Re:Creators Ep 8: Faltering Bravery and the Fall of Innocence

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

Quick Summary

In Re:Creators episode 8, “I CHOSE this way of life,” Souta Mizushino tries again to tell someone (this time Meteora Österreich) about his role in creating Military Uniform PrincessYuuya Mirokuji has a bone to pick with his creator, and Takashi Matsubara has to plead for the Created to at least leave his artist’s head and right hand. Makagami Chikujouin offers to date Mizushino — just how pure are her motives? Mamika Kirameki asks Alicetelia February to believe in her before going to confront the Military Uniform Princess/Altair: with explosive results.

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

Meteora reasons that Altair is a completely separate creation from the original social game character. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.
  1. Masaaki Nakanogane tells Selesia Upitiria, Meteora, and the others that the Military Uniform Princess is based on a character named Altair, who was actually a secondary character built on Shirotsumekusa, who’s from a social game named Eternal Wars Megalosphere. The characters are so different that Altair likely became a separate entity with a plot of her own. Marine explains that sometimes these secondary characters are so well crafted that they capture their own audience. Nakanogane shares that the author of World Étude was Setsuna Shimazaki. None of them recognize the name.
  2. Aki Kikuchihara introduces two Creators to the group: Shunma Suruga (creator of Code Babylon, the work Blitz Talker is from) and Ryo Yatoji (creator of Exclusive Underground, Mirokuji’s original home). Kikuchihara explains that she hopes the two new Creators will work with them, but Yatoji objects that he’s busy. When Mirokuji takes exception to his Creator’s attitude, Yatoji makes things worse by not taking the situation seriously. Meteora tries to talk him down, but Mirokuji releases his spirit familiar Hangaku. Matsubara pleads for Hangaku to at least leave Yatoji’s head and right hand intact.

    Yatoji’s attitude irks Mirokuji, his creation. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.
  3. The next day, Mizushino tries to confess his involvement with Altair to Meteora. He can only bring himself to describe the situation as if it had happened to a hypothetical friend. He had apparently become envious of Shimazaki’s success with Altair and spoke coldly to her — perhaps contributing to her suicide, even if indirectly. Meteora, not knowing the details, tries to give him advice that’ll earn forgiveness from whomever his “friend” had wronged.
  4. Kirameki finds Alicetelia lost in the memories of a battle where victory had been too late to save those under her protection. Alicetelia holds no grudge against the Magical Slayer because of her actions at the last battle, because she recognized that Kirameki had simply been true to her convictions. They discuss this world, and Kirameki praises it in part because it’s where she met Alicetelia. Saying she wanted to make sure that she told Alicetelia that she liked her, Kirameki asks Alicetelia to have faith in her before she flies off.

    Kirameki, the Magical Slayer, tell her friend Alicetelia how much her friendship means. Kirameki wears the smile of someone who has made a hard decision but is at peace with it. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.
  5. Mizushino’s walking home when a Miracle Maid stops him — and it’s Chikujouin. She had eavesdropped on his conversation with Meteora. Using her obviously strong cold-reading skills, she fills in many of the blanks he left in his story to Meteora until he’s sure she has some kind of divine knowledge about what he had done to Shimazaki. While he’s hyperventilating in panic, she swipes his phone and extracts his contact information so they “can go on a lovey-dovey date.” She tells him not to ignore her messages.
  6. Kirameki confronts Altair about her lies. The Magical Slayer understands that increasing the conflict in the collided worlds only increases the danger of multi-world collapse. That conflict doesn’t help Alicetelia or anyone else make their own worlds better. Altair’s resigned that Kirameki learned her true name, but she’s infuriated when the Magical Slayer says that she considers Altair a friend and wants to save her, too. Saying that she hates all of them and their stories,
    Kirameki withstood the first five swords. Whatever happened next took place within the expanding fireball of her Magical Splash Flare. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

    Altair declares her intent to destroy them all. She can’t forgive the world for how it treated her creator. But the Kirameki won’t give up. She says that she’ll accept Altair’s sadness, just as she accepted the pain and sadness in her world. As she’s saying that she even wants to save Shimazaki’s soul, Altair’s first sword pieces her from back to front. Four more follow in rapid succession. Altair’s rage overflows and she unleashes a torrent of swords. Before they can connect, Kirameki looses Magical Splash Flair. The expanding red/pink blast envelops the building and surrounding town.

What I Liked

Apparently, there’s some bad blood between Matsubara and Yatoji. It seems that Exclusive Underground was pretty popular but I can’t imagine it’s more popular than Matsubara and Marine’s Elemental Symphony of Vogelchevalier. I guess rivalries are common among genres, and it’s fun to see Re:Creators reflecting that.

Marine was astonished that the Creator of Code Babylon was a woman. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

I had to laugh at Marine’s reaction to finding out that Suruga was a woman. I’ve read that it’s a relatively common practice for some woman artists in the anime/manga industry to hide their gender so it won’t affect their popularity within certain genres. I’ve had friends who took that route, and I was sorry they had to go to such trouble. The work is the work; it stands on its own. I’ve never understood what an artist’s gender had to do with it.

Mirokuji was so upset with his Creator’s attitude that he said Matsubara was a million times better. I bet that after Yatoji claimed not to remember seeing him at a party, Matsubara had to appreciate Mirokuji’s outburst.

Apparently, the way to get Mizushino to talk is to hold his hand. It worked for Kirameki last episode, and it worked for Meteora (with less results) this episode. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

Mizushino is such a terrible liar. It’s obvious to Meteora — and to Chikujouin later — that he’s trying to hide something. Meteora tries to act as a friend and comfort him. That was a nice touch! And she actually smiled when and lightly took his hand when he tried to walk away! I wonder how much she’s guessed? Though her advice seemed to assume that the person Mizushino was talking about was still alive…

Kirameki packed so much goodness into her conversation with Alicetelia that it was almost hard to take — in a good way! The Magical Slayer painted our world as beautiful in its diversity. She pointed out it was the world in which she had met Alicetelia, and that made it speacial. She even said that though Alicetelia’s world was a terrible place, its god/Creator had put Alicetelia in it as its hero, so that Creator couldn’t be all bad. Her quote, though, really set her death flag:

This was a beautiful, touching moment between Kirameki and Alicetelia. It’s tragic that it foretold nothing good for Kirameki. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

“This is a very complicated and difficult place. Everyone is a god, so this world can’t be saved by someone who’s just a hero.”

Her expression was so serene — almost something I’d expect to see someone who’s thrown off a terrible burden and saw the end in sight — but not an end they lived through. I thought this scene was a terribly effective way to setup the climax of this episode.

Am I the only one who is afraid that there’s a dead maid’s body where Chikujouin got her Miracle Maid uniform? And yet, having thought something so dark, I have to admit that she really rocks the look.

Of all the battles we’ve seen so far, I think that Mizushino’s encounter with Chikujouin was the most lop-sided. He didn’t stand a chance. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

I loved her quote, “Even I was shocked and amazed. I’ve never heard someone gloss over so many things at once.” She was talking about the conversation he’d had with Meteora. When someone like Chikujouin expresses amazement at the level of dishonesty, you know you have a problem.

Why didn’t Mizushino have a PIN to lock his phone?Chikujouin was able to just grab it and get access to his contacts! I mean good heavens, doesn’t anyone take security seriously at all? Or is it possible that just because I run an application security blog that I’m a little biased? But look at how much safer he would have been if he’d set a PIN! Now Chikujouin can contact him anywhere, anytime. And I doubt she’s being honest when she says she’ll cry if he ignores her messages. Make him cry, maybe. But Chikujouin crying? I’m not buying it.

But I’m certainly not going to call her a liar!

Did Kirameki know what would happen when she pushed Altair so hard? Will we ever find out? Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

Kirameki’s way of confronting Altair was heart-breakingly naive — and true to her character. She wanted to give Altair a chance to repent. She had no way to envision the lengths to which Altair would go; had no way to understand the depth of Altair’s pain or despair. So she plunged forward true to her convictions. And she ended up pierced by many swords.

I wonder, though: was she really naive? There was a resigned bittersweet sadness in her tone as she talked to Alicetelia. Even then, did the Magical Slayer know she’d need to basically self-destruct? Was that her plan all along? All I really know is that I’ve grown fond of her, and seeing her attacked that way wasn’t easy to watch.

What I Liked Less

In the spirit of trying to be critical and finding something not to like… Yeah, I’ve got nothing this time around. Pacing, characterization, plot development, art, action — it all worked for me.

Thoughts

Am I bad for wanting to grant an exception to “No Deus Ex Machina” rule for Kirameki? Even if she’s immune to her own power, I don’t see her walking way from what looked like a small tactical nuclear blast. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

First, can I just say that I really, really hope a plot loophole or deus ex machina saves Kirameki? Of all the characters, she’s shown the most growth. She’s given her role serious thought, and she’s doing what she thinks is right. I’d really hate to see her die for it.

Or, maybe that’s just what good drama’s all about?

Speaking of good drama: When is Mizushino going to open up to Meteora? He apparently told Kirameki enough to embolden her to enact her final scene (though I hope it’s not that!). So, why not Meteora or Selesia — of even Marine? He seemed about to tell Marine in the last episode.

Whatever else Mizushino is, he’s still just a kid. He’s in way over his head. It’s no wonder he can’t keep it together. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

To be frank, I felt myself getting increasingly impatient with him. Until I reminded myself of a couple of things. First, he’s just a kid. He doesn’t have a long view yet, so everything negative is a catastrophe. Whatever he just went through with Shimazaki, whatever his role, he can’t forgive himself for it. From the perspective of justice, if he abandoned her when she most needed him, then that would constitute betrayal, and he should feel terrible. But, from the perspective of mercy, again, he’s just a kid. He hasn’t learned to control his emotions yet, and his jealousy temporarily blinded him to his friend’s need. She made her decision based on more than just his betrayal; and anyone can make a temporary mistake. Even if this one had some dire consequences…

Second, the incident shattered his confidence. He can’t believe in himself; he can’t believe anyone else could believe in him. He sees Meteora and Selesia as two powerful, praiseworthy women. Right now, they think well of him. He’s convinced that if he tells them the truth, they’ll turn their backs on him. Part of him believes their scorn is what he deserves; another part of him desperately wants to maintain the illusion of affection because he can’t bear their scorn.

Yes, a series has to have a solid plot; the art has to be good; the sound and music have to be interesting. But the characters are what makes a show shine, and Re:Creators has more than its share of vibrant, vital characters. Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

That duality — the depth of Mizushino’s character, as exasperating as it can be — is also what’s making this series stand out. Plot and art can take a series a long way, but the characters are what stick with me. Characters like Felli Loss from Chrome Shelled Regios with her frustrating inability to express herself; Akihito Kanbara from Beyond the Boundary with the total isolation that comes with his terrible power; or Makina Hoshimura from Shikabane Hime and her desperate fear of those who had turned her into a Corpse Princess; those characters are what keep me coming back to a series. This show’s showing signs that it might have multiple instances of such characters, and that has me excited for its future.

How do you like the characters in this show? Who’s your favorite and why? Let me know in the comments!

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Post Author: tcrow