I’m not sure how I’m going to go about this one. I have very mixed feelings about this episode. Not very strong feelings mind you. I started out not liking it. I know the fans of this series are pretty protective and I’m bound to get a comment or two. That’s fine, it’s all good to stand up for your favourite show. But tears and shouting have never really been my thing and there was quite a bit of both in this episode.
But even though there are a lot of elements I simply didn’t like at all, I sort of ended up interested in what the episode implied. And to me, that’s always going to be a plus. I am looking forward to Subaru taking a step forward. With two episodes left in the season, I wonder if he’s just going to get stuck in this present loop until the next one. At least, it’s already scheduled so he won’t be in limbo for years to come.
What do you think Crow, would you like to see him break out of this particular reset before the end of the season or are you good with waiting till next summer?
This episode was tough. I’m so invested in these characters that I was exhausted by the end. More than a little freaked out, too. I like how you said that you’re interested in the implications. Despite the powerful, over the top emotional moments, the episode had a lot of subtle gestures, and I’m looking forward to talking about those!
To answer your question directly: I’d like to be done with the bunnies. I would like to see the next set of time lines. On the other hand, where does it go from here? How much more brutal can it get? It’s a bit sobering to think about!
I’m in plain text.
Spoilers start now and I will spoil everything. I’m not kidding! You have been warned.
There’s a lot to spoil, too! She’s not kidding when she says you’ve been warned.
So this week Subaru visited Beatrice and they had a spat then Knifey came and killed people cruelly. Subaru fails to save anyone at the mansion. He goes back to the village where Emilia falls apart, a couple more main characters get axed, and Roswaal is an aloof jerk but more jerky than usual. Then rabbits. If it sounds familiar it’s because we’ve seen almost this exact episode before only I liked it better last time around.
I think you forgot to mention that Roswaal wasn’t only more jerky, he got stabby, too.
Don’t get me wrong, the conceit of the series is that events happen over and over again. We are going to see things getting repeated, that’s fine. It’s even a device I enjoy. Usually. But instead of dropping a few extra hints around things week to build on the story, I felt like they made the characters act in an exaggerated way without any real catalyst or motivation in order to advance the plot. This may be due to the aforementioned only 2 episodes left. It just felt like the characters weren’t quite consistent and I kept wondering why they were acting this way.
Starting with Beatrice. Now, I love Beatrice, but not so much melodramatic Beatrice. She lost her best girl spot in my heart and now Ram reigns. But why is Beatrice breaking down now? Why does she suddenly want Subaru to think only of her? Did the writers want us to remember this is a harem show? From Bea’s perspective, this is no different than any other time Subaru visited her this season. Also, you can stab spirits? Really? For some reason that just seems lazy to me. They should at least have to perform some ancient ritual and gather up a bunch of obscure and extremely rare random items.
I’m prepared to give Beatrice a pass. At least a partial past. I can see a spirit wearing down after 400 years and longing for release, whatever form that release would take. Emotionally, I reacted to her asking Subaru to “Put me first! Think of me first! Choose me first!” But since I didn’t know why she now felt romantically inclined towards Subaru, and because I didn’t see any hints, it didn’t resonate as strongly as her asking, “Why did you leave me alone for 400 years?” That’s a completely rational question for a spirit who’s been waiting for, well 400 years!
Agreed but why not last time Subaru did this? For Beatrice it’s the same thing. She hasn’t had extra time pass. But she was her usual self. It’s just such a drastic change.
I’m not sure if the little blue hair witch (Maylie Portroute) was a reveal. They made it very obvious the first time we saw her that she was evil but, to be honest, I had forgotten about her until we saw her again. It’s cool they tied up that string.
I want to call out the anime blogging site DOUBLESAMA. In their review of episode 31, they called it! I’d forgotten, to be honest.
With the last of her strength (maybe?), Beatrice teleports Subaru back to the dungeon where Garfiel had held him for some reason and he stumbles to the temple in ominous snow!
Am I the only one who was convinced that it was Satella and not Emilia in that temple? She was even using the same vocal tick, repeating words and using forever statements, desperately clinging to Subaru. I really thought Satella had wiped out the village in his absence and was just waiting for him to return. I’m still not convinced that was Emilia, to tell the truth. But either way, it adds a bit more weight to my Satella = Emilia theory.
I have two competing theories on this. The one I think is most likely is just as you said — either Satella is Emilia, or she’s possessing her. I saw the same evidence you did!
But there was one shot of Emilia’s smile (around 13:12) that looked just like Echidna. The mannerisms were a lot closer to Satella, but what if — and I don’t think it’s likely — but what if the trials are designed to find a new host body for Echidna? Sort of Ryuuzu’s replacement?
Emilia’s eyes, though… dang…
Subaru was not as suspicious as I am and he did think that was Emilia. I wonder why. I don’t think she has even broken down in that way in the past. Subaru does know her much better than I do, though. So maybe it was Emilia. But even Subaru agreed that she wasn’t acting like herself and that she’s been pushed to that state.
Did you catch what he said when one-eyed Subaru (this poor guy!) staggered out and announced to Garfiel that Emilia had confessed her love to him? “There’s no way Emilia would say she loves me! Like there’s any chance she ever say that.” He knew it wasn’t her.
So we have a lot of questions and everything is going wrong. There’s really only one thing to do in times like these, go see Roswaal.
Now, I’ve made no secret that Roswaal is best boy as far as I’m concerned. I tend to enjoy magnificent bastard types. He’s a calm, cool and collected character that doesn’t scream or get super emotional and always seems to be hiding something so you never know where he stands. But he is good to the people who are loyal to him, and although his methods are debatable, he has generally seemed to act in a way that was helpful to both Subaru and Emilia. So you always like him just a bit even though you want to punch him. It’s a balancing act. So whattup?
Yes, Roswaal seems to be behind a lot of the happenings in the village and he is pushing Emilia to the brink, but why? And why in this obvious way? He certainly must have his reasons. I’m not crazy about the turn of events but I was kind of o.k. accepting that he is the one and direct cause for all of the current suffering. We will probably get a reason sooner or later.
But murdering Ram just to get to Garfiel when he didn’t need to kill either of them, at all? He could have just asked them to leave the room. Revealing that he also knows Subaru’s secret, something that should have been way more important but got a bit lost in the moment since he then went on the physical attack and kick Subaru while he was down, and then just pleasantly finished up the conversation and committed suicide by rabbit. Why?
It just felt inconsistent. Especially as the events get wiped and all we really needed was to find out that Roswaal was the mastermind (we should have known) and that he always knew about Subaru… Just like Echidna… And this village that is under her barrier is his. These two seem pretty connected.
His explanation for killing Ram was that in his weakened state, it’s the only way he could think of killing Garfiel. But then we’re left with your question of why he didn’t just ask them to step away.
To me, Roswaal kicking the daylights out of Subaru didn’t make sense. What did it accomplish? Do the bunnies not like bruised flesh as much?
It was pretty interesting learning that Roswaal knew that Subaru has some kind of reset power. Did you get the sense that Roswaal knew all about it? I’m not sure — but he at least understands the outline.
For all of this tough, I liked the core of the story. Basically, I liked what reZero was telling us this week, just not the way it was telling it. I liked that Beatrice is not invincible but that we also probably don’t know what she is truly capable of. Since apparently she’s been in a deep depression all this time… I like that the witches that attack the mansion are part of a large-scale coup and I’m curious who’s behind it. I like that Garfiel truly does like Ram. And I really want to know what Roswaal is trying to accomplish here. He wants Emilia to rule, so why try to break her now? I just wish we got all that in a less dramatic way, is all.
I can’t fault where you’re coming from. I have questions, and maybe it’s a sign of how much I’ve come to trust Re:ZERO’s writers that I’m willing to wait to see if they get answered. Roswaal kicking Subaru when he was (literally) down still has me scratching my head.
The end though. Those last few scenes changed everything.
By the way. Have you ever watched a movie called Primer? It’s a time travel movie with a bit of a twist that gets very grim when you think about it. Roswaal’s parting line was, You might be able to start over again but I can’t. I will die today and the Roswaal that you meet will be a different person. I’m paraphrasing but that was the idea — that Subaru is the only constant. But it also implies something else. It means that all those gruesome deaths of Rem and Ram and everyone else, they actually happened. They were never undone. Subaru didn’t go back to the past and make it so that they never took place. This isn’t a linear timeline or a branching line story. What Roswaal is saying is that it’s a multiverse story. Subaru is travelling between different parallel timelines not resetting the one he is already on. As such every time he fails, it’s irreversible for everyone but him. Making re:Zero one of the bloodiest horror anime I have ever watched and maybe something I should review for Halloween?
In a way, this actually smoothly explains my character consistency issues. Maybe this Beatrice has always been prone to tears, it’s just the first time we see her. And that applies to every other character as well.
I’m not a quantum physicist, but what little I’ve studied to prepare for my writing suggests each quantum “decision point” generates a new universe. So there’s plenty of precedent in a science fiction sense. My hope is that Roswaal was speaking philosophically in that the experiences that made him who he was at the time of death in the “present” would be missing from the Roswaal in Subaru’s restart timeline. From our perspective, he’d be the same character.
Because the thought of all those deaths is really heavy.
Oh and just to throw that in there, that last scene with Emilia was shattering. Even without the horrible realization I had, that scene alone was unsettling enough to push the genre.
Did I interpret it right? Was Subuaru’s body more or less torn to shreds, and did she lean over to kiss him on the ripped up lips after he died?
This is about as dark as I’ve seen the show go. You asked before if I was ready for a new time-line. I’m ready for Subaru to start having some wins. See Ram die in this episode took a lot out of me!