Chihaya’s route in the original Rewrite probably had the most idealistic shounen manga-like story progression, and ended everything off on a high note with everyone alive and well and teamwork trumps all. It had the happiest final outcome with the occult club scheduled to regroup soon and everyone is well and alive. Chihaya’s route in Harvest Festa is the happiest so far, bringing back the slice-of-life days in Rewrite’s common route.
We begin with an older Kotarou narrating sometime in the future. Knowing that he will have a short lifespan due to the usage of his powers, he reminisces back to his high school days, after the end of Chihaya’s route in Rewrite. Gaia is no more, so Kazamatsuri stopped being evergreen and actually sees changing seasons and stuff. Demon/mamono users are no longer around except for maybe the stray ones that are taken care of by Guardian. Kotori and Akane, now homeless, live with Kotarou and Chihaya. The occult club is back to normal, where everyone gets along and has tea time after school. Kotarou wants to further his relationship with Chihaya, but she is as pure as an elementary school student so he’s got no luck.
One day, the occult club receives some info about a supposedly legendary fish in the forest that will net them a huge reward if they catch, so they and Inoue from the newspaper club go on a trip. Said trip includes a group swimsuit scene, delicious food, and fishing Yoshino out of the water. The legendary fish was actually just a Yoshino out for training in the woods, so their hopes of getting money are crushed. Kotarou and Chihaya have a peaceful talk by the bonfire at night, and the flashback ends.
We go back to the reminiscing older Kotarou, who is approached by Sakuya in his demon clothes. Sakuya announces that it’s time for him to disappear for real, since his body was at its limit. He leaves, leaving a cherry blossom petal behind. Kotarou knows that he will probably not last too long, so he vows to take Chihaya to see cherry blossoms next spring.
Sakuya disappears by himself at the daisy hill.
That was certainly the most enjoyable route so far. The actual romance with Chihaya was lacking, but the occult club is happily together and the route had the same cheerful atmosphere as the common route. I wished it lasted longer, I don’t mind seeing more of the occult club nakama derping around. Since Chihaya’s route would feel way too happy otherwise, they put in Sakuya’s death at the end, and reminded us that Kotarou’s aurora shortens his lifespan. At the end, the upbeat school days were transient and things turned out somewhat bittersweet. Now that we’ve had a taste of the routes that ended positively (at least somewhat), I’m curious as to how they’ll make Akane’s and Shizuru’s disaster-ending routes happy.