I love episodes like these that take the time to step back and bring the viewers up to speed about what actually happened between the characters in the past. From the get-go, we knew that Ram and Rem were characters that must’ve gone through a great deal in their lifetime. This episode just goes to show that wow – there’s only so much you think you know before you’re shown a completely different side of the story. And maybe some viewers could’ve guessed it but I was floored by the history of Ram and Rem’s upbringing. It was hinted that Rem and Ram were close but just how close and why they were so protective of one another is a different story. The flashback from this episode shows not only their family and village growing up, but all of Rem’s trials and struggles of growing up in the shadow of her older twin, Ram. It’s clearly a focus on Rem and I never expected that the show would distinguish the two that much. Even though they’re twins, they grew up very differently and Rem is the one that drives home that sympathy from the viewers. Now I know why she does what she does and why she’s also “better” than Ram at nearly all the household chores… and yet, still puts Ram on this pedestal that she’s striving to become.
Knowing Ram and Rem a little more now, goes to show that all of Rem’s actions and behaviors are really a result of her upbringing and what she’s had to live through. Just because of one malicious thought that crossed her mind in this exact moment, Rem has put herself down so much to “make up” for the fact that she was glad her sister lost her horn. I don’t blame her for her thoughts, but I sympathize with her reactions. Now it suddenly makes sense why she goes on a mission to kill Subaru in the earlier loops and why it’s so hard to gain the twins’ trust. Rem needs someone to tell her that it’s okay and she can be her own person and not live in the shadows of her sister. Subaru turned out to be that person and his compassion towards her really helped her open up. It was an emotionally touching scene as Subaru finally gets his “good ending” with the twins in this arc.
While the episode gives away almost most of the twins’ upbringing, it hints at a lot of events that don’t get exact explanations (yet). So we know that Rem and Ram’s village of demons was ransacked by a group of robed individuals that are tied to the Witch (as stated by the twins before) and that easily explains why they hate Subaru from his scent. It also shows Roswaal swooping in to save Ram right after her horn is chopped out and takes in both twins to work in his mansion. Ram clearly still has some magical powers, but it needs to be recuperated by Roswaal after use and there’s this awkward scene of her sitting on his lap to recover. So while we get the general overview of how and why the twins are maids in the residence, we don’t know any more about the Witch – or the shaman dog that Roswaal obliterates. Thanks to Roswaal, Subaru is curse-free and the mystery of solved of how to progress through this loop. Someone once mentioned that the kid who originally introduced the dog has disappeared (bum bum bum!!) and it turns out that they were right. She’s probably a villain disguised as a child to bring the dog in and now the trail has gone cold. At the end, Roswaal mentions a dragon that makes him uneasy and all the while – the Witch is still at large. Who is she and what does she want? I think we’ll finally get to learn more about her next arc.
That’s a lot of information to take in in half an hour and because of it, I think there’s a lot of assumptions that have to be made as well. For one – they don’t show what happened at the end of last week’s episode with Subaru attacking Rem. I assume that she has still her horn after the attack and Subaru merely knocked her out. That was something I would’ve liked to see animated but I can understand why it was cut out if time is of the essence. Subaru also manages to perform magic on his own in this episode and that shocked me. I know that it’s pretty much exactly what he did with Puck but it looked more advance than I would’ve expected from him. He meets no resistance this time by the Witch (I’m just going to assume the anonymous dark hand is the Witch’s until proven otherwise), but doesn’t provide a lot of answers about the limitations of his powers (if there are any). If Subaru is somehow tied to the Witch, this would explain why she “controls” his ability to tell others about his revival, but I would assume that it also ties them in other ways; for example, using each other’s mana pool or being able to “sense” one another. Maybe this will be explored further on when Subaru starts to control his shadow magic and build up his strength.
All in all, an excellent way to wrap up the ending for this arc. I thought it tied up all the loose ends it could involving the twins, and Subaru finally gets his date with Emilia! Beatrice and Roswaal are still a bit of a mystery but I’m sure their backgrounds will be revealed when the time is right. The twins will certainly continue being an asset to Subaru as he finds himself more intertwined with the events around him. There were a few hiccups along the way or scenes which I thought could’ve been cut short but hopefully it will contribute to the overall character development for Subaru. Sundays can’t come soon enough!
Bottom Line – @ RCCherrie: That flashback on Rem and Ram was exactly what I needed for some context. Thank you #ReZero for that. The episode actually felt like a proper ending for this arc. I was very satisfied with the way it turned out =)