「踏み出した一歩」 (Fumidashita Ippo)
“A Step Forward”

And here’s where the fun begins. Or, well, the fun for some of us, because something tells me intestines in the open isn’t the most pleasant of experiences. That’s right boys and girls, five episodes in and it’s back (finally?) to Re:Zero’s tried and true suffering loop. Not the thing Subaru was hoping for in between relived memories and post traumatic Emilia of course, but hey, the audience always wins in the end.

Probably to the surprise of no one, yes, Subaru’s flashback last week was indeed concocted by Echidna. No real shocker there; with Sanctuary’s trial having been teased so damn much it was naturally going to be impactful, and nothing more than vivid experiences typically meet the requirements of said events. While Subaru overcoming his own past is complimentary enough all things considered, it does beg the question what experiences Emilia is having trouble coming to terms with when she cannot only come to terms with it once, but twice. We’re obviously in store for some interesting flashbacks regarding our unknown half-elf white witch this season, yet the nature of that past—and its relation to the current year—is very much up in the air.

The intrigue, however, definitely lies in Subaru’s relationship to Sanctuary and what could be called Echidna’s interest in him. His ability to leave Sanctuary proves he’s not half-blood, yet Echidna has permitted him the privilege (if you can call it that) of taking the trial to leave. Naturally we’re missing half the picture here, with Sanctuary’s purpose and the reason for the trial up in the air and hidden behind vague words and even more ambiguous phrases. Roswaal after all knows a great deal more than he’s letting on (particularly in regards to Subaru’s place in current events), while Garfiel is all but emphatically pointing towards Frederica as a prominent point of discovery for Subaru and friends. We’ll get those answers (and then some) soon enough as is wont of this series, but you can bet your cute half-elf that said answers will come with a price.

After all, when everyone’s favourite bowel releaser Elsa Granhiert returns out of nowhere, you damn well know we’re in for some tasty (or bloody) Return by Death shenanigans. Stay tuned and keep one eye peeled boys and girls, because Re:Zero is now set to start finally delving into the many mysteries of Sanctuary.


  1. Subaru thinking that there’s something up with Roswaal saying he had utmost confidence that Subaru would do his (Roswaal’s) work excellently in his (Roswaal’s) absence because of what Subaru had done during the Royal Selection and because of Subaru’s ugly one-on-one with Emilia after that is something that warrants serious scrutiny in my opinion.

    When you examine the conversations Subaru has had with Roswaal in episodes 3 and 5 of Season 2 together, it suggests that Roswaal knows that there’s more to Subaru than meets the eye. In episode 3, Roswaal said Subaru is the once-in-a-lifetime windfall that he has long waited for, and if you take this at face value, Subaru is someone of great value that he has been waiting to come in contact with for a long time, and this suggests he knew that he and Subaru would meet one day. That suggests that Roswaal somehow has knowledge of the future.

    Recall that Roswaal’s ultimate goal is to kill the dragon, and he likely wants to be present when Emilia enters a covenant with the dragon if she becomes the ruler so that he can kill the dragon in that moment. Given that viewers know through Beatrice in Season 1 that the legendary dragon, sage, and hero sealed the Witch of Envy, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that killing the dragon would unseal the Witch of Envy if the dragon is the last part of the seal on Satella assuming that the sage and the hero died of old age. If Roswaal’s plan is to bring back the Witch of Envy and bring ruin to the world, he is almost certainly a member of the Witch Cult.

    Why I think this is important is because Petelgeuse (and probably all Witch Cult members do the same) looked to his Gospel for guidance, and he could not find any instance of Subaru in his Gospel, which shows that he was looking to see if his Gospel had foretold Subaru interfering with his plan to carry out his Ordeal for Emilia. Assuming Roswaal is a Witch Cult member, and he also has a Gospel, why can his Gospel foretell of Subaru, but Petelgeuse’s did not? Is it because Roswaal is more directly connected to Subaru, and that’s why Subaru is more of a factor in Roswaal’s Gospel? Or is there a different reason?

    After watching this episode, it brings me back to episode 12 and 13 of Season 1. IIRC, Roswaal reasoned that it could be entertaining if Subaru was present during the Royal Selection, and that’s why he allowed Subaru to accompany Al to the spot where the knights of the candidates stood. This was a grossly irresponsible thing for Roswaal to do given that he is Emilia’s sponsor. Then in episode 13, he smiled after Subaru interjected when Emilia was being compared to the Witch of Envy and that even allowing her to step forward in the room could lead to disaster. At the time in Season 1, I debated on whether Roswaal was just being mean-spirited and smiling because a train wreck was about to unfold or whether it was a knowing, “Everything is going just as planned” smile. After this episode in Season 2, I think it’s possible that Roswaal’s Gospel, assuming Roswaal is a member of the Cult, foretold that Subaru would create a fuss during the beginning of the Royal Selection, and that is why he said it could be entertaining if Subaru was permitted to be around and smiled when Subaru started acting out because it went according to what he believed would happen.

    It also seems that Subaru told Ram about the crystal teleporting him, and that’s probably what she meant by Subaru’s relatively noble sacrifice. The stone wasn’t supposed to glow and teleport someone away, and Subaru did well to take it off of Emilia according to her. But Frederica said she had done exactly as Roswaal told her to do when she sent Subaru, Emilia, and Otto off, so I’m not sure what other plan Frederica could even have if the stone was something Roswaal mansion has access to. I wonder if it’s just a misunderstanding, and it was Roswaal who intended for Emilia to have that teleporting stone, and Ram is just unaware of that. As for why Roswaal would want Emilia to have that stone, I have no idea. Maybe this will be made clear in a future episode of this fourth arc.

    Subaru will likely respawn at a spot that gives him more time to fix things, and I wonder if he’ll respawn right before he ran after Emilia when she entered the Graveyard for the trial. This will give him time to redo his trial his trial even faster and get working on a way to get back to the mansion sooner before Elsa gets there as he probably needs all the help he can. Since he can’t ask any of the demi-humans in the Sanctuary for help, I wonder how he’ll find able-bodied people to help him face Elsa. Maybe his save point will be even earlier with it being right after Frederica sends Subaru, Emilia, and Otto off, which would give Subaru time to call for a punitive force from the Capital to help them fight off Else. It’s clear that Emilia alone is not a match for Elsa, and he’ll need a lot more help. Or maybe instead of calling for someone from the Crusch camp to help, he’ll ask Beatrice to help. I really wonder how strong Beatrice is, and what it would take for her to leave the library in Roswaal’s absence.

    1. Regarding the trial (because I don’t have much to say on the rest!) if he does respawn before it there’s no guarantee he’ll have more time. It’s not immediately clear how time passes during the trial; Subaru could complete it faster and real world time may hardly be affected for example.

      Plus he first has to figure out when Elsa arrives. Wouldn’t put it past him to delay retaking the trial to first warn Frederica and Beatrice and see if that solves anything.

  2. I’d like to see him respawn right after his first trial. That should give him plenty of time to leave Sanctuary and intercept Elsa. Ultimately, and I really am just guessing here, he’ll probably end up finishing the trials and free everyone and they all join him to defeat Elsa.

    1. No doubt Subaru will, if Elsa is present at the castle Subaru will likely want to complete the trials before returning with everyone to give him the most assistance. The big question is what happens if he goes that route, because as we know it’s never that easy reaching the next return point 😛

  3. Regarding your question, Pancakes, I was afraid to see what possibly happened to Rem and Petra, so I was even a bit relieved how this episode ended.

    Elsa is back, huh? I don’t see Reinhard in the OP, so it looks like this time Subaru will have to rely on someone else to take care of her. Wouldn’t it be funny if he managed to turn her into an ally. I don’t think that she has any direct ties to the witch cult, does she? Apart from maybe doing business with them?
    Also, I initially thought that lolibaba Ryuzu was another witch and the white versions/clones of her possibly her means to communicate with the world of the living, but since she just shows up like that…

    I wonder whether Emilia’s trauma consists of anything that we haven’t already seen in the 2nd OVA where we saw how she grew up all alone feared by the ppl in a nearby village…
    A bit annoying that nobody is asking her why she consistently fails the tests.

    1. If Elsa is present at Roswaal’s mansion, at the bare minimum someone hired her, and the only ones likely are involved with the Witch’s Cult. I wouldn’t say she’s a part of the Cult, but in her case they probably get her the most business.

      As for Emilia’s trauma it’s not really a spoiler to say it does. It’s linked to her enigmatic status and why everyone has such a distrust of her.

  4. Schoolgirl uniform Echidna… Aww yeah! Shame the scene only lasted a few minutes.

    And with Subaru dying (again) at the hands of the scarousingly sexy[1] Elsa Granhiert, I wonder if the next episode heralds the return of “Call of the Witch”.

    The burning questions right now:
    – If Subaru managed to overcome the first trial of the Sanctuary (out of three), I wonder what the other two trials entail? On a somewhat related note…
    – I wonder what Emilia’s seeing in her own trial? How bad is it that she failed it not once, but twice?
    – If Emilia can’t overcome the Sanctuary’s trial, does this mean that Subaru has to be the one to do it?
    – And if Subaru got disemboweled (again) by Elsa, does this mean he’ll return to a point where he has to do the trial again?

    (Note[1]: And just when I said that Azur Lane‘s Roon scares the s**t outta me… I guess it’s down to the way Elsa dresses [though yes, Roon has her own party dress skin], her seductive walk, and being voiced by Mamiko Noto.)


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