Re:Creators Ep 14: Kikuchihara in Charge and When Artists Attack

July 11, 2017

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious!

Quick Summary

In Re:Creators episode 14, “I feel painful and so useless that I want to cry but it’s fun nevertheless,” Aki Kikuchihara herds both industry executives and artists towards the Elimination Chamber Festival — but will they buy into the plan and give it their all? As Selesia UpitiriaRui KanoyaMeteora Österreich, and Yuuya Mirokuji try to track down two magnetic field fluctuations, Takashi Matsubara, Marine, and the other artists clash on how to best move forward. And the clock is ticking…

What’s In This Post

Quick Episode Summary
What I Liked in this Episode
Thoughts about the Episode
Related Posts

What I Liked

Looks like Meteora gets an upgrade – the ability to summons F-14 Tomcats! Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

I thought that it’d be hard to replace the original opening, since it’s one of my favorites. But SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]:Tielle & Gemie’s “sh0ut” is making an outstanding effort. Since it shares the composer (澤野弘之) and artist with gravityWall, I guess I should have had more faith! You can buy them from Amazon if you’re interested.

At 0:54, did Meteora summons three F-14 Tomcat fighters? That’s a cool and useful skill!

Kikuchihara, when she was working with government officials (1:51), took a very different approach than the she did when talking to the artists (2:35). I like her skill in public speaking! She’s not only smart enough to understand the situation and its implications, but she’s also smart enough to adapt her style based on the audience. And if I can say this without sounding too sexist, she looks fetching in her suit!

Kikuchihara is equally comfortable — and in command — whether she’s talking to government officials or artists. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

I wonder how much Nissan had to pay for the naming rights — or vice versa (1:59)? Kinda makes me want to consider a Sentra for my next car…

The audience’s reaction to Kikuchihara’s schedule (4:03) hit really close to home. Back when I was an editor, I can’t count the number of times my writing team responded that way. Heck, when I managed a software development team, things were no different! Creative types* so often forget a basic idea: that limitations like time drive up creativity.

Of course, Kikuchihara was having none of it! She put it succinctly for them when she said, (4:31), “To put it simply, I’m telling everyone to die.” She wasn’t smiling when she said it!

Meteora is not a fan of Mirokuji’s nicknames. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

Because of the re-cap episode last week (featuring Meteora’s Very Positive Self Image), when Meteora told Mirokuji not to call her “Metchin,” (5:10) I half expected her to call him “Grasshopper Glasses.”

I like the plan they laid out (culminating around 5:58): they’re going to convince the audience that Altair had been defeated and that she needs to retreat from our world. Since she derives her power from the audience (as we learned in episode 12), this is about the best play they can make.

Interesting how Kikuchihara singles out Meteora (“…Meteora and the others…”) (6:44). Did Selesia’s defeat really tarnish her reputation? I don’t think that’s fair, given how Altair achieved that defeat. Or did the cast watch the re-cap episode last week? That’s a scary thought… Though given how meta this show can be, I wouldn’t be surprised!

Selesia noticed that even though the artists were complaining about deadlines, they all seemed to be enjoying themselves. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

It seems like Selesia was reading my mind about schedule limitations sometimes driving creativity. Around 9:22, she observed that though the team had complained about it, they seemed like they were enjoying themselves. That brought back memories!

“Cute Moment of the Episode” goes to Marine for her reaction to Souta Mizushino delivering her stuffed bunny (10:58). Of all the writers and artists we’ve met, I think I’ve worked with more Marine-like characters than any of the others. She’s talented but can’t accept her talent. She’s productive but gets caught up comparing herself to others. I really hope we get to see her play a key role in our heroes’ victory.

The pleasant group dynamic was starting to fray before Shunma Suruga just picked up one of Marine’s pens and started drawing (11:08). I’d never dream of touching another artist’s tools — some artists are pretty touchy about that! But then Yatouji Ryou bluntly criticized the plot that Matsubara and Masaaki Nakanogane had been piecing together, and tempers flared. That, too, is typical of creative meetings, and it takes a strong leader to keep people focused and feeling respected. I really got the sense that Matsubara and Nakanogane weren’t confident in their ideas, but when Ryou attacked those ideas so aggressively, the natural response was to become defensive. That might be the real enemy, here. Sure, Altair’s a threat, but if our heroes can’t bring all of their talent to bear, Altair might win by default.

Suruga had no idea she’d hurt Marine’s feelings. She’s not rude; her art enthralls her. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

Right on the heels of winning “Cute Moment of the Episode,” Marine goes on to win “Most Heart-Breaking Moment of the Episode” (12:01) when she runs out of the room, still clutching her stuffed bunny. Seeing Suruga so quickly and (seemingly) effortlessly dash off a drawing of Blitz Talker made her feel hopelessly inadequate. I just wanted to give her a big hug! But then she might feel like I was condescending or sometime. Seriously, how do humans even communicate anymore? There’s so much room for miscommunication!**

Suruga was so into the creative flow of her drawing that she had no idea she’s hurt Marine’s feelings (12:15). This series shows an expert hand in presenting artists of various types. It really is a love letter from creators to creators.

Matsubara nearly lost his temper at Ryou’s callous dismissal of his plot idea. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

Ryou proved once again how his solo work might be more out of necessity than anything else (13:15). He just abruptly dismissed Matsubara’s idea. No wonder Matsubara nearly lost his temper. Heck, the group couldn’t even agree on the basics of an approach to writing, what with Ryou suggesting that Nakanogane was a corporate hack. Of course, he was speaking from his own insecurities, but in the heat of the moment, it almost fractured the group.

Perhaps the most emotionally gripping moment in this episode was Marine talking to Mizushino about how Suruga’s drawings made her feel (16:40). We’ve seen that Marine’s drawing have been intricate, with shading and motion. Suruga’s drawing more suited her role as a manga artist: effective and more quickly completed, but also much more simple. Marine compared her more nuanced drawings and found herself lacking on the basis of speed alone. I found myself wishing she were more confident, and then I realized I was wishing this for a fictional character. Moments like that prove to me that the series has great characters!

Matsubara didn’t hold a grudge as Ryou admitted the plot idea just needed a little tweak. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

Ryou coming back, picking up the crumpled paper, and making a small tweak (18:18)? What a great way to bury the hatchet without feeling contrived!

Watching Selesia watch the artist draw Selesia during the ED (22:33) almost gave me a headache. Too many layers of reality! And Altair’s reaction to seeing Setsuna Shimazaki’s drawing (23:01) was so sad. Altair’s a much more sympathetic villain than Makagami Chikujouin.

* Yes, I just compared prose and non-fiction writers to software developers. In my experience, the best in both fields share so many characteristics that I suspect the mental processes are the same.

** No, I’m not advocating for a return to “simpler times.” A mono-culture or hyper-dominant culture might have seemed more simple, but a) it only seems simpler to the dominate class and b) it masked the real problems under a veneer of civility. Casting that off was necessary, but I’m not sure we’ve learned how to replace it yet. I just hope we come up with something better than what we’re replacing — and soon!

Thoughts

I’ve been listening to the Original Sound Track (OST) so much since it arrived last week that I’ve memorized most of the songs. It was almost distracting to hear portions of those sounds in the background, even though that’s where they belong as an OST!

And in case I haven’t said it before, I can’t stop listening to this soundtrack. I assume it’ll get old at some point, but that point’s not today!

There was a lot of talking in this episode again. Not that I mind, because the ideas continue to be interesting. As an aside, I wonder how many of the artists in this screen capture are based on real people? Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

This episode was one of Re:Creators’ talking episodes. I didn’t mind, because they’re building towards the next confrontation with Altair and her forces. The ideas continue to fascinate me, so I don’t mind a lack of action.

One thing bothers me, though.

They’re planning to fight on Altair’s home field. She has the most experience with powers and how they affect and are affected by the world. She has the most knowledge about the trans-world physics. That means our heroes’ plan is pretty risky, because if they fail to make the audience believe that Altair should leave the world, they will convince the audience that Altair should stay.

And if the audience sees that all of the heroes who had faced her failed, and if no more fictional characters can enter this world, where’s that leave our heroes’ plans? Aside from in tatters?

Am I looking at this right? Or am I missing something? Let me know what you think in the comments!

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