Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious!
In Re:Creators episode 18, “As long as we’re alive, we have to enjoy our lives to the fullest,” Magane Chikujouin and Souta Mizushino share life philosophies, with possibly world-changing consequences. Shunma Suruga presides over a touching — and strategically important — reunion. Hikawa Hikaru makes her big and breezy debut. Her face was as red as her costume. Finally, Meteora Österreich plays her trump card with Selesia Upitiria and Alicetelia February. Why doesn’t Altair look even a little worried?
What’s In This Post
What I Liked
Did you catch Mizushino’s reaction to Chikujouin trying to needle him about his role in Setsuna Shimazaki’s death (1:29)? In earlier episodes, he would have immediately folded and gone all mopey and weepy. Now, though, we get to see how he’s grown. He shows us his resolve to push forward. I like to see character growth, don’t you?
Suruga’s tough as nails, at least on the outside (we saw some of her insecurities last episode, in one of my favorite scenes from the entire series so far). She’s clearly in a lot of pain (3:20), but she still explains to Blitz Talker how hard it was to bring his Erina, his daughter, back to life. At the risk of repeating myself (sorry!), I respect how dedicated this show is to its premise and concepts, like needing audience approval for a plot point. Even the little details have to conform.
Speaking of audience approval, how could you not feel Suruga’s pride as she described how they solved the last hurdle to bringing back Erina, which was audience acceptance (4:08)? There’s someone who’s passionate about her work. I think that kind of attitude’s contagious!
I’ve always had a soft spot for hard-boiled characters emotionally breaking down over something worthwhile — like the reanimation of their daughter (4:39). Of course, Blitz apologized for shooting her, but my favorite part was when Erina said that in the state she’d been in, the shot was a mercy. After all the two of them have been through, I was glad to see them reconciled and reunited.
Talk about a dramatic reveal that was dramatically revealing (yeah, it’s an intentional pun)! The Grand Entrance of the Week goes to Hikaru (7:39). A couple of things struck me about this scene. First, of course her outfit was revealing, given her lecherous creator (Nishio Oonishi). How could it have been otherwise? Second, she was so embarrassed saying her intro line that I almost felt embarrassed on her behalf. And that was so endearing! And third, did you hear the song playing behind her? It was Mamika Kirameki’s theme song, HERE I AM (fun song, by the way — and it really showcases the singer’s range!). It set a fun, upbeat mood that culminated in a musical punchline when the song abruptly cut off.
And I thought I liked Meteora’s Very Positive Self Image! Dang!
Even Yuuya Mirokuji was shocked at Hikaru’s transformation (8:03).
Even if you find Oonishi distasteful, you had to admire his nonchalance as Takashi Matsubara expressed his amazement that Oonishi could get the audience to accept Hikaru’s transformation (8:10). Professional respect goes beyond personal taste!
And just to remind us that we’re in the Re:Creator’s World of Meta, the next shot is of the animated versions of Rui Kanoya’s voice actor, Sora Amamiya, and Selesia’s voice actor, Mikako Komatsu. They’re reminiscing about recording the scene… (8:17). Sometimes, this show makes it hard to remember where reality starts and ends.
As much as I enjoyed Mizushino and Chikujouin’s philosophical conversation, especially how they debated the need for audience approval (around 8:51), I have to confess I’m not sure what really happened. It seems that Chikujouin used her power to move Mizushino’s plan forward (11:05). But I have no idea what that plan is. Does it have something to do with being able to put forth a plot development that doesn’t need audience approval?
Did Mizushino just show a backbone and some personal pride when he grabbed Chikujouin by the collar (10:43)? This, more than anything, illustrates how much his character’s grown. Though I think he deserves some recognition for also being an idiot — I mean, who puts themselves willingly into Chikujouin’s reach like that?
So Suruga had on a bullet-proof vest (12:05)! I wondered why we didn’t see more blood. The bullet’s impact caused internal injuries, as her bleeding from the mouth showed. But there was no bullet wound. I hope she’s going to be okay. After last week, she’s moved up to become one of my favorite characters.
Remember when Shou Hakua called Hikaru’s outfit revealing, back during her Grand Entrance? Blitz is a little more circumspect than that, but even he couldn’t resist saying that she looked a little chilly (15:23). She really needs to work on how easily she’s embarrassed if she’s going to triumph as a fighter!
Blitz’ love for his daughter forced him to change side, so I had to chuckle at his response to Hakua’s angry taunt about Blitz being a traitor: “I’m a little ashamed myself” (15:38). But that didn’t keep him from reloading his revolver.
I have to give Re:Creators credit. It would have been easy for Hikaru to just be ornamental and red-faced (and cliched) during the whole the battle, but instead, we get to see her turn the tide with a pretty bad-ass move (17:12). Though the move’s name, Killing Cosmo Hell Fist, felt a little over the top (17:31)!
I didn’t realize how great it would be to see Alicetelia smile (18:24). She was back in the role of hero, and even beyond that, she wasn’t alone. I can’t imagine how she felt, never having anyone of her caliber to fight beside her, always having to watch her allies die — and now she’s among equals. That would have to be an amazing feeling.
Okay, I admit I laughed, but did you almost feel sorry for Yatouji Ryou after Mirokuji gave away his plot twist (19:25)? Judging by the reaction first from Hakua, then from the stadium audience, it was a huge spoiler. Poor guy!
In Selesia’s last assault on Altair (beginning around 20:44), everything came together. The visuals were strong and exciting, the voice acting was dramatic, and the music was my favorite battle song from this series (Layers). They almost scored a victory, too. In fact, it should have worked — until Charon, Selesia’s colleague from her fictional world (well, fictional from the perspective of… never mind; this is Re:Creators), showed up (21:36). He knocked Giga Machina out of the sky and ruined the timing of their attack.
Did you get the impression that he wasn’t fully himself? He looked almost dazed, like perhaps he was being mind-controlled or something (22:02). Though his mech was certainly impressive.
Poor Selesia. Did you hear the almost despairing note in her voice when she said his name (22:05)? She was really looking forward to seeing him again. Now, I have a feeling this isn’t going to be a happy reunion.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I think I came up with the title “The Power of Eroge.” However, I read a Tweet from BubbelRegn at about the same time I was writing this post (warning: some NSFW content), and thinking back, I can’t be 100% sure I wasn’t influenced. So, credit where credit’s due!
Altair’s certainly calm under pressure, isn’t she? I thought she might show some alarm when Selesia stripped away the Holopsicon, but she didn’t even flinch. Is her character underdeveloped, so she can’t react realistically to a threat? Or is she supremely confident, knowing that Charon is her ace in the hole? Or there is a completely different explanation?
Character ambiguity based on good characterization is a lot of fun, isn’t it?
Can you be a writer if you’re never published? Chikujouin brought that up in her conversation with Mizushino (and way to go for growing a spine, young man!). She maintained that it wasn’t necessary to get an audience’s acceptance; that a writer could just write privately and die with their works unpublished.
What do you think?
I tried to tell myself that years ago, when the first novel I wrote after graduating high school didn’t sell. In fact, it became almost an excuse: if I didn’t need to be published, I could take my time writing. I can write only for myself. I can write what I’d like to read. I can exercise my creativity in private. I don’t need to prostitute myself for a particular market segment.
Now, I’m not saying that kind of thinking is wrong for everyone. But in retrospect, I’m saying it’s wrong for me. I’ve been studying Sterling and Stone’s The Smarter Artist, and one tenet they talk about is writing for a particular audience. Not to compromise my writer’s integrity or vision, but to focus it. They’re also all about the writing process, and though I hate to admit that I have anything to learn because I’m so arrogant, I’m learning a lot. I’m planning my first trilogy in years (though I note that the blog post discussing that on one of my other sites is almost a year old — yikes!). If I’m honest with myself, I really do want people to read my work. I want to write characters like Suruga, Chikujouin, or even Ouzen from Made in Abyss.
If you’re a writer, doesn’t that sound like a good goal?
That why this show’s resonating so strongly with me. The struggles of Matsubara, Marine, Ryou, and even Mizushino feel familiar. It’s easy to root for these characters because I understand where they’re coming from. I know my positive reaction to this show is probably disproportionate. But I’m comfortable with that. I’ll accept more exposition than I usually like if the concepts and characters make up for it. And for me, that’s the case with Re:Creators.
Are you a writer? Do you see yourself in the Creators? Or do you have a different experience? 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 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 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