Raise your hand if you thought this arc would be over by now? C’mon, tell the truth…
— Well, look who’s still alive. Wait, how did he and Rem get back to safety? Well, about that…
— Subaru looks to the side and spots a sleeping Emilia. Puck immediately pops out and starts feeding us exposition. Namely, he’s telling us what happened between last week’s episode and this week’s. Isn’t that just grand? It’s not that I’m dying to watch Rem carry both Subaru and the blue-haired girl back to the village while simultaneously fending off evil doggos. Rather, it’s about balance. The show has consistently forced me to watch people sit — or in this case, lie around — in a room and have such witty, little conversations with each other, so the least the anime could do is give me a proper action sequence without abridging anything. But no, we’re right back to pointless banter. And if I know Re:Zero, which I think I should after 10 goddamn weeks, then this week’s episode will be no different, i.e. 80% chatter, 20% action. Action isn’t inherently a good thing, especially if it’s mindless, but Re:Zero is so heavily skewed in the other direction that I’m being bored to death.
— Subaru exits his room to find a rather cheerful Ram. Meh. She thanks him for his insistence on saving those kids, because Roswaal would’ve looked super bad if his subjects died. Okay, sure. But he’s also got such a fancy-ass mansion. Can’t he afford to feed these poor villagers something better than steamed yams?
— Beatrice is the next in line to talk to Subaru. I just love how they line up to talk to him one-by-one like some sort of simplistic visual novel. Anyway, she’s got some bad news. By biting him over and over, those doggos stacked curses upon curses onto Subaru. Beatrice can undo one curse, but c’mon, she’s no Young Black Jack!
— So what are we to do?! I can’t possibly stand watching this stupid loop reset itself again! Well, you can just kill the curse-giver to undo the curse. Unfortunately, Subaru’s been bitten by so much, he’ll have to commit some sort of doggo genocide to fix this problem. Thankfully, that’s why we have a crazy, demonic Rem on our side. She’ll do the dirty work instead!
— Ram also overhears this conversation, and she’s determined to bring her sister back. Subaru isn’t going to stop her, but he’s definitely not going to let her go into the forest alone. From one twin to the next, huh? Ram doesn’t have a horn, however, so she can’t really fight all that well. All she has is some wind magic. No fart jokes, guys. C’mon, grow up.
— By the way, we’re already halfway through the episode, and all we’ve done is talk. Talking isn’t inherently bad. Action isn’t inherently good. But again, it’s about balance… plus, you can have a show that is comprised of nothing but dialogue, but it has to be good dialogue. Re:Zero is just full of meta jokes and generic fantasy exposition, so why is anyone surprised that I’m not impressed?
— Get ready for some more talk, because Subaru and Ram are now going to discuss how much the villagers adore them. Subaru gets some dinky sword, a girl likes Ram, blah blah blah. Great character development. Hey, where’s the blue-haired girl? Did she even get saved?
— I swear, the people who love this show must think these jokes are a riot. But where’s the sense of urgency? I thought they were on a mission to retrieve Rem, but this looks like some sort of joy walk through a pleasant forest.
— Fourteen minutes into the episode, and Ram finally uses her clairvoyance ability. Some doggos attack, and… we’re right back to talking. It’s some vague backstory about how she lost her horn. Vague because we don’t really know why she lost it. She merely mentions that she had acted foolishly or something.
— Yo, where’s the evil pupper at?
— Then we get more exposition about the physiology of demons, how they’re supposed to have two horns, how twins are born with one each so people don’t like to have twins–… fuck, man, this is boring.
— What kind of fucking question is this?
— Seventeen minutes into the episode, Subaru finally attempts an interesting gambit. Having learned in a previous episode that mabeasts are drawn to the witch’s scent, and that the scent gets stronger if he tries to tell anyone about his Return ability, Subaru cleverly tries to Ram about it. By drawing the mabeasts to them, they’ll also attract the rampaging Rem as well. Hey, I’ll give credit where credit’s due. Smart move by our hero. Too bad we don’t see this side of him all that often.
— Doggos start attacking Subaru and Ram again, and they are unable to fight back too effectively. Our hero ends up having to carry Ram in one arm while running away from the pack of mabeasts. Just how little does this girl weigh? Oh well.
— Unable to realistically outrun magic-enhanced animals, Subaru throws himself off a cliff, and Ram uses her wind magic at the last second to cushion the impact of the fall. Rem also finally shows, but of course, Ram decides to conveniently lose consciousness.
— Oh, there’s the evil pupper! Why does it look so different from the other mabeasts? Is it a special one? Does it human intelligence or something?
— The demonic Rem has lost control of her senses, so she lashes out at Subaru and her sister. Welp. To top things off, the evil pupper is up to no good as well. Naturally, this is where Subaru spews some chauvinistic bullshit to give him the proper nipponjin motivation to act.
— Ram then calmly wakes up and informs Subaru that he needs to land a solid hit on Rem’s horn in order to bring the girl back to sanity. I don’t know… I think we should keep her like this. She seems more fun in her current state.
— But again, the mission is to have our cute maid smile again or some dumb anime bullshit, so Subaru chucks Ram right at her sister.
Rem catches her prize, and during this momentary lapse, Subaru launches forward with his now broken sword. Time to be a hero and save the day, right?
Oh, for fuck’s sake. Yep, episode’s over, folks. Come back next week for yet another episode full of delicious conversations between Subaru and his cute girls. Clearly, this epic struggle against dogs requires months and months of episodes. Anyway, I’m expecting our hero to use the blinding magic Puck had taught him in order to prevail next week. At the same time, I wouldn’t be surprised if this arc still isn’t finished by then.