Rewrite S2 & Chaos;Child Review — I Just Want To State That Video Game To Anime Adaptations Are F*cking Awful

Awful awful AWFUL concept with so many fundamental flaws.

  • It’s double review time as I look at two horrible follow-ups to two already horrible anime based on visual novels that many people claim are good, but their judgment is put into serious doubt when looking at some of the actual plot points being used whilst being assured that they are in fact accurate to the original source material. And no I’m not apologizing for giving my opinion away at the very start, because nobody defends either of these shows, and not many people even watched them to begin with due to their predecessors having about as much entertainment value as watching a homeless man pleasure himself.
  • Rewrite S2, or Rewrite Moon-hen/Terra-hen for people who don’t mind typing out overly-long names, is the follow-up to last summer’s Rewrite anime and promises to deliver on all the plot and character that it held back before in favor of girls dressing up in maid outfits and making boob jokes at each other whilst slyly withholding the promise that it’d make any more sense over time. Sorry, but you didn’t ask properly…me since no one else but hardcore visual novel fans would bother to watch this show.
  • Meanwhile, Chaos;Child is a spinoff/semi-sequel to Chaos;Head that stars a completely different cast and Silver Link is now producing it, but if you were hoping to never see those over-designed D-swords again, you might as well just grab one and commit seppuku with it. I’m not really sure what it is about Chaos;Child that people love so much other than the character development and mind-bending plot, which doesn’t tell me anything because you could say the same for FX’s Legion. And I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to care about underneath the visual style in that show for the life of me.

I literally forgot who this girl is and what she contributed to Chaos;Child’s plot

  • At least with Rewrite, I understood what the goal was. It’s an environmental message story in the same vein as Final Fantasy VII if it was channeling X/1999, right down to the lead character being a former soldier who worked for a mysterious organization and the main female being a mysterious entity with the power to change the world. The gist of the plot is that Earth is slowly dying and there are two organizations with one thinking that humanity should die and the other thinks that might be a bit too radical a solution. And for some reason, there are supernatural CG monsters, whose purpose I forgot and honestly don’t care to research.
  • We spend the first four episodes going through the Moon route, which is basically the characters reviving from the dead after the end of the first season because like all visual novel anime, it has time-looping, as they prepare to fight in a war while delivering exposition on how the time loop stuff works. The funny thing is, I sat through the entire speech and played the original game, and I still couldn’t get a grasp on it. Quantum physics hurts my brain, yo.
  • After sitting through the most boring war in history because of the poor action quality and the lack of stakes in seeing these characters die because after killing ’em off like ten times in the same show, we kind of figure they’ll be back again, the anime goes to the Terra route, which is basically one long LONG flashback with lots of exposition regarding who Kotarou actually is and how he got here in the first place with the twist ending being that said flashback actually takes place after the other routes and he’s just reliving it again in order to put an end to this time travel farce.

Aw, it’s the little child version of the demon lord who killed all of humanity in one of the timelines

  • Now I know Rewrite fans like this because of how much more faithful it is to the original game, but watching this sort of expositional storytelling outside the visual novel format is not fun. All it does is clarify what’s going on and who these characters are, but there’s no sense of purpose to make me want to care while I find out. The environmental agenda is very poorly detailed, never going beyond the baseline, and a lot of it is put to the side in order to see Kotarou struggle to handle a gun or get giggity with Kagari.
  • Also, seeing this again in anime format, I have to wonder why all these girls are in the narrative in the first place, since Kagari is the only one who contributes anything to the plot and the others contributed jack before becoming brief cameos in the Terra route. I know why it exists in the game format, because most visual novels are required to have choose-your-own adventure gameplay and prefer to cater to a male fanbase, but in an anime, they’re just distracting.
  • Although I will say it was nice to see them flat-out leave when things got serious, unlike Chaos;Child. Stop me if you’ve heard this before: a blank slate male with no personality gets intrigued by a secret conspiracy that may or may not exist, and ropes a bunch of highschool girls along with that one token best friend to help uncover it. Said conspiracy is related to the events in Chaos;Head, which is like spending resource money on an expedition based on a rumor by Dan Brown, and the show even opens with a condensed recap of Chaos;Head so that we could be up to speed for this installment. Fat load of help that did, since no one understood jack by the time this shit ended.

Yeah, because these guys totally look like they belong in a mystery thriller, right?

  • Chaos;Child has the opposite problem that Rewrite does in that stuff happens, but they don’t clarify why we’re supposed to care about what’s happening or who these characters even are. Everyone has a really generic design, they all conform to stereotypical quirks, all their backstories are arbitrary to the point that I immediately forgot them when they bother to tell us their deal, and they don’t give a good reason for why they’re pursuing this mystery other than “I’m curious”.
  • All we know about the mystery is that weird shit is happening in the city and that’s pretty much it. Once in a while it tries to give it flavor by bringing up the power of the Internet and such, but it’s only for a few minutes in a show that’ll take around four hours to complete, and it doesn’t go anywhere on top of that. We do eventually learn that the main protagonist is doing this to escape his boring life, but given how we never see his boring life and this comes in waaaaaayyyyyyy too late into the story, you might as well have said he had a dead mom for all the good it did.
  • And of course, the dialogue just plain sucks. Exposition that doesn’t translate well to an interactive medium as far as the subs make clear. And when it’s not that, it’s hammy speeches that exist solely to create shock in a story that has nothing for said shock to fall back on. Or the occasional reference to a much better work that Chaos;Child poorly apes from.

Y’know, those Di-Swords are probably the most overdesigned weapons I’ve ever seen in anime

  • Also, I know antagonists in Science Adventure series are never well-written, but dear lord they were horrible here. There’s one twist ending in the finale regarding who’s really to blame that’s Blair Witch 2-levels of cruel and unnecessary, along with being nonsensical whilst also cheapening the story at the same time. Yeah, the twist was that bad. Easily one of the worst twists I’ve seen in a long time. But that’s to be expected from visual novel anime like these two shitfests, isn’t it? Take cool ideas and do their hardest to ruin them with tedium and trying too hard to be shocking that the word “context” is foreign to them.
  • The only real recommendation I can give with Rewrite is that there’s a slight humor to watching Itaru Hinoe-designed moe blobs pointing shotguns at the male lead they’re supposedly in love with, only for said male lead to get decapitated multiple times a few scenes later. And that’s in like the first episode, so there’s no real reason to continue after that.
  • As for Chaos;Child, it has better visuals than Rewrite, but the direction is awful to the point that no tension can be felt from any of the mindfuck scenes. All the violence is either too gratuitous or too retarded, and the interactions might as well have been done with finger puppets for all the life put into them.

You will like me or die, motherfucker!

  • Neither of these shows are the anime that fans of the original video games deserve, nor are they what the companies involved needed in order to maintain public interest in their increasingly diminishing returns. The only thing either Rewrite or Chaos;Child deserve to be recognized as are more failed attempt to advertise source material while being an effective insomnia cure in the process.

Minor Quips

  • Hopefully I won’t be reviewing any more Key or Science Adventure series for a while considering we’ve exhausted all their current games at this point.
  • Yes I’m aware that Chaos;Child’s story is supposed to be similar to Persona 5’s, but it was so badly hinted at to the point that said turn felt crowbarred in by the time the final episode revealed this fact.
  • Next season, it’s back to thrashing light novel adaptations. Yay!

2 responses to “Rewrite S2 & Chaos;Child Review — I Just Want To State That Video Game To Anime Adaptations Are F*cking Awful

  1. Hm, about Chaos;Child, was the twist really that bad? The anime had a huge number of problems, but I personally didn’t think the plot twists were especially terrible. There was a lot of setup towards revealing that Serika was the true mastermind, as well as her “reason for existing”. The motivations behind her actions seems dumb when looked at in a vacuum, but with some context it makes sense.

    First we’ll start with Takuru’s wish. It’s well in line with his established character from the flash backs. Consider how Takuru idolized Takumi from Chaos;Head, and add that to his state of mind when he real-booted Serika. Takuru was always obsessing over the New Generation Madness, it’s not that big a leap for Serika to try and recreate that situation for him if you look at how she thinks.

    That brings me to Serika. It’s clear that because of the way she was made, her thought processes don’t work the way normal people’s do. For a normal person the idea of murdering all those people just to set something up is insane, but she’s not a normal person. She LITERALLY only cares about her purpose and has no doubts in her mind. She even said that she didn’t care about others in her last plea to Takuru.

    I could pretty much guess at what Serika’s purpose was when she clashed with Senri and the mind transfer occurred. I mean Senri literally asks “Is that REALLY what Takuru wants?” It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

    There was also an element I thought was pretty tragic in the end. The whole incident was caused by the massive disconnect between what Serika thought she knew about Takuru, and how he really felt. Even Serika’s mind reading power wasn’t enough to bridge the gap because of how her own messed up thoughts framed everything she read. Serika truly believed Takuru was some kind of super special person. Heck he literally materialized an entire living sentient being so I can sympathize with her. However in the end Taku was closer to being a normal guy “just the same” as the crowd, someone who only thought he was super special just because people are like that.

    • It’s up there with the Scrappy Doo twist in the live Scooby Doo. In a more clever and well fleshed out anime, that might work. But Taku is so badly characterized here in the anime it comes off like last minute fanfiction​.

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