Welcome, weebs and authors alike, to The Aniwriter. After my taking a little while to catch up on what all I’ve been missing when it comes to the world of anime and other personal hobbies, I’ve come to a conclusion: I’ve been missing a ton of good stuff, especially when it comes to anime. One of those fantastic anime that I want to talk a little bit about is Re:Creators, a show that on the surface seems like an otaku’s fantasy come to life but in actuality is a lot deeper and more relevant to today’s society than we might think.
However, instead of doing a formal review, I thought I would just take some time to write about aspects of the show I enjoyed and some that I feel the need to criticize and/or comment on. It will be similar to my reaction on the ending of March Comes in Like a Lion, just a bit more organized.
The Power of Stories
For whatever other criticism someone might have about Re:Creators, I think it’s safe to say that one thing everyone will admit is that Re:Creators understands the power of stories both on an individual level and in the context of a broader cultural mythology.
One of the ways that Re:Creators shows this is through its character’s ability to gain new powers. In the latter part of the show, Meteora, as well as the other main characters, comes to the realization that the only way for a character that has appeared in “the land of the gods” to gain new powers is to have it be excepted by large groups of the story’s fans. If the fans don’t except it as reality, then the new powers won’t materialize. The duration of the new powers is also affected by the belief in the new powers. A stronger belief in the new narrative that has been created means the new powers will last longer. In this way, Re:Creators shows that it understands that a story is only as powerful as the number of people who believe it.
This is true for basically anything that involves a narrative. Whether it be a political campaign, a conspiracy theory, and especially religion, the strength of those narratives is predicated on the number of people who accept them as truth, and when people start to accept those narratives as true, it can be hard to convince them otherwise, even if the narrative they believe is patently false.
Depression and Regret
Re:Creators main character Sota represents a character flaw as old as time that has been molded by the new age that we live in. With the power of the internet, it has become a lot easier for people to create. Whether it be writing, making music, doing crafts, or in Sota’s case, drawing, the internet has turned everyone, with the click of a few buttons and enough time, into an artist.
However, by the same token, the increase in the number of people trying to make it as artists has also made it a lot more competitive. In the age of the internet, it is no longer about the art itself per say, but whether or not it is worth someone’s time, because when there is an endless amount of free and cheap content, time becomes the most valuable resource.
This problem is exactly where the main villain Altier’s vengeance comes from, at least indirectly. Because Sota became jealous of Setsuna, he abandoned her and left her alone to face other people’s jealousy and hatred. Eventually, she felt like she had no one, and decided to end it all. Altier became an incarnation of that hatred of the world that Setsuna felt. Sure, Sota may not be directly responsible for Altier, but in a lot of ways, it was his decision that lead to her being born. Sometimes inaction can speak louder than action.
Fantasy Becoming Reality
One other thing I can appreciate about Re:Creators is how much the people who wrote the show understand what it means to create a story and characters, and just how much those narratives mean to the ones who create them. Many of the creations in the show end up forming deep bonds with their creators. Selesia and Matsubara, while not really liking each other in the beginning, come to understand and appreciate each other by the end. Alicetaria faces a similar situation with her creator but eventually comes to understand him. Even Altier did everything that she did in order to carry out what she thought was Setsuna’s wishes.
As someone who has written a couple of short stories that may or may not ever see the light of day, I understand how easy it is to get attached to the world that you are writing. As more and more detail gets put into a story, characters start to feel alive, like they could jump off the page at any minute, and that is a lot of what Re:Creators is all about. When the creations come alive, we see not just their perspective, but the perspective of their creators, the one who wrote them. To have your creations come to life only to see them disappear would at the very least, be emotional as hell.
Well, that’s all I really have to say for now. The show was absolutely incredible, and if you have not seen it yet, you need to.
What did you guys think about Re:Creators? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you want to support the Aniwriter through donations or are just feeling generous, consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi. Otherwise, thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!