Y’know, the first arc was so, so much better than what I’m getting here, and the sad part is that it wasn’t even all that good. Even so, at least the second episode actually changed things up enough to keep me interested, and that’s the whole point of these time loop stories, isn’t it?
“But things did change,” you might protest. “Subaru couldn’t retrace his steps exactly!”
Yeah, you’re right. He couldn’t. Some events have changed this time around. Some encounters are different. New connections are forged in place of some old ones. But is that enough? Not in my book. We’ve gotten to the point where I’m literally only interested in the first and last three minutes of the episode. The rest of the episode is sadly and painfully uncompelling.
He still requests to be a butler (this is where I knew the episode was gonna suck).
Subaru has a one-on-one conversation with Roswaal.
Subaru learning how to read and write. Let me repeat: he learns how to read and write. Roll that beautiful tutoring footage!
I’m barely hanging onto my seat, guys.
Moving along, Subaru getting dressed up again.
Subaru cutting his hands in the kitchen again.
Subaru doing some chores.
Subaru doing some more chores. And best of all, they can’t even draw the guy’s feet correctly:
Like fuck, man, you couldn’t even manage that?
Y’know, watching Re:Zero is a stark reminder that I’ve lost touch with the general direction of anime. I can still enjoy it, of course, and I do certainly watch a lot of shows every season even though I complain about it all the time. But that’s only because I have to create content for Moe Sucks. If it weren’t for the blog, I’d watch maybe 10% of any given season’s offerings. This time around, I really only have Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress and Kuromukuro to look forward to every week. Furthermore, I can no longer understand the appeal in shows like Re:Zero. Watching a light-hearted episode in which the hero does nothing but interact with the cute female cast members is not what I consider to be interesting or engaging. And yet, I’m in the minority. I don’t understand it. I really don’t. What’s remotely enjoyable about this week’s Re:Zero? Or maybe I’ve died and gone to hell, and I don’t even realize it. And in hell, I’m forced to watch shows like Re:Zero over and over, because God is truly dead.
I guess the big payoff is supposed to be the blue-haired maid’s smile or some shit. Like wow, Subaru managed to form a deeper connection with the girl this time around, so the emotionless maid finally flashes him a smile. Not only that, we see her right eye! Whoop-de-fucking-doo, people.
“B-but it’s so tragic! See, he’s going to die, so these heartwarming moments will be nothing more than forgotten memories for everyone but Subaru! A-a-and she and her twin sister might be demons!”
That’s so… so… I just do not care. Wait, wait… I’m feeling a pain within my chest. Could it be? Am I feeling sorry for Subaru? Nah, false alarm. It was just heartburn. In fact, my eyes were strangely drawn to those funny-looking brown bags in Subaru’s arms. I’m not even trolling!
The saddest loss for me is the loss of urgency. There was an urgency in the first arc. Subaru’s not the smartest guy out there, but at least his actions back then had a purpose to them. This time around? He knows he’s going to die, and yet, the majority of the episode plays out like some mediocre slice-of-life comedy. Yes, he shed a few tears at the start of the episode, but one brief talk with Beatrice is apparently enough to perk him up for the remainder of the cycle. Wouldn’t you be a bit nervous to know that there’s a killer out there, and you have no clue who it is? Wouldn’t you see everyone but Emilia as a potential suspect? Shit, if I were in his shoes, I’d see her as a suspect, too. Wouldn’t you come up with a better plan than, “Oh, I’ll just stay up tonight and wait for the killer to show up!” Seriously?
Fine, fine, he knows the murder won’t occur until that specific night, so he’s playing it cool until then. So cool that he’s going to scope out perfect spots for his date with Emilia! Mm-hmm, that’s what I’m here for! And fine, fine, this ain’t his first rodeo, so he’s not as nervous about dying as I think he should be. But even then, wouldn’t you be a tiny bit nervous? Wouldn’t you be a little jumpy? Wouldn’t you look around for potential clues that might point you towards the killer’s true identity? Or has our hero gotten nerves of steel all of a sudden?
I can’t help but feel that Re:Zero has squandered its potential. But this is what people want. They want a pseudo-dating sim sprinkled lightly with some “dark” moments every now and then. That’s not my thing. I don’t give a shit about Emilia. I don’t give a shit about Ram or Rem. I definitely don’t give a shit about Subaru. I just want to see the time loop mechanic utilized in an interesting way. But again, it’s been reduced to an afterthought in this week’s episode. It’s buried beneath all this slice-of-life nonsense, and I only have myself to blame for not watching this episode at 2x speed.
Anyway, Subaru dies again, and also, the dog in the village probably gave him rabies. Yawn. I wasn’t going to take a nap today, but I think that episode wore me out with its high-octane pacing.