Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu – 14

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It stood to reason Subaru wouldn’t quickly or easily fix things with Emilia, or even figure out how to fix things with Emilia. As disheartening proof, Emilia doesn’t even appear this week; her absence creating a yawning void when combined with where she and Subaru left things. Still, I had no idea things would get so much worse so quickly. And yet they do: Re:Zero lets the shit fly free into a very big fan, and nobody comes out clean.

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What’s devastating about what transpires centers on some intentionally harsh words from Felix that sort of echo what Julius had to say (and what he risked his career and chivalry to try to teach Subie, to no avail): Even if Subaru had a plan, even if he involved himself, even if he risked everything to try to do something to protect Emilia, it wouldn’t matter.

That’s how out of his element he is: those who would be his enemies (or at least the political rivals of Emilia) are doing their utmost to simply keep Subaru out of it, not because they’re worried he’d make things worse, but because he’d only end up dead, accomplishing nothing.

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Subie being Subie, he respectfully dismisses stern warnings from both Crusch (who if nothing else was a decent host) and Felix (who had been healing his gate) and heads back “home” to Roswaal Mathers’ domain as soon as he hears of reports of suspicious movement near the mansion.

The one bright light in the yawning abyss this week was Rem, staying by Subaru’s side no matter how pathetic he gets (indeed, largely because he’s pathetic), not due to any contracts or obligations or honor, but because she wants to.

We know what that means even if Subaru isn’t particularly receptive to it: Rem cares about him, at least as much as he cares about Emilia, and she won’t leave his side. Her “save a tiny bit of that for me”, talking about his feelings for Emilia, might be the saddest line of the show.

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But as far as she takes him, even Rem can’t find it in her to bear Subaru to whatever is going in the Mathers lands. Instead, she leaves for the mansion in the night, leaving a note pleading Subaru to heed her words. Stay behind; wait for her return; trust in her.

He can’t. He uses every means at his disposal to get closer and closer to the place no one wants him anywhere near for his own good. He takes Rem’s note as another endorsement of the “Subaru can’t do anything” narrative.

When he’s running in the dark and becomes suddenly surrounded by a circle of sinister-looking magicians who don’t even bother to kill him before racing off, it’s clear that Yup, he can’t do anything. Not about this.

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In case he didn’t get the message there, he finally arrives at the village near the mansion, and it’s the site of a massacre of men, women, and children. Was this the result of the intense public prejudice against Emilia’s half-elf lineage, which she barely ever mentioned to Subaru? Was it those magicians? I don’t know, but I’ll admit the sight shocked me.

But the village was nothing compared to Subaru entering the Mathers Mansion, seeing a bloody mace, and then coming upon the lifeless, bloodied body of Rem, as she recites her letter to him. I can’t believe Rem is dead any more than Subaru wants to, and though I wouldn’t put it past Re:Zero to make these myriad tragedies stick, one can’t discount the fact Subaru can do something no one around him knows he can do: die, and by doing so, blow up everything that’s transpired to this point.

Will he do that? If he does Return by Death, where and when does he wake up, and what the hell can he do to prevent this? As for if he doesn’t RbD, well…I don’t particularly want to think about that.

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Author: magicalchurlsukui

Preston Yamazuka is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

8 thoughts on “Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu – 14”

  1. Great start to the second cour. without all the melodrama and they cut down on the bloated cast, which was my biggest criticism last week. But more than the goodness of this episode, I want to go on record with my prediction for this arc:

    Rem stays dead and Subi doesn’t get to Reboot. Not for a while at least. That would contrast with the first arc, where the rewind was constant. It would also fit now because Subi WANTS to reboot, and the narrative shouldn’t let him do that. Not, at least, until he comes to terms with a few things. First, he isn’t a hero. Not that anyone would ever know because his true effort will always be hidden. He isn’t the savior of the land anyway, at most, the champion and protector of one of the land’s saviors. More Final Fantasy 12 than… any other FF. Just a guy there, not the protagonist.

  2. “When he’s running in the dark and becomes suddenly surrounded by a circle of sinister-looking magicians who don’t even bother to kill him before racing off, it’s clear that Yup, he can’t do anything. Not about this.”

    Suprised that you didn’t mention that those bowed to him.

    1. Yeah, I noticed that too, as if Subi is regarded as some authority or divine figure by them, or were they mocking him? The hooded men could be related to the dark power behind Subi’s return from death power, or from the witch, or from something unrelated and have yet to be revealed.

      Also it seems, as he enters the village, it takes some time for him to realize that there are dead people around, or he was dazed with denial perhaps.

      I don’t know if he could fix anything at this point, with Rem and perhaps Emilia and the rest are presumably dead. Since his ‘return’ ability only occurs upon his death which he has not experienced for the the longest time, and as I mentioned a lot of bad things have already happened.

    2. Good point. In the moment I guess I thought they were mocking him, but they bowed to him like students to a teacher in the school hallway. Hmmm…

      1. Here’s a crazy theory to that effect: they could be all Subi’s under those hoods. All the ones that have died from his return ability and have manifested into dark, twisted extensions of himself, Of course they would be nothing like his pathetic self, having being transformed into dark beings by the dark power that seems to reside within him. I know this is a long shot and is most likely not to be the actuality in the story.

  3. Wow that was something. I can’t believe that Subaru won’t return though. As seen in the last arc, he’s fully capable of leaping off a cliff to return for those he loves. Although I think he would probably try to gather more info before re spawning.

    One thing I have to note. While Subaru may seem super weak to those around him, he DOES actually have a point in his wanting to be in the thick of things. Gathering information for his re-spawns is pretty much the only way he can get anything done. Consider if he took everyone’s advice and just stayed where he was. Rem and the village would still be dead, only he would have no idea what happened and no starting point to gather info for his re-spawns.

    1. Agree with this. Ogi-san’s prediction about him not re-spawning for a long time would be a bold and fascinating direction, I don’t see Rem staying dead (or the village staying massacred). This cliffhanger is likely a “worst case scenario” borne of the paths he took in this selection arc’s timeline. It won’t the last time he’ll fail, but he’s going back at some point. But as you say, he (and we!) need a lot more info before he can.

    2. The problem is, that while he has these opportunities to listen and learn for his next time around, he’s too wrapped up in himself and that he has this power, then to really use it to his advantage. He doesn’t listen, he doesn’t gather, right now he just seems to pout that no one is taking him seriously.
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      The thing is, as of right now, there is nothing to prevent that massacre. If he goes, they die and if he stayed where he was, they would still die. However, Rem would still be alive if he stayed. So, what is he to do?

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