Sometimes, Re:zero will just throw in some incredibly heavy and emotional episodes at you and I gotta say, this episode is definitely up there with Episode 18 from last season. One interesting thing is that the episodes are all different lengths, this was being the longest (this season) at almost 30 minutes, and I love that they’re doing that so they have the freedom to tell their story in the time that they want. It’s not a thing we normally see but it really does make all the difference in elevating the story.
You know, I wasn’t expecting this. First off, it’s not normal that we even get to see the past life of an isekai protagonist because most isekai are just “Here’s the main guy! Now he’s in this fantasy world, let’s get things started!” Introduce the girls, go on wacky adventures and all that. All that matters is the fantasy world and making it as interesting or cool as possible, because the real world is boring! We don’t need to know anything about the main character’s past life because it was probably really boring and has nothing to do with them! Well, Re:zero thankfully doesn’t do that and we get into the details of Subaru’s past life and really discovering why he hated himself and why he was a shut in.
I was thinking, hm, maybe his parents suck and were abusive and that contributed to his depression. Nope. I was happily surprised to see that his parents are actually incredibly sweet and loving people, but I feel that only made things even more painful. These probably aren’t even his real parents, but it seems that the ruins or Echidna took memories of his parents from inside him and made this illusion world in order for him to face his past and go through the trial. Still, the conversations Subaru had with his mother and father were incredibly emotional and touching, and it was also just fun to see interactions from them considering how strange and funny they all are. Here I thought Subaru was weird but it makes sense after seeing how fucking weird his parents are too.
To some, Subaru’s backstory may seem a little underwhelming in anime standards, but in realistic standards it’s pretty good. It’s a story we’ve seen in media many times before, and even in real life where the child is a shadow of their parent with a high reputation. Subaru was a kid that could always do things pretty easily and garner the attention from his peers and compliments from his father’s peers. Until one day he suddenly found himself to not succeed as much as he used to, and that’s when things started spiraling out of control with him suddenly acting out and his mental state slowly diminishing. It finally came to a breaking point when he suddenly found himself alone, and realizing that he never was as special as he thought he was. He was just average, but when comparing himself to his amazing father…he was a nobody.
This can be seen a lot with kids when in sports or in school, when they’re the best in their team or in school they have the reading ability of someone much older and they’re praised and feel special. But then things start to change and they have to keep up with the stresses of holding up the image, or realizing that it was a short-term success and they don’t see the same attention they got before. This type of problem happens more than people think, and Subaru is a character that fits this mold and can be very relateable for a lot of people, as well as the slip into the crippling depression.
And man it all just hurts so much more seeing that his parents are supportive and loving, instead of being the parents he wanted them to be: disappointed, angry, and disgusted at their son. He expected those reactions because it only made sense for a person as disappointing that he perceived himself to be. It would also give him the excuse to finally give up. Whether the “give up” means in life or something worse, I’m not sure.
Not to get too personal, but being at your lowest and feeling like absolute shit but still having the support and love of your parents really is such an amazing feeling. I’ve had plenty of times where I’ve been emotionally distressed or I just wasn’t happy with myself and my choices, but having my parents at my side makes things so much easier. Watching this episode just made me appreciate my homelife and family so much more, and I’m glad that Subaru also has a strong supportive net and unconditional love. It’s such an important thing to have, and that’s why it just made this episode feel so much more emotional. Subaru has a great home life, he has amazing parents, he has love from them, and what’s so tragic is that he probably won’t ever see them again. We don’t really know how or why he was transported to a new world, I’m sure it’ll be something we’ll learn later on (damn you Witch!), but we also don’t even know if there’s a way he can go back and we’re not sure if he even wants to. Still, Subaru was able to voice out his concerns and feelings to his parents in this illusion world, so it also hurts because they probably weren’t even his real parents. This was still a very important moment for Subaru and it made him, and us, realize how much he’s grown and how special he actually is. He may still have trouble liking himself, but he can’t deny that he’s made a huge difference in many lives in the new world he arrived in, namely for Emilia and Rem from the visions he saw.
Subaru can sometimes be a little frustrating, but I always liked him a lot and I’m surprised there’s still people that don’t like him. He’s easily the only isekai protagonist that has the most depth and there’s so many facets to his character. Just from the first season from beginning to end I could see how much his character has grown, but even now he continues growing and it’s great to watch.
But man…knowing his mother’s last “Take care.” was the night he disappeared, and he didn’t even answer or look at her. Just knowing that kills me. And his father saying to make it up to them by taking care of them when they’re old…are you fucking kidding me. Fucking hell! T_T I’m at least glad he responded to his mother’s “take care” with a wave and big smile, and that itself shows how much Subaru has grown (as well as even going to school!) I don’t care what anyone says, Subaru is pretty great.
I wonder how Echidna will react to Subaru’s memories and him being from another world, and what she’s even doing there in the first place. I do also wonder if we’ll get to see Emilia’s side with her past because I’d love to see that too. It’s amazing we got such a fantastic episode so early on this season, it just makes me excited to see how insane the rest of this season will be!
P.S. I agree, peas are disgusting.