Let’s Watch: Re Creators — Episode 6

Psycho-bitches be scary.

When we last left off with Re: Creators, we got introduced to Rui, the military became involved, and we learned that the military princess (whose name is Altair according to people who could read Japanese) is a creation of a girl named Setsuna Shimazaki aka the person who committed suicide at the very start. With all these new developments coming our way, will an actual plot direction emerge as well?

By the way, I took a look at some general opinions of the show over the last week and a lot of people are basically pulling out the old Madoka-ish “oh it’s subversive” card in regards to it, which is about as annoying now as it was then. A few people are basically having the same opinion I had with Re:Zero and Blood Blockade Battlefront in regards to its (relative) popularity because of the slow pace and confusing dialogue. I found one guy who didn’t “get” what the show was about, which honestly confused me, because it’s pretty obvious that Re: Creators is supposed to be about the relationship between fiction and reality the same way it should be obvious that Guardians of the Galaxy is supposed to be about high-flying space blockbuster action. Whether it does it well is up for debate, but I didn’t bother debating him because he’s one of those people who thinks that one anime a season isn’t enough to keep your faith in the medium alive, which already makes our opinions far too different to take the subject any further. Besides, that stuff is more suited for real life anyways.

Here’s the thing, I’m fully aware that Ei Aoki can’t do “show don’t tell” to save his life. I know that even if you compare this show to “deconstructions” like Madoka or Guilty Crown, it’s still not all that great as an animated work because those two shows complemented their stories with meaningful visual set pieces (although how much of that meaning was intentional in Guilty Crown is a whole other matter entirely) whereas Re: Creators hasn’t done one impressive thing with its animation. I know that even if you’re not comparing it to Aldnoah Zero, the action when it bothers to show up is remarkably bad. And yes, I’ve made it clear several times that the dialogue could be handled better.

Here’s the other thing, I don’t care about that translation controversy that Persona 5 went through a few weeks for a reason: because when it comes to dialogue sounding naturalistic and dialogue being on-point, you generally want to lean towards the latter, because putting importance on dialogue sounding great over the dialogue meaning something is the equivalent of sacrificing gameplay to make your video game’s graphics shine brighter. I do care that compared to say, Sound Euphonium, the directing of the dialogue is a little dry. But it’s still engaging me nevertheless. Maybe it’s because I’m also watching Sagrada Reset, which is lowering my expectations in regards to how dialogue-driven shows should go…no wait if that was true, I’d give a pass to Saekano Flat and Virgin Soul as well.

Anyways, while it can go on for a while and sometimes deviate from the main plot, there’s a certain charm to fictional characters pondering their own existence and real life humans reacting to them that carries me through. I know it’s wearing thin at this point in time, but as long as they’re not repeating stuff that I already know, I don’t have too much of a problem with it. The way it’s used to draw out a two-cour length is what I consider the worst part of the show for sure, but I don’t think it’s that bad. Having said that, I hope something actually moves forward in Episode 6. But I guess we’ll see.

****

  • Okay, it’s pretty obvious that this chick, whose name is Magane Chikujoin according to what I read on Wiki, was a bad guy in her source material. That’s a little interesting considering how everyone who’s appeared in the real world so far has been either a good guy or someone who’s morally gray, but she’s basically the Caster of this group.
  • And judging by her lines, she comes from a light novel. Because dear lord are they stupid.
  • Jesus, this is a little much for a simple book, isn’t it?
  • After basically slaughtering the poor bookstore owner, Meteora and the military lady investigate the scene and…oh yeah this exchange really resembles real-life, doesn’t it?
  • One criticism I’ve seen of Re: Creators is that for an anime about fictional characters entering the real world, the Japan as depicted in this show seems more like a light novel’s version than what would happen if you actually went to the country. And I really have to agree that it’s a bit off-putting when the majority of your premise is based on how this shit takes place in the real world, but if the real world is just like the fictional Japans that these characters come from, then it takes away from the appeal.
  • But hey, maybe the twist is that this show also takes place in a fictional world and they just don’t know it. A fictional world in a fictional world. I apologize for that shitty Inception joke.

  • Time for some action. Yeah…
  • Dear lord, Re: Creators’ visual storytelling abilities are so horrible. Not only do we never actually see the worlds these characters are from and the action is way too wild to take seriously, but I think it’s a big fucking stretch that there are no civilians around while this fight scene is happening. It was kind of dumb when Mamika started blowing shit up in the second episode and we didn’t see any actual injuries, but this is going into Kingdom Hearts territory of “nobody but the important characters showing up” at this point in time.
  • Welp. Looks like the old man is stepping in. And of course, he’s a fucking badass.
  • Blitz Talker, huh? Actually according to Wikipedia, it’s Blitz Tokar, but either way the first name is the same, so what the hell?
  • Oh my.
  • Man our heroes are really underpowered compared to who’s on Altair’s side, aren’t they? It’s like Re: Creators is trying to subtly convey the message that manga rules and light novels/video games drool. Although I think Magane is from a light novel, so maybe that’s not entirely accurate.

  • Thankfully, Mamika the new Madoka god, finds she can no longer overlook the horrible violence given her helpful nature and saves her enemies from getting crushed. I can definitely see this having some long-term consequences in the future.
  • The end.

****

I find it funny how the episode that airs as soon as I start looking at the more common consensus is the one where the show starts indulging too much into its negative traits to the point that I’m having a hard time arguing with the detractors. But yeah, this week’s installment was way too scattered for my taste. There were way too many things going on around Magane’s introduction, and the plot sort of sidetracks itself from that aspect once she meets up with the other Creations. Some good ideas were mixed in, but while it’s not exactly too many cooks stirring the pot, it feels like they came up with the set pieces first and then just wrote the plot around that.

By the way, Re: Creators is interesting and all, but it is really overrated by the community who somehow seems to equate subversion with narrative brilliance. I mean that’s true for all of Ei Aoki’s stuff to an extent, but given how this is one that’s kinda holding my attention, I feel more qualified to say why. Not only is there way too much dialogue, but the dialogue itself is very forced at times. Alicetaria’s conversation with Magane felt like it was missing sentences, coming off less like a conflict of ideologies and more like an excuse to have action, plus there’s something a little false about how she trusts Altair so much, most likely because her emotions are told to us rather than shown to us.

And that’s what I dislike most about the show: it’s not using the visuals to convey its story. Alicetaria’s plight would probably be more effective if they actually showed us images of the anime she’s from, but we just have to take her word for it that it’s a horrible corpse-ridden place. On top of that, the action is shit and a lot of the environments are unnaturally empty. I understand Re: Creators is a show more for fans of otaku culture and less for fans of animation in general, but there are several times where it feels like I’m just watching a re-skinned Fate/Zero rather than actual insight into a specific culture. The real world as depicted in this show feels distractingly unrealistic when it’s required to get serious, and given how heavily Re: Creators’ premise depends on it being set in the real world, that’s a problem.

On top of that, the overarching plot still hasn’t really gone anywhere. After the first few minutes, Setsuna is never brought up again and Sota doesn’t get any screen time either. Nothing has really come from this Creations meeting other than Mamika getting more resolve, which only happens at the very end.

In other words, this episode was kinda lame.

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