Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious!
In Re:Creators episode 11, “We cannot decide where we go but you can,” Takashi Matsubara sits anxiously beside Selesia Upitiria in the hospital and hopes she will regain consciousness. Rui Kanoya takes the shaken Souta Mizushino on a ride that leaves him even more shaken. Finally, Mizushino comes clean about his involvement with Altair’s creator — and his confession involves a catwalk.
What’s In This Post
- Both Meteora Österreich and Selesia remain unconscious. The doctor tells Aki Kikuchihara that the Creations have an astonishing ability to heal; yet Kikuchihara still feels guilty because despite their toughness, they still feel pain the same as “normal” humans. Nearby, a heavily bandaged Yuuya Mirokuji sits powerless in defeat and Mizushino stares at the floor.
- Some time later, Selesia wakes up to see Matsubara sitting beside her. He seems to have aged years since last night. She asks about Meteora, who’s sleeping in another room. Pointing out that she has a huge hole in her stomach, he gently chides her for worrying about Meteora first. She reminds him that he created her character. As they talk, he finally tells her that he hadn’t written her story for entertainment. He wrote it to prove that he had lived. He promises to add stories to her world.
- Kanoya finds Mizushino trying to collect his thoughts on the roof. Mirokuji had told the pilot about Mizushino’s ordeal with Makagami Chikujouin, and he sympathized with the artist. But when Mizushino tries to blame himself, Kanoya gets annoyed and takes Mizushino for an energetic flight in Gigas Machina. Mizushino is stunned when they break above the clouds — everything’s so bright and beautiful. Kanoya shares that he used to sulk and regret everything, so he knows what it’s like. Now that he’s in the real world, he’s had time to think, and he’s decided that the role of world savior in his anime is something that appeals to him. At the same time, he recognizes that Mizushino’s role as a god — a creator of worlds — is more complex and yet more potentially rewarding. He drives home his point by saying, “People who save the world exist because there are worlds that must be saved. Who’s going to make those worlds, Souta?” A phone call from Kikuchihara interrupts their flight; Meteora has awakened and has something to tell everyone.
- Meteora announces that they need to change strategies, but before she can say why, Mizushino completes here sentence: Altair’s creator, Setsuna Shimazaki, is dead. Only Meteora’s not surprised when he says that it’s his fault and that he knew who created Altair from the beginning. He tells the story of how he had met Shimazaki online. They had enjoyed each other’s drawings and eventually visited a meetup together. They hit it off. As they’re walking around the exhibit hall, they find a presentation that she had wanted to watch. They were late, so they couldn’t get close enough to see. He pulls her to the catwalk above the presentation, where she can see one of her favorite artists live-drawing. In her excitement, she leans too far over the railing and almost falls; her glasses tumble to the floor. Mizushino is barely able to save her. She can’t see well, so he offers to lend her his glasses. When she asks how she looks in them, he doesn’t have words to answer.
She continued to post her pictures to the fan site, and her fame grew as his stayed stagnate. She excitedly tells him that she has the chance to work with a famous producer, but he withdraws in jealousy. That jealousy, as well as his own lack of confidence, keeps him from defending her when detractors accuse her of plagiarism. The accusations are also fueled by jealousy; one poster even encourages her to commit suicide (a tactic tragically not unknown on the internet). Mizushino ends his story by saying he felt an ugly sense of satisfaction at the bad turn of events. Tears well up in his eyes as he speaks.
What I Liked
Matsubara looked stricken as he sat by Selesia’s bedside. I really like how his relationship with Selesia has grown. They bicker like a parent and a teenager, but when she’s in danger, we really get to see how he feels about her. We even get to see that she might actually like him! After she regained consciousness, their exchange was halting and heart-felt and endearing. Someday, I vow to write character interactions as well as that!
Kanoya took Kikuchihara to task for being so blasé about Mirokuji loosing his power when Chikujouin defeated him. He seemed to be looking out for his friend. He’s turning out to be more of a positive force than I expected after we first met him. He even gives Mizushino a much-needed boost this episode!
Masaaki Nakanogane gets “Industry Inside Joke Quote of the Week” when he said, “…Except for the extinction of mankind, deadlines are the scariest thing in the world.” I remember the “thrill” of working on a newspaper* and its deadlines, so I can relate.
How deep will the rabbit hole go? In response to Selesia saying that she enjoys stories, Matsubara said he’ll put more of them in her world. I wonder if the characters who write those stories will actually have any of the power of creation within her world? Or will the chain break because they’re “only” creations? That’s why I love the concept of subcreation — a world sufficiently complex (or information dense, as Re:Creators would phrase it) might have unpredictable developments.
“Pout of the week” (a very important honor!) goes to Selesia for her reaction to Matsubara asking if living in her world was hard. “How can you talk about it like that? You’re the one who made it!”
We got to see a little more of what it’s like from Giga Machina’s pilot’s perspective, and it terrified Mizushino! Kanoya doesn’t seem to see Gigas Machina’s shell; it’s just like he’s flying under his own power with only the instruments in view. It’s initially terrifying to Mizushino, but as he masters his fear, the experience becomes exhilarating.
An interesting tidbit that makes sense in retrospect: Mizushino mentions something that happened in episode 6 of Kanoya’s anime series. The pilot shot back that he had no idea what happened in what episode. That’s obvious once he said it: Kanoya’s just living his life, and the constructs of an anime series like episodes and scenes meant nothing to him.
Has there ever been a character so tragically beautiful as Shimazaki? In that respect, she reminds me of Hwi Noree from God Emperor of Dune, a woman genetically engineered to be irresistible in all ways to Leto II. There’s just nothing about her that isn’t endearing, and darned if Re:Creators didn’t use that to make her death almost physically painful!
Should I rail against Mizushino for not sticking up for his friend? Or should I give him credit for not acting because he honestly thought he might make things worse? Or should I do something even better: accept him as a well-developed character and marvel at his realistic complexity? For Mizushino, given his lack of confidence, paralysis was almost the only realistic response to the mob attacking his friend, and I can’t think ill of him for that. I honestly don’t think he had an inkling that this would kill her; and who of us hasn’t hesitated to act in a moment of self-doubt?
* For you young ‘uns, a newspaper was a lot like news.google.com — but it was printed on actual paper! I know, I know — primitive stuff!
What I Liked Less
I got tricked! Last week, I said the next episode would be in early July. I based that on the news that the new theme would premiere at the start of the second cour; and Chikujouin going on about how the previous episode was the end of part one. She not only lies to other characters; she lies to us as viewers!
I sure hope she doesn’t trick me into telling a lie about a lie…
It delayed my review, because I checked (I thought!) all day Saturday. I even tried streaming the episode from the UK and Germany Amazon sites, where it was posted — but no luck. Sigh.
What role does the writer or artist’s intent have in how the created characters interact in the real world? In this episode, we learned that Matsubara created Selesia’s world for a very basic human need: to prove that he had lived. Selesia seems to carry some of that gravitas within her character. Did Alicetelia’s writer really create her world just for entertainment? What impact did that have on her as a character? And what happened to her creator, anyway? Did she and/or Altair kill him?
I still wonder how Altair survived Mamika Kirameki’s Magical Splash Flare. Putting that aside, this episode had a really pleasant feel to it. I was really worried that Selesia might not make it. After all, I’d just watched Kirameki’s gruesome death, so who knows which characters are safe and which aren’t? When she does come to, I felt an affinity for Matsubara’s relief. That set a great context for their talk, where she was actually nice to him! There was so much genuine affection in that scene, expressed in such a natural way, that it might be one of my favorite scenes of the series (so far).
Kanoya surprised me with his empathy and support for Mizushino. The pilot didn’t have to seek out the artist; he could have ignored the pouting young man on the roof. Instead, he ended up taking Mizushino up in Gigas Machina on a flight that I’m sure Mizushino will remember! I don’t know how Kanoya will react to finding out that Mizushino had known about Altair, but at least in this moment, their conversation felt like something warm and natural that could happen in this world.
What did you think of those scenes? Is there another scene that was your favorite? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest
- Titans, Heroes, Queens, and Swords: Spring 2017 Anime Preview Part I
- Re:Creators Episode 1: I will remember everything that happened to me
- 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 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!