What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World Season Two Premiere! If you read my review of the first season, then you know that I had some strong feelings about this one. Unlike any of the other isekai that I have seen up to this point because it takes everything you prepare yourself for, and throws it out of the window. Subaru Natsuki is as ordinary as they come, yet burdened with one hell of a curse. You want to see how he turns things around, but none of that comes without a price to pay.
Now I was looking forward to a lot of things from this season two premiere, but I clearly did not brace myself for what this was going to be in actuality. Before clicking play, I already had some idea as to what season two would have in store for us. A new enemy in the Witch of Greed, new obstacles, and a stronger sense of duty for Subaru. Though there was a difference between knowing these things, and knowing how these things were going to play out at the start of this new season. There was no true gap in time between where the last season ended, and where this one began. They had no problem jumping right back into the thick of things either. I still recall when it was the very end of the first episode and in the first season where tragedy struck. This time around? They had no problem setting the foundation for that next big thing to unfold right in the middle of the episode. Something was up when they were still spending so much time on the road, but for something to happen so soon after dealing with the Witch of Sloth? A gamble was played there, and I would say they nailed it.
It really threw me for a loop for how quickly I forgot what kind of series this is. When the end of the first season hits the way that it did for me? It was easy to tricky myself into thinking that we were beginning to see the rise of a hero. In the way that you would experience it in other stories, though Re:Zero thrives on being the very opposite of those stories. I wanted more action, and more emotion poured into this story, but not like this. I was left feeling weak by the end of the episode. An accomplishment in my book since many anime series would rather play it safe by either easing you back into the world, or hitting you with filler.
One of the best things this season has going for it is seeing some better characterizations for some of these characters. If there was one thing which made the first season so chaotic, it was the way that most of these characters were so ugly towards one another. Subaru at the top was one of the worst for his toxic personality and attitude. Everyone else in some way or another was almost as bad for their lack of ability to properly communicate with one another. Though with that said, by the end of the first season, many grew out of what was so wrong with their views of the world and those around them. Engagement between a lot of these characters were much better off for it in this season premiere. They were connecting with more trust between them, and now most understand who their true enemy is. This goes a long way for Subaru and Emilia since they are walking with less of a chip on their shoulder. Subaru isn’t the guy who everyone looks at as the troublemaker, and Emilia isn’t instantly disregarded for who she looks like.
That said, what really breaks your heart is how quickly things fall apart for Rem and Subaru. After everything they have been through, this was the last thing you wanted to see. Not saying that in a bad way obviously, because this is just that kind of story. It’s just that if you haven’t read the manga? You were most likely in a state of mind where there was some light at the tunnel for them. Two people who understand each other’s feelings very well, and know how to rise to the occasion for someone they care about. The writer had a twisted way of showing that through this first episode. Though I will give credit where it is due because I don’t think you could have gotten such an uplifting moment from Subaru where he is willing to do so much for that one person who believes in him with all their heart.
The animation was on point still. I didn’t have much concern for how that would turn out, but all the same I was blown away by the quality of work that went into the events of this premiere. The action was intense, and the emotion put into the characters was raw. It was a genuine experience going through the motions with these people who are now understanding the forces they are dealing with.
FFS, I was not expecting to be moved to tears in only just the season two premiere of Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World. It makes you wonder what the rest of this season will do to us. For now, I’m just thrilled that we can actually sit there and root for Subaru and Emilia to continue stepping up to the plate.