The first episode of Rewrite left me with more questions than answers.
The main character, Tennouji Koutaro is highly suspicious. We find out through a minor character that she could not find any background information on him, which unnerved him.
He behaved like a butler or servant around the mother of another character, and despite being surrounded with supernatural phenomena he was barely phased. Twice towards the end he made reference to ‘activating the accelerator’ like it was his superpower. He has also jumped over school gates in a single bound.
Aside from his ‘bestie’ having chuunibyou, there is no other elusion towards others possessing supernatural abilities.
The setting of Rewrite appears to be in the future, but no year is given. The obsession with preserving the earth is clearly a futuristic ideal, which is why I think it takes place in the future, or an ideal future for the creator. Also in a dream Tennouji Koutaro experiences he is in a ‘earth fought back’ type of world with large vines having destroyed roads and cars and stuff. Again, Tennouji didn’t seem to be phased to be in a world like this, as if he had either been here before or had been to other places; is he an astral projector?
This could very well be the next Charlotte or Gakkou Gurashi with the lack of information, and seemingly innocent start.
Other characters worth mentioning are Yoshino, the chuunibyou and Kanbe Kotori. Yoshino and Koutaros relationship has not been explained past a claim that they were ‘Besties’ which Yoshino quickly shot down. The hothead is constantly threatening to kill Koutaro, but does it in such a chuunibyou way no one takes him seriously. He resembles Gokudera from Reborn!
Kanbe Kotori is the airheaded, spaced out character. So far she has eluded to possible Shounen ai situations between Koutaro and other male students, including Yoshino, but all party’s shoot her down.
Panty shots are referenced, but none are seen.
The music and sound effects in this episode were.. okay. At times the music overpowered the actual voices in volume, and music was a rare sound. Often it would be classroom sounds when they were at school, or silence when the character was out at night. The actual voice acting and voice manipulation was well done, taking into account being on the phone, under the bedcovers or in a monologue.
The animation and effects were also a mixed bag for me. Backgrounds by themselves were hyper-realistic and some looked painted at times. Outlines were used sparingly on stationary backgrounds so that they didn’t pull focus or stick out. When characters and drawn/outlined elements were introduced it was not a smooth transition. They stuck out too much, making too much of a contrast between the background and foreground. In some frames the outline of the characters was thicker and the details were minimized. It did not look good. Another blunder would be when blood was spilled, it was not realistic in the pooling. It is a small detail, but it stuck out.
CGI was used minimally, 3 times. 2 times were for monsters in motion and the other was a group of students walking. The CGI stood out against the non-CGI background but that is to be expected. It was well done.
So the positive points are the backgrounds and the sound manipulation. The voice acting matched well, the music was appropriate, if not loud a couple times, for the scene.
The negative points I found was the lack of and abundance of information. So much information was given to the viewer it felt like 2 different shows, with nothing to connect them. Going into episode 2 I have no idea what to expect, whether it will go down a Kore wa Zombie/Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero route or a 12Eyes/Charlotte route. The mismatch of animation styles was also a negative for me. Between the hyper-realistic and frustratingly implausible scenes it feels as if there was a lack of supervision or checking of the frames. Hopefully this wont carry on to the rest of the season. Stay tuned!