Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious!
In Re:Creators episode 9, “The world requires choice and resolution,” Mamika Kirameki confides her last wishes to Makagami Chikujouin; will Chikujouin honestly relay those wishes to Alicetelia February? Chikujouin tries to use Souta Mizushino to drive a wedge between Meteora Österreich and her friends. Yuuya Mirokuji calls out Chikujouin and finds out exactly how her power works. Finally, Alicetelia confronts Meteora, and not in a nice way.
What’s In This Post
Somehow, Kirameki escaped the explosion and is trying to fly home to Alicetelia. But she’s losing a lot of blood and crashes in a park. Chikujouin comes upon the crash-site where Kirameki, weakened by blood loss, asks the black-uniformed schoolgirl to tell Alicetelia that Meteora was right: Altair is their real enemy. Alicetelia arrives as the Magical Slayer is fading in and out of consciousness. The little girl’s too far gone to make much sense; she can’t tell Alicetelia who hurt her or why. She dies in the knight’s arms and dissolves into blue cubes of light. Alicetelia demands to know what Kirameki has said; Chikujouin responds that it was something about an enemy and Meteora. For whatever reason, Alicetelia buys the story and leaves. She doesn’t see the schoolgirl’s happy dance before she calls Mizushino and asks to meet.
They meet in a deserted mall after hours. The poor young man is completely overwhelmed by his guilt and Chikujouin’s cruel teasing. She needles him about his role in Setsuna Shimazaki’s death. She asks him to tell Selesia Upitiria that Meteora is really in league with Altair. The longer their conversation goes on, the more desparate and confused the poor young man becomes. She escalates his panic when she shows him Kirameki’s bloody ribbon and tells him that the Magical Slayer died because he convinced her to confront Altair. He collapses to his knees. To add to his humiliation, she sits on the rail beside him and raises his chin with her foot. She continues to hammer away at what’s left of his self-confidence until Mirokuji arrives to challenge her.
In response to Mirokuji’s assertion that the black-uniformed schoolgirl intended to use him until Mizushino broke, she protested that he shouldn’t be so judgmental because he “hurt her and (her) virgin heart.” She leaps away as he attacks; he follows. Mizushino breaks down in tears when Meteora arrives, and he confesses a lot of the Shimazaki story to her. His jealousy of her success got the better of him, and when she needed his support, he didn’t offer it. Meteora does what she can to comfort him. But even she’s shocked when she learned that Kirameki’s dead. She encourages him to embrace what has happened and choose to make something good come of it.
Despite his combat prowess, Mirokuji can’t land a hit on Chikujouin. When she asks if his wooden sword is a souvenir from a hot spring resort, he tries to match wits with her. But she tricks him into telling a lie about a lie, and she renders his most powerful strikes useless against her. Meteora joins him after having consoled Mizushino, and they discovered that once the black-uniformed schoolgirl’s power kicks in, its effects can’t be reversed: Mirokuji’s most powerful strike will never work against her. So Mirokuji improvises and does the next best thing: he releases his spirit familiar Hangaku to attack. Before it can engage, Alicetelia lands, saying that she’s been searching for Meteora.
What I Liked
As she flew overhead, Kirameki left drops of blood on the hotdog that Chikujouin had been enjoying. Of course, Chikujouin, being the merciless villain that she is, finished the hotdog with great relish. What a piece of work she is!
If you like Chikujouin (and I’m firmly in that category), this was your episode. From eating the blood-seasoned hotdog to using her fingers to play in Kirameki’s blood, her brand of constantly delighted evil was on display throughout. There were almost too many such moments to keep track of them all. I counted at least twice that she littered (once with the hotdog stick and once with the can of pop that Mizushino has purchased for her); she disrespected Mirokuji’s sword while she dodged every strike he could level at her; and she pretended to care of Kirameki’s death in front of Alicetelia. The voice actor Maaya Sakamoto did an enthralling job again, just as she did the last two episodes.
It was heart-breaking to watch Kirameki spend most of her last energy trying to convince Chikujouin to help her. I know it’s in her character, but it was tough seeing her try to trust someone who fundamentally cannot be trusted. She lived and died by her own view of the world; I would have preferred to see her live longer.
I’ll say this for Chikujouin: her amazingly quick wit is matched only by her almost supernatural ability to read people. Without knowing the details, she deduces almost all of Mizushino’s story — and the way she does it felt realistic and satisfying.
Mizushino had zero chance to win his verbal battle against Chikujouin. Even if he could intellectually match her — which he might be able to do if he can get his confidence back, though I doubt it — her energy is way beyond his. She just does not quit! She sets a new high mark for the word “relentless.”
Okay, maybe my mind’s in the gutter, but I swear that when Chikujouin sat on the railing and used her feet to force the kneeling Mizushino to face her, his eyes flicked downward. A sign that he still maintains enough of a sense of self to notice something like that? Or maybe it was just another way for her to humiliate and break him, this time on a sexual level: show him what he knows he can’t have and enforce the idea that he’s utterly under her control. That was the climax to a series of scenes that showed as effective a destruction of a human’s will that I can remember seeing.
I have to give Mirokuji the award for most stinging insult of the episode. He called Chikujouin “…a laughing piece of skin hanging over a bunch of lies.” Ouch! Of course, she took it as a “cool compliment.” I wonder if any of these characters can beat her in a verbal duel? If it’s beyond even Meteora…
What I Liked Less
Alicetelia, are you an idiot? I mean that literally — is there something wrong with your brain? You know Chikujouin is way, way less than honest. You know she messes with your head every chance she gets. Then why oh why did you believe her when she said Meteora was the enemy? You met the Seeker of a Thousand Miles. You could sense she’s not evil! I understand being emotional after seeing your dear innocent friend perish in your arms, but for heaven’s sake! Do something better to honor her memory!
I’m used to villains like Altair who have are usually motivated by revenge, villains like Joker who’re driven simply by a genius insanity, or even villains like the Dominion who have a sense of racial and social superiority.
But a villain who’s just out to have fun manipulating people using only her words?
“I never have negative emotions like hate and resentment,” Chikujouin says, explaining her worldview to a bewildered and almost broken Mizushino. “I have a noble heart.”
Mirokuji found out that even if he feels like he’s keeping up with her, he’s tripping her subtle traps. Meteora tried not answering, but that didn’t seem to help. And poor Mizushino has no chance at all. As long as she’s able to talk, she’s a threat. This episode drove that point home with flourish.
She is an outstanding villain.
When I first watched the episode, I felt like there were too many coincidences: Kirameki happening to fly over Chikujouin; Alicetelia just happening to arrive after the Magical Slayer gave her final coherent message; and Mirokuji just happening to show up to save Mizushino from Chikujouin’s grasp. I originally intended to put them in the What I Liked Not so Much in this Episode section, but then I ThatMakuta’s post on Reddit. The post said, “People complaining about all the fictional characters having good plot timing aren’t getting the point. Each of these characters [is] playing on the stereotypes [that] all have good timing as a default. Usually it isn’t as noticeable since only one or two characters per story have such good timing. But all the characters in this story are those characters.”
I’m convinced! The writers in this series is more subtle than I gave it credit for, even after I recognized how dedicated they were to their show’s premise. I appreciated ThatMakuta’s perspective. It also underscores how important community and discussion is to the deepest understanding of a work. I wish Amazon Strike has a comments/discussion section beyond the ratings…
What do you think of Chikujouin as a villain? Too over the top? Delightfully original? Something else? Let me know in the comments!
Other Reviews of This Series
From Other Anime Sites
- Reddit: [Spoilers] Re:Creators – Episode 9 discussion
- Manga Tokyo: Re:CREATORS Episode 9 Review: The World Requires Choice and Resolution.
- Star Crossed Anime: Re:Creators – 09 [The Blooming Maiden Digs a Hole]
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 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 18: As long as we’re alive, we have to enjoy our lives to the fullest
- 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