Re:Zero 12

With the completion of the somewhat questionable Mayoiga, Clouded Anime will be picking up Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu for the summer season! With the conclusion of the Rem & Ram/curse arc, this is a great place to pick up reviews. For all previous episodes, check out our Spring 2016 Weekly Reactions posts for thoughts and episode scores.

“Return to the Capital”

After twelve episodes, this is till a rather enjoyable show. A man-boy gets trapped in a fantasy world, with some kind of dire circumstance he must contend with – and there is a girl that will guide him through the plot. The characters are interesting at times, and Subaru really holds down the overly sarcastic main character role with ease. The obvious ‘main girl’ is complemented by cute twin maids, a feisty cat-girl who took quite a leave of absence, and at least one other man of some importance. I enjoy all of these things, but I also can’t help but notice a lot of what’s going on here as somewhat derivative or samey. In the early stages, a lot of comparisons were made (by myself and others) to the rather amazing KonoSuba of winter 2016. Coming right off its tails, no matter the origin of the source materials, is a tough sell on such a similar topic. The real challenge will be for it to hold itself up as more than just situational comedy, and have the audience really connect in to the drama side of things. So far, it’s moving along well!

This episode was rather transitional, adding a number of new players to the game and finally getting us a little closer to the royal selection. It also suffered from a few of the problems that the show has been exhibiting up until this point. Most notably is the abundance of deus ex machina, or things just happening by random chance in favor of forwarding the plot. It feels as if it’s usually supposed to be for comedic effect, but the only one that really stood out that way in this episode was his hitch-hiking gag and getting picked up by Priscilla.

Things are looking pretty good for Subaru as of late. The twins practically adore him now, and he gets to go on a date with Emilia to the capital while holding hands – and he hasn’t even died in a while! The reincarnation factor has been downplayed significantly over these past few episodes, and it would only make sense to have it return in good fashion sooner rather than later. Subaru will of course be at a new ‘reset point’ by then, no doubt. Losing all of the progress he’s made up until this point would just be destructive to the plot and characters as a whole. Either way, we should probably expect to see him die again soon.

The last few minutes of the episode stuffs in some much needed exposition about the royal selection that seemed long-coming. Seeing the rivals in the field helps, and the little banter established their mannerisms quite well. It did feel like the whole ceremony seems like it’s being set-up to pick each possible successor’s future husband, with all the knights gathered. The plot of the show is already a bit of a set-up for Subaru to be the ideal male scenario to project upon – I just hope things don’t go too well in his favor. The big surprise that Felt is potentially a candidate is a welcome one – she made a pretty good impact as a character early on and has been ‘missing’ (re; kidnapped) up until this point. There will likely have to be some Reinhard-Felt backstory to explain most of that circumstance. The plot seems to be on the move, and after several weeks of battles with a demon puppy, it’s extremely welcome. The real questions going forward for me have to be, will the comedy be able to balance well with the drama, or will they merely stifle the presence of each other to mediocre effect. I have faith that it will work out – can’t wait to see how well.

Episode Score
7.7/10 (Good)

Re Zero - 12 - Rivals.gif
Now you have to hold that hand, Subaru.

 

Extra thoughts:
– Wilhelm van Astrea, probably related to Reinhard?
– A cat-eared trap? How evil.
– He was not licking her hand, Subaru. It’s a normal courtsey.
– Are they the only three hoodlums in the capital? Yes.
– They’ve assembled every knight stereotype for our pleasure.
– And a range of princess types to go along with.
– Wait, there are more twins!?

 

 

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