Here we go again.
What the fuck? Again? Oh, come on! It was so comfy! Subaru was building a life for himself! And the banter was so good! I mean, I did have a premonition that something might go wrong. It did all seem a little too happy and straightforward in comparison to the other episodes, and even though this is two-cour I wasn’t about to believe that they would use up an entire episode on setting up the next arc without any major plot points happening. But everything was fine until the last few seconds! Subaru does have a ‘save point’ now, but I was hoping with all my heart that he would return to the fifth night (i.e. after he’d built all his relationships with the mansion inhabitants). It’s precisely what I feared the most. I can take gore. I can take screams of pain. But I can’t take screams of pain in my heart. Of course, in the interests of maximum suffering, he’s back to knowing no-one except kind of Emilia and maybe Beatrice. He woke up with Ram and Rem next to him, so he should have met Beatrice by now. If the save point was at the start of the episode, he’d have woken up alone.
At this rate I’m going to get super desensitised and non-committal to any scene that’s remotely happy. I’m going to watch a scene and, even if I laugh because it’s funny, I’m not going to be laughing inside because I know it’s not going to mean anything once a reset happens. And if the previous arc is anything to go by, his relationships by the time the successful loop comes around will never be anywhere near as good as they were the first time – because Subaru will sacrifice such encounters to pursue his greater goals, just like how he didn’t meet Emilia until right before they were all attacked by Elsa. Maybe the bigger issue right now is that no-one except for Emilia and Puck really trust him at all, and even Puck screened him before determining that he wasn’t a threat.
I guess that leads on nicely into the question of what (and why) a reset even happened. Subaru was happily counting Pucks and all of a sudden he’s gone back five days in time. At least he figured it out really fast this time. What’s the trigger? Is he supposed to do something within these five days that he failed to accomplish? Or was he killed in his sleep? I’m leaning towards believing it’s the latter, since that’s what his power has been premised on up until now and I don’t see a reason for that to change. So that now leads to the issue of exactly why he was killed, and by who.
It’s not Emilia or Puck, and I don’t think it’s Beatrice because she doesn’t really seem to care about him beyond finding him annoying. It’s most likely Ram or Rem acting on the orders of Roswaal – which I have a problem with in itself. If his concern was that Subaru might be a spy, why accept him as an employee in the first place? Okay, you could say he’s trying to determine whether he really was a spy, but Ram said that the chances were slim. Of course she was never going to categorically say no, she’s only known him for five days. It’s like how Felt was never going to trade the insignia for the Keit-Ai without waiting for Elsa to show up. So then if Roswaal was going to, regardless of anything, arrive at the conclusion that it’s not impossible but very unlikely that Subaru is a spy, then why not kill him immediately? Why go to all the trouble of employing him and watching his movements? This all hinges on Roswaal actually being the one who killed him, by the way. It might have been some sort of third party assassin, but I have a feeling we were introduced to all the major players of the arc in this episode (maybe a wild Reinhard might appear later).
As for the characters themselves, they’re as colourful as the last arc’s were. So far they haven’t really upset my best girl rankings, but they’ve only been around for an episode after all. I currently like Felt better than any of them, for example. I thought I would like Beatrice the best by virtue of her being an Arai Satomi-voiced loli, but that was before I knew there were twin sisters in this show. I get to cover something with twins! Again! As you might know from my Haruchika coverage, I’m a twins… enthusiast. Let’s put it that way. I’ve now developed a desire to be softly insulted by Ram and Rem in unison, one twin in each ear. Rem in particular, I love Minase Inori’s voice almost as much as I do Yuuki Aoi’s. Forget the maid outfits, those are just a side attraction. Subaru should have been focused on how he woke up to twins sisters serving him! I’m so jealous.
Finally, Emilia revealing the purpose of the insignia and her status as a king candidate (if you’ll forgive the Magi terminology) raises some questions of its own based off the previous arc. Now we know why its theft was such a big deal, but what did that mean for Felt? Could it be that the insignia can only be touched by king candidates, and so Reinhard took Felt away when he saw her holding it? Is Elsa an anti-royalist? What would she have done with the insignia – use it to make someone else a candidate for the throne? If the king has abdicated, what about his children? Roswaal mentioned he had children – why can’t one of them be slated to ascend the throne, with the council ruling in the interim?