Let the meta-train continue.
Considering I’ve already written about my position on Re: Creators’ first three episodes last week, I’m hoping I don’t have to clarify much before I do a Let’s Watch of its fourth episode. The bottom-line regarding what’s happened so far is that characters from different anime are appearing in the real world and even after four episodes, we’re still getting introduced to the mechanics of it all. It’s a pretty slow show with alot of talking, but the dialogue gives some genuinely interesting insights on fictional tropes in general, so I’m getting by alright for the most part. Having said that, I really hope this show actually goes somewhere soon, because I’m watching an anime. And a bunch of disparate philosophical arguments that are scattered on the ground for the audience to ponder without some actual point forming the backbone for said arguments to lean on is not what I consider great storytelling. That’s what we call How To Be A Boring Anime, and why on earth would you want to be that?
One quick thing before I begin this: I’ve been thinking of doing a Let’s Watch on Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul as well considering the two shows I’ve chosen aren’t really popular and given the massive amounts of fanboy love said sequel is getting, I think it’d be interesting to have a viewpoint from someone who’s not quite as enthusiastic for it (I do kinda enjoy it though). The problem is that doing three anime for a format I’m still getting used to sounds like a bit much, and then there’s the fact that Re: Creators and Bahamut are two cour shows. That means when summer arrives, assuming I keep doing the Let’s Watch, I can only pick one new show to write about since I think three is my limit in-between everything else I do for the blog and all. However, if enough of you guys want me to do a Let’s Watch on Virgin Soul, then I’ll happily do it. As such, I’m leaving this to Straw Poll, and if enough of you guys think I should, I’ll write up a summary post on the show’s first four episodes and then continue from Episode 5.
Now that that’s settled, let’s start watching Re: Creators’ fourth episode. When we last left off, Meteora was about to meet her creators and we still don’t know what the actual goals of all the other characters are. Hell, half the cast still hasn’t gotten introduced. So what exactly will this week bring to the table? Let’s find out.
- I bet someone’s fanfiction is coming true in regards to this show having a magical girl riding on a pegasus.
- Wow, I didn’t expect Meteora meeting with her creators to go by this fast. Looks like something’s wrong though judging by the characters’ expressions. I wonder what’s up?
- The producer of Meteora’s game passed away? That’s unfortunately convenient.
- Oh, so that’s why anime characters past thirty years of age are considered old men. Although it’s later pointed out the guy died in a motorcycle accident, which really makes me wonder if traffic accidents are a common thing in Japan considering how so many anime use it as a means to kill off characters. If so, that frames Aoi’s drag racing in Shirobako in an even further negative light than I already see it.
- Fast-forward a day and Meteora has something to explain. Oh goody. More exposition from her. I can’t wait.
- Hold on a second. Let me crank up some music to help spice this dialogue up. I hope you guys like listening to “Canned Heat“.
- Ugh. Not that the dialogue is bad, as otherwise I’d be making up my own made-up dialogue the same way I got through some of the more tedious bits of Tsuki ga Kirei, but these exposition scenes go on forever with nothing but shifting camera angles to flavor it up. I guess it’s better than Fate/Zero’s still shots, but my cheap-ass oven could preheat itself to 400 degrees in the amount of times it takes for Meteora to make her point clear.
- I mean, yes the physics of how these anime characters can possibly exist in a world that is (to their eyes) 3D when they’re supposed to be 2D characters whilst still having their powers is kinda interesting, but what does that have to do with the story? And assuming it all becomes important later, don’t frontload this stuff to the audience at the very beginning. Ease us into it more. Make it so we learn this stuff when it becomes important to the plot. This is like if Persona 5’s first few opening hours were nothing but lectures about cognitive science.
- Okay, so I get that all this exposition is setting up for the great threat that might occur if more worlds start to collide with the real one. So basically, we’re establishing some stakes, which have admittedly been a bit unclear up till now. Fine, but I’m still sticking to how you could have had a gentler entry point to that, Meteora.
- By the way, I’ve noticed some people theorizing that the reason Meteora is basically Little Miss Dry Exposition Fairy is because she was a minor NPC character who basically congratulated the player near the end of her game, and thus her personality was not fully fleshed out like some of the other fictional characters, who are mostly in lead roles from where they come from. Last episode even mentioned that the reason Selesia was able to argue with her creator is because she was fully developed to have a free-spirited personality. That’s a neat tidbit.
- So after some complicated feelings towards her creator to the point that she failed to meet up with a dead person, she spent an entire night playing the game she’s from in order to understand just how she feels about her situation. A very short game by Japanese standards apparently given how she completed it in that night.
Selesia: I could not watch the anime I’m from. I mean I just learned yesterday that my best friend betrays me and the organization that I work for is secretly in cahoots with the bad guys, and the only reason I was able to react calmly to that world-destroying news is because I chose to go into deep denial. But if you showed me actually getting betrayed…
Sota: Would you even appear in the anime if you’re here right now?
Selesia: Don’t get started Sota. Otherwise, Meteora might lecture on the physics of that for another five minutes.
- Aw. I have to admit, it’s kind of cute to see Meteora happy that her game has affected so many people, as well as have her acknowledge that her creator put a great deal of effort into said game itself.
- Having said that, I feel like we skipped a few steps in regards to Meteora gaining determination in order to oppose the military woman and keep the real world safe. Mostly because her experiences were told to us through her, rather than show. Oh Ei Aoki, why are you so in love with dialogue?
- Thanks to a certain someone, pizza jokes in anime are ruined forever.
- We also clarify some things that were implied from the start like how these anime characters, especially the military woman, want to see the real world burn for giving them such crappy lives.
- And another dialogue-heavy scene where the characters resolve to find more anime characters that appeared in reality, along with discovering who created the military princess. My bet is that Sota and the girl who committed suicide in the beginning are involved, although I’d be disappointed if Sota was the actual creator. Especially considering it’s been established he hasn’t been that involved with his art/writing skills as of yet due to his age and inexperience.
- Halfway through the episode and we finally get to see what the other side of this cast is going through. Alicetora, the woman on the pegasus that saved Mamika last week, basically hates her author because her story is one with constant war and I don’t think I need to clarify any further why she’d have a grudge against him for that. We also discover that she forced her creator to change her story, but that doesn’t seem to have accomplished anything, probably because of the “audience needing to accept it” rules that were clarified last week.
- Oh hey, it’s the badass old man. Now we just need the creepy sailor uniform person with the unclear gender and the guy who brought his mecha into the real world, and then we’ve got the entire cast.
- I have to wonder, what exactly is the Military Princess’s goal in all this? It seems pretty clear that she knows that killing the artists who made these stories isn’t going to affect things by itself (especially if the product is already finished, as Meteora has shown to us), so what exactly does she stand to gain? I sincerely doubt it’s to prevent more conflict-driven stories/worlds from being created.
- Ah, character-building moments. Re: Creators has mostly been an emotionally empty show, so seeing Mamika and Alicetora take a break from their “destroy the creators” agenda in order to eat by a camp fire and loosen up in general is very welcome. I’ve said in the past that when your show is very plot-driven, I can understand taking a break from it in order to relax the audience, although you have to make sure your breaks are semi-interesting, as both season of Euphonium learned the hard way with their sixth episodes.
- Hehe. I may not care for the magical girl genre, but it really is cute to see Mamika’s reaction to seeing her own brand on Japanese products.
- Ah, there’s the mecha dude (whose name is apparently Rui Kanoya). And according to what his script writer said, he did bring his mecha with him to the real world and is now hiding it in a park. Boy I’d love to see that scene.
- The end.
So that was Re: Creators Episode 4. It was pretty much the definition of “spinning its wheels” or “talking in circles” throughout the entire length, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it boring. There’s enough new information that actually feels relevant to the plot, and it’s nice to see that these characters are not super serious badasses 24/7, even when they come from some pretty fucked-up worlds. Having said that, the pacing is starting to get to me a bit. The fact that it took four episodes to establish what the stakes are says a lot, but even then, we’re still introducing characters and we don’t know what either side is actually going to do in order to fulfill their agenda. Those of you who remember how I failed to finish Shin Sekai Yori will know that I prefer world-building and story progression to go hand-in-hand. And while it’s not quite as bad as that series, Re: Creators doesn’t seem to be interested in meshing the two either.
Also, this is kind of random, but don’t think I haven’t noticed that for all the hubbub about popular anime characters coming into reality, nobody from a slice-of-life/harem show seems to be joining the fray anytime soon. Which is ironic considering what the anime community is like nowadays. Where are the BL characters in this show?
Anyways, that’s all I have for to discuss about the episode today. It should be obvious that Let’s Watch is based off of all those LPs on Youtube and while I don’t expect this to be nearly as popular (even no-name LPers on that platform get more views and subscribers than I do), feel free to help make this series as community-driven as an LP by commenting below and adding to the conversation regarding the shows I highlight on here. I know my blog is small-time and all, but I’ve been getting the feeling that people think Standing On My Neck isn’t a site where you can freely discuss things, and that’s completely untrue as far as I’m concerned. Just don’t act like a dickward from MAL who thinks every review should have a degree of objectivity, because you’re talking to the wrong person when it comes to keeping an un-opinionated tone. Or being aware of what’s going on in the anime community in general.
Oh, and don’t forget to vote for whether I should do a Let’s Watch of Virgin Soul if you haven’t already.