「残響が消えるその前に Somebody receives the power of creation, and the spirit is redeveloped from their passion.」 (Zankyou ga Kieru Sono Zen ni)
“Before the Reverberation Disappears Somebody receives the power of creation, and the spirit is redeveloped from their passion.”

Well I think most of us saw that coming. The Setsuna coming back to handle Altair hypothesis has been guessed repeatedly for a while now, although I was always hoping for something a little more unpredictable. Taking the easy way out after all that prolonged buildup, really? Hard to fault Re:Creators too much with the choice though, it certainly will surprise those not expecting it and gives Souta the atonement he was always looking for. At this stage of the game it’s all fireworks anyway.

Part of the “don’t care just enjoy it” attitude stems from Re:Creators largely defenestrating all remaining plot logic. Audience acceptance for example has always been a weird concept full of contradiction and ambiguity, but this episode showed the true extent of it. In practice there’s not much sense behind Re:Creators’ acceptance, it functions more like money than some ingenious idea. The audience invests acceptance in their favourite character, and the character with the most acceptance at the end wins. Altair prevailing because she controls the story through some grand master plan? Nawh, military princess simply got more of the audience’s spare change and could spend it all uber OP moves. Hilariously such thinking also can also be applied to Sirius’s failure—she got a bit of audience coin for that smexy appearance and Altair-esque strength, but not enough to buy a personality. Altair’s investors though recognized the possibility for future market growth and bought Sirius as a shell company, using Sirius to retain their intellectual property (i.e. Altair) when the original finally kicked the bucket—as always happens eventually. Names (appearances) may have changed, but everything else stays the same. Who knew, money can explain everything.

Of course we still do not know exactly how Re:Creators will end, but with Setsuna reappearing it’s easy to guess. Altair’s entire raison d’etre is to pay the world back for Setsuna’s treatment, but what if Setsuna does not actually want that? It doesn’t matter now if the resurrected Setsuna is only a creation (which she technically is), only how well she represents the original Setsuna. I’ve always believed Altair was just a release for Setsuna, a means to get out the pain and frustration of seeing her passions torn down by the selfish and jealous. Altair was never meant to act on Setsuna’s suffering, only to collect it, and because Altair knows no other emotions, she cannot tell the difference. The inevitable talk next week between creator and created will explain a lot regarding the thoughts of both, and may also in part offer a reason for how Altair materialized in the first place. Setsuna might only be a “dream” within the birdcage, but for better or worse she is the single thing Altair needs to assuage her wounded heart. Unless military pigtails loses her sh*t and tries to off Setsuna for being a fake, that’s always a possibility as well. Just look what happened to Yuuya’s future love life.

With two episodes left and Souta’s finest work now in play, I dare say we have reached the end. Still plenty of room for a twist or two, but with Re:Creators looking at the finish line, the only real question left is what sort of happy ending we’ll wind up with. Pulling a Magane and living like a creator? Returning everyone to their original worlds? Resurrecting Celestia just to send her back again? Hurry up Saturday, the suspense is killing me.

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  1. They threw everything against an enemy who was deeply tied to her mission. However, what Sota showed us is what happens if the mission turned against her.

    Altair was given an opportunity whether or not it was all an illusion; the chance to save her mother. Would she take it? We’ll soon find out.

    G Koh
  2. I think the (in-anime) audience supports Altair not as the hero, but as the cool, charismatic villain of the story. This Reddit post sums it up as follows:

    “…You don’t get to destroy the last boss with a cheap trick, you have to work, sacrifice and at the last moment the hero overcomes all odds to win.
    The audience accepts…Altair (as the) impossibly strong villain (of the Festival’s story) and they want to see how it all plays out. The deaths, the failed plans, they all play in to that story and at the end someone (or everyone) has to harness that to gain acceptance for their last-second happy ending.
    The audience won’t choose as a hero someone who is unassailable, that makes for a dull story. “

    Another post goes:

    “…as frustrating as it is to see our favorite Creations fall before her, is is precisely because (the viewers) accepted her as this godlike villain that (the good guys) need the resolving force or party to be something just as grand, and not just any cheap plot device or power.”

    1. In addition, there may also be viewers who like rooting for villians like Altair, especially if the character puts on an amazing performance of their actions and beliefs.
      It’s like how in some movies the villain becomes more interesting than the heroes because of how excellent the actor’s delivery and performance is. One example is the Snow White and the Huntsman movie – a good number of reviews and viewers loved the Evil Queen character because of Charlize Theron’s take on her.

    2. Those are very good quotes. Actually, even if Pancakes is right about the ambiguous workings of “acceptance” in the show, this episode was actually very clear about them. Seriously, did they really think Sirious could beat Altair in what is basically a neta popularity contest?

      Let’s review: “beloved copyleft character who is giving a show, breaking the fourth wall and showcasing the cool moves her enthusiastic fans invented for her” versus “cheap and souless copycat created without an ounce of passion or originality by greedy corporations and sellout writers in a blatant Deus Ex Machina intended to steal the aforementioned character for themselves”.

      If I didn’t know the world was going to end for real, I would definitely side with Altair in that situation and root for a “the villain wins!” ending by that point.

      1. Seriously, did they really think Sirious could beat Altair in what is basically a neta popularity contest?

        Let’s review: “beloved copyleft character who is giving a show, breaking the fourth wall and showcasing the cool moves her enthusiastic fans invented for her” versus “cheap and souless copycat created without an ounce of passion or originality by greedy corporations and sellout writers in a blatant Deus Ex Machina intended to steal the aforementioned character for themselves”.

        Creating the soul-less copycat is really a desperate backup move. Even Matsubara had his doubt and was not proud of the Sirius-plan. It’s basically a risky attack that they have to make after throwing everything at Altair ended up failing. In many ways, Sirius is a weaker character but she got boosted by the prequel story where she’s supposed to be able to rival Altair’s powers. All the creators could do in this episode were hoping that audiences’ acceptance could suspend Sirius and her anti-Altair powers to defeat Altair. Sirius was indeed their best chance at that moment, especially after watching the various powerful spells that Meteora-Selesia thrown at Altair not working at all.

        Funnily enough, Yatoji’s expression where he went to Matsubara and shouted that “it’s supposed to be a perfect plan!” kinda shown how Yatoji is being less insightful compared to Matsubara (& Meteora?) who were able to tell what’s wrong about the Sirius-plan. It goes back to my comment in previous episodes pages where I said that Yatoji (and his manga) is probably not as good as he claimed to be when it comes to airtight narrative, plot or characters (or maybe the quality is degrading at the moment).

      2. I also think it has a lot to do with their writing biases. In previous episodes, both Matsubara and Suruga scoffed at the idea that a one-dimensional and simplistic meme with no backstory or logical narrative could get the upper hand over their “elaborate” and “deep” creations. Altair could only win in their eyes because she was “too OP” and “cheating”.

        Used to their established media with clear authors, owners, copyrights and settings, they underestimated the “fragmented piece of poetry” that is Altair, the shared efforts of the community, the validity of that emotion and passion they put in her character. They tried to be clever and justify the introduction of a character that, in the story they crafted, could overpower Altair and still make sense. That’s why they talked about “foreshadowing”, “prequels”, “everything covered down to the last detail”. They thought Altair’s lack of a clearly defined story made her vulnerable. As Matsubara said:

        “We underestimated her. Altair doesn’t have a background story either. That’s why I thought we’d be able to pull it off.”

        Who knows, perhaps the story they created for Sirius was really great. But the very narrative premise they were working with was flawed, as Altair herself lampshaded.

        Back in the comments of episode 14 I wondered if the series would take into account the elephant in the room that is this government-corporation alliance trying to take over a beloved fanwork. Well, I’m pleased to see that the show not only took it into account, but made the “takeover attempt” literal and the backfiring spectacular.

      3. -Funnily enough, Yatoji’s expression where he went to Matsubara and shouted that “it’s supposed to be a perfect plan!” –
        I think Yatoji is angry that, because the plan has failed, his Creations are now being killed off. Sort of ironic since Yuya, when they first met, really scared his Creator while Shou wanted to kill his Creator but Yuya convinced him to kill the fortune teller.

  3. Altair, my new goddess. I pratically worship her in this anime <3 shes just too…even im rooting for her beating everyone in the set. (well Meteora is safe, at least.)

    That aside, Souta's Setsuna is here! You've done well, Altair. Now lets go home. 🙂

    Onion warrior
      1. Really getting the idea that these last few episodes are meant as a reward for those who stuck with the show and didn’t bail just because of the info dumps. The episodes are filled to the brim with stuff happening yet do not feel rushed or going too fast. Like it was planned out well beforehand.

        Best thing is that they didn’t stop the episode with “let’s do that thing” and instead actually did the (final?) summoning. I hate when you have to wait to see them actually do something, rather wait in anticipation for seeing the results.

        Magane is pretty much confirmed as the canon ship with Souta. They even did the whole “say a signature line together” thing. That entire scene when everyone was all like, “Do we even have enough acceptance?” “This isn’t going work, not enough acceptance”. I was just waiting for Souta to say “Acceptance? F acceptance!”.

  4. Random question, how is it that we viewers tend to look down on ‘boring invincible heroes’, but love invincible villains? Seriously, at this point, I’d expect one of the créations to be so fed up with Altair’s OPness and shout at the audience to “STOP EMPOWERING THAT B*TCH AND GIVE US A F*ING BREAK!”

    Weird D
      1. The Heroes are Order, the Society, the Good ones. The Villains are the Chaos, the selfishness, the bad ones. The love for the Villains are perhaps the desire to be yourself, when you are angry show it, when you want to break things, do it… But the Society and the heroes prevent that, because this part are Evil

        in Short? the Villains can be a valve for their own suppressed “dark” desires or they blame all their own problems on Society

        Someone has to be guilty!!!… is the base here. Mixed with Anger, Sadness and all suppressed emotions…

        Also in the past and present, most are feed up with White Heroes in the Animes, and a Villain “all Hail Britania!” is an other kaze. But even they begin to get feed up… My Hero Academia is doing good, because they show both sides, but stay on the Light gray side

        Well, this is my try to explain it to you. it is not the standard thinking

      2. Villains are also like Pirates. And there are many Animes with Pirates in them, right? Now go and ask yourself why is that so? And you get a glimpse in this direction

        Pirates = No Rules, only your own

    1. Villains make the plot and villains make the conflict, at least in stories like this. If the villain was easy to beat, there would be no plot, no conflict, no story.

      Then start adding tropes like Evil Is Cool, Rule of Awesome or Rooting For The Empire, and you can have people preferring a villain victory for extra drama. It’s especially effective in settings where the villains are not a horde of always chaotic evil goons, but complex characters with their own personalities, desires, goals, etc.

      Re:Creators is actually a good example. Altair moves the plot, Altair has a personal motivation that goes beyond “I was written this way” (coughchronicherosyndromeofmostofthecastcough) and has cool powers.

      1. @Mistic: Is it possible in some cases for the OP-ness of the MC to move the story? Because I’m reminded of titles like Mahouka or Isekai Smartphone which are less driven by villian’s plots and are more of an excuse for the MC to curbstomp them and easily resolve the conflict without breaking a sweat. Not to mention titles like these do have their loyal fanbases (esp. Mahouka).

      2. @zztop

        Imagine if fate/zero would lose Saber at the first duel with lancer. It is not only the villain that has plot armor, also the hero. Yes, plot armor is to drive the story.

      3. @zztop
        That’s a good point. Personally, I consider them poor examples of narrative, to put it lightly, but it’s indeed true that wish fulfillment and power fantasies have an audience. It’s just that it usually befalls on the heroes’ side, not the villains. However! Although less common than its heroic counterpart, the Mary Sue, there are Villain Sues out there too.

    2. You only have to look at pro wrestling to see how popular the concept of invincible villain is. And therein lies the problem with Re:CREATORS – Altair is just too appealing.

      OK, so she kills little girls in cold blood and lies in order to manipulate people with more muscle than brain, oh, and she wants to destroy the world as well. But, damn it all, I can’t hold that against her. She’s just so over-the-top and meta, and when you add those echoes of Nonon (and even Hype Williams!) then frankly I just love here. If she appeared in our world to end it, I’d be saying just bring it on but can I have a signed pic first, please?

    3. @Weird D
      Funny how you said that. If we think about it, if Superman existed, in this anime, many people would be booing at him, mostly due to how he is the type of Superhero that usually wins by using some cheap plot device or power, compared to how the crowd would be cheering for Altair, who is a charismatic villain that wants to destroy the world for vengeance and not out of things such as outright madness.

      When I think about it, compared to some cliche hero that wants to keep or restore the “status quo,” “villainous” people, such as Ainz Ooal Gown (overlord) or Lelouch (code geass) seem very appealing due to how they are charismatic villains that want to rule the world and will bring positive results by doing so; BTW, these are the only “villainous” characters I know but I think there are plenty of characters that fit the category. Also, a manga called Yasei no Last Boss ga arawareta shows how people adore a demon lord and hate the heroes.

    4. Everyone else pretty much explained it, but the big point for me is story. Villains are usually the ones who drive the story, determining the conflict and how it plays out. Heroes typically respond to the villains’ actions and are usually (but not always) expected to win—it simply grows boring after a while without good writing. It’s a little like Wiley Coyote for example, he’s a villain and we laugh at his failures, but a small part of us hopes he succeeds next time just to see what happens.

  5. The power too erase plot from story….haha that’s the most OP power i’ve ever seen on fictional works.

    hmmm i don’t think it’s about people liking villain more than the heroes…it’s just altair as a character has it’s own charm or we can say classy, i think everyone will hate a villain that shallow even if he/she had the power to destroy universe.

  6. IMO Setsuna’s re-creation fits with the personal change theme that Pancakes was talking about in last week’s post, that if “…Altair cannot be beaten physically, she must be bested mentally…by publically deconstructing her (vengeful) worldview.” Altair’s likely to be more receptive towards any deconstructions and pleas to stand down coming from her idolized creator, rather than an original character she feels no connection to (ie. what happened with Mamika).

    Of course, that’ll depend on how much of the real Setsuna’s feelings Souta was able to write into Recreated Setsuna. Note his Setsuna is wearing Souta’s black-rimmed glasses rather than the real one’s red-rimmed pair, a throwback to their 1st meeting when he remembered her at her most positive.

    1. Pretty much, how this Setsuna talks to Altair will be the determining factor. We don’t know how much Altair knows of Setsuna (probably little beyond her suffering), so it comes down to rhetoric and how well Setsuna can convince Altair of her actual desires. I’m really curious seeing what those desires are because there’s no way Souta had any firm idea after cutting contact with her.

      1. Now I can’t wait for next week’s ep. Did enjoy Altair various expressions thru the ep. ranging from “WTF!?” “That all?” to “OMG!” XD. Good change from her normally indifferent or manical.

  7. Now curious if Shou is dead. Fun fact, in Re:Creators One More! there is a Shou fan-girl. Would want to read that manga, once I know where to read it.

    Am curious if the (in-anime) audience ever saw this scene or heard Matsubara’s yelling in the previous episode. I am sure those (in-anime) voice actors are very confused. Anyway, it gets really ironic that twitter, and other things such as rooting, gives Altair so much power. But yeah, no one expects a (in-anime) apocalypse to affect the real world.

    And honestly, Sota and Magane may be perfect for each other.

    By now, we realize that Altair is the only person with Plot Armor. All other characters lost their plot armor as they left their stories.

    On the side note. For some reason, I had predicted Setsuna reappearing. Recall that episode where Shunma Suruga happily laughed at an idea made by Sota. That is something we should have expected since that is feasibly the only thing capable of stopping Altair.

    1. And honestly, Sota and Magane may be perfect for each other.

      When he grabbed the necklace and repeated Magane’s words, it gave me the chills. In a good way. At that moment, Souta decided to forget about Team Meteora and Team Altair and put his faith in Team Magane.

      You know, I wonder if the person Souta was monologuing about at the beginning of episode 1 was Magane. Or perhaps it was Altair.

  8. Well, before this episode many people predicted either that they would introduce an “Altair prototype” character minus her world-ending obsession to overwrite her, or a “Setsuna is back” moment to throw her off balance.

    Re:Creators wirters: “why not both?”.

    Personally, I was never a fan of the first method, for the same reasons it became a spectacular failure in the end. Altair is a meme and memes have their own life. Neither Souta nor the corporations involved nor the government have any “ownership” over the character. If I like something about this grand finale of Re:Creators is that they decided to showcase that trying to fake that ownership and shoehorn Altair in a story that is not hers was a bad idea.

    And why would Souta’s scenario work? Because even if the audience isn’t aware (or is it?) of it yet, that is indeed Altair’s story.

    1. Hilariously too Sirius shows why you can never deliberately engineer a meme. Viral content is always spontaneous, simple,and starts off unknown. A company can make an ad or a character, but it takes someone else to create a derivative that opens the meme gates. Altair had that with the fans she found following her creation, but Sirius, whether from time or Altair similarity, lacked it.

      1. Indeed. Bonus points because the issues of derivative work were lampshaded back in episode 8. Just because someone takes another person’s creation and tweaks it, it doesn’t mean it will be accepted as a separate creation. Altair’s original influence was that pink-haired character from Megalosphere, but by the time she was released to the public she was so different that she was her own character. The same can’t be said of Sirius.

        Heck, now that I check it again, Sirius looks not only like a cheap copycat of Altair, but also like4 a cheap copycat of Shirotsumekusa. If that was indeed Altair’s original concept, Setsuna did well by choosing a more original vision.

  9. So this is the episode where everything finally clicked into place for me story wise. Last week I had mentioned that Episode 1 didn’t make sense in the context of the world and that the third party was at work.

    It’s all a lie within a lie. or a story within a story.

    From the beginning Setsuna has been the creator of this “current” world, most likely within her own mind. All the characters she picked are metaphors for her different emotions as she struggles with her own impending suicide. Altair is there to kill all her feelings and bring about her death. Ultimately at this point all they have to do is stop Setsuna from dying and the lie within a lie will become complete and within the new “real” world she’ll be alive.

    Actually we already know she lives because the first episode is all her work, we’re just watching a story within another story, much like the audience in the arena.

    As for the character metaphors look at the first two characters that died that had pretty easy to understand character traits, Makina (innocence) and Alicetaria (courage). Those are some pretty good traits to take out first if you want to ultimately break a person. Then lets take a look at the last man standing Blitz (loss), but wait his daughter is back so he’s a different emotion now. Hikayu is obviously love, Yuya/Sho are her inner fangirl, and Kanoya is strength (which is currently broken). Magane represents her desire for change, and Selsia most likely is some representation of Souta (notice how her death is followed by Hikayu losing all her powers?). Meteora is less easy to pin down but is most likely similar to Magane, but more of internal change then external, which makes sense considering she’s the first creation she brings over with Altair and the leader of team good guys.

    And on a different note.. Isn’t there only one episode left? Amazon has 3 specials listed, so wouldn’t that make it a 21 episode series?

    Best part of the episode for me was when Souta went full on “screw the audience, I do what I want”.

  10. So Altair has the ability to put revert a character to a certain state in the their story’s plot. Does this mean someone supposedly “unbeatable” like Saitama can be defeated by her (since there was a point in the story where he was not the One Punch Man)?

    1. Based off what we saw, potentially, thought we do not know if that power has any limits. For example is there a restriction in how far back she can revert someone, or are there abilities Altair cannot revert? Need some more info before we can make a call.

    2. Nope, in current state Saitama is unbeatable, indestructible, and immune to all magic and psychic effects (gravity attacks from Tatsumaki and Geryuganshoop simply made Saitama heavier, he was able to walk through them like nothing, and yeas Tatsumaki and Saitama “fought” in the webcomic) people suggested everything from Dio’s timestop to erasing him, it will not affect him, it’s like you IRL trying to deform a 200mm chick armorded door with your bare hands.

      1. Ironically, I’d say Saitama would be the right person to face Altair. He’s Memetic Badass personified. Clever backstory? Logical cause-consequence chain? Rationalization? Pfff. That’s not how a ultimate showdown of ultimate destiny works. We know Altair is overpowered. We know Saitama is overpowered. Let them fight.

        Of course, there’s also the risk that the whole world may explode. Perhaps it wouldn’t be the best idea after all…

  11. https://randomc.net/image/Re%20Creators/Re%20Creators%20-%2020%20-%20Large%2023.jpg
    After looking around, as Mistic above mentioned, I do realize that Altair’s fan-art was actually seen in the anime. I am sure all those Altair fan art creators are VERY happy now that they have been immortalized.

    Notably, I am curious how did everyone survive that large blast radius. But these are “superhuman” characters. So it would be no shock if they can REALLY run away fast enough.

  12. Sirius’ face looks very much like Cassandra’s (you know, the overpowered chick from Freezing), down to the hollow expression of not caring about whatever you decide to do to her. Now excuse me, I should go catch up on Freezing…


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