Re:Creators – 22 (Fin)

With Altair, well, not defeated per say, but ceasing to be a threat to the world last week, Re:Creators can relax and do a leisurely victory lap. The five creators remaining on the battlefield accept their supporting roles in a story that ended up being primarily about Altair and Setsuna. The other creators congratulate Souta for his achievement, even if, especially for Matsubara and Takarada, it hurts that their heroines had to die in order to win.

But Meteora steps in to assure Matsubara that only one possible Selesia’s story ended there; there are countless others that remain alive, and more still as long as he’s committed to keep adding to her world…coffee, for instance.

After a celebratory feast at a down-home restaurant, Meteora also points out to the other creations that they will all have to return to their respective worlds soon, as her magic will eventually cease to work as the world restores its proper order (an order in which her magic doesn’t exist).

After the creations and their creators spend one last day together, saying what they want to say and suggesting what they want to suggest, Meteora opens a return gate.

One by one, the Creations say their final goodbyes and walk through the gate, disappearing from the world in physical form but not in the hearts and minds of their creators and fans. I was kinda wondering where Magane was in all of this, and I really wish we’d been able to see more of her…did she de-coalesce off-camera after using her ability to help Souta?

In any case, Meteora has one more plot twist in store: she’s staying. I mean, even if she wanted to go back, she can’t go through a gate she is keeping open any more than she can pick up and throw herself. But she loves this world, and has always seemed quite comfortable here. So while she loses the rest of her magic as soon as the gate closes, I have no doubt someone as strong and brilliant and charming as she will land on her feet.

A bit of time passes, marked by the emergence of several new advertisements around the city promoting new seasons of the creators’ creations, each with new stories that reflect their experiences during the Chamber Festival: Shou and Yuuya fighting side by side, Blitz with his daughter by his; Hikayu’s new martial-arts master alter-ego; Magical Slayer Mamika meeting Aliceteria.

Everyone continues to create. Whatever problems people had with the story of the Chamber Festival (and it did kinda go all over the place, if we’re honest), creators can’t look up to a standard they worry they’ll never approach; they can only keep moving forward, and keep creating. That’s the surest way to achieving happiness not just for themselves and those who consume their work, but for their creations too.

I’m also heartened to see Souta and Meteora exchanging texts in much the same way Souta used to do with Setsuna, only now he’s a little older, a lot wiser, and more importantly, confident enough in his ability as a creator in his own right, to be anything but proud and supportive of his friend’s efforts.

Meteora has pivoted to creation herself, and has decided to name her first work Re:CREATORS—the very work we just spent 22-plus weeks watching.

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Re:Creators – 21

Thanks to Magane, Souta was able to create a miracle in bringing Shimazaki Setsuna back to reunite with her creation Altair. But early in the reunion, I was filled with a constant uneasiness—and was no doubt meant to be—would the all powerful Altair truly accept this?

If not, how long would it take before the spell was broken, she breaks the train station world, and returns to the real world. What the heck will Team Meteora do then? Everything is on the line here.

Well fortunately, there are no further twists or turns or defeats for Souta and the team; this really is it, and as soon as Setsuna speaks, Altair is well and truly neutralized as a mustache-twirling, world-ending villain. She becomes something far more complicated and interesting; something she only could have become by meeting her creator.

Setsuna doesn’t transparently beg Altair not to destroy the world. Instead, she starts by apologizing for making Altair carry the burden of “curses” she carried with her until death and transferred to Altair. Without judging her, Setsuna earnestly thanks Altair for her efforts, even if they were ultimately misguided.

Setsuna also impresses upon Altair the fact that she is no longer simply her creation; she’s become accepted and loved by everyone as a “king” or “knight of the weak” who took her weaknesses and made them strengths. Altair will always have power, and never be alone, as long as those others exist.

So, realizing her presence is a miracle, but a “twisted” one that shouldn’t be (at least in her world), when the train alarm sounds, she walks to the same spot where she walked before and leaps out over the tracks. Only this time, because she’s not alone, Altair rushes in front of the train and destroys it with her Holopiscon.

When she finds no matter how much she hacks at it, the train will still come in a fraction of a second, Altair redirects the infinite power Setsuna and the world has bestowed on her, into creating Setsuna’s story from now on.

That means creating a world where she and Setsuna can live—them, and no one else, it would seem. Altair is no longer interested in destroying worlds, only creating one world where she and Setsuna can be together, and where her story can continue. They’re basically gods now.

There, in the water, Altair finds a pair of glasses, but they’re not Setsuna’s—they’re Souta’s. Setsuna recognizes them as such, and without saying his name, tells Altair that she was drawn in the first place because of Souta, and others who liked her creations and wanted to see more.

Whether the Setsuna we saw was a combination of who she really was and Souta’s own interpretation of who she was, or one or the other, Souta poured his own heart and soul into creating her, which makes her basically the opposite of Sirius.

All Souta wanted was to “see the same world” as Setsuna. And he did, thanks not just to his own efforts, but to those of the other Creators, their Creations, and the people whose acceptance made them endure.

With one more strum of her Holopiscon, Altair and Setsuna are transported away to their own little infinite world, leaving the normal world safe and bringing a happy (if somewhat bittersweet) ending to Chamber Festival. The hosts sign off, the stadium roars with approval, and the creators and Meteora stand in the control room, basking in the knowledge they saved their world.

While Altair’s transformation was quite sudden, and doesn’t fully absolve the fact that she was fairly one-dimensional up to this point, the means by which she transformed were credible and even, at times, genuinely affecting, for which a lot of the credit goes to seiyus Toyosaki Aki and Ohashi Ayaka.

I also appreciate that the main conflict of the story came to a climax and was resolved with one episode to go, which means there’s time for a closure-giving epilogue.

Re:Creators – 20

One by one, Team Meteora’s bag of tricks are neutralized or absorbed by Altair, who unlike other creations, never had a backstory or any distinct story at all that she is tied to. Instead, she’s an open source character whose abilities and power are as infinite as the internet.

She is, as she says, a product of emotion, not logic, both in her sole motivation (to avenge her creator by destroying the world that rejected her), and the way the vast and ever-expanding network of creators who fuel her existence and acceptance has reached a near-relativistic scale.

This is why she can take away Hikayu’s new martial arts abilities with one strum of her rifle and even turn the tables on Sirius, her essential copy and the last remnants of Shimazaki Setsuna’s original creations, turning their secret weapon into one of her own to restore herself, complete with new outfit.

Throughout their struggles, Meteora and the Creators and Creations on their side have had to abide by certain rules, which means they were never going to be able to defeat an entity that surpasses those rules and can change them or make new ones on the fly.

Enter Chikujouin Magane and Mizushino Souta, with the last weapon against Altair, one that, if it’s ineffective like the previous ones, will result in them resigning themselves to the fact the world really will end.

A lie about a lie (in this case, the impossibility of beating Altair) turns inside out, transporting Altair and the others to the day Setsuna took her life, just as she is approaching the train platform from which she intends to jump.

This development, prepared mostly in the background by Magane and Souta, totally flips the script, as it messes with cause, effect, and reality in ways nothing else in their arsenal had been able to touch.

Will Altair find a way around this as well, her rage further fueled by her foes’ readiness to drag her dead creator ‘out of her grave’? Are hours numbered? Or will she stand down on her own, without having to be destroyed?

Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu – 07

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Shinichi lands from the jump he began last episode and turns to find a parasyte… just not the parasyte he was expecting. As it turns out, Shinichi discovers he’s not alone in this crazy world: Uda Mamoru, a cry-baby but moral fellow, is also in an alliance of sorts with a parasyte.

Uda’s situation is a bit different from Shinichi’s, in that he lives in a rural area and hasn’t run into any other parasytes yet. On top of that, his parasyte (simply called Parasyte — it didn’t want a name) comes off as generally more up-beat than Migi. Maybe even ‘nice?’

parasyte72Oh Yeah! Mikako is in this episode! I guess.

You see, Uda fell into the water during the transformation process and Parasyte had to save his life from the get go. Sure, he probably would have died if he’d tried to just eat Uda’s brain, but that thought process, and Uda’s love of movies over books, has lead to a quirkier, less edgy relationship.

And for goodness sakes! His face is delightful!

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Uda and Shinichi quickly become friends and Uda promises to warn Shinichi over the phone if he encounters another parasyte, which happens about 5 seconds later and then there’s a show down with Shinichi’s Not-Mom on a cliff.

Unfortunately, Migi has just fallen asleep and Uda is stabbed through the heart very quickly. So Shinichi has to go it alone… albeit with a sword-hand Migi left him at the last minute.

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In simple terms, Shinichi wipes the floor with Not-Mom. While he has a moment of pause when she shields herself with her brun-arm, Sinichi’s new speed and reflexes let him see how simplistic not mom really is.

In fact, the hybrid’s appear to be smarter than pure-parasytes in general. Uda survives because Parasyte understood Not-Mom’s attack pattern and moved his heart elsewhere. Uda even lands the killing blow, as a courtesy to Shinichi.

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Soon there after, Shinichi is reunited with his dad, has a nice moment where they sort of indirectly come to understand each other, and Mikako gets totally left behind because… wait why was she introduced as a character in the first place?

I’m not even sure Shinichi remembers her name…

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So it was a good episode but I can’t figure out how it deserves anything higher than an 8? Honestly, between the multi-character voice overs, the DBZ style ‘flurry of fists’ fight animation, and the completely obvious and predictable outcome of all this build up, none of episode 7 was notable.

Sure, Shinichi finally got to be mister bad ass and Udo/Parasyte were a cute duo, but I’m scratching my head over Mikako and Not-Mom. I was waiting for some twist to happen with the first, and bewildered why the later was still hanging around this remote town AFTER she’d already gone to Tokyo.

Maybe we’ll get some answers later on but I don’t get the feeling we’ll see Udo or Mikako again, which just made the last 3 episodes feel like a fetch quest style ‘whatever’ side mission.

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Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu – 06

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Shinichi’s not-mom may have stabbed him through the heart, but obviously our protagonist can’t die a quarter of the way into the show. I mean, he could, like this guy (spoilers!), but I’d rather he stick around, and obviously so does Migi, since he won’t last long without a living host. His revival is a “how, not if” situation. But that doesn’t meant the “how” won’t change both host and parasite.

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I like the juxtaposition of Shinichi on the floor dead with a scene at school in which a concerned Satomi is grilled by another classmate who seems to be into him. This is all the drama Shinichi would have had to bear had he never “met” Migi. High School Drama, with rumors and innuendo and love triangles, not creepy-as-fuck monsters and massive internal injuries.

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Migi’s manner of reviving Shinichi is plausable within the construct of a show in which a character like Migi exists. The stabbing last week could have been construed as a cheap cliffhanger we knew would be resolved relatively simply, or the show intended it to feel like just another day in Shinichi’s Hell. It must also be pointed out that if Shinichi ever shows his chest to a physician ever again, there will be questions. Many, many questions.

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Poor Satomi has the worst timing this week (you could say, timing-wise, she’s…snake-bitten), as she stops by Shinichi’s just as he’s leaving to see his father at the hospital on the island where he and mom were staying. Satomi’s no fool, and sees that Shinichi is troubled by something; for Pete’s sake, he looks like he’s aged ten years! Dying for several minutes can do that.

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Shinichi’s relative cold shoulder isn’t just a factor of him wanting to protect her from the truth; he’s simply so emotionally on edge right now he simply can’t deal with something from his “normal world”, right now, which must’ve felt like it happened hundreds of years ago. His dad is in the hospital, his mom is dead, and he’s through with being Mr. Evolved Sensibility. He wants revenge.

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Did you notice how differently Shinichi’s father acted when his son was there, as opposed to earlier, when he was recounting his crazy story to the cops? He talks of a monster murdering his wife, but both the detectives and doctor believe he’s mixing reality and nightmares after suffering a head injury falling into the sea. A perfectly logical explanation. When Shinichi sees him, not only does Dad not want to cause a fuss in front of his son, but truly believes the explanation the others gave him.

When Shinichi mentions a monster, his dad just assumes he got the idea from an erratic phone call he made. In any case, Shinichi remains utterly alone in his knowledge of the Parasytes. Not that his dad’s continued raving would have accomplished anything. Two voices speaking about things like this carry no more weight than one.

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While staying at the inn owned by the family of a cute schoolgirl who he met on the boat to the island, Shinichi ponders his next move, and Migi finally awakens with important news: In his current physiological state, he now has to sleep four hours every day, and cannot be woken, even in an emergency. That’s bad news for Shinichi, who chose the inn specifically because it was within Migi’s detection range, but he can’t detect anything while asleep.

Still, Shinichi makes it clear that despite what his biology is saying to Migi, he no longer considers him an enemy, but a lifesaver and an ally. Admittedly, Shinichi could just be saying this because he doesn’t have a change against Not-Mom without his slippery friend.

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The innkeeper girl Mikako pretty much falls for Mr. Tall-and-Dark during his visit, and again, Shinichi simply has no time for love, as Migi finally detects a Parasyte. Shinichi rushes after it after only getting half of Mikako’s directions, but it’s all good because Migi further merging with his body has not only bestowed upon him heightened senses, but increased speed and strength. Are Not-Mom’s days numbered…or is Shinichi mistaken about the Parasyte Migi detected even being her?

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