I really like the word “Sanctuary”. I think it just sounds nice. I have this weird thing where I randomly like words sometimes. My favourite in English at the moment is clockwork. Great word! This is an even weirder start to a post than my usual offerings. Sorry about that Crow, seems you’re in for a rough ride. How about you tell us a bit about your week to get everyone eased in.
It’s been an interesting week in the USA. Too interesting. So, let’s stay with the word “Sanctuary” instead! It reminds me of Logan’s Run. Loved the movie. Jenny Agutter and Michael York were great leads. The book was better, but the movie caught me at a good time. Great soundtrack, too.
I’m bold this week, and there will likely be spoilers.
Obviously I didn’t just hit my head hard or something. I’m talking about Sanctuary because that’s where our merry little group, Subaru, Emilia and Otto to be precise, was heading to when we last saw them. But first, Subaru took a little detour to chat with a witch.
Surprisingly, that is exactly what he did… chat. Well, he also had some tea and she may have poisoned him but it seems no one’s too bothered by that. Also a Witch Factor seems to be something you can ingest so that’s good to know. And Subaru does have one in him. Not sure if that makes him a witch.
The opener was fine. I like the Witch of Greed (not sure why she isn’t an Authority, are they the same thing?) and her speech was fun enough but it was mostly old info. It felt more like an introduction to the character and I look forward to seeing her more. What did you think, Crow?
Sometimes a character intro like that hits me just right — kinda like the Logan’s Run movie. This is one of those times. I loved Echidna. She acted all sweetness and light, but you could tell there’s an edge there.
You remember how she named the other Witches? Carmilla, Minerva, Sekhmet, and the rest? Each mention was like a little hint about rich, tragic stories. And the last she mentioned was Satella, the Witch of Envy, the one behind all of Subaru’s sufferings. Seems she didn’t pick on Subaru alone. She had “killed all the other witches and used them as sustenance while she made the whole world her enemy.”
Echidna was one of the Witches who had been killed.
Holy mackerel! How tragic was that?
Anyway, the entire encounter ended up quite civilized and Subaru just got back to the other by asking. His manly main character powers were just too much for the poor witch.
This is where we get our first look at Garfiel (a name which will always have specific associations for me). This is also when I realized that reZero is like narrative water for me. It just sort of seeps out of my brain. I mean Garfiel looks exactly like Frederika, so I sort of assumed they were related, but I honestly don’t remember her talking about him last episode. Yet she clearly did. It just poofed. This is very unsettling as I usually have a pretty good memory.
It’s a good thing for me that reZero is so exposition heavy and tends to go over the same information. That way I’m never lost even though I obviously should be paying more attention.
Also I liked his X face scar. Haven’t seen that design element in a while. Is Garfiel your type of character?
He strikes me as an honest sort. At least as honest as they come in this world. Isn’t unnecessarily cruel, but he doesn’t sugar coat anything. His scar reminded me of, well, Scar from Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. Sometimes the associations I make are pretty basic.
After the commotion, Frederika’s brother is rather rowdy, the gang finally makes it to Sanctuary to be greeted by second best girl Ram and meet up with best boy Rosewaal. I really like these two and I’m happy they are getting some screen time. I hope it’s a trend for the season.
Ram as best girl… I can see that. I tend to be in the Rem camp, but I might defect as long as she’s unconscious. Kinda boring cheering for her in that state.
But I’ll say this: It was great seeing Ram again. She was as sassy as ever.
So turns out Sanctuary is not just a place where disenfranchised haf breeds flock to and live together, it’s also a place that holds them captive. A sort of prison colony, if you will. Shock horror! And the only way out is to bring down the barrier created by the With of Greed. Actually, I’m assuming a few things here. There is a barrier holding the demi-humans captive and it seems you can bring it down by passing the Witch of Greed’s test, so that’s why I’m assuming she put it up but they didn’t tell us that. Also Garfiel is the one that gives the info about the test in the first place, and he doesn’t seem like the most reliable of narrators.
There’s one more twist, only Demi-humans can attempt the test in the first place. That’s why Rosewaal ended up badly injured when he attempted to free the villagers. Isn’t he just such a peach? A cinnamon roll that Roswaal.
We got some really cool hints about his family history in this episode. It’s fascinating that Mathers have overseen Sanctuary — a.k.a. the Witches’ graveyard — for generations. What’s that mean? Just who is this guy?
And did you notice that he told Emilia not to say “The Witch of Greed” because it made her sound bad? He wanted Emilia to call her Echidna. That just made me want to know more about those characters!
There’s a catch about that test, though. Isn’t there always? Only a demi human can attempt it. That means Subaru has to sit this one out. Unless we count him as a double demi human… In any case, for some reason Garfiel insists that the Demi Human has to be Emilia, so off to the ruins to face the test she goes. But as something seems to be off at the last second, Subaru decides to go after her (he’s not great with obeying simple instructions).
He wouldn’t be Subaru otherwise!
My double demi human theory may have been right, because Subaru gets sucked right into the test it seems, and first he must “Face his Past”. I love homecoming episodes in Isekais or anything Isekai like, any fish out of water stories, so I was cheering at this development. But I usually have weird tastes. I wonder how the general public is taking it.
I’m wondering if he’ll recover from that body slam his enthusiastic father gave him! That’s not the kind of man I pictured Subaru’s father to be!
Thinking about Subaru and the test, it was interesting how one of the last things Echidna said was that she gave Subaru the gift of being able to face the test. And that he’d think differently of her.
I think the most astonishing moment of the entire episode was when Ram admitted that she was wrong — to Subaru. Even more amazing was that she admitted Subaru was right! My view of the world has been shaken.