Shunma Suruga, Re:CREATORs Writer Extraordinaire
There’s a scene about Shunma Suruga in Re:CREATORS that might be my favorite scene. Like, of all time. Any medium, any genre. That makes sense. After all, Re:CREATORS is my all-time favorite series. It makes sense that it would contain my favorite scene. Usually, I say I like a scene insofar as it brings me into another world. The more it makes me experience the moment, in that world, the better! But this scene? This scene did something different. It didn’t pull me in. It met me half way. Then it co-mingled our worlds. Even better, it made me want to be more. And it did so with a scene that at first glance seems mundane. I mean, it was mostly talking! How did it achieve this magic?
What Is Re:CREATORS?
Re:CREATORS is the story of tragedy, broken-hearted revenge, and a struggle for redemption. A character from within a story finds a way to breach the fourth wall to bring fictional characters into the real world. Several of the characters fight for revenge, for good reason. Think about it: If you were a character from a world of blood and pain, and if you were pulled out of that fictional world into ours, how would you feel about the writer who put you through that hell?
A group of writers, joined willingly by some of their characters, fought back. That’s the context for my favorite scene. It featured Shunma Suruga. I’m not surprised if the name isn’t familiar to you. As the creator of Blitz Talker, she wasn’t a main character. She was a writer/illustrator, and she had created Blitz Talker for her manga Code Babylon. Blitz had a particularly heavy axe to grind with his creator. See, Suruga had written an episode where Blitz’s enemy had integrated Blitz’s daughter into a machine, had driven her insane, and had forced her to attack her own father. Of course, Blitz had to do what he had to do. And now, he inhabited the same world as the “god” who was responsible for that. He had his gun, too.
Blitz seemed a little angry with his god. Capture from the Amazon Prime stream.
Blitz Talker Meets His God, Shunma Suruga, in Re:CREATORS
The creators had a plan, and that plan required Suruga to flip Blitz to their side. You might ask how in the world she could pull that off. A more pressing question, though, is whether she’ll survive long enough to even try! That attempt at survival, those few moments of confrontation, gave to me a sense of wonder that reminded me of why I wanted to write.
This happened in episode 17, “I mean I’m the CREATOR.”. Suruga had arranged for Blitz to know she waited for him in a locker room, apparently alone. He walked in, his enormous pistol already drawn and trained on her. He had already cocked the hammer. If he so much as twitched his finger, he’d fire.
She greeted him by asking if there was something he wanted to talk to her about. He said that sure, there were tons of things he had to say. But he didn’t have that kind of time.
And then began Suruga’s act of raw courage. Knowing his proclivity to fire first, knowing the rage he felt for her, she said his next line, along with him, in perfect harmony:
“I came to let the bullets do the talking instead of words,” she intoned along with him (16:58). In response to his astonishment, she pushed her case, saying, “It’s natural. That’s what I’d write in this script. I’m your god.”
Her audacity took my breath away. He had his gun trained on her, for god’s sake! She knew Blitz better than he knew himself. Was she insane? Did she want to die?
Shunma Suruga in Re:CREATORS Does Not Have a Death Wish
No to both questions. Getting him to switch sides would take a miracle. Even then, she had to get him in just the right mindset, a mindset to embrace the offer she made with the same ferocity that he now put into wanting her dead. And she knew exactly how to do that.
I’m already amazed with her courage. Now begins the moment that reminded me of something important — so important that it brought two worlds into a collision — which is kind of appropriate, given the show, you know?
She stressed that she was his god, just to rub it in his face. He again threatened to kill her, but she pushed her advantage. She wondered if he would really be cool with killing her, because she would take all of the answers to his questions to the grave.
He could not resist. He could not stop himself from asking the one question that drove him, and it was this: “You planned it, and you wrote everything. You’re responsible for everything… Why did my daughter have to die like that?”
She finished the last part of the question along with him, again rubbing his face in her omniscience, in terms of him and his world. His rage ebbed, and he looked only like an exhausted, grieving father.
“I have only one answer,” Suruga said, and I began to feel a slight disorientation. I thought I knew where she was going, given the setup. And I was right. With a devious grin, she said, “Because it made the story more interesting.”
She had a plan. She knew what she was doing. But, damn! Capture from the Amazon Prime stream.
Shunma Suruga Saw That Coming!
The gunshot could not have been less surprising. Despite her bullet proof vest, the concussion blew her across the room.
Her next words resonated so strongly with me that I might as well have written them. They perfectly reflected what I wanted to do, but I hadn’t as concisely articulated it. When he raged that she was a devil, when he demanded to know why she couldn’t show at least a little mercy, she said she hadn’t created his world to give him peace. No, she said, “It’s for the readers. I write whatever makes it more interesting. I’d write unhappy things. I’d even kill people.” She was in so much pain that she could barely speak when she added, “I’d even turn the world upside-down.”
You might think I’m a bit of a simpleton if words as unsophisticated as that affected me so strongly. You might be right. I try not to dwell on it. But I am who I am, and those words sunk deep. And then it seemed like the show, sensing that it had scored a hit, decided to go all in.
Blitz, of course, again called her a devil. He said that at least the character who wanted to destroy the world did so on behalf of a kind, gentle creator (Setsuna Shimazaki), who had committed suicide because she couldn’t stand the reaction her creation had generated. Blitz said that there was no way a successful woman like Suruga could understand Shimazaki’s pain, humiliation, and despair.
“No one is successful from the beginning, fool,” she spat back at him, blood trickling from her mouth from her internal injuries. “You have no idea how many times I stayed up all night crying. You have no idea how much I cried from the bottom of my heart before I was able to create you. Don’t talk down to me like that!”
Blitz’ accusation seemed to genuinely hurt Suruga’s feelings. Well, she is human after all. Wait… Capture from the Amazon Prime stream.
Shunma Suruga in Re:CREATORS is Smarter Than I Am!
Now, I’m a guy. I’m not smart enough to do something like crying about my pain, which would at least release emotional tension. No, I spend my time screaming at the night, for so many years and for so long, that the night itself has begun to cringe away from my rage.
Are you a writer who hasn’t become successful yet? Then this has to resonate with you. By this point in the episode, the only sense of time and space I had was around Suruga. She might as well have been speaking for me as to Blitz.
And yet, the scene wasn’t done messing with my world. Several episodes back, the creators had been working together to build their counter-attack. One of the illustrators, Marine, was a sweet, talented young woman who had drawn Selesia, one of created characters fighting alongside their creators. Marine watched Suruga furiously drawing, trying with resolute focus to improve her skills. Marine, her own sense of insecurity inflamed, had to run from the room, crying. The key idea was that someone as successful as Marine still fought their own insecurities.
Now, Blitz’s god, already bleeding internally from the gunshot wound she’d earned, completely blew me away. She said that when she had joined the team of creators, she’d seen how good Marine was. “I felt that I wasn’t good enough,” (20:00). “I didn’t want her to think I was useless, so I worked really hard on my drawings. No matter how far I’ve come it’s still always the same. I can’t stand it.”
The illustrator who had to leave the room in tears had been the one whose skill had inspired Suruga to get better in the face of her own feelings of inadequacy. Maybe it’s because that was something I needed to hear. Maybe it was because it’s something I’d been feeling for decades, or maybe it was both. We writers talk about a lot, but we often skip important details like, oh, the core of the issues we’re dealing with!
Shunma Suruga in Re:CREATORS Surprises Her Creation
She finished up by mentioning that all of that pain had helped fashion who she was now.
Suruga showed her plotting prowess by how perfectly she setup Blitz for the next moment. By now, he had heard enough. He was going to kill her. But he didn’t get the chance, because the soldiers burst in at that moment. They not only had saved Suruga’s life. They had brought a surprise.
That surprise? Erina, Blitz’s daughter.
Guess who’s going to work with the creators now? Capture from the Amazon Prime stream.
“Blitz, what did I say just now?” Suruga asked. “I’m your god.”
I suspect that the reasons Re:CREATORS is my favorite series are the same reasons that limit its appeal. As someone who wants to be someday recognized as a writer, this show in general spoke to me. This scene, though, inspired me. Just as Marine had inspired Suruga, Suruga inspired me. She could not have done that if she had not been willing to put her fictional life on the line to convince Blitz to switch sides. I gotta respect that kind of courage and vision! Now all I have to do is show the same kind of courage and push my novels into the world. I probably have several more years of screaming into the night ahead of me, but with Suruga’s inspiration, maybe I’ll pull it off.
What did you think of Suruga’s approach? What did you think of the scene? Feel free to let me know in the comments!
Other Posts about Re:CREATORS
Other Anime Sites
- Honey’s Anime: Re:CREATORS Review – “A Lie About a Lie Turns Itself Inside Out.”
- The Outerhaven: Re:Creators Review
- Anime Feminist: Re:CREATORS – Episode 1
6 thoughts on “Shunma Suruga, Re:CREATORS’ Most Resolute God”
Great moment, wasn’t it? I really need to re-watch this show at one point. It’s probably one of these shows that you watch a lot differently the second time round.
I remember my second time through — and you’re right.
Every time I watch it, I get something different out of it. I’ve listened to the soundtrack literally hundreds of times (iTines tells me I’ve listened to the song Layers 229 times — so far!), and knowing the music backwards and forwards also deepened the experience.
It’s the meta-ness. I catch new nuances of it during every rewatch!
I keep trying to find new ways to celebrate this series, because it meant so much to me. Appreciate you saying some of this might actually have made sense!
It is my imagining that a character from a world of blood and pain might find themself right at home here just by watching the news.
I spent a couple of hours trying to come up with an argument.
But you used facts, dang it!
Alicetelia’s world seems a lot worse than ours. But the other worlds, like Blitz Talker’s, really didn’t seem all that much different. The only one that seemed a lot better was Mamika’s.
And we see where that got her.