Re:CREATORS Review – “A Lie About a Lie Turns Itself Inside Out.”

A Lie About a Lie Turns Itself Inside Out.

  • Episodes : 22
  • Genre : Fantasy, Action, Sci-Fi
  • Airing Date : April 2017 – Sep. 2017
  • Producers : TROYCA

Re:Creators Introduction and Story (Spoilers)

Re:Creators opens Pandora’s box quickly as an ordinary boy gets transported into an anime fight scene between one of his favorite characters Selesia and an unknown military princess. Just as suddenly as he was transported into that fictional world, he gets transported back into his own world with the anime characters in tow. The military princess, whose name is Altair, is actually the cause behind such world crossing, and she has brought Selesia and other fictional characters into the real world in order to cause havoc. Selesia doesn’t believe in creating havoc just for the fun of it and is opposed to joining Altair’s side. Thus, their fight continues until another fictional character, Meteora, steps in and helps Selesia.

At first the Creations are divided into two camps: those who are willing to defend their Creators and accept their world as it is and those who are still obsessed with changing their worlds and killing their Creators. These two sides clash frequently, with one being led by Altair and the other being led by Meteora and the Japanese government. However, with each fight, as well as the introduction of more characters, these two camps begin to alter. This is seen clearly with the introduction of a third-party represented by Magane, who just wants to have fun, and then by the fact that Mamika, a young magical girl, rebels against Altair.

Mamika dies (but since she took on Altair in secret, no one else switches sides at the moment) and another battle takes place between the Creations, in which Meteora’s side takes some heavy damage. They scrape by when Selesia’s author posts online a small story, accompanied with an image, of Selesia having a more powerful flame sword. This is how they learn that the audience’s acceptance and attention to characters helps fuel their powers.

When our heroes come to understand the affects that the audience’s acceptance has on their power, they realize a couple of things. The first is that Altair is so powerful because she has countless reinterpretations and no preceding backstory to reign her in. This is partially because her Creator, Setsuna Shimazaki, died shortly after creating her. The second is that there is one possible way to defeat Altair: the Creators must collaborate and intertwine their stories in a public fashion in order to create an overarching story that will lead to her defeat. To do this quickly, a giant event must be organized with the grand finale being a battle between the Creations that is broadcasted live.

What We Liked About Re:Creators

There are a lot of aspects of Re:Creators to fall in love with. The fist is the gorgeous animation by TROYCA. From the beginning to the end, the visual aesthetic of the anime is top notch and constantly helps draw you into the events that are unfolding. This is especially true for the fight scenes, which are always grandiose and happen consistently throughout the series. Just watch the very first fight scene (which happens very early on in the first episode) with Altair and Selesia having it out over a body of water. The design of the mecha, the way the water rolls, the intensity of these characters clashing are all mesmerizing. If you like that battle then keep going to the end, because the final battle is by far the most grandiose. New characters and new powers are unleashed in a grand matter of fashion.

Another aspect that is enjoyable is the diverse range of characters. Most people will find at least one or two to enjoy throughout the series. Some will find the nobility of Selesia appealing, some will love the devilish care-free attitude of Magane, and some will find the tit-for-tat/headstrong nature of Yuuya attractive. You get the full range and it’s really fun to watch these characters expand and interact with characters they would never have to deal with in their own worlds. It’s the dynamic nature of the characters that make the show so impressive and it works surprisingly well in the recap episode as Meteora shows off her whimsical side by altering her own character in the recap, which she narrates, to a much different character.

Other impressive scenes involve the moments when Creations meet and interact with their Creators. There are several of such scenes but two of the most powerful occur between two characters who at first sided with Altair, Blitz and Aliceteria. They set out ready to kill their creators if they can’t change their worlds, but then realize how much of their own identity has been formed by these people. Aliceteria coming to realize that her creator made her in order to represent justice for adolescents impacted her. Whenever Sugura says a line at the same time of Blitz, it sends a real chill down his and the audience’s back.

Discussion Time

All right now we’re just about to get to the points on why you should check out the show. You’ll find a couple of those reasons above, but this following section will dig a bit deeper. What we’ll discuss here is how the character dynamics, themes, and action created a thought provoking anime. Each of these aspects were ultimately tied together through well-thought out mini-arcs that held the pacing together and allowed enough room for the characters to truly develop. On the flip side, we’ll also see two of the shows weaknesses that caused the show to simultaneously move too fast and too slow: info dumping and too many characters.


Contains Spoilers

Why You Should Watch Re:Creators

Reason 1: Yuuya Mirokuji

Yuuya stands out as a personal favorite due to his headstrong nature that basically will have him fighting until the day he dies. He’s comparable to characters like ______, in that he can take as many hits as he delivers and lives solely for the thrill of battle. We see this on multiple occasions, such as when he turns up to fight Blitz despite just having the cursed spirit of Hangakyuu taken away from him (his ultimate power) and being beaten up. Nope, that couldn’t matter less to him once he saw someone he has unfinished business with. We also learn towards the end that he thought it was pretty normal for best friends to engage in life-and-death battles on a frequent basis. In essence he is a manly idiot, but he also has a discerning eye and doesn’t cower from the truth.

Everyone will have their favorite characters and luckily enough the creators did a good job in creating a series where you could explore several characters’ personalities through the way they interact with your favorite. That is just good storytelling, and shows a willingness to create complexity as relationships alter and change due to the influence of others. It is through his character, we see how youthful Konoya is, how bitter Meteora can be, and the deadpan humor of Aliceteria.

Reason 2: Authority of an Author

One of the most important aspects of the show is the level of power an author, any creator really, has when producing something. It’s through this discussion that we get to explore the philosophical aspects of the show and think about the entertainment industry as a whole. You question why such intense and terrifying environments are the ones that bring us the most excitement? Why do we constantly see show after show that share such similar settings?

It also goes to a more personal level with individual creators. When watching Selesia and Aliceteria interact with their respective creators, you have to wonder why we create such bloody worlds. Is it so that we can create characters who are capable of saving those worlds or is it simply to create entertainment? Is it because we want to have fun and imagine worlds that are completely different than our own? Is it because we need to escape? Oh, and does the author’s intent matter when compared to what the audience is getting from it?

These questions are actually pretty exciting to explore and work well in providing the viewers with more than a simple action anime. They also lead to some relatively realistic moments as artists and authors argue with one another over how to blend their stories.

Reason 3: Intense Action

This was mentioned above, but let’s elaborate a little bit more. The action in Re:Creators is intense and pretty constant throughout the whole of the series. Just about half of the episodes contain a battle scene in them, if not multiple. It is reminiscent in many ways of the Fate series’ battles with several heroic spirits clashing at once. Each of the characters that have been brought to the world have some insane power and they use that to deadly force time after time.

Ensuring the gloriousness of each battle is extremely fluid animation. The battles run smoothly and beautifully as characters fly across the screen and explosions go off every other moment. There’s no denying that the creators put a lot of effort into making sure that everything flows together and that you are pulled into the action.


Why You Should Skip It

Reason 1: Information Dumping

Between the battles that occur, the characters tend to have some long-winded dialogue to explain what’s going on. Admittedly, a few of these scenes were actually helpful. However, there were a couple points in the story where several such scenes joined together and caused some harm to the overall pacing.

The first point was in the very beginning, when the initial characters are trying to figure out what happened and what steps can be taken to put everything back together. They discuss what has happened and what needs to be done, and then find their creators and discuss it all over again. Harmful information dumping occurred again towards the end when the characters are setting a major trap for Altair. Once again, the main characters figured out what needs to be done and then they have to explain it over and over again to other people. These moments slow down the show heavily to the point that the initial info dump might cause viewers to back off from the anime.

Reason 2: Too Many Characters

It must be said that the number of characters was both a positive and negative of Re:Creators. It was the high number of characters that kept each interaction feeling fresh, and adding a few new Creations and Creators to the second act definitely kept things lively. The writers did a great job in even making sure that the last-minute addition of Charon in the final battle held a lot of emotional impact due to his relationship with Selesia.

However, they introduced a total of three (technically four if you include Souta’s creation of Shimazaki) Creations in the second act and all of them mainly shined in the final battle. That battle did last for quite a few episodes, but altogether the inclusion of these characters for the sake of that battle made the story progress in a much more rapid fashion than the first 15 episodes. This created an awkward feeling of push and pull, as the show adjusted from an episode with a ton of exposition to an extremely long battle sequence. The introduction of Charon and Shimazaki were definitely placed well for the most impact, but it’s hard not to think about how the creators could have further explored the characters of Shou and Hikayu.

Final Thoughts:

This anime is definitely worth your time if you like fantasy or action series. You might even find it worthwhile as an aspiring artist, because it’s always nice when an anime captures the struggles of such a profession, even if it is briefly. Overall, this anime has a couple problems with pacing due to exposition, but such issues are understandable when you realize the story is structured in four mini-arcs (introduction, team development, team dissolution, and grand finale). Great action and interesting characters make up for any other issues.

Yoko Dev

Writer

Author: Yoko Dev

Hello, my anime peers. I’m from the states, but have taken an indefinite leave to travel while freelancing. Outside of a deep admiration for anime that started long ago, I love to read, write, and play video games. The main issue of traveling so far has been not having a console.

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