Rewrite - Kotori Kanbe Route & Character Discussion

Discussion topic for Kotori’s arc & character in Rewrite. Feel free to discuss anything from the route, but mark any comparisons to events outside of her arc and the common route with the [spoiler] tag. Her birthday is the 26th of July.

What would you rate this route?

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0 voters

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It seems a lot of people disliked her route, but I really appreciated it. Reading it, it felt extremely different to anything Key had produced before, and that made me a bit uncomfortable. But once it was done, I realised I didn’t dislike it at all. Most thoughts I’ve heard pass it off as an ‘introductory route’ with heaps of forced explanations, but it didn’t feel that way to me. It had plenty of examination of Kotarou and Kotori’s strange relationship, and the reasons behind Kotori’s actions. Among all that, it reinforced this idea of hopelessness and despair, caught in the middle of the unknown war between two secret factions. In that sense, it served well as an introduction to the world of Rewrite, but that’s not all it was to me. The big theme that struck out to me is how brutally it took the fantasy genre. You go in thinking yeah, magic and familiars, sounds awesome. But it’s not a game, the supernatural elements of the story only serve as a device to trap the characters in a world filled with malice and despair. “Don’t play with fire without expecting to get hurt” is the feeling I got out if. This world, despite it’s fantastical flair, is incredibly brutal. Disregarding Chihaya’s route of course…

And the ending was freaking amazing. From all the build up of hopelessness the route forces you through, Kotori forces herself to keep struggling to survive to the last second. I was perfectly prepared for a bad ending, and it didn’t come somehow. That’s how they manage to restore a tiny bit of hope at the last moment. Hope is a much more powerful emotion once you’ve been exhausted by despair.

A quick plug for my Kotori route blog:

And you know, Kotori is a fantastic Key girl.

Yeah I’m on the ‘too infodumpy’ side of the fence, I feel it overstayed it’s welcome far too much, Kotori’s amazing personality dried up and half the interaction was with something that didn’t or couldn’t speak back, I felt it got dull.

Also I’ve really got beef with what it did to the Leaf Dragon so that soured my mood a bit. Not sure if I should even spoiler this because it’s common but might as well

The Leaf Dragon’s appearance is one of the greatest parts of the entire game, the entire scene sent shivers down my spine, I really got a sense of how utterly dangerous this was.

Then Kotori’s route comes along and jobs it to make the Guardian guys look strong, then the Earth Dragon jobs them to make it look really strong, that is a terrible completely lazy way to artificially increase the danger. There is a difference between showing you something is dangerous and telling you something is.

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I agree with the leaf dragon being one of the best parts of the game… that whole scene was done phenomenally well, and I do agree that they could have done more with that exchange. I don’t really think that they ruined it later on though…

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As I addressed in the first post, it’s common so no need to spoiler tag~

That Leaf Dragon terrified me when it first happened. Everything was all happy and cheerful, but then they get lost in a forest! With a weird bug-like dragon attacking them! Surrounded by dogs!

My favorite part of Kotori’s route was the Inoe stuff~ A bunch of mysteries were answered in an interesting and engaging way~

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Oh yes of course, how could I forget to mention the Inoue part.
I don’t even joke when I say Inoue best Rewrite girl, the entire Inoue centered part of Kotori’s route is my favorite part of the game that isn’t a part of Sakuya’s Chihaya’s route.


I’m also one of the very few people that really liked Kotori’s route. At first during the common route she was my least favorite character, so I ended up playing her route second last (terrible choice I know). One thing that was really interesting was how Kotarou didn’t side with either of the conflicting groups. His only goal in this route was to protect Kotori and getting his normal life back, which he managed to do in the end.

That feeling of helplessness was also new to me and different from the other routes. There were so many times where I thought “if only he was as strong as he was in Chihaya’s route”. But that’s exactly what I like, tons of tension with situations that seem impossible to get out of and seeing the characters somehow pull through them.

The part with Inoue was also very well written, I felt so bad for her and wished she’d get saved (if only there was an Inoue route). The Chibimoth death scene also really got to me, especially when he barked like Pero. The parents scene didn’t get to me as much since they were barely around but it was also pretty sad. What really had me in tears was the last scene when Kotori forced that weak body of hers to carry Kotarou all the way back to the city while he was quickly nearing death. I was so sure that Kotarou would die I even had it all planned out in my head, where she’d finally make it but Kotarou stops responding which just made the tears run more.

Kotori went from being my least favorite Rewrite girl to most favorite for the fact that all this time she kept working as a druid to keep Kotarou alive, for his sake (that and the last scene). My only complaint with this route was the ending, I really wanted to see more of an epilogue and some romance after all that happened.(Harvest Festa minor spoiler) Fortunately, I’ve read that Kotori’s Route in Harvest Festa will take place after the ending and most people say its the best HF route so I’m very excited for it.


I’ve skimmed through Harvest Festa, and Kotori’s route in it will fill any desires you want as a Kotori fan~

There is a choice early on that leads to an early happy end, but you can avoid it and go for the long ending. There is a bit of drama early on, but it’s pretty much all about Kotarou and Kotori’s love for each other~ The ending is pretty cute too. The route isn’t very exciting, but it works as a pure love story, which I know a lot of Kotori fans wanted~

I loved Kotori. Especially “SHAKE IT NOW, BABY NOW~”


I’m useless in conversation until I reread, but there were some very interesting things in this route. One was certainly the parents. I can write better later. ^^; I don’t want to get deep into conversation when it’s not fresh in my mind. I don’t wanna sound stupid (unavoidable).

Spoiler-ing just 'cuz.

Sometimes I write something believing everything is correct, and then I reread the VN and realize I totally missed something that goes against everything I said XD
Quickly modify what I wrote~ Ahaha~

Yeah no need to spoiler anything from Kotori’s route :stuck_out_tongue:

I know, but, one is common IIRC and the other is also part of Terra. ^^

So common route is OK too~

This post is going to be long, so I’ll apologize in advance ^^
I’ve made this post on a different forum already, but I’ll use it here, hoping to inspire some more discussion with new people. I could shorten it, but I’m a bit opposed to the idea of not putting in all of my thoughts, thus half-assing the topic.

This is a realization I came upon while preparing an article about the Kotori route and ‘what kind of Kotarou’ took part in it. It was a grand discovery for me (similar to how I, one day, noticed how the conclusion of the Kud route in Little Busters wasn’t a deus ex machina, but a metaphor of her own inner conflict), though it might be rather obvious to others.
Nevertheless, it somewhat changed my impression of the Kotori route.

Note that I did not play Harvest Festa, so there are still things about Kotori route that I don’t know.

Kotori Route interpretation – an alternative viewpoint

Most people were disappointed by the Kotori route. Lots of sadness and sorrow, barely any happiness and despite the conflict being resolved in the end, it did not come across as a ‘happy ending’. Kotori had to suffer all the time. Kotarou was not the one who ended the conflict. In the end, he lost all his power and almost died in the process.
So what DID he accomplish?

This route’s Kotarou decided to change neither himself nor the world. A Kotarou who did not side with either the summoners of Gaia or the superhumans of Guardian. A Kotarou who chose to live a good, ‘normal’ life. A Kotarou who got dragged into a conflict that was way beyond him. He did not care about which side was right or whether or not humanity would be wiped out. As he saw his own little world crumble, he decided to protect the things most precious to him.

This route is about the lives of normal people and their relationships, both of which got jumbled up and distorted by the supernatural.

Inoue of the newspaper club was allowed to live on after seeing summoners and familiars, yet the incident still completely changed her life.
The head injury Kotarou suffered in the past interfered with both his relationship to Kotori and his classmates. Kotori was unable to accept Kotarou’s love, making both of them suffer in the process. His classmates treated him with special care, creating a gap between them. The same gap did not exist between him and Yoshino, which subconsciously compelled Kotarou to get close to him.
Kotori losing her parents was only the first tragedy in her life. Due to her becoming a druid, she had to distance herself from the rest of the world, shouldering the heavy burden of protecting the Key all by herself, regardless of whether or not she wanted to.

The conflict that decided the fate of the world invaded the normal lives of Kotarou and Kotori. The conflict that began due to a supernatural power was brought to an end by a different supernatural power (Shizuru successfully assassinating the Key). They were never part of it. They were merely victims.

In order to see what Kotarou DID accomplish, let’s take a look at what he WANTED to accomplish.

Firstly, Kotarou did not involve himself into the actual conflict around the Key. He never intended to. In the beginning, the conflict just swept him up and messed up his life. He could have escaped if he wanted to, but he jumped back in because his task was not yet finished.
What Kotarou wanted to protect was his normal life.

So, once again, what DID he accomplish?

Despite being completely powerless, Kotarou still managed to achieve the best possible accomplishments in this situation: To survive. To protect Kotori. To retain the bonds he had with all the ‘normal’ people. After learning the truth about his classmates’ and teacher’s behavior, he can actually become real friends with them. He cleared up the misunderstandings and problems between him and Yoshino, so the two of them finally stood on the same ground. He lost all his powers and became a completely normal human. Therefore, now that everything is over and done with, he can resume the normal life he managed to protect.

If you look at the Kotori route from this viewpoint, you’ll start to think that the route’s fault does not lie in ‘weak story’ or ‘bad execution’. The greatest fault would be how it focused on the conflict around the Key instead of the ‘normal life’ that Kotarou strived for, which I now believe is the actual ‘core’ of this route.
(Think about it. The ‘core’ of Lucia route was different from the ‘core’ of the entire Rewrite VN as well. And yet it’s still one of the most popular routes.)

It’s no wonder that this route is recommended to be played first. Since the conflict that is the basis of the entire Rewrite Novel is shown from the perspective of ‘normal people’, it makes the route perfect for introduction. (You can see the conflict from a neutral standpoint before you get involved in it more deeply)


I hardly feel this is a big new way of looking at her route like with Kud’s, because this is how I’ve always viewed Kotori’s route. But you described it in a very elegant way. Thank you for sharing.

I think the problem with Kotori’s route is that it didn’t focus on a certain aspect very well. The romance was constantly disrupted due to the supernatural, and the supernatural was pushed away due to the romance.
In Lucia’s route the supernatural aided the progression of the romance.

Kotori’s route was a very bumpy road for a reader, which is good writing! The actual experience for Kotarou won’t have been smooth sailing until after the route finished. It is possibly the most realistic route… which is why I don’t like it much…


Yeah, Romeo said that he had difficulty writing romance scenes since the content of the route doesn’t really support it at all.
He definitely did a much better job integrating that into Akane’s route, since it takes place over a longer period of time, but I see people complaining about the romance there, to…

Yeah, I can imagine how hard it is to write like that with limited time, money and resources… I think Kotori’s route would have been better if there was no romantic story during the conflict.
The late scenes after Kagari is gone would have been a perfect place to start up the romantic realization…

The romance at the end of Akane’s was perfect, and the HF Kotori romance was pretty good~ But they aren’t for this thread x.x

All right, let’s talk about a “what if” scenario.

Namely, an alternative Kotori route (Moon/Terra spoilers included).

Imagine the usual backstory situation:

It’s 10 years ago, Kotarou attacks Kagari, gets injured. Kotori saves him and he’s put into a hospital and given amnesia pills. Meanwhile, Kagari gets captured and imprisoned by Gaia (Suzuki faction).
THIS is where it branches off.
Instead of staying, Kotori goes missing. She simply returns to the forest and continues her druid work there. After all, there’s nothing holding her in the human society. She’s already lost every human being that was important to her (and Kotarou has yet to wake up). And she knows that Kagari’s still alive because her link to the power spot still works.

10 Years later, Kotori has created an army of familiars and took control of the entire Kazamatsuri forest, turning it into her own fortress (she gave that estimate during her original route, btw).
Let’s think about a few things now.
Would she be able to officially become a third power when Kagari returns? Controlling the forest and never be found there is one thing, but would she be able to build an army that could compete with Gaia and Guardian?
I think that’s possible. According to Terra, Kotori is a genius girl. Within 10 years time of complete devotion, she could acquire unparalleled skills and knowledge in the art of familiar creation. She doesn’t have dinosaur fossils like Gaia does, but she could even it out with numbers and skill.
So now, Kagari escapes from Gaia, returning to the forest and Kotarou wakes up.

Let’s assume Kagari goes off to pay Kotarou a visit and Kotori gets to know that because she set a scout familiar to follow Kagari.
Will Kotori abduct Kotarou because her desire for human company just gets too big to hold back after 10 years of solitude? Or will she wish him well and not get him involved into the conflict so that he can live a normal life?

Either way, he gets involved nonetheless because Kagari will be spotted by Gaia and Guardian during one of her visits. So Kotori abducts him and explains him everything. The conflict, the Key, (and maybe) the half-familiar thing. (We need to get Kotarou involved at some point, or else there’s no point to this route xD)

Will Kotarou want to stay by her side? Will he fall for her? How will he take the half familiar thing (maybe)?
If he stays, will he let himself be protected? Or will he walk the way of the warrior and become her most powerful familiar by utilizing her knowledge and training with her familiars?
Will he oppose her in the end? Will he try to prevent the Key from singing her song?

And most importantly, how will the story proceed and end? ^^
Who’s going to win? Who’s going to survive? Will salvation occur? Will it be a ‘perfect’ salvation this time?