Re:Creators - A Deconstruction of Anime Characters
While anime fans often wonder what it would be like if their favorite character came to life, not many consider the consequences of these individuals entering our reality; Re:Creators is a series that explores and deconstructs this dangerous notion.
Deconstruction refers to when someone applies critical thought to certain ideas and beliefs. In the context of fiction, it's often used when a writer messes with tropes and cliches, applying scientific or philosophical principles to these concepts. Re:Creators demonstrates this by telling fictional characters that their world is merely a fantasy, creating a situation where their imaginary realm faces realistic consequences.
Being Told You're Fictional
Learning that you're from a fictional story can have a devastating impact on your psyche. Meteroa, Selesia, Blitz, and Alice all experience this feeling in Re:Creators.
Meteora hails from an RPG and questions why her creator made her an emotionless support character who exclusively speaks in monotone. Selesia has an existential crisis when she realizes that everything about her world and identity is fictional. After learning that their creators truly love them as their own, they come to accept this, but their feelings of anguish remain throughout the series.
Alicetaria February and Blitz Talker try to sabotage their creators. Alicetaria hails from a seemingly hopeless world where every day brings constant despair. Blitz comes from a cyberpunk world and was forced to shoot his innocent daughter. Due to their hardships and traumatic experiences, they are furious at their creators for making them suffer for entertainment. When they are told their “gods" have the ability to change their worlds, they become murderous.
When both question their creators, Alicetaria comes to accept that her story is meant to inspire people to believe in their own justice, while Blitz is disgusted that his creator forced him to shoot his own daughter just because she believed it made things more “interesting” for the story.
Fantasy into Reality
There are plenty of anime where characters use their powers without negative consequences. Mamika and Selesia demonstrate this in the second episode of Re: Creators. After failing to convince Selesia and Meteora to join her cause, Mamika decides to attack them to invoke the cliche of defeating someone to later have them join you.
Mamika obliterates an entire building, causing massive destruction and killing many innocent people. Once she finally corners Selesia, she launches her ultimate move, “Magical Splash Flare.”
Upon landing a clean hit, Mamika is bewildered by the destruction she's caused around her. She tries to tell Selesia to give up, but Selesia says employing violence to get someone to agree with you will only have the opposite effect.
Episode two demonstrates that Mamika’s powers were harmless only in her origin story as it was a light-hearted magical girl series designed for children. This type of story shielded her from blood and environmental destruction. Once brought into reality, the laws of physics are applied, making her powers a lot deadlier than they were originally meant to be.
Changes in Character
Another major point that Re:Creators deconstructs is the idea of character development. While mostly positive, character development can also be very dangerous. Magane Chikujoin and Altair are prime examples of this.
In her origin story, Magane is a criminal responsible for murdering an entire body of students. Her actions in the story are presented as psychotic, slaughtering innocent people for pleasure.
The cast doesn’t really understand the logic of her actions and depend on their source material for information. However, Magane realizes she is a fictional character and has the idea to become ruler of the world as opposed to being a minor villain. Her understanding of this new knowledge makes her extremely dangerous as it allows her to figure out the limits and strengths of her powers.
Altair, on the other hand, has no personality embedded within her. After learning that her beloved creator was pushed into committing suicide, she begins to harbor intense hatred towards the world that allowed her creator die. Altair’s design becomes a popular character that many people use to create different forms of dōjin art. Through this, she gains multiple abilities that make her incredibly dangerous.
The significance of these characters is that villains are just as capable of developing like heroes. Their lack of morality presents a heavy danger that could be avoided if they stayed true to their origins.
Fiction Should Stay Fiction
The lesson behind Re:Creators is that fiction and reality should remain separate. While fictional characters should be appreciated for their origins, it’s a totally separate notion of what would happen if they lived in our world. If these insane villains appeared in our reality, only tragedy would ensue.