「再来の王都」 (Sairai no Outo)
“Return to the Capital”
After all the intensity from the past few weeks, this episode takes a step back to reintroduce us to some old familiar faces and bring the audience back to the Capital. It’s easy to forget that there’s an entire town outside the mansion when we’ve been there for almost 2 months now. I already find it hard to remember what happened to Subaru before Rem and that’s because so muchhas happened. The pace this week wasn’t as brisk but takes its time to follow Subaru around as he learns more about Emilia’s role as a candidate for the Queen. As the audience, we’re learning things on the go too and it’s actually a lot of information at once so let’s take a step back to review exactly what’s going on.
The fact that there was no blood and gore this time was a surprise! Since Subaru has been transported to this world, he’s died almost every episode trying to do something righteous and this arc, doesn’t seem to be headed that way (yet?). It actually just feels like the creators are setting up for the next big arc, but we need to have more story built-up first. Starting with the people we already know, old man Rom returns looking for Felt (still?! Well it’s only been a few days… even though it’s felt like 2 months). For those that don’t remember, Reinhard actually took Felt at the end of episode 3 so it’s no surprise to me that she shows up at the end. Felt as a candidate for Queenship?
As for the new characters, we’re first introduced to Wilhelm van Astrea (Horiuchi Kenyuu) along with Felix Argail (Horie Yui) at the mansion. They visit Emilia to tell her about the meeting in the Capital and off they go! Little is initially known about them other than their brief conversations with Subaru. We know that Wilhelm is known as “the Sword Demon” which only tells me that he’s an expert Swordsman but little else. Subuaru gets Wilhelm to talk about his wife a bit too but he talks about her in a rather sad manner so that has me thinking that something happened to her too. Felix is actually the knight for Crusch Karsten (Iguchi Yuka) – whom gets some screen time later. Felix is definitely going to be the token trap in this anime; even I was not expecting that but you never know with Re: Zero. Along with Crusch, we meet the other candidates up for Queenship and they are Priscilla Barielle (Tamura Yukari), Anatasia Hoshin (Ueda Kana) and of course, Felt. Priscilla amongst the others get the most attention this week when Subaru attempts to “save” her and only ends up hitching a ride to the castle from her. She’s quite self-centered and confident in her ability; easily making her stand out amongst the other girls in this episode. She’s definitely my type – if I had a type 😉 We’re starting to really build up that harem for Subaru now… who wouldn’t think that this is a game? Priscilla catches the eye of Emilia when she openly flirts with Subaru too (purposely to make her jealous?) and comes with her own knight, Aldebaran (Fujiwara Keiji).
So after watching this introductory episode for this arc, I just had to rewatch it to in order to catch a lot of the details I might have missed. You never know when Subaru is going to die right? One thing that I noticed was that – despite how serious this episode was, the delivery of it was all from Subaru’s POV and as a result, it feels lighthearted and easily-going even though the subject matter about the Queen’s selection is actually very serious in nature. No one else is laughing or making awkward facial expressions, everyone else knows that this is the real deal. Subaru is the only one that’s clueless and that’s reflected in the show by its tone and atmosphere. I love that and whether or not it’s intentional, I hope they continue doing it. Subaru isn’t an emo NEET that’s a downer. He’s upbeat and tries to appreciate this life he has with Emilia now and it really shows (even Wilhelm notices). Despite the show topics being detrimental in nature, the show still manages to bring out the comedy and a different mood by following Subaru. It’s certainly an interesting view while you’re watching and I would almost take it for granted since it’s anime, but there’s much more to it than that.
Author’s Note: Forgive the tardiness of my posts this past week. Bungou Stray Dogs will be a double-post tomorrow as well. I’ve been on vacation (and still am) and trying to find time has been difficult. Thanks for your patience! Season preview also eats up a lot of time =P
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: From Subaru’s POV, the story feels so lighthearted… but in reality, the topics are actually pretty serious. As we get into the politics on #ReZero, I’m actually anxious to see who will get chosen as the new leader or how they’ll decide.