Re:CREATORS is an original sci-fi fantasy anime series produced by Troyca, the studio also known for Idolish7 and Bloom Into You. The story centers on the life of Sota Mizushino, a high school student who gets entangled in a battle among fictional characters who were transported into the real world from various popular media. Sota, the popular media characters and their creators must stop the mysterious Altair from destroying the real world out of vengeance against her own creator, Setsuna Shimazaki.
Though it aired in 2017 exclusively on Prime Video, Re:CREATORS did not gain much traction among audiences who were more hyped for the second seasons of My Hero Academia and Attack on Titan. However, Re:CREATORS is an anime that deserves more praise as it showcases some intriguing twists on the isekai genre.
Re:CREATORS: A Unique Take on the Isekai Concept
Most isekai anime follow a similar structure: the main protagonist, usually a male outcast with low self-esteem issues, is given a second chance at life by being transported into a fantasy or virtual world. Soon after, he becomes a hero by defeating an evil monster or villain. However, Re:CREATORS is more like a reverse isekai. The heroes from their designated fantasy and sci-fi media get transported to modern-day Japan and must learn to adapt to living on Earth for the time being.
Surprisingly though, heroic fantasy characters like Selesia Upitiria and Yūya Mirokuji adapt to living on Earth easily, enjoying Japanese food and culture while crafting humorous personas for their characters. Yet they must be cautious when using their powers and fighting skillsets in the real world, because they could easily alter reality. The characters’ situation is amusing to watch because Re:CREATORS invites the audience to imagine how fictional characters might react within the parameters of reality.
Aside from the heroes getting transported into the “real” world, this series remains faithful to the isekai genre by having a male protagonist who suffers from low self-esteem and trauma. Sota Mizushino, an aspiring manga artist, gets involved in helping the fictional characters save the “real” world. At the same time, he must come to terms with the tragic death of his friend Setsuna Shimazaki, and the insecurities he has about his writing talents. Unlike in other isekai anime, this male protagonist develops into a stronger individual through internal trials, alongside the encouragement of other artists or “creators” and their characters.
The Female Characters Are the True Stars of Re:CREATORS
Generally, an isekai anime's male protagonist is someone who can relate to male viewers. Yet in Re:CREATORS, Sota is more of a supporting character rather than the main lead. The female characters are the main stars here, driving the storyline and breaking every gender-defining mold for women.
The audience is introduced to powerful female characters like Selesia Upitiria and Alicetaria February, who are princesses and knights of their designated series. They are more attuned to their masculine traits, in which they are great fighters with strong morals. Similarly, the fictional Meteora Österreich is a highly skilled tactician who uses her intellect and magic to stop Altair's dark magic. Rather than relying on their male counterparts to save the world, these women take action. All three of them value protecting the innocent, willing to use their strength and powers to aid humanity's survival.
Another female character who breaks gender roles is the magical girl Mamika Kirameki, who experiences deep character development as she enters Sota's world. In her fictional realm, Mamika used her powers for “good” and naively believed that her self-righteous path was the only way to resolve conflict. Yet in the real world, she realizes that violently using her magical powers can truly hurt other good individuals like Selesia.
Mamika undergoes an identity transformation, righteously deciding to fight Altair after learning her true intentions. Magical girls tend to be a bit more feminine as their powers bring forth peace but in a pacifistic manner. Yet in Re:CREATORS, Mamika demonstrates a more assertive persona for a magical girl using her powers for the greater good -- even if it means self-sacrifice.
Although underrated, Re:CREATORS is a worthy fantasy anime that redefines the isekai genre by being set in modern-day Japan rather than a fantasy world. With a story that showcases female characters with more depth and assertiveness as opposed to what is usually seen in isekai, Re:CREATORS is a more than deserving of a second chance.