What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World “Witches’ Tea Ceremony”!To say that what happened last week was pure madness would be one hell of an understatement. There are no words for the kind of experience Subaru endured just to get answers from the one guy who has been fooling him long enough. Who knows, maybe there’s only so far that he can stray from his original path before things fall into chaos? I wouldn’t know as someone who simply watches the anime. So there was definitely some things which would have to begin making sense again to continue holding onto my investment in the story and plot.
After the tragic episode that we got last week, I was happy to see that this week we would get back to something a bit more familiar. It was obvious that being taken back to his regular checkpoint would also give Subaru the opportunity to once again recollect himself. At this point it really is a superpower of his to keep pulling himself back together in spite of everything he has been put through. There was about three times this episode where he had a moment like that, and it was very commendable if you ask me. Do I still wish that eventually they would allow Subaru the ability to fend for himself? Absolutely, but right now the best thing you could ask for from a character like him is having the fortitude to keep pushing forward. Even when this world is throwing everything at him to give up.
Which brings us to the main attraction for this episode. That being the reveal of who Echidna really is. Ever since she was introduced in the anime, plenty of questions have surrounded this character who on the surface has seemed like the most normal person Subaru has come across as of yet. Though that obviously would be too good to be true for a world like this. And if that wasn’t too good to be true to you? Then there were plenty of readers who knew exactly where this was all leading to when the moment came for Echidna to drop the charade. So with that said, the execution was brilliant because I was not at all prepared for how crazy this witch was. To have kept it together for so long, only to just dump this huge load of batsh*t craziness on Subaru’s lap? I struggled picking up my jaw for the fact that the essence of her greed was taken so literally. And it didn’t help that everything which seemed so sincere about her understanding of his ‘Return by Death’ was also so much of an act, just to be able to have it for herself.
Now I know that I have said episodes like this were enlightening, but what happened here with Echidna gave that a whole new meaning. Particularly because this Witches’ Tea Ceremony involved all of the witches, and seeing more of them than what was allowed to be seen before. I mean, who would have guessed that she really had a reputation for pulling what she was about to with Subaru? For just the way that the other witches inserted themselves in the Tea Ceremony, I would have almost mistake any one of them for being normal in contrast. Especially since none of them seemed bold enough to do what she was about to.
There was some takeaways from this episode which shouldn’t be overlooked either. It made a big difference that in the midst of Echidna’s big villainous reveal, she let a number of things slip which answered some questions Subaru wouldn’t have gotten under different circumstances. Such things as understanding the actual details of Beatrice’s contract, or what it means to make a contract with a witch in general. Then aside from this, there was a scene which opened a whole new avenue of questions involving the reality of returning from death. Because it doesn’t take much to wonder if these are truly resets. Subaru could easily be creating numerous alternate timelines where he directly or indirectly died, leaving a world which still falls to the fate he was trying to steer from.
I don’t think we will ever be introduced to a more textbook sociopath than we did by the end of Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World “The Witches’ Tea Ceremony”. This was a Witches’ Tea Ceremony to remember, and just might be the last tea party that we see this season. And I say this for more than one reason considering who invited themself to the ceremony by the end of the episode.