Rewrite - Visual Novel review -

Okay, now I will review one of the newest Visual Novel by Key, which is Rewrite.
...maybe it's not that new, but okay :l

Rewrite is the 8th title of Key's Visual Novel. Rewrite was released in 24th June 2011 and the first complete translation was done by Amaterasu around December 2012.

Before, I must warn you that Rewrite is very different with the other Key's VNs. Especially, the center of Key, Maeda Jun wasn't fully involved in script writing and instead, became the QC (maybe he just wanted to be the very first person to enjoy Rewrite lol). The scriptwriters were mostly taken from outside of Key. Tanaka Romeo serves as the main scriptwriter, and the other two are Ryukishi07 from 07th Expansion and Tonokawa Yuuto from Key. The combination of scriptwriters was rather unique, I think. Tanaka was well known for CrossChannel (sadly I haven't played it) and Ryukishi was well known with *** no Naku Koro ni (If you never heard of it at all, I'll smack your head). Tonokawa wrote several routes in Little Busters! even though they're pretty meh in my opinion.

Okay, let's begin the review, and watch out of spoilers.
It's going to be a long and boring read, so prepare yourself :p
The VN started with a little philosophy of a live of a young boy named Tennouji Kotarou. Well, later in the VN it is stated that he doesn't really have any friend even though he can just blend in well and the classmates were all nice to him. Perhaps, the only one he could really talk to was Kanbe Kotori, a childhood friend of him. And, a good delinquent, Yoshino Haruhiko. The three of them were like outcasts without any real friend, that's why the three somehow could "get along".

Something that kept Kotarou from getting along with his classmates was the power he has. He has the power to strengthen himself, and even though it's pretty convenient, the effect is irreversible. So, if he strengthen himself too much, he won't be able to join PE anymore because people will really freak out.

Kotarou was probably tired of the lonely life of his. He wanted his life to be much more colorful and do things like youth and such. And one day, he felt like his house is haunted or either he is cursed. Eventually, he heard a rumor about a "witch" in the school and decided to look for her, to consult about the ghost who visited him in his room.

When he found the "witch", the 3rd year student Senri Akane, he was fairly disappointed because the witch was not occult at all, and she even denied any occult things with her scientific explanation. Kotarou was frustrated, and he vowed to bring proof of any paranormal phenomenon in exchange for groping Akane's oppai.

Aaaand, the club was formed for a sole lecherous cause (lol). Kotarou then realized that something like club and hanging out with group of friends were something he had been longing for. Eventually, a bunch of weirdos came together and became the club.
Tennouji Kotarou, our protag; Kanbe Kotori, a childhood friend who is inexplicably good at gardening; Ohtori Chihaya, a clumsy, yet super strong transfer student; Senri Akane, the school witch who has some crazy power of money; Nakatsu Shizuru, the first-year girl with an eyepatch who really likes to eat canned grilled saury; and the last, Konohana Lucia, Kotarou's class rep who was rumored as clean freak, and she absolutely hates Kotarou and perverted stuff. There were also some guys who came occasionally, like Yoshino Haruhiko the mad wolf (whom main purpose was to be bullied mentally by the club lol) and mysterious bishounen Ohtori Sakuya who claims himself as Chihaya's older brother.

The club looked for occult things, doing fun things together and such, until a tragedy happened when Kotarou's journalism rival, Inoue, went missing after she received some information regarding the forest and the mysterious things happened there. The club was about to be disbanded, but the members decided to look for Inoue so the club doesn't have to be gone forever.

In the forest, they saw some monster attacking for them. In that confusion, Kotarou had to do everything to survive and save his friends, including using his hidden power. He also found out that he has another power, which is something aurora-like coming from his right wrist which can be used as weapon somehow. Kotarou also saw a girl on the moon, who looks like the ghost who has been haunting his room. And, a real tragedy happened where they had to be separated forever....

Depending on the choice you made before, most of the heroines route begin at this point.

Done with the heroines route? Now a new part of story, Moon appeared in the title screen.

Well, of course it's not the end. New route, Terra, unlocked after Moon.

So, let's begin.

Overall impression:
I like Rewrite, but this game has a completely different view compared to other Key VNs.
My favorite Key game is still Clannad, but I guess Rewrite is around the same level with Little Busters for me. TBH, Key's previous works were much more naive compared to Rewrite.

Story : 9/10
Personally the common route feels pretty boring, but at time to time, some funny scenes appeared (like Yoshino theme song). I felt like the common route was dragged too long, so it wasn't so enjoyable except for those funny parts.
The heroines route varies in quality. Lucia route was too good compared to Shizuru and Chihaya. Personally I like Chihaya's route even though it's not focused on Chihaya (actually it's because I love Sakuya, so I like Chihaya's route!)
Most of the routes don't concentrate to the romance, instead to the organization blah thing. Even Chihaya doesn't get most of the screentime on her own route. (To put it in a bad analogy, you know the cliche story when a boy managed to get into a relationship to a girl because he/she got a fever? Chihaya is like that fever, while Kotarou and Sakuya got closer >I'm not saying that they should go yaoi for it, okay!?)

My ranking: Lucia >>> Chihaya > Kotori > Akane > Shizuru
Moon is confusing, but when I read about it, it does make sense and actually it's like the biggest reveal that makes you want to re-read the whole story again.
Terra is awesome without any doubt.

Sound : 8/10
The music is awesome and fit perfectly into the game. Like, Kotori's theme (Nirinsou) gives a soothing and peaceful nuance with a hint of loneliness. Chihaya's theme (Asagao) has a fun and bright tone. Akane's theme (Anthurium) gives a mysterious yet cheery feeling. Shizuru's theme (Carnation, my favorite) has a calming and sweet feel in it. Lucia's theme (Sunbright) is so upbeat and encouraging. Sakuya's theme (Sanka, also my favorite) gives a nostalgic feeling with a hint of sorrow and regret. Kagari's theme (Hinagiku) has a tranquil, sacred and serenity feels.

I also like the opening song used as BGM when action happens. Feels so badass for some reason. The other opening song, Rewrite, is probably the least "Key"-like music, but it's awesome and instant fave for me.

The ending songs, hmm... I don't really like Yami no Kanata e and Itsuwaranai Kimi e. Koibumi is awesome (perhaps the only reason why I like Shizuru's route). At first I don't like CANOE because Tada Aoi's voice is not exactly my favorite, but the melody is good.

Beside CANOE, there's Watari no Uta, which is the drunk version of CANOE (because the lyrics were gibberish and unrecognizeable). Also, the Song of Destruction is actually the reversed version of Watari no Uta. When I first listen to it, it gave me shivers.

About the character voices. I like all the heroines voices. Some of the CV feels amateurish (sorry) like Imamiya (he sounds too freaky easygoing) and Lucia sounds really different when she's deredere. A lot of characters went unvoiced and it feels pretty weird when the silent protag speaks to the unvoiced characters. (I bet Key will release the fully voiced version when Rewrite get animated, just like LB!)
Kotarou's voice in Terra somehow felt really cold to me. And, there were scene where he was young (around 8th grade I guess), but his voice remained the same throughout the game. I like some of Morita's performance when he shouted angrily though. (Anyway, in Rewrite Hf he feels much more lively, so I guess he feels cold in Terra because it's his characterization after all)

Characters : 8/10
The character designs are awesome, and the characterizations are also awesome. I think it's just too bad that a lot of characters only appeared in one route, even though I think it'll be great if they can be explored into another route (like Midou, he got an awesome CG but he only appears in Chihaya's route and the gag ending). My favorite character is Lucia, Sakuya and Kotori. And, also Midou. And moon Kagari. And... I love them all!

Art : 8/10
I love Hinoue's design, but even though she improved a lot in Rewrite, there are a lot of inconsistency on the quality. There are some cool and badass ones, there are some nice and sweet ones, but there are also some which are not very enjoyable to look at. Sometimes I feel like the character in once CG is different in other CGs. Overall is pretty good I think. And honestly, I really like the familiars CG and I do think the familiars have much more awesome quality than Hinoue's artwork.

I think there should be more CGs because I want more. No, seriously, in the final route, Terra, there's almost no CG at all. And the main heroine actually only have small number of CG and most of the CGs for Kagari is pretty much the same thing with different background. Were you even trying, Hinoue?

Maybe it'll be great if someday Key will hire zen to draw the game CGs. I mean... just look at the quality. Everyone has his/her own preferences, so I'll let you decide by yourself.

System : 7/10
As a visual novel should be, there's nothing much about gameplay. There's no minigame like Little Busters at all, and instead we get MAPPIE where we can explore the town to get some several (unnecessary) event.

I like this VN. I was interested because it's Key, but apparently it's really different with other Key's game (I guess I should change the term into Maeda's VN)
The quality of the routes and the art is pretty incosistent, but overall it's still enjoyable. Of course you can just skip the unpopular routes, but I think you shouldn't to appreciate the whole game fully (and if you skip a lot, you'll get confused).

....but wait! There's more!
I'll do review of Rewrite Harvest festa if I had a time. Really!