This will be a short post, because I have almost nothing to talk about. If you want me to talk about Beatrice, Roswaal, and the twin maids at lengths, that’s just not happening. Sorry to disappoint anyone who was looking forward to that, but none of those characters remotely interest me on any level. They’re stock fantasy characters, and this is a stock fantasy universe. There’s nothing subverted by them anyway. We’ve long learned never to trust characters that look like clowns, and fittingly enough, Roswaal isn’t trustworthy. The show’s appeal lies in Subaru’s special ability anyway. Unfortunately, Mr. Meta barely keeps me interested as it is, and the revelation that Emilia is the next in line for Lugunica’s throne is pretty ho-hum as far as plot developments are concerned. But none of the aforementioned things are actually the show’s biggest problem. Rather, it is that the fourth episode is even duller than the first. It doubles down on everything that made the first half of the first episode so annoyingly sleep-inducing. We get boring exposition about the state of the kingdom, and it’s literally just people sitting at a table and having a conversation. We see Subaru trying on clothes, because Mr. Meta here decides to take a job as a butler. Oh look, now he’s taking a tour of the mansion. Scintillating. Ah, he’s now doing his chores, sewing his clothes, peeling potatoes, bonding with Emilia under a starry night… sky… zzzzzzz….
The twist finally comes at the very end of the episode. Subaru goes to sleep happy, but when he wakes up the next day, he finds himself in yet another time loop. His hands are perfectly healed, bearing none of the cuts he had suffered the day before. What happened? Well, he clearly must have died overnight if our understanding of his powers is still correct. But who’s the killer, and how will Subaru get himself out of this one? So that’s the thing: the episode does manage to pique my interest, but only for about ten seconds. The episode subsequently comes to an end. Dude, what the hell? So we have a pattern here. Every time Subaru breaks out of a time loop and enters a new chapter, we get this boring-as-fuck episode. It’s there to set the stage, i.e., scout out the “level” and its “NPCs.” I get why we get this boring episode. Nevertheless, it’s still boring. This is what normally happened, and now, Subaru’s going to take the branching paths he didn’t take! That’s fine, but why can’t the “what normally happened” part still be interesting as well? Why do I have to watch a montage of the guy doing boring butler shit just to serve as a contrast for future episodes? Plus, how many times are we going to go through this pattern? How many times will Subaru beat a “stage,” and thereby subject the viewers to yet another boring “control” episode?
As for the third episode, at least it was action-packed, I guess. Is the action anything to write home about, though? Eh. If you’ve seen one mage battle in an anime, then I’m afraid you’ve seen them all. Emilia kinda just stands there, and shoots stuff out of her palms. Elsa does most of the fancy footwork, but is it just me or is Old Rom’s place a little too dark? I thought I had forgotten to disable f.lux, but that wasn’t the case. The place just needs better lighting. As for Mr. Meta, he’s useless in combat, but he’s got courage and pluck like the majority of shounen heroes out there. As a result, he constantly throws his body in harm’s way. If there’s anything these heroes can do, it’s taking a whole lot of punishment for the sake of cute girls. Again, it’s not very interesting, though I guess it’ll give you warm fuzzy feelings if you like to imagine yourself in Subaru’s shoes. Finally, Reinhard shows up, and he “Orlandu’s” the place up. In other words, he’s overpowered as all hell, and our Bowel Hunter is forced to retreat. That’s kinda dumb. Oh, she’s a serial killer who likes to stab people in the gut, but I won’t pursue her. We can just beat her again next time. Ahh, whatever. It’s not important. That basically sums up how I feel about the show. It’s a distraction for Sunday nights, but I don’t really care what ultimately happens here.