「狂気の外側」 (Kyouki no Sotogawa)
“The Outside of Madness”
Holy shizzz… prepare for a long post because my mind is just completely blown. This might end up as a very incoherent post because there’s just no ways to describe how I feel anymore.
Just when you think you know what Re: Zero has up its sleeve, you don’t. Seriously, I wouldn’t have believed it if someone told me when I first started this series, but now I know. It’s incredible brutal and tragic and just everything thrown at you at once. Just two weeks ago (or even last week), I was disappointed in Subaru. I was upset that he wasn’t a very “developed” character and he was simply just another teenager that suffers from main character syndrome, thrown into a universe that’s completely outside his understanding and norm. Now, I just feel a lot of pity for him so much so that I can’t fathom what he’s going through. He’s such a broken character now that it’s hard to relate to his situation other than the desire to hold him close and tell him that everything’s going to be alright. Except maybe it won’t and that despair of not being able to do anything is what’s killing me (and Subaru). He’s died twice in one episode and each time, it doesn’t get any prettier (that ending though… so on point!). He’s beaten, both mentally, physically, emotionally – it’s the worst type of torture to relive each day knowing what’s at the end if he goes back to the manor and village. I wasn’t a huge fan of Subaru in the past several weeks but this… he doesn’t deserve this. His ability is a curse that’s created this infinite loop of bad endings that he can’t escape.
Subaru’s mental state is one thing… and the actuality of what’s happening is another. Subaru is literally living in a nightmare right now as his companions and friends are slaughtered each loop. In each loop, Sugaru leaves Felix and Crusch’s care to venture back to Roswaal’s manor. Regardless of what happens to him during this time, the Witch’s Cult end up terrorizing the village and killing everyone (including Ram) in some of the most brutal ways. In the end, we don’t even see what happens to everyone else as everything is frozen over when Subaru arrives and the last thing we see is this giant rat-beast emerging. The only thing we know is that the hooded men are part of the Witch’s Cult (whom I guess, worship the Jealous Witch and do her bidding) and they’re led by this crazy clown-like character named Betelgeuse Romaneeconti (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu). Brilliant performance from Yoshitsugu if I must say so myself – I’ve blogged several shows featuring him as a main/supporting seiyuu now but this act sent chills down my spine. Betelgeuse is one crazy son-of-a-b*tch, but what makes him worse is that he’s dangerous even unprovoked. I can’t even explain his behavior because even if he has a motive (which we don’t know of yet), his actions feel so sporadic and he only does what satisfies him. I assume he’s one of the 7 deadly sins as he claims to be the “sloth” and mistakens Subaru to be “pride”. He kills everyone in his path, and torture is no stranger to him either (which is really the worst way to go). The contortionist acts freak the sh*t out of me and when he does it to his victims too? Poor Rem… but seriously, that girl – she is just nothing short of amazing.
Rem might as well be the main character this arc as her performance blows me away every time. And unlike Subaru who was a mindless zombie for half the episode, Rem does what she can to protect her sister, the village and ultimately the man she loves – Subaru. What a sad way to go and I felt my heart go out for Rem as she told Subaru that she loved him. Even though I knew Subaru was going to restart eventually, it’s still the act of finding out under those circumstances that really get to me. Even Betelgeuse called it and I’m surprised that Subaru didn’t realize it sooner. Rem has more than a silly crush on him, she actually loves him and even when her limbs are unusable and she’s dragging her dead body across the floor, she does it because she wants to save Subaru. This simply breaks my heart and it was even harder for me to watch that than seeing Subaru scream for 2 minutes in chains. Rem has done nothing wrong and still gets the short end of the stick – each time. If there’s anyone that Subaru better feel indebted to now, it’s Rem and not Emilia.
So speaking of Emilia, the rest of the Roswaal manor doesn’t show up this episode at all. Other than Ram’s body, and the villagers, we don’t see the other magic-wielders anywhere. Are they dead? Did they also freeze to death? Subaru finds a secret path to the basement at the beginning but we never get to see inside before hell freezes over. Is it something that the Witch’s Cult are hiding or perhaps something they don’t want anyone else to see? What’s worse is that even if Subaru manages to get there alive, he doesn’t even know what he’s looking for or what’s happening. This entire story is told from Subaru’s POV but he’s actually a side character in the universe of Lugnica and he’s trying so hard to place himself in the middle of it – only to get himself killed every time. I don’t know where Emilia and Roswaal are; I imagine that they’re probably not home or else this wouldn’t be happening, but then it doesn’t answer the question of what’s behind that basement door. Beatrice has also failed to make an appearance in weeks (oh how I miss her!) so does that mean she’s also dead or MIA?
So what now? Well the first reset certainly took a toll on Subaru and although Betelgeuse claimed that he was “faking” it, I don’t know just how fake it was. Seeing everyone dead in a gruesome manner, is no walk in the park. Even if Subaru has witnessed it multiple times, this is the first time it’s mass-murder. It’s been shown many times now, but Subaru is human and he does get impacted by everything happening around him. After the second loop though, Subaru has a fire burning inside him to do something about the Witch’s Cult and Betelgeuse. Now he knows what he’s up against and Subaru is determined to change this path. I don’t know what or how, but he’ll have to find a way to live through this arc as well. It’s also awfully convenient for him to get a new save point 😉
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: Winter is here… and so is Subaru and Rem’s doom – in the form of a crazy clown that’s worse than Roswaal. Just when you think the brutality and despair couldn’t get any more bleak in #ReZero… I can’t unsee what I’ve seen. HOLY SHIZZZ! That was a crazy episode of #ReZero… I’ve never felt so angry, sad and hopeless for anime. I pity Subaru now more than ever.