Also much better than last week! I hate living through history! I’ve finally settled my review schedule for the season, and I’m ready to talk about episode 40, “Otto Suwen / A Reason to Believe.” Second episode of the second season’s second cour… and no OP! I am partially bummed.
BTW, I like your title. Are you a Buffy fan?
I am! We talked about conversations with dead people…
Let’s get the warnings and disclaimers out of the way. Crow will be in bold this week, there will most definitely be spoilers for this episode of re:Zero, and I am not the target audience.
I’m sorry guys, I know a lot of you are really big fans of this show, and I do see why, but if you ask me to list the elements I tend to like least in anime, it would be heavy exposition, heavy drama, helpless beautiful person trope and romance. I’m saying, this may not have been my favourite episode.
Fret not, however, Crow is a big fan of this show and tends to be uber thrilled when Emilia gets lots of screen time so this is not going to be a negative post!
I completely respect your position. No, seriously! This is a tough show for you to review, and I’m glad to review it with you. I mean, someone’s got to keep me from going on for paragraphs about Emilia’s “damp purple jewels… for eyes!”
And I’m saying that as someone still firmly and happily in Camp Rem.
First thing’s first: Otto. I have mentioned before that I like Otto. He just seems like an average nice guy which normally would be a bit boring but I find it brings a great contrast in this cast. So personally, I was thrilled to get a bit of Otto backstory.
Also, re:Zero tends to be very visually consistent. It has a rather specific art style and colour palette and it sticks to those very closely. So, seeing a little variety with that added texture and reworked colour palette for the flashback was really cool. It’s a generally good-looking show, so I enjoy seeing them try things out with the visuals.
As I said, I’m an Otto fan. I’m not sure if I’m the only one. So the flashback was pleasant enough, even if I was wondering why we were seeing at this point. It does occur to me, though, that if someone doesn’t care for the character, that first act must have been a little tedious. I don’t know, what do you think, Crow?
I think you’re not the only Otto fan! He was in contention for Bro of the year after the previous episode. Now, I honestly don’t see how he can be beat! I liked what you said about “average nice guy,” and how he is so different than the rest of the cast. That might make him so endearing. But I’ll tell you what hit me: what happened between him and his parents. Otto almost presented as deaf. So when his parents tried to talk to him and got no response, they turned to a doctor. He examined little Otto and just shook his head. His parents were crushed.
I’ve lived that. I remember the day my wife and I found out our son was deaf. That was us. The scene was subtle, it was short, and it was true to life.
Oh I didn’t know that. It must have impacted you so much.
Act 2 was an extended chase and fight scene between Otto and Garfiel with a midgame appearance by Ram. The animation was really nice for this sequence. Lots of stuff moving all over the screen, yet the action was nice a clear and easy to follow.
Seeing Ram in action was a blast. Her attitude about Subaru was spot on, too! At first, she was all like “Subaru sucks,” then she came out and said, and I quote: “But… When it’s do or die, he has bizarrely good timingly. A man who only has good timing. That’s what Barusu is.”
I did not know bizarrely was even a word.
This may just be me, but Garfiel is sort of lame as an antagonist. Actually, let me clarify that. After Roswaal’s almost incomprehensible shenanigans and the positively chilling presence of the witches in part 1, Garf just doesn’t measure up for me. Get Echidna back in here or even some of the cultists, and I would be really worried. But I just can’t seem to take Garf as seriously for some reason.
Maybe it’s just cause I really like kitties…
First, I’m all about bringing Echidna back. The more Echidna, the better, I say!
Second, I get what you’re saying. In fact, even as I was worried for what Garfiel might do to Otto, especially given in one timeline, Garfiel cut Otto in half, I had to wonder: What is Garfiel fighting for? He seemed ready to kill Otto for the crime of giving Subaru time alone with Emilia? I’m sure there’s a detail in the vast ocean of facts that is Re:ZERO to explain it, but I’m not remembering it.
Now, act 3 was where they lost me. Subaru and Emilia are talking a lot. Emilia throws a hissy fit, even though tons of lives are at stake. You have a rough day, I get but girl, get it together, people are depending on you. Poor little Emilia, she is definitely not leadership material. I’m sorry to say, but I think pretty much any other candidate would be better suited to becoming king.
Anyways after that, there are feelings and then Garf is waiting for them outside. I’m not sure if that means he slaughtered Ram and Otto. That would be a twist. Subaru is so distracted by his newfound romance and all that he doesn’t really bother to check until 3 weeks later and just finds them completely dismembered with pieces strewn actress the woods and it’s too late to reset. To be clear, I don’t want this to happen. Otto and Ram are my two favourite characters now that Bea has gone all soft on me. But I have to admit, I would never expect that. Even though I just wrote it out, I would still be completely stunned if any of this even marginally came to pass.
Yes. That would be stunning in a WTF sort of way!
I’m not big on gushy stuff. I prefer my romance more in the vein of a Taiga Aisaka head-butt. In this case, though, there were three things that saved the scene for me.
First, did you see his reaction to her getting angry with him for saying he wasn’t angry with her? Did you see his panicked expression? He was in Dude Full Panic Mode (DFPM). That afflicts those of us stupid enough to say something mushy to our significant other, and our significant other reacts by becoming not just angry, but furious.
Well, I would be panicked as well if I was watching someone going insane. It’s scary stuff.
Second was how he reacted. Finally, in episode 40, after dying who knows how many times (and I’m sure someone’s counted!), Subaru finally — finally! — puts his cards on the table and tells Emilia he loves her. But it was almost a panic response to DFPM!
Finally, their kiss was so awkward and crooked and hesitant that it was the perfect first kiss. It struck me as perfect for the two of them — and much, much better than their first kiss back in episode 36, when a broken Emilia kissed Subaru’s dead lips.
Ok, so not my favourite episode, but it still had some good parts in the beginning. Now I feel like my warning at the top was way too exaggerated. Still, I do hope we get a bit of adventuring soon.