Re:CREATORS

Title:Re:CREATORS
レクリエイターズ
Overall:Unevaluated
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - TROYCA
KOMATSU Mikako
YAMASHITA Daiki
Souta Mizushino doesn't know what to think when he is somehow transported into the alternate reality of a popular anime--and then several characters from that world are somehow transported back to his.

? episodes
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Unevaluated Stretch [series:3340#628]
(Nine episodes watched):

Here's a show which was clearly being serious right from the noise-less opening moment. The good quality artwork also got the message across that this was not going to be a generic, mass-produced anime. The opening monologue was a bit confusing, with lines like "The horrific world of the Gods of pleasure", which didn't register in my head since they didn't make sense. But a bizarre conundrum is soon established: Souta is somehow dragged to a very real place that is clearly based on an anime he likes, with all the appropriate characters. How in the world did that happen? He wasn't playing any sort of videogame at the time. We viewers need an explanation. The thought occurred to me that while there have been lots of anime in which ordinary Japanese teenagers wind up in alternate videogame-like realities, what would be really unique and intriguing would be if the tables were turned and some of the characters from these fantastical worlds wound up in ours. And, lo and behold, that's just what happens. We wind up with the awkward situation of two fearsome warrior girls with fantastic fighting powers lodging with Souta simply because they have no more idea what's going on than he does, and have nowhere else to go. I like it. In many anime characters find themselves in impossible, mind blowing situations--and just shrug them off. Here, the characters are confused, disoriented and anxious, as they should be. At the end of the episode about all we know is that the line between truth and fiction has been blurred, but since this show is taking the matter seriously, surely some sort of explanation must be forthcoming. Thus, Re:CREATORS (does that imply that we will learn about some group of beings who have 'created' this situation?) is the first new series of the Spring 2017 season that I can say with confidence will be worth watching to the end.

I found that I needed to rewatch episode one before watching episode two, and likewise episode two before three. I had forgotten a good deal because a good deal of time had passed, and the plot is complex. But with many shows, if I found that I had forgotten too much, I wouldn't be willing to rewatch, because the show wouldn't seem good enough to be worth going to that trouble. Instead I'd press on, even though I didn't fully understand what was going on, and get whatever enjoyment I could. I'd basically settle for a second class viewing experience, because the cost of a first class one would be more than the overall quality of the show justified. So it says something for Creators that I'm willing to go to this trouble. Anyway, more colorful characters from works of fiction have turned up in flesh and bones, and the characters struggle to make sense of it all. I like the way a couple of nerdy mangakas rank among the significant characters in this story, rather than just tough fighters. I also like the way a serious effort is underway to figure out WTF is going on, rather than just assembling a vague premise then using it for fights of the week. Only powerful, well known characters seem to appear, for some reason; why might that be? It makes you think--if human imagination creates alternate realities, who's to say that our world isn't likewise a creation of the imagination of someone in yet another level of existence? Creators itself doesn't go this far, however.

I didn't exactly follow how Meteora deduced that the weird stuff that had been happening threatened to somehow rip this world apart. Fictional characters becoming real is so bizarre that it would be a miracle to explain just that, much less figure out what longterm consequences the situation will have for reality itself. Surely this was a theory at best. Yet it seems that we are being expected to assume that she is right, accept it as established fact, and run with it. I don't know if that was a good idea; for one thing, her theory was so complicated and was explained in such fancy terminology that I have no idea whether it makes a lick of sense or not. I don't know what danger signals I should be on the lookout for or what the worse case solution end result would be. I guess I have a hard time suspending disbelief when such a calamitous possibility is pitched to me and I'm expected to accept it as an article of faith. And it was more fun just trying to solve the original mystery of how fictional characters were becoming real--that was more than enough to blow one's mind.

Things take a turn when the Japanese government gets involved. Contrary to what one might expect, the government has also noticed this phenomena of fictional characters becoming flesh and blood, is taking it seriously, and has formed a competent and effective task force to handle it. I was pleased by this plot shift; the characters had been at a standstill about what to do next, and the decision was made for them. Sota also begins to realize that he might know where the villain woman in a fancy uniform came from, which is critical to fixing the problem. But for some reason he doesn't want to share this precious bit of information. I hope that in the end some sort of explanation will be offered as to why fictional characters have become real and it will make some sense; for example, maybe Uniform Woman's creator wrote a manga about just such a thing, and it somehow set a cascade in motion.

Episode seven involved a good deal of inconclusive fighting among the Creations, which kind of seemed like a waste to me. I would rather we move forward towards an explanation and solution to the problem, and that seemed to be taking place at a snail's pace. Why is Sota so reluctant to reveal that he knows something that might be critically important? Does he have more loyalty to one old friend than to several new ones? Either he's trying to hide something or this story is simply not going to make complete sense, and that thought is disturbing because it just might be true. The fact that it has never been explained how this Creators business could pose a threat to the existence of our entire world makes it hard to get excited. A number of things don't make sense: why do important people like Sota wander about without bodyguards, even though the government is aware of the problem and has made great efforts to bring it under control? I can't help feeling that this is a show which started off with a cool and novel concept, but hasn't done much with it. I hate that schoolgirl character, not just because she's a pure psychopath but because her 100% evil personality is so two dimensional, and trivializes the rest of the show. What's the point of her trying to trick Sota when we all know how bad she is? It would be better if it was unclear if she was good or evil, and therefore we didn't know exactly what to expect. For a while it looked like he was going to fall for it, which made me roll my eyes.

Last updated Wednesday, June 14 2017. Created Thursday, April 13 2017.

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