Re:Creators Ep 5: Meteora Takes Command and the 40th Saber

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

Quick Summary

In Re:Creators episode 5, “So, why don’t we have ourselves a guys’ night out,” Meteora ÖsterreichSelesia UpitiriaSouta Mizushino, and Takashi Matsubara travel to what’s left of Masaaki Nakanogane’s house to meet Rui Kanoya, the mech pilot. He almost immediately throws a temper tantrum and insults Selesia. The JSDF also visit, with somewhat more efficiently brutal results. The team learns why Meteora was using guided missiles in the first episode — and how much each one of them cost in yen. Finally, Mizushino remembers why Military Uniform Princess seemed so familiar to him.

What’s In This Post

Quick Episode Summary
What Happened in this Episode
What I Liked in this Episode
What I Liked Not so Much in this Episode
Thoughts about the Episode
Related Posts

What Happened

Military Uniform Princess shows up again, this time as she chases Kanoya and Giga Machina into our world, where they land on Nakanogane’s house. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.
  1. Nakanogane’s watching an episode of Kanoya’s mech anime when the television glitches just like Mizushino’s tablet did in episode 1. More importantly to him, though, he sees the Military Uniform Princess in the show, and it confuses him; Nakanogane doesn’t remember her being in the story boards. Then the giant Giga Machina expands into our world. Kanoya spills out of the scape hatch moments later.
  2. At Nakanogane’s request from the end of the last episode, the gang (including Marine) go to his house to meet the pilot. They’re surprised that he’s so self-effacing and defensive, and Nakanogane confesses that’s his fault: he thought adding defensiveness would provide more opportunity for drama. Instead, the pilot loses patience and locks himself in the writer’s bedroom. He won’t even come out after Selesia offers to go on a date with him. They’re at an impasse when the lights go out and JSDF soldiers through a flash-bang through a door. The four humans go down quickly, but Meteora and Selesia repel attack after attack.  Even Kanoya’s fighting style keeps the armed men at bay. The situation begins to degrade when he activates Gigas Machina. It’s able to withstand every attack the JSDF can throw at it, including automatic weapons and missiles. Meteora orders her friends to stop fighting and negotiates an orderly surrender.

    The flash-bang grenade has little effect on Selesia. Apparently, she’s seen worse. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.
  3. They find themselves in a government meeting room. General Coordination Officer of the Special Situations Countermeasures Council Aki Kikuchihara apologizes for bringing them to the meeting using violence; Meteora suggests that a driver and a business card might have been more appropriate. Apparently, Gigas Machina scared the government, and they reacted rashly. Kikuchihara explains that the government has been aware that something odd was happening. Every time Military Uniform Princess brought another character into the real world, meteorological devices picked up strange signals. Sightings of strange characters flying in the air began coming into police stations. Kikuchihara explains that video of Alicetelia February abducting her writer out of a police station, as he was there asking for protection, convinced them to act. Matsubara, Marine, and Nakanogane are astonished to learn that the creators are being targeted. Fortunately, it seems that the government fully understands that anime and manga characters are appearing in the real world, and they’re prepared to act.

    Mizushino and the others are surprised not only that Kikuchihara and the others on the council believe them — but that the council’s prepared to act. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.
  4. The JSDF has caught Meteora on camera when she “borrowed” guided missiles back in episode 1. She tries to defend herself by saying she had to convince Uniform Military Princess she meant business; but when the General coordination Officer reads an itemized list of the costs to the Japanese tax payers, Meteora apologizes. The conversation turns to the identity of said Princess, and no one, not even the government after all of its research, has found the answer. Meteora proposes that they cooperate and shares her theories about the Princess’ aims. The council’s shocked and alarmed at the scope of the danger. She suggests that limiting the secondary damage of Creations running amok is a good idea; as is intensifying the search for the Princess. Meteora also requests legal status. Kikuchihara’s prepared for that, too, saying they’ll not only get legal residency status, but also appointments as government officials.General Coordination Officer also grants council protection to the Creators present, including Mizushino. After the meeting, Kikuchihara and Meteora share a quiet moment, where the Created says that she expects human creativity and volition will be at the heart of whatever solution they find.

    Kikuchihara’s surprised, and touched, at Meteora’s vote of confidence. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.
  5. On the train ride home, Mizushino’s troubled by a feeling that he knows more about the Uniform Military Princess than he thinks. As he’s sitting in front of his computer at home, he remembers Shimazaki, who we know as the girl who threw herself in front of the train at the beginning of episode 1. He was friends with her; perhaps more. That memory triggers other memories, and a series of internet searches turns up what he only remembered as a vague feeling: the character they now know as the Military Uniform Princess was from Shimazaki’s story called World Ètude. It seems that Mizushino had illustrated at least part of it; including the princess with pigtails who became the Military Uniform Princess, the 40th incarnation of Altair’s Saber.

What I Liked

Mizushino finally remembers why the Military Uniform Princess seemed to familiar to him. He may have been her original artist. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

Nakanogane is so fixated on the question of how the Military Uniform Princess ended up in the show that he didn’t even see that for a moment, he was hanging in the air in front of the flying Gigas Machina in a completely different world! Now, that’s focus!

I laughed way harder than I should have at Kanoya’s yelp as he fell from Gigas Machina’s escape hatch. The thud when he hit the ground didn’t help.

Kanoya turned Selesia down for a date? Because she was too old for him? Can’t say I think much of his tastes. And after he so obviously looked her up and down, I’m surprised she didn’t punch him.

Meteora has this adorable dry sense of humor. Everyone’s looking at her to come up with their next move, and she says that since Kanoya has shut himself in his room, “There’s no way I ‘can know, yah?'” Everyone froze and how terrible that pun was! I like to think the timing of the JSDF’s flash-bang was coincidental and wasn’t a reaction to her pun.

Don’t worry, Meteora. Your friends might not have appreciated it, but I liked your pun! Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

As yet another demonstration of Meteora’s presence of mind, she realizes that the JSDF aren’t really their enemy, and she tells — okay, she orders — Selesia not to kill anyone. And guess what? Selesia obeys without complaint. Even before, it was clear that Meteora was the intellectual leader. At that moment, she assumed command in the middle of combat, and it seemed perfectly natural.

Need any proof that she’s in command? Look at what happened when Kanoya hesitated to power-down the Gigas Machina. “Shut it off!” she barked, and he obeyed.

Realism rocks! The battles we’ve seen so far, not to mention the ones that happened off-screen, caused huge disturbances. There was a lot of property damage (who knew Mamika’s little hearts were so deadly?) and police responded several times. What’s great here is that the government noticed and investigated! How often in anime or fiction in general do these kinds of battles take place, but the authorities seem to remain oblivious or disbelieving? Here, it seems like the officials didn’t understand what they were seeing, but they kept investigating. They didn’t ignore it! That’s cool.

Meteora stepped up her game in this episode, going so far as to effectively seize command in the middle of combat. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

Mizushino didn’t expect Kikuchihara to understand what he was talking about when he mentioned Exclusive Underground and its relationship to their situation. But she not only understood; she and her people had already planned what to do as they identified authors. It’s kinda reassuring to see a government being effective and responsive.

Well, at least we now know where Meteora got the guided missiles she used in episode 1! She “borrowed” them from the JSDF! Of course, she used 165 million yen worth of equipment. She tried to play it off, but the added costs of property damage convinced her to apologize. But what was most interesting was that she didn’t agree to not do it again. She said she’d notify them if an emergency arose, and that she intended to continue making decisions as needed. I noticed they didn’t contradict her. I like how their relationship is developing.

Thumbs up to Matsubara for objecting that Kikuchihara called Selesia a “‘Creation’ of Matsubara.” He didn’t want Selesia to seem like an object. Thumbs up to Kikuchihara, too, for accepting the correction. I think Selesia might actually have been touched. At the very least, she didn’t give her Creator the usual tongue-lashing.

Selesia seemed touched that Matsubara stuck up for her as an independent being. She was probably a little surprised, too. To be fair, so was I! Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

Meteora’s so authoritative that even the council members begin asking for her advice! This is really her episode to shine.

More rocking realism! Meteora suggests a cover-up, but those present said not as easy as it sounds, and it’s dangerous to boot — once folks see through the cover-up, they won’t trust the government agencies for real information. Well, I said that’s realistic — maybe it is in Japan, but in the US, I fear that mere facts are no longer of much interest… Though I persist in my hope that somewhere, someone in government wants to do right by the people…

Meteora and Kikuchihara seemed to have hit it off! I hope that the government’s response is genuine, and I hope that Kikuchihara in particular is really someone Meteora and the others can trust. That’d be a powerful, hopeful message!

On the train ride home, Mizushino couldn’t shake the feeling that he knew more than he realized about the Military Uniform Princess. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

On the train ride home, Marine extends an invitation for Selesia and Meteora to continue living with her, and they accept. They’re all excited about how it’ll seem like “girl’s night” every night, and they start planning a party. Matsubara, sitting across the aisle with the other boys, suggests they do the same; but the reaction’s severely lacking in enthusiasm. It didn’t help that Nakanogane had just lost his house and that Kanoya felt compelled to continue apologizing for that.

What I Liked Less

Is it just me, or was the captioning in this episode more jam-packed with ellipses than usual? I kept feeling like someone was going to interrupt or trail off!

At the very end, there were lots of Japanese text that didn’t get sub-titled. Most of it was in Mizushino’s internet search results. What did get translated led me to the conclusion that the Princess is actually the 40th Saber from Altair, but I’m a) not confident in that conclusion and b) not sure what it means! I hope I didn’t mis-state what’s going on…

Thoughts

This series has taken its premise seriously in that it affects so much of the action and plot. In other words, the premise isn’t just a device; it’s integral to the story, and that makes it even more powerful. I’m thoroughly enjoying it! So, why am I still worried?

Two reasons.

Realism’s important. Little details like the military assault being prefaced with a flash-bang goes a long way to buying audience trust. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

First, partial realism can damage my immersion in a series. For the first four episodes, the characters inflicted quite a lot of damage to the real world. We saw police and first responders on scene more than once. So it’s obvious that at least some officials would have taken notice of what’s happening. Individual incidents probably made no sense, and I pity the officers trying to document the scene. “So, ma’am, you say a little girl was chasing a woman through the air, and the little girl’s wand shot hearts that destroyed the building? Okay…” That had to be an uncomfortable conversation for all involved! But, if the series is serious about realism, it’s a conversation that had to take place. And lo and behold, we find out in this episode that it did! By the time Mizushino and friends sat before the council, the council’s already figured out, somewhat reluctantly, that anime and manga characters are running wild in the real world. That’s realistic, and that’s important.

Little details can reinforce a show’s realism. For example, Meteora and Kikuchihara having a quiet conversation, away from the council — most of the time, important decisions are only reviewed at big meetings. They’re actually made in small moments like this. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

Why? Consider the difference between Stargate: SG-1 (available here from Amazon) and District 9 (also available from Amazon). I enjoyed both works, but in SG-1, the bulk of humanity had no idea that we nearly became a farm of Goa’uld hosts (and cheap labor!). As the show progressed, I found that less and less convincing, so much so that I found it a distraction by the last episodes. Compare that to District 9, where the entire world knew about the ship hanging over South Africa. That world was much more immersive to me; much more realistic and vital. It had gone to the trouble of adding an additional depth as the plot explored how humans would react to the ship.

Re:Creators is channeling District 9 in that regard. The world is gradually becoming aware of the Created, and I’m looking forward to how that plays out. But if they stumble, the damage will be all the greater. So that has me worried.

The second reason is that I have such high hopes for this series. Its vivid and beautiful animation attracted my attention. Its dedication to its premise drew me in. Its characters kept me in. And now? Now it promises to take its realism to the next level. If this show blows the execution, it’ll be all the more painful. And who wants that?

Do you think I’m being overly paranoid? Let me know in the comments!

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Post Author: tcrow