I’ve been fairly distant from anime for some time, but it’s not as though my interests have changed in any drastic way. This behavior of mine actually follows my usual patterns all a little too well. I’ll become overly obsessed and absorbed into something and then burn out on it. This applies to most things in my life. Who knows when I will have those interest rekindle. Oh well, now is the time for anime again I suppose.
This anime is one I remember hearing about from a colleague at work and decided to give it go. I was interested in watching it at the time and never got around to it, so it’s been sitting in the back of my mind for awhile. Since there are just too many anime out there to worry about I’ll just have to choose by instinct what I want to actually sink my time into. That’s how I’ll approach anime for now.
As far as the story goes, after both seasons are complete there is still much unexplained. This isn’t a bad thing though! I was certainly satisfied with the stopping point at the end of season two. What I mean is that there is plenty of room for the story to grow, and that is most definitely a good thing. I’m much more used to a series hitting a stopping point and, well it could end right there, yet it develops another season and a new story picks up out of nowhere. With Re:ZERO there are obvious developments that haven’t played out yet, so the anticipation for a continuation is all the more palpable.
So what is this anime about? Well, basically a guy we know little or nothing about, Subaru, is dropped into a fantastic world out of the blue.
Being someone who is familiar with light novels, anime, and typical story tropes, he isn’t fazed by the situation at all and begins acclimating himself rather quickly to the new world around him. Bungling along, he is helped by a half elf girl who wields magic and has a strange fuzzy companion. She seeks something that was stolen from her and Subaru wishes to help in order to repay her for helping him. So, they spend the day together trying to track down the thief and just when they seem close to meeting with this thief in person… everything goes awry. The place they come to in the night is dark and quiet and Subaru investigates alone. He peers into the room with a lantern and sees a myriad of objects: weapons, a suit of armor, chests, and boxes, but no one is around. He steps into something soft and wet, and when he looks, a horrid realization seizes him as he looks upon a severed arm lying on the floor, further away lies a mutilated corpse. Intense fear grips him and a voice calls out of the darkness. In the next instant he lies in a pool of his own blood. The half elf girl, who had stayed outside comes now looking for him, but she soon joins him on floor. He grips her hand in his own as his life flies away and promises that he’ll save her–and then he’s standing there, there back in town, back before so much began. Somehow he’s been sent back in time.
More is learned about this strange phenomenon, or power later on, but this is one of the key features of the story. When Subaru dies, he goes back in time. Like a video game, as he progresses through the events surrounding him, the point to which he returns changes like a save point. Or at least this is how he seems to describe this ability. If he dies, he has failed, but he gets to try again. He must find a way to not only live, but succeed in protecting those important to him. By doing that he can escape the cycle of death.
My impressions concerning Subaru’s character took a downward spiral as the series progressed. His motivations and his personality became questionable, but we were just finally learning what kind of person he was before this story began. Yet he is able to change; he is able to grow. I don’t know if I’ve come this close to hating a character and than having that sentiment turn around on me like this before. Please don’t stop watching if you find yourself loathing Subaru! You’ll know what I’m talking about when you get there.
Subaru is a true imperfect hero who must change and grow. What ended up impressing me most about him was his capacity to forgive. It doesn’t become much of a focus of the series or anything, but simply a part of who he is. Because of his ability to return back in time upon death, Subaru sees many different sides of people depending on how the events play out. Sometimes such people might treat him coldly or in unimaginable ways. Yet you can tell he holds no malice for them. It makes me wonder if I could do the same if I were in his place. I hope I could anyway. So yes, the characters are well done and actually show growth, which is something of a boon in the series I watch lately.
Another satisfying element to this anime were the fight scenes. The were choreographed well and tense. Some anime I’ve watched hype up their fights only end up giving you the dull and predictable. Unfortunately that included some anime that had fighting as one it’s main features. It’s nice to see something more original for a change.
Overall I was very pleased and hope that the anime adaption continues.