「自称騎士と最優の騎士」 (Jijou Kishi to Saiyuu no Kishi)
“The Self-Proclaimed Knight and the Greatest Knight”
After last week’s cliffhanger, Subaru does in fact get a new reset point – as he points out himself in the episode. Thank God, we don’t have to relive the battle against the whale. Unlike the many renditions we’ve run through with Subaru in the past though, this episode shows a huge turning point in Subaru’s personality. He’s taking a lot of what he’s learned in the past and adapting to the needs of his comrades; Emilia and the villagers. He’s still Emilia’s knight (in his own eyes) but he’s starting to depend on others and not trying to do everything himself. This really illustrates to me that he’s growing. He’s using his brain more and actually taking what he knows and applying it to his circumstances. To me, this is different than the second arc which Subaru literally just tries everything in the book to survive because he’s finally trusting others with information, he treats them with respect and not as pawns in this “version” of his life. It’s a subtle difference in some ways, but as someone that’s seen Subaru go through so much, there’s no way that you can’t feel proud of him. He has changed and in doing so, he’s been able to accomplish so much more in this little time. This doesn’t mean he’s perfect now, but at least there’s no more of the “me me me” tantrums and we don’t see him complaining about why everything doesn’t go his way. Subaru has come to realization that there is a time and place for everything and even in this episode (after being away from Emilia for what feels like a long time), he restrains himself to do what’s right. And seeing Subaru right now isn’t what’s best for Emilia.
I’m super happy for Subaru’s progress and it certainly makes the plot progress along nicely. Each episode still manages to give a little bit more information about the Witches’ Cult, Betelgeuse and Subaru himself as well. As much as I like seeing Subaru rally up the troops and convince the villagers to move, is it just me or does Subaru still feel a bit suspicious sometimes? I mean, yes – he’s been telling the truth and you don’t have a real reason to mistrust him, but where has Subaru gotten all this information? Subaru’s this strange boy that doesn’t have a lot of knowledge about your world (in fact, he makes a fool of himself in front of the court) and now he’s sprouting out knowledge about the Witches’ Cult, the White Whale and people just trust and believe in him. This would make me super suspicious of his behavior (and knowledge) if I were a Knight like Reinhard and Julius… but I guess they’re just good people and they give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, like I said, they don’t have a reason to distrust him. Subaru can be a little foolish at times, but he hasn’t done anything to make himself dangerous. Maybe confessing to seeing Betelguese’s hands and being worried that he can possess you, but that’s it.
Small details aside, I mentioned already that I really enjoyed seeing a different side to Subaru and his solution to the Witches’ Cult issue. Instead of taking the same angle, he approaches the problem differently with the new information he has. This includes the fact that Betelgeuse or the Sloth Sin of Bishop can possess all the different Followers. In addition, Subaru attempts to empty out the village before the attacks begins and he sends Wilhelm to tell Emilia about the blank letter ahead of time! Talk about a lot of changes in a single episode but all smart moves in my opinion and it gets Subaru exactly where he needs to be. Not the one actually fighting Betelgeuse but helping Julius fight Betelgeuse. Julius turns out to be quite the hero this episode and he’s quickly turning into my favorite male of the anime (maybe tied with Reinhard). The best line would be the final one about Subaru, but I have a thing for guys with strong resolves and Julius fits the bill. He’s honorable, loyal and knows when to admit to his faults – plus he apologizes to Subaru which I’m sure was hard to do. I can’t wait to see him kick Betelgeuse’s a** in next week’s episode. Please be an epic fight for the finale! The past few weeks have been lacking in quality compared to the beginning of the cour and it makes me wonder if White Fox is just saving it all up.
Besides the final battle against Betelgeuse, there are a few questions that I’d like addressed but there are doubts in my mind that they will. The blank letters from Rem and Crusch are one thing and of course, some closure between Emilia and Subaru would be nice (or being a Rem fan, maybe I rather see more of Rem). Speaking of Emilia and Subaru – when Subaru showed up with Emilia’s cape and explained how it conceals someone’s identity, I was so blown away! WHAT?! There’s magic surrounding that thing?! I never would’ve thought. Anyway, I don’t want to have my expectations too high for next week considering that the story isn’t finished yet and there’s a high chance that there might be a season two. As much as I wish that it’s not going to end on a cliffhanger, it most likely will and it’s going to gnaw at me alive until (and if) the next season comes out. Let’s just hope that it gives us just enough to tie us over and at least a satisfying, somewhat conclusive ending.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: Julius is my hero. Seriously – he’s going to pass Reinhard on my list soon =X We’ve come a long way and I’m glad that #Rezero is ending on a high (for once). Let’s just hope there aren’t anymore surprise cliffhangers. Hopefully they manage to kill Betelgeuse for good. But in the grander scheme of things #Rezero is far from over.