Rewrite - Akane Senri Route & Character Discussion

First, lets get this out of the way: About the whole “blades that will only cut the Earth Dragon” thing: thats all just in Kotarou’s head, man. From my point of view he’s just psyching himself up. He needs to focus so hard, that it’s as if the blades were meant for the sole purpose of cutting the Earth Dragon. BUT THATS NOT HOW PHYSICS WORKS. If it can cut the dragon, then of course it can cut the goddamned Key. Just because Kotarou thinks it doesnt make it absolute truth.

OK, Im getting close to the end. This was my final heroine route.

Not sure how I really feel about this route yet, so bare with me. I think its in my top 2 or 3 for Rewrite though.

I’d been looking forward to Akane’s route, since it would be my first real look into the insides of Gaia. By this point, I knew Guardian well and sympathized with them, so I kinda thought that this might be where I sympathized with Gaia.

But that didn’t happen! To the very end, even though Kotarou is a part of them and supports them, Gaia and their beliefs remains at best a necessary evil in Kotarou’s life. Was definitely interesting to see why most of the people who joined did so, though.

It was also interesting to see Kotarou slowly adapt his thinking, at least on the surface, so that he would be able to support Akane. Like his argument with Nishikujou: not long ago he would have completely agreed with her. But at that point he seemed to have completely changed in order to fit in with Gaia. Yet he is still clearly opposed to sacrificing humanity in favor of “the planet,” as his thoughts and actions reveal when Salvation starts to actually happen.

This is probably the route where Kotarou matures the most, which I definitely enjoyed. We see him go past the tipping point and kinda loose it when he’s in the forest, as seen symbolically by the way his aurora suddenly turns into an “animal.”

The most interesting character in this story is definitely Akane. As often happens, my opinion of her went way up once I got into her route. She is very unstable, though. Her actions and feelings and demeanor are always changing. This can obviously be attributed to the magic at work, slowly implanting hundred’s of others’ ideals into her very self, yet still conflicting with what she wants to make of the world on her own.

There is something that sets Akane apart from all the other heroines, too. All of them seem to have some kind of power, each obtained in unique ways. But the other four each obtained theirs in a time of need. They agreed, usually begged to be saved, crying out for help. But Akane was always alone. Early in the route we see a scene that is supposedly one of Kotarou’s old forgotten memories:(Cue Radiance) “Was she lonely? Common sense would say so. Was she unfortunate? The very idea means nothing to her. She lives under completely different rules from us humans… Senri Akane. I thought she was going to be happy.” This is still one of my favorite scenes from the route.

There is definitely a theme of atonement. Humanity needs to atone for what it’s done to the earth. Akane needs to atone for what she has done to humanity. In the end, both appear to be relatively saved. But it still a bleak ending. Yami no Kanata e says it all: everything behind us and in front of us is darkness. We can still hold each other and enjoy the company while we walk along this path, but we are heading towards the end.


Is it just me or does this short clip feel like it can totally belong in a live action sequence of Akane’s route? :stuck_out_tongue:


Man, that shit was amazing. It really got under my skin, no pun intended. Though when you present it like that, you should just post in the Akane topic instead.

Edit: Thanks Aspi.

Thats true. I totally forgot we had an Akane discussion page.

Man I thought a lot of people died in Lucia’s route…

I’m really mixed about this one. On one hand it was really nice seeing Kotarou develop in a a completely different way than he did in other routes, but this route had a lot of weak spots.

This route set up some parallels between Suzaki + Kotarou and Sakura + Akane but then they didn’t really do a whole lot with it. They could have used it to build more tension between Kotarou and Akane but they’re just like “ah fuck it they’ll stay together forever.” Kotarou is far too adamant about staying with Akane. I loved the scene on the roof where Akane asks if she’s changed and Kotarou lies saying she hadn’t. It would have been amazing to see Kotarou and Akane struggle with what should be an existential crisis, but no, they drop it after a scene. I also feel like the writing in general here is lower quality than other routes.

I know that fire-mine thing was almost certainly placed by Takasago, but I want to believe it was Fuego just so this route has some connection to Chihaya’s. I really dislike how this route threw away all of the other characters and introduced several spriteless characters.

OK, I know that this is a really unreasonable complaint, so much so that I deeply debated even including it, but look at this CG real quick

Its perfectly set up for it! Look at it! Look at the way Kotarou is curving his fingers! Perfect hand holding shape, and his arm is the appropriate distance. It might be because we didn’t really see their practically nonexistent relationship so I was itching for a fix of cuteness, but I really let this bother me for some reason…

Eh, well on to Moon.

In my opinion, there are two reasons why it was written in the way it was, instead of like you’re suggesting:

  1. Part of the “point” of the story was that, while the whole “Holy Woman” thing has been going on for… a long time, and it has caused relationships and circumstances like that of Sakura and Suzaki, Akane is not Sakura, and Kotarou is not Suzaki, and Kotarou devotes himself to making it so his and Akane’s lives will not have to be repeats of what has happened so many times before.

  2. The circumstances are a bit… different this time around. You know, with the whole Destruction thing. Basically, from my perspective, they’re both gonna die at some point, probably pretty soon, and they know it. Kotarou is trying to keep hold of the one thing he really has left that he loves. After all, he kinda dropped out of school and devoted his life to her.

I hope you enjoy Moon a bit more though. Its a doozie.

That’s probably because this route was supposed to be longer than what it currently is.

I know Kanon has been heavily criticizing this part of Akane Route, but let me address the point of that Kotarou vs. Earth Dragon, and why Kotarou’s attack, which was explicitly described to be specifically designed to kill the Earth Dragon, but ended up killing the Key instead. This kinda flashed in my mind after writing about the anime and what I thought it was trying to do, but I tend to forget… and then there’s hell week. Yeah.

I did mention that one of the visual novel’s theme, as laid bare by the end of Terra Arc, is addressing humanity’s tendency to fixate too much on short-term goals that they fail to go after the more important long-term goals instead. In Terra, this manifests as humanity’s fixation in keeping the Earth for survival’s sake, as opposed to finding opportunities beyond the planet and carve their future even without it.

This theme also manifests in this scene: surely the former is represented by Kotarou’s fixation in defeating the Earth Dragon. But his goal is to reach Akane and release her from the chains of the Holy Women’s desire for Salvation. With that, he must stop the world from ending, and this represents the latter. I’d also like to think that the the Dragon symbolized the obvious distance between Kotarou and Akane, but the barrier isn’t the only problem here; it’s the Key, which I’d also like to think of this to be the manifestation of that desire.

While fighting against the Earth Dragon, which is extremely difficult to defeat unless he pushed himself beyond his current (at that time) limit, he became too focused in finding ways to defeating it, evolving his blades to the point that it could only slice through the Earth Dragon alone. But defeating it won’t stop Akane from successfully carrying out Salvation; it will only, at most, break the physical barrier between the pair.

Perhaps the blow he received from the Dragon snapped some sense into him, or maybe the short dialogue between him and Akane put him back to his rails, it’s not clear, but he may have realized that the Earth Dragon isn’t his target. It’s whatever putting the world to its end, and the existence that which chained Akane to orchestrating Salvation – the Key. (That, or Tanaka is just fooling us around haha.)

Remember how familiars feed on their summoners’ desire to see the world change? Well, the Earth Dragon is the Holy Disciples’ familiar. When the Key died, their means of carrying out that change faded into air, and perhaps along with it, their desire for change also dissipated. They have also been greatly exhausted of life, so, the Dragon died along with the Disciples.

By the end, he was unable to save the Disciples, but Kotarou was at least able to save Akane, stopping her from being dragged along by the aforementioned chains. It may be badly-written, or not, but I’d like to think that it makes thematic sense regardless.

On another hand, I disagree that Akane Route lacked romance. If there are expectations for some cute sweet romantic interaction from this route, akin to (another Rewrite route) Lucia’s, this is seriously bound to be disappointing.

Romantic relationships can come in many forms, and Kotarou and Akane’s relationship is particularly mature, sensual, and also very subtle, which suits her just right. This can be seen in much of Kotarou’s actions, in Akane’s expressions, and basically the fact that Kotarou has become a part of Akane’s private life – they share the same room! But at the same time, their romance is also distant, and that’s largely because of their positions in the story.

The last CG may not have had them explicitly holding hands, but that gaze. The way they look at each other man. Their gaze so sensual that I might faint.


I liked the Akane route a lot as a whole, but a certain part of it made me really sick to my stomach.

It was at the point when the survivors of humanity had finished evacuating into the city of stone and began to settle in. I wholeheartedly hate everything that happened starting from that point, except for the moment when Shimako spoke. That one thing really gave me the feels.

Anyway, I had the feeling that Tanaka was worming his way into my head, trying to push his opinions and ideals onto the reader, filling a game with things that did not belong there.
Things like what kind of government an advanced society should have, that capital punishment is wrong, etc.

But the most unforgivable thing was what Tanaka did to Yoshino. I have mentioned it on a different topic:

Sure, Yoshino’s “lone wolf” chuunibyou was pretty childish, but what I always respected about him was that he stayed true to his ideals at all times, always kept using his own head, never succumbing to the hivemind, no matter who or what he would have to oppose. He was an individual through and through. But Tanaka destroyed all of it, calling it “growing up”.

I talked to Aspi about it shortly after joining Kaza and I believe I’ve discussed it with some other members as well, but I’m not sure if it was on the forums or the chat.

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Meanwhile, I’d argue otherwise, and will say that there’s nothing much wrong with the route being blatant about the writer’s worldview :))

There are writers who indeed write to move forward an advocacy. Typically, this is because of their desire for societal change, and refusal to write what is called “masturbatory writing,” a.k.a. writing for the sake of it (in art, art for art’s sake).

And that’s just fine. Some of the most well-known literary works intended to move forward an advocacy. An example close to me – and funny enough today is Int’l Human Rights Day – would be Dekada '70, an award-winning novel in the 80’s critiquing Martial Law and of Marcos Dictatorship in the Philippines, and man it’s not subtle about it: the story even had a scene where one of the characters got arrested for apparently possessing drugs, and was later found to be extra-judicially killed, and the police wasn’t too keen on investigating on it, so his parents were decidedly angry about it.

With that said, the themes of Akane route (and Rewrite in general for the matter) is about life. The talks on capital punishment was apt in the story, mainly because Kotarou, as much as he wanted Akane and himself to atone, didn’t want to die. Perhaps Tanaka was just being obvious that he didn’t like it.

And while there are indeed some things that I don’t much with Rewrite, personally, it’s just fine for stories to want to advocate on something. Akane route didn’t really bother me because the message wasn’t really repulsive to me by nature. (Tbh, I’ve seen more stories more blatant about their advocacies than this route.)

Can’t comment much on Yoshino though.

(Also, all works of art, including literature, are all products of their artists’ worldview, and therefore, carry a message that they want to send. And yes, that includes all Key works. Planetarian, for instance, wanted us to find hope in bleak circumstances. I guess part of why you didn’t like those scenes from Akane can either be because you disagree on it, or because you didn’t want stories to delve in politics. Which is fine, though I beg to differ.)

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Any insights on what happened to the other heroines or guardian in this route?

I suppose its possible (Shizuru Spoilers)Lucia and Shizuru ended up in the bunker that was in Shizuru’s route and they avoided Salvation but for the most part I think everyone who didn’t make it to the gray city died / re-evolved. But its been a while since I read it.

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How is Koutarou still alive despite the key getting killed? Based on Kotori’s route, shouldn’t Koutarou drain life from
Kotori (who might be dead from salvation) if the key died? But I guess the last familiar bird helping Koutarou evacuate citizens is from Kotori, so she could still be alive in the city of stone somewhere

This is based on my memory of Kotori’s route from nearly two years ago (there’s a reason I haven’t reread it but I won’t get into it here), but if I recall correctly, that’s explained properly.

Kotori spoilers:

Kotarou doesn’t start to die when the Key dies, but basically when the earth finds out about the Key’s death. In Kotori’s route, the Key dies in the middle of an open field on the ground, so before her body even touches the ground, the earth “knows” that she’s dead. But if she was killed in a different environment - I believe Kotarou uses a concrete room as an example - the earth has no way of knowing that she’s dead, at least for a while. The place the Key actually dies in Akane’s route is:

Where there’s absolutely no way for the earth to know about the Key’s death. We don’t know what happens to the Key’s body afterwards, but Kotori’s solution of killing the Key in her route so Kotarou and herself can live on implies that she does have a permanent solution that would allow Kotarou to live on even once the earth knows of the Key’s death.

I do agree with the idea that Kotori was probably alive until at least after the Key’s death, though I’m not sure about her reaching the City of Stone.

Also, once the earth finds out about the Key’s death, it’s not Kotarou that is in the most danger of dying, but Kotori. The reason he ends up the one who nearly dies in her route is because he convinces her to cut their contract so that he would stop siphoning energy out of her. It’s likely that if she doesn’t cut the contract, he would survive by sucking her life energy. She may well have chosen to sacrifice herself in Akane’s route and not cut the contract, having pretty much lost her reason for living anyway and in order to save Kotarou. Of course, this is assuming it’s even necessary for her to do so, which we don’t know it is. As I said: “Kotori’s solution of killing the Key in her route so Kotarou and herself can live on implies that she does have a permanent solution that would allow Kotarou to live on even once the earth knows of the Key’s death” so she probably doesn’t even need to go that far. But, if all else failed, this would still explain it.


It’s about time I addressed this so-called “plot-hole:” Kotarou VS the Earth Dragon, wherein he kills the key.

It seems @BlackHayate02 has already made a good, conclusive post about this above, but I guess I’ll explain why I find it kind of absurd that this was ever perceived as a plot hole to begin with.

Ehem. What Kotarou said about never being able to cut anything other than the Earth Dragon again was what would have happened if the fight had dragged on too long, but Kotarou ended it before he reached that point.
The end.

Sigh. For some reason, I get the feeling that some people won’t be satisfied with that, even though it’s a completely valid explanation. So, let’s get into some extremely basic-level evolutionary biology, shall we?

When an organ on an animal evolves for a specialised function, it’s unheard of for this to be a completely focused change. It’s not uncommon for organs to retain their ancient uses even after evolving for a completely different function, or for them to pick up different/extra functions along the way. Evolution is not a single-mindedly focused process. Kotarou can’t simulate a kind of evolution that’s never happened.

Now you could say that it’s a failure of Rewrite to require this outside knowledge to explain it (which it doesn’t, because as I said earlier, things ended before they reached the point where this information would be necessary anyway), but this isn’t advanced stuff. This is high-school level biology. Even so, you can’t expect everyone to have a firm grasp on it, fair enough, but Rewrite kind of goes on to spell it out for us in the Terra route anyway. Kotarou makes a great number of references to the collective memory of humanity in relation to his hunting power. This comes to a head in his fight against the Earth Dragon where he mentions that it’s a creature that humanity has no experience hunting, so he’s basically going into the fight blind. He can’t use information that doesn’t exist.

And yes, I know what Kotarou said, but he was exaggerating. That’s literally it. He was just saying that if he took it too far it would become increasingly useless against other opponents. Which is true. It would never reach the point where it just can’t be used for anything else, but it’s true that it would become less and less effective at other applications.

It becomes even less of a problem when you consider that the Key and the Earth Dragon are probably made of much the same stuff. Their forms are very different, but it strikes me as exceptionally likely that they have similar composition.

Unless you take that one line of Kotarou’s absolutely literally, I fail to see how this could be perceived as a plot-hole.

Next is Lucia’s.

On to other matters, there’s some interesting stuff here I wanted to address…

I have to say, I don’t really know what you’re talking about. I saw it as him trying to write it as he thought it would go down, not as he thought it should go down. I didn’t really see any of his personal opinions in there. It’s very natural that Kotarou would be against capital punishment in order to protect Akane, so I can’t really gleam anything about Tanaka’s personal views on capital punishment from what he wrote.

And this! I think this was tooooooooooootally intentional. A lukewarm ending for a lukewarm Yoshino, in order to set up for his grand finale in Moon. I don’t think Akane’s route’s Yoshino was particularly unbelievable or anything. He had to grow up and settle down in order to protect his family. But we all know that this wasn’t what anyone wanted for him. I very much liked the way they set things up with this iteration of Yoshino in preparation for Moon.


Then what about that archer superhuman who effectively killed the Key with one shot, thus ending the forest battle?
With how far Kotarou needs to go to even have a chance at wounding the Earth Dragon, I doubt a single faceless superhuman could pierce his skin as easily.

No, I’ve always had the impression that the Key, as far as familiars go, is rather… soft. It seems to me that her body isn’t made for battle in the first place. It’s her ribbons that excel at defence. High reaction speed, autonomous movement (not sure, memory is hazy), pinpoint precision and they can duplicate nigh-infinitely. My point is, if she had the same hard skin as the Earth dragon, her ribbons wouldn’t be so good at protecting her.

Kotarou being against capital punishment is a given, but that’s not what I mean. I’m referring to the remnants of humanity actually deciding against capital punishment and pardoning the very person responsible for all their suffering and the end of the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m also against capital punishment, but it seems a bit unrealistic given the circumstances. But more importantly, there’s lines like “But the people chose the edo man”. Like, you should have this kind of government and handle things that way etc. Overall, the narration did not seem impartial. Everything that went down was described as the natural course of things.

Then again, nobody I’ve ever voiced this complaint to did actually agree. I’m a bit sensitive to attempts of manipulation, so this may very well have been a false positive. In Tanaka’s defence, he never did continue this particular train of thought.

Possible. But I still hate it. I wouldn’t call it worth the trouble. And while there surely is a possibility of Yoshino changing in this particular way, calling this absolute degradation of a character’s very essence “growth” strikes me as a terribly distasteful joke at best. He didn’t have to become a living corpse to “grow up”. Even back in the days, his gang did some pretty good things. Working to support his family and being a strong-willed individual are not mutually exclusive. He never did refer to actual crimes when he said he wanted to be “lawless”. I’d rather see Yoshino paint the alleys of the new world in his color and raise some young heroes with real morals and a code of honor.

For the most part we’ll just have to agree to disagree or whatever for the latter two issues, but if I may comment on what I said about the Key and the Earth Dragon…

I did feel when I wrote it that the part you took issue with was the weakest part of the argument and my point stands even without it, but even that point hasn’t been overturned just yet. I argued that they had similar composition, but this can lead to drastically different results. In the case of hardness, as is the issue with the Key and the Earth Dragon, the most famous example of this would of course be carbon, with the extreme difference in hardness between diamond and graphite (though carbon actually isn’t the best example since its other properties can vary just as much as its hardness, but you get the idea). Hardness of their skin is not the only factor here, and I was trying to say that both of them being high-tier familiars, they probably are made of similar stuff and possess certain shared properties, some of which the evolution of Kotarou’s aurora would have been subject to.

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First of all, I’m not saying that specializing the aurora blade for use on the Earth Dragon made it completely useless on the Key. What I did find strange was the assumption that the Key and the Earth Dragon are made from the same stuff. I don’t remember any part of the game that would hint at that. (maybe Kotori route info, not sure if spoiler) The Key is a familiar created by the Earth itself. All other familiars have been made by humans. Sure, the Earth Dragon is older than any other familiar made by Gaia and nobody knows how to make one, but that thing is not as old as the Earth itself. When did Gaia have the chance to capture and analyze the Key and apply the knowledge? And if they did, how come it did not lead to salvation?

I’m more looking t it from the route of the fact that they’re both extremely high-level familiars. If any random combination of any random materials were equally viable, we’d see a lot more familiars at or even above their level. This tells me that for that amount of power to be contained within that size, the variation of materials used between them would have to be limited.

The last of the heroine routes I played - I enjoyed Akane’s cynical sense of humour and sceptical personality during common and the prelude to her route so I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t enjoy the route as much as I’d hoped. There wasn’t much in the route to suggest that Gaia were anything other than the nihilistic bad guys, but it was pleasing to see that the antagonistic Suzaki rather than the arch-villain was against the extremist approach and turned out to be more moderate than expected, even if his own aims weren’t necessarily “good”.

I’m not into the fights at all so mashed my way through those. Kotarou’s developing maturity and the manner in which he tried to support Akane and the rescue the evacuees was probably the best part of the route for me.

Akane herself takes the back seat for a good part of the route and I didn’t find the romance with Kotarou very convincing although I appreciate it was deliberately understated unlike so many others in Key stories. She never came across to me as “evil”, rather as someone who was fated to her role, with the suggestion of a pseudo brainwashing for all the girls who became disciples. Nonetheless we can feel that she genuinely seeks to atone for her deed and I did enjoy the hopeful ending which was a necessary upbeat after all the doomsday stuff!

Like most of the other routes, I reckon it needs to be seen in context of the VN as a whole once completed and so it’s on towards “Moon”.