「世界は二人のために I love you too.」 (Sekai wa Futari no Tame ni)
“The World is for Us Two I love you too.”
Re:Creators’ finale may be scheduled for next week, but I think we just saw the ending play out in all its glory. Altair is beaten (well, reformed), Setsuna has been redeemed, and Souta has found the atonement he’s always desired. Sure it was another fine example of the show’s love for dialogue, but it’s hard faulting Re:Creators’ willingness to stick to its guns. What was lacking in impact was mostly made up for with theme.
As expected for most of us by now I think, Altair was not beaten physically as much as philosophically. By stripping away Altair’s raison d’etre, Souta’s Setsuna removed any reason for Altair to pursue world destruction. It was an intriguing discussion given the circumstances, for while this Setsuna may have been “fake”, she was no less real than the original Setsuna. The reason for this lies in Setsuna’s memories. Souta imbued his creation with what he knew of Setsuna and let her personality fill in the rest, not unlike how each creation functioned in the real world. You can never know everything about someone, but so long as you understand their hopes, dreams, fears, and desires, you can reasonably predict what they will do (a la Sugura/Blitz or Takarada/Alice). Because Souta’s creation had all these aspects, relating back to Altair and talking her down as the real Setsuna may have was a bet worth taking and paid off handsomely.
What particularly stuck out for me though was how Setsuna’s wish came back full circle to Re:Creators’ central theme. As Setsuna so calmly alluded to, creation is an act of fun and joy, something you do for the pleasure and satisfaction of not only yourself, but of others. The greatest joy a creator can have is others finding similar feelings in their work, knowing that somehow, someway, you brought a little happiness into another person’s life. This was the tragic irony of Altair’s existence. The military princess was so focused on taking revenge on a world which seemingly abandoned her creator that she failed to see the love and joy she herself brought to others. Her powers and abilities were not a simple fluke, they were gifts provided by those who wanted to give back for the interest and imagination Altair stimulated within them. In effect Altair found the very love Setsuna was denied, and unfortunately took it as disingenuous interest from a world of selfish haters. As mentioned in episodes prior, Altair sadly misconstrued her creation as a deliberate plan for vengeance rather than a simple outlet for pain and agony.
In the end, however, a happy ending was at least found as Altair went full Homura and became a godly creator herself. I’m not too surprised Altair took this route, her Mary Sue powers are a perfect fit for such shenanigans, and ultimately it was actually her plan all along. Destroying the world would have “rewritten” Setsuna’s story by adding a new conclusion, but there was never a reason you couldn’t simply alter the original conclusion in the first place. Changing Setsuna’s fate (well, delaying it via continuous world creation) also gives Souta the relief knowing Setsuna saw and understood his true feelings and harbours no ill will for his selfish treatment. It may have been a little convoluted and convenient a solution for Re:Creators’ conflict, but it nicely ties the bow onto Souta’s role in this story. From a boy little more than a self-professed narrator and third wheel, to a creator affecting the world and the emotions of many—Souta is Re:Creators’ personification of the courage it takes to put your creative hard work on the line, warts and all. It may not have been perfect, but as Setsuna succinctly shows, no story ever is.
With the plot basically wrapped up and Re:Creators now at its end, it’s any guess what the show has in store for its final episode. Probably a little denouement, some elaboration on certain plot elements (ex. Altair’s materialization), or maybe hints for future seasons—who knows. All we can do is wait and see and discover where this ride chooses to make its final stop.