Truth be told I’ve been wanting to do this post for quite some time now. The idea came to me a few weeks ago and I finally have the time to sit down and write it. It is no secret that I am very fond of the anime Re:CREATORS. I have been ever since it finished airing last year. While it gets a decent score of 7.69 on My Anime List, I believe this anime deserves more credit than that. And one particular reason is a certain character called Magane Chikujoin.
Before I get too deep into this post let me give you guys a reminder of what this series is about (per MAL):
“Humans have designed countless worlds—each one born from the unique imagination of its creator. Sota Mizushino is a high school student who aspires to be such a creator by writing and illustrating his own light novel. One day, while watching anime for inspiration, he is briefly transported into a fierce fight scene. When he returns to the real world, he realizes something is amiss: the anime’s headstrong heroine, Selesia Upitiria, has somehow returned with him.
Before long, other fictional characters appear in the world, carrying the hopes and scars of their home. A princely knight, a magical girl, a ruthless brawler, and many others now crowd the streets of Japan. However, the most mysterious one is a woman in full military regalia, dubbed “Gunpuku no Himegimi,” who knows far more than she should about the creators’ world. Despite this, no one knows her true name or the world she is from.
Meanwhile, Sota and Selesia work together with Meteora Österreich, a calm and composed librarian NPC, to uncover the meaning behind these unnatural events. With powerful forces at play, the once clear line between reality and imagination continues to blur, leading to a fateful meeting between creators and those they created.”
You can think of Re:CREATORS as the reverse of Sword Art Online or Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody. Instead of diving into the realm of an RPG or another fantasy world, Re:CREATORS brings its characters to life in OUR world. I love me a good reverse story-line! Probably as much as I love reverse harem anime XD But I’m not here to talk about Re:CREATORS as a whole…I am here to talk about why I believe Magane Chikujoin is one of the best written anime characters out there.
While Magane is a supporting character in the anime Re:CREATORS, she is actually the antagonist from the light novel/anime she was created in. Her light novel/anime is called Record of the Night Window Demon. There Magane comes off as a light-hearted sarcastic high school student, but deep down Magane is really a psychotic murder who enjoys toying with other people’s emotions, while showing no remorse towards killing innocent people. She is a criminal who murdered the entire student body of Korougamine Academy in “Sougenkyu Murder Case” in the fifth volume of the original series. Pretty fucked up character huh? She’s totally right up my alley though!
Magane possesses an ability called “Infinite Deception of Words” that allows her to bend reality through lies and deception; by telling a lie and manipulating somebody into rejecting that claim, it creates a “lie of a lie” which by proxy makes the initial claim become real. She chooses to remain independent from either side in Re:CREATORS. So the question is…is a lie within a lie a truth or a lie? I bet if we asked Magane-chan she would know!
Magane may be free-spirited in nature, but she isn’t an idiot either. She initially is the smartest character in the series. As Magane is summoned to the real world she quickly adapts to how the real world works. She even reads her own light novel to gain insight on her story, traits, and scope of her powers. I mean…shouldn’t all the characters in Re:CREATORS do this? It would have been beneficially to all of them if they would have. Magane also decided to test out the nature of her powers on the book store owner to gain insight on how her ability would manifest in the real world. This happened in Episode 6 called “Young Girls, Life is Short so Fall in Love.”
In a way, Magane reminds me of a witch. Magane deals with rather occultic powers and can also summon Lovecraftian monsters. Lovecraftian is named after H. P. Lovecraft who pioneered the horror fiction genre. Horror fiction emphasizes the cosmic horror of the unknown (and in some cases, unknowable) more than gore or other elements of shock. Magane is modeled perfectly to fit this type of description. Her story being a mystery theme and having the ability to mess with reality via twisting lies into truth mirrors that of witches, especially with how the truth is treated in Re:CREATORS.
Over on Anime News Network they compared Magane’s character to Rip Van Winkle from Hellsing, as well as Izaya from Durarara. While Magane’s personality is more represented with Rip Van Winkle, her ideals are pretty similar to that of Izaya’s. Magane prefers verbal manipulation over hand-to-hand combat, while also finding pleasure and enjoyment in ruining people’s lives for shits and giggles. The girl even killed her own creator for crying out loud! Izaya is the most comparable to Magane because he uses, “nothing but his sadistic wits to get by through thirteen volumes’ worth of supernatural shenanigans. Izaya is also a total smirklord, capable of keeping his cool while manipulating everyone from crime bosses to death gods.” Which sounds quite like Magane-chan no? Magane is indisputably a terrible person, but she’s also so much fun to watch! You can’t help but fall under her spell throughout the series. She’s has so much whit and charm and crazy intentions you secretly love her, even though you know you shouldn’t. I call those type of characters “characters you love to hate and hate to love.”
Another interesting concept that Comicsverse plunged into was the moral compass of each character Re:CREATORS had to offer. Of course, Magane’s moral compass is considered under the “incredibly bad” category. As Jessica Liong states in the article, “Magane exists to spread negativity and chaos. And in the real world, without her story’s protagonist to keep her in check, she really lets loose. In fact, that’s most of her motivation for setting up conflict and kicking back to watch the fallout. Without the boundaries of her world, Magane is free to kill and manipulate as much as she wants. Sure, such actions turn out to actually speed up the real world’s destruction, but that doesn’t worry her. She just wants to have as much fun as she can before it happens.”
Magane knows what she is doing just like every other villain in anime. I actually covered the topics of villains back in August of last year. You can find that post here: https://kawaiipaperpandas.wordpress.com/2017/08/15/topic-tuesday-why-are-anime-villains-so-alluring/. Just as I stated in that post, villain characters are just as relatable as heroic characters. A villain’s motivation/what drives them all stems from deep within the subconscious mind. Villains all have what I like to call “darker egos.” Inner thoughts, desires, motives that push them into doing anything and everything to reach a specific goal. Villains are relatable in the aspect that they get to do the things they want without having remorse/guilt for what they are doing. Just as Magane has no remorse for the people she kills. Magane is literally written to be more intelligent because she has to be several steps ahead of the main character (that, and she doesn’t like fighting with brute strength). As I stated in my blog, “Instead of having brute psychical strength, they have intellectual power and with power comes the ideology that a villain can rule the world.” That’s probably why Magane is such a savage in her original light novel.
Magane’s character is written with such precision and a concise villain narrative that she makes for a foolproof antagonist. Magane even understands that she is a fictional character in the real world in Re:CREATORS, but she has the ideology that she could become a ruler of the world as opposed to being a minor villain in her story. This understanding is what allows Magane to figure out her limits and strengths of her powers in Sota’s world. Which in turn, makes her an extremely dangerous character in Re:CREATORS. That is probably why Sota, Selesia, and Meteora wanted her on their side, but of course Magane stayed neutral the entire series only focusing on her desires. We do see a little bit of humanity from Manage in episode 18 when she helps Sota create a creation that will stop Altair from destroying the world…but Magane told Sota the only reason she was helping him was to just “entertain herself.” You sly fox Magane-chan. I see what you did there 😉
Writing this post has made me fall even more in love with Magane. It was pretty entertaining digging up information on her and reliving all the emotions I felt while watching Re:CREATORS. If you missed this show when it premiered last year I HIGHLY suggest you check it out! The build up might be a little slow for some of your guy’s taste but I promise you it is well worth it. Re:CREATORS also had my favorite opening song for last year with Tielle & Gemie’s gravityWall. You can check out that OP here:
Let me know if you guys would like to see more of these Sunday Spotlight post! I can always feature some of my other favorite characters in anime. I also really love Dazai from Bungou Stray Dogs, Shogo from Psycho-Pass, Nia from Gurren Lagann, Black from Kekkai Sensen, Wicked Lady and Queen Nehelenia from Sailor Moon. ❤
Disclaimer: All imagery and photos come from searching for them on the internet. I have no claim or right to them.