Image Source: アニプレックス on YouTube

How would you feel if you appeared in a different world—and discovered you were a fictional character there?

From the writer of Black Lagoon and the director of Fate/Zero comes original anime Re:Creators. At an event a few weeks back, we got to see the first episode.

The basic story of Re:Creators follows otaku boy Sōta. As he sits in his room watching an episode of his favorite anime—a fantasy mecha story—he is drawn into the world of the anime. There he watches in disbelief as the heroine of the tale, Serejia, battles a mysterious aristocratic girl in military-style clothing. There’s just one problem: There is no such character in Serejia’s anime. Noticing the confused Sōta on the field of battle, Serejia attempts to protect him—which results in her being dragged back into our world alongside him.

From there, Serejia tries to deal with being abducted—only to then discover that she is now in a world where she and everything she has ever known is considered fictional. Or as the Mysterious Girl puts it upon her own arrival, Serejia has entered “The World of Gods.”

Image Source: アニプレックス on YouTube

Fictional characters appearing in the real world isn’t exactly a new premise in anime. However, we see that what sets Re:Creators apart is that it plays its premise perfectly straight. Serejia reacts exactly as any warrior would if they were suddenly stolen away to a strange world—i.e., violently towards her suspected abductor. Likewise, when given evidence of her own fictional nature, she can only respond in shocked disbelief, unable to really process her situation. But while her own musings are then interrupted by an immediate threat, this is only the tip of the philosophical iceberg the anime could potentially explore.

While the Mysterious Girl says it mockingly, to Serejia, our world truly is “The World of Gods.” After all, somewhere in our world is the author of her light novel series. She has the very real chance to meet God—or, at least, her creator—in a literal sense.

Image Source: アニプレックス on YouTube

But how does one react to that knowledge—the knowledge that every high and low in your entire life has been scripted? That every horrible thing in your life has happened not because of bad luck or destiny, but rather because a “god” was trying to craft a story that would be entertaining to other “gods.” Moreover, that your biggest embarrassments, darkest secrets, and deepest pain are known by millions—millions who don’t even consider you, your feelings, or your suffering “real.”

Which leads to the grand existential question: Are you, in fact, real? If everything you’ve ever done or thought was put into your head by someone else, are you actually a person? Because you’re considered fictional in one world, does that make your world or life any less real? Do you even have free will? Or are your actions even now being scripted by an unknown author?

These are not easy questions, nor are they something any person could process easily—much less come to terms with quickly.

Image Source: アニプレックス on YouTube

Of course, how far into these implications Re:Creators will actually go is unknown, but it is certainly set up to dive deep—especially once you consider the greater cast of characters. While Serejia is the focus of the first episode, the official information shows she is far from the only fictional character to appear in the real world. As they come from wildly different genres—high fantasy, mecha, magical girl, dark modern fantasy, cyberpunk, etc.—each will likely react to the existential quandary of visiting our world in different ways.

And all that doesn’t even touch on how our world would react to famous fictional icons coming to life.

Of the several series I have already had a taste of this season, Re:Creators is the one I am most looking forward to. By taking fictional characters from across the genres and introducing them to the world of their creators, it looks set to craft the implications of its premise into a complex, entertaining, and psychological anime.

Image Credit: ©2017 広江礼威/小学館・アニプレックス

Re:Creators is set to run for 22 episodes and will begin airing in Japan on April 8, 2017. There is currently no information regarding a Western simulcast.

Comments (5)
  1. So this is basically Grant Morrison’s Animal Man for the Otaku crowd.

  2. More like Cornelia Funke’s “Ink Heart”

  3. This article certainly touches on far more than what will be addressed in such an action show (if it ever makes more than mentioning a thing or two).

  4. It tackles the same psychology thing in W: Two Worlds, nice!

  5. As someone who who loves metafiction like John Scalzi’s Redshirts, Stranger than Fiction, or even Undertale, I am immediately and seriously interested in this story.

    I really hope this story and actually addresses the existential questions it raises, you know, does not revolve around some young every-teen-boy and spend far too much time wondering “Whoa, its a girl, from my favorite show, and we don’t know where she’s going to sleeeeeep in the house!?!??! Comedy ensues~!”

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