Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu – 13

rez131

The royal selection process becomes a lot more interesting when Reinhard officially endorses Felt, but you can’t take the slums out of the girl, and Felt turns the court off with her poor breeding and independent, tell-it-like-it-is nature. I’m still firmly on Team Emilia, but I do enjoy Felt rubbing her contempt for the situation in everyone’s faces.

rez132

Rancor builds among the court that just as a sewer rat shouldn’t be allowed to participate, neither should Emilia, a “filthy half-devil” with The Witch’s features. That sets off Subaru, who shouldn’t even be there to begin with, but he won’t stop barking, until Anastasia’s knight Julius confronts him, questioning his claim of being Emilia-tan’s “best knight.”

rez133

Not to side against the protagonist, but Subaru is way out of line here, and I’m not sure I’m supposed to believe otherwise. Emilia really doesn’t want to grab him by the arm and lead him out like a mother taking control of her unruly child, but that’s exactly what happens, and it’s pretty ugly.

Far more surprising, and not altogether plausible, is Old Man Rom’s entry into the throne room to rescue Felt. He’s arrested immediately, and only spared summary execution when Felt changes her mind and agrees to participate in the selection.

rez134

Mind you, Felt’s going to do things her way, which means rule with a healthy hatred of the country she struggled to mightily to survive in, and those who rule it. She breaks off an intense pledge to destroy the country all these rich bastards hold so deal and build a new one in its place. It sounds, on the surface at least, a lot like Emilia’s “everyone is equal” platform, only those who were on top in the old system won’t be equal to the 99% under Felt’s rule.

Felt may be just as contemptuous of the process as Subaru was, but she has a right to be, when considering the life she’s lived and the fact she’s a legitimate participant; Subaru is nothing but an interloper, good intentions be damned. And when Julius challenges him to a duel to show him what the knights he mocked are made of, Subie continues to learn, quite painfully, just how out of his element he is in this arc.

rez135

It’s brutal to see him so out of sorts and so powerless to do anything about it. And this time, he doesn’t even have Emilia backing him up, because he’s going against his promise to stay put, which was a really bad decision.

Also bad? Thinking his Shamac spell would be of any use against a knight of Julius’ stature. Subie cannot lay a finger on him, and gets beaten within an inch of his life for refusing to yield. He also ignores a frantic Emilia’s cries to stop this madness, but he ignores them.

This is about more than just preserving Emilia’s pride—something he’s all too ill-equipped to so anyway—but his pride as well. The only problem is, he’s all alone on this one.

rez136

What’s shocking is just how little Subaru realizes how much harm he’s done in these last two episodes. That makes it that much more torturous when Emilia finally lets him have it after he wakes up from his unnecessary beating. Her anger and disappointment cast a gloomy pall on what would otherwise be another gorgeously-lit bedside scene.

To be fair, Subaru physically can’t tell Emilia about any of the previous timelines, but even if he could, how can she trust anything he says when he so brazenly breaks promises he made to her and causes so much chaos in the midst of a delicate succession process?

The time for second chances and slaps on the wrist are over for Subaru, who has never seemed more out of place in this fantasy world. Bottom line: the Emilia before him and the “vision” of Emilia in his mind, are two different people, and he has to come to terms with that.

What does Subie do to counter Emilia’s litany of harsh truths? He digs himself an even deeper hole, selfishly rattling off all of the ways Emilia is indebted to him. That goes about as well as expected: Emilia agrees to repay all of those debts quickly, so they can then part ways, then walks out of the room, stating how she had—past tense—hopes for him. Ouch.

rez137

So far, in this arc, the bad guy is Subaru, but I hope it doesn’t stay that way. The hole he started digging last week became a virtual mine shaft into the bowels of the Earth, and he has no one to blame but himself. Climbing out won’t be easy, even if he dies and wakes up back before all this awful business at the palace.

At the moment, I can’t see any other way to earn back the trust and respect he lost today than…by not losing it to begin with. But what would impress me even more is if Re:Zero Subie didn’t rely on the Reset button, but found another way to redeem himself.

16rating_9

Advertisements

Author: magicalchurlsukui

Preston Yamazuka is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

2 thoughts on “Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu – 13”

  1. I’m extremely torn over this episode.

    On the one hand, it’s a major payoff for Subaru’s increasing antics finally being so over the top that he loses the day. All the flailing and bravado gets him Knight enemies, and his assumptions and arrogance cost him the fight. And it builds to losing him Emi-Tan by the end. All these notes and conclusions make sense, and not letting him die and reboot his way back out of it, which I thought was his backup plan, makes it even more brutal.

    However

    There wasn’t a single segment in this episode that rose above cringeworthy. At least 2 (if not all 4) of the Royal Rivals are just awful, cliche, archetypal wallpaper. (and don’t even get me started on their ‘quirky for quirky sake’ retainers, or the groan-worthy injection of Old Man Rom and the double-reverse plot to get Felt to participate) Even if they weren’t, introducing them so deep in the season undermines the viewer’s ability to invest in them. This is extra apparent in Re:Zero due to its laser focus on the core cast, to the extent that we’ve spent more time learning about their nuances than actual story has developed.

    The result frames the royal competition as over-designed, trite obstacles.

    A far more effective solution would have been to keep Emi-Tan as the presumptive nominee, only to have Felt upset that plan, and criss-cross our emotional loyalty to the cast members. (and to have Old Man Rom with her from the get-go) Subi being angry at how everyone treats Emi (and probably Felt too) could still lead to the same narrative end, while maintaining the tight cast we care about.

    Alternatively, flood the screen with gobs of royal hopefuls and give none of them ‘personality.’ In this way, the viewer could still focus on Emi’s treatment and Subi’s frustration at how indifferent people treat her, despite how much she shines above the rest (in our, and Subi’s eyes).

    Either of those choices would have made a more original, specific conflict for Re:Zero to address…far more interesting than the introduction of Mean Girl, Rich Girl and Army Girl who we know will most likely lose in the end, and add very little along the way.

    1. Great thoughts. I don’t disagree on any particular point. Weird, right?

      You and I both loved the emotional core of this episode: the devastating descent of Subaru and Emilia’s relationship. That part earned a 10. Watching Subie go too far with his schtick and actually receive serious consequences that (hopefully) won’t be easily resolved…it was, as you said, brutal and spellbinding.

      His arc in this episode reminded me that Subaru is not of this world. It made me think a little more about the guy he was in his original world, the normal world of present-day Japan we inhabit. That guy…he was a loser, right? That Subaru shone through this week more than ever before, and it was not a good look at all.
      I fully support Emilia’s stepping back. The only thing I sympathize with Subaru about is the fact he can’t physically discuss his reset power, but that excuses nothing he said or did this week.

      I’m one of those viewers who will typically go with the flow when a new arc for the second half is introduced, along with new settings and new characters. Heck, they did that with the manor arc. Twin maids, a clown-wizard, AND a twin-drill loli witch? Uh-oh.

      But I’m glad you’re here to say, “Hold on…why do we have to have so many damn candidates…AND their try-hard retainers?” The answer, it seems, is “We don’t, but the show introduced them anyway, and…they’re not very interesting.” Emilia vs. Felt would have been fine. Maybe one other; a composite of Mean, Rich and Army. But things are too busy so far. Of course, it’s still early.

      At the very least, there’s plenty of time to right the ship. I’m curious to see if Emilia’s breakup sticks. Will Subaru try to fix it, or shift his allegiance to, say, Priscilla?

Comments are closed.