Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World (Season One)

Re Zero Title

On his way home from the convenience store, Natsuki Subaru mysteriously finds himself in a strange new world. He meets a half-elf and tries to help her recover an item from a thief but is killed, only to return to a point from before.

What did you watch?

I’m racing through my A to Z Anime Challenge reviews now and hope to have them all caught up before the end of the year. This is one of those shows that everyone seems to know about and for whatever reason, I had not got around to watching. Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World is widely regarded as one of the best Isekai series and as a fan of the genre, I was excited to get into it, especially as I had managed to avoid pretty much everything about it. You know how I hate spoilers. So, if you’re like me then you’ll want to know that his review will contain spoilers, although I feel like everyone else has seen it.

Re Zero Subaru

What happened?

Having arrived in this strange new world, Subaru met a half-elf who introduced herself as Satella. She had just been robbed and was trying to get it back. Subaru offered to help, no doubt swayed by her beauty, but when they got to the point where they may have found it, they were both killed! Seconds later, Subaru found himself back at the point before he met Satella. Confused, he decided to try and recover the item on his own, but things didn’t go quite to plan and he was killed again, waking moments later back at the same point again. This continued as Subaru tried different paths. Eventually, he managed to recover the item and survive, well, almost!

Subaru woke in a strange bed with two maids staring back at him. He was in the house where the half-elf lived. She revealed that her real name was Emilia and thanked him for his help. Subaru with nowhere else to go asked to be taken on at the house as an employee. He began to work and things seemed to be going well, but then he woke up back in the bed with the two maids staring back at him. Subaru attempted to work out what had happened to him and ended up getting killed in a different way, returning to the same point again.

The worst thing was that he was unable to tell anyone that he was returning by death as every time he tried, something cold and sinister stopped him. Subaru was alone and still trying to progress beyond that point. When Emilia was called to the capital as one of the potential successors to the throne, Subaru went with her and sought a way to put his skill to good use.

Re Zero Rem and Subaru Broken

What did you think?

I absolutely loved this series and am so glad I went in knowing nothing other than who Rem is. The one thing that I’d imagine puts most people off is Subaru. He is not your typical dark fantasy protagonist, at least not at first. He is a loud-mouthed, belligerent fool, all while not being particularly strong or dangerous. As the series progresses, he grows as a character realising his faults and flaws, even attempting to change and use them to the best of his ability. I think that’s one of the strengths of this series. That and the incredibly detailed world that it takes place in. I love a good fantasy world.

Re Zero Crusch Wilhelm and Subaru

What was your favourite moment?

The battle with the White Whale was excellent, but I also loved all of the development leading to it where we first encounter the whale and its mysterious powers. I loved how Subaru convince Crusch to mobilize her army and then they were all sitting by the colossal Flugel tree. It was so well done and the tension was insane. They were all sitting there waiting, but there was nothing. Doubts were starting to set in and then Subaru’s alarm on his phone went off and the whale appeared.

The battle itself was epic and I loved the side story with Wilhelm and his wife as he thought to end the monster that took her from him. There was just so much at stake and the White Whale seemed impossible to beat. Then, Subaru had the idea to drop the Flugel tree on it, which was also insane, but it worked. This is how a fantasy battle should go. It was compelling and I had to keep watching the next episode to find out what happened next.

Re Zero Rem and Subaru Running from White Whale

What was your least favourite moment?

This was an episode that shouldn’t have worked. Having failed to save Emilia, Subaru returned by death to the vendors stall in the capital. Subaru was distraught and unable to hide it. Rem noticed his sudden change, but before she could do anything he ran off, dragged her along with him. They stopped in a secluded place where Subaru asked her to run away with him. Rem refused. Subaru went on a rant about how useless he was and how he’d wasted his life, but Rem then told him that she loved him. She painted a detailed picture of how their life could be if they ran away together and how she would be happy, but it wasn’t what the Subaru she knew would want. Subaru turns down Rem’s love, insisting that his heart belonged to Emilia. Rem’s words had, however, given him the strength to do what needed to be done.

This was pretty much the entire episode. It was almost just Rem and Subaru talking, but it was captivating. You couldn’t look away or miss a single word that was said. It told me there and then that I was so invested in the characters that they could do anything and I would have watched. It was incredible. So, why is this my least favourite moment? Well, it’s because Rem is a treasure and Subaru is a complete idiot for turning her down. What the hell was he thinking and after what she just said? It was unforgivable.

Re Zero Rem

Who was your favourite character?

There were a lot of very interesting and varied characters in Re:Zero and it certainly kept things interesting. I particularly enjoyed the interactions with Beatrice, but Rem is without a doubt the best character in the series. Her story was awesome and I loved how she went from being determined to kill Subaru to falling completely in love with him, although I can’t work out exactly why. The progress did fell natural and it helped to tone down Subaru and make him more bearable.

Re Zero Rem loses Control

Who was your least favourite character?

You would think it would be Subaru, but it was actually Emilia. She was a very bland and boring character who didn’t really do much to progress her own storyline. There were times where she tried, but she also seemed to give up all too easily. I still can’t believe Subaru turned down Rem for Emilia and at the time, Emilia had no feelings for him. If anything she was angry and annoyed at him. I feel like there is so much more to her story that needs to be told, however.

Re Zero Emilia

Would you like some more?

I will take everything you have and keep it coming. As I said earlier, I loved the fantasy world and the lore involved. This series covered a number of things, but it’s quite clear that there is a lot more to it. Thankfully, a second season has finally been scheduled and I can’t wait. It’s probably a good thing that I waited to see this series as it originally aired in 2016 and waiting four years for the next part would have been too hard.

Re Zero Rem and Subaru Running Lead the Charge

What have you learnt?

As much as you may want your characters to be perfect from the beginning, it’s best to give them flaws. It gives you something to develop and overcome, or not, as the story progresses. Readers like to see growth and experience it as the character learns to deal with their shortcomings. It’s also possible to make those flaws too overpowering and that was almost the case with Subaru. We definitely went on an adventure and experience real character growth, but I’ll bet there were some that gave up on him. It almost took until the eighteenth episode where Rem confessed her love for him to really become the person that we saw in the end.

Re Zero Subaru was too Late

Other Posts in the Series

6 Comments

  1. While I agree with the angle that it felt almost odd that Subaru still chose Emilia in the end, I believe that there will be a lot more development on that side. Remember that the one who brought Subaru to this world was the witch, who also looks like Emilia. I think there will be some shenanigans and maybe a mixup with those two in the future. The witch didn’t choose Subaru without a reason of her own…

    • I completely agree, but that doesn’t make Rem any less perfect and Subaru any less of an idiot!

      With Season 2 on its way hopefully we’ll find out much more. There was a lot of stuff in season 1 that didn’t exactly go anywhere and I’m sure it was part of the bigger picture.

    • The only *spoiler* that I’ve heard is that the witch becomes more directly involved with the story. Which I can’t wait to see!

    • Damn it, Yomu! Now you’ve ruined it…

      I’m just looking forward to getting back there and seeing what else there is. Another battle like the White Whale would be excellent and there’s more of the Witches followers too.

  2. That last screen shot haunts me. Episode 15 hit me harder than any other work of fiction than I can think of.

    Rem crawling towards Subaru is one of the most horrible things I’ve ever seen. In a powerfully dramatic way.

    And Subaru still chose Emilia!

    Damn, dude…

    • For real! I remember thinking what was Betelgeuse doing to Rem’s body as there was no way she could be moving on her own, but she was. And then, Subaru had to grab her clothes with his teeth to pull her to him.

      There was just so many incredible moments in this series, I can’t wait to see what happens next!

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