「ゼロから始まる異世界生活」 (Zero Kara Hajimaru Isekai Seikatsu)
“Starting Life from Zero in Another World”

This show is better with Felt, Puck, Rom-jii, and the half-elf whose name we now know.

Good Guys vs. Elsa

When Re:Zero indulges in some a magical action, it isn’t bad. While Subaru’s plan up to this point was frantic and fairly bumbling, once he got his feet under him and decided to act, he used his knowledge from past runs (and his improbable home training strength, watch out Izuku) to great effect. I especially liked when he blocked his midsection to save Emilia (we have a name now!), or when he yelled about Elsa’s extra knife, or when he called for Puck to shield Emiliar. Oh and by the way, Puck is back! I missed that little rascal. Even one episode without Puck is too many.

Speaking of, I liked this episode a lot more since more of the gang was there. That’s definitely a bias on my part—I like friend/team-focused stories, and especially if they use multiple point-of-view characters, so the all-Subaru-all-the-time show will never be as good for me as when the others are there. But how can you not like Emilia and the others? Especially when Emilia is slinging spells like a raid boss. Zam.

Deus Ex Reinhard

Okay. Before anyone starts in at me, let me point to a post I wrote a while back: How to not get butthurt when others insult stories you love. Before you pen an angry comment, maybe read that? Not that you can’t disagree. I enjoy a spirited debate in the comments! But after spending all of last week defending myself repeatedly, it’s made me a bit gun shy about criticizing this show. Which I’m now about to do, because if I’m not willing to criticize when necessary then there’s no reason to be writing about it, but still. Most of you are fine, but throwing it out there.

Reinhard showing up to save the day feels like a deus ex machina, but not such a clear-cut one as to make me flip the table and tear out my hair. Deus ex machinas happen when the conflict is solved through no action on the part of the known characters, and that’s not strictly the case here. Subaru inadvertently enticed Reinhard into the area with his cryptic message, and Subaru also thought up the plan that got Felt out of the building and enabled her to stumble on Reinhard. And yet, there’s still such a heavy dose of luck that it doesn’t feel earned. It took an episode I was enjoying down a notch, but the episode more or less recovered by the end. But why does it feel unearned when Subaru did do some things to enable that bit of serendipity?

I think it comes down to the work-to-luck ratio. Let me give you some examples to explain this. (Warning: in two examples, Stilts is going to bring up a (relevant) example from one of his books. You’ve been warned!) First, take Heroaca, especially this latest episode. It’s undeniably lucky that Izuku met All Might, but he struggled and worked so hard that few viewers begrudge him that bit of luck—he went overboard in earning it. This is something I learned with my first novel, where I realized the main characters needed a dose of pure luck to move the story forward, so I went to great lengths to show them doing everything they could to earn that chance at serendipity. The reason this doesn’t work as well here in Re:Zero is that the work-to-luck ratio isn’t skewed enough to the work side, so it feels like a cheat, even when Subaru probably did as much to earn it as he could have. It also doesn’t help that there was no intention behind Subaru’s actions (he intended to warn away Emilia and save Felt, not summon help), which makes it seem even luckier, even if wanting to save the others speaks well of him.

(Third example: Netoge, where it’s undeniably coincidental that all three main characters go to the same school, but it’s a comedy so we let it slide because it’s funny and there’s no reason to think too hard. Plus it’s foundational, which helps. Comedies can get away with a lot as long as they’re funny.

Didn’t See a Body

While the Reinhard ex machina is arguable, and made me furrow my brow rather than spit in rage, the one thing that did smack me as stupid was when Reinhard seemingly vaporized Elsa, and everyone just accepted that as a done deal. Don’t they know you should never count someone as dead unless you see the body? (trope!) Which is a downside of Subaru’s genre savviness—when it seemingly gives out all of a sudden and he misses something flamingly obvious to the savvy viewer, it feels like he’s being an idiot again. That’s something he quickly argues against by saving Emilia’s life, but the eye rolling moment remains. It just goes to show me that, while genre savvy characters can be a lot of fun, they’re also risky.

Looking Ahead

I’m still torn on this show. I liked this episode more than the second, and I still feel like the underlying story mechanic has its strengths, but I also still feel like the author is trying to do a lot of cool things without the writing skill to quite pull them off. Or should I add “yet” to that? Because I’ve been hearing that the next arc is where it really gets started, and I’m sympathetic to the author who’s still figuring things out on the first volume.

The only other problem is that this really isn’t my kind of show, y’all. I’m talking about tonally more than anything else. More than fantasy shows or even ecchi shows (I’m not the ecchi writer!), what I most like to read, write, watch, and blog about are shows that have a broadly optimistic (or at least not cynical) view of humanity. I’m not a doom-and-gloom grimdark kinda guy, and this is feeling pretty dark. Plus, two Sunday shows makes Stilts want to claw out his eyes, no matter how good they are. Sunday is supposed to be my day off *pouts*

So I dunno. I don’t know if this’ll get covered or not, and if it does, whether it’ll be me or someone else. I just don’t know. If it doesn’t, though, just know that it’s not because it’s bad, and I’ll still probably watch it. And if you’re wondering why we don’t recruit a thousand writers so we can blog all the shows, see my comment here. Thanks.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Subaru’s quick thinking keeps everyone alive until the Reinhard ex machina (arguable) shows up to save the day (& arrest Felt?) #rezero 03

Random thoughts:

  • It was really cool how they juxtaposed her darkness with his light, though I still wish the screen wasn’t so damn dark the rest of the time, even if it does match the atmosphere/time of day. I can’t see a damn thing. It’s like Arslan Senki night battles all over again.
  • Loved Subaru’s “Tell me your name.” in that epic voice! I knew he’d do the silly, gentlemanly thing. Good on you, Subaru.
  • I think the statute of limitations on an attack taking effect is a few seconds, for the dramatic passed-each-other-and-pause…then-someone-drops moment. Not several minutes later after Subaru has been cavorting and flirting with Emilia. I guess Elsa’s attacks travel at the speed of plot too.

My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel novella. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Even if you see it coming, it can still work, Batman does not kill. Superman does not kill., Inside Out: What Emotion Drives You?, and Superhot: Storytelling through gameplay.


    1. I’m sure some people wouldn’t mind them being out late, but you’d have to convince Stilts that it’s okay. That guy is a slave driver. He’s always yelling at me if I don’t post same day.


      In all seriousness, I don’t mind if other writers do that, but I can’t. It’d annoy me too much. My blogging philosophy demands that I post as quickly as I can, and the concession I’ve allowed myself to post at night instead of ASAP is as far as I’ll go. If I start wanting to post days late all the time, that’s probably a sign that my blogging days are done, and I ain’t there quite yet.

      Unless I had three shows on a day. Or two shows on a work day. I’m not completely insane.

      Anywho, the other considerations weigh heavier on me, tone most of all. Though the two maids and the Arai Satomi loli do look like fun.

  1. I might be included in one who was “defending” the show, but I think it’s more like I was criticizing your work as a critic (then again, you don’t get paid for writing this, so yeah…). I was trying to rationalize my mind, which was thinking “Why I did not enjoy this piece of article as much as I like your review on mindless romcom ecchi shows(tm)?”. Especially when I think we have the same end evaluation for the show, i.e “It’s pretty good, it has potential, but it has its flaws”?

    Firstly, I think it’s because of the tone. Why I enjoy reading reviews at RC more compared to some other (some actually paid) reviews? Most likely it’s because RC usually always tries to evaluate the shows from the more positive light; trying to find the angle to enjoy to enjoy the show rather than finding the flaws… Which for some reason tend to be missing from your writing about less than stellar shows (which is not a comedy). As a (wannabe) writer, critical review is a good and informative read. However, personally I felt that you tend to make the positive notes looks like an afterthought compared to the portion of negative analysis.

    Then, after reading your last section, I think I get the simpler explanation. You didn’t seem to enjoy the story that much, which cmiiw actually was reflected in your post. That’s why I guess it’s a wise decision if you want to drop the coverage when the show is simply not for you. However, I hope someone could take the hat and actually cover the rest of the show, since I’m curious to how far will this show get into quality wise. Reading a RC post to compare my own thought would be a blast.

    So well, good luck for your next posts, regardless if you continue or not. If you will, I hope the next arc will be much more suitable for your palate 🙂

    1. I balance two hats in my reviews: viewer who wants to irrationally celebrate anime because it’s fun, and storyteller who aims to pick apart the art of storytelling. What writing this post made me realize is that the first part doesn’t function well (for me) on a serious show. If the story isn’t fun so much as interesting (which doesn’t preclude it from being entertaining, but you know what I mean), I can’t celebrate it in the way that works for me, so I lean on the other pillar…and if the episode is heavily flawed and I didn’t enjoy it, the review turns negative.

      Now, sometimes a review needs to be negative. Other times it sounds more negative because the negative things are more interesting to talk about. But I prefer a show I can be irrationally optimistic about for a while instead of being forced to get serious early on. Put another way, if I’m not squeeing about something in the first three episodes, I probably shouldn’t blog it.

      This post also made me realize how much my generally optimistic worldview influences what I blog. If there’s any unifying theme in my coverage, it’s that. I can only pick out a few I’ve blogged that didn’t have that (Mahouka, Gen’ei), and they didn’t work out so good. And you could add Maoyuu in there as serious (though still optimistic), and that’s the show that burned me out and led to my only season break, though that was as much adaptation decay as anything, probably.

      1. The whole thing with tone is probably something I should have thought of before I went all “Stilts, you gotta blog this, period” on you. It really is strikingly different from pretty much everything you’ve blogged. Sorry about that. While I still would love to see Re:Zero to get blogged by you, I would rather see you blog something you can enjoy blogging. Wouldn’t want to repeat the Comet Lucifer, Itsuwari no Kamen or Maoyuu fiasco…
        (Incidentally, I’m fully expecting you to not remember each individual post that recommended you to blog this. That’s why I’ll assume you’re thinking something along the lines “who the heck is this?” right about now :p)

        As far as the tone goes though, this doesn’t strike me as a negative world as much as a positive (or maybe neutral) world but with all its hidden negativity thrown at our faces. Not that that’s much of a difference anyways.

        Off-topic, but since you mentioned Maoyuu:

        though that was as much adaptation decay as anything, probably

        As much as I like to put the blame on adaptation decay when LN adaptations suck, Maoyuu is actually one example where I think the writing style of the source is the major problem (it’s probably not the only series this applies to, but the only one I’ve tried reading the source of). The series is written like a script for a play, with lines of dialogue and only a rare and short scene setting sentence every now and then, making it probably harder to convert to screen than most LNs. It’s pretty much the best example of the “LNs are too dialogue-heavy” argument (though in its defense, it’s probably good read if you enjoy reading plays and go into it with the right mindset).
        Not that all the fault can be put on the source, since it does have an enjoyable manga adaptation.

      2. Don’t worry, I didn’t actually connect the dots on the tone issue until I wrote this post. That’s when I realized that I only tend to blog more optimistic than not shows, or at least ones with a fairly sizable sense of humor.

        Moomba did mention that he wished the Maoyuu anime used the manga art style. That might extend to the plot too, haha! I like the idea of Maoyuu a lot, but that LN writing style strikes again.

  2. A lot of my concerns were mitigated this episode. Subaru doesn’t die (although it was sure teased for a second), there is a clear line for plot progression, and the half-elf finally receives a name. No matter one’s opinion on the writing skill, Re:Zero at least is moving through its story at a decent pace. If we can get some answers regarding the badge/insignia and Emilia soon then I don’t have much to complain about.

    Interesting you saw Reinhard as a problem too Stilts, I think you may be looking too hard for defects at this stage. For me a deus ex machina becomes an issue when it is used repetitively and/or lazily employed at key climaxes to resolve conflicts (i.e. SAO season one). Reinhard’s presence here lacked in these two characteristics, as it was his first “true” appearance, his appearance was logical (i.e. serendipitous run in with Felt), and it was not overplayed; Reinhard did not kill Elsa, and could not use his full power simultaneously with Emilia’s healing. As this act’s resolution, Reinhard’s appearance functioned fine as the opener for the later, more important events. Naturally this argument does not preclude the possibility that later acts will also employ deus ex machinae to solve their conflicts, but so far there has not been any serious mistakes. It may be better to structurally analyze Re:Zero after we get some additional material.

    Overall I’d almost compare Re:Zero in terms of execution to Rokka no Yuusha. Both shows derive from the same written medium (i.e. not the best writing ever), but they possess a good foundation allowing for enjoyable storytelling. The key will be in how well the execution (the plot reveals) keeps up, which we likely will not get a good idea about until episode 6/7.

    Do agree on statute of limitations though, that delayed attack response was drawn out way too long 😛

    1. *waves hand* I quite deliberately didn’t say it WAS a deus ex machina, I said it FELT like one, because of all the junk I said above.

      As for me overanalyzing things, see my reply to zeroyuki92 above. Though I think it’s completely fair to look for structural problems at this stage, because this is the end of the first LN volume. A book needs to function well on its own and in the context of the larger story, so it’s fair to criticize (or praise!) here. We would just need to be prepared to be proven wrong if what looked inarticulate was actually masterful foreshadowing (or vice versa). And if I wasn’t willing to be wrong (and often), I wouldn’t do any of the things I do 😛

  3. This episode marked the end of the happiest arc in the entire series. The next arcs are rollercoaster of psychological suffering, Subaru got his hopes up only to be shattered later, it also makes the readers want to give up reading at some point just because it’s too depressing to read. Arc 2 is overall better than this arc, and arc 3 is a little bit weird because it starts off weak but finished in a strong note.

    I’ve been reading this series on the web novel in Japanese up until 4th arc, well the author is strong when he’s creating desperate situations but he’s a little bit too wordy and sometimes included too much unnecessary scenes so sometimes his chapters are long but with a little progress in the story. Fortunately the cut a lot in the published version, I think.

    If I’m allowed to be selfish I want to see this blogged since it’s juicy of discussion topics, but at the same time since I’ve read way ahead I know blogging this series is deppresing activity, so I’m kinda feel bad for it lol.

    1. Rant with axtremely important spoilers, open only at your own discretion:
      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. more suffering is always good because to suffer is your step to success… err was it suffer? 😀

        as to rem, after reading your mini “spoiler”, man… looks like i might join the others here calling rem as the “real” female MC instead of emilia.


        well… havent seen rem… but emilia has the sweetest smile.

  4. “Stay tuned, folks” It’s funny if you think that Subaru knows an “author/god” is making him go through all this crap and die repeatedly.

    Gee, I forgot how many times Subaru had died in just three episodes……… I can’t imagine how many times, and in what manner, he will die in the next 22 episodes. Well, if anything, Subaru may die by simply peaking in the girl’s bath.

    Anyway, I can’t tell if that is physically possible, for a cut to appear just moments later considering how much Suburu moved. Anime physics.

    In regards to Elsa’s fight moves, it makes me look forward to Fate/stay night Heaven’s feel because I feel Rider is the only other woman that fights in a predator fashion.

    Getsuga Tenshō. I don’t suppose, by drawing that sword, our dear knight will use the Saigo no Getsuga Tenshō.

    Anyway, poor Felt. I do wonder why Reinhard asked her age -_- …….I wonder what is the marriageable age of this country?

  5. It’s interesting, that what attracted me to this story was the optimism contained in it’s main character. The fight with Elza demonstrated just how bad the odds are for Subaru – it’s indeed a grim and hopeless world. Deus Ex Machina here, in my opinion, underscored, just how weak the main character’s position is to save the day – for all his looping ability, it’s not like he had a chance of overcoming Elza’s raw power and skill. Next time, there may not be such rescue and I think Subaru recognizes his own weakness. So his determination to fight through the suffering and hopelessness to make things better, shine brightly. He has no obligation to help and he lacks fighting powers/chosen one destiny/genius abilities, yet he continues.

    As long as conflict of this story would be about human spirit & determination vs. hopeless odds, I will stay on. If it turns into a simply torture of the main character, yeah, I may reconsider, but for now the promise is good.

    1. I’ve also come to see that side of him (beyond just being a quirk) as a way he copes with the situation he’s in. He definitely lacks maturity in quite a few areas because he ultimately just a kid who’s thrown in something far beyond him, but that means he has room for growth so not necessary a bad thing.

      Iron Maw
  6. While the Reinhard ex machina is arguable, and made me furrow my brow rather than spit in rage, the one thing that did smack me as stupid was when Reinhard seemingly vaporized Elsa, and everyone just accepted that as a done deal. Don’t they know you should never count someone as dead unless you see the body?

    I think this instance just showed how even Reinhard underestimated Elsa and that Elsa is quite the beast herself. Given that this is their first meeting, he probably didn’t realize just how crafty Elsa was.

    Moving forward, I honestly don’t have a clue where the story will go next. I mean, sure, there’s that thing with the unexplained insignia and then there’s Reinhard’s parting words, but I have to wonder where Subaru fits in all this.

    This did pass my 3-episode test, so I’m all aboard until something grating happens that merits reevaluation.

    1. Reinhard seems stupidly straightforward, so him underestimating her is a bit annoying but not a problem. It’s only Subaru’s genre savviness that made it seem like he was being derailed by the needs of the plot.

  7. Emilia Maji Tenshi! Finally we are done with the first arc. This episode felt a bit drawn out at points but going over to another arc out of nowhere in the middle wouldn’t make all that much sense. If it keeps this arc is the “low” point of the show I think we’ll have a really nice show to watch.

    I’ll keep on watching. Nakamura Yuuichi as Reinhard really made me want to rewatch Rokujouma(S2 PLEASE?) aswell.

  8. Just swap the anime with another writer, I knew you’d try to bail out. 😛

    The key to solving this time loop was to get Reinhardt’s help. Though I’m just treating this first arc as if it was a tutorial’s game. Like with Phoenix Wright first case where Mia solves the case and the case is meant for you to learn the ropes of the game. Subaru was still lacking experience to make it out by himself, so unlucky to meet such an unrelenting foe. 😀

    1. If you knew, you coulda told me, ’cause I’ve been thinking that I was going to cover it. It wasn’t until I realized that dark shows short-circuit my normally goodnatured blogging persona that I realized I probably shouldn’t. Also, maybe not so dismissive please? I ain’t trying to do jack squat. It’s completely my choice.

      I can’t just foist the show off on someone else. We don’t work that way. I just offer it up, and if someone else wants it, they can take it then.

      1. Sorry if that sounded dismissive, I didn’t mean to offend and I’m still glad with your coverage of the show, really. 🙂

        It’s just that your reviews were remembering me of your posts with Heavy Object where you ended passing the torch. Like maybe you weren’t enjoying the show, but you were still reviewing it, cause you compromised to. Or when there are too many things you do not enjoy in a show, that’s reflected on the reviews. So I was fearing it would be abandoned, when it’s still fun to come to the site to read the reviews, but even if it happens it’s ok.

        About the darkness, this is a mystery series in a fantasy world. So people are going to lie and there will be secrets and despair and there’s someone who will be the culprit. The MC is the social type, not the hard type insensitive to everything, so he’s going to suffer his fair bit.

      2. No problemo. It happens.

        Heavy Object was a weird situation. The enjoyable things were always the same and the mistakes were always new, so the latter were the only things interesting to talk about after a while. It was also far more fun to just watch than blog.

  9. I just honestly don’t buy the Reinhard argument. Really a luck to work ratio? Where is your chart for that? One could say that fighting for your life against someone who murdered you twice before is working hard enough for a lucky break. (Plus, sure let’s bring Heroaca into this. A direct comparable for Subaru isn’t Deku…it’s All Might. Working out to the bone for 10 months is incredible. But how about continuing to fight for what you believe in after basically being disemboweled? One of them has the physical scars and one of them has the psychological scars from that kind of event).

    Plus where is considering Felt’s hard work? Why is it only Subaru who deserves or doesn’t deserve a lucky break? Felt was the one racing through the streets at top speed despite knowing that the people in the slums were cowards who probably wouldn’t help. Still tried regardless.

    Call it subjective if you want. But that doesn’t necessarily make it a strong position to defend.

    Kind of feels like a shame the majority of this was about something that wasn’t honestly an issue to the story or really enjoyment of the story. And how you probably don’t want to cover the show. Considering this was easily the strongest episode so far and that there was a lot of good moments that could have been discussed….that seems like a real shame.

    1. im gonna play devil’s advocate here a bit and say that i can see where stilts is coming from with this. And most likely, his opinion about deus ex reinhard is influenced by how he felt about ep 2. In all honesty, subaru hasnt been handling this situation as intuitively as you’d think from a genre savvy hikikomori. There were so many opportunities for subaru to do things the sensible way and yet the writing always felt the need to make him kinda seem not too bright at times. The average person would not have handled certain circumstances the way subaru did if they were in his position so it kind of takes you out of the narrative for a smidge. As a result, it never feels like subaru exhausted all his options, or that he was truly slammed against a wall with no way out, or that he truly earns the viewer’s sympathy. It doesnt feel like he legitimately struggled and did what he could to prevent elsa from killing them. Reinhard coming in to save them is not the issue. From my perspective, it’s more of the fact that the “work” subaru put into getting this far did not earn enough emotional investment from me. So when reinhard does swoop in to save the day my reaction is not “Thank god this guy is here to help because subaru cannot catch a break; i had no idea how he was ever gonna get himself out of this situation”, my reaction now is: “oh hey, there’s this cool badass here to save the day……..yaaayyy??”

      The difference in those reactions is that one of them reflects my relief when reinhard does swoop in while the other one is just watching the scenes play out without attachment. Sure felt ran out to find help, but that’s not enough to earn this huge amount of serendipidty. We havent got enough of felt struggling and being put against the wall. Regardless of whether you agree of disagree, just try to imagine how it would have felt if the desperation of subaru’s situation had been cranked even further and upon realizing that there was no way out for him whatsoever, reinhard came to save the day. The thrill of seeing him kick elsa’s ass, a person who had drove subaru to a dark corner, would have been beyond satisfying. Every time Subaru failed, the story could have built on his growing friendship with Reinhard to add a layer of emotion to everything when the knight does finally come in and relieve subaru of so much pain and suffering. In this case, it doesnt just feel like subaru got lucky, but that he earned the luck. And to add to stilts point, even this ep lampshades the fact that reinhard coming in to save them was all too coincidental (subaru in all his genre-savvy glory points it out). Of course it tries to use felt as a way to bridge the coincidence but even so, the luck factor is very apparent without it feeling like subaru actually did enough work to earn it.

      1. @sonicsenryaku

        Yes, that’s it exactly! What happened isn’t the problem. It’s that they didn’t back Subaru into the corner enough, they didn’t make him try as many things as he could and still fail enough, to the point where if they had, I would have been screaming for someone to show up to save him because we want to see hard work and smart effort rewarded. Exactly!


        You have a good point on the two other deaths (the third was silly) constituting some amount of work, but that feels more like something done TO him (the second death is more 50/50 there) as opposed to him putting in all this effort and failing. Which you probably won’t agree with, so let’s agree to disagree.

        Felt isn’t a good example. I actually found it silly that she would run through the slums screaming for help since it was, er, the slums. She’s supposed to be streetwise, she shoulda known they wouldn’t help, which I didn’t mention in the post because she was emotional so it makes sense she’d try, but desperate grasping at straws doesn’t constitute work in the same way Subaru’s quick thinking and stratagems did.

        Other than that, please know that when you talk about how much of a “shame” someone’s honestly held opinions are, it’s incredibly insulting. It makes it seem like you’re looking down on them, when a simple “I disagree” with a few reasons (which others did above) would suffice. If you were some rando on 4chan I wouldn’t even mention this, but since you’re a long-time reader and I respect you enough to be honest, I wanted you to know. Even if that wasn’t your intent, that cheesed me off big time.

  10. While I’ll concede it could be seen as a Deus Ex Machina, I actually would have been surprised if he didn’t show up. They had exhausted all their options and allies aside from him so it would be odd if he didn’t show up. To me it would really have been a Deus Ex Machina if a) he was previously unintroduced or b) Subaru had exhibited some other power which allowed him to take out Elsa.

    Also, I half expected Reinhard to yell Ex—Calibur when he unleashed his attack.

  11. here are my positives along with the negatives:

    everyone pitching in and being proactive
    reinhard being a badass
    emilia’s smile
    subaru being competent

    -the dialogue would try too hard to be witty. Only some of it i found to actually be clever. Some of it fell flat and detracted from the tension
    -this show is still shoving it’s genre-savvines in our faces and as a result it compromises some of the narrative cohesion of series
    -WHY IS IT SO DAMN DARK IN THESE ACTION SCENES!!!! how one lights and frames an action scene is important. I guess it is true what they say: sometimes if you just throw some animation at the screen, people will think cool shit is going down regardless of whether or not you can see it

    to cap this off, i would like to say that while i thought the scene with Emilia revealing her name was adorable, all that genre-savvy crap subaru was doing beforehand to get there was mehhhhh and that’s mostly exacerbated by the “big reveal” that elsa actually cut him. To be blunt, i think that scene was constructed poorly. If they wanted to do something dramatic like that while keeping the integrity of the moment in context, they could have easily done this. Subaru flirts with Emilia after thinking elsa is defeated, then as emilia begins to get cozy with subaru, finding him to be a respectable man, elsa attacks like she did in the ep. Subaru pushes Emilia out of the way and blocks the attack with the club. The camera averts its focus of subaru and aims itself to reinhard who quickly swoops in and kicks elsa off into the rubble. He positions himself into battle and elsa, realizing that she’s heavily damaged and outclassed, grits her teeth in dismay. No dialogue should be necessary; the only thing the audience needs is to see the defeated look on elsa’s face. Someone who we have seen be so confident showing an expression like that without any dialogue would be plenty powerful. As a last ditch effort, she creates a shockwave to kick up dust and she escapes, knowing that she has finally been beat.

    Reinhard sighs in relief that everything is finally over, and then as he turns to subaru, he realizes that he’s bleeding profusely. Emilia takes note of this and runs to subaru without a second thought. When subaru comes to while Amelia is healing him, he sees the intense concern on her face and it just makes him appreciate her more (we see this from the look in his eyes and how he looks lovingly at her as she continues to hell him. Emilia admonishes subaru for being so reckless, asks him why he went through the trouble of helping her this much, gently holding his hand as subaru struggles to speak. He tells her that he was just repaying a debt and then after some silence, he asks her what’s her name. She smiles warmly at him, softly telling him that it’s Emilia. Subaru pauses at how blissful this moment feels…he closes his eyes as if he could die happily and says “Emilia huh?” and wears a victorious smile..the end. Not because i thought of it but i think this works so much better than what we got. They tried to throw in a lighthearted moment where it was not needed and it kinda hurt the flow of the ep in my opinion. If elsa cut him that deep, it should not have taken that long for him to feel it. You can argue adrenaline, but then adrenaline should not have kept his wound closed, especially with all that dancing he was doing.

    1. So basically, move the goofy-talking-with-Emilia to before Elsa reemerges. That could work, but it woulda had me fidgeting like a madman since I didn’t think Elsa was dead, so I probably wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the banter. Probably better is just to shift the injury to shortly after Elsa escaped, but have it not be quite so bad, so Subaru can banter (albeit less energetically) while Emilia is healing him. Then she tells him to rest and puts him to sleep if him being unconscious at the end is necessary.

      1. I was originally going to say that i think it matters more that the characters thought elsa was dead rather than the viewer but after giving it some thought, i could understand why you (or the viewer for that matter) would get very fidgety if they were bantering while it was clear as day that elsa was still alive. I mean who wouldnt see that from a mile away. That being the case, yea i would say let subaru still get hurt by elsa’s attack, but it not be bad enough to make him unconscious (and also that it is noticeable right away) so that he cant have his flirty banter with Emilia as she heals him. Or he could still pass out to add a little impact and scare the viewer into thinking that he has to restart over again just when he had earned his happy ending (i think that’s why that scene was added in the first place). When he awakes, he strains himself to flirt with her, finding solace in seeing Emilia’s relieved expression and then finally learning her name after all the insanity he has been through

  12. Wasn’t the whole point in introducing Reinhard the previous episode to show that Subaru finally has another factor to use in the fight against Elsa? I mean he himself never knew to call Reinhard for backup but at least it was established that Reinhard and his knight title exists before his battle entrance. I can see a little from your side on how it felt his was a deus-device, but honestly, it was played off as more of a coincidence (that he met Felt) than for sake of moving the story along. Like there’s nothing stopping him from strolling along the slums, he’s a free individual. It would have been a different story if he was at their battleground for no reason, but that wasn’t the case. Heck, even Subaru mentions how he thought that Reinhard had a bond (or something) that tied those two together; making it so that Reinhard knew that Subaru was in trouble (which would have been a Deus), but Reinhard quickly corrects him saying that it was because he ran into Felt.

    And him helping Felt falls within his character as he helped Subaru when they first met without even knowing each other. He’s just that type of guy who’ll help those in need when they call.

    Because I’m going to make this perfectly clear. There was no way in bloody hell they were going to survive against Elsa unless Reinhard came in the picture. The fact that he was introduce previously meant that Subaru managed to take a better course in that timeline to include him in it.

    Yes it was stupid to not check for the body, but both opponents were underestimating one-another. They had nothing to go by except for stories of the others’ power. If Reinhard used his actual sword, he probably would have killed her, as he felt she wasn’t that big of a threat to use it on (though in retrospect he probably now realizes she is). But this is moreover a problem the viewer has than the actual world has. It’s important to detract yourself from a critical view of a show and realize these are the character’s actions and not the actions the viewer wants (even if not checking for the body is a dumb move that even a Neet like Subaru should know….then again he probably thought she was disintegrated as it would have been an appropriate assumption)

    Not to say that I don’t enjoy reviews that bring up criticisms. Because overly negative reviews are just as bad as overly positive ones. Its just when so-said criticisms are small in number and are dwelled-upon for too long due to personal reasons….its gets irritating.

    #to add onto what Pancakes, Flareknight, and zeroyuki were saying

    1. Oh yeah, best line I got from the episode was from Elsa.
      Saying how if he got rid of her fangs she would use her claws. If he got rid of her claws she would use her bones. If he got rid of her bones she would use her life. As that’s the way a Bowel Hunter fights.

      Like damn girl! You got some good antagonist material there. I hope she shows up again.

    2. They did set Reinhard’s white knighting up, it just didn’t feel earned. That’s why I said it FELT like a deus ex machina (overly lucky, to be more correct) instead of earned luck. And them not checking for the body was only really cringe-worthy because of Subaru’s genre savviness, and how sure everyone else was without any worry. (A simple line of “I’m pretty sure I got her” (tweaked to sound like Reinhard) would have solved that well enough.)

      1. @Stilts: “A simple line of “I’m pretty sure I got her” (tweaked to sound like Reinhard) would have solved that well enough.”

        FYI – as noted in my post below, Subaru covers that: ““There isn’t even a shadow left, let alone a body…” I don’t see how Reinhard saying something to that effect makes a difference.

  13. Looking at this schedule, there’s no days off, Stilts.
    Sun – Gundam, Boku no Hero, Tonkatsu DJ, Macross, Concrete Revolutio, Kumamiko, Sansha Sanyou, Re: Zero
    Mon – 12-sai.
    Tues – Joker Game
    Weds – Onmyouji, Neko Neko (if a subber appears), Bungou Stray Dogs
    Thurs – Kuromukuro, Netoge, Koutetsujou, Shounen Maid, Sakamoto Desu ga?
    Fri – Mayoiga, Luluco, Kagewani, Big Order
    Sat – Gyakuten Saiban, Asterisk, Tanaka-kun, Kiznaiver, Hai-Furi, Flying Witch

    Yeah, I’d call today and Tuesday the “off” days, but they’re really “catch-up” days. XD

  14. Overall a good episode – probably the best one so far for this show. All the threads made during the last episodes were woven together for the end of the introductory arc. It did have one primary issue, but I definitely think the good outweighed the bad here. I’ll start with what I thought went wrong:

    The only big problem I had which IMO was just outright BAD was Subaru being slashed at the end. Not that he was gutted (again), but the presentation. Freaking TWO MINUTES AND 15 SECONDS go by including Subaru making comic poses and spouting lines of dialog, etc. before he realizes he’s been cut and blood spurts out. Are you kidding me!? If it’s “comedy” (I’m not sure that’s the intent), it fails. Sorry, but for me that was a head-meet-desk moment. Apart from that I had no major issues.

    Re. Deus Ex Reinhard: Eh, I can see Stilts’ point though I suspect not to the same degree. The thought “kind of convenient Reinhard’s around” did briefly cross my mind, but I didn’t find it egregious. I get what Stilts is saying about “making your own luck” (which is really characters earning things rather than given), but in this situation there’s only so much Subaru can do First, he’s under the gun from the get-go in this situation with every reset = not a whole lot of time to “work”. Second, Subaru probably didn’t want to get the “cops” involved (Reinhard) since it would be bad for Felt. Also, he (wrongly, but with reason) assumed he could buy back the badge and leave before Elsa shows up. Plus, Subaru did ask Reinhard warn Emilia IIRC. So maybe, being the super nice guy he is, Rienhard was tracking down Emilia which is why he was in the slums when Felt ran into him. That’s what I came up with. All in all, perhaps it could have been setup bit better, but wasn’t egregiously bad either IMO. Seen worse.

    More than offsetting, there were a number of positives IMO. First is Subaru. While he didn’t perfectly plan for every contingency (which is fine IMO), he did think fast and learn from the past on a number of points – warning puck, trying to protect his gut from Elsa’s favorite move, and even remembering the flower from the lost kid. He’s not perfect, but he does learn and pay attention to details. I’d say for an “average Joe”, he did a pretty good job going up against someone as skilled as Elsa. There was a LOT of talking going on during the battle (e.g. Puck and Elsa trash talking) which I’m not a huge fan of, but, BUT, BUT, the show did something I wish a LOT more shows did! It kept the action going. Fight AND talk. Novel concept. >_> Rather than a couple sword swings then standing around to spout off lines (a pet peeve of mine these days), it kept the action going. Horizon S1 (Ep. 11 specifically IIRC) did a great job with that. Also, for the most part the battle was actually animated rather than defaulting to stills with speedlines.

    I didn’t have any “lack of genre savvy” issue. Seeing the body = 100% dead is a staple of anime (fiction), but looking at it from Subaru’s perspective, should he treat this as some “anime”? I’m not so sure. Besides, Subaru comments that “There isn’t even a shadow left, let alone a body…”, and given how it’s depicted, that does seem to be the case initially, If there was any questionable part of that scene, IMO it was that Elsa survived or at least wasn’t hurt considerably worse. She lost her “clock of protection” (why the first big ice spell failed), got hit by a massive… IDK, energy blast, had a bunch of rubble fall on top of her, and eh, a few minor cuts, but can move around just fine. O.o

    Lastly, I totally agree with Stilts and others about the “lighting”. I get the atmosphere, it’s indoors, etc, but yeesh is it hard to see things at times.

    TL:DR = Reset avoided in a mostly good episode. I was in for the season last episode, and this one only confirmed that decision.


    @Stilts: I’ll say the same thing I always do regarding coverage. Blog what you want. If this isn’t your “cup of tea” so be it. Would I like you to cover the show? Sure, but I’ve never subscribed to bloggers covering shows they don’t want to cover. I don’t think that works well.

  15. Didn’t have a problem with Reinhard showing up or Felt calling for help. Remember, she thought the one person who cared for her was dead. She’s not going to be thinking logically. And coincidences do happen. It’s when they come out of nowhere that Deus Ex Reinhard kicks in, but we’d already seen him and his entry had been set up by his previous interactions with Subaru. Now if this random knight had shown up out of nowhere then I’d say they had gone all Deus Ex on us.

    I do have a problem is with Reinhard and Elsa. Reinhard is too hax by being able to create a blast that is so powerful that it causes his (borrowed) sword to crumble but it barely singes Elsa. No explanation of how she avoided the blast (assuming that she did). What does it take to kill that b*tch? He also stated that his sword couldn’t be drawn unless necessary. Not being able to use your ultimate weapon when you can’t bring your opponent down with a blast that destroyed a large building? Was he just boasting that he could fight her with one sword tied behind his back? So to speak? 😛

  16. Elsa is such a depraved, vile, sadistic wench. And I like it.
    Whenever I see her on screen it sends chills down my spine, and her battle mantra was also brilliant.
    She’s a magnificent villain, let’s just hope she’s not offed soon.

  17. https://randomc.net/image/Re%20Zero%20Kara%20Hajimeru%20Isekai%20Seikatsu/Re%20Zero%20Kara%20Hajimeru%20Isekai%20Seikatsu%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2006.jpg

    What the Puck! Since when did the pucking cats start flying and have motherpucking ice abilities?! Its pucking awesome!


    On the other hand, the sudden power up is pucking ridiculous. The old guy may be able to life the pucking club with one hand, but how the pucking hell did our supposedly hikiNEET protagonist have the strength to do so?

    Pucking asspull.


    Half Elf girl is pucking hot


    Bowel Cutter girl is pucking MILF! (or atleast that’s what I assumed based on appearance)


    The loli in this show is definitely puckable. I am pucking pleased.

  18. I do hope if not Stilts, some other Random C writer would be willing to blog this show. While I can list quite a few flaws with this show, it does generate interesting discussions on Random C, and shows that can do that are always interesting to watch/read reviews about.

    As for the episode, I think it was the strongest of the three we’ve seen so far, as we finally have some closure to the first arc of rebirths, some awesome fight scenes, and a gathering of most of the key players in the story (aside from a few more girls I suppose that showed up in the opening). I do get Stilt’s idea of luck/work ratio, to a certain extent. No one likes things being handed on a silver platter or random strokes of convenience, but I say it’s forgivable here since Subaru did try his hardest and has already died a few times before Reinhard appeared. I do think it is still a bit too good for Subaru to have miraculously found one of the strongest knights in an alleyway who was also nice enough to listen to Subaru and help him out, but it’s not the worst offense ever. I also think Reinhard didn’t really have to blow up the whole house…like did he really need to resort to such an attack? It’s a major inconvenience for Old Man Rom since he lived there, at least be a bit considerate even if they were thieves.

    On to the good things, I kind of like Subaru’s goofiness and silly personality that meshes well with his determination to make things right. I think he makes what could be a very depressing show into something that gives off some glimmer of hope. Although from what others say, the show only gets darker, but I hope Subaru is able to find his way through after struggling and not just spiral into utter despair. Emilia is also very cute, and I like how consistent her attitude is within all of Subaru’s rebirths and how she’s genuinely a good person. While the dialogue gets a bit too wordy and some conversations feel unnecessary, the overall premise of the show is interesting and it’s executed fairly well, so I’m somewhat optimistic about the future of this show~

  19. I’ve read the manga of this so I guess knowing a bit of the story mitigates or makes me look past some of the “defects” as Stilts pointed out. What I do have to say though is that I have to give this show a thumbs up on the way it handles the Repetitiveness that naturally accompanies it’s plot.

    We’ve seen a lot of shows stumble in this regard and some are no small names. I’m sure I’m not the only one who fast forwarded through various parts of Haruhi’s Endless 8 or even some sections of Steins Gate. Overall It’s nice to see that the show pushes forward with the plot without feeling too weighed down by this point.

    Now as regards Reinhart serendipitous encounter with felt. There is no denying that there is an element of Luck in that but I don’t feel like it’s too far out there either. There is clearly a relation between Emelia and Reinhart so it’s not too surprising that he would be in the same area as her. Also we know from the previous episode that he “appears when there is a call for help” so I don’t find it too bad. As for the whole work to luck ratio I would generally agree with Stilts but I think that’s being a bit too harsh on Subaru.

    We have to remember that the guy was basically thrown into the situation with only having the chance to keep repeating the timeline as a weapon. He didn’t have any real ability to stand up to the Bowel Cutter girl, in fact he is pretty much powerless, and was basically doing his best to resolve the whole issue before she even showed up. So yeah things basically didn’t go according to plan and he had to wing it.

  20. I love this show oh my gosh. The blend of comedy, light-heartedness, and the sudden mood dissonance/whiplash with the darker bits. Bittersweet in a good way to see Subaru make so much progress but then have to “reset”; I don’t recall a recent anime where I was willing the main character to win so much. Spoiled myself on what happens in the next few arcs — I’ll just reiterate people’s point that while there’s definitely some humor and heartwarming moments, this isn’t going to be a light or easy anime (like KonoSuba).


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