Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious!
In Re:Creators episode 1, “I will remember everything that happened to me,” Souta Mizushino tries to watch his favorite anime, only to have his tablet glitch-out and pull him into the anime world. There, Selesia Upitiria, the main character, fights a strange mage, Gunpuku no Himegimi. Can Mizushino survive in between such titans? Especially with a mech in the mix? Even if he does, what will he do when the battle spills into our world? Why does Meteora Österreich use modern optically guided missiles if she’s a mage? And just who’s side is she on?
What’s In This Post
- A bespectacled young woman in a white dress throws herself from the train platform in front of the train.
- Mizushino makes it clear he’s just the narrator telling a story — an amazing story at that. This story starts with him at his home workstation. He’s trying to start a new drawing, but he’s experience artist’s block. Looking for inspiration, he watches the latest episode of one of his favorite anime series, “Elemental Symphony of Vogelchevalier,” staring Princess Selesia Upitiria, on his tablet. In Vogelchevalier, her mech, Selesia’s fighting an unknown. He panics when his tablet begins to glitch. A moment later, he’s standing in a shallow lake, in the middle of a battle between Vogelchevalier and a white-haired woman with square pupils, who’s hovering above the water. On his tablet, he sees the anime-eye view of the scene, with Selesia inside the cockpit. All around him, though, is the scene as it’s unfolding.
- Though it towers over Himegimi, Vogelchevalier is no match for her. Within moments after unleashing Holopsicon, her complex weapon involving whirling blades, the mech explodes into digitized squares. Selesia tries to counter attack with her sword, but one of Himegimi’s whirling blades nicks Mizushino. Realizing a civilian’s present, Selesia tries to get him out of harm’s way. Clutching his tablet seems to re-activate it, and he and Selesia end up in his bedroom. He leaves her for a moment to get a glass of water and has to endure his mom’s lecture about drawing too much. Somewhat reassured by this reality, he returns to his room.
Selesia wasn’t ready to calm down, though. Hearing his mom’s voice, Selesia seemed to get the sense that Mizushino wasn’t an active enemy, though she was sure from satisfied that he was an ally. Between her sword at his throat and her presence in his room, Mizushino can’t decide whether to be scared or amazed. She soon realizes that he is not her enemy, but is disappointed that he can’t send her back to Earthmelia. She’s incredulous as he relates details from her life (as he saw on the show and read in the manga) when she and only a handful of others were present. He reads a plot synopsis from episodes in her series, including personal details, to her. The manga pages embarrass her. Finally convinced, she begins trying to come to terms with this world. Then, in a flash of light and clap of sound, Himegimi appears just outside his bedroom window.
Himegimi praises how quickly Selesia got her bearings. Selesia demands to know her name. Himegimi says belongs to no group in Selesia’s world. Confirming that this world isn’t Earthmelia, Himegimi confesses that she summoned Selesia to this Earth, where live “the gods of pleasure.” She asks the Princess to join her. Selesia declines and has to escape with Mizushino. He has a hard time controlling his fear of heights as she soars over the city, and they end up crashing on a small car. Selesia immediately appropriates it (Mizushino apologizing profusely to the confused motorist) and speeds off. She adapts quickly to the controls and actually begins to enjoy herself before Himegimi catches up to them. Holopsicon completely flips the car; Selesia barely had time to bail out with Mizushino before the crash. The two women take their battle into the air, Himegimi assailing with her storm of swords, Selesia defending with her single blade. Crowds watch from below. Letting Selesia briefly corner her, Himegimi refers to her plans to bring punishment to “the land of the gods.” A strange mage-looking woman we later learn is named Meteora Österreich interrupts them with her guided missiles. Saying she hasn’t gathered enough players yet, Himegimi vanishes in a digitized flash. Before Meteora leaves, Selesia asks if it’s true that they’re in a different world. Meteora nods and disappears. Looking down at Mizushino, Selesia waves and flies away.
Thinking that his life was back to normal, Mizushino goes to school and feels a little wistful. The bedroom window shattered behind them, Selesia and Meteora welcome him home when he opens the door to his room. After the end credits, he takes the two to a convenience store, where he spends quite a bit of money.
What I Liked
The battle scenes were energetic. The first battle, for example, managed to convey the feeling that Himegimi was decisively kicking a powerful mech’s butt.
Holopsicon, Himegimi’s weapon, is visually stunning. She plays it like a violin, but instead of an stringed instrument there’s a heavy rifle, and instead of a bow, she uses a sword. All the while, an assortment of other swords, blades pointed outward, whirl all around her.
The music, a little more modern than I’m used to in battle scenes like these, was still effective. The OP, SawanoHiroyuki[nZk] : Tielle &Genie – gravityWall, is cut from the same cloth.
Selesia realized immediately that the tablet had something to do with her intra-universe travel. She also saw that it was a machine. She’s not an idiot, and she seems to be drawing on her experience as a mech pilot. So far, I’m liking her a lot.
While she’s still stunned that Mizushino has manga chronicling her life, Mizushino tries to make her feel better by saying how great the show is, and how he someday wants to make something as amazing. She eventually raises his hand to slow him down so she can collect herself. Instead of become terrified and cowering, or instead of become belligerent and trying to threaten her way out of the situation, she accepts the evidence and begins trying to plot a way forward. This character shows a lot of promise!
Too bad Mizushino didn’t adjust to flying as quickly as Selesia adjusted to being on Earth. It would have saved him a lot of fright and he might have enjoyed himself!
Selesia learned how to drive on Earth’s roads very quickly! Her explanation made sense: the car’s controls are way less complex than her mech’s, and there are only two dimensions of movement to worry about. Her mistaking the windshield wipers for weapons was a nice touch. It put me in mind of Star Trek movie The Voyage Home when Sulu was trying to learn to pilot the helicopter.
Himegimi makes fun of Selesia after crashing the car. “If I win, then let me have my way with you. Is that what I should say? I despise such simple negotiations.” Himegimi’s showing an awareness of the differences in narrative complexity in an anime/manga versus the “real” world they inhabit. She has a lot of potential as a villain because of that.
Meteora either dissembles better than anyone I’ve ever met, or she’s adept at philosophy. Or both. She easily turned Mizushino’s attention from how much money he had just spent at the convenience store to the question of whether or not he’s even sane. And I have to give major respect to any show that mentions solipsism and ontology in appropriate ways. I just don’t see that every day!
Humorous moment of the episode goes to Meteora, whose philosophical musings brought Mizushino and Selesia to a stop and prompted Mizushino to ask if she had just told a joke. “I tried telling a joke to relax your heart,” she said. “Your heart should feel light now.” He just felt confused.
What I Liked Less
There were a couple of shots, especially early on, that felt to me like the show was trying to be visually avant-garde in the style of Bakemonogatari. The shot of the countdown just a few minutes in was probably the best example. It’s not that I don’t like that sort of thing, but it has to work as part of the show’s overall ascetic. With Bakemonogatari, it worked; here, it seemed like a copy.
And talk about setting high expectations: Mizushino says that this will be a story that surpasses all other stories? I’m just going to put that down to hyperbole, because if I let that become an expectations, the show’s doomed!
I could have done without the glasses-view-cam around 7:15. All I learned from that scene is that Mizushino has poor eyesight, and his prescription didn’t do much for the camera at all!
This is the spot where I usually complain about inappropriate attire for female warriors. Way too often, anime, manga, video games (heck, most of media) will show a heavily armored man standing beside a woman warrior wearing a bikini. I’ve seen some healthy questioning of this approach. Discussion’s good! I should complain about Selesia’s outfit, with it’s slightly too short shirt and its “boob window.” I really want to complain about it. But this time, it kinda works. I could rationalize it and say that she’s a princess and a mech pilot so something like that might be appropriate (though now I have visions of Total Eclipse), but I’ll just be honest: she looks good in it. It doesn’t detract from how I respond to her as a resilient and powerful character. And I think if anyone would try to give her grief about it, she’s more than capable of handling the situation herself. So I guess I just talked myself out of this being a negative.
I wonder what’s up with the poor young woman who threw herself in front of a train early in the episode? I doubt the writers would plant that seed and not harvest it later!
What would you do if you found out that “gods” living in another universe were calling the shots in your world — building plots, pitting one character against another; making some characters fall in love and some get murdered?
Imagine if you were Tuka Luna Marceau, the fairy elf from Gate (we reviewed season 2 starting here). In the first season, a fire dragon killed her father, and she spent the rest of the first season and a good portion of the second dealing with the psychological damage. Now imagine you discovered the truth about this other universe — where writers tormented you for their entertainment?
Tuka would at least want to find out why this writer inflicted such pain on her. It appears that Himegimi is way past the talking state. I don’t know why yet, but she’s set on taking revenge on the writers of this world. A world in which the very concept of drama requires strife; an adrenaline-addicted race that not only inflicts pain on others, but whose religions proclaim the redemptive value of suffering.
Himegimi’s angers alone is an interesting idea. It’s not completely unique idea, but that’s perfectly fine with me. Whether I like it or not will be up to the details of the presentation. But I like how this sets up parallels to theological questions that humanity’s faced since humanity could face theological questions.
What looks every bit as intriguing, though, is that the humans who create these worlds don’t seem to know the implications of their acts of creation. What’s going to happen when they meet? It looks like Meteora is searching for her creator. Himegimi seems to know her creator’s identity and means him or her harm. The answer to that question has me looking forward to future episodes!
Other Posts of Interest
- Titans, Heroes, Queens, and Swords: Spring 2017 Anime Preview Part I
- Aliens, Gears, Game Creation, and Worlds in Collision: Spring 2017 Anime Preview Part II!
- Re:Creators Episode 2: ……. that wasn’t funny
- Re:Creators Episode 3: Don’t worry about what others said. Just be yourself
- Re:Creators Episode 4: If so, I want to protect what he loved
- Re:Creators Episode 5: So, why don’t we have ourselves a guys’ night out?
- Re:Creators Episode 6: You are the one who knows where justice lies
- Re:Creators Episode 7: I don’t want to make a mistake for the sake of the people who are in my story
- Re:Creators Episode 8: I CHOSE this way of life
- Re:Creators Episode 9: The world requires choice and resolution
- Re:Creators Episode 10: We know exactly how you think and how you’re fighting
- Re:Creators Episode 11: We cannot decide where we go but you can
- Re:Creators Episode 12: Be desperate and draw something fascinating
- Re:Creators Episode 13: An unpredictable story that no one knows where it’s leading to
- Re:Creators Episode 14: I feel painful and so useless that I want to cry but it’s fun nevertheless
- Re:Creators Episode 15: This is perfect! She couldn’t have been any more perfect!
- Re:Creators Bonus episode ENTER THE WORLD OF Re:CREATORS
- Re:Creators Episode 16: This is the actual beginning, isn’t it?
- Re:Creators Bonus episode: Summer Special Spending Time with the Girl Creations
- Re:Creators Episode 17: I mean I’m the CREATOR
- Re:Creators Episode 18: As long as we’re alive, we have to enjoy our lives to the fullest
- Re:Creators Episode 19: “The story continues, as long as there is someone out there, who believes in my existence
- Re:Creators Episode 20: Somebody receives the power of creation, and the spirit is redeveloped from their passion
- Re:Creators Episode 21: I love you, too
- Re:Creators Episode 22: Re:CREATORS