Re:Turn of Re:Zero
I’ll admit, when season 2 started I was thinking to myself, “This fool has already tossed Rem aside, and we already know the death loop formula.” I finished episode one, raging at how the author refuses to give Rem any kind of win, thus I figured the Re:Zero’s magic ended. I wasn’t sure why the author decided to turn the focus to saving Rem when there are more immediate dangers such as the cult. After finishing episodes two and three, my suspicions were confirmed. This anime has lost its storytelling prowess and skill once Betelgeuse was killed, it’s done, time to move on, R.I.P Re:Zero! Then there was episode four, and the moment that gave me a swift axe kick to the head. The moment when Re:Zero Season 2 finally pulled me back in.
Let’s Talk About Natsuki Subaru, For A Long Time
Subaru, as a character, was not the reason I watched Re:Zero. I was somewhat invested into his survival, but he was too erratic in his sensibility. Subaru would jump between being a genius to an absolute moron, and it was hard to get a fix on him. It was clear that he had some mental instability, and we never knew why he was a NEET, but I assumed it was a terrible house-hold. In the most recent episode, our protagonist must partake in a trial, one being him confronting his past. Here we see Nastuski Subaru’s degradation had spawned from a self-discovery of his weaknesses. Re:Zero took an unexpected route by not giving him dead parents, abusive parents, hell, they weren’t even poor. Also, Subaru’s parents loved him unconditionally and were extremely supportive. His father was like the perfect man, he’s strong, handsome, loved by the community, excels and whatever he does. Subaru attempted to emulate his father, exceeding as well. The community then praises him as if praising his father’s genes with a personally chilling line, “You’re definitely his kid.” As he explained his situation to his not-quite dad, I was taken aback by how much I related to the story. Not just related, but in many ways lived, the story.
There are many insecurities that come with being the child of someone who everyone relies on. When you decide to step up and succeed in anything, nothing is owed to your hard work. It’s owed to the genes of your parents. So doing something amazing – like winning a school trial – is expected, and doing anything “just good” is akin to disappointment. So you have a few choices: You continue to strive to excel just like your hero to live up to his reputation, or you can make your own way to find your self value. However, there’s a third option, you could just give up. You can realize how fruitless it is to chase after your idol’s shadow in an ever-stifling race, and just…. not. He chose the third option and began to slowly become a person who doesn’t want to interact with anyone.
“All of it was because I was there!”
Now it makes more sense why Subaru tries so hard for the first woman to see him as not a son of a great man, but just him. It’s obvious that a person whose been feeding his mind such poison for so long would jump at the opportunity to be the best at something his dad is not. She saved his life, she saw worth in him to do so. Of course, he should return her resolve, in fact he should return that resolve back to her tenfold, better yet, there will be no one who possesses a greater dedication to her than him! When she praises him, it will only be him, only Subaru- he will be the only one in her eyes! This makes the outburst, in episode 13 from season one, even more cathartic. He worked so hard for her affection, and suffered so much for her, that her choice to leave him was a betrayal to him. He had to work through most of his insecurities in the latter part of season one to learn that it wasn’t about Emilia, but rather the purpose she gave him.
So, he gets closure from his parents that he never got. He had talks that he never had, and said goodbyes that he never had the chance to say. This was truly heart-warming and I admittedly shed a few tears for my dude. This is what I wanted from Subaru, the lingering thread that didn’t quite explain his irrational behavior at times.
Let’s Wrap it Up
By now, I’m sure it’s easy to tell that I’m not fully invested in the main plot aside from getting Rem to wake up. The introduction of the witch is a nice progression, hopefully leading to Subaru having more options to deal with situations. I appreciate that the anime took a break from the death-loop and provided some more character development. The previous episodes, primarily three, were huge exposition dumps that almost turned the anime into an RPG. It was nice seeing Beatrice again, who is still an oddly adorable character design; I always enjoy her and Subaru’s odd relationship. Lastly, I look forward to seeing the other witches, which means there are plenty of adversaries to meet along this journey. I’m now signed up for this Re:Zero, and I’ll be providing more episode-specific content from here on.
Discuss and Enjoy