I’ve been loving the latest arc of Re: Zero. No, not that Rem episode (too much crying) or the epic battles of lolis, butlers and wolves vs. flying whales. What I’ve loved the most is seeing Subaru’s descent into despair and madness.
Hatred and Revenge
The best anime are able to elicit strong emotions in the viewer. And boy has Re: Zero. To see Subaru broken over and over again, tortured and forced to watch his friends die. Or to be killed by his friends. Or both. It’s made me more pissed than I’ve felt watching anime for a long time.
And the people who made me the most angry weren’t the ones who actually killed him. I can’t really get mad at the whale— it’s a whale— or at the witch’s cult— they’re fucking nuts. It’s the people who washed their hands of the whole matter, who should have helped Subaru when he asked them for help but chose not to. Especially Green, Purple and friends. Episode 16, where he went and visited all of them, was my favorite.
Subaru may have forgiven them now and made friends, but I sure as hell haven’t. He knows who his real friends are now.
And let me be honest: I want to see them all suffer. I know that Subaru felt the same way.
This arc reminds me of one of my favorite psalms, number 137:
By the rivers of Babylon—
there we sat down and there we wept
when we remembered Zion.
On the willows* there
we hung up our harps.
For there our captors
asked us for songs,
and our tormentors asked for mirth, saying,
‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion!’
How could we sing the Lord’s song
in a foreign land?
If I forget you, O Jerusalem,
let my right hand wither!
Let my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth,
if I do not remember you,
if I do not set Jerusalem
above my highest joy.
Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites
the day of Jerusalem’s fall,
how they said, ‘Tear it down! Tear it down!
Down to its foundations!’
O daughter Babylon, you devastator!*
Happy shall they be who pay you back
what you have done to us!
Happy shall they be who take your little ones
and dash them against the rock!
That’s how I felt. I wanted to take their little ones and dash them against the rock!
Sure, that might sound monstrous to our modern selves. And it is. But who can blame Subaru, or the person who wrote the psalm, for feeling this way? The psalm really brings out how much the Israelites have suffered in the exile. And Re:Zero is the same way. One of the strongest emotional impacts I’ve had from anime for a while.
By the way, this is one aspect I did like about the crappy web novels I read recently, Rising of the Shield Hero and Mushoku Tensei. The authors of these two have authentic rage at the world overflowing. But sadly, they misdirect all their rage at women (particularly the Shield Hero author, I hope he gets the help he needs before he commits a crime…).
The Fight for Queen
Here are the choices and their platforms:
- Purple: The rich will get richer and the poor will get fucked even harder. Also I’m not even from this stupid country so what do I care.
- Green: Oligarchy banzai!
- Tsundere: If I become Queen I might just let you peasants lick my shoes! Actually no I’ll just execute you all.
- Emilia: Unicorns and rainbows!!!
- Feldt: I’ll raze this shitty country to the ground.
Consequently, my support is 100% behind Feldt. Fuck them all. I don’t know what in the world Subaru is thinking supporting Emilia.
One of the most interesting things about Re: Zero (which I expect will play more of a role later on) is that for many of the main characters, we know absolutely nothing about them. Yet Subaru is fiercely loyal to them despite this. Namely, Emili, Roswaal, and Puck.
I trust most of the characters in this show about as far as I can throw them. Yet I trust these three even less than that. They haven’t really told Subaru anything about themselves. Emilia appears to have something to do with the witch. Puck is a terrifying monster. And Roswaal seems even more frightful than either of them.
Yet Subaru doesn’t seem to even question any of this. I suspect this will come back to bite him one day.
I don’t really care for Rem. I think she’s kind of dumb for liking Subaru so much.
But this moment won me over a bit: