“The world requires choice and resolution.”
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Did you know that Magane was supposed to be a villain? The show doesn’t think you get it yet, so she manipulates Aliceteria to hunt down our heroes.
So here’s the running theme of my coverage: Re:CREATORS has the capacity – the potential – to be so much better than it is, it just almost never chooses to do so. I feel like this episode shows that more than any of the others so far. It’s easy to see the spots this week where the show hits the mark and where it shoots wildly, not even caring about how tiresome it gets. Perhaps that’s a bigger issue than we’re ready to tackle in a weekly coverage post that I wing at the last minute, but… we’ll see.
Magane – the psychotic DRRR!!-looking girl with a perpetual shark-toothed sneer – takes center stage this week, doing her villain thing. I predicted a few episodes ago that she’d be the driving villain for the next few episodes, and it seems I’m being proven right as we start to ramp up towards the end of the first cour. I don’t think of DRRR when she’s on screen for nothing, since she follows the same school of thought as that show’s Izaya: act aloof and flippant about everything, and then feed people misinformation and sophistry for no other reason than “the lulz”. Everyone also inexplicably listens to anything they say instead of just ignoring them outright, because otherwise shit might actually get done, and we can’t have that.
It’s worse with Magane because her ill-defined superpowers actually require her to lie repeatedly, and most of the cast should know this by virtue of her being a fictional character in-universe. Nobody should be paying her any heed whatsoever, except the plot demands it, so they do. Why would Alice believe anything Magane says? Why would Sota agree to meet her alone? Why would Mamika – even a desperate and bleeding out Mamika – trust her to deliver a message properly, instead of just telling Alice once she arrived? Because otherwise, Magane’s existence in the plot is superfluous.
They could have used this. Re:CREATORS is like Fate/Stay Night, but with any mystery about the characters’ true names or true abilities removed; how would fights play out if everyone knew everyone else’s strengths and weaknesses? Magane could be a more effective (or at least, more interesting) villain if everyone treated her like one, and she actually had to struggle to achieve her goals, pointlessly malicious as they may be. Except, that’s much harder to write than just letting her do her thing. On a meta level, it’s convenient – I would argue even desirable – for a baddie to succeed in pushing the heroes, but not at the cost of making the heroes look like fools. The only reason I have to root for any of the “good” characters at this point is because they’re fighting to save the world (according to Meteora’s bizarre hypothesis about which they still have no proof whatsoever); none of them seem to have any actual heroic qualities worth rooting for.
Look, I get it. If you can get away with doing less work, taking the easy route, you do it. There are deadlines. The show’s got enough talent behind it that it’s going to sell well anyway. I just wish we were better than this.
- A bit of credit where credit is due: Sota figures out that Magane is lying about Mamika, he just is then reduced to a blubbering mess by her taunting. Also, given Magane’s dumbass superpowers, wouldn’t that realization reverse reality so that Meteora actually did kill Mamika and Altair is actually trying to save the world? Too bad the writers didn’t think about that.
- Meteora literally describes Magane’s power as “reversing cause and effect”, and I couldn’t help but burst out laughing. For those not in the know, that’s one of the many bullshit powers from the Fate franchise, and that phrase in particular is a bit of an in-joke when it comes to poorly explained superpowers.’
- One Servant down, eight to go.