Last week on Re: Creators, we had the female version of Izaya (or Light Yagami according to some people) troll the characters for twenty two minutes and…yeah that’s pretty much all that happened. Hahahaha…*fart*. Well okay, I guess I should bring up that Mamika died last week, which I noticed made a lot of people sad, but said sadness mostly got overshadowed by Magane dividing people on whether she’s charismatically chatting or incredibly annoying, and she’s not exactly the easiest person to ignore if you catch my drift.
This show can be really frustrating to watch at times. The characters are likable for the most part and it has a lot of cool things to say about fiction, but story and visual-wise, it’s still struggling to maintain any sort of decent consistency. I’m honestly surprised people expect “show don’t tell” from Re: Creators at this point in time, because there were quite a few complaints last week regarding how this show is getting too dialogue-heavy for its own good along with the occasional “this is going to be Aldnoah all over again, isn’t it?”. Having not watched the second season (or all of the first season for that matter), I couldn’t make any good comparisons myself, but what I do know is that Ei Aoki is not the guy you go to when you want visual storytelling. He’s never done it in any of his previous shows, and most of the complainers supported Fate/Zero and whatnot, so why on earth would he start now?
But in addition to not doing “show don’t tell”, Re: Creators’ main problem is that the story is good…when the show chooses to focus on it. There’s nothing inherently wrong with using extraneous elements to give it flavor, but Re: Creators spends way too much time on said elements than is necessary. I mean did we really need Magane’s trolling to go on for fifteen minutes last week? That is excessive no matter how you look at it, and it’s not helped by the fact that Magane comes from a light novel, which means her psychological dialogue is low-quality compared to other famous fictional people who have done that “humans are made of lies” speech. I rewatched the last five episodes with a friend of mine recently and while I always knew this anime wasn’t rewatchable, I was shocked at the low amount of story that actually occurred within said length. All the good parts people like to praise from Mamika’s arc to the creators discussing what it means to make it in the industry? They only take up like 25% of the show. That’s not even half of Re: Creators’ length. That is a fucking horseshit ratio for an anime with such a good concept.
Oh by the way, some of you are probably wondering where the Tsuki ga Kirei and Virgin Soul Let’s Watches are. Well, after much deliberation, I decided it wasn’t worth continuing to write about either of ’em. This project itself hasn’t really pulled in many views or discussion even by my low standards, and after the reaction to my latest NieR: Automata post along with some other issues, I think I’m better off concentrating on a small number of quality posts rather than churning stuff out like a sweatshop. Obviously I’m not giving up on Let’s Watch considering I’m still talking about the anime community’s favorite discussion topic, but I think it’s best to just stick to one show right now, especially when that show happens to be two cour. You guys don’t want me to continue with Virgin Soul anyways. It’s obvious that I don’t like the direction it’s going, and while Re: Creators isn’t perfect either, at least I like its direction when it chooses one to move in. I’m not really sure what I’m going to do when the summer hits, but I’ll deal with that when it comes.
Okay, that prologue went on a long time. Let’s get to actually watching this anime, shall we?
- Looks like Alice isn’t wasting any time jumping into things. Well good. As stupid as she is, I don’t want to sit through another five-minute prologue before we get right into the action.
- I never thought my fanfiction would come true like this. What have I done?
- Yuya tries to help out Meteorra, but Magane intervenes and despite not trusting her (except when it comes to who killed Mamika), Alice allows her to divert Yuya’s attention away while she focuses on the defense-oriented shopkeeper. Seeing as how these match-ups are not in the protagonists’ favor, Sota calls the military lady for some help.
- There’s an animation shortcut where Meteorra fires some rocket launchers, only for the show to cut to a closeup of her face. Man, what the fuck, Troyca? I think you’ve got KyoAni beat in the soulless department when it comes to your technically good animation.
- Do you guys remember that Gate anime and how it showed that fantasy logic is helpless against military might? Alice is having none of that, blocking rocket launchers with her lance and summoning a bunch of laser-shooting guardians who quite frankly make me wonder what the fuck kind of fantasy setting her anime took place in.
- Yuya, you might want to shut your mouth while fighting Magane. You fell for it once, and given how you’re not exactly one for wits on the battlefield, you’ll probably fall for it again.
- Ah, so here comes the payoff to Sota’s awkwardly executed character arc. He’s going to realize that a normal person like himself may not be able to fight these incredible anime characters, but there might be a way to intervene without getting your hands dirty. Hopefully it works, because damn did Meteorra take one to the face.
- Unfortunately, before we get to that scene, we have to sit through Magane talking about how Yuya’s Persona is actually a curse and a bunch of other trivia that I’m sure is in his manga before she tells a lie regarding how she can gain control of Hangaku herself. Okay, I know that Magane’s abilities require an overcomplicated setup, but that doesn’t mean you have to dedicate this much screen time to her horrible light novel dialogue, especially since it’s obvious Yuya is going to call her out again.
- Sota finally mans up and more importantly, we finally get another good conversation regarding the relationship between fictional characters and the real world. As we all know, Alice is basically going through an internal crisis regarding how her hellish war is nothing but a lie that was created for audiences’ entertainment ala The Truman Show. She calls Sota out for enjoying the death and destruction she had to suffer through, only for Sota to fire back that he and a lot of other audience members sympathized with Alice’s plight and it wasn’t really “fun” for them to see.
- That’s definitely not a lie. I mean take the latest episode of Virgin Soul for example with Jeanne’s past. Did anyone besides the sadistic side of anime fandom really have fun seeing her stripped of her powers and unable to save a child? I’m betting most of you guys felt really sad for her, wondering why that fantasy world is so cruel. But at the same time, you acknowledged it was necessary because we want to feel for Jeanne and Mugaro (or do we call him El now?). Most people don’t exactly watch stories to see everyone live a happy go-lucky life. They want to see their protagonists challenged, and the majority of that demographic want to see them overcome said challenges.
- Of course, Alice fires back that because they’re spectators who’ve never had to actually go through this shit, they couldn’t possibly feel for her, which unfortunately is very hard to deny. See, this is what’s both good and frustrating about Re: Creators. It has a lot of neat things to say about how fictional characters and people in reality can perceive each other, but unfortunately it had to be created by the guy who gave us Fate/Zero aka it takes a long time to get to those neat things. And I don’t see how explaining the physics of what anime characters can do in reality and these free-for-alls between the Creations is contributing to that discussion. Yeah it’s required to set things up and keep the mainstream fanbase interested, but why on earth do they go on for so long compared to the important discussions?
- Alice refuses to shake from her ideals even though deep in her heart she knows the truth and strives to continue the fight. Did I mention that none of my friends like Alice, and they also think what they’ve seen of her anime looks a bit lame? Yeah I don’t think their opinion of her is going to change anytime soon.
- Hey Celestia. Been a while since you’ve done anything, hasn’t it? Rui unfortunately still isn’t allowed to do anything because we need to contrive a reason to not allow his game-breaking mecha into the fray.
- Time for another clash between these two…wait what?
- Oh! Stabbed!
- That fucking bitch.
- The military as well as the rest of the Creators show up, only to see that Celestia is near death and Altair seems to be close to triggering something. Our “not so well-liked now” military princess pushes Alice into finishing off Celestia so that her plan can come to fruition, but Alice is a bit too shell-shocked by the turn of events to do anything.
- Unfortunately, Blitz has no such problems. Is that the only thing Blitz does in this show? Be a hardened professional who gets the job done? Was he like that in his manga as well?
- Yuya comes in to save the day, but I can already tell that Magane stole Hangatsu from him given how he’s bleeding and not summoning it, meaning he’s no longer strong enough to take Blitz on by himself. Still isn’t going to stop him though.
- Rui tries to help, but Altair summons a Gigas Machina clone to stop any Deus Ex Machina saves. What exactly are Altair’s powers anyways? We know she can use flying swords and warp reality to an extent, but if she was really all-powerful, the world would be destroyed by now.
- Laser on laser action, go!
- Meteorra theorizes that Altair’s plan to destroy the worlds is about to come to fruition and warns Sota to go away, which I find to be useless advice since there’s no way he’d survive anyways. Thankfully, Matsubara has the exact same opinion, even calling out Celestia that he didn’t write her to say such cheesy lines, and decides to take matters into his own hand. If you recall, these anime characters exist in the real world a certain way because they’re popular and their powers are in line with what the majority know of them. So Matusbara decides to use the power of Twitter, which is pretty much the go-to place for instant reactions on the Internet, to change people’s cognition of Celestia by saying she now has those fire powers from Episode 3.
- And boom.
- Holy hell, Celestia looks like she’s ready to kick some major ass now.
- After a short skirmish (and I do mean short, as after Celestia does one fire move like she’s Saber from Fate/Zero, the fight ends), Altair’s powers get pushed to the point that the world will delete her, so it’s time to retreat. Well good. Finally we get some limits on that evil faux-Nazi.
- Although that does raise the question, was this the episode’s only purpose? To prove a few theories and then have the antagonists back out again with not much progression story-wise? That’s a bit weak considering we’re near the halfway point.
- I guess it makes sense that the power-up couldn’t last forever given how another problem with Twitter is that it lives for the moment, although I’m a bit shocked that Celestia’s near-fatal wound is back as well.
- Well, I saw that coming. And thank you for confirming this is the end of the first half Magane…except this is Episode 10 and Re: Creators is 22 episodes long.
- Yeah yeah, Jojo pose joke.
- The end.
This episode really screamed to me “obvious cliffhanger finale” so I took a look at ANN after watching it and apparently, Re: Creators is going on a temporary break after its first cour ends and will resume on July 8. It’s not really clear whether this or the eleventh episode is the end of the first cour, but it doesn’t really matter either way. What does matter is that with this show on break and me giving up on blogging the other two shows, I’ll need to find something else to write about in-between. Thankfully, I’ve brainstormed a bunch of ideas that hopefully you guys will enjoy, but…let’s just say if you don’t play anime video games, you might be disappointed.
Anyways, I took a look at reactions after watching this week’s installment (yeah I usually do this with the next episode, but seeing as how the show might be on break after this) and it got a pretty positive one. I can see why people liked this episode since I know a lot of anime fans like it when first halves are setup for the second cour to resolve, but I’m not one of those fans. It’s not bad as a tool to leave us wanting more, but like almost everything anime-related, on its own, it’s kind of annoying. Once you get past the flash, what exactly got accomplished this week? We discovered that there are limits to Altair’s reality-warping powers, Magane depowered Yuya while empowering herself, and that changing a Creation based on people’s cognition of said creation is possible. Oh, and Celestia might die, but I highly doubt it.
Theron Martin might think that’s enough, but I say that’s acceptable for like Episode 4-5. Not Episode 10. Alice and Blitz are still with Altair, there has been almost no progress in terms of either side progressing with their goals, and the mixing of reality and fiction is not pushed hard and/or constantly enough. I don’t care if this show is two cours. That just means you have to accomplish more story within the time allotted, but apparently Re: Creators and Virgin Soul didn’t get the memo. On top of that, the animation is still soulless and the action is not shot well enough or ends too soon to be all that engaging. If this the kind of visual storytelling we can expect from Troyca from here on out, they’ll never make a great anime as far as I’m concerned. I know people are mad that Lerche is doing the new Kino’s Journey, but while I don’t expect it to be good, at least they can do visual storytelling. With the exception of Undefeated Bahamut Chronicles, those anime made by the White Album 2 director knew how to use animation as a medium. Hell, fucking Danganronpa 3 had better visual storytelling than Re: Creators.
Well, that’s all for today. I’ll see you guys when this show comes back and the new opening theme blows people’s ears.