Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu – 25 (Fin)

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This was an episode full of tying up loose ends, the most important of which being Subaru presenting himself before Emilia a better and more useful man than the last time he saw her. He even gets to be a badass action hero! But as a loose-ends episode, it works very nicely, even if it’s not perfect, and leaves a lot hanging in the air (likely for another season, but not anytime soon).

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The first loose end is Betelgeuse, who very annoyingly won’t go down much of the first act. I was pleased Subaru used the Witche’s curse to expel Betelgeuse from his head so Julius could finish him, especially since we got a good look at the Satella herself. She does look a lot like Emilia…if Emilia were all black with a purple outline and glowing eyes!

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I rolled my eyes a little when moments after defeating Betelgeuse, Juli and Subie get a call from Felis another problem fresh out of the blue: an unaccounted-for sack full of fire stones.

There wasn’t any doubt that sack would be stashed in the wagon Emilia and the village children just happen to be riding in, nor was there the slightest chance, even in an often sadistic show like this, that this latest particular bomb would go off.

When Subie and Otto are acting like a comedy duo in a wagon Otto has nitrous’d with his magic in the last episode, it’s reasonable to assume things will work out.

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The whole rescue attempt felt like an excuse for Subaru to confront Emilia as the one who led the army, something she only just learned about from some snot-nosed kids who don’t know how to keep their damn mouths shut. Betelgeuse’s extended demise further delayed the inevitable reunion, and by the time Betel had become a Ghibli Goop Monster with his head on fire, I had long since had my fill of the manic bastard.

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But the how of how Subaru came to triumphantly reunite with Emilia didn’t mar the fact that this episode took great strides to repair what had been an estranged relationship not just between these two, but between myself, representing the non-manga-reading audience, and Emilia. Takahashi Rie does a great job reintroducing Emilia-tan to us, as she gets to express a good number of powerful emotions during the final ordeal.

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Subaru basically gets to make the perfect series of gestures to reunite with Emilia, swooping in, grabbing the bomb, and running off to get it away, but not before telling Emilia he loves her. After smashing the whales, the giant fallen tree is the gift that keeps giving, as its trunk largely shields Subaru from the blast he’s still pretty close to when the stones detonate.

It is here when Emilia, still processing everything Subaru has done for her these last few days/weeks, completely unbidden, springs into action, rushing into the danger, desperate to find Subaru alive and alright. And perhaps because the show is finally done torturing us, he is!

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From there, there’s no long, sprawling epilogue, showing what becomes of who. Just a simple scene of Subaru lying on Emilia’s lap, the two of them overjoyed to be together again.

The way Subaru describes it, Emilia is made happy for the first time by the prospect of “special treatment.” This can’t quite match the Rem Confession episode in emotional power, but it comes darned close with much less time to work with.

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I also appreciated that Emilia doesn’t have an instant reply to Subaru’s confession. It’s all well and good to say “I love you too”, but loving and being loved are so new to her it’s going to take time. Time Subaru assures her she has.

Subaru doesn’t wake up back in front of that convenience store, but merely admires Emilia’s tearful, radiant smile, as the episode fades to white and we’re treated to an extended mix of the original ED.

All in all, an imperfect but still solid and satisfying, and entertaining finale. If a second season comes along one day, I’ll surely be tuning in. If not, it was a fun ride. Often stressful, enraging, and heartbreaking…but also fun.

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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.

4 thoughts on “Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu – 25 (Fin)”

  1. Wow I have to say I really liked that ending. Rie Tanaka’s performance as Emilia was A++. I think the way they reconciled was perfect. Bete-whatever did overstay his welcome a bit. I can seriously sympathize with Subaru. That radiant smile is worth dying for! I liked the way it was played off too. It was way too soon for Emilia who never considered love at all to give any sort of coherent and thought out reply, and Subaru understood as well. This was a good place to end the anime.

  2. Re:Zero and Boku dake ga Inai Machi are pretty closely matched as my favorite shows of 2016 and, oddly, both have a time travel element. In many ways, Machi is the stronger show, being more tightly paced and consistent in emotional impact… however, I think I’m going to nominate Re:Zero for best series 2016 for a few reasons.

    First, the entirely unpleasant, gut churning mid-arc where Subi burns many of his bridges is an incredibly bold move on the studio’s part. Making a protagonist unlikeable, sputtering, and emotionally raw turns off viewers but it also makes the character substantially more rounded. If the time travel element weren’t enough to make Re:Zero’s take on the in an RPG world unique, if the shows heart breaking swings from upbeat to tragic weren’t enough, spinning ‘our hero’ into a loser — when he’s losing in the narrative too — absolutely seals the deal.

    Second, Re:Zero plays the exact nature of its mystery much closer to its chest. In Machi, we ultimately know there is only one villain and one hero, with a small cast of friends to save along the way. This makes Machi focused but it also means the world building largely works because it is our world, with recognizable structures. This also means that Machi’s post-villain showdown payoff, that its protagonist finally has manga worth making and ‘gets the girl’ is somewhat unrelated feel-good gravy. Contrast that to Re:Zero, where we still don’t know the full scope of the world’s mystery, nor the motives of all the characters, but that most characters are a blending of good and evil, and a much richer world emerges. The simple fact that as many allies are shown as enemies when timing and context are not correctly executed, Re:zero shows the mystery of its politics (let alone the Witch and Dragon and Puck epic mysteries) may not even be knowable because it’s players and objectives could change around Subi based on Subi’s own actions.

    What holds Re:Zero back from a solid ten as a series is, ironically, were several elements that leave so much milage left in its tank. Priscilla, Anastasia and Felt ultimately feel tacked on only to make the battle for succession bigger. Felt in particular feels like a genre cliche, with her ‘i’ll break the nobility system’ yoyo to/not to participate. While her response may have emphasized Subi’s downfall, it was mostly cringey, smh, and since she wasn’t in the rest of the series, felt like a needless thread. (and that false thread emphasized the needlessness of others like the blank letter and the exploding stones)

    Similarly, Reinhard, Priscilla’s bare-chest knight and Otto each came off as plot-movers and not real characters. This would be more acceptable if each had functioned like a traditional NPC and appeared across a larger number of episodes. Otto in particular feels under explored or over exposed, since his magic drag racing ability wasn’t necessary for Subi’s final showdown with Sloth-chan.

    But at the end of the day, Re:Zero is packed with expectation breaking moments, great highs, and deep lows. Subi writing an end to Sloth-chan’s book of prophecy (in his blood) was just one from this episode. Packed is how I would describe this show in general, as it regularly stuffed narrative into the opening and closing credits and, even at 25 episodes, never felt like it was ‘dragging its feet for the final battle.’

    Hot damn this was an impressive little surprise!

  3. The anime’s adapted all the published Re Zero source novels, and a bit of source webnovel material to end the latest arc. The webnovel still has 2 more completed story arcs (plus 1 WIP arc), but since those are still unpublished, it may be some time before another season is made (unless the studio directly adapts the WN material).

  4. From the moment Emilia left Subaru in the capital I felt pretty “nope”, and hoped for a return by death. They couldn’t leave the two youngsters off the hinge. The pain he went through and the PTSD is completely understandable. Not having some kind of break down from losing your love and constantly getting slashed in the “gut”. I love Rem and I am just so glad she was able to bring him back from the brink. Overall the end of the arc was great, it gave me everything i pretty much wanted. And Emilia finally accepting that she is capable of love too.

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