About Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu
English: Re:Zero Starting Life In Another World
Season: Spring 2016
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Psychological, Thriller
In Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu we follow Subaru on his adventure through an RPG which he’s been locked into. Along the way he meets a half-elf named Emilia and her guardian Puck. Subaru immediately takes a liking to Emiia and decides to protect her. It doesn’t take long for Emilia to warm up to Surbaru’s weirdness which occasionally comes with an added scream of “VICTORY!” from time to time. What also doesn’t take long is for trouble to find them and Surbaru to be killed in a most horrific way. However, instead of staying dead he’s sent back to a save point in the the game and everyone in the world is reset back to that point as well. This means no matter what has happened after that point no one will remember it except Subaru. This one huge fact will eventually lead him to understand that being in a video game might not be as cool as he thought. In fact, it’s an absolute nightmare.
Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu being an anime about life in a video game, there’s no short on cool characters. There’s a ton but we’re only going over a few of them that were pretty interesting to me.
Emilia is one of the two main characters in this series. She is a half elf and a powerful mage. She’s also a candidate to be the next ruler of the kingdom of Lugunica where this anime takes place. Emilia’s magic or spiritual art as it’s known in this game comes from her spirit and friend Puck. Puck is in a contract with Emilia to protect her and later we found out how serious he is about destroying the entire world if she dies. Thanks Subaru. 👿
Emilia is kind but haunted by the destruction caused by Satella, the jealous witch who apparently Emilia closely resembles. Because of the witches actions, most of the townspeople see Emilia as evil without even knowing her. Treating her as an enigma they would rather stay away from. This is Emilia’s great sadness which lingers throughout most of the anime. It’s also where Subaru becomes her strength. He doesn’t know nor care about any of that nonsense. At least until he finds out that he’s even closer to Satella then Emilia is.
Subaru is one of two main characters in this anime even though the second one (Emilia) doesn’t get anywhere near as much screen time as Subaru. After all, she’s not the one tossed into a whole nother world with no explanation. Allow me to say that, one more time. Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu gives NO explanation or backstory as to how Subaru ended up in this world in the 1st place. One minute he’s leaving his local quick-e mart, next minute he’s in the game. At least in other similar anime like Log Horizon, Sword Art Online, and Hai to Gensou no Grimgar we were given some kind of plot to let us know how the characters became stuck in the game. Well, except for Hai to Gensou no Grimgar, they haven’t told us nothing (hoping for another season). This is a big problem to me as I feel it would’ve added a lot to Surbaru’s character had we known how he got himself into this in the 1st place. The anime touched VERY briefly on how he was before he got into the game (a lazy bastard pretty much) but not much else after that.
It’s as if Satella is nothing more than a control mechanism with a back story.
In any case, the way the anime doesn’t allow Surbaru to just be great and instead makes him earn that through his own strength, taking him through a roller coaster of happiness, sorrow, and downright madness is incredible. Surbaru, had to get stronger, smarter, and most importantly accepting of his situation in order to become the hero for Emilia that he wants to be. Unfortunately, there’s another hole in his plot here. This one circling around that strength of his. Turns out Subaru has a strong connection to the dark witch Satella who appears whenever Subaru tries to tell someone about his ability to return from the dead to stop him from saying it. It’s as if Satella is nothing more than a control mechanism with a back story. Just there to make sure he doesn’t break the game by revealing that he can’t die to the other game characters or NPCs. Once again, this a problem for me. Not only do we get very little info on the dark witch but somehow she has something to do with Subaru’s dark magic which he can’t really use that well. He also attracts maebeasts due to this same connection cause it gives him a distinctive smell they hate (the smell of the witch which is once again not explained. I did find it clever how later in the series Subaru learned to use Satella as a weapon and kind of embraced her as apart of him. Surbaru’s character to me was good but I feel his story was incomplete. However, his character would not have been nowhere as good without his good friend Rem.
Ram & Rem
The maid sisters Ram and Rem work for the Imperial Wizard Roswaal L. Mathers completing all the tasks needed to keep his mansion running smoothly. During the ark of the lost children, we learned that these sisters are actually demons and are indeed badass. During that same arc, Rem lost herself to her demon power which she used to it’s full extent to save Surbaru from the curse the Wolgram (rottweiler looking demons) had put on him. She was killing ugly pooches with extreme prejudice! Subaru brought her back from insanity which earned him their trust and friendship. I liked how despite the sisters looking like twins, the series took it’s time to separate them for us so we can clearly see their unique personalities. Ram kinda took a major backseat most of the series cause she always wants to be at Roswaal’s side while Rem always wants be by Subaru despite him always wanting to be with Emilia. A little love triangle of sorts but the anime really started hitting us hard with Subaru’s sadness and madness after Rem was allowed to stay by his side when he entered the city.
Together they went through absolute hell as Subaru got stuck in the game making wrong decision after wrong decision which resulted in horrific deaths for not just them but Emilia and many others. It was absolutely awesome and crazy to see how Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu portrayed the biggest killer of all games. When you the player get stuck due to difficulty or plain not knowing what to do next. Here in the real word we throw the controller down, turn the system off, and step back from it for a little while but Surbaru is stuck IN the game that is his reality. He can’t rage quit since all that means is starting back at his last save point. He can’t escape. He had to face the results of his wrong decisions and feel the pain whether he liked it or not till he got it right. This is where Rem came in and just like he saved her earlier in the series it was her turn to bring him back out the darkness. This made a Rem a strong character which sadly we knew more about then we did Surbaru which makes no sense.
Beatrice is the keeper of the forbidden library in Roswal’s mansion which she moves from room to room at random. To her frustration Subaru constantly finds the library without even thinking about it. Despite her being easily bothered by everyone, she can’t stand to see someone die in front of her. Beatrice is one of the most kawaii characters of the whole series who just so happens be a powerful mage. For some reason, I always find any scene with her in it a welcome since she can’t stand Subaru but is friends with him nonetheless. 😆
The artwork of Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu was pretty good. They changed over to CGI a bit for the witch scenes and animating the dark energy inside Subaru which in this case worked out fine. Unlike other anime like Rage of Bahamut where I found it jarring and unnecessary. The artwork of the darker scenes stood out to me more like when Puck killed Subaru by freezing him to death cause he got his daughter (Emilia) killed due to one his wrong decisions. They made the ending of the episode play out like an old movie with the credits rolling while we watched Subaru’s body get more covered in snow. It was epic.
Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu being an action thriller, it leaned more on the thriller side of things which makes sense. In an RPG you’re not fighting all the time, as a matter of fact you’re spending most of your time traveling, in town, or working to get money. Whenever you’re not busy with any of that, you jumped into a party and started fighting. The pace was quite similar to that of an RPG so not fast paced but definitely fast enough. As far as action is concerned, my favorite is definitely the raid on the Hakugei (white wale). That was an awesome fight!
Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu was really fun to watch but all the questions it leaves behind is rather frustrating. Why is Satella so strongly connected to him? How did Subaru get stuck in the game in 1st place? It almost seems as if someone is actually playing the game and we’re just watching Player 1 go through the motions of beating it. Despite the questions, I would actually want to have this anime on my shelf and I would encourage you to watch it. Here’s hoping for a second season!