Sota Mizushino is shocked to suddenly find himself inside an anime he was watching, called "Elemental Symphony of Vogelchevalier"; and further shocked when he suddenly returns to "our" world with the lead character from that show, named Selesia Upitiria, in tow. Soon a number of other "Creations"- characters from anime, manga, and games- also turn up, under the aegis of a character whose named is eventually revealed to be Altair. Why? Well, these Creations have grievances against their own Creators, who've stuck them in horrible worlds (or with horrible fates) in the name of "entertainment". But Altair herself might be playing a very different game.
We've had a request for this show, which is currently only available streaming from a certain controversial retailer. I DO hope that there will eventually be at least an authorized video release (as finally happened with another show that retailer had streaming rights to, and which I liked, Karakuri Circus), because while I was initially hesitant to see it, being put off a bit by the summaries of Re:CREATOR's complicated plot, after actually WATCHING it I was able to put almost all the pieces together, and I loved one character- and found another, if certainly NOT lovable, at least interesting.
This series' OWN Creators' ideas about the genre are maybe reflected in the "Creations" featured. (This has to be one of the MOST "meta" shows I've ever seen, and goes even beyond THAT (to total fourth-wall demolition) in Ep. 13, but I'll get to that a little later.) One is the penchant some anime series have for grandiose names- besides "Elemental Symphony of Vogelchevalier", we also have "Alicetaria of the Scarlet", and "Monomagia: The Infinite Over Machine." Many of these also seem to mix genres: Selesia may fly a mecha, but she also sports a sword; while a shonen show called "Exclusive Underground" might feature some hands-on combat, but apparently its leads can ALSO fight with magical avatars.
The Wiki article on the show also calls attention to the fact that the Creator(s) of one of the characters is (are) never shown. I'd also point out that we're ALSO never assured that character's show will continue, unlike some of the other characters who...well, don't end up so well in "our" world. Perhaps that character was too pure for the "real" world, or, perhaps, it's a reflection of Re:Creator's OWN Creators' tastes; maybe the character was regarded as good for a wrenching emotional sendoff but not much else. (I was pretty put off by the show's treatment of this character, kind of ironic when the whole SHOW is about the mistreatment of Creations by their Creators.)
There are plenty of the usual shonen clichés here. Battles are NEVER over when you think they are, for one thing. Several characters are given long-winded speeches, rather than more concise dialogue that would give you a better handle on the characters' personalities.
And SPEAKING of the cast:
Meteora Osterreich (I forgot to mention this show also has an obsession with German names and language) is my favorite. Meteora's kind of an orphan; her OWN Creator is said to have died in an accident. With her short white hair, soft voice (though she does talk quite a bit), and her magical expertise, she seems like a warmer version of the original Melancholy of Haruhi's Yuki Nagato. She's the scholar and thus strategic planner of the "good guys" here (which seems to be everyone not formally allied with Altair). Her catchphrase is, "That's my hypothesis", though thankfully her hypotheses are usually correct. But, again, she's NOT unemotional; she really turns out to be quite gentle and kind. (I should note that Episode 13 is a recap/"clip" show, but not without value-added; Meteora is featured in some new material. We get to see what "Sexy" Meteora would look like, AND she gets to go FULL meta on her OWN show; speaking of Altair, she says "If I may speak on behalf of the animation staff, this character was designed just to make their jobs difficult. It makes us question the sanity of the designer.")
Next is Sota himself. He's a fan with aspirations to become a manga artist, who likes to post his own art on Internet bulletin boards. (I guess this one step below producing actual doujinshi.) He's also a tormented soul with a secret that's directly related to the current crisis, and like ALL tormented souls he has an angel to advise him on one hand (Meteora, sort of ), while on the OTHER hand he's got a demon that's giving him very different advice- so let's meet HER.
In Greek mythology, there's Eris, the Goddess of Discord. Magane Chikujoin is this show's Eris; she has a gift for lying, and uses that to amuse herself, because "Watching people do what I set them up to do is really fun." She's particularly amused with the various Creations going into mortal combat against each other, and since Altair wants the same thing (for her OWN reasons), she would seem a natural ally for Altair's faction, but she wants to be free to choose her own actions. (The Wiki article on the show says a certain action of hers is "not explained", but I think I know why she did that.) She even LOOKS evil, by the way, with a thin face (very common in anime villains), serrated teeth, and a Goth-black outfit decorated with pentagrams. But she must really have some lying mojo, because a character who had ALREADY expressed their OWN deep suspicion of Magane nevertheless falls for Magane's VERY selective reporting of what another character said. Magane also develops a fascination with Sota- which he doesn't appreciate ONE BIT- because of that secret that's tearing him up inside. She loves tormented souls- especially if she can stir up their misery even MORE.
To be honest I found the Meteora-Sota-Magane plotline much more fascinating than much of the stuff going on between the Creators and their Creations, though some of that is certainly interesting: Alicetaria February (of that show called "Alicetaria of the Scarlet") gives her Creator a memorably scary time over what he's done to HER world. But another Creation, Yuya Mirokuji, is much more philosophical about it (even though he's pretty much a jerk through the rest of the show): "A Creator is nothing more than Fate with a personality stuck on it." Many writers will tell you that once a story is started, it has a momentum of its own, and its characters sometimes do things that surprise their own author.
And my inevitable miscellany:
-I really liked the rock ballads that open both parts of the show.
-There's a Creation named Hikayu Hoshikawa whose presence I couldn't account for unless she just randomly wandered in somehow. She's supposedly from a dating sim called "The Milky Way Of A Starry Sky", that started as an eroge. Mind, she has plenty of reason to be ticked off at HER Creator (a pervert named Nishio Ohnishi) because of the horrible embarrassing stuff he made HER do, but she wouldn't seem to have much combat capability (she mostly just whines about all of it), but she DOES get cleverly repurposed. (The rule here literally is, if the audience buys it, it's all good.)
-Lots of shows have women providing voices for boys, but most of those voices are not as OBVIOUSLY female as the one voicing Rui Kanoya. Of course, the show ITSELF calls attention to it.
The final battle lapses into the near-interminable morass of so many shonen shows, and I would have abridged some of the dialogue and made it more to-the-point. The show takes a little while to rev up to full speed, and I wondered if its ultimate treatment of a certain character might reveal some contempt for their genre. But I did love Meteora, and thought Magane an unusually interesting villain; she's just completely self-centered, which is maybe a more comprehensible motivation than the one motivating Altair. The show's "meta" aspects were pretty mind-bending, too. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: Amazon cops out again with TV-NR. There's some nudity, but quite a bit of bloodshed, and several deaths, including one that's intended to bring the audience to tears. I'm going R (16+) on it.
Version(s) Viewed: Amazon Video Stream.
Review Status: Full (22/22)
Re:CREATORS © 2017 Troyca
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