Despite the title, as obviously as this concept might seem, as your perception of the world will, of course, change what you do and how you do certain things, but let’s put it in this context for a minute: what would be the first thing you do when entering an unfamiliar place or new society environment? You’ll be more likely to pay attention to certain things to see how your new environment works, how people act, and observe all the changes from your old environment as well. Perhaps you may be more sensitive and notice new things that you never noticed before, especially if you’re from a different part of the world or entering a new country, as that’s pretty much what situation the characters of Re:Creators end up in.
In Re:Creators, there are so many varieties of characters that they all are used to how certain things are written in their stories, so when they come to Earth, everything is a complete change for them. Everything from the food, the people, how the people act, how the buildings may look, how the world’s physics/laws operate, ect., is a complete change to what they may have experienced in their previous world that they call home.
When first watching the show, I felt this was a pretty ambitious decision on the show’s part as they would have to particularly write all of these different characters from places that were sometimes not even close to how Earth was, and they had to “adapt” to the environment around them. You could probably even call this an “isekai” story in its own way for this reason, although technically it’s more like a “reverse isekai” comparatively to other “isekai” stories, since almost all the other characters transfer to Souta’s world instead of the other way around.
Now, with any “isekai” story, there’s always one or a few episodes spend with the character getting acquainted to new parts of the world and how it works, and it’s the same in Re:Creators; all the other characters besides Souta have to adapt to this new world they’ve been dragged to by Altair. This part of these stories is actually one of the key portions for me personally to sort of gauge what sort of show I’m dealing with early on because there’s so many ways to write this that can either be really interesting or a real drag depending on how it’s done.
Re:Creators handles this part of its narrative well for the most part, avoiding the pitfalls of early on lengthy info-dumps that get old pretty quickly, although it does fall into this trap later. For the most part though, the “adapting” portion of the show is handled pretty daringly compared to other shows, as it decides to make an almost meta commentary about adapting to a new world through one of its main characters, Mamika.
Episode 2 contains this brief moment that was actually a really powerful moment for the series as a whole that has a lot of excellent powerful moments involving its characters. This moment alone held a great idea of impact in of itself and didn’t even have a great deal of bearing on any plot points, but it was a great moment for the character to show that it really was a different world. Mamika and Selesia end up trying to find Selesia’s creator in order to find out more information about her world, and Mamika ends up getting into an actual physical battle with Selesia over the fact that Mamika herself couldn’t understand how someone could write a world with so much pain and suffering embedded into it. When the all-out assault breaks out between the two of them, Mamika ends up using some devastating power to knock some sense into Selesia magical-girl style in order for her to come to her senses and realize how crazily messed-up her world and her Creator is for writing it.
This battle ends in a brutal fashion though, with Mamika’s magical girl powers shooting hearts that exploded everything she shot into, causing Selesia multiple injuries and major damages to buildings in the city itself, both of which surprised Mamika to a great extent. Mamika, as a world-saving magical girl character originally from a kid’s show, those sorts of violent acts that she was creating were unfamiliar to her and even states herself how she had never seen her attacks draw blood from anyone she’s ever used them on. After the realization that this world did not operate on the same level or with the same rules that hers did, she ended up being mentally scarred by the outcomes of her attacks, with emotion-filled facial expressions indicating that she would take it all back if she could.
This is only a small aspect of the show though.
As the show continued on with its main plot and we learn more and more about Altair, the main villain of the show, we begin to learn how the world is manipulated by how the in-universe fans perceives her as a character and ends up continuously gaining power based on how her work was involved in was perceived by the general public, which created some fascinating outcomes and scenarios. In this case, the in-universe fans of Altair literally had the power to change how the character was perceived through their own creations and iterations of the work as well, considering she was a fan character created by one of Souta’s close friends, Setsuna, which also are both in of itself great examples of how the world around us changes how we behave.
Setsuna, as a creator, ended up being influenced as an artist a great deal by Souta, as he was one of her first supporters early on. As time went on, they became greater friends and supported each other as fellow creators. As Setsuna’s work ended up becoming increasingly popular though, Souta ended up becoming left behind and created some insidious feelings towards Setsuna’s work and herself as a whole. Just the sheer presence of her work would fill Souta full of irrational emotions of hate and self-loathing and cause him so much pain for himself, never being able to reach the level of the work his best friend was able to create.
This ended up hitting critical mass though, as Setsuna ended up relying on her best friend to save her during a time of crisis when her work was labeled as a direct copy of another artist’s work, and Souta wanted to help her so much, but couldn’t bring himself to as it was too painful for him to even interact with her while she was getting berated by horrible comments on the Internet. It demoralized Souta to a point where he couldn’t even draw anymore because of how much pain it was causing him, to not be emotionally able to be there for his friend even though he needed to, and ultimately causing Setsuna to take her own life.
It really just shows how much how our surroundings, the environment, and people around us really affect our day-to-day lives so much, even when we really don’t think about it. When we can see the effects that we’re producing on society and seeing those affects reflect back on us are one of the many benefits of being a content creator after all, and it’s no different for Setsuna or Souta here.
By us perceiving the world, we have an idea of what sort of content that’s needed to be created in order to meet a standard, or just to observe trends in what kind of content is popular at the time. Re:Creators has a lot to say regarding content creators in general, but how people perceive the world and how the world perceives us back is one of the greater thematic parts of the show.
It has a good message for creators and communities, and that in of itself is a fascinating way for us to think about the actions we take and how we can affect the world and others around us.