Altair plays her trump card with Charon Seiga (Daisuke Ono), the male protagonist of the anime Elemental Symphony of Vogelchevalier and love interest of Selesia. Altair bet on Selesia’s love for Charon and his weariness for battle and used him as her last shield. A few casualties later, Episode 19 of Re:CREATORSturned the tables for both heroes and villains.
Japanese Title: やさしさに包まれたなら
Two deaths, two very different reactions. Alicetaria’s attachment to Mamika fueled her need for revenge, but we already knew that the shiny knight was going to be one of the first casualties of the cage. She betrayed Altair after all and that was like signing her death sentence. Alicetaria fought with all her power, but what can you do against an enemy that can turn your own hits against you? Now that I think about it, how are they going to defeat Altair now that the cage was broken?
In an anime full of protagonists, Alicetaria was not the main character, and payed the price with her pixelized life. In my eyes, Altair is also not the protagonist of this story, and eventually that will lead to her own demise, but I can’t help but wonder who the protagonist-hero is. Is it the viewers? Is it the creators? Is it Souta?
Her death was not a surprise, but that doesn’t mean it was not devastating for her creator. His cry was a testament of a creator to his creation. I am expanding more on this below, but many creators feel their characters as their own children, and they are, in a way. It’s overwhelming to see a character you’ve invested so much of your being to, to die by your own pen.
But as much a tragedy Aliceteria’s death was, it can’t be possibly compared to Selesia’s sacrifice. After Hikayu and Kanoya lectured her on following her principles and giving a chance to the people who believed in her, Selesia went through all the pain and suffering of her memories and confronted Charon straight on. Charon had already gone through his rhetoric and decided to take down Selesia in order to save their world, so Selesia had not other choice but to play the role the story had in store for her. I never though Selesia as disposable, and as far as creations went, I thought of her as a protagonist. In the end, there is a role for everyone to play and the curtain won’t close until the fat woman sings.
Hikayu: I never expected Hikayu to be so strong. Despite the title she comes from, I am glad she had the chance to play a more active role in the battle. Her monologue to Selesia was on point and even if Altair disregarded her transformation to a super-powered martial artist, you can’t possibly disregard kicking a giant robot.
Action Scenes: Re:CREATORS proved that the lack of action scenes was intentional. Every fight in this episode was well choreographed and focused on the needs of the scene. From HIkayu’s painted move announcer to the last beam by Gigas Machina, there was purpose and fluidity on every motion, every attack, every dodge.
Themes & Trivia
Dear Viewers: The fourth wall is already broken in Re:CREATORS, and that gives the series an extra meta-layer. When Altair addressed the audience, she talked to both the in0anime viewers and the viewers of the anime. Apart from the creators and the creations, we viewers are no different to the viewers inside the anime. No matter the title, we are glued to our screens with happy or teary faces, engaged in a story to which we lend our approval depending on the level of association we have with it. We are passive spectators, but unlike Matsubata and the rest of the team, if we don’t actively engage in something, we are not part of any story.
Dear viewers, tragedy stirs the soul. I give you what you ask for.
Independent Creations: Creations are independent of their creators. Characters are independent of their creators. They are their children and they love them as such. They grow as words are put one next to the other on paper. The creator is just writing what was to be written anyways. He is a historial of fictional fate. And these visions he sees are of characters that feel like they are their own. And they are in a way. But they are alive as much as any of us is and they choose and they hurt and they make choices. And these choices are independent of the creator.
Unlike previous episodes, this one focuses on the action. From Hikayu’s branded special moves to the amazing aerial robot battles, we got more action than what we saw in the last three episodes combined. This episode was about the drama, about the sacrifices that need to be made in order to achieve change and greatness. This episode was about tragedy and how people react to it. It was about attachment and how we grieve the people we feel the closest to, be them real or not. This episode was one of the best the series had to offer so far and combined all the elements that make it great: fast-pacing action, meaningful dialogues, and underlying themes that do not ruin the experience.
Despite all the underlying themes, Re:CREATORS is also a story about creators and creations fighting together to save both real and fictional worlds. This is war and every war has casualties. Mamika was a tragic loss, and Alicetaria’s death was to be expected, especially as her spear was going through the abdomens of the main antagonist. But it was Selesia’s death that brought tears to my eyes and made me remember all the times I’ve been attached to a character I’ve created. With three more episodes to go, we should expect more creations losing their pixelized existence in the real world.