We are now at re:Zero episode 48, only two more episodes to go in this season and things are wrapping up. We can pretty much see where we are heading now and start to make up our minds. Tell me Crow, what do you think of the direction the season is taking?

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All of the plot turns and pinch points are coming together, and I find that the spectacle of this episode just helped me figure out the hardest thing about seasonal reviews: My opinion of the entire series is powerfully colored by the episode I just watched. I finished watching this episode just about 45 seconds ago. “Love Me Down to My Blood and Guts” gave us two pathos-driven spectacles that, in this moment, in the emotional glow of my reaction, I’d rank right up there with Frodo announcing “I have come. But I do not choose now to do what I came to do.”

It must have been the flames.

Oh my, jumped right in there, let me get the paperwork out of the way. There will be some spoilers for episode 48 of re:Zero season 2 and Crow will be in bold text this week. I hope you guys are having fun with this show and that you enjoy our reviews!

Seconded. Seriously, there’s no point to us writing these if you don’t have a good time reading it!

I have made no secret that I’m a bit disappointed by how often the adaptation chooses to convey information through direct exposition. Sure, there is animation, but I find that this season of reZero really had a lot of scenes of characters just talking to each other in what should have been action-filled moments. I do realize that this may be partly for budgetary reasons, though. 

As such, I was really happy to see that some good old fashion action was shown in the mansion scenes. It felt good to see things zoom around the screen once more and get what you need from context. What do you think Crow?

I think I gave away a bit of my answer in my opening statements! It did feel good to feel like re:ZERO cut loose, to see the power and drama they’d built over a season finally collide. 

Got to give props to Garfiel. The little dude did what he had to! I suspect he made his sister Frederica proud!

On the other hand, Emilia’s trial was probably one of the least animated yet. She was on her last day and being visited by the ghost of Christmas future but we really didn’t get to see much. It sort of occurs to me that only the first part, being forced to confront her past, actually felt like a trial. I guess the present was an idyllic picture of the present and it took strength for her to let it go, in theory, but we already know that she has just discovered the love of her life so her actual present is pretty damn good as well and the future one didn’t make any type of impact. 

Do you think the trials were kind of easy Crow? Maybe they are different from other people cause I would figure someone would have passed them by now.

With the exception of the first, I can’t call them anything but easy. It wasn’t just that Emilia had grown as a result of the first trial. The second and third just didn’t puncture her heart and rip into her. 

In fact, they were so easy, I have to wonder: Does that tell us something? Was Echidna nearing the end of her strength? It’s like her heart wasn’t in it or something. 

I know Crow must be very sad about the garden scene. I bet you would have really liked to see the two pretty ladies have tea together. At least there was some fanservice in that scene instead.

Would you have preferred a tea time between Emilia and Echidna?

Okay, part of me wants to argue the point, but I might as well be honest. Yeah, it would have been great to see Emilia try to get Echidna to admit why she so passionately hated her. 

But you know, Minerva almost made me forget about Echidna. There’s something about her earnestness that is endlessly endearing. And what about her saying that she knew Emilia’s mom? “Yes, I know her well, but I can’t tell you more,” she said. Present tense! I’m still not convinced that Satella isn’t Emilia’s biological mom.

Also, Minerva gives great hugs. 

Hooray for fanservice!

This act ended with Emilia self exposition, i.e. basically explaining to herself what was happening as it was happening, out loud, and then a little cliffhanger as she discovered a snowbound sanctuary, very reminiscent of part 1. What do you think is going on Crow?

I’m on the lookout for bunnies. I don’t think that’s a happy development for our heroes. Or hero, in this case. 

Was it my imagination, or did Emilia not recognize the body of Echidna in the casket? I wasn’t sure what that was about.

I didn’t recognize it either. The face looked very different.

The return to the mansion showed us the wrap-up of those events. It’s odd, re:Zero episode 48 felt like both the most expensive and cheapest one production-wise. There were all those huge fight scenes that were probably the most grandiose of this part at least but it was balanced out with numerous reused clips and cells from previous episodes and a lot of describing past events through speech instead of a visual flashback. 

What did you think of the production Crow?

I think you hit the nail on the head. They saved a ton of cash with Emilia, then blew all of it — and probably several of the animation team’s Visa and MasterCard balances — on the fight between Knifey/Elsa and Garfiel. Their fight might be the most dramatic and exciting that I’ve seen in Re:ZERO. Even Elsa inserting her back story worked, because Garfiel was all like “what you bringing this up now for?” But it also gave us a little insight into Knifey. 

I hope this insight gets used in the future. 

Did we know that there were vampires in the reZero universe? Have we seen any before, because it came as a surprise to me? Also, is Garf a vampire manbeast now? Cause of that final confrontation and all. If he is, he’s probably one of the most powerful creatures in reZero now, isn’t he? 

That’s an interesting thought! I haven’t heard of vampires in this world before. I didn’t get a sense of how vampires work, though. I didn’t think vampires auto-regenerated, at least the vampires I know. Moka Akashiya was really strong, but I don’t recall her having auto regenerate. Though maybe she’s not the best example…

But Garfiel with vampire powers on top of his already prodigious strength? Dang…

I thought it was over at this point because they tricked us with a closing credit screen but there was actually one more act.

This was so nostalgic for me. It was a classic set up where the opponents in a life or death battle take a break to explain their situations and motivations to each other. It had some major DBZ feels and it made me smile. I know I said there was too much exposition but as long as you’re going to put it in anyways, might as well make it hilarious at least!

Even though it’s sort of an outdated trope now, did you like it Crow?

It was super effective. I love Ram to death, and seeing her confess her love for Roswaal while retaining her edge was just fantastic. 

ith re:Zero episode 48 done and only two episodes to go we will find out why the Sanctuary Emilia emerged in is so chilly and if Subaru can finally bring Rem back. What are your predictions, Crow? Is there anything you hope will happen?

I hope Rem comes back to us, but I can’t see how that would happen — they haven’t done anything about Noming Dude (Lye Batenkaitos). I have the impression that as long as he’s alive, Rem’s memory is toast.

How about you? What would you like to see?

I think I’ll just be happy with a conclusion that actually advances the plot. I guess I would love some visual storytelling and maybe adding an actual fault or two to the main characters could add a lot of dimension. 

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12 thoughts

  1. I actually forgot the Emilia part existed this episode, and your talk had to remind me of it. That’s how much impact it made on me. Now I remember that when I saw the trial itself, I thought many different futures were scrambling for attention, but then she seemed to have actually understood all that and it was apparently only one future? At any rate, I don’t much care.

    My fave part of the episode was definitely Ram throwing the book into the fire. I love you, but I hate your taste in literature. Gone it is (unless magical tomes don’t burn well; I sure hope the things gone).

    Elsa being squashed under the corpse of the Rockpig was quite interesting, too. Considering the castle is burning, too, that’ll take a while to regenerate. Should give them enough time to run. (I didn’t expect Elsa to actually care about the little one. That was quite a surprise, too, and it didn’t even involve any huge declarations; just a bit of familiar bickering.)

    I thought it was a decent episode, but I preferred the first half of the second season to this one so far, and the first season to the second one overall.

  2. So many things I liked in this episode , Emelia meeting Minerva , Garfiel smashing Elsa with a rock piggie, and of course Otto’s oil was beneficial to the story😂I loved the irony of Roswaal possibly buying off the oil from Otto because of Subaru, and then that same oil being used to burn down the mansion😂😂😂

  3. Irina, Echidna stated after Emilia passed the first trial that the other two would be easy because they were not a good fit for Emilia’s experiences. I think it’s the opposite for Subaru. Because he loops over and over, the second and third trials would have been nightmares for him to try and pass as evidenced by what he went through in the second trial.

    I now see how this episode ties into The Frozen Bond as the voice, who was revealed to be Echidna, said that if Puck got too close to Emilia that he would cease to be himself, and this episode reveals that Puck’s memories were also sealed when he entered into a contract with Emilia, meaning it wasn’t just Emilia whose memories were sealed. He has now regained his memories about Hector, leading to him suggesting that Roswaal is backward-facing, which leads more credence to him imitating Hector to constantly remind himself of the beatdown Hector delivered to him over 400 years ago.

    I don’t think Satella is Emilia’s mother given that Emilia’s father was Fortuna’s brother, which makes him a pureblood elf, and as far as I can tell, Re:zero follows the laws of genetics to a tee. I still think there are 11 witches/warlocks because it appears that Subaru’s name is a major part of the lore of the series on witches. For those who don’t know, Subaru is also what the Japanese use to refer to the Pleiades star cluster. Six of the stars in that cluster are visible to the naked eye, and there are six dead Witches of Sin. The Pleiades star cluster is also referred to as the Seven Sisters, and there are seven witches bearing the name of the seven deadly sins in Re:zero. Vainglory and Acedia are historical sins, and vainglory and acedia are not commonly used in modern times, with people using vanity and melancholy to mean the same thing, so Crunchyroll probably just went with the modern terms. Given the presence of Pandora and Hector in the story, it’s clear that Tappei made use of historical sins in his story. Interestingly enough, there are eleven stars in the Pleiades star cluster with nine of them having names, making it fitting that there might be 9 Witches of Sin. Two of the stars have yet to be named, and as such, I propose there might be two secret witches that have some other concept applied to them instead of sins. Given that Pandora also referred to Emilia as “Witch’s daughter”, meaning that Echidna might not have said that to insult Emilia and maybe that Emilia’s mother is one of those yet-to-be-determined witches.

    And there is definitely something up with Echidna’s face given that Emilia didn’t recognize her. It seems there was a purpose to the flashbacks hiding Echidna’s face other than showing that Echidna is a sketchy character after all. I wonder if her physical body’s face looks different than what we see in tea parties and trials.

  4. There seem to be a lot of Emilia look-a-likes. All those shapely women with long pure white hair. The ghost of Christmas future was so wimpy it actually brought me down a bit. I wanted to see images of horror and devastation and maybe everyone she’d ever loved corrupted and/or destroyed, not just a few ominous words being spoken in her head. I suspect they didn’t have time or budget to do the third trial properly.

    The second trial did not disappoint me. The alternate reality with Mother Fortuna and everyone from her childhood being ok. I think I said before it was downright Biblical in nature. Echidna wanted her to pick the alternate present and was deeply hurt when she did not. This leads me to believe Echidna was also emotionally invested in that alternate present. It is the test Echidna would have failed at.

    Something we haven’t seen is Emilia’s power. We saw in the OVA she has incredible power and yet she hasn’t really used it yet in the series.

    I think there’s still a crystal of Roswaal’s to be broken. And snow means an attack of the vorpal bunnies. I think that’s Roswaal’s final strike. If you can’t win the fight, destroy everyone.

    1. Yeah, I got what the point of the second trial was it’s just that narratively it was placed right after the story really insisted that Emilia really likes her present for the first time so it takes a lot of the tension completely out of it for the audience. So the way the anime paced and sequenced it was counterproductive. I wonder if the source material is the same.

    2. “This leads me to believe Echidna was also emotionally invested in that alternate present.”

      That’s an interesting thought. That could explain Echidna’s tears.

      “Something we haven’t seen is Emilia’s power. ”

      I think we got a hint in episode 44 when Emilia lost control and froze the forest. But that was a vague use. You’re right — we don’t know what she can really do.

  5. The height of disappointment to me is Rem’s complete absence. I sure hope this gets corrected as soon as possible.

    I wonder how many people thought of The Christmas Carol once we finally realized what the three separate trials were meant for. It’s the first thing I thought, I know that.

    Yes, lots of long scenes of conversations. That’s great for the VAs (Roswaal, so much fun to listen to), but it just left me confused most of the time. I contrast this with season 1, which had a little of this, but primarily focused on how Subaru dealt with his power. That, and any similar element, has been completely lost in S2. That was what made Re:Zero so powerful to me. Then for it to basically be AWOL this entire season was really weird and pretty frustrating.

    I sure hope a lot of this this isn’t about budget. This is White Fox we’re talking about. And doubtless the first season produced enough revenue to justify the same or larger budget. Regardless of the current environment, I hope they didn’t compromise the quality of their production for budgetary reasons.

    1. I’m not sure why they went in such a different direction when adapting s2. There might be a reason.

      There’s a couple of episodes left, maybe we’ll get to see Rem just in time for the finale?

      1. I don’t think Re:zero’s production problems this season are a result of budgetary constraints. White Fox is lengthening episodes significantly, cutting into the amount of advertising revenue it makes in the process after all, so it shouldn’t be an issue of money.

        I will say that White Fox has a lost a lot of staff over the years. Many White Fox employees quit working with White Fox to join Studio Bind bind because they wanted to work on Mushoku Tensei. As such, Re:zero had significantly less staff working on it compared to Season 1 and also was asked to complete working on Re:zero in a shorter period of time compared to Season 1, so it was a struggle all around especially considering the issues with COVID-19. I believe there’s a good chance that Re:zero might have been delayed even if the outbreak hadn’t happened given that the team working on Re:zero was only on Episode 5 by the time pandemic restrictions had been brought in.

        1. That would explain it. There are some significant differences in the way the material is being adapted and a lack of resources sounds like a very likely reason. Then again it could also be a deliberate choice. There are a lot of people who enjoy a simpler adaptation

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