My brain trembles.

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Are you fucking serious? Subaru died? Is there a save point after the battle against the White Whale? As surprised as I am to see him reset yet again (it’s been quite a while since he was last killed) the bigger question is exactly how much progress he’s lost. Or, in other words, how sadistic Satella is feeling at the moment. If she wants to inflict even more suffering onto Subaru, he could very well be sent all the way back to the shopkeeper’s stall in the capital, and he’d literally be starting from zero as far as this arc is concerned. He’d have to negotiate with Ana and Crusch again, the fight against the Hakugei might not go as well as it did the first time, and he’d still have no way to get around the fact that Betelgeuse can apparently, for some Satella-related reason, possess his body as well. I’m pretty sure Subaru is supposed to be Pride now.

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More importantly, Subaru has now lost a hell of a lot in terms of character interaction. It’s actually such a waste – he is no longer on as good terms as he was before with Julius and Felis, and if he spawns in front of the shopkeeper Rem is unlikely to pour her heart out to him again. As the Hakugei battle won’t have occurred, he’s also lost Crusch’s goodwill and Wilhelm’s gratitude. I haven’t felt this sort of pinch since he kept dying during the mansion arc and his friendship with Ram and Rem kept resetting over and over. From a practical perspective, I don’t think we have time to go kill the Hakugei again. With Betelgeuse yet to be defeated, the final two episodes should really focus on him and on wrapping up the arc instead of revisiting past content. I actually thought we’d be able to cruise to the end at this point, as save for all the casualties in the village the best case scenario seems to have largely played out – but that wouldn’t amount to enough suffering, would it?

Re_Zero 23 Img001Julius and Felis have caught the despair bug as well. I have a feeling that they both grew to quite like Subaru, and so having to kill him for the greater good mustn’t have been fun at all. It really makes you wonder what happens to the timelines in which Subaru dies. I still remember that loop where he committed suicide – what were Betty and Ram thinking after he jumped off the cliff? Did that timeline even continue onward after his death, or do timelines cease existing at all? Would that mean Satella creates a new parallel timeline for Subaru every time he loops? It’s probably something I should have thought of long before this point in the series, but oh well. I hope we learn a bit more about Satella before it all ends.

Re_Zero 23 Img006You know, I was genuinely expecting Subaru to somehow get Betelgeuse out of his body. How are they going to permanently kill him now? After them having gone to all the trouble of repeatedly killing him enough times, it’s almost cheating to have him jump to Subaru. Would Satella have okay with it if Subaru hadn’t been mercy killed? Does a permanently possessed Subaru still count as a live Subaru? It was going so well until that point – everyone got at least one kill, from Wilhelm to Emilia and even Subaru (albeit through the element of surprise as I doubt Betelgeuse would usually be fazed by normal mabeasts). Emilia and Puck having gotten in one kill suggests that there wasn’t much of a difference between this death and the death Puck caused during that loop where Subaru accidentally killed Emilia. Yet Betelgeuse reacted so weirdly to Puck back then. and to spirits in general as I said last week. I still have no idea whether that has anything to do with the solution. It’s also interesting to speculate on the very last words of the episode, right before Julius kills Subaru – was it Subaru or Betelgeuse who said that they will never die?

Re_Zero 23 Img005As for the blank letter, I’m guessing that whoever wrote it ended up being fogged by the Hakugei, and so despite the letter itself still existing (as it would have regardless of whether it was written on and used to communicate with the Roswaal mansion) the words written by them ended up disappearing along with their entire existence. It’s understandable that Ram would have been pissed about that, but I was less sympathetic to the villagers – not least of all because their discrimination seemed to come out of left field. It’s been mentioned before, but it’s easily forgotten given that nothing much happened when Subaru took Emilia on their long-awaited date. Here, the villagers are getting their lives saved – why were they so testy about it? Sure, maybe it’s happening because of the half-elf, but at least they’re being told about it instead of being left to die like they were in past loops. Now they actually get a chance to survive and reinforcements are here to exterminate the cult that’s causing problems. Why get so pissed off? If they don’t like the half-elf, they can just move elsewhere. It’s not the half-elf’s fault for existing.

Lastly, as much as I hate to admit it, Felis was… c-cute this episode. There, I said it.

Fuck. They just drew a girl and called it a boy, why is this allowed?

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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Magicflier

    Very good analysis! Especially for the white letter bit and the “what happened to those timelines after Subaru died” bit. Keep up the good work. <3

    1. Vantage

      Thanks! Hope you continue enjoying reading them!

  2. Shiki

    First off I think I might spoil a bit [spoiler] he will return to the point after the whale was defeated but it has other consequences [/spoiler]
    If you want to know about those timelines you have to hope for Season 2 because they will come to talk about it right at the beginning because it’s a logical question.
    What was left out here was that Petelgeuse said to Julius that he has a suitable vessel as well which means the condition is probably your affinity to spirits in general. Going from here people connected are probably having problems with spirits if you think back to the beginning where Julius was casting a spirit spell which connects the mana-gates from everybody nearby and is channeling so they know how to escape the spell.. and too bad subaru’s gate is still not fully healed by felis.
    Btw it was Petelgeuse that said he would never die because of his ability to jump from body to body which might make sense to think that
    Villagers of the roswaal domain were there first so nothing with leaving. They were just in a foul mood because taking in a half race, especially Emilia would sooner or later lead to the witches cult coming and bring trouble which is common believe/knowledge

    Felix for MVP this episode, subaru’s wingman..pawman..

    Wanna know something mindblowing?
    [spoiler] Take a look at the guy [Ep. 23; 12:45 min] and than take a look [Ep.14; 21:25] [/spoiler]

    1. Shiki

      [spoiler] P.S. thinking about the meaning behind the Letter will only lead to .. despair pupupu [/spoiler]
      sorry about using so many spoiler tags e.e

      1. Vantage

        I don’t know if I want to click on those spoilers, hahaha…

        I think there’s a good chance of a second season, Re:Zero feels like it’s in a realm of popularity that’s close to mainstream even in Japan. The isekai genre has never been healthier. Anyway, if the condition is your affinity to spirits in general, then doesn’t that mean he can just keep jumping bodies whenever he wants so long as there is a suitable person in the area? Is there a maximum range to it or something?

        You’re probably right that it was Beetlejuice, but it’s interesting that that line could just as easily apply to Subaru, and that he was in Subaru’s body at the time he said it. Also the rate at which I’m growing to like Felix is a little worrying.

  3. Bob

    Sorry to go off topic here, but have the 3rei reviews been cancelled or something?

    1. Vantage

      Unfortunately, it’s been something I’ve failed miserably at keeping up with (I’m still at Episode 2) as real-life commitments this season have made me basically unavailable at all times other than weekends (hence why I sometimes reply to comments ridiculously late, like now). It shouldn’t be something that persists past October or so, but 3rei is probably too far gone for me to catch up with, so I’ll probably have to find a weekend to marathon it and do an overall review or something.

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