Most anime can be easily labeled by genre, summed up as romance, comedy, fantasy, sci-fi, or the like. Rewrite, on the other hand, is not content to be just one genre or two… or six. Even four episodes in (one of which was an hour long), I’m still not sure what kind of anime I am watching.
Rewrite is Horror
Our hero, Kotaro, is out for a late night walk through the ruins of a city. He comes across a young girl–who promptly cuts him to pieces with her telekinetically controlled ribbons. While he wakes up shortly after, convinced this was just a dream, each night after he wakes up in the middle of the night finding the murderous girl in his bed sucking his blood.
This prompts him to try to meet his school’s expert in the occult, a girl known only as “The Witch.” He arranges to meet her at night in the school, but when he arrives, the school has become a place of nightmares. Not only is the ribbon girl chasing him through the halls, but the school seems to be many stories taller than it should be. Monsters roam the halls and an eldritch abomination lurks in the school’s basement, a basement that doesn’t normally even exist.
Rewrite is School-life Comedy
Kotaro is your normal high school kid, though a bit of an outsider in class. It’s not that anyone is outwardly mean to him. He just doesn’t quite fit in. The only people that qualify as “friends” are the two other outsiders–namely, his neighbor, Kotori, and Yoshino, the person who hates him most in the world. The three get into slapstick situations aplenty.
Kotaro also befriends several very different young women in comical ways. One girl is stuck in a tree. Another is the class representative to the student council–who keeps punching him courtesy of various misunderstandings. Then there is the girl with an eyepatch who cutely bumbles her way through life.
Rewrite is Romance
Each of the aforementioned girls is a possible romance option for Kotaro, including both the witch and the ribbon-wielding girl. Kotaro has a semi-romantic (or sexually charged) encounter with each in nearly every episode. From these, we learn more about each prospective love interest and what makes her the way she is.
Rewrite is a Superhero Tale
Of course, Kotaro has his own secret–namely, that he has a superpower. At any time, he can rewrite his physical abilities, giving himself super speed or super strength. There is just one downside to his powers: The changes are permanent. While he is loath to use them when his own life is in danger, when others are threatened, he has no choice but to use his power and alter the course of his own life forever.
Rewrite is Mystery
With all the strange things happening not only in the school but around the town, it’s clear that there is more going on than meets the eye. There’s magic, monsters, superpowers, secret organizations, and a group of young girls all related to what’s going on. The mystery is “how” and “who is behind it all.”
Rewrite is Rewrite
With so many types of stories all going on at once, Rewrite could so easily be an unwatchable mess. It isn’t. Instead, it is a show that’s hard to pin down. You never know what is going to happen next, but it feels like there is method behind the madness and that, in the end, all the different kinds of stories will come together into a cohesive whole.