Re:Creators Ep 17: The Birdcage Shuts and Blitz Confronts His God

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

Quick Summary

In Re:Creators Episode 17, “I mean I’m the CREATOR,” Meteora Österreich captures AltairAlicetelia February, and Shou Hakua in the birdcage. But the captured sure don’t seem to be acting like prisoners… Selesia Upitiria attacks Altair using an upgraded Vogelchevalier and lights up the sky. So why isn’t Altair even breaking a sweat? Yuuya Mirokuji, a favorite especially of the girls in the stadium audience, greets his old friend Hakua and wonders where Blitz Talker is. Meanwhile, Blitz confronts Shunma Suruga, his creator, with the memory of his daughter’s death still fresh and raw.

What’s In This Post

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

What I Liked

Poor guys. They ran out of data on their mobile plan as they were trying to stream the Chamber Elimination Festival! Might a common occurrence in the US if the FCC gets its way… Capture from the Amazon Strike feed.

I felt bad for the two school kids who hit their data cap while trying to watch the Elimination Chamber Festival on their cell phones (1:14). Though in the United States, if the FCC gets its way, this might be a common experience for US citizens… Sigh.

If I knew Altair had spurs, I’d forgotten (3:03). So I guess whatever military she comes from still has horses? At least, that’s the typical use for spurs…

Who the heck designed Vogelchevalier’s cockpit (3:12)? I’ve never seen anything that was supposed to be functional look so uncomfortable in my life! First, it looks like it puts terrible strain on Selesia’s neck. Second, wouldn’t that seat chaff during a long battle? I feel like buying her an upholstered seat or something… Takashi Matsubara and Marine have some explaining to do!

I’ll say this about Altair: she knows how to use her weapons! Capture from the Amazon Strike feed.

The combination of the song “Layers” from the original soundtrack (OST), the vivid animation of the energy weapon strikes colliding with Altair’s swords/shield, and the pounding sound effects made the battles (starting around 3:32) a lot of fun to watch. This put to rest any doubts I had as to whether the show was up to massive battle scenes!

Alicetelia’s no slouch either — she knocked Rui Kanoya’s Giga Machina back with her first strike (4:31). She’s also developed a sense of humor, like when she tells Mirokuji that “Girls don’t like men who hold grudges” (5:26).

Watching Kanoya try to punch the flying and highly maneuverable Alicetelia (6:01) made me wonder if he couldn’t adapt his tactics to such a small target. He even loses sight of her until he realizes that she and her horse are stopped, suspended in mid-air, right in front of his helmet (6:12). She uses her lance to knock to get his attention. Did you notice that Giga Machine seems to be looking cross-eyed at her because she’s so close? I really enjoy little animation details like that.

Alicetelia’s developed quite a sense of humor! Here you can see her knock-knock-knocking at Kanoya’s door! Capture from the Amazon Strike feed.

Bayard, Hakua’s companion, can attack through reflections (6:35). That’s a cool power that’s really inconvenient for his opponent, Mirokuji, who’s quite the fan-favorite, especially among the girls (7:34). Even Marine seemed to really get into the fight between these two (9:37). After seeing her struggle in previous episodes, I was relieved for her sake to see her react with such unbridled joy.

I know I’m supposed to root for the good guys, and I swear that I am. But I had the biggest grin when Magane Chikujouin greeted Souta Mizushino as he watched the fights on the stadium screens (10:35). She seemed delighted at what they were up to. It’s too bad her laugh usually ends with someone dying, because it’s pretty infectious!

Selesia’s serious about attacking Altair (11:01). I think this is my second favorite scene in this episode (see below for my favorite). Despite Selesia’s furious distance and close-in attacks, and despite assistance from tanks (11:11) and jet fighters (12:00), she couldn’t even make Altair frown, much less injure her. Not only that, but Altair figures out the Birdcage plan and directly taunts Meteora (11:41) — unless she’s just pretending to find out and knew all along. She even saw through the magic Meteora used to create the tanks and jets (12:40). This scene was all about Altair’s confidence and power. And from that perspective, it was as effective for me as it was frustrating for Selesia. Especially when Selesia’s infinite gate attacked failed (14:24).

Altair has a good handle on how to project dominance — and on Selesia. Capture from the Amazon Strike feed.

Does Altair have no concept of personal space (14:59)? Having escaped from the infinite gate attack, she just pops into Vogelchevalier’s cockpit, wraps her right arm around Selesia’s throat, and rests her left hand on Selesia’s thigh. Altair’s touch seemed to be calculated. She wanted to impress upon Selesia and Matsubara, her Creator, that she could kill Selesia anytime she wanted to; and that she had intimate knowledge of Selesia’s character and their plans. I’ve known that Altair is a villain before his episode, but this is the first time I felt her power and the threat she represents to Aki Kikuchihara and her team.

Interesting — Altair admits that she’s not “yet” able to escape from Meteora’s hand-crafted birdcage (15:23). Meteora immediately caught the implication (15:28): Altair planned to be able to in the near future.

Meteora was none too pleased to realize that Altair knew their entire plan. Capture from the Amazon Strike feed.

Did you see how Altair was explaining why she wouldn’t kill Selesia yet? Her audience was less Selesia and more the spectators (15:30). Altair’s playing to the audience, just like Team Kikuchihara are trying to do, and for the same reasons. When this is done, she intends to come out on top, doesn’t she? At this point, Meteora realized that Altair “understands everything…” (15:54).

Remember Marine’s excitement at Mirokuji and Hakua’s fight? At the very end, Marine noticed that Shunma Suruga was missing, and we got a quick shot showing of Suruga alone in a locker room. That perfectly setup the chill I felt when we see Blitz walking in the stadium (16:26). I think we all knew where he was heading — and she’s alone and undefended.

I think she fully understands the danger she’s in, yet she never abandons herself to fear. She even goes so far as to quote Blitz as he speaks (16:58). We haven’t gotten to see much of her, so until this episode, I never had a sense of what was going on inside her mind. She kept mostly to herself even when she was on-screen. But she’s smart, and she knows her characters — to the point of buying herself time by asking if Blitz is really okay with sending her secrets with her to the grave (17:28).

Suruga buys herself time by asking if Blitz really wants to kill her before asking his questions — and thereby sending the answers to the grave with her. Capture from the Amazon Strike feed.

Even after watching it more than once, I’m not sure if Suruga is brave or reckless. Everything we know about Blitz rests on one central cataclysm in his life: the moment he had to pull the trigger to kill what was left of his daughter. So you know he was going to ask Suruga, his god, the one responsible for everything in his world, why she had to die. When she got this grin and answered, “Because it made the story more interesting” (18:27), I expected him to snap and unload his revolver into her. In fact, I think he showed remarkable restraint by only firing once.

I think by now you’ve gotten the idea that I like Re:Creators. Even in the context of a show I’ve found filled with interesting moments, I think my favorite so far is Suruga’s reaction to Blitz’s taunt that Setsuna Shimazaki was a better writer — that Shimazaki was someone more worth standing up for than she was (19:17). Are you a writer or an artist? If so, I’ll bet this scene resonated with you as much as it did for me. She speaks of the years of pain and struggle before she became a success. And then she said something that really took me off guard, and for me elevated the scene: she spoke of her envy for Marine (19:56)! The same Marine who, when she saw Suruga drawing, had to leave the room as her own feelings of inadequacy exploded into tears. This is such an accurate capture of the inner life of an artist that I have to think it’s the central theme of the series. That no matter how far Suruga’s come, she still felt completely and utterly inadequate. The pain’s still with her.

And as if that wasn’t enough: she said she’d endure all of that, even knowing how painful it was, if it would help her write better stories (20:23).

I loved this scene.

I don’t know if Blitz will every understand her perspective, but she is his god. It’s an interesting theological point about perspective, I think… Capture from the Amazon Strike feed.

Maybe I should have expected it, given that Suruga just said that if it were up to her, she’d make Blitz turn on Altair and kill her for the sake of his daughter, but when Erina walked in the room (21:44), I admit was surprised. Like, seriously “Whoa!” surprised. Blitz, too, was shocked. And maybe this is too fan-boyish for me to admit, but I almost cheered when Suruga said by way of explanation, “Blitz, what did I say just now? I’m your god” (22:00). That’s good stuff!

Thoughts

I was afraid that Altair would understand the threat of the Birdcage and the Elimination Chamber Festival and turn it to her advantage. That looks to be exactly what she’s doing. Despite everything Team Kikuchihara has done, they’re still very much the underdogs in this battle. In a sense, having such a large team with its attendant logistical demands makes them less nimble. This, despite them having the advantage of Creators on their side.

On a lighter note, am I the only one who’s a little disappointed that Meteora 2.0 didn’t take the form of Meteora’s Very Positive Self Image? Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against Meteora in her present form. I just grew fond of her confidence and what not in the flashback episode.

Can we be honest among ourselves? This cockpit is neither comfortable nor functional. And it’s way less than dignified. We should start a crowd funding effort to buy Selesia a real fighter seat… Capture from the Amazon Strike feed.

I hate to say “I told you so,” but if Selesia had a real pilot’s chair, Altair wouldn’t’ve been able to get quite the same grip on her. I think my reaction so her chair is so overwhelmingly negative because the first thing I thought of when I saw it was the South Park episode “The Entity” and the mono-wheel “IT“. I like Selesia a lot, and I hate to see her put into what I have to conclude is just a posture to exploit her looks. Let me put this another way: I don’t think it emphasizes her strength or dignity. This is a surprising development for this series, which so far has avoided that kind of thing.

And before you ask, I think all the skin shown in the previous episode was a completely different affair. It was light-hearted. It was making fun on the convenient wisps of steam or random bars of light that other series have used in similar scenes. Plus, it had the advantage of not putting Selesia in a position that could have gotten her killed.

Though Marine may have a different take, given her near-drowning experience…

Suruga reminds Blitz that she’s his god. Then she promptly returns his dead daughter to him to prove it. Capture from the Amazon Strike feed.

I don’t want to leave on a downer, so I’d like to highlight Suruga’s scene again. Not only was it such a perfect presentation of what I perceive being a writer to be (well, except the crying all night part — I usually just brood in quite the menacing fashion), I think it foreshadows how Team Kikuchihara could defeat Altair. Altair’s busily incorporating all of the powers she can from the creative work of her fanbase, but there’s one thing they can never give her: creativity. She’s a creation. As Selesia said in the hospital, her world doesn’t have stories or writers. I think that’s less because Matsubara didn’t give it to her world, and more because as a created world, it can’t create. Not like a Creator can. So even while Blitz pointed a gun at her head, Suruga could confidently twist the plot and produce Erina. Blitz’s daughter was dead by the rules of his world. But a god like Suruga isn’t bound by the rules of a created world, is she?

What do you think? Am I on to something? Or is it more that I’m on something and should probably stop? Let me know in the comments!

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Post Author: tcrow