Rewrite (リライト Riraito?) is a Japanese visual novel developed by Key that will be released on April 28, 2011 as a DVD playable on a Microsoft Windows PC. Rewrite is Key's ninth game, along with other titles such as Kanon, Air, and Clannad. The gameplay in Rewrite follows a plot line which offers pre-determined scenarios with courses of interaction, and focuses on the appeal of the five female main characters. As indicated by the title, rewriting is the theme of the game's scenario, and the basis of the story is set in a high school setting. The gear in the logo contains the kanji of the Japanese zodiac.
Rewrite's gameplay requires little interaction from the player as most of the duration of the game is spent simply reading the text that appears on the screen which represents either dialogue between the various characters or the inner thoughts of the protagonist. Every so often, the player will come to a point where he or she is given the chance to choose from multiple options. The time between these points is variable and can occur anywhere from a minute to much longer. Gameplay pauses at these points and depending on which choice the player makes, the plot will progress in a specific direction. There are five main plot lines that the player will have the chance to experience, one for each of the heroines in the story. To view all five plot lines, the player will have to replay the game multiple times and make different decisions to progress the plot in an alternate direction.
Rewrite is set in the fictional city Kazamatsuri (風祭市 Kazamatsuri-shi?) where treeplanting and afforestation have caused the city to become overgrown with trees and flowers in much the same way that other cities are filled by buildings. However, while most of the city appears to be rural, there are many traditional city elements as well. While set in a modern setting, the city also gives off a strange sense of nostalgia. The basis of the story is set in a high school setting. The first half of Rewrite primarily consists of the characters interacting in many everyday, enjoyable scenes. The latter half, however, is more serious, emotional, and carries a sense of mystery to the plot.
- Kotarou Tennouji (天王寺 瑚太朗 Tennōji Kotarō?)
- Kotarou is the protagonist of Rewrite. He is a high school student with a frivolous personality and is known to be arrogant. Though not fully realizing it himself, he meddles in the business of others, and as such tends to get easily drawn into incidents.
- Kotori Kanbe (神戸 小鳥 Kanbe Kotori?)
- Voiced by: Chiwa Saitō
- Kotori is the main heroine of Rewrite, and attends the same school as Kotarou. She is skilled at gardening and is able to sense supernatural things. She has a hyper personality, has been good friends with Kotarou since childhood, and does not have very many other friends.
- Chihaya Ohtori (鳳 ちはや Ōtori Chihaya?)
- Voiced by: Saya Shinomiya
- Chihaya is one of the heroines of Rewrite who suddenly transfers into Kotarou's high school. She is a clumsy girl who has trouble honestly showing her feelings and has led a sheltered life causing her to know little about the world. She is constantly arguing with Kotarou.
- Akane Senri (千里 朱音 Senri Akane?)
- Voiced by: Eri Kitamura
- Akane is a heroine of Rewrite who attends Kotarou's high school one year above him. She is the president of the school's occult research society, and is known as the "School Witch" due to an air of mystery that she gives off. While she is more arrogant than Kotarou at first glance, she has another side to her personality, and even has a much plainer personality with close friends and family.
- Sizuru Nakatsu (中津 静流 Nakatsu Shizuru?)
- Voiced by: Keiko Suzuki
- Sizuru is another heroine of Rewrite who is a shy girl on the public morals committee at school, and is one year younger than Kotarou. She has heterochromia, though wears an eyepatch over her golden-colored right eye, making this impossible to tell; her left eye is blue. Though she does not speak much, she often gives off plentiful facial expressions, and Kotarou can decipher these along with her behavior and gestures to carry on a conversation with her.
- Lucia Konohana (此花 ルチア Konohana Ruchia?)
- Voiced by: Risa Asaki
- Lucia is a heroine of Rewrite who is the class representative of Kotarou's class, and as such as a strong sense of responsibility and justice. She is a strong, fastidious girl who often must get involved with Kotarou's exploits when he gets out of line.
- Haruhiko Yoshino (吉野 晴彦 Yoshino Haruhiko?)
- Voiced by: Jun'ichi Yanagida
- Haruhiko is a self-styled "mad dog" delinquent, but in actuality he does not cause trouble for people very much, though is still a tough young man.
- Sakuya Ohtori (鳳 咲夜 Ōtori Sakuya?)
- Voiced by:
- Sakuya is a third-year student at Kotarou's school who looks after Chihaya as a guardian would, and despite having the same family name, is not directly related to her. While generally a sociably kind person, he is rather cold only towards Kotarou; Sakuya enjoys making fun of him. He wears glasses.
- Touka Nishikujou (西九条 灯花 Nishikujō Tōka?)
- Voiced by:
- Touka Nishikujou is a new teacher at Kotarou's school who is always seen smiling and is very kind. While not a teacher of Kotarou or the others, she often talks with them in the hallways, and has known Sizuru for a while. She is a popular teacher among the students.
Development and release
Itaru Hinoue, normally only working on the art and character design for Key visual novels, headed the project's planning. During the time when Key was developing Tomoyo After: It's a Wonderful Life, Hinoue had more free time since she was just helping Fumio with the character design, and that is when Hinoue got the initial idea for Rewrite. Despite Key having the two artists Hinoue and Na-Ga as co-art directors with their sixth game Little Busters!, Key went back to having Hinoue as the sole art director and character designer, as was with Key's first three games Kanon, Air, and Clannad. However, Na-Ga assisted with the computer graphics, along with Shinory, Mochisuke, and Minimo Tayama. Background art was headed by Torino, who worked previously with Key during the production of their first three games. Rewrite is the first of Key's visual novels to feature a 16:9 image aspect ratio instead of the previously-used 4:3 aspect ratio. Rewrite is also the first Key game to be developed on Visual Art's' game engine Siglus. The school uniforms for the heroines in the game are old designs that Hinoue created and used in dōjinshi (self-published work) before.
For work on the scenario, Key employed Ryukishi07 of 07th Expansion, the creators of the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni and Umineko no Naku Koro ni game franchises, and Romeo Tanaka, who wrote the scenarios for Yume Miru Kusuri and Cross Channel; Yūto Tonokawa returned after his help on the scenario for Little Busters!. Hinoue nominated Tanaka for the scenario staff after she played Cross Channel and became a fan of his work, and Tanaka drew up the entire scenario framework. For Ryukishi07, the Visual Art's president suggested around autumn 2007 that Key ask him to join the scenario staff for Rewrite. The music in the game was composed by Key's signature composers Jun Maeda and Shinji Orito. Maeda also contributed as the quality controller for the game.
A game demo of Rewrite came bundled with the limited edition version of Key's eighth game Kud Wafter released on June 25, 2010. A free benchmark program titled Chihaya Rolling became available for download at Key's official website on August 20, 2010. The program, which also came with the previously released demo, features Chihaya rolling down a hill and hitting boulders and Kotori's pet dog Chibimosu. The purpose of the program is to test whether a given Windows computer will be able to play Rewrite or other games using the Siglus game engine. If a rank above D is shown, gameplay of Rewrite will be normal; if E is shown, gameplay will be fairly normal other than a few exceptions. Below rank E, gameplay will be difficult or impossible. Rewrite will be released on April 28, 2011 as a limited edition version.
A manga titled Rewrite began serialization in the October 2010 issue of ASCII Media Works' Dengeki G's Magazine. Despite the manga being released before the visual novel, the story is based from the game and is illustrated by Sakana Tōjō.
The opening theme song for Rewrite is "Philosophyz" sung by Runa Mizutani of the dōjin music group NanosizeMir.
- "Rewrite Staff Interview". Dengeki G's Magazine (in Japanese) (November 2008) (ASCII Media Works).
- "Rewrite：キャラクター Key Official HomePage" [Rewrite: Character Key Official HomePage] (in Japanese). Key. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- "Rewrite：ストーリー Key Official HomePage" [Rewrite: Story Key Official HomePage] (in Japanese). Key. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- "Kotarou Tennouji" (in Japanese). Key. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- "Kotori Kanbe" (in Japanese). Key. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- "Chihaya Ohtori" (in Japanese). Key. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- "Akane Senri" (in Japanese). Key. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- "Sizuru Nakatsu" (in Japanese). Key. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- "Lucia Konohana" (in Japanese). Key. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- "Haruhiko Yoshino" (in Japanese). Key. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- "Sakuya Ohtori" (in Japanese). Key. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- "Touka Nishikujou" (in Japanese). Key. Retrieved January 22, 2010.
- "Rewrite's staff" (in Japanese). Key. Retrieved March 31, 2009.
- "Key's official Tomoyo After website" (in Japanese). Key. Retrieved March 18, 2007.
- "Tomoyo After staff information" (in Japanese). ErogameScape. Retrieved June 8, 2007.
- "Products section at Little Busters!' official website" (in Japanese). Key. Retrieved June 9, 2008.
- "Kanon staff information" (in Japanese). ErogameScape. Retrieved June 9, 2008.
- "Air staff information" (in Japanese). ErogameScape. Retrieved June 9, 2008.
- "Clannad staff information" (in Japanese). ErogameScape. Retrieved June 9, 2008.
- "Key-Tactics staff information" (in Japanese). Retrieved September 18, 2008.
- "Spec" (in Japanese). Key. Retrieved April 6, 2010.
- "Rewrite:Download|Key Official HomePage" (in Japanese). Key. Retrieved August 22, 2010.
- "Key新作「Rewrite」発売日が2011年4月28日に決定!" [Key's Work Rewrite to be Sold on April 28, 2011!] (in Japanese). Key. October 28, 2010. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- "Rewrite". Dengeki G's Magazine (in Japanese) (ASCII Media Works) (October 2010).
- "Profile" (in Japanese). NanosizeMir. Retrieved June 25, 2010.
- Rewrite official website (Japanese)
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