Why You Should Be Watching: Re:Creators

Hello, and welcome to my weekly article where I discuss currently airing anime in an effort to get you to watch them. Today’s topic is Re:Creators, an anime about bringing your fantasies to life with characters pulled into our world from video games, manga, and anime in a realistic approach on battling for the fate of reality in the “real world”.

If that sounds interesting to you, take a look below the break for my thoughts on the anime!

Recently, the Isekai genre has grown to a sizable chunk of the anime market thanks in large part to the highly successful Sword Art Online franchise, though the genre existed prior to that with popular titles like .hack. In an effort to differentiate themselves from what’s come before, anime have been attempting to turn the trope of being transported to another world on its head with a variety of successes and failures, but one of the currently airing anime gives its own unique twist on the genre by bringing the fantasy elements of other worlds to our world and expanding on the ramifications of such beings existing in our plane.

Re:Creators offers a well-directed first episode as we’re introduced to the narrator Souta Mizushino and lead character of the show, Celestia Yupitilia as they come together in a bizarre twist of fate that ends with Celestia being pulled into our world. What makes this series interesting right from the get go is the trope being turned on its head, but the initial reactions and way the characters act as they move through the plot of the story belies the unnatural state of events they find themselves in. Realistically, what would you do if you were suddenly transported from your fantasy land and ended up somewhere unfamiliar with a boy you’ve never met?

If you answered holding your sword to the boy’s throat and intimidating him to talk what’s going on, you’d probably be Celestia. On the other hand, if you decided to take a step back and really put some thought into what happened and why you’re suddenly here in what amounts to the land of gods to them, you might be Meteora Österreich, exposition machine and best girl all in one tiny, hungry package. It turns out, all these different people being brought into the “real” world are popular characters from the various media in Japan, from video games to anime and even a mysterious origin for the main villain of the series, who we know only as Military Uniform Princess.

So begins a story filled with intrigue as the characters realize their creators are somewhere in this world, the keys to the salvation of their worlds, or just to confront them f or making the character’s lives so shitty. This anime really does tackle the issue of creating entertainment, and the meta commentary that the world Souta inhabits may well be another layer of creation offers a significant look into the way realities are linked and the consequences of the actions we take when creating the world and characters in our stories.

If you could meet the character you created, you might find yourself tied up and forced to fix it. Or you might be left alone because you wrote your character to just have fun and not care about anything like destiny or fixed fates. You might even work together with your creation to understand their place in this world and figure out why it happened and how you can help them get back to where they came from.

All of these questions and stories are the backdrop to the main clash between the Creations that follow Military Uniform Princesses’ desperate crusade to crack the foundations of reality in the “real world” and the Creations who align themselves with our narrator to limit the affect they have on the elasticity of the “real world’s” ability to handle impossible concepts like unassisted flight, flying horses, mechs, and even a magical girls’ traditionally harmless heart beams destroying buildings and slamming characters into the ground at speeds harmful even to their more hardened constitutions.

In a way, this anime is a combination of Fate/Stay Night and a reversed Isekai story, but with anime characters instead of legends from the past, future, and present. The animation, while not nearly as incredible as the aforementioned Fate series (at least in ufotable’s capable hands), is surprisingly crisp and, especially in the first episode, given opportunity to shine from uncharacteristic viewpoints such as the very smooth shot from behind Souta’s glasses as he walks up the stairs. The battle sequences are impressive and flashy as different battle styles, weapons, and abilities are joined with the limitations of the real world placed onto them.

Destruction caused by these characters fighting has actual consequences on the populace and world, so it’s refreshing that Re:Creators attempts to circumvent the Superman problem of thousands of lives being lost in incredible fights by actively showing the civilians being protected by other characters as the fights wage on between Celestia and the magical girl Mamika Kirameki, for example.

While the music and battle sequence songs may grate on some, I found them to be acceptable to build the hype and follow through with the beats of the battle. The sound design in the show manages to crack and rumble in all the right spots, and the voices of the characters showcase a great range of seiyuu individually and as a group together.

In addition, episode 3 in particular is especially heavy on exposition, and while the anime makes attempts at keeping you interested through a powerpoint of the characters doing cute things inside the house, I can perfectly understand why some people might feel like some moments in the series are a drag.

However, this is a series with a half-and-half take on its division between combat and tactical or cerebral moments, and while there is a lot of exposition early on, this series is a two-cour series, so it’s nice to know that most of that is being explained in the beginning so we can focus on what’s going to happen in the plot as the anime continues. On the other hand, I find the exposition quite interesting because I really enjoy the theoretical nature of the conversations Meteora brings up with Souta and the rest of the cast, since I’ve entertained the thoughts about what the ramifications of the events of the anime would have in our actual real world several times.

In the end, if you don’t watch anything else this season aside from the obvious ones like Attack on Titan or My Hero Academia, make this anime one of your few. Alongside Grimoire of Zero (which I wrote about last week), you won’t be missing out on any great action scenes and interesting storylines if you catch this every week on Amazon’s Anime Strike.

If you have an anime you’d like to recommend to me, or to your fellow commenters, be sure to leave your recommendation in the comments below, and if you found the way my mind works in this article interesting, you might be interested in My YouTube Channel, where I discuss subjects as they relate to anime in a more verbal fashion.

In addition to the comments here, you can interact with me @Croswynd on Twitter, Croswynd.tumblr.com on Tumblr, or even on Rooster Teeth!

And remember: enjoy the way you watch anime, because as long as you’re having fun watching a show, that’s the only thing that matters in the end.

See you in the next one!