Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu – 15

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I honestly didn’t think a second cour episode of Re:Zero could match the cinematic majesty of episode 7, but, well…here we are, eight episodes later, and this show is still topping itself. My expectations for the finale have now risen to unreasonable highs. But never mind that; we’ve got a long, long way to go, as does Natsuki Subaru.

Subaru doesn’t choose to commit suicide. He does die and Return by Death; but not by his choosing. He is slain in the most nightmarish way imaginable, having his fingers and leg cleaved off before freezing solid and cracking. Jeez, this show is rough on ol’ Subaru.

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Surprisingly, he respawns not in a bed, but at the vender’s cart, where he was with Rem seemingly an eternity ago (but in reality, early in last week’s episode). It isn’t long before he’s in a bed, however, as he’s so traumatized by what he witnessed and experienced in his last life, he is still in shock and barely able to speak.

Felis can’t do anything about his mental condition, so Crusch lets Rem take him home to Roswaal’s manor, hopeful being with Emilia and Ram will help him recover. Crusch also asks why Rem is so devoted to Subaru, and she responds “because he’s special.”

Once again, they fail to reach manor without incident, even though it’s Rem and not Subie’s choice to head there.

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The hooded baddies—witch cultists—ambush the cart, bloody a furious Rem, and take Subie captive.

Subie wakes up in chains, still unable to speak, and comes face to face with the grotesque and thoroughly insane Betelgeuse, who would be a goofy character for Re:Zero if we didn’t already have his less evil counterpart, Roswaal.

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Oh, and if this guy wasn’t fucking threatening and terrifying as all Hell, and merely a subordinate to “The Gospel”, and presumably, The Witch. Betel is a high priest of “sloth”, and initially calls Subie “pride” (perhaps why the cultists bowed to him last week?), and while his plans for Subie aren’t precisely clear, he’s intent on finding and killing Rem as soon as possible.

Rem all but grants his wish by busting into their cavern hideout, hopelessly outnumbered and surrounded. For all her power and combat ability and heartfelt desire to save her beloved Subaru, she’s still quite messed up from the initial ambush, and when she gets too close, Betel strings her up in mid air and breaks all the bones in her body, then twists her extremities in the opposite direction just two twist the proverbial knife.

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Betel heads off to prepare for “The Ordeal”, but Rem is amazingly still alive enough to scoot towards Subaru and free him from his chains, and from what is certainly to be more horrible torment at the hands of that monster and his master.

She tells him to live, and that she loves him, then passes away in his arms. While Rem has died before, as has Subaru, I just wasn’t prepared for this. She was found dead suddenly last week, but here the death is drawn out, as is Subaru’s apparent helplessness.

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Not sure what else to do, and still clearly foggy from his multiple ordeals, Subie continues his trek to Roswaal’s manor with Rem’s body in his arms. Again, he finds signs of a massacre, dead villagers, children, and Ram.

He doesn’t get anywhere near the front door before a colossal dark beast with glowing yellow eyes orders him to “sleep now, like my daughter.” Subaru’s head pops of with a splash of blood…and the blood-red credits start to roll as he’s buried by the snow. There’s no merciful fade to black. The camera doesn’t budge. The stirring, soaring, relentlessly tragic score blares.

By God…that was one of the darkest, cruelest, most hopeless endings I’ve ever seen. But this is Re:Zero, where endings usually lead to new beginnings. Still, it still felt like everything was over and there would be no victory, ever. 

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Sure enough, Subie respawns with Rem at the vendor’s. He’s not catatonic this time. He embraces Rem; alive again; in love with him. The vendor tells them to take a hike and stop scaring customers with their PDA.

Subaru takes Rem’s hand like he never intends to let go of it again, and she’s all to happy to hold his as they walk peacefully, quietly down the street.

But Subaru’s smile slowly vanishes as the camera pans up to his face. It’s a beautiful day, but there’s a storm brewing in his eyes. They’re not the dead eyes of defeat. They’re the fanatical eyes of a demon, and Betelgeuse is his prey.

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Author: magicalchurlsukui

Hi, I'm Preston Yamazuka, I'm one of the writers for the anime blog RABUJOI. I prefer anime involving fantasy, magic, mystery, the supernatural, and/or horror. I also love seagulls, but they don't seem to share the sentiment.

6 thoughts on “Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu – 15”

  1. Whoa this was one heck of an episode. I feel like I’ve said that before from this series but it gets good. I see they’ve managed to solve the whole how will Subaru get out of this argument with Emilia issue by placing his re spawn point ahead of that event. Although Subaru has much bigger problems on his hands now. His time frame to change this tragedy is pretty small. Let us see what our boy Subaru can pull off.

    1. placing his re spawn point ahead of that event

      See, that’s where I got a little confused.

      In episode 12 (before Subie’s big fight with Emilia) the merchant tells Subie not to flirt in front of his shop, but that’s when Emilia, not Rem, is with him. That’s when the merchant gives him a brown bag of apples.

      Subie doesn’t visit the merchant until episode 14, after his fight with Emilia, and there’s no apples; she’s just minding the shop.

      When Subie respawns, there’s a slightly different flirting remark, Rem is with Subie instead of Emilia, and the apples are in a basket, not a bag.

      Since we have these three distinct instances of Subie visiting the fruit guy, I’m not sure if the respawn happened before or after the fight. But I guess I’ll find out for sure next week.

      1. I was thinking it (the spawn point) was after his argument with Emilia. I’m basing this with Rem mentioning that Subaru and Emilia were quarreling. Also it seems at that point Emilia had already returned back to the manor. Remember, Subaru stayed a little while longer doing sword practicing and his gate healing was not yet finished that time. I could be wrong, since divergences do occur at every instant he returns from death, but really he has very little time frame to try to fix or to turn the tide into his favor.

  2. Well, unless Subaru do way with his ‘prideful’ thinking he does not have a prayer against the forces arrayed against him. If the witch’s miasma which Rem senses within him would make him any stronger then good, more power to him. Otherwise he will be next to useless in changing anything significant, and go through the dark process again and again. He needs help from the others but how to convince them would be a challenge. More likely Subaru seems hellbent convinced that he and he alone could fix this situation. Indeed, let’s see how his ‘prideful’ self will pull it off next week.

  3. This episode definitely pulled out all the stops. Normally a character like Betelgeuse would have annoyed me, but it was fairly well done. What set his character for me was how he called out Subaru for pretending to be totally gone, and how he handled Rem just top get at Subaru. It was an immediate jump from a goofy villain to an eccentric psycho that you would never want to meet.

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