「待ちかねた再会」 (Machikaneta Saikai)
“The Long-Awaited Reunion”

Well I imagine those expecting a quick resumption of pain and suffering will be disappointed by a second round of Re:Zero exposition, but it’s kind of hard faulting an adaptation willing to take its time. From Rem to Sanctuary to a new (and definitely not intentional guaranteed) focus on mixed blood, Re:Zero is going on setting up its largest arc yet, and you can rest assured the payoff intends on meeting any lofty expectations.

For the anime-only viewer the “official” reveal of there being more than one Witch probably proves surprising, but I suspect matters get slightly more, shall we say, insidious once you realize there’s a Witch for every deadly sin. That’s right, each Sin Archbishop has their very own waifu sinful maiden. Frankly there’s a lot unspoken for behind the scenes with Echidna’s little spiel to Subaru here, but in short expect a lot more on this front to factor into things, particularly the parts concerning the involvement of Witches in the development of Re:Zero’s current society and world. Obviously Echidna is papering over a few things as is wont of someone embracing Greed as a way of life (always better to embellish the good, it gets you further in life), but Subaru possessing the Witch factor of Sin and his coincidental stumbling upon Echidna’s tea party should be all the hint you need to guess where this little story is heading.

As for real world affairs things will also take some time to play out. Not only do we have our first taste of Garfiel (whose relationship to Frederica should be pretty damn obvious if pointy food munchers are anything to go by), but we also now know what Sanctuary is, and more importantly, why Roswaal and friends haven’t left until now. It will undeniably take a while to determine why mixed bloods are unable to leave Sanctuary and why only they can participate in its trial, but given the ominous title of Graveyard of the Witches and Roswaal’s injuries I think you can similarly guess where this side of things is heading. There’s a good deal of Witch-specific history set to make its appearance this arc, and with Subaru given special status to attempt the trial himself, more than a bit of tasty information on his power and the reason for its existence waiting in the wings. Might take some death (read: a lot of death) to dig down to the truth, but you can firmly expect the fun of Sanctuary is only just getting started.

After all, when any isekai lead winds up waking up back in the real world, you damn well know things are about to get a little spicy.

11 Comments

  1. So Subaru has Petelgeuse’s Witch Factor since he killed him, but what does this mean? Stupid Subaru was too stupid to ask Echidna what a Witch Factor was, so we anime-only viewers don’t know what a Witch Factor is yet. Echidna laced Subaru’s tea with the Envy Witch Factor to strengthen his resistance. Although I still don’t know what a Witch Factor is, I have a guess as to what kind he gained resistance to. It seemed like speaking to the Witch of Greed unfiltered without illusions led to Subaru being unsettled or distressed, so maybe normal people like Subaru can’t speak to Witches of Sin like that without being unsettled, and then the tea with the Envy Witch Factor settled him down since the Witch of Envy was the one who summoned Subaru to this world, and Subaru might be compatible with it because of his relation to the Witch of Envy. Does Subaru already have the Envy Witch Factor, which means he would have 2 Witch Factors since he killed Petelgeuse and acquired the Sloth Witch Factor?

    Judging by Echidna’s remarks about the individual Witches of Sin, they seem to have had a notable impact on the world before they were killed by the Witch of Envy. I’ve always found it suspicious that people said that mabeasts, including the White Whale were created by the Witch of Envy. Given that mabeasts hate the smell of the Witch of Envy, and that the White Whale has powers similar to the Sin Archbishop of Gluttony, doesn’t it make sense for mabeasts to have been created by the Witch of Gluttony, Daphne?

    It seems that the Witches of Sin can set up a tea party and invite people to join them. Echidna’s soul is trapped in the Witch’s Graveyard, but is it possible for other witches to join it, or are the other dead witches’ souls trapped in their respective places of deaths?

    So if the souls of the dead witches are trapped in the afterlife, which Echidna confirmed this episode since she said it was the land of death, this should also be the case for the Witch of Envy since whenever Subaru Returns by Death, he smells of the Witch of Envy very strongly.

    Echidna also gave Subaru a gift before parting with him. She allowed him to take the trial of the Sanctuary, which normally only half-bloods could take. Can Subaru and Emilia jointly take the trial to pass it? That seems almost like cheating.

    I was wondering whether we’d ever see anything about Subaru’s life in the real world, but it looks like we will.

    Vance
    1. The lack of knowledge concerning the Witch factor can pretty much be summed up as plot convenience; it’s an important piece concerning Subaru’s status and ability, so we’ll naturally only find out when that bit gets properly revealed.

      As for the trial itself we’ll know soon enough. This arc is the longest of the series so far, so you can expect quite a bit of discussion on its mechanics and how to succeed in overcoming its limitations.

  2. Well, that was a rather amusing interaction. (Also, Subaru chugging that tea like Giorno and Echidna slightly channeling Anna Nishikinomiya vibes… XD )

    Echidna’s the embodiment of the deadly sin of Greed, but she still comes off as an affable being towards Subaru. Hope she’ll appear again later in the season, especially since she holds a ton of knowledge about the world Subaru’s in and he seems to have the means to meet her. (At least, that’s how I interpreted the scene.)

    Wait…this scene of Subaru apparently returning to his own world feels like that first twist in Parallel Paradise. (Manga readers, you know what I mean–I’d spoil if I’m sure the spoiler tags work properly. But if you don’t read that manga, ignore this segue and go ahead with your lives.)

    On a more trivial, on-topic note, three episodes in and no “Call of the Witch”. Will Subaru be “returning by death” a lot less this season? (And I have a hunch the posters in Subaru’s room are promotional material for some other light novel series.)

    Incognito
  3. The biggest question is why did Roswaal take the villagers there in the first place?

    Why didn’t Subaru ask about Rem and how to save her?

    Were those other witches really evil?

    sealouse
    1. Those questions should be answered this season or next – i.e. winter 2021 – but at least Witch-wise it would be wrong to assume they are evil. As Echidna mentioned there’s a lot more to them than meets the eye and assuming pure evil on their part would be missing half the picture.

  4. Sharp teeth, dumb and violent for no reason the moment he sees intruders, and voiced by Nobuhiko Okamoto? Man Garfiel us all my favorite things rolled into one.

    TheVoid
    1. Yes they did, but it was sort of an offhand remark so it’s easily forgettable, especially if one hasn’t recently watched the first season. This is really the point which reinforces that Satella is not the only Witch and that Subaru’s predicament is more complex than even he originally thought.

  5. Looks like Subaru’s trial might consist in having to deal with painful experiences in his past life. Wouldn’t even surprise me if that might lead to his first death/suicide.

    boingman

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