We’re just missing some rainfall to really amp up the drama. But I feel ya, Subaru. Can’t a man just befriend two cute anime maids without being killed over and over? Anyway, prepare yourself for a rather cringey episode.
— Pro tip: you must punish suspicious people. Apparently, maids are beholden to this rule.
— Subaru temporarily blinds Rem by having his camera’s flash go off rapidly. Must be a newfangled app in Japan. I don’t think my phone could do that.
— But what can Subaru, a bland and ordinary human, really do? Nothing. Before he can get very far, Rem lops off one of his legs. Neat. Blood and guts don’t really do anything for me, and I’m not exactly keen on torturing fictional characters even if I find them annoying. Having said that, this episode is already turning out better than the past three episodes. ‘Cause, y’know, something’s actually happening.
— Rem using healing magic on Subaru’s leg to keep him from passing out from shock. She proceeds to interrogate him between excruciating blows from her spiked flail. Of course, Subaru knows nothing, but that doesn’t mean Rem will believe him. Apparently, he stinks of the Jealous Witch. That’s why you should bathe often, NEETs. Otherwise, cute Asian girls will beat the living tar out of you.
— Rem also rants about how she can’t bear to see the protagonist and her sister get along so well. After some judicious crying on Subaru’s part, he is finally killed… by Ram of all people. We’ll get to this later.
— When Subaru returns to life and sees the two twins, he understandably freaks out. Eventually, Emilia comes to visit him, and he finally decides to let her in his woes. You almost wonder why he didn’t attempt this in the first arc. Unfortunately, as soon as he tries to tell her anything, he becomes extremely… fear-stricken? The guy clutches his heart and we hear beat heavily in the background, but at the same time, he says it doesn’t hurt. Well, whatever. How utterly convenient that Subaru can’t confide in anyone.
— Subaru eventually tells Emilia to stay away from him lest misfortune should befall her. Eventually, Beatrice pays him a visit, because the rest of the mansion thinks the young mage might have had something to do with our hero’s current fragile state. She also comments on the witch’s stench. According to Beatrice, it’s “much heavier now, too.” Staying in bed all day will do that to ya. I haven’t got much to work with, because like Subaru, we don’t know anything either. Why does he have the witch’s stench? Was he summoned here by her? Why is the stench getting worse? Does he owe his time-looping power to witch, so every time it kicks in, he smells worse? I mean, who really knows? I can sit here and speculate all day, and it won’t really do any good. This is just plot information, and ultimately, it’s not that interesting.
— Somehow, Subaru talks Beatrice into protecting him until the fifth morning. She agrees to it, because… I think she doesn’t want Subaru to say anything bad about her to Puck. That’s uh… I mean, whatever. I find it odd that she would try so hard to defend him over something so small, but it’s anime. And apparently, contracts are ironclad in anime.
— Guy suffers a nightmare later that night, but he wakes up to find himself in Beatrice’s library. We get some short banter, then a short montage of him reading books. Meh.
Unfortunately, Rem did not make it. And oddly enough, she also died from the same weakness that afflicted Subaru the first time around. Hm. Ram demands answers from Subaru, since he does seem rather suspicious. Y’know, with his sudden appearance in their lives, the weird way he’s been acting, etc. When Ram attacks him with her telekinetic powers, he comes to the realization that she was the killer in the second loop. Oh boy. So if he befriends no one, he dies from a curse. If he befriends Rem, then Ram kills him. If he befriends Ram, then Rem kills him. If he somehow survives the fourth night, then Rem dies. Can we just find the path where they all die and call it a series? No? Fuck.
— Beatrice continues defending the guy, but before you know it, even Roswaal is getting involved with the power of Super Famicom. Maybe he’s the curse-giver. Eh, probably not.
— So Subaru runs off, and he cries some more. After all, why does he have to suffer like this? He was having so much fun in the previous three episodes! Yeah, but I wasn’t. I’m not here to watch Subaru live out his dating sim fantasies. On that note, I wonder if it’s only worth watching Re:Zero’s every fourth episode if the remaining arcs are going to be structured in a similar fashion. Yeah, yeah, if I do this, I’d miss out on all the charming character interactions. I wouldn’t get to see Subaru’s story fun time with Ram. I wouldn’t get to see Rem smile on their way home from shopping. What a shame. What. A. Shame.
— Subaru considers ending it all. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? If he dies permanently, he doesn’t have to go through this ordeal where shitty, two-dimensional characters continually forget their friendships with him. And if he doesn’t die permanently, well, the dating sim goes on. But he chickens out, so…
— He wakes up to see Beatrice, because she’s really, really dedicated to protecting him. All because of a contract. But also, when she pulls him up to his feet, Subaru realizes that both maids were holding his hands when he had those scary nightmares! Oh my God, that means the maids are good girls after all!
— So when Ram shows up to kill him, he declares that he’s going to keep fighting because… well, he just loves those two maids so much. So he throws himself off the cliff. After being killed three days in a row, Subaru kills himself. Gotta think outside of the box.
So there you go. After four episodes of this arc, it still isn’t over yet. The story must really think the two maids are hot shit to devote so much time and attention on them. It’s just too bad the first three episodes did nothing to convince me that either Ram or Rem are worth caring about. So naturally, when Subaru declares his love for them, I’m just embarrassed for him. I mean, the fourth loop doesn’t count, because he spends most of it in bed or with Beatrice. So he really only had three loops with the maids. That’s… twelve days? Twelve days cutting vegetables, sewing clothes, gardening, reading and writing, so on and so forth, and he loves them? Whatever you say, Re:Zero. But I guess it’s to be expected. These days, anime seems to be trying especially hard to convince us that mundane character interactions are somehow emotionally enriching. See Kiznaiver, and well, this damn arc in Re:Zero. Twelve days with a pair of girls who can barely exhibit emotions is apparently a transcendent experience.
God, I can’t wait to see how he gets himself out of this conundrum. Hey, if befriending either of the two maids will trigger a death flag, what happens if you befriend both of them at the same time! Why, that’s genius! I can’t wait for a fifth episode of this arc where Subaru becomes a maid master!