Re:Creators Episode 17: Plans everywhere

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Whew…we finally got an episode. This week’s episode seems to answer the question I’ve been asking since the Chamber Festival plan was created. Why would Altair even play along with this plan? Based on the episode, I guess the answer is that she expected it to happen and already planned to defeat them anyway.

There are a lot of good moments in this episode, so I want to take a second to address the action first. For the most part, I thought the abilities displayed in the episode looked pretty cool, but I thought the fighting itself was lacking. Alicetaria pretty much played cat and mouse with Rui and Selesia was constantly slashing and shooting at a shield of swords. That being said, the scene where Alicetaria uses her lightning to stop Rui’s blasts was pretty awesome.

I really don’t have much to say about the Mirokuji fight. I still think it’s not an interesting fight to have in a show that pits different genres against each other. If you compare the face-off to the fight between Alicetaria and Rui, they’re just completely different in terms of atmosphere. Though, I will say that the “attacking through glass” thing was cool.

Alicetaria is probably my favorite surprise from this episode. We already saw part of her planning, but I wasn’t expecting her to fight alongside Altair while putting it into action. She looks like she’s building up to a big betrayal moment, which I look forward to seeing. But even aside from that, this episode had Alicetaria looking much more expressive and dynamic as a character, as opposed to her previous self.

And then, of course, I want to talk about the big Blitz Talker scene in this episode. While there’s some pretty standard stuff about brushing off the efforts of the successful in that scene, I liked that Suruga was straight about her motivations, without any of the fluffier speech that the other authors (and Sota) used. She knows what she wants to accomplish and she’s truly aware that she’s the god of Blitz’s world.

I’m also not too confused about the fact that Suruga revived Blitz’s daughter. I’ve interacted with enough people to know that fans have no problem with the idea of bringing a dead character back to life in anime, so it’s not like it would be hard to get fan acceptance.

Re:Creators Episode 16: Preparing for the final fight

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This week’s episode ended up being pretty chill as we reach the final moments before the big battle. I’m really curious about how the Birdcage business is going to play out because we still seem to have a lot of time left in the series. The somewhat carefree mood of this episode combined with that makes me wonder if we’re in for some pain in the next episode. We know this is a series that’s not afraid to kill a major character after all.

But hey…with the breaks that this series has been taking with episode releases, maybe we’re just in for an extended slugfest of a finale. We’ve been given a lot of setup in the past few episodes. The new characters on Altair’s side need to interact with the main characters. Alicetaria still has to reveal her secret plan involving Magane. And if everyone potentially has new powers, there could be quite a lot to see.

I wasn’t sure about Selesia’s driving scene at the beginning of the episode, but it made a lot more sense when Vogelchevalier appeared near the end. I guess it’s also a throwback to the first episode of the series, which is a nice thing to do right before you head into a “final” battle. Still, I have to wonder if Rui would have been more appropriate, but I suppose he’s already had his leisurely drive with Sota.

I’m a bit curious about this scene with Meteora and Suruga. Suruga is Blitz Talker’s creator, so she probably has to handicap him in some way in the final battle. But something about this scene makes me wonder why Meteora felt the need to ask whether she was truly okay. Was this just innocuous?

I don’t really have a problem with drunk Kikuchihara, but it feels a bit cheap to have the characters comment on how hard her job is when we don’t really have much of an indication as the audience. I get that organizing an event of this scale would be difficult, but we could at least get some sense that she’s doing everything herself.

I had to include this scene. It’s just too real, man…

Is the secret weapon just the character that Sota’s creating? Surely, it can’t be that important, so maybe there’s something more going on. This seems like a bit of a cruel tease…

Re:Creators Episode 15: Waifu power?

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Haha they actually did it. The new character Hikayu is actually from a romance game, and an eroge at that. Nicely played. While her lack of ability (other than panty showing) seems odd in this series, I have to admit it’s an interesting inclusion if the Creations are determined by popularity alone (and it’s probably the only way to avoid going full hentai). I’m not sure I’m convinced about the fan disc idea to give her powers. It seems maybe a little too obvious to be showing up just now, but maybe that’s why there are so few video game characters in this series.

Blitz seems to finally get some introduction in this episode. If I understand his motives correctly, he sees Altair as the “daughter” he was forced to kill in his own series, so he has resolved to help her out. I guess that makes sense, but it’s simpler than I was expecting. I guess another part of it might be that he wants revenge on his creator for forcing him into the situation in the story too.

The second new Creation also had me thinking a bit. First off, what determines whether a second character from the same series appears in the world? Is it just the popularity of the character alone? Just based on “character popularity polls” alone, I would think that it’s much more likely for people to like multiple characters from a really popular series than a more diverse character set.

And secondly, doesn’t it feel like cheating to bring another character in from the same series? A lot of this show revolves around how these people from different types of stories don’t mix well. Something about bringing in a pre-determined relationship between characters doesn’t sit well with me.

I’m still not sure what to make of Alicetaria’s conversation with Magane (other than the fact that Magane’s towel seems to have powers of its own). It makes sense that these two might work together because they’re both in the grey area when it comes to allegiances. They also have the history to make it work. I just don’t get what Alicetaria was trying to accomplish with that conversation. She seemed like she had a request for Magane, but she doesn’t really make one. My interpretation was that she was just trying to get a feel for Magane’s nature in preparation for a future request.

Re:Creators Episode 14: Collaboration is hard

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Well, they’re certainly making more progress on this big collaborative event than I expected. It actually sounds like a pretty cool event outside of the context of this series. This week’s episode was interesting enough for how it presented the creative process of the various authors working together, but I had the sense that it was a bit heavy-handed about how difficult the job is. It also felt like the “insights” we got were undercut by the secrecy around the story. Between Sota’s conversation with Matsubara and the argument between Matsubara and Yatoji, it felt like the episode was trying really hard to keep us in the dark. It kinda nagged at me while I was watching.

I guess the big piece of the episode was that two new characters were shown in the OP/ED sequences and one of the characters is introduced at the end of the episode. Based on her appearance in the OP, it looks like she might be a romance heroine of some sort, which feels pretty strange in a series like this. I wonder how she’ll be able to contribute to the battles. She might just be there to face off against Magane, since she mainly fights with words, but Hangaku makes that a bit complicated.

Sota also seems to be trying to contribute to the big project, but I’m not sure I understand what he’s trying to do. Initially, it sounded like he wanted to be the person who drew Altair and decided her actions. This might make a little sense because he knew Shimazaki the best, but his backstory never mentioned that he was aspiring towards her art style or anything. It doesn’t seem like he’d be qualified to mimic it necessarily. When he finishes talking to Matsubara, he starts speaking more vaguely about a “character”. Is he just adding a new character to the event? Or is it just the translation?

Kikuchihara’s speech to the creators felt awkward to me. I get that she knows what’s at stake and is trying to be intentionally harsh to get the job done. But it feels strange that she’s using government influence to push them to work on the project when the fate of the world is literally at stake. It’s possible she doesn’t want to cause a panic.

Anyway, a slower episode overall, but we’re starting a new segment in the series. I’m curious about the new characters and how they’ll fit into the series. Hopefully that’s coming next week. It looks like only the character introduced in this week’s episode will be joining the “good guys”.

Re:Creators Episode 12: Welcome to the Thunderdome

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I honestly wasn’t expecting to see more to Sota’s story this week. I think his actions make a bit more sense now. I admit that Sota’s past does bring up a bunch of points for discussion, which makes it interesting. This episode kinda hyped me up for an epic fight between all of the creations, but the conversation at the end of the episode made it sound like the event is still further down the road. It looks like we’ve still got some more characters to introduce. Altair’s team is looking a bit thin.

I guess Alicetaria doesn’t have any good company now that Mamika is dead. Also, this scene seems to act as a minor introduction to Blitz, who has been rather mysterious up to now.

This scene seems pretty damning for Sota, but I still see no particular problem with his actions. It was probably easier to forgive him when his only crime was inaction, but the scene shows him actively pushing Shimazaki away in the text conversation. That being said, I find it hard to fault him because all of the negative events surrounding Shimazaki came from independent sources. Sure, you can argue that Sota was the one person who could have pulled her out of her dark place, but I don’t think it’s correct to fault him for not being in the right mental state to do that. It still seems like an honest mistake to me.

One last farewell…

I can get behind Matsubara’s assessment of the situation. While Sota might not ultimately responsible, his guilt shows a willingness to take responsibility for what he did rather than make excuses for himself. It shows that he has grown from the encounter, which is all you can really ask.

Is it finally time for Alicetaria to actually think about her position?

I’m willing to give Alicetaria’s creator some leeway in this situation since I probably wouldn’t be able to think straight either. That being said, I have issues with how little responsibility he takes for his story when faced with his protagonist. Maybe it’s meant to parallel with Sota’s story about Shimazaki or something. I just don’t understand how he can sit there and say that Alicetaria has more control over the outcome of her world than he does when he writes it all.

Another possible explanation is he’s acknowledging that Alicetaria’s world would continue to exist after he stops writing about it. If he never planned to write a story about how the world gets saved, he could be saying that Alice will be the one to do it when he stops scripting her.

I hadn’t really thought about it before this point, but this is actually a really cool concept for Altair’s character. Basically, she has no legitimate story and is instead recognized by the “audience” as a sort of meme character. Because of that, she can be inserted into any story, which explains how she is able to interact with creations and pull them into our world. Basically, it’s not enough that she has multiple secondary creations. The audience accepts that she is that type of character. She effectively exists to be a reference.

Darn, I was a bit premature with my attempted explanation last week. I guess we finally get the explanation for Selesia’s power now.

You’re going to join the good guys?

So, the protagonists’ plan is to create the crossover character cage match that this series was meant to be? I have no problem with this. I’m actually just curious about the fact that they call it a “story world”. Are they creating another world to spare our world from the stress of that many powers being used? They also make it sound like they’re trying to make it a spectator event, so I’m not sure I get how that would work.

A new character!

Re:Creators Episode 11: Stop bully

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Wow, this episode felt like a lot of information. While I was a little disappointed in the predictability of Sota’s backstory, it’s nice to see it out on the table. The conversation Sota has with Rui in the first half of the episode was a great motivation for the reveal. I’m almost willing to say that Sota’s secrecy was worth it. Either way, we’ve hit the halfway point and it seems like we’ve come so far. I’m really curious to see where the series goes from here. It feels like we could easily have a final episode next week, so I’m looking forward to see what else is in store.

Given what happened to Selesia in last week’s episode, it’s a bit of a dick move to open the episode with Meteora. I know it immediately cuts to Selesia, but I still wanted to point it out.

Yeah, those seem like two relatively equal events.

I’m not sure if we’re going to get a full explanation, so I’ll give it a shot. Since everyone initially accepted the design after seeing the picture on social media, Selesia was able to gain the abilities depicted in the image. The reason the power went away was probably because there wasn’t enough of a story built around the power for the readers to accept it as part of the story.

There’s something about Matsubara’s line here and the specific terminology that’s used to describe the influence of the readers that makes me feel a bit excluded. It makes it sound like the reader truly has to see the life in a story in order to give life to a Creation like Selesia. I’ve never been one to think that way about a story. But then again, maybe it’s enough just to see the humanity of the fictional character and identify the traits that map to yourself. I can do that.

Huh…I hadn’t noticed because Rui didn’t have much of a role before this episode, but he’s actually perfect to have this pep talk with Sota. Most mecha anime protagonists start as whiny brats who are then thrust into the heat of war. As someone who has made it through this process, Rui would know Sota’s feelings better than anyone else.

It’s a bit strange that Rui thinks this way, but still prefers his own world. You could say that the very act of coming to this world has opened that same ability for himself. Now, he’s no longer constrained by the god of his world. But maybe that’s not case. I guess Rui will eventually have to return to his story and save his world. That path is already set. He could choose to forsake it, but it goes against his character, which is also set. There might be an interesting discussion about will in here somewhere.

An earlier screen showed a monitor with the words “Auto Drive” on it. Does Rui really need Sota to grab the phone for him if he’s not driving the Gigas Machina? Is this scene put here just to make a joke about mecha pilot bodysuits?

Woohoo! Finally!

First dates…

Seriously? Did we really need this? It’s bad enough that they’re able to get to these rafters without trouble. This random forced tension just feels strange. It’s almost like they’re trying to tease the suicide in Shimazaki’s future.

I’m sure it wouldn’t have fit Sota’s character, but I would have found his hesitation much more believable if he had instigated the online witch hunt against Shimazaki’s work. Of course, I can understand why he would still feel guilty for not being able to help his friend, but I guess I don’t see that as a crippling level of guilt. I guess my mind is a bit strange because I would see Shimazaki’s success as motivation to do better myself.

Re:Creators Episode 10: Power of the people

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This episode seems to mark an introduction for the creators as more active contributors to the story. I’m looking forward to seeing what implications this will have for the series, especially since I wasn’t expecting it to be a temporary effect. I also don’t really mind giving Magane a weapon. She made a lot less sense in the cast as a non-combatant, so having Hangaku gives her means to participate legitimately in combat. I just wish they could have set up Mirokuji a bit more. I didn’t expect him to fall for Magane’s power again after having it explained to him just last episode. Next week is the halfway point for the series. I’m hoping it’s fun.

I suppose it makes sense for Alice to be the most seasoned fighter in the cast given her frustrating mental abilities. Plus, Mirokuji comes off as a street fighter in comparison.

Help Selesia? What’s going on with Selesia? I’m going to assume this is a mistaken translation.

As much as I find Magane’s character interesting, it makes no sense that she’s alive. She’s fighting unarmed against Mirokuji and Hangaku. Just how strong is she supposed to be?

I’m not sure I’m fully convinced by this scene yet. I understand how Magane could figure out who Hangaku is based on historical knowledge, but I don’t get how she figures out that Mirokuji sees her as a curse. That being said, I guess it’s not completely relevant to how Magane seems to be trying to capture Hangaku.

I’m glad to see that Sota’s finally doing something. I wonder if it would have been more effective to say that we, as readers, feel an even greater sense of helplessness when reading stories like Alice’s story because we can’t do anything to change the outcome. That’s the line of thinking I would use. I guess Sota’s argument about looking up to Alice works too.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand how Alice’s mind works. I get that her construction of Mamika’s death is consistent with the information that Altair has been feeding her, but I don’t get why she chooses to ignore the lying nature of Magane. She was probably the most insistent about the fact that Magane is a pathological liar. Eh, I guess I have to accept that grief sucks for anime characters. I also can’t completely blame her. Sota and Meteora could have put a lot more effort into disputing the claim that Meteora killed Mamika, but they give up on that pretty quickly.

Wow, these are some mad hacks from Altair. I guess she brought everyone into the world, so it would make sense that she has some control over them, even if it’s limited to their tools. To look at it from another perspective, though, I want to point out that Selesia’s attack didn’t really make sense from the beginning. Why would you aim at the point of a lance?

I’m curious…is this entire sequence meant to just break Alice? I don’t understand how she can continue to serve Altair after this unless she just snaps.

Aww man. The mecha finally gets a chance to fight and it has to fight a clone of itself.

There’s a message about needing the readers to work together with the content creators to build a true story in here somewhere. There’s probably also a statement in here somewhere about the number of otaku and news bloggers are responding to an image posted in the middle of the night.

We finally figured out how to hack these characters! Now, we can get to the cool stuff.

I look forward to seeing the explanation for this.

Re:Creators Episode 9: Element of chaos

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I know that Magane’s got a bit of a weird personality, but this episode really made me like her more as a character. Sure, she introduces a lot of chaos to the series, but I find her behavior to be very consistent and reasonable based on her goal. I was also surprised that Mamika actually died. It gives this series a good chance to show us how they’re going to treat character death. Anyway, I think I say enough in the rest of the post, so I’ll leave it at that! Next week, Alice might end up defecting or something…

Magane seems like she would be the most interesting character to find a dying Mamika. Sure, we might want Alice to finally come to her senses, but this is an encounter between the most developed character in the series and the newest character. Also, did she just eat a blood-coated corndog?

Mamika could give at least part of her message to Alice here, but instead chooses to say her name multiple times. She was at the riverbed with Alice, so she should know better than to trust Magane, but I guess she’s probably not thinking straight due to the general lack of oxygen to her brain. Plus, stories need misunderstandings, right?

Wow, Mamika actually got an on-screen death. That’s pretty definitive. I honestly wasn’t sure whether they’d actually let her die. Of course, there’s always the possibility that she gets brought back as an enemy later since Altair’s able to reach into other worlds. But that’s definitely not going to happen…

This misdirection fits Magane’s character, but Alice’s reaction to this is frustrating. Also, Magane specifies that Mamika’s message involved someone who’s “actually trying to destroy the world”, which Alice should really suspect because she already knows that Altair is trying to destroy this world. Magane wouldn’t know that, so she wouldn’t be able to tell that Mamika says “they were right” to indicate that Altair means to destroy every world, not just the one they’re currently inhabiting. This is why I think Magane’s behavior makes sense while Alice’s behavior doesn’t. Maybe just use the trauma excuse…

While this is kinda funny to watch, I have to point out that we’re watching Magane brag about how easily she tricked Alice without technically lying. Surely this isn’t difficult to accomplish.

I quite enjoyed watching Magane’s breakdown of Sota’s body language and her subsequent deductions. Even if she’s somewhat chatty, she certainly adds to the show with it.

So now Magane’s blackmailing Sota into misleading Selesia? I can’t even get upset with her because it’s really Sota’s own fault for being in this situation.

I know this looks like a simple statement that Magane watched her bleed to death, but I wonder if the “so much blood” part is meant to make fun of the excessive blood trope in anime.

Oh boy…another reason for Sota to beat himself up inside…

Mirokuji’s here to save the day! I knew I was right to believe in this guy.

He still hasn’t told Meteora about his connection Altair, but I’ll take this as a sign that he’ll be doing it when the battle dies down. Finally!

What exactly does Meteora mean when she says Magane can reverse cause and effect? Is it just a world-bending power? And does the effect have to relate to the lie she forces the target to deny?

That can’t be good.

Re:Creators Episode 8: Explosion!

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I think overall this week’s episode was up and down for me (and back up again). The middle section of the episode focused on Sota and his past added some necessary context, but I’m still not sure I get why he hasn’t told everyone what he knows about Altair. That aside, I thought Mirokuji’s interaction with his creator was pretty interesting at the beginning of the episode. And finally, I think Mamika was set up well in this episode, but I question whether there’s a good way out of the situation presented at the end of the episode. On one hand, it feels weird to cut a character that has changed so much through the course of the series at this point. On the other hand, I can’t imagine how she could survive without some dumb revive mechanic.

I wish this idea was explored a bit more, but I guess it’s not completely relevant to Altair. At what point does a Creation distinguish itself enough such that it’s a separate entity? How much does Altair from her original? Perhaps she has every trait that the original has that isn’t overwritten by her own defined traits. Also, the idea of “secondary creations” that’s mentioned here suggests that there are situations in which multiple creators alter a single creation.

I’m actually on the author’s side at this point. I think that skepticism is the correct response to this situation (until Mirokuji summons the spirit, of course).

I found this line funnier than it should have been.

Sota’s reactions here are making me wonder just how much of a plot convenience it was to have him skip the briefing where Altair’s identity is revealed. It looks a lot like he would be a dead giveaway.

Okay, this is starting to make more sense. It sounds like Sota started to reject his friend because he was jealous of her talent. Now I’m just curious just how much of a role he had in her suicide. I suspect he just wasn’t there to support her when she needed him, but it might be more interesting if he was the one who instigated the hate against his friend. If the latter is true, I’d give him a free pass for not telling everyone that he knew about Altair. As it stands, I’m still not convinced.

They’re really setting Alice up as the character that curses the gods, huh?

That’s not ominous at all.

I’m surprised that they made it a point to show that Magane was watching Sota in the cafe with Mamika, but there didn’t seem to be any indication that she was watching his conversation with Meteora. I even went back and checked the scene. There were people standing around, so it wouldn’t be too hard.

If anyone was going to figure out Sota was hiding something, it would make sense that it’s Magane, the master of deception. Still, I’d be a bit surprised if Meteora didn’t figure it out either…

How so? Maybe this is just another manifestation of her magical girl past.

This seems like a bit of an exaggeration. But whatever…the whole “internet communities suck” thing is nothing new.

That escalated quickly.

Re:Creators Episode 7: Picking sides

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I admit that I found a lot of the ideas presented in this episode to be pretty interesting. I still have my issues, but I appreciated Mamika’s change in character and how that linked to the broader idea of how to deal with Magane. That being said, Sota’s actions still confuse me, and I don’t really understand why the creators have been so far in the background. They seem to be pivotal to the story, but they’re mostly treated as though their work is done. Can they influence their creations at all anymore?

There was one thing in this episode that caught my interest. They focused really heavily on the idea that the characters might be changing, but not as much on why that might be happening. I wonder if it’s some kind of reference to the idea that a character’s motivations might not always match that character’s actions. It’s impossible to fully understand a person’s actions, so it’s not crazy for an author to get it wrong with their own character. This episode may have been pointing to that disparity as a source for the change in the Creations.

The translation for this opening scene is really strange. This sentence in particular is just confusing…there has to be a better way to communicate this thought.

I still can’t tell if I’m overly biased because this guy is the Persona guy.

I’m curious…how is Mamika acting any different than the other Creations? She just seems like an extra competitor adding to the damage. Still, I like that the Creations aren’t cleanly split into two sides. They each have their own motivations and targets.

Run! The giant robot’s here!

Aww man. That’s a pretty vague description of Magane’s power. We already knew that much. Is it even worth mentioning?

Again, I’m not sure if this is the translation or anything, but it seems to be a complicated way to say a simple thing. Mirokuji even admits that it’s a simple thought. It sounds like he’s saying that the Creations were previously restricted into showing the parts of their personality pertinent to the story. Now that they’re not longer following a script, they can act more in line with their character description. As a result, they can do things that you wouldn’t expect them to do if you were judging solely on their actions in the source material.

These two make good bros.

Are there really no negative repercussions to murdering your creator? I suppose the Military Uniform Princess is going around just fine without a creator.

If you’ve already told Kikuchihara all of this information, why are you having this conversation? For the audience?

Huh? In what way are the genres of the Creations similar? Maybe he’s trying to say that the fact that the Creations are all Japanese indicates that they’re all based on the interests of the Military Uniform Princess’s creator. It would make sense given that Sota knows many of the Creations. If he had a relationship with the girl who created the Military Uniform Princess, they might share interests.

Seriously, why did Sota need to wait until now to tell people who the Military Uniform Princess (I guess I should start calling her Altair) is? It doesn’t seem to serve any purpose.

First off, how do neither of these two characters notice Magane? More importantly, Sota makes it sound like he’s about to say that Altair is his Creation. The fact that he was only a collaborator was a good explanation for why he didn’t recognize Altair immediately. If she’s really his Creation, it’s really surprising that he wouldn’t notice immediately.