Re:Zero 2 episode 5 – Once More Unto the Breach

Rini 3 (7)

Hello one and all. I’m glad you could join us for this 5th episode of re:Zero. We are creeping to the midway point already. Man, seems like the season just started. But before we dive in, How are you enjoying the shorter more concise posts I’ve been trying to put out Crow?

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Wow! Start off with a loaded question! I’ve always liked your writing style and content, and I still do. It’s like comparing two gems. Do I like the emerald, or the ruby? They’re both high quality gems, so I’ll invoke my Old El Paso rights and say I like both! 

O.k…so I write my part first then Crow answers and I might amend or add paragraphs in response after that but as I’m typing this, I have no clue what Crow will answer to my question. Maybe he’ll say he hates it! So I can’t just answer “great” and move on to the review. Although that could be funny too…

The struggle is real, I say in bold. And to adhere to Irina’s own rules of spoiler etiquette, there may be spoilers!

Onto the review!

After what turns out to have been Subaru’s first trial out of three, he is returned to Sanctuary only to find that Emilia is in considerably worse shape than him. Also the people of Sanctuary are not all to be trusted it seems and Roswaal is being a fabulous troll as always which actually gets Subaru mad this time.  

I’m going to try to give my impression roughly chronologically. 

Echidna turns out to be a classic femme fatale type, which I realized with a bit of a shock was one of the few unused archetypes in the show. It’s actually not that common at all in the Harem animes I have watched, so this was a nice departure. I did like the line where Subaru told her she looked great in that uniform. Smooooth!

Clearly, Subaru is a man of culture. I thought her reaction was delightful! She has a pretty laugh. 

Speaking of which, was Subaru always so hyper competent and almost flawless? I remember him being a bit of a dork and occasional screw up. This guy is pretty much perfect! I really like dorks so it’s possible that I may have imagined it out of wishful thinking.

Dying several hundred times will do that to a man. Frankly, I’m surprised he’s not curled up in a fetal position in some out of the way corner. Guy’s been through a lot. Just look at the end of this episode! 

I have to say, one thing that sort of bothered me throughout the episode is why didn’t we see Emilia’s trial? Her childhood is way more traumatic and eventful than Subarru’s. It’s also an establishing point to the entire plot. I really would have loved to see those events from her point of view. And I bet it would have been exciting to. As a main character, Emilia could use some development. On many levels, I think it was a huge missed opportunity to leave her story offscreen. I guess we could still see it next week though. I’ll claim credit if we do!

I’m a witness! And hearing what she said when Subaru returned from class made me even more curious. “I-I’m… It wasn’t me! It wasn’t! And yet…” What was that about? Plus, seeing the bleak look on her face was heart-breaking.

Oh, but we got to meet Pink Beako and that was awesome. I was hoping for a mix of second and first best girls and I guess it’s kind of what we got, but turns out she couldn’t quite beat the originals in my heart!

I thought she was going to smack Subaru when he called her a “loli hag.”

At this point we got a lot of details about Sanctuary and the seal as well as some hints of behind the scenes machinations. This bled into a scene with Roswaal who was much more open and straightforward about his machinations. I’m sort of surprised that Subaru still gets so worked up about him. He was super calm with Echidna so I thought he might have mellowed. Also you can’t really expect anything else from Roswaal. I’m pretty sure that guy knows everything…

I thought that scene was fantastic. Roswaal out-Machiavelli-ed Machiavelli (if you’ll forgive me for verbing a noun). I think the reason he got upset, besides the dozens of incidental deaths, is the toll the consequences of his decisions imposed on Emilia. Though I can’t fault Roswaal’s political calculus. But, damn! And he had Subaru dead to rights — there was no way he’d tell Emilia. 

So Emiia is playing the ultra meek girl this week. It makes sense, she’s being forced to relive her greatest trauma over and over again. But the line “I’m not very smart” didn’t jive with me. I think it’s because I see it so often in second rate doujin. What?? I don’t read doujin. Who said that?

I didn’t. Do you have a guilty conscience? 

I left it out of my ultra short and sweet summary of the episode, but we did get a bit of a bang at the very end. The episode extended to take over the end credits. As a double demi human, Subaru is free to leave Sanctuary as he pleases without his soul getting splinched. I skipped that part earlier but demi humans who try to cross get their soul neatly severed from their physical bodies because magic. 

And so Subaru returns to the mansion alone to get some answers, confront Frederika and potentially annoy Beatrice. I’m rooting for the latter, never rough Beatrice. However, when he gets there, he is summarily dispatched by someone. I thought two things at this point. First I thought, YAY action! I really like the reset premise of reZero and I am ready for some groundhog day shenanigans. My favourite parts of the series by far were the very early episodes when Subaru was still trying to figure everything out and was constantly getting killed because he was going at it through trial and error, and the last few episodes of season 1, when his almost solo attack on the cult became a grim mirror of those early events. I’m excited about this turn.

Second thing I thought is that we’re probably supposed to recognize the stabby lady but I don’t remember at all. I hope she wasn’t in last week’s episode or something cause I would look pretty foolish but I can’t swear by it.

I nick-named her Knifey. Would stabby be better? Remember back in the first season when Subaru tracked Felt to Old Man Rom’s place? Knifey (I think canon calls her Elsa Granhiert) was all about literally disemboweling folks. Quite a lot of fun at parties! I’ll skip making a joke about piñatas. She was stunningly fast. I think it took Subaru several tries to beat her, and then he only did it with Emilia’s help. 

I wonder where Subaru’s last save point was? I think we’ll find out next episode!

I like Knifey. Let’s go with that!

ReZero s2 ep5 (44)

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

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24 Responses

  1. oliveunicorn says:

    Great review ! And can’t wait for next episode. It was definitely worth the wait .

  2. Aizen_Kuro says:

    Hey Irina I need to speak to you about something, is there a way I can reach out to you?

  3. “loli hag.”

    That’s an interesting choice of words for him. He’s commenting on an anime trope in an anime. It isn’t at all uncommon, the ancient and powerful woman in the body of a little girl. Shinobu from Monogatari, Rory from Gate, Mavis from Fairy Tail, and others.

    But it isn’t the first one he’s met. Beatrice is also a loli hag.

  4. Vance says:

    Subaru thinking that there’s something up with Roswaal saying he had utmost confidence that Subaru would do his (Roswaal’s) work excellently in his (Roswaal’s) absence because of what Subaru had done during the Royal Selection and because of Subaru’s ugly one-on-one with Emilia after that is something that warrants serious scrutiny in my opinion. Roswaal very calmly said their conversation had come to a close and didn’t answer what he knew about Subaru.

    When you examine the conversations Subaru has had with Roswaal in episodes 3 and 5 of Season 2 together, it suggests that Roswaal knows that there’s more to Subaru than meets the eye. In episode 3, Roswaal said Subaru is the once-in-a-lifetime windfall that he has long waited for, and if you take this at face value, Subaru is someone of great value that he has been waiting to come in contact with for a long time, and this suggests he knew that he and Subaru would meet one day. That suggests that Roswaal somehow has knowledge of the future.

    Recall that Roswaal’s ultimate goal is to kill the dragon, and he likely wants to be present when Emilia enters a covenant with the dragon if she becomes the ruler so that he can kill the dragon in that moment. Given that viewers know through Beatrice in Season 1 that the legendary dragon, sage, and hero sealed the Witch of Envy, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that killing the dragon would unseal the Witch of Envy if the dragon is the last part of the seal on Satella assuming that the sage and the hero died of old age. If Roswaal’s plan is to bring back the Witch of Envy and bring ruin to the world, he is almost certainly a member of the Witch Cult.

    Why I think this is relevant is because Petelgeuse (and probably all Witch Cult members do the same) looked to his Gospel for guidance, and he could not find any instance of Subaru in his Gospel, which shows that he was looking to see if his Gospel had foretold Subaru interfering with his plan to carry out his Ordeal for Emilia. Assuming Roswaal is a Witch Cult member, and he also has a Gospel, why can his Gospel foretell of Subaru, but Petelgeuse’s did not? Is it because Roswaal is more directly connected to Subaru, and that’s why Subaru is more of a factor in Roswaal’s Gospel? Or is there a different reason?

    After watching this episode, it brings me back to episode 12 and 13 of Season 1. IIRC, Roswaal reasoned that it could be entertaining if Subaru was present during the Royal Selection, and that’s why he allowed Subaru to accompany Al to the spot where the knights of the candidates stood. This was a grossly irresponsible thing for Roswaal to do given that he is Emilia’s sponsor. Then in episode 13, he smiled after Subaru interjected when Emilia was being compared to the Witch of Envy and that even allowing her to step forward in the room could lead to disaster. At the time in Season 1, I debated on whether Roswaal was just being mean-spirited and smiling because a train wreck was about to unfold or whether it was something else, and I am now leaning towards the latter. After this episode in Season 2, I think it’s possible that Roswaal’s Gospel, assuming Roswaal is a member of the Witch Cult, foretold that Subaru would create a fuss during the beginning of the Royal Selection, and that is why he said it could be entertaining if Subaru was permitted to be around and smiled when Subaru started acting out because it went according to what he believed would happen.

    It also seems that Subaru told Ram about the crystal teleporting him, and that’s probably what she meant by Subaru’s relatively noble sacrifice. The stone wasn’t supposed to glow and teleport someone away, and Subaru did well to take it off of Emilia according to her. But Frederica said she had done exactly as Roswaal told her to do when she sent Subaru, Emilia, and Otto off, so I’m not sure what other plan Frederica could even have if the stone was something Roswaal mansion has access to. I wonder if it’s just a misunderstanding, and it was Roswaal who intended for Emilia to have that teleporting stone, and Ram is just unaware of that because he left her in the dark. As for why Roswaal would want Emilia to have that stone which would teleport her away, I have no idea. Maybe this will be made clear in a future episode of this fourth arc, which I feel was only split into 2 different cours because of COVID-19.

    • Irina says:

      Was it Rosewaal that was puppeteering Frederika? I’m not sure that had been revealed yet but it would make sense.

      • Vance says:

        In episode 2 of Season 2, after Subaru and Emilia left the mansion, Frederica took out the letter from Roswaal and said, “I have done exactly as Master directed.” Given the context of the scene, I would be surprised if it meant anything other than her doing everything Roswaal had told her to do. Why Roswaal would need to hide this from Ram is very strange, and I really wonder what in the world he is thinking.

  5. Dawnstorm says:

    I figured they were saving Emilia’s backstory till later. As far as I remember, RE:Zero has always been strictly from Subaru’s point of view, so we’ll probably learn about it when he does.

    I remembered Elso. It’s Mamiko Noto’s character, after all.

  6. Mari says:

    Have you seen the Frozen Bond OVA? It goes a bit into Emilia’s backstory, specifically how she made the contract with Puck. But her full backstory will be shown later this arc. There’s a reason she hasn’t told us about it yet, but explaining that l would be spoilers, so…

    I’m happy to see Boobies McKnifeGut (aka Elsa) back. I remember a lot of fans grumbling that she fled from the battle with Reinhard way back in the first time loop and then we never saw her again. But I don’t think that Nagatsuki would be so foolish to leave such a cool villain alone forever 😄

    • I expected Emilia to break out in a show tune in the OVA…

      “Let it go. Let it go…!”

      • Mari says:

        Pfft… Re:Zero always gave me a fairy tale vibe, what with the princesses, witches, etc. Though it’s more like the dark Grimms/Hans Christian Anderson originals than the watered down, kiddie-fied Disney versions 😝

    • Irina says:

      I have not. I haven’t read the Novels ether. I saw the first season when it aired and that’s it. So it’s almost as if I’m going in blind!

      • Mari says:

        That’s cool, I’m kinda obsessed with this series heh. I’d highly recommend the Frozen Bond OVA if you have the time though. It’s only an hour long and there’s a pretty epic kaiju battle in it

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