Let’s Watch: Re Creators — Episode 12

Let’s make this crossover canon.

Last week on Re: Creators, Sota finally opens up regarding his guilt issues and the episode sort of ended in the middle of the story. Also, it turns out that the show will be on break next week, so I’ll finally be able to post the Let’s Watch I had planned during Episode 11’s run, which is good because Expo is this weekend and I’ll be too busy to get in some decent writing. Isn’t it convenient how things work out like that? Oh, and I’ve got a new posting time since while I’m sure it’s not the main reason (especially since last week’s Lets Watch was surprisingly popular), I don’t think my morning CST time is convenient for a lot of you guys. So for now, my new post time is 4 PM CST.

Anyways, I said last week that I found Sota’s screen time to be excessive because I saw Re: Creator’s story as a tale of fictional characters. A few people have countered that argument on their own platforms by saying Re: Creators is actually about how people like Sota may not be heroes in their world, but at least they’re capable of being whatever they want without getting enslaved on a predetermined path like most of the Creations. Basically Danganronpa except replace talent with being bound by the writer. Okay I can buy that, but that also means that I’ll be comparing Re: Creators to Danganronpa 3 a lot more from here on out since in addition to the similar story, it’s also technically a crossover between anime characters of different genres banding together to stop a threat whilst killing each other in the process due to reasons. And while it had some noticeable plot issues, Danganronpa 3 actually made things happen for the majority of its two cour run.

At this point in the story, DR3 would have killed off a good chunk of its cast with no plans to introduce anyone new (which I’ve heard is going to happen in Re: Creators), shifted the status quo in like eight different ways that go beyond losing a power-up, and the guy who was having an inferiority complex about his lack of talent would have done something about it and turned into a literal god as a result in order to show that those who try to artificially change themselves can lose their very identity. On top of that, while the animation itself wasn’t as good as Re: Creators, it was definitely more expressive in terms of visual storytelling. We actually got to see flashbacks when the characters monologued about their motivations. The talking head scenes had more visual metaphors on screen. And it was way funnier to boot. Re: Creators hasn’t had a good joke in a long time now.

What exactly has happened in Re: Creators after eleven episodes? Mamika died, a lot of philosophy regarding how anime characters can exist in the real world was thrown into my face, Sota has guilt issues, and the bad guy’s plan to destroy the world was revealed in more detail. And yet despite all of that, neither of the characters on either side have made any noticeable progress towards resolving the conflict. The characterization has been wildly uneven and I’m still not seeing much of a main story that’s connecting all these plot threads together. It’s not “anime recap movie” levels of bad, but it’s starting to feel like the creators of this show are struggling to tie all their ideas together and not doing a great job of it. I know some of you guys enjoy the whole 90% buildup, 10% payoff style of storytelling and even brought up how it’s a cultural thing, but keep in mind that purposefully bad story planning is still bad story planning. No amount of cultural differences can make me overlook that an anime that’s 90% buildup is fundamentally flawed, just like how harem show premises are fundamentally flawed.

In case you didn’t get it, I was never a fan of that trend in the old days when most anime series got like 2-4 seasons to tell their story. I think that’s excessive in the same way most live-action shows nowadays are excessive. It doesn’t always happen, but I’d rather be missing the big picture as opposed to being bored. I like to finish shows as quickly as possible and I don’t do well with long-term anime relationships. Short and sweet is the name of the game for me, which is ironic given how long this introduction has been going.

Oh by the way, none of you guys said this to me personally, but I can tell it’s a bit of a pain for you to have to click images all the time in regards to what I write for these Let’s Watches. As such, I’m going to stylize these posts a little more like my experiment with my last Tsuki ga Kirei post and make them more image-heavy, only using links when I have to talk about multiple things in the same paragraph or so, and getting rid of the bullet point format. Let me know how you feel about it, or I’ll take your silence that I’m free to continue.

Well now that that’s all cleared up, let’s get started.

****

No fucking duh, Alice. Haven’t you seen this guy in action? Blitz is a professional to the end.

Why should I? It’s not like she was my daughter.

What a surprise. I may not know anything about Blitz’s manga, but I’m familiar enough with the implied genre he’s from to know that he comes from a bleak world. The fact that he’s an adult protagonist dressed like that should clue you in that his setting should be taken more seriously. But hey, it looks like we’re finally getting some insight on him, and I’m all for that given how far in the background he’s been up to this point.

Oh, his daughter died in his story? No wonder he gives no fucks about killing off problematic people without mercy.

So the main reason he’s teaming up with Altair is because he wants to go back to his world and it’s obvious to him who has the power to actually make that happen. Does that mean he’s not fully aware of what Altair’s plans are, given how it’s been established in the past that if the real world is destroyed, all the other worlds go with it?

Huh, I kinda figured him to be the main character of his manga too. Wonder who the true lead actually is.

Yes. Alice still doesn’t quite get the culprit right, but at least she’s aiming for someone evil now.

We cut to Sota continuing his story beginning with him clarifying that what Setsuna was accused of was obvious bullshit, but the Internet didn’t care. Because everyone is a tough guy on the Internet, aren’t they?

Me and the majority of my friends because I’m not good at long-distance relationships.

It’s kind of a shame they haven’t met since, because they had some good chemistry with each other in my opinion.

Ah, she created Altair just before she decided to end her life. Yeah, I bet that would make Altair happy. Oh and in case people were wondering, I actually like Altair as a villain. I actually think her mommy issues make her more interesting, as it shows just how attached she was to a Creator that the world unfairly shunned, and it also brings up some interesting discussion regarding how messed up a person’s intentions can be when they decide to end their life. Kind of like 13 Reasons Why, only it’s clear that Setsuna didn’t mean to cause harm with her will, but that doesn’t change the fact that she did.

I’ve noticed a fair number of people who don’t agree with Sota’s reasoning for thinking he caused Setsuna’s death. They’re free to think what they want, but you have to recall that just because you wouldn’t feel the same in his situation doesn’t mean he has to follow your example. Also, he’s a teenager. I’ve thought way worse at his age, and what he did was still kind of a shit thing to do when you get down to it. Now, I think he’s a bit of a weak character because his arc isn’t meshing well with the overall narrative, but that’s an entirely different issue.

I’d like to say I wouldn’t do the same thing, but I’ve had jealousy take control of me in the past.

Matsubro tells it like it is. I really like how this guy has become a real fan-favorite over time, because he is a really good character. He embraces both the positives and negatives of being a light novel writer, and while I can’t guarantee I’d like his stuff, I’d definitely watch anything he was involved in out of sheer respect. ‘Course, that applies to the majority of the characters in this show. Because if I’m being honest, as much as I like Rui and such, their anime don’t seem all that interesting to me. Hell, I’m not really big into this anime as is, and I like these guys. I just don’t like how the show is utilizing them.

Speaking of the show not utilizing them, there sure are a lot of talking heads in this episode. Even during the flashback scenes and that discussion Alice had with Blitz, the characters barely move anything other than their mouths and the backgrounds are static. I’ve long since accepted that Re: Creators is a “tell don’t show” anime, but I’m still going to complain when you’re not at least animating your anime.

Isn’t that Alice’s creator? Damn, it’s been a long time since we’ve last seen him. Was he trapped in this room the entire time? Well at least this jail cell comes with a toilet.

Even in prison, he’s still thinking about the job. That’s dedication.

I’m surprised you haven’t ruined his love forever, Alice.

Not really sure how much I like this guy, but at least he’s being reasonable, which takes some serious balls given his circumstances.

And people say Sota is useless. Pft.

We cut back to the main group, where they discover that Altair is getting her game-breaking powers due to all of the fan parodies that are made of her, which in turn affect people’s cognition that the real Altair is all of these things. What did I say in the past about fanboys ruining everything? I’m also guessing that because Altair is a fanmade character, it’s easier to give her powers than it is for established canonical characters like Celestia.

Yeah, good luck with doing that without causing a Mass Effect 3-level controversy.

And another interesting question that’s probably best left answered by the fans arrives. What exactly would happen to a world if it suddenly got cancelled? I mean I haven’t heard much word about products getting cancelled as of late since I usually stick to anime that have runtimes less than an entire season of Seinfeld, but the thought of Alice’s world getting stuck in limbo if the publishers screwed her Creator over at the last minute really intrigues me. I doubt time works in the fictional world the way it does in the real world, so maybe characters wouldn’t notice, but…agh. My brain is still hurting from trying to make sense of Rewrite’s convoluted quantum physics. I don’t need to add more burden to it at the moment.

So through a long long LONG series of conversations (with Meteorra obviously spearheading a lot of them), the Creators decide that they’re going to need to band together for a giant canonical crossover that the public will need to accept in order to gain the power to defeat Altair. Yeah good luck with that. Crossovers in general are tough to pull off as is, and with the exception of Kingdom Hearts (and I guess this very show), I can’t think of an anime example that’s been all that successful. Hell, most crossovers in anime are limited to fighting games or gimmicky Shonen Jump one-offs, and while there have been quite a number of recent shows that mixed many different anime genres, they used original characters. How the hell are these guys going to pull that off?

Is that really going to be enough?

More reasonable, but even with the government’s help, that still doesn’t sound very feasible.

Fine fine, you win Meteorra.

The end…

No wait, there’s still more.

Oh hey, it’s Charon from Celestia’s light novel. You can’t say his face, but it’s clearly him. I’ve read translated interviews that more Creations were going to show up in this anime, and I kinda figured it’d be some of the other characters from the worlds our main eight Creations inhabit given how it’s a bit late in the game to introduce a ninth world. Plus I see some of them in the OP, so it’d be a waste not to show them in the actual product.

Anyways, last I remembered, Charon betrayed Celestia in a future light novel that the anime didn’t get to as of this point. Not really sure which version of Charon this is, but based on his words, it’s clear that he’s not aiming to be on Celestia’s side in reality.

Just that many huh? I’m cool with that. Better not overburden this show with anymore extraneous elements than it already has.

Actually the end now.

****

Well this episode was incredibly dry. It was mostly just a lot of talking heads with very little non-mouth movement regarding what the protagonists are going to do to fight Altair, with the occasionally “more interesting but still not that engaging” talking heads consisting of the opposing side. And it doesn’t help that the dialogue is still setting things up without really progressing the story. We finally get some characterization on Blitz and Alice stops acting like an idiot, but that only takes up a fraction of the episode. The rest of it was finishing up Sota’s guilt trip, which is relatable but I’m still wondering why so much screen time was dedicated to it, before discussing how in order to stop Altair’s DeviantArt/fanfiction powers, a massive anime crossover is going to need to be made public so that the Creations can gain the power to oppose her. I did like the cliffhanger at the end, but let’s not forget that I have a raging hatred for cheap stories with cliffhangers. They just really piss me off.

Nevertheless, I’m sticking with this through the end, hoping that the second half delivers where the first didn’t quite. So until then, see you guys later.

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