Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-
by Kim Morrissy,
How would you rate episode 10 of
Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- (TV 2) ?
Finally, an episode with some answers. By no means was the whole picture explained in this episode, but this is the first time since the mysteries started heating up that we've had what feels like a breather.
Well, first, the episode had to deal with Satella. There's a lot to unpack in that opening scene, but what really stood out was the way the flashbacks from all the people Satella had swallowed were handled. Clips of them play in the background while Subaru's struggling face is shown in the foreground. The blurring visual effects, which blend background and foreground together into a vague and liminal space, underline the eeriness of the whole scene.
The other thing I want to praise is the music this season, and in this episode in particular. Outside of a few select scenes, the soundtrack didn't really stand out much in the first season. Its problem was that the selection of sounds it was going for was too broad, so it struggled to have much ambiance. But the new tracks for this season have a much more consistent, ominous tone, so that even the breather scenes where characters are explaining things to each other have a tense undertone to them. Composer Kenichiro Suehiro once said that Ennio Morricone was one of his inspirations in terms of making music with a cinematic flair, and I think that with this second season of Re:Zero he's come a little closer to channeling the appeal of the greats. (RIP Ennio Morricone... Your work will never be forgotten.)
I'm glad I finally had the chance to highlight all of this in an episode review, because there was always way too much development plotwise every week that I had to keep putting the technical talk aside. Re:Zero might have been less eventful this week, but its core strengths have been a constant factor every episode, so this episode still had me enthralled.
To briefly sum up the plot this time, Subaru learns more about Ryuzu's deal and makes up his mind to use his Return By Death power to scout for information even at the cost of his life. In his conversation with Echidna last episode, he declared that intention, but this time we see how he carries himself emotionally with that resolve. The results are mixed; he weeps upon seeing Emilia again, but after that he goes about with an air of stoic cheerfulness. Yet, the fluctuations in his emotional state are completely believable due to the solid directing throughout this series as a whole, and that scene where he tells Garfiel "I know hell" has some gut-wrenching weight to it.
I'll end this week's review with some stray thoughts I had while watching these developments play out. Subaru should count himself lucky that Satella continues to let him Return By Death after he rejected her love so thoroughly. "I'd have an easier time loving Echidna or any of the other witches!" has gotta sting. Maybe Satella senses that Subaru doesn't completely hate her—that he wants to save her, even—but I would understand if she decided to cut him off. In fact, that's probably the best thing for her instead of getting blindly obsessive over him. I know it's hard, girl, but he's just Not That Into You.
Also, it seems that I might end up being proven wrong about Echidna yet again. This episode revealed that there is an unreasonable number of Ryuzu copies running around and that it's all the result of a failed experiment by Echidna to become immortal. I have a feeling that Echidna is trying to get back into the world of the living somehow, and I can never trust the good intentions of a character whose ultimate goal is immortality.
Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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