by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 13 of
If there's one thing about anime that fans of all stripes can agree on, it's a disdain for recap episodes, even if they recognize them as occasional necessities for keeping a show on track. Knowing this, some directors put extra effort into handling these exercises in a creative fashion. The cleverness with which Re:CREATORS handles this recap episode allows me to strongly recommend not skipping it. If you do, then you'll miss out on easily the most amusing content in the series to date.
This episode plays out as an interim from the last scene of episode 12, narrated by Meteora, who explains that it was actually planned from the beginning and not just a desperation stopgap to keep on schedule; in her words, its intent is to prevent the director and producer from ending up as “shriveled-up mummies before the second half even starts.” That kind of dry snark pervades Meteora's narration and includes things like referring to Rui as a lolicon, Yuya as Grasshopper Glasses, and Alicetaria as Muscle Brains, as well as politely insisting that Selesia is really more capable than she seems in that fight against Mamika from episode 2, albeit with the distinct implication that she finds the skirmish laughable. She also has some choice words for Altair, describing her from an animator's point of view in a rant that refers to her as a “mutated mop.” She even briefly attempts to sing (badly!) to Altair's fan music video “Etude” – but no worries, the proper version of it is used as the closer.
The crowning achievement of the episode is the way that Meteora reimagines herself when she gets to her own character profile. When profiling all of the other Creations, she fills in some extra details about the characters and settings of their source, often commenting that they're taken from a website or manga summary, and sometimes these descriptions provide new details for the audience. However, she imagines herself as a taller, sexier, more scantily-clad version of herself who's also vastly more powerful, enough to single-handedly overwhelm Altair. It's a blatant exercise in wish fulfillment that she initially rolls back so the actual story can be told, but it still pops up again later in the episode, implying that Sexy Meteora is her own self-image. She also adds some commentary from her own perspective into certain scenes featuring her – which include some new animation at one point. Her direct address to the audience as she's walking through a frozen version of the final scene from episode 12 is also new animation.
All of this is even funnier in execution that it may sound; in fact, this is one of the funniest episodes I've seen in the past few months. By planning the recap in advance, the Re:CREATORS staff has produced a near-masterpiece of creative execution, which takes a lot of the sting out of the story not advancing this week.
Re:CREATORS is currently streaming on Amazon's Anime Strike.
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