Re:Zero 17

We can pretty safely assume that this won’t be the repeat that Subaru gets it right either. There’s gotta be far more despair before that!

“Disgrace in the Extreme”

The forgetfulness returned in full-on fashion this week, as the white whale seems to be capable of removing things from existence. It’s a magical ability we’ve seen used before, say in It’s A Wonderful Life if you want to get historic, and it’s really not all that interesting here. We know Subaru is going to lose his mind over it. He’s been losing his mind over everything. With a bit of praise though, I have enjoyed that Rem has been built in to a viably important main character out of the twin-maid archetype – something that I really didn’t think possible upon her and Ram’s introduction.

This section of Subaru’s loop seems to put all of the deaths occurring squarely under his responsibility – which is amazing. His whole life before this ordeal consisted of video games, anime, and entertainment. How could he not see all of this coming when every plot point is something he’s probably seen happen at least a dozen times before? Maybe he was just never in to the dramatic plots and stuck to the lighter fare. Every event though recently seems to be playing as the ‘last straw’ of him being a crazy a**hole, this time with him indirectly killing Emilia, but at some point it will actually have to be.

Betelgeuse returns! But more importantly, Beatrice returns! She was acting all sorts of odd, but that is kind of her character. Inferring from her interaction with Subaru, she likely knows what his deal is, or even overheard it as he told Emilia. Those evil unseen hands can’t be all that omniscient, right? If anything, they’re more of a take on the entire premise of Elfen Lied. All the while Betelgeuse and his ‘vectors’ added a few more layers to what is already an almost ridiculous amount of exposition. What is the Ordeal, and why does he keep talking about the seven deadly sins?

Obvious now is the fact that Puck was the giant wolf-spirit thing, and somehow Emilia’s father. Puck was a boy, right? However that will be explained, it does answer a few questions and bring up several others. It leaves me wondering why he decapitated Subaru a few episodes ago. Perhaps it was just uncontrollable rage or sadness, but it also begs the question of how he has such a power. If you could just decapitate people, why even bother with the ice magic?

A lot of things really came together very well in this episode, but it also managed to anger me in so many ways. OK not really anger, because getting angry over a TV show is rather unwarranted. With the invisible hands, and the hero being the only one who remembers somebody important, and forgetting the main character’s characteristics, shock value, and so many fantasy tropes – it’s all just a hodgepodge of things that we have seen done so much better before. Once again, I’ve been so happy with how the world is built and all of the characters besides Subaru act within it. Despite being something primarily made for him to screw around in, the world itself is pushing back against the wish-fulfillment trope.

Episode Score
8.4/10 (Very Good)

Re Zero - 17 - Only Ram.gif
Not quite the same.

Extra thoughts:
– Does making an action scene extra-fuzzy and dark save money? Re:Mayoiga.
– None of it is screenshot-worthy.
– Why does the cult just leave their swords behind all the time?
– The classic ‘see what you want to see‘ moment.
– “You’ll see that I was right, whether you want to or not” is never convincing.

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