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What do you get when you put together an intriguing premise, extremely long scenes of exposition, plot threads introduced only to be dropped only a few minutes later, a genuine Mary Sue as a villain and gorgeous animation? You get Re:Creators.
I started this show after seeing some of those awesome fight scenes without context on the tube and boy I was invested. At first, things seemed great but then I noticed that a lot of episodes were passing by with very little happening except someone (usually Meteora) talking for a while. I stayed interested throughout, so I can't say the show is boring. It just never lives up to it's hype. It doesn't help that the concept of a massive crossover anime doesn't really work when the cast is all Expies of much more popular shows. I can't shake the feeling RC would've worked much better if at least some of these stories really existed to provide context and emotional weight.
The characters vary wildly in terms of interest factor. I was a big fan of the creations who sided with Altair, such as Aliceteria and Mamika. It helped that they had actual motivations aside from the old "Get home without destroying the world" the good guys were going for. I also liked Magane, if anyone deserves an actual spinoff from this show it's her. I'd like to see what kind of grimdark mystery novel came up with that demonic witch.
Creators are almost all awful. A lot of them felt like they were stand-ins for actual people and this whole show was just a vehicle for them to brag about their work. Among them though, Sota is easily the worst. A mix of The Generic Guy and Designated Hero considering he had a direct involvement in Setsuna's suicide. He doesn't feel like an actual character most of the time, he's just there to have some ship teasing that really doesn't go anywhere.
As I said before, a lot of things come up and never go anywhere. Like that powerup Selesia got after her big fight with Alice. You'd think they'd try and work that into the final arc, but you'd be wrong. Hell the episode before that was mostly Magane talking about her master plan that is immediately foiled because Sota doesn't cooperate.
You can tell the writers had some serious trouble coming up with a plot that can't be solved by the in-universe writers just giving their characters new powers, so they came up with the "acceptance" factor. Which doesn't make any sense because plenty of unpopular decisions in any medium of fiction stay despite being unpopular. Also, is it not weird that it was never explained how these manga, LN and video game characters came to life one day? Apparently it's one of Altair's powers but that just raises further questions. Like how did she realize that she can move freely between universes and no other character did?
I can go on, but to make a long story short it's sad how good RC could've been. I often wish things could've been different.
I only started this series because Hiroyuki Sawano, but I continued for everything else and stayel until the end. Re:Creators won't probably be recorded in history with golden letters, but if something deserves it among the smoking pile of awful quality light novels and animexplotation series of the last years, it's this. Re:Creators is a rare series with a genuinely interesting iteration of a classic plot, a cast of surprisingly well used characters (not perfectly used, but still), a smart genre introspection and a cunning way to extricate its development into its metafictional theme; in summary, exactly what 90% of anime lacks nowadays. Add that to a signifcantly good animation and a soundtrack with some serious jewels and you will have what I believe it is one of the best pieces of anime produced in recent times.
At this point, after reading so many bad reviews (which I strongly believe they are actually not so many as we are being led to believe, but meh) I cannot help but feel like Roger Ebert in Dark City and wonder both what kind of critics have we bred and what exactly they want when they watch an anime series. I suspect many of them only wanted to see fight fight, punch punch, cool battles, baddies driven to the ground and omae wa mou shindeiru, and they got bored with all the existential chatter and media symbolism; or alternately, that they wanted to see played straight all the cliches and tropes Re:Creators tries to play around with; but I don't actually care this time. Strongly recommended.
The premise of the show was very interesting but combo of slow pacing and too much talking more so in the earlier parts of the show for 3/4 of the episode killed it. We didn't see the distortions at all that were threat to planet unless it was coming at once and there were plot points that were dropped. In the last half of the shoe we had few new characters that were poorly developed thus had little impact on show.
Another main issue was Altair the main villain, She was too OP and any flaw she had was eventually worked around. It became ridiculous during the last part to see canon characters long established struggle to gain acceptance that she a OC had and how her fandom was so accepting of her stomping the cast and pulling out broken powers one after the other. In the end they were forced to give her a happy ending and let her get away with planetary destruction attempt with no downsides. Magane another villain got away with everything she did.
Which made the entire fights pointless the show might have been better if they made the audience lose acceptance of Altair thus allowing her to be beaten.
In all I give it 6-7/10
This show had an amazing premise: several archetypes from Japanese popular culture suddenly appear in the real world and have to manage the shock of going face-to-face with both their real-life creators and the villain that summoned them, who threatens to destroy the world. How do you manage to screw that up?
Well, first you have to make everyone as dull and unappealing as possible (both fictional and real people): they barely interact with each other and when they do it's in the form of over-long dry, boring exposition. Forget the amazing stuff glimpsed from the (fictional) anime and games they come from! 22 episodes is more than enough time to develop characters but most of them either don't change (despite the promise of them adapting to reality), barely do anything, or act in unrealistic ways just for the conveniency of the plot.
Then you create a Boring Invincible Villain, who proceeds to make even the most amazing fight between Creations pointless with her powers. She, with her blank slate personality, irritating smugness and homicidal temper tantrums, almost seems to spoof edgy Villain Sue characters, but is treated completely seriously... and here's another of the show's problems: everything from traced drawings, retweets and deadlines is taken extremely seriously. Which does make sense story-wise, but, since it's hard to get attached to anyone and to their predicaments, comes off as narm-y and melodramatic, almost to the point of parody.
Similarly the very "meta" plot to get rid of her (trap her in a story and have the audience decide her fate) is cool on paper, but drowns in a sea of exposition, technobabble, asspulls and has to rely on another character's bullshit Reality Warper powers in order to work. And then doesn't work anyway. Cue the predictable resolution, which was in fact foreshadowed from the beginning, but this doesn't make it any less anti-climactic. It makes all the characters look like useless puppets in the hands of the writers, which ironically negates the very concept of the characters coming to "the real world" to evolve past the limitations of their universes.
Re:Creators wants to be an entertaining fake crossover, a character study and a meta reflection on the state of Japanese entertainment industry. However it's so boring, bloated, self-important and unfocused that fails on all accounts. Its only redeeming features are the humorous Recap Episode and the great soundtrack, which however is sadly under-used in the series itself.
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