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REVIEW: Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- BD+DVD


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ThatGuyWhoLikesThings



Joined: 04 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:28 pm Reply with quote
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She's beautiful, yes, but she also clearly has issues trusting him (which does make sense given how odd he can seem to people who don't know about his power)


That's not *quite* why she has issues trusting him. She wants to assume the best of people, so while she certainly thinks him a bit of an oddball, she's not exactly suspicious of him. The reason she finds it hard to trust him despite desperately wanting to is that he's always disobeying her. Whenever she pleads with him not to push himself too hard? He nearly gets himself killed. It gets to the point where she has to make him promise her, and when he *still* does it, she's deeply upset and demands an explanation. She's forced to ask him why he goes to so much trouble for, and while Subaru came to terms with his feelings a while ago, he's too much of a coward to come out and say it. So since he doesn't say it, using his unspoken feelings to justify his actions, and the thought of someone loving her doesn't even cross her mind, Emilia realizes at the very least that she's the reason he's doing all these dangerous stunts, distancing herself from Subaru in hopes that he'll stop being so reckless with his life. That's not the *only* reason she leaves him, but it's a major factor.

As for Subaru's feelings, I'm not sure I'm a fan of the idea of them being implanted in him. It's far more interesting to me that he's exactly the kind of person to latch onto the first person to show kindness to him. I'm more into that than any kind of supernatural explanation. It makes Subaru a far less compelling and nuanced protagonist if all his feelings and emotions are just a result of witch shenanigans.

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We could read the White Whale as Pride


The whale is explicitly referred to as Gluttony, so that's definitely untrue lol. Also it's revealed in the novels that spoiler[every mabeast in existence is a product of Gluttony.]

Anyway, fantastic anime, best isekai, Subaru best boy, etc, etc.
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 1769
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:04 pm Reply with quote
^ Ah, yeah, sorry! I got caught up in the whole Moby Dick subtext there. Laughing Embarassed
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ThatGuyWhoLikesThings



Joined: 04 Jul 2013
Posts: 595
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:32 pm Reply with quote
Lol its fine! i have zero familiarity with Moby Dick other than the fact there's a whale so it's something I never picked up on

Oh yeah, the dub. Eh, it's perfectly okay. Subaru is perfectly cast, Emilia starts off rough but gets much better very quickly, Roswaal's eccentric and vaguely irritating mannerisms are spot-on, most of the supporting characters sound convincing. Rem though I think drags a lot of it down. Her voice just sounds so, what's the word, breathy? And it makes the performance feel a lot more flat than it's probably intended to be.

I also don't think there's anyone other than Subaru that knocks it out of the park, but maybe my standards are higher because I adore the series so much.
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njprogfan
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Joined: 08 Feb 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:50 pm Reply with quote
I appreciated this series more the second time around. It's the type of series I can see watching quite a few times, especially when you have one of the best anime girls ever, in Rem.
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LuckySeven



Joined: 02 Sep 2008
Posts: 576
Location: Georgia, USA
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:08 pm Reply with quote
Definitely a great series, hope there is more in the future. It is certainly on my list of shows to pick up at some point.

As for the voice work in the English dub, it was all really well done. There was no one that I thought could have been better in a different role. Which is a rarity for me. In the meanwhile, I know Erica Mendez voiced Puck, but to me, it sounded more like Brianne Siddall (color me impressed).
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ThrowMeOut



Joined: 10 Oct 2018
Posts: 38
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:45 pm Reply with quote
Also besides Subaru technically having save points, NO VIDEO GAME MECHANICS! No one ever brings up menus or gains XP or any of that stuff. Leave those things in Sword Art Online and Log Horizon, anime! It's just awkward.
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OrdepNM



Joined: 14 Nov 2018
Posts: 31
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:35 pm Reply with quote
ThatGuyWhoLikesThings wrote:

That's not *quite* why she has issues trusting him. She wants to assume the best of people, so while she certainly thinks him a bit of an oddball, she's not exactly suspicious of him. The reason she finds it hard to trust him despite desperately wanting to is that he's always disobeying her. Whenever she pleads with him not to push himself too hard? He nearly gets himself killed.


It's not even just that, tough that's in a nutshell why she actually left him behind at the capital. The bigger issue in terms of Emilia's trust in Subaru is just how absolutely alien Subaru's entire demeanor towards Emilia is to her. This is something the 2nd OVA will focus upon more clearly, but suffice to say, Subaru's feelings for her go against all she ever learned about how the world works in her regard.

Put yourself in Emilia's shoes: Every single human and demi-human she ever met treated her as a monster, the splitting image of the Witch of Envy who tried to swallow the world, she never once received anything but fear or hatred from anyone that wasn't a spirit, so she lived in isolation and accepted that that was her lot in life. Then Roswaal shows up one day and actually doesn't hate her for some strange reason - but even a country bumpkin like her can tell he has his own agenda and she's just part of it. Sure the maids at the manor are professional but she knows they're just doing their job.

And that's when Subaru shows up and he's suddenly all over her, showering her with affection and not showing a shred of the hatred that every other person she ever met showed her and which she has come to accept as the way it will always be. Asking her to simply accept Subaru's feelings at face value is a huge ask when his entire demeanor defies all that Emilia has ever learned about the world and her existence. Emilia is the most hated person in the world and somehow Subaru loves her? You'd be forgiven to think there has to be a catch, it's just too good to be all true. The last scene in the anime is really the first time she accepts that Subaru is being fully honest and this causes her to cry tears of joy, because all her life she assumed that would be impossible.

Edit: I wasn't going to address the implication that Subaru's feelings for Emilia are caused by an imprint because a) that really gets me worked up and I didn't want to come off as aggressive and b) hopefully people will just drop that notion as the series progresses. But well, what the hell. One of Emilia's arcs involves her unlearning the self-hatred that a lifetime of being treated like a monster and a witch (remember, she has no mana) caused her to develop. It took a person from another world to see that maybe, just maybe, Emilia is just Emilia and not a ticking time bomb for the end of the world because her looks happen to match someone from 400 years ago. But then we look to our real world and we have people going "I bet Subaru just loves her because of sorcery, I mean, look at her, she's clearly connected to the Witch, I'm sure of it". As a source material reader up to date as you can be, I don't know if Emilia is connected to Satella, no one but Tappei knows, I can tell you that's not the leading theory among the community tough. But in the meantime, what I hope I'll see animated one day is Emilia getting the resolve to stand up and be proud of the hair her parents gave her and the the race she was born into and not take that kind of abuse from anyone ever again. I hope then, these people reflect on their preconceptions. You think Rem is a better waifu and more worthy of Subaru's affection? More power to you. But in the meantime, I hope you appreciate that latching on to those theories based on nothing but a character's looks makes you no better than the villagers throwing rocks at a harmless girl for the sin of being an half-elf with silver hair.

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As for Subaru's feelings, I'm not sure I'm a fan of the idea of them being implanted in him. It's far more interesting to me that he's exactly the kind of person to latch onto the first person to show kindness to him. I'm more into that than any kind of supernatural explanation. It makes Subaru a far less compelling and nuanced protagonist if all his feelings and emotions are just a result of witch shenanigans.


I know its poor form to bring up the books in an anime discussion but well, I will. You can get a much clearer picture of Subaru's gradual progression from having a crush on the beautiful half-elf to being head over heels with her by actually having his thoughts to work with. In the first arc (loot cellar) his motivation is squarely on the notion of paying Emilia back for saving him on his first go and later, on the knowledge that if he does nothing, Rom, Felt and probably Emilia will die.

In arc 2 (manor), he initially pursues her like an high school kid trying to score a date, he's infatuated with her looks and personality but there's nothing too deep. The change in the way he talks about her in his mind really happens during the 4th loop tough, after Rem kills him in the hills surrounding the manor. That's the first time he's truly despondent because he realized he can't trust anyone in the manor as the very people he tried to befriend keep murdering him violently. He holes himself in the room, tells Emilia to not associate with him, refuses to eat for fear of being poisoned and just waits with no plan for someone to kill him again. Even then, despite Subaru being a complete stranger to her, Emilia comes to his room of her own volition, tries to cheer him up, even spoon-feeds him. You can tell this has a profound impact on Subaru, an hikikomori, to be shown such kindness and regard for his well being, despite from her perspective, having exchanged 2 sentences with Subaru up to that point. The world he was thrown in had done nothing but kick him down and kill him like a dog, but Emilia was there for him and she was there for him again the following day when she was the only one to take her side out of her own volition, when he was accused of being involved in Rem's death. And she was there again during the famous lap pillow scene.

Because of what comes after in arc 3, people tend to forget (or the anime didn't convey it properly, idk) how hopeless Subaru got during the manor arc, but that was the first time he actually considered suicide and actually accepted that he was going to die over and over again. Strong bonds were made there and it tracks that they held until their reunion, image how it'd look if Subaru just fell for whichever girl last held her hand during troubled times.

Apologies for the really long post, I hope it's informative in any way. I just really like Re:Zero and hope we get to see all 11 arcs adapted one day Very Happy


Last edited by OrdepNM on Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:55 pm; edited 3 times in total
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 4065
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:58 pm Reply with quote
I liked Re:Zero while watching it, but for me the show became 'great' with the end of episode 15. It went from an enjoyable show that I liked, to a fantastic show, that I had to watch, and I had to continue with it. I am devouring the light novels now.

Inside I was silently screaming at the lack of a anime continuation. Of course that has changed now.
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:32 pm Reply with quote
Even as someone who didn't read the novels, I definitely came away with more of OrdepNM's interpretation than Rebecca's. Granted, my interpretation is drowning in a heavy dose of cynicism (booooy, did I see a lot of Subaru's actions as "role-playing" an isekai hero and getting frustrated at the lack of expected romantic results), but I definitely felt at points that a lot of Subaru's behaviors stemmed from a) what being a hikkomori must actually feel like, and b) the depression that would likely result from isolating yourself like that. It might not be intended as such (and it's certainly less blatant than its ilk in something like Evangelion or Charlotte), but a looooot of Subaru's coping strategies struck me as "woah, that's a little too real from when *I* was depressed, hoooo boy, this is getting a touch uncomfortable".

Subaru definitely struck me as the kind of hikkomori-isekai hero that carried his hikkomori baggage with him into his new life, instead of it just being the "ha ha, my life sucked" expository handwave that we typically see in isekai stories. Though to be fair, we see a lot more of this in the second season than in the first, but I distinctly remember getting that vibe from Subaru even early on.
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Juno016



Joined: 09 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:48 pm Reply with quote
@OrdepNM: I'm another novel (web and light) reader and you summed up practically everything I wanted to say. I like Emilia way more than Rem (and ultimately, I think the novels balance out their strengths and weaknesses as characters way more than the anime). To me, personally, I find Rem more self-sacrificing while Emilia is more engaging as a person. She feels more real because there is a lot more to her past we haven't seen in the anime that contributes directly to her worldview, and once you understand that, she actually comes across quite genuine a person. Subaru originally assumed she's too naive and he has to be her savior, but in actuality, she's cautious and careful, has heavy ambitions, and the ability to achieve those dreams (albeit with some help because... well, protagonist and the point of view character needing to be the center focus of the plot progression). Rem is still a great character, but she comes off as the more enabling of Subaru's flaws between the two. She may be just as cute, and Emilia may be the harder route for Subaru between the two, but ultimately, she's probably the better choice.

I'd talk more about Rem and her future contributions to the story, but... uh... *cough* Probably better if I don't go down that rabbit hole until season 2 hits. =D
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Iron Maw



Joined: 29 May 2008
Posts: 213
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:53 pm Reply with quote
Man, I really hope C.R licenses Memory Snow soon. It's still ridiculous to me there isn't a worldwide release or stream given the popularity of this series overseas.
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ThatGuyWhoLikesThings



Joined: 04 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 3:56 pm Reply with quote
Juno016 wrote:
Rem is still a great character, but she comes off as the more enabling of Subaru's flaws between the two.


It's interesting that people say this when From Zero shows that Rem is the only one with any real expectations for Subaru as a person, and is therefore the only one that wouldn't enable him. If Emilia was in Rem's position in that episode, she would coddle him and tell him it was okay to give up and that he didn't need to try so hard anymore. When things get hard for Subaru, she indulges him, as episode 8 shows, but she still has her limits, as episode 13 shows.
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OrdepNM



Joined: 14 Nov 2018
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:13 pm Reply with quote
ThatGuyWhoLikesThings wrote:


It's interesting that people say this when From Zero shows that Rem is the only one with any real expectations for Subaru as a person, and is therefore the only one that wouldn't enable him.


I think Juno016 means that Rem has more of a follower personality, she lets Subaru decide the course of action and supports him the best she can but never really calls into question the way he's going about things, at least until he says he wants to give up, which she can tell is a pain he's going to live with for the rest of his life if he does so. But before that's there's an handful of blundered decisions like him deciding to sneak into the royal ceremony where Rem just goes along with whatever Subaru fancies - often to terrible results. Emilia is more like the kind of person who wants to be on the in and know what you're planning to do before she sings up to help you - and she'll tell you straight if she thinks you're being unreasonable, which does help keep some of Subaru's rashness in place, tough he is a persistent devil.

Quote:
If Emilia was in Rem's position in that episode, she would coddle him and tell him it was okay to give up and that he didn't need to try so hard anymore. When things get hard for Subaru, she indulges him, as episode 8 shows, but she still has her limits, as episode 13 shows.


Different circumstances. In episode 8 he was working himself to the bone while keeping down the dread and the trauma he was experiencing after 4 failed loops. Emilia picked up on that and despite barely knowing him and what he was so worked up about, she gave him a shoulder... or well a lap, to cry on and get some much needed rest. What should she have done? "Gambatte Subaru, go scrub the floor even harder, I believe in you!"? She tried to alleviate the weight on his shoulders, as she had done in the preceding loop already, and it worked.

Now as for Emilia in episode 18, well that's obviously indulging in fanfiction but if I had to make an educated guess, I'd say if she had no understanding of the stakes, she'd probably tell Subaru he doesn't have to put everything on his shoulders and he should talk about it so they can look for a solution. Ultimately, Emilia is the leader of the Emilia faction so it's not so simple for her to tell Subaru "yeah, you go pick a fight with the cult, I believe in you!" . If this leads him to get hurt or killed, the guilt is on her shoulders, since he's getting involved for her sake and under her banner - and in the first week they've known eachother, Subaru has been grievously hurt twice, so she does want him to stop running into the line of fire all the time, otherwise he's likely to dig himself an early grave (and ain't that the truth).

If Emilia is actually aware of the stakes, namely that all the villager's lives are in danger, then, given her backstory (hopefully OVA 2 gets a proper international release), I have to doubt that Emilia tries to convince Subaru that they need to save them (to the best of her abilities, she admits to not have the best people skills) and, failing that, she abandons him and goes to try to keep the people save herself.

Now if we're talking about Emilia's reactions to people quitting in genenral, well spoiler[there's the scene in S2 where Roswaal gives up but Emilia grabs him by the collar, tells him to look at her when she's talking and tells him there will be no quitting under her watch regardless of what some stupid book says, so no, Emilia does not cuddle quitters and that is fact.]
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ThatGuyWhoLikesThings



Joined: 04 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:47 pm Reply with quote
OrdepNM wrote:
But before that's there's an handful of blundered decisions like him deciding to sneak into the royal ceremony where Rem just goes along with whatever Subaru fancies - often to terrible results.


Except it's during that scene in the novel that spoiler[it's revealed Roswaal specifically ordered her to let Subaru go.] And even then I don't think she could've possibly imagined things would've turned out as they did.
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OrdepNM



Joined: 14 Nov 2018
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:01 am Reply with quote
ThatGuyWhoLikesThings wrote:
*spoiler*


Actually you're right, I did forget about that, tough it doesn't exactly refute the point. That said, looking at the whole White Whale situation as a whole, it stands that Rem has more of a supporter personality, rather than relying on her own drive and motivations to forward her character and the story. That's not me criticizing the character, heck, that'st the #1 her fans seem to like about her, and it works fine when Subaru is on a good roll, but when he's going off into the weeds, he does benefit from having more assertive characters around to set him straight.
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