Here we all are! It’s the end of another anime season and I must say, fall is looking very exciting indeed. II have been feeling the buzz all over the internet for this new season. Everybody is looking forward to the new shows. And I must say, I am as well.
For those of you who don’t know, I only watch currently airing anime that I am reviewing episodically. That’s not exactly a rule but it just worked out that way. And I try to cajole, trick, blackmail Crow into doing at least one with me every season. In fall we are continuing with the fantasy anime by watching the latest season of Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon or IIWTTTPUGIAD… I guess you could also call it Danmachi. I hope that wasn’t supposed to be a surprise Crow? I can edit this out if you like!
By myself, I will be continuing my Fire Force review. You guys are missing out if you are not watching the second season of Fire Force. The second cour of Haikyuu To The Top. The First cour was phenomenal and this is probably my most anticipated new season. And I’m picking up Noblesse to continue my Crunchyroll x Webtoon coverage.
Are you looking forward to the new season Crow? If it’s not a secret, do you know which shows you’re watching?
I thought I was cajoling, tricking, or blackmailing you to review series? Then who’s collecting all that cash?
Seriously, I’m looking forward to reviewing IIWTTTPUGIAD with you. I’ve loved the series since it started. Heck, I even liked Sword Oratoria! Yeah, there’s something wrong with me… I’m also reviewing Fire Force and am really enjoying your reviews of that series.
I’m on the fence with my other reviews. Maybe The Journey of Elaina? I really like witches. They’re much maligned across history. I really want to watch The Irregular at Magic High School: Visitor Arc. I’m a lot like Tatsuya. If he was powerless, anyway. I’m still trying to decide on what throw-back series to review.
Oh. This week, I’m in regular type, where I’m most comfortable. There will be spoilers. And may I just say, damn it, Roswaal?
But before all that, let’s wrap up the first cour of re:Zero. I must say I really didn’t see this coming. OK, let’s start at the beginning.
Subaru is still having a mild existential crisis in Echidna’s garden surrounded by the other witches and the newly arrived Satella. They talk for a while and his anxiety gets increasingly worse. The show makes a point of acknowledging Subaru’s martyr complex, which I really enjoyed. It adds a bit of depth to the character. What did you think Crow when Subaru admitted that HE was the one that gets hurt more!? It’s entirely consistent with Subaru’s character but it’s the first time I see his flaws bluntly acknowledged like that.
You’re right. Despite what we saw in the second trial (I love the phrase “unthinkable present”!), he still see himself as the martyr — the one who has born more pain than anyone. And he maintained that attitude among all of the witches. If I remember right, they’re all dead except Satella, aren’t they? So I think they’ve put up with their fair share of pain. Plus, Subaru didn’t acknowledge the pain of those he left behind in the thwarted timelines.
So, yeah, he was coming face to face with who he was. And he didn’t like what he saw at all.
Eventually Subaru tries to commit suicide but is stopped at the last minute by the witches, and some of them help him realized he is loved so he changes his mind and feels better.
After this, Subaru decides to refuse Echidna’s offer and she is obviously a bit miffed. After this Satella bids him goodby and I was a bit disappointed that she still looked the same.
At this point Subaru’s (and by extension the narrative’s) relationship with the witches is more or less completely reset and they are now more like obstacles and occasional miracles rather than antagonists.
This isn’t the surprising part. This is pretty much the only way it could go considering last week’s episode. I do like that they reframed the witches. There’s no point in having characters that overpowered as active antagonists. It’s much more interesting for them to be unpredictable in my opinion. What do you think, Crow?
Unless the character is Anos Voldigoad or Saitama, you’re absolutely right! I really liked how this episode reframed the witches without changing who they were. Subaru’s encounter changed how he saw the witches, so it changed how we saw them, too.
Every fall, I see a handful of house centipedes in my house. They look terrifying, but they’re really beneficial, so I don’t squash them if I can avoid it. I found one in the downstairs sink. It was trapped; the sides were too smooth for it to climb out. I knew that if I tried to pick it up, I’d injure it. So, I blew on it and it sailed out of the sink and to safety.
Now, imagine if you were the house centipede. Would you see a sudden hurricane gust of wind that blew you across your world as something positive? I think that summarizes Subaru’s relationship to the witches.
And after all that (including Minerva’s Headbutt of Healing), Subaru still told Satella that he wanted to save her. Imagine that little bug perceiving a danger to me, a human, and saying, “Got your bad, tall dude!”
I have to admit that when the title card flashed at this point, I thought it was the end of the episode and I was pretty surprised to see more.
I do like that despite pretending to try to be a good sport, in the end, Echidna still rescinded Subaru’s privilege to enter the temple. All in all, he’s pretty lucky she didn’t do anything worse. The information she gave him was a joke, though. Subaru already knew about Garfiel, and since Echidna’s been watching him all along, she knew he knew. Man, she is petty, and I love it!
Despite it being mostly dialogue, I loved Subaru’s scenes with the witches. They were all true to themselves. They all helped Subaru, but for their own reasons. Plus, they all continued to try to manipulate him to their own ends. Very cool!
At this point, Subaru isn’t quite sure what’s going on or what to do next. And what do we do when we have a lot of questions and everything seems to be going wrong? We go see Roswaal!
I’m really proud of myself.
Also, this is pretty good proof that the series is consistent. That’s a good thing, especially in the last episode. You don’t want to have any huge reveals or inconsistencies at the last minute. Although this isn’t really the last episode since it’s a split cour but you know what I mean.
Did you notice that when we first see him, he had his eye makeup on? If it’s really makeup, that is. He passed his hand across his face, and it was gone. It was like Roswaal Mode 1 and Roswaal Mode 2. It was a little detail that I couldn’t explain, and it made he really curious.
Roswaal has been a bit dull this season. It’s not entirely his fault. He’s been confined to a bed, after all. It was great to see him in full makeup. It’s a good thing to put effort in your appearance when you’re sick. It helps keep your spirits up!
Roswaal has been weird since he got to the village. Wait, let me rephrase that, weirder. And now we discover… oh uhm SPOILERS AHEAD, like more spoilery than the spoilers so far! Okay, so we find out that the mastermind behind the Mansion attack is Roswaal.
Remember when I said that there was something not adding up about the Mansion attack? Whoever had organized it knew way too much about Subaru’s timing and didn’t seem to be lining up with the resets. Well, now it makes sense since Roswaal has a book. He knows the futures and all of the pasts.
Since we have been completely ignoring the witch cultists and the witches are no longer Big Bads, I guess Roswaal is stepping in. Not sure how to feel about that. How about you Crow?
I’d just like to praise your decision to capitalize Big Bad! He’s not only stepping in, he’s eclipsing all past villains. We now know that Satella really loves Subaru, and she told him that “So I want you to love yourself, and protect yourself.” We now understand the witches are the witches — not evil, not good, but simply stupidly powerful beings with their own agendas.
Now, we have Roswaal, whose ultimate goal is still shrouded in mystery, but whose stated goal is utterly rational. Whose technique is utterly reasonable. And whose demeanor is, as Subaru said, completely insane. He’s going to be an outstanding villain.
I mean, he’s done a fine job so far!
As Roswaal was explaining everything, it became obvious that he had been (and still was) trying to force Subaru to accept Echidna’s deal. I was wondering what crazy scheme he could possibly have that he would need to involve Echidna in. Now, that piqued my curiosity. Roswaal has met his match here and seeing these two go Spy vs Spy could be amazing. So amazing that I might not be that interested in Subaru if it happens.
Unfortunately, it seems it’s just that he fell in love with her 400 years ago about the same time the stuff with Bea went down. I’m guessing he’s trying to free/resurrect her using Subaru’s power so he can see her enchanting eyes again…
It’s not really my type of story, but for those who like romance, it’s fine. You’re much more of an expert in that field Crow, what did you think of this?
Well yeah, because you like Toradora. It’s a comparative thing, most people are experts compared to me…
From the perspective of Roswaal’s motivation, this is a fantastic development. His love (infatuation?) with Echidna has lasted 400 years, so we know it’s a strong motivation. After meeting the witches, Subaru now has a much more clear idea of who he is and what he wants. This is a development I didn’t foresee at all, and I love it.
All of this has pushed Subaru into a very uncomfortable corner, and now he is scrambling for what to do. As it stands, it seems he can either save the people at the mansion or the village. Or to put it more bluntly, he can either save Rem or Emilia and he must choose between the triangle. I’m sure he’ll figure something out to save both. He always does!
IIn his frantic state though, Subaru ends up just running madly through the jungle and falling. Where he is met by Otto. Otto, who has consistently saved him at every turn this season and asked for nothing. Subaru has largely taken him for granted. This boy got shredded in half to protect him at one point. And even now, in the last minutes when all seems lost, it’s Otto is there to bring Subaru back to his senses!
I would never have guessed this in a million years. If you had told me this at the beginning of the season, I would have called you mad. But I can’t deny it. Otto is now promoted to my favourite boy of the series. Hooray!
Slow clap for Otto. Well done, little merchant!
I hope you all enjoyed this season of re:Zero and that you are looking forward to the next one. There is much action up ahead!