「ゼロから」 (Zero Kara)
For so long (maybe not THAT long, but at least a few episodes now) audiences – myself included – have complained about Subaru’s inability to do anything and anything he DID do, he did it wrong. There was literally no right step for him to take without killing himself, killing other people and just dying to redo it all over again. It was frustrating to watch because he made so many different attempts to change the course of his destiny and nothing ever came out right. Plus, as a viewer, I’m always thinking about how I would do it differently or better. Well, now Subaru is finally admitting to all his faults. And it’s not like he didn’t know what they were before, he geninuely sounds like he wanted to overcome them and do better for himself. He reveals that he knows that he’s pretty much hopeless and lost and can’t do anything – but he wants to so badly and that’s why he’s done all that he’s done. It was a bit of a relief to see how he literally pours his heart to Rem, referencing the fact that he isn’t as amazing as she thinks he is and ultimately, he is helpless. That’s probably mean to say, but at the same time at least we know that he knows what he’s up against. Whereas I was frustrated with his character before for not knowing any better, it turns out that he does know better and he’s admitting defeat now.
Unfortunately it wasn’t as satisfying as I thought it’d be to finally see Subaru break down. Until I see solid proof that this ephiphany actually changes his behavior, I am going to be a bit more skeptical. Will he suddenly approach people differently? Or will he take a completely different route trying to save Emilia? His confession to Rem will only mean something if he changes his actions as a result of his newfound realization. Telling Rem – someone that already respects and loves him – is like telling your mom or your spouse; you’re telling someone that already unconditionally loves you and they’re not going to judge you for having flaws or faults. The only one he’s helping is himself by saying all these things outloud and coming to terms with reality. Admitting who you are is one thing, actioning change and not doing “nothing” is another. It IS a huge relief to hear Subaru out though (you don’t see it often in anime). The clouds parting with the rays of sunshine coming through was such beautiful visual imagery of their conversation. I’ll be waiting to see how this impacts what’s been going to happen in the next few episodes (and leading up to the finale). I know this has to be the moment where Subaru finally forces himself to do better – after all, it’s like the entire series title is based on it.
The true hero here is Rem. And it’s not like she needs a larger fanbase or more reason to love her but if you didn’t already, here it is! Rem is truly the ultimate girlfriend material right here folks and d*mn, even though I don’t swing that way, I just might for her. Her ability to stick by Subaru despite his confession and his flaws is remarkable when so many people (even Emilia) haven’t. I understand why she feels so indebted to Subaru and why she puts him on such a pedestal, but it’s still unbelievable from a 3rd person’s persepctive because it’s like he’s done wrong by her so many times. It’s not on purpose and a lot of things that happened were from Rem’s own choices, but it goes to show just how selfless she is. Since her arc ended, Rem has been nothing but supportive to Subaru because she loves him and in contrast, Subaru’s “love” for Emilia hasn’t come to fruition the same way. Subaru’s love for Emilia feels like it’s so forced and inadequate while Rem has no expectations from Subaru to love her back (and expectations make a huge difference). She must know that her life and fantasy with Subaru would never happen and that’s what makes it more sad and heartbreaking to hear her story of running away together. Oh Rem… how can such a selfless character like you even exist to give Subaru so much love in a world like this? I want to scream that he doesn’t deserve you. This scene isn’t just about the confession, it’s about how Rem helped Subaru realize his potential and how others view him (from a positive angle). He has good points, he CAN have good qualities, he just needed a push to get there. Like I said, it takes a lot for someone to admit to their faults (whether it’s being ignorant or in denial) but it takes a lot for someone to stick by you through it all and still see you as a hero. This really makes Rem my hero.
Phew… there’s a lot to discuss about what happened this episode but I feel like I hit all the points I wanted to convey about the confession between Subaru and Rem. I know the moment that Subaru admitted to loving Emilia after Rem confessed was a bit… offputting, but this show isn’t about the romance or how Subaru ends up with Rem. Sorry folks. There was a lot that went on in the beginning of the episode too and it was brief but important. Puck becomes reverts back his giant cat/tiger/lion(?) spirit form and freezes everyone to death – Subaru included. He says that Subaru did wrong by Emilia three times and for that, he pays the price of death. Betelguese is no exception to Puck’s powers and also freezes to death (in true grotesque manner). Thus, the story cannot go on with Emilia dead if Puck is going to bring about the ice age and Subaru is just going to die anyway. Subaru still has to find a way to avoid killing or having the residence in the manor killed. Not sure how he’s going to go about it now but hopefully his newfound appreciation for Rem and himself will help.
Author’s Note: Despite the fact that it was a long weekend where I am, I still had a much busier weekend than anticipated. Sorry for the delay in posts everyone! If it’s any consolation, I was drunk and then hungover so it’s not like my mind was in the right place =(