Rewrite - Kotarou Tennouji Character Discussion

Character discussion topic for Kotarou Tennouji of Rewrite. Since his characterisation takes place over the entirety of the VN, you can talk about the entirety of the original Rewrite without spoiler tagging, but be sure to tag references to Harvest Festa with [spoiler]. His birthday is the 2nd of May.

So then, let’s talk about Kotarou. What did you think of him as a character? As a Key protagonist? Did you empathise with him? Did you like him more in some routes than others? Take a moment to share what you think of this character.

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I personally found Kotarou to be weird. For lack of a better way to put it.

He was pretty funny and a total wise-ass. That’s for sure. That is, until Terra.

I feel like he was… Idk, Kotarou, in Terra. It’d felt like he’d shifted so much throughout the entire VN, from being good in Akane’s route (imo), to being a moron for obvious segments of the Lucia route… I don’t know. I really, really liked him in Terra. Which I guess would make sense. This is helped by him getting voiced in it, too ~

I wish I had more to say, but I do really need to reread. ^^;

I always felt like he looked older than the rest of them, especially when they got to the river part. I think he is by far the most interesting Key protagonist though, he has a lot more to him and his antics are pretty funny.

He was honestly my favorite Key protag, minus route/Refrain!Riki. I’ve never been sure what it was I could like. Part of it was his antics, part of it was points in the routes, etc.

I think the word that describes Kotarou best is “human”. Despite being different from his peers, he tried to fit in. He was afraid of getting isolated, afraid of exposing his true nature, so he put on an act and pretended to be an easy-going, light-hearted high schooler who loved to joke around. Quite successfully at that, since he really could ‘get along’ with just anybody.
His desire of a normal, fulfilled youth, as he described it in the monologue at the very start of the game, was very normal and truly human-like.
On the inside, Kotarou was a half-assed coward who was afraid of being hurt - another human-like feature of his.

However, what made him most human-like, in my opinion, was how he changed throughout the routes, depending on the girl he chose to follow and the position he ended up in. Unlike pretty much every protagonist who would behave as “the same person in different situations” in different routes, he became a truly “different person” as his character developed depending on his environment, which is, again, very human-like. When their environment changes drastically, humans change along with it.
Those different ‘paths’ that his personality has followed in different routes are quite extreme if compared with each-other. In Kotori’s and Shizuru’s routes, Kotarou was “weak” (which is not a purely negative trait), in Chihaya’s route, he was “righteous and idealistic”, in Lucia’s route he was “dedicated and somewhat dense”, in Akane’s route and Terra, he was “merciless and realistic” while in Moon, he had… a part of everything, I guess?

The Kotarou I liked most was the common route Kotarou.
Afraid of being shunned by his peers. Being half-assed about everything and unable to find something he could be passionate about and really give his all for. Trying to fit in yet always remembering that he’s different from the others, thus (unintentionally) creating a gap between himself and most people. Wishing for a good, fulfilled life. And lastly, acting really hilariously on a daily basis, always creating funny situations that make the common route very enjoyable to read. I can really relate to him because of these traits of his and I sometimes wish I was as talented in terms of comedy as he is ^^

As a Key protagonist, he’s definitely among the best. He is the kind of character that wouldn’t feel out of place no matter what situation you put him into. He would do very well in both an ordinary, carefree school life situation, having fun with his friends as well as on a bloody battlefield where he would have to fight in order to protect what’s precioius to him.


Agreed on him being a very… unique protagonist. Usually a VN protag would be cookie-cutter (so the player can put himself into protag’s shoes). Usual nice-guy, average joe, etc etc. Kotarou gets away with being, well… Pretty damn crazy.

But I gotta say, one form of characterization I see very apparent in Kotarou is that personality is totally driven by experiences. Since he lost his memory, and his negative experiences with his powers, he reverted to a crazy, happy-go-lucky guy. Whereas when he kept those and it made him grow, well, we all know how serious he was in Terra route.

Reminds me of this other game I am currently playing where a supposedly “knightly” character who loses his memory reverts into a total pervert.

To be totally honest, I kinda like the crazy Kotarou more than the serious Kotarou. That personality blends in really well with all of the girls in Rewrite, and me being a person who likes seeing romance being driven in a story, I think the romance just wouldn’t have worked as well if he wasn’t as crazy as he is.

You might be able to speculate that the reason he changes so much between routes is because of the extremity of the situations he’s thrust into. The kind of life-or-death situations he finds himself in cause himself to change, to evolve into something needed to survive, or accomplish a certain goal. This ties in perfectly with the idea of his power, Rewriting himself. He doesn’t just rewrite himself physically, but it expresses itself through the writing too.

Like how in Shizuru’s route, he becomes a pacifist in order to protect his happiness with Shizuru.
And in Akane’s route, he becomes cold and merciless in order to stand by her side.

That’s a really good way to put things lol. REWRITE OF ZA RAIFU

But yeah, I was thinking more on the lines of Kotori and Lucia routes where he remained pretty funny even up to the end. Even Chihaya’s route seemed to keep it for the most part. Shizuru and Akane had very… heavy implications by the end so I doubt anyone would be able to keep a happy-go-lucky attitude in those cases

I really, really liked Kotarou. He’s probably my favourite Key protagonist. Like you’ve all said, he has so much personality going into the game, you just want to know more about him. Much of his past remains shrouded in mystery until Terra, so you’re constantly learning new things about him.

In common route, he was great to listen to for all the funny dialogue, and his debates with Akane were super amusing. But I really found myself empathising with his more human side too. There was always that duality to him, the cheerful easygoing protagonist and the insecure, lonely boy he was on the inside. The narrated prologue is one of my favourite starts to any Key story. All he really wanted was to find some kind of happiness in some kind of intimate relationship with another individual, but his attempts to assemble a group of friends through the occult research club all ended in shambles. It’s really sad, but Kotori’s route especially shows how much it all meant to him. Looking at how the rest of the class treated him carefully, and the way Yoshino’s unwillingness to follow along with the act that draw Kotarou to him. He was just very lonely, and his attempts at making a fun highschool life pushed Yoshino away, and any attempt to get closer to his crush Kotori ended with her distancing herself. It’s really sad to think about.

In some of the character routes, Kotarou found some kind of happiness with each of the girls, which is wonderful. But then you go to Moon, and you see how he develops his relationship with Kagari… That was one of my favourite moments in the series. He kept trying to put on a friendly mask to make friends with Kagari, but in the end it wasn’t until he broke out into tears of frustration and lamentation that Kagari accepted him. That being understood how the mask he put on to get along with others only served to get in the way. Kagari didn’t want that, she only cared for his true self, the one that wasn’t afraid to cry tears of regret over the time he’d wasted in his life. The way all of this was communicated without words, it really touched me, and made me think of myself, and people in general. We’re always performing roles to please other people, but if we just stopped trying to joke around and actually showed our true feelings to someone, would they accept us? Maybe not, but Kagari accepted Kotarou. That’s the kind of bond with another person I’d like to experience someday.

And at the very end, Kotarou was willing to sacrifice all of it, all of his bonds with the people he cared about in order to save the world. Perhaps that is the only way someone can accomplish something as grand as saving the world: by sacrificing everything they hold dear in this world. Kotarou’s story is very bittersweet, but it really caused me to reflect on my own life and my place in the world.


Man you suddenly made me aware of that fact. Now I feel very sad too :frowning: And even sadder after the results of Terra.

I remember that monologue when he just wanted to hang out with Kotori and she had to decline. Kotarouuuu poor guy :’(

I’ve got to say, your post has given me a newfound appreciation for Kotarou, and I really appreciate that :slight_smile:

Right in the feels… RIGHT. IN. THE. FEELS

I’ve never viewed it that way.
just… wow

And it makes a lot of sense. With that mindset, the thought that Tanaka just up and threw away all worthwhile Characters and their bonds to Kotarou, not letting them be part of the final route.

Kotarou’s a dick.

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This is a very late reply, but isn’t that because he is older than them?

Well, since he was made into a familiar (sort of) his body hadn’t aged a day since the accident, so he should look the same age.

I think I understand what he means about that CG.
Kotarou’s posture in it looks more… experienced. Like it’s seen these supernatural things before. He looks young physically, but he expresses a more mature aura. In fact, I think this usually shows in the CGs. In the ones where he hasn’t had much interaction with the supernatural, he looks a lot younger.
That makes sense though. The more he goes through, the more he’d mature, and (due to the events of the VN) the more his expressions would harden. Compare the early Kotori or Shizuru route CGs to the late ones for example.

There’s probably a time difference, still. He hasn’t aged since the incident that was a long time ago and everyone was very young then while he was much older. I’d say he’s got a few years on 'em all.

Happy birthday to my favorite KEY protagonist!
The most bad ass protagonist ever! xD

commemorative doodle


Happy birthday Kotarou !
Seems like just yesterday, you were peeking at Chihaya’s undergarments ;-; good times

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I know I’m a day late (by my own timezone), but I feel that I’ll regret it if I don’t get this out there:

I’m not one to express my emotions… well, emotionally. By describing them factually in third person, I can detach myself from them and it keeps my vulnerability to a minimum. But I can’t do that with Kotarou. I owe him more than that. So try to bare with me on this.

He was stupid at times, and he felt like my friend. He was serious at times, and he felt like me.

The original incarnation of Kotarou was an irreplaceable friend of sorts. Everything was fun as long as he was around. If it ever wasn’t, he did whatever it took to make it fun once again. I simply can’t relay how much emotion he brought to my life, that I have to give up on trying.

Normally, I feel very little towards life. I’m a very apathetic person. I just can’t bring myself to care about anything. Which is why… the Kotarou from the Terra route felt more human to me than anyone I’ve ever met in real life. I understand that what he feels isn’t exactly the same, and I know it’s not fair to him for me to project myself on him as much as I do, but he just makes it so easy by being so very human.

Ironically, the raw emotion has Rewrite put me through - and continues to - has been something of a respite from my apathy. I mean, I haven’t been able to stop myself from shaking as I write this. And I dare call myself apathetic.

It’s hard for me to express what exactly Rewrite as a whole means to me. More than I can put into words, for sure. And Kotarou Tennouji was my guide through it. It would be no exaggeration to say that Kotarou was my flame.

There has never been such a presence in my life. And there never will be again. Through laughter, through tears, through my own introspective journey. Rewrite is to me as much a story about Kotarou’s journey through the world as it is about my own journey through myself.

Happy birthday.