I have no big reason to keep coming back and insisting that “no, this thing y’all like is bad”. Then again, if I don’t, the talk might just end, which would be boring, so I guess I could work up some motivation…
In the first place, Chihaya’s route was never about thinking or logic. It was all about the typical shounen process of saving the world by becoming stronger and beating up the bad guys. The reason I believe it has so many plot holes in the first place is that the author didn’t care much about explaining stuff anyway, choosing the “doesn’t matter, cause it was cool” road instead. That concept is not bad or evil by any means, but it’s inconsistent with the rest of the game.
This is what makes the Chihaya route so special and constitutes both the good and bad in it. For the most part, Rewrite is serious, complex, harsh, sad, depressing, etc. But this route? It’s more positive and pleasant in a simple way. It offers a moment of relaxation precisely because it’s so different, because it doesn’t easily fit together with the rest. It’s like watching “Death Note”, but one if its arks is a crossover with “Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann”. It gets you hyped, it feels good, but also weird and it’s hard to take seriously because it operates on a different logic.
Back to the plot holes.
I stand by my elaboration in the very same post. If my memory serves me right, there was little difference between the Kotori route Kotarou and the Chihaya route Kotarou by the time Kotarou just up and pulled out the dual wrist blades. It was near the start of the route. He’s been through almost the same events and the same number of Rewrites. He didn’t strengthen himself for this. He did not choose to specifically modify his Aurora to do things it previously couldn’t and he did not acquire deeper understanding about its properties. And yet, without even trying to force a change, he did at least two of the things (the whip thing, though I’m not sure if it happened in the same fight) he had specifically tried and failed in Kotori’s route. Like he could do it from the start. It’s a direct contradiction. So I’m not saying it’s completely impossible, but that it’s impossible for him at that specific point in time and the necessary steps to making it possible are missing.
And while we’re on the topic of Aurora, I disagree with the notion that the ribbon is a mere supplement. (Terra spoilers) The aurora from Kagari’s ribbon and Kotarou’s transmuter ability of controlling blood are two different things. There is a synergy and a similarity in use, but Kagari clearly reacts to Kotarou’s aurora blade. Because it’s not just anyone’s life force, but a piece of her ribbon. Later in Terra, Kotarou simply becomes proficient enough to just draw out and control raw aurora directly instead of using it to strengthen and control his blood, which naturally has inferior properties.
The explanation is confusing, because Catholics are, in fact, Christians, not “either - or”. Catholicism is just one major division of christianity, just like protestantism.
I’m not going to cling to the faction thing specifically, but there’s a lot of this kinda stuff in Chihaya’s route. Things that are inconsistent with the other routes and never made an appearance anywhere else. Like, Midou’s gang is pretty strong, yet they didn’t show up in any of the major battles in other routes. Also, their familiars being so super life force efficient is a Chihaya-only thing. Like, you can’t rule it out or disprove entirely, but it still feels off.
Fine. Not going insist on this being anything major or important, either. Just another inconsistency.
Basically, you suggest that because Phogo is a mix of chemicals, a part of him was also in the gasses that Kotarou inhaled during the school gym battle. And he stayed there after Kotarou rewrote himself to be able to handle carbon dioxide, because his body didn’t need to expel it. Then, Phogo did not die when his supply of life force was cut off, but merely remained dormant until Kotarou had unwittingly reactivated him in the last battle while searching for a way to get through the vines. Additionally, since Phogo used to run on Midou’s life force, a part of Midou had remained inside him, thus explaining Kotarou’s dialogue with a dead man. Is that about right?
This explanation of the final battle makes a lot more sense than any other I’ve heard so far. But looking at it in detail, there’s still a couple of things that feel off. You suggest that (Kotori, Akane spoilers) Kotarou is fully capable of assimilating other familiars into himself because he is half-familiar and he had already done so with Kagari’s ribbon. But the one who did that was not him, but Kotori. And she can do things Kotarou cannot, like simply healing him, which is different from Kotarou’s biological regeneration. Also, the ribbon is just a mass of energy, not an autonomous familiar made of… matter.
Furthermore, Chihaya-Kotarou has no knowledge of creating or modifying familiars. Making a contract with an easy-to-use memory storage familiar is the peak of his experience with that stuff. What he did get good at is modifying himself with his innate rewriting power which (Kotori) is unrelated to him being a familiar. However, Rewriting works by (moon, possibly Terra) accessing his DNA, searching it for past examples of biological mechanisms that are capable of producing the result he’s looking for and modifying his body accordingly. I doubt that Phogo, in a composition that allows him to remain himself, had made it all the way into Kotarou’s DNA and even if, he’s a familiar, not a biological creature, so he can’t be reproduced just by rewriting. At this point, @Takafumi 's explanation seems more plausible, in that Kotarou had “recreated” Phogo as a weapon after seeing him in action and modified his aurora blade accordingly, which is, however, infinitely more complex than just making his aurora take the shape of a known cold weapon. There’s also the option of turning dead parts of himself into familiars (that are not restricted to laws of biology), like Takasago did in Akane’s route, but again, that would be something he didn’t learn.
Basically, it would mean he’s done a bunch of things he didn’t know how to and without meaning to.
Now, to bring something new into this talk:
Plot hole 5: Kagari reconsiders salvation
As we know from Terra, the purpose of salvation is re-evolution. If Kagari makes the judgement that with the way things are going, life force will be wasted and life will eventually die out, salvation happens in order to salvage and re-purpose all life force on Earth. But here, Kagari simply stopped because Akane was already planning on eradicating humanity. That way, Aurora would not return to the earth to attempt re-evolution, a huge amount of it would be wasted in the process and life would cease to be by default, which it did, albeit off-screen…
I believe this was simply due to the author not knowing the true purpose of salvation.