「勇気の意味」 (Yuuki no Imi)
“The Meaning of Courage”
There’s very few opportunities for me to say this (because I’m usually so bad at predicting anime) so let me just get this off my chest – It’s the dog!! I knew it!! *phew.
When that dog showed up and actually got some decent screen time, I just knew it. It’s a bit of a stretch in all honesty because the it’s not like the dog appeared for more than 30 seconds in the first two loops but I guess it’s enough to foreshadow the events to come. Any more time and it might’ve been too big of a giveaway. I think I’m more proud of my predictions than I was excited to see what actually happened this week. Even when Rem transformed into a full fletched ogre, I was more impressed by how well the story dropped hints earlier on. It made the scene a lot less shocking and a lot more, ”Oh I see. I get it now!”; which is still a good reaction in my opinion.
However, even with all the “surprising” revelations, I still felt that the episode lacked some impact on me. I was building up all this anticipation for this loop to be the last one Subaru would have to live through and it wasn’t. I got more questions than answers when the story takes a turn by exploring the villagers and children rather than focusing on the household. I understand that a lot of things that are happening to Subaru are probably a result of things happening outside the house, but now it feels like we’re looking at a whole new pool of suspects and there’s endless possibilities there. I would’ve liked to get some closure on what’s going on inside the house before you look outside it. Evidently, there’s not much going on inside the house… but! Roswaal is still a closed book to me; not to mention Emilia who has somehow gone unquestioned this entire time. Is she really as uninvolved and clueless as she seems? Considering how much trust Subaru has built up with Emilia, couldn’t he ask her all these questions about the Witch? It just seems fishy to me that Roswaal decides to leave the mansion on this critical night that Subaru hasn’t done anything different than the first two loops except ask ALL the villagers to touch him.
Anyway, like I said – a lot happened, but asides from the dog being revealed as the “shaman” (if he is indeed a dog, which I somehow doubt), and Rem unleashing her horn, nothing satisfied my hunger for answers. I still think Subaru behaves very questionably. He’s calling all the shots by asking to visit the village again and he commands Rem around like he KNOWS what’s going to happen and what’s going on without actually knowing. I guess Rem and Ram trust Subaru enough to separate and protect Subaru but I personally would be more skeptical. Then there’s the missing children fiasco which was a bit lost to me because I felt no sense of urgency. Am I that heartless? Perhaps but I had little empathy towards Subaru’s situation. When he started spewing out all the children’s dreams and hopes, I couldn’t help but feel no connection to the characters. I was actually hoping the Mabeasts would show up sooner so I could understand what they wanted! Yes – they were being commanded by a small puppy (which is another reason why I don’t believe it’s an actual puppy) but what did they want? Were the village children its original target? Does it sap the energy away from the kids to build up its own powers? Maybe Subaru and Rem were just at the wrong place at the wrong time and that’s why Rem & Subaru keep dying each loop. If they never went into the village and Subaru behaved normally… maybe all would be well in the mansion.
The last bit of the episode which featured Rem and her demon outrage was supposed to be this week’s climax and although it was quite certainly exciting; it was shortlived. As soon as Rem went on her rampage killing Mabeasts, Subaru jumped in to save her life and in the midst of that – dies (or assumed to be dead). But why? She’s clearly able to handle the situation on her own and there’s no way that both of them could survive so why would you ruin this opportunity? Does Subaru think that resetting this loop could result in a better ending? Possibly. But there has to be some repercussions of him dying all the time. Like that smell on him. And hey, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get the same result each time you try and relive the same scenario.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: I KNEW IT! I hate to say I told you so… but there are very few times that I get the triumphant feeling of making the right call XD Other than that, the episode wasn’t entirely surprising. It poses more questions than answers now that the villagers are involved. Maybe because I saw it coming, Rem’s transformation and the Mabeasts weren’t all that satisfying. My expectations must be too high #Rezero