I watched Re:Creators. Here are my thoughts:
The premise of this 22-episode anime is quite cool and exceptionally unique. Superficially, Re:Creators is a so-called 'reverse-isekai' show, but in reality it is much more than this. All I can say without going into spoilers is that characters from a diverse variety of fantasy/sci-fi stories appear in real-life Japan, where they interact with one another and meet the creators of their respective stories (side note: I think this would be a great premise for a comedy anime too).
This is a very dialogue-heavy show. There are few actual action scenes, which is more than fine with me but did (pleasantly) defy my initial expectations. If you go into this anime wanting action scenes, you will be disappointed. This anime is far more a fantasy drama than it is an action show.
Sometimes this anime can be very exposition-heavy. In particular, the early episodes of both cours contain heavy exposition dumps. Very little effort is made to make these exposition dumps more palatable for the viewer. As I recall, there are multiple >10-minute exposition speeches that take place in a dull conference room with zero visual flair or anything to add entertainment value. My geeky sperg self was completely fine with this (and I was extremely interested in this anime's writing), but a different viewer might find it hard to swallow. The exposition is fascinating (in my view) and all necessary for the later story developments to make sense, but the delivery could have been handled better. Despite this, the conversational nature of this show is a major strong point, in my opinion. The dialogue is often very thoughtful and contains many memorable lines. During some scenes the script is absolutely phenomenal. I really do mean that; at its best, this anime contains some of the finest scriptwriting I have ever witnessed.
All of the fantasy characters in this ooze personality, and their interaction both among themselves and with their creators is one of the best features of this anime. However, the MC is kind of bland and lacking personality, aside from being your typical useless cowardly teenage-male anime protagonist. Thankfully the cast is quite large and he doesn't speak that often. In fact, even referring to him as the MC is exaggerating the significance of his character (arguably the real MC is Meteora). Even so, he was definitely a weak aspect of this anime. I would even say he is the weakest link in the show; in general, this anime is at its worst when the focus is on the MC. However, his presence is necessary for the plot to work, so perhaps I shouldn't be so harsh. Also, although this is fairly minor, I found the involvement of the government-official succubus to be annoying. The involvement of the military/government in general made it feel like a generic anime action show, and sucked away screentime from the show's true strengths. I get that it was necessary to include the government to have the plot make sense, but I found their on-screen presence to be excessive.
Overall the plot is great, and often creative and inventive, although some of the details can be a little wonky or confusing. Re:Creators is very ambitious in what it seeks to accomplish with its story, so I'm willing to be lenient about some hand waviness. If you put every little plot mechanic under a microscope, you'll definitely find things to nitpick. From a broad view it's excellent though, and I was always interested in the story and eager to see what would happen next. In fact, I burned through episodes of this anime and struggled to turn it off, and couldn't stop thinking about it. Literally, this anime kept me awake at night staring at the ceiling. I was totally hooked, which surely is evidence of a great story. On the surface, the plot resembles a typical 'battle royale' story in some ways, but there is deeper meaning lurking beneath this.
Beyond the mundane plot details, Re:Creators explores unique thought-provoking themes in creative ways. The writing incorporates themes such as the relationships between a story and both its creator and its reader, comparisons between fictional worlds and real life, the emotions of a fiction creator and the creative process, the experiences and feelings of a self-aware fictional character, and the nature of how a character develops within a story. These writing themes connected with me on a deep personal level and touched me emotionally. I felt very strong emotions while watching this anime.
It was so enjoyable to watch all these characters from different fictional worlds interact with their creators and one another. There are elements in the writing and script that are clearly meant to appeal to storywriters and other content creators. In some ways, Re:Creators feels like a celebration of fiction itself.
In terms of visuals, this show is nothing special. The character designs are good, and there are some occasional nice moments during action scenes. Otherwise, the animation quality is adequate at best, and there are tons of sloppy frames. Conversely, audio is a stronger component of the show. The sound effects are quite well done; even mundane stuff like the sound of background noise in rooms is implemented with detail and care. The soundtrack is good, and both the OP songs are absolutely terrific (I replayed the OP sequence at least 100 times, not exaggerating). The voice acting is alright; nobody's voicework really stood out to me besides Meteora and Magane (she has great facial expressions too). Meteora provides a lot of the exposition, so it's good that her voice is nice.
My overall rating: 9/10
Re:Creators has a fantastic premise that is executed well, albeit with some minor plot wonkiness. The story is exceptionally creative and engaging, while also exploring fascinating abstract themes about fiction itself. It truly is a unique artistic creation. The fantasy characters and their interactions are very enjoyable, and the dialogue is often thoughtful and memorable. This anime is exceptional in many ways. I eagerly burned through the episodes like they were popcorn; seriously, this is the most binge-watch-inducing show I've seen in years. For me, Re:Creators was such a joyful thrill. During its best episodes this anime is mind blowing.
The emotional side of me wants so badly to rate this 10/10, but I can't ignore the fact that there are some weaker episodes and that the show does objectively have some minor flaws. Regardless, I really do believe that Re:Creators is a very special one-of-a-kind work of art that deserves far more appreciation.
The premise of this show is potent imagination fuel. Can you imagine meeting the characters from your favourite stories IRL? We can only dream. If fiction is something that's personally important to you, then you should watch this anime.