The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Thus said, according to popular quote belief, Edmund Burke (even though the Quote Investigator did a wonderful job exploring the origins of the phrase) and I feel that its importance can be traced in Episode 11 of Re:CREATORS. Of course, the definition of good and evil is broad, and by no means is the cruelty of the fandom enough to put the villain tag to all fans, and Sota’s regret is not enough to categorize him as a hero. We are all both heroes and villains, and what we can do to save people like Setsuna from a similar fate (and there are many people out there who are like Setsuna) is to feed the right wolf and do something when others do nothing.
Japanese Title: 軒下のモンスター
I really thought that Sota had something to do with the creation of Altair, but I guess we will have to wait until next week when the flashback continue to learn the whole truth. What we know is that Sota and Setsuna became good friends after they started talking through an online drawing site. They both had few real-life friends who shared the same interests and that made things a bit easier when it came to establishing their friendship. The scene where she takes Sota’s glasses seems eerily different from the one we have seen in previous episodes, and I am curious to see if we are talking about different scenes. And, as we’ve already known through his talk with Meteora, things started going wrong when his envy was too much to handle. Sota blames himself for killing Setsuna not because he didn’t have the guts to defend her, but because he joined the cruelty directed to her, albeit indirectly. He experienced a perverse satisfaction from the way Setsuna was treated that originated from a weird sense of unreasonable justice.
Confessions aside, two scenes rose above the rest: Rui and his mentor moment in Gigas Machina and the father-daughter moment between Selesia and Matsuraba.
Rui, amidst the sweets and the soda drinks, delivers some of the wisest lines in the series so far. So wise in fact that Sota is impressed:
I didn’t know your character had such cool lines.
It seems that every character will be given enough screen time to shine and reveal some of their inner thoughts, and this exchange above the clouds was accompanied by one of the magnificent piano pieces of the soundtrack. His prep talk to Sota had to do with the nature of creation, and how refreshing it is when a series stays true to its main themes and doesn’t deviate from its purpose. He recognizes that creations do not have free will inside their stories. The responsibility of choice comes with the one who creates the story. It’s people like Matsuraba and Sota who make all the choices and have the free will to create characters, worlds, fates. And that free will can be applied to real life as well. We are responsible for our choices. We are responsible for our words. Every time we act kind or cruel is our choice. I’m going to rant about his a bit more in the rest of the sections, but the episode, and the series in general, seems to be both a story of hope and despair (Danganronpa?) Creators should be brave and keep creating if only for those who they hope to influence with their stories. Criticism, envy, jealousy, cruelty. All these are in the game, but life is a never-ending battle between these two sides that exist in all of us.
Create the things you can only create
Matsuraba, on the other hand, undergoes a positive transformation through his encounter with Selesia. There is no doubt that he feels more like a parent than a mere creator, and he starts thinking about the quality of the world his child is living in. Like a father, his creation’s concerns are his own.
Fooled: MAGANEEEEE! We were all played by the evil psychopathic bitch in the last scene of Episode 10. Clever move by the production, who used a character who is known for lying to announce the end of Part 1. There is no end and there is probably not going to be a break because we already know the dates until Episode 16 (29 July).
Mecha Ride: I want a ride on a robot. Soar through the skies in my big chunk of metal, putting the auto-pilot when I want to eat an ice-cream or two, listen to my favorite piano pieces as I kick my rival’s mechanical butt. I wonder if Gigas Machina has a sword. He has to have a sword. All giant robots have swords.
Themes & Trivia
Deadlines: I’m sure that many of you questioned the importance the creators gave to their deadlines when the world is about to be destroyed. Understandable, but we should also take into account that we are not in a fantasy world. The writers are striving to give the setting of Re:CREATORS a realism we rarely see in anime series. Their question from the beginning was ‘What if our creations jumped to our world?’ That needs a realistic set where people are living normal lives and have normal things to attend to. Like freelancers and their deadlines. Tomorrow, the situation will probably be resolved but their real-life responsibilities will be there waiting for them. What would you have done?
Fandoms: The ‘fans’ are among the most dangerous people on planet earth. They might not carry real guns or drop real bombs, but their criticism and scorn sure feels like an atomic explosion. Recently, Sui Ishida dared to destroy the preferred gay fan shipin Tokyo Ghoul by having the protagonist have sex with the female co-protagonist. The fans lost it so much that they demanded of the creator to commit suicide. Does this remind you of anything in the series? The even posted videos online burning their copies of the manga. Even Fairy Tail creator Hiro Mashima once pleaded with his fans to stop attacking each other based on shipping. In his own official twitter page, the legendary mangaka tweeted:
‘I see requests to make certain characters couples like daily on social networks. Even authors who do not use social media have opportunities to read fan mail. But authors cannot fulfill every wish their fans have. We have our own conviction when creating our stories. It thrills us when our fans go crazy about potential couplings. But we authors do not want to see our fans getting at each other’s throats over these matters.’
Re:CREATORS is taking a critical look to the vitriolic language many fans are using online, as if they are entitled to the creation itself. One of the reasons they feel entitled is because anime is an entertainment industry and relies on the money of the consumer. There is a misconception among the fans that that kind of power can affect the creation itself. The sad thing is that the pressure of the money-spenders is many times affecting the chain of creation. Of course, the only power that money really gives us is the power of selection. If you don’t like something, you can choose to spend your hard-earned dough somewhere else. Unfortunately, most people love drama enough to go on shipping wards and post defamatory and cruel comments on things they don’t like. As if our society needs any more hatred.
Ok, now I am sad. Setsuna (Yuna) was such a sweet girl. Reserved, talented, friendly, full of life and dreams. There are so many Yunas out there that it pains me to contemplate on the people being bullied every day from fandoms who manage to project their own self-hatred on the things they supposedly love. Re:CREATORS is a tribute to creation and love, and I am glad it will go on for another cour.
This is an adventure…!
How is the recent confession going to affect the story? We’ve seen that Sota was more or less a fan of the characters that appeared in the world, but does that have anything to do with the story? Is he going to forgive himself for being such an ass, and will he find the strength to become the hero in a world that needs to be saved?