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Rewrite

April 4, 2015

For some time I have considered the visual novel Rewrite to have one of the greatest Christian parallels in modern fiction. I read the finale Moon/Terra in a single sitting up to almost 3am the same day the English translations were released, and had so many mental notes about it even back then. A couple years later, and I got to talking with Japes who surprisingly shared my thoughts. We considered co-writing about it because we were so eager to share how brilliant it was, but opted not to because it was proportionally far too complex. Tanaka Romeo’s writing is like that. Brilliant sci-fi that has a habit of dabbling in quantum mechanics to fuel rather unique but difficult stories. His style is further attuned to the Japanese language and thus translations have a record of being less than accurate. The loss of information across the potentially poetic nature of Japanese balanced with the sci-fi terminology and theory of Romeo and combined with trying to convey this to others through summaries (because the vast majority of people will never read it) was an impossible task in and of itself. Trying to make analytic parallels on top of that felt kind of pointless.

But in the end, we decided to do it anyway. I had a lot of random notes and points but I had to try to make the writing easier to follow and have a more essay-like feel to it or risk losing the understanding of readers who were already lost. I ended up not using several points, especially the eschatology portion which was easily beyond my capabilities anyway. Lots of editing and rereading later, and we finally decided to feature it during Holy Week, this past week leading up to Easter. I suppose it’ll be the best thing I’ll ever write, if only because I can’t imagine getting source material as perfect as Rewrite ever again (Junketsu no Maria is, although unexpected, a very different kind of material that I will need to address soon), though maybe I could rewrite it for the better at some point. Tanaka Romeo is a true genius of sci-fi literature. Moon route alone was everything I’ve wanted to see in a religious sci-fi. Not that Rewrite was religious in tone but one could argue the cult-like nature of a certain faction was. Either way, I still don’t know if we really did justice to Rewrite. It’s just too complex; there’s too much to say, and rather than a thesis format, I feel it’s something that needs to be a discussion format to exhibit its full potential (so the new Haibane Renmei-eseque Bible Study, I guess). Who knows, maybe we’ll infiltrate the Kazamatsuri Rewrite podcast if that ever happens. Anyway, here are the 5 posts, and roughly 15k words which we finally compiled and officially finished releasing as of today. It spoils everything, so I re-iterate everywhere that I wish people would actually read the thing beforehand to fully appreciate it because we did a horrible job summarizing it. Except almost no one will actually listen to us.

Part 1: Dive Into the World of Rewrite, a horrible summary of everything prior to the finale, which take roughly 40 hours to read so yeah why would you think this is even close to a passable summary?
Part 2: The Moon of Possibilities, an analysis of the nature of Moon route and powers of Aurora as representative of a spiritual plane of warfare separate from our own that exists outside the boundary of time and the infinite parallel time lines of humanity’s destruction as a symbolic manifestation of damnation
Part 3: Terra, the Path of Salvation, a multitude of parallels in Terra route relating to Jesus’ sacrifice leading to salvation and the importance and impact of free will in our sinful lives.
Part 4: The Meaning of Salvation, how the ending of Rewrite exemplifies salvation through Jesus as an ongoing journey of hope and growth.
Part 5: Rewrite’s Biblical Meta-Narrative, an outlook on Rewrite’s overarching narrative and how it reenacts the narrative of the Bible, from the repeated failures of sinful humans in the Old Testament to the transition of salvation and hope in the New Testament through the sacrifice of Jesus.

And I know people are lazy and hate to read. So here’s an excerpt from part 4:

Rewrite delivers arguably the same message but in a greater scope. It is not just about collectively heading toward a better future; it is also about the impending doom if we do not change our ways, and the amount of effort, sacrifice, and most of all, love that is needed to reach that future. This is why Rewrite can so beautifully connect to Christianity, because in a way, the messages are the same: humans are heading toward their own destruction, there is only one path to salvation, and that salvation is brought about by sacrificial love.

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From → Japan

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