Episode 11

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 11 of

Magane was indeed trolling the audience with that whole “end of Part 1” business at the end of last episode. Since as Yuya puts it, she is a “bag of lies,” that's entirely fitting for the character and a rather amusing move for the production staff. According to information on the official show's site, Re:Creators should run continuously through at least episode 15, at which point the next special episode will air. So it looks like the weekly goodness will continue for a while yet.

That aside, this episode has been too long in coming for some viewers, as Sota finally spills the beans about Setsuna. At least we get the first part of that reveal, since the episode ends before finishing the flashback. Before that point, Sota gets one final pep talk from probably the least likely source: Rui, who takes him for a ride in Gigas Machina. Rui has had very little face time so far, so seeing him finally get a turn to reveal his own feelings is a welcome move, even if it does smack of just continuing Sota's tour of interactions with all the Creations, and it's shy on much foundation for Rui progressing to the resolve he shows at this point. Whereas other Creations have lamented the constraints of operating within their story, Rui actually doesn't mind it now that he's gotten some new perspective. He finds that being in a story keeps things simple for him, as unlike the Creators, he doesn't need to make tough choices; he just needs to carry through with saving the world as needed. It's people like Sota who actually have to make nuanced decisions, who can create a normal life on their own, unlike a fated hero like him.

Put this together with what else has been said over the past few episodes, and it looks an awful lot like the show is trying to sell a message to both younger people and otaku. Unlike characters in a story, you're not locked into one destiny. You're capable of changing your circumstances and mastering them for the better. Rei Hiroe may also be throwing out some encouragement to fledgling creators: don't stop creating, no matter what, and don't let the jealousy-driven criticism of others beat you down.

The latter part of that message has not been fully delivered by the end of episode 11, but after Meteora and Selesia have recovered enough to convene for a meeting, Sota finally breaks down and tells his story about Setsuna. As has been suggested, he was good friends with her; in fact, she was one of his very few in-person friends. We get to see the details of the foreshadowed scene where she puts on Sota's glasses, whose circumstances make me wonder if it doesn't have something to do with the curious scene in the first episode where we briefly see through Sota's glasses. We also get to see where things started to go wrong, with Sota starting to distance himself as Setsuna's talent and recognition for her fan art outstripped his own. As expected, it looks like his belief that he's responsible for killing her has to do with him not stepping up to defend her against plagiarism charges from the community, since he was taking a perverse satisfaction in her taking blame for it even though he knew the complaints weren't justified.

Is that actually all there is to the story? While I can definitely understand why Sota might feel guilty over this, given that Setsuna committed suicide, I have to think that some other factor has yet to be revealed, as Sota's specific insistence that he killed her seems a little too strong for those circumstances. Perhaps some messages were exchanged where Sota refused Setsuna when she felt at her most cornered? Was a particularly ill-advised choice of words involved? We'll find out next episode, but as it stands now, it looks like those accusations of rampant plagiarism did push her in a dark direction at least.

Almost lost in all of that drama is a charming scene between Selesia and Matsuraba. It suggests that this will be a positive encounter in the long term for Matsuraba, who will put more thought into constructing a good world for a character he clearly now regards as a daughter, even if he hasn't said as much. On the downside, the explosion from episode 8 not even being mentioned still remains a gaping plot hole, but at least the series is finally covering for one of its most common points of complaint.

Rating: B+

Re:CREATORS is currently streaming on Amazon's Anime Strike.

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