrite’s protagonist is Ten’ouji Kotarou, a guy who makes lots of video game references and is supposedly pretty good at writing since he gets a part-time job as a journalist later on. The male friend character is Yoshino Haruhiko, a wannabe delinquent who doesn’t actually do the things delinquents do. He always looks angry and talks like he is picking a fight with you, but he’s just an ordinary student who has no other friends so Kotarou hangs out with him a lot. The first heroine you meet is Kanbe Kotori, a girl who is able to fall asleep in a forest in the middle of the night. She likes gardening and has no friends other than Kotarou. Kotori and Kotarou has been friends for a long time, but they’re not at the osananajimi level. The next heroine is Outori Chihaya, a sheltered tsundere transfer student who Kotarou likes to pick on because teasing tsunderes is fun.
Kotarou also meets Nakatsu Shizuru, a twintailed loli with an eyepatch that’s on the discipline committee (and is a kouhai) but is shy and has trouble talking to people. She tries to yell at Kotarou for running in the halls but that didn’t work very well. We then have another tsundere called Konohana Lucia, who is the class president and is even more tsun than Chihaya. Lucia is the violent megaton punch type towards Kotarou, who is shocked by her insane tastebuds that are able to handle extremely sweet parfait and insanely spicy curry. He can’t stand them and wonders if hers taste different, so he licks her plate to see. Cue Lucia with her cate phrase “UNCLEANCUNCLEANUNCLEAN! PERVERTPERVETPERVERT! ENEMY OF WOMEN! TEN’OUJI KOTAROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOU!!” and her punch. Kotarou doesn’t learn his lesson and continues to aggrevate her. The last heroine he meets is Senri Akane, a senpai who is the only member of the occult club and is known as the School Witch. Kotarou is walking in town one day but suddenly the skies turn gray and all the people and cars on the streets disappeared. He gets attacked by huge black dogs that look like wolves, but he manages to run away and return to the normal world. He also feels like he’s being haunted by ghosts every night and fills out a random survey in the occult club room, and he gets invited by Akane into the occult club and she gives him shikigami to ward off ghosts.
Kotarou also drags Kotori into the occult club because she has no friends and doesn’t do any club activities. They set up a web blog for the club, but their first comment is a flaming troll whose trolling works on Kotarou and pisses him off so much he goes home and give the troll a death threat lolololol. The trolling worked if you start arguing with him~
Key stuck in some random gimmick called Mappie, which is just basically Kotarou’s phone GPS and you click on random points on the map to see events. There’s lots of optional scenes that are completely pointless to the story, like Kotarou finding a magazine about macho dudes in the forest, talking to dogs, giving a random guy he met on the street a nickname, or taking to a dude who happens to be in the school washroom at midnight. Yeah. Mappie’s pain in the ass because there is no actual gameplay but makes you do something other than click through text. Some of the optional scenes are pretty hilarious, but they’re hidden on the map and you basically have to hover your mouse until you find a hidden clickable point. So far there are no actual minigames, only the Mappie thing.
So far the slice of life part is much less hilarious than previous Key games. I haven’t played that much yet, but I remember laughing my ass off really early in Little Busters and that didn’t happen with Rewrite. Kotarou interacts with Yoshino much less than Riki with Masato or Tomoya with Sunohara, so there’s much less of the comedy-duo dynamic going on. Kotori isn’t really that interesting so far, but then again, I’ve never been a fan of Key main girls for their personality (with the exception of Natsume Rin). Kotarou interacts with her the most so far, and she feels like an ordinary person so their dialogue doesn’t have that much spice. I, for one, have been tired of violent tsunderes so I don’t care about Lucia, but Chihaya also doesn’t feel…tsun enough? I think I’ve become much more picky about tsundere characters lately. Shizuru is in the neutral category for me since she didn’t appear much yet. I love Akane so far. Fun senpai is awesome, and Kotarou seems to think so too. She doesn’t actually believe in the supernatural like ESP and aliens, and disliked the previous members of the occult club because they didn’t do anything worthwhile. Kotarou says he will prove to her that supernatural things exist, and they made a bet that if he manages to prove it, he will get to touch her boobs and go out with her. Akane has that arrogant and playful senpai personality, so she’s my favorite so far. However, I can’t go for her route until I clear Chihaya’s according to the guide I’m following.
I’ll see how far I can get before the wall of Japanese drives me crazy. I find Key’s Japanese more difficult than other VN I’ve attempted in full Japanese, but that’s not saying much considering that my Japanese is pretty bad.