At first, I didn’t know what to expect out of Re:Creators. Reading the synopsis for the anime gave me mixed feelings, but somehow I felt compelled to watch. I went into this show not really expecting much, given that the key art had a shonen battle vibe to it; however, after the first episode I was proven so very, very wrong. I was instantly hooked on Re:Creators, but I knew that first episodes were often stacked in order to hook people into watching a mediocre series. Was Re:Creators one of those series that pulled a bait and switch?
In Re:Creators, stories exist in many mediums be it video game, novel, manga, anime, etc. Each story has their own unique world filled with vibrant characters. One day, a boy named Souta Mizushino is watching an episode of the anime Eternal Symphony of Vogelchevalier when his tablet begins to glitch out. Suddenly, Souta finds himself in the anime world right in the middle of a battle between the main character Selesia Uptiria and an unknown enemy that is commonly referred to as Gunpuku no Himegimi (Military Uniform Princess.)
Just when you think this is going to be another “trapped in another world” anime, Gunpuku uses an ability to transport Selesia, Souta and herself back into the real world. Selesia soon discovers that she’s not the only fictional character trapped inside of the real world as they soon meet Meteora Osterreich, the main character from the Avalken of Reminisce RPG video game. The two of them, along with Souta, team up to get to the bottom of why they have been summoned to the real world. Soon, they discover that they are nothing more than characters from someone’s story. These creators are referred to as the Gods of their world and it is Selesia and Meteora’s desire to meet their creators.
Once they meet Selesia’s creator, they need to discover who the Military Uniform Princess is and what her true goals are. Fast forwarding through a whole bunch of spoilers, her goals are a major threat to not only the real world, but each of the worlds the characters come from. With more and more characters appearing in the real world, two factions form and a battle wages that will determine the fate of all worlds: real and fictional.
The story of Re:Creators had an amazing premise to it, but it was a bit hard to follow at times. The way Gunpuku’s motives were explained were a bit confusing, but they made sense… even if they had to bend the laws of science fiction a bit to make it work. Essentially, the characters existing in the real world is something not intended and ends up breaking the basic laws of physics. The Earth will always be trying to find a way to balance out the irregularities. Gunpuku figures that if she summons enough characters to the real world and causes a major imbalance, than the Earth won’t be able to find a safe way to balance itself and will, ultimately, destroy itself. This would then cause a ripple effect and the fictional worlds that were created will, too, suffer the same fate.
Why Gunpuku wants to do this is a major spoiler so I will leave that up to the reader to figure out for themselves. The ending; however, to be as vague as possible, was a severe letdown. I understand the reason why they went that route because Gunpuku was just way too powerful and, honestly, couldn’t be beaten, but it seemed like a giant plot device more than anything. I wish that Rei Hiroe (creator of Black Lagoon) went a different route with this story, but it is what it is.
He is the main protagonist of Re:Creators, but you wouldn’t really know that watching this from beginning to end. There are points where he disappears and just becomes a non-factor for most of the series despite the fact that one of the biggest plot points in the entire show revolves around him. He wanted to be a creator, but due to a certain incident, couldn’t find the heart to put any effort into becoming one. He was going to act like a guide for Selesia and Meteora; however, once they move out of his room and into a place of their own, Souta’s involvement becomes minimal. Most of the series’ focus was placed on the actual characters themselves with Meteora taking the bulk of the spotlight. Even Selesia gets put on the back burner for a bit!
Souta himself; however, is a typical shonen main character. He’s very timid and always listens to the voice inside of his head. Of course, he has a troubled past that ties into the main story, but aside from the moment where he decides to redeem himself, Souta is about as generic and bland as main characters go. The sad part is… if it wasn’t for the major plot point, Souta just up and disappearing wouldn’t have had much of an impact on this show. Even with the solution to defeating Gunpuku, any of the other creators could have been written to come up with that idea instead of Souta and the story would have achieved the same result. That’s pretty bad if you can do that with a main character.
She is the fictional character from the Eternal Symphony of Vogelchevalier light novel/anime. She is pulled into the world by Gunpuku and outside of having a normal reaction to being trapped in a different world, there really wasn’t anything special about her either. A lot of the other characters had very distinct personalities, but Selesia had zero to none. In fact, when it was her time to take a back burner in favor of putting the spotlights on the remaining characters, I didn’t even miss her one bit. Her and Souta are supposed to be the main characters of this series and I ended up caring more about the supporting characters than her and Souta. Some of the events in the end would have felt more impactful had they put more thought and development into her. In fact, what did happen in the final few episodes felt like a desperate attempt to get us to care about her because they knew that the previous eighteen or so episodes did nothing to get us to care.
Meteora’s character, on the other hand, was absolutely adorable. She speaks in a very soft tone with little to no emotion, which would make you think that she is one of those cold, uncaring types. You would actually be wrong if you thought that as she often just sits there and cracks the driest jokes you’ve ever heard. Some are so dumb you can’t help but laugh at them. Being comic relief is only a small part of her character. Since she can use magic, she becomes an instrumental part in the plan to defeat Altair. She also serves as the brains of the operation as well as the voice of reason among the characters. She has a very mature and immature vibe about her that co-exist in a state of harmory. She’s just a character you have to experience to understand what I’m trying to get at. I think she was the most lovable character out of the entire cast and wins best girl by a mile!
Gunpuku no Himegimi
I could write a few paragraphs here on this character, but it would be major spoilers for the show. Let’s just say that she is enacting revenge over a certain incident that ties into Souta. The incident caused her to want to erase everything from the world. She doesn’t want stories to exist anymore and that’s why she’s trying to cause the Earth to destroy itself and begin the ripple which would then destroy all fictional worlds. She has a power called the Holopsicon which makes her damn near invincible. Learning about her true identity pulls back the shroud covering the reason why she’s so powerful and when it does it all makes sense. Her motives are seemingly justified, but for some reason, you just can’t really feel for her as a character. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen this kind of story so many times before or it just wasn’t impactful enough. I mean, I get why she’s doing anything, but I didn’t really find myself sympathizing with her after learning the reason. She still served herself up as a pretty decent villain and she will definitely go down as one of the strongest villains in recent time.
He is the main character from the manga/anime Code Babylon. After believing Gunpuku’s story, he decides to align himself with her. Blitz’s story from his manga was the reasoning behind siding with her. Blitz had a similar tragic event happen to him which is why he is able to relate himself to Gunpuku’s cause; however, the difference being is that Blitz’s tragedy took place within his story and since the characters believe their worlds to be real, it allows him to sympathize a bit more easily. Gunpuku’s tragedy happened in the real world and she is the only one out of the characters to fully realize that her world is nothing more than fiction. Blitz’s ability is that he can fire gravity bullets from his gun. Other than that, he doesn’t really have much in the way of special powers, but they’re strong enough to let him stand toe to toe with the other creations.
I actually enjoyed Blitz as a character. He does have a bit of a redemption story built into the series and, unlike Gunpuku, you do kind of feel bad for him. Even though his situation is rectified with the help of his creator, he still doesn’t fully accept what his creator has done. He can’t really truly forgive the fact that his creator caused him so much pain in the story, even though she went out of her way to make it right for him. While that does seem like he’s playing it a bit cautious, you have to remember that even though the creations accept the fact that their worlds are fiction, deep down they still believe them to be real. Blitz is a shining example of that and it’s that duality that makes him a bit more relatable.
He is the main character of the mecha anime Infinite Devine Machine Mono Magia. He arrives in the real world right in his creator’s back yard… inside of his giant mech… which draws the attention of the Ministry of Affairs and Japan’s Self Defense Force! His creator can’t believe his character is right there in front of him, but once he meets up with Selesia and Meteora, he realizes that Kanoya is truly his creation. Kanoya joins Selesia and Meteora in trying to stop Gunpuku’s plan. Kanoya himself acts like an innocent little boy, but he has a mean streak about him and can often throw a tantrum as a result; however, as the series does on, he mellows out because he begins to realize just how much more peaceful the real world is compared to his own. He doesn’t have to be a child soldier in the real world and sit back and enjoy life. Kanoya was a pretty balanced character. He didn’t really do much in the series, but when his parts were there, you paid attention. I mean, if you had a mech the size of a skyscraper, you’d pay attention, too!
Yuuya is the main antagonist of the Heisaku Underground: Dark Night manga. The twist here is that being an antagonist in his home world, you’d think he’d side with Gunpuku, but he actually stands against her. Yuuya is pretty carefree and only wants to experience a thrill here and there. He’s more absorbed in the real world’s culture (mainly the food) to actually care about any conflict going on. He actually decides to be a loner at first, but he eventually comes around and stands against Gunpuku based on his earlier interactions with Selesia and Meteora. He ended up being a pretty likable character and he was one of my favorites just based on his attitude and actions. His power is to wield a sword which can create a tremendous force when its swung. He can also summon a spirit named Hangaku to fight by his side.
Although I loved Meteora and Yuuya, Magane took it for me as favorite character. Magane is the main antagonist from the Record of the Night Window Demon anime/manga series. Like Yuuya, she prefers to be on her own, but unlike Yuuya, she never picks a side in the conflict. She simply just wants to have fun and it doesn’t matter to her if the things she does are right or wrong… as long as it entertains her, she’ll do it. The way Magane was built up throughout the series, she looked to be a secondary main villain. Having a wild card like that would have been an amazing plot point; however, this series just couldn’t pull the trigger on that. Instead, she was pretty watered down by the end of the series and that really disappointed me. Even though her actions were explained, I still had a hard time buying it. What made her so unique was her ability. Magane could tell someone a lie and if the person disputes it and doesn’t accept her lie as truth then she can turn the lie inside out and make it reality. It is an insanely powerful ability that was never really explored to its fullest potential. In the end, her power became nothing more than a plot device and that was highly disappointing. Despite the way she ended up, she was, without a shadow of a doubt, the most interesting character in the whole series. I just wish they didn’t drop the ball with her.
The main character from the anime Alicerteria of the Scarlet. She rides a winged Pegasus and carries with her a giant lance. She is like a knight mixed with a paladin and strongly believes in justice. This means she’s going to stand against Gunpuku, right? Nope! She actually sides with Gunpuku because she believes her when she says that she can help Alicteria save her people, which is the only goal she has in mind. If you’ve seen the high and might justice type before, then you’ve seen Alicteria. You can also predict exactly what would happen as the series when along. She was as paint-by-the-numbers as a character can get and I didn’t really find her all that interesting because of it.
She is the main protagonist of the children’s anime Magical Slayer Mamika and, as the title of her show would suggest, she’s a magical girl. Mamika was a very annoying character at first that turned into one of the series most beloved. She went at it with Selesia with reckless abandon until she realized that her powers can actually destroy buildings and injure people in the real world. Ever since that point, she began to question a lot of things and underwent a transformation. She begins to try and resolve conflicts via talking rather than fighting, but at some point, her back gets put against the wall. She also led to one of the saddest, yet most badass moments in the series!
He is the main protagonist of Heisaku Undergrond: Dark Night. He is summoned by Gunpuku in the second half of the series and sides with her when she promises him that he will get a chance to settle the score with Yuuya. Outside of that, there’s not really much to him.
She is the lead character from the erotic dating sim game Hoshizora Milky Way. Compared to the other creations, she’s extremely weak since she’s has no powers at all. She’s from a dating sim, afterall. She’s a bit loud and is easily embarrassed when anyone talks about her story. Even though she seems like the most useless character of them all, she actually holds her own during the final battle with Gunpuku. She definitely turned some heads there and that made her a pretty unique character overall.
This character list is getting pretty long as it is, but the bulk of the creators often get ignored, but they each have their own feelings and emotions. Selesia’s creator Takashi Matsubara and Kanoya’s creator Masaaki Nakanogane get the most attention and development. They are the ones who work closely with the Ministry of Affairs to help stop Gunpuku, but they don’t do it alone.
Yatouji (Yuuya and Shou’s creator), Shunma (Blitz’s creator), Nishio (Hikayu’s creator) and Gai (Alicteria’s creator) all get introduced and join the efforts in stopping Gunpuku. Their final plant involves all of them working together and things don’t exactly go smoothly. One thing I did like was the conflict of interests between all of them. Every one of their stories are from different genres and seeing them clash over what they believe is interesting or not was actually fun to watch. They had to overcome their differences in order to try and save the world, but it was hard for them to do so because each one of them were so used to writing in a certain style or genre. That gave these characters unique personalities. Even some, like Gai, felt deep emotions and connections to their characters and that in and of itself became a barrier for them. While a lot of the creators didn’t seem all too pivotal, you still got a feel for each and every one of them and you felt connections them all as well.
Art, Animation, and Sound
TROYCA was the studio behind this anime and they did an AMAZING job with the artwork! There was a lot of CGI in the anime, but it blended in so perfectly that nothing felt out of place. All of the special effects were glorious and it really drew you into the battles. The character designs were outstanding as every character looked like a main character even though a lot of them were in supporting roles. Designing a ton of characters from different genres and mediums and having them all mesh together in a harmonious way is a VERY tough feat to pull off, but Re:Creators did it perfectly! Even though a magical girl sitting next to a lance-wielding hero of justice would sound so out of place, it really wasn’t.
The animation was also very top notch. There were no real big hiccups throughout the series and all of the detains were maintained throughout. The battles took center stage as the CGI helped out a lot, but the action was fast, furious and fluid! Some of the battles looked to have a movie-level budget behind them and that made for some thrilling action! Gunpuku’s swords were probably the biggest pain the ass to animate, but they pulled it off with great precision! The battles alone are enough to watch this show!
So what would be a show with great art and animation if it didn’t have an amazing soundtrack to back it up? Hiroyuki Sawano (Attack on Titan, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, Aldhoah.Zero, Guilty Crown, Ao no Exorcist… the list goes on) lends his talents to this series and the soundtrack is nothing short of amazing. Tielle and Gemie lent their vocals to the show’s two opening themes “gavityWall” and “sh0ut” respectively, as well as some of the insert tracks, such as “Layers.” When there isn’t a riveting insert song carrying through a beautifully animated battle, the standalone background music enhances a lot of the emotions you feel from episode to episode. This is a definitely must-have soundtrack, but it’s Hiroyuki Sawano.. what else would you expect?
This is a show that I loved from the beginning up until right before the end. As Tristan Gallant always points out, the ending is paramount and I think Re:Creators fell very flat with its ending. Like I stated before, I understand why they went in that direction. Gunpuku was just WAY too powerful to be brought down by normal means, but still, it really made me feel empty… like nothing was truly resolved.
Also, as a bit of a spoiler, the final episode is more or less an epilogue. In that epilogue, there was zero mention of Magane anywhere. I’m sure it’s supposed to leave it up to our imaginations as to what happened to her, but the whole thing felt so inconclusive. Even with 22 episodes to flesh things out, the ending still felt a bit rushed. I wonder why this should didn’t get a full 24 or 25 episodes as I think just a couple of more would have fleshed things out just a little bit more.
Still, even though the ending disappointed me, the rest of the series truly made of for it. This was one of those shows that had me begging for next Saturday to come as soon as the episode ended. Re:Creators does a hell of a job drawing you in and it does tell a pretty good story. If you want to see something that is like a reverse Fate/stay night, then I would highly recommend picking this show up and watching it!
Until next time,
Up until the ending, Re:Creators was going to get 4.5 stars from me. While the series had a great premise, interesting characters and amazing art, action and animation, the empty ending really hurt the overall quality of the show. Despite this, it’s still a show that should be watched! There is too much good outweighing the bad here.