Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World Mid-Season Finale “Sounds that Bring Him To Tears” Review

***Spoiler Review***

What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the Mid-Season Finale of Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World “Sounds that Bring Him To Tears”! Not going to lie, It caught me off guard that we would really hit a mid-season finale for Re:Zero. This series seemed like one of those that was going to power through to the season finale. Especially since this is also one of those series that leaves you in pieces every time that you have to wait to see what happens next. This moment here was no different considering how Subaru has found himself in the middle of a Tea Party he wasn’t prepared for.

I mean, I can’t be the only one whose jaw dropped when that uninvited guest just so happened to be Satella of all people. One wouldn’t have thought she was able to make herself present for these kinds of things. I wouldn’t have thought she would have any sort of role to play for a good while. Though here she is making her way to Subaru and the rest of the witches to stake her claim on the guy once more. Now with that said, simply staking her claim would have been too easy. Attacking the other witches for getting between her and Subaru would have been too predictable. So the decision that this would instead be a moment where Subaru came to really understand the witch was very much appreciated. As some have pointed out, apparently there is a difference between the Witch of Envy and Satella. The Witch of Envy personality is much more aggressive about their love for Subaru, while Satella is much more reasonable and cares deeply about his well-being.

For me, it was shocking to only understand this key difference in the moment. Surely enough there were other viewers too in the same position, having only watched the anime. Not understanding this till the mid-season finale made everything about this scene thrilling and unpredictable. Mainly because a lot of things could have gone wrong here that somehow just didn’t. Subaru did fall apart, but not for the reasons he should have. It was exciting to see him face the reality that there is a part of this person who was always looking after his best interest through Return by Death.

The other witches took me by surprise too. This could have descended into madness, because up to this point we were given no indication that there was love shared between these witches. One would have assumed that there would be hate, fear, or frustration over sharing the same space with someone who killed them. Instead we saw everyone who apparently has been in a more observant state of mind. It was shocking how many of them were just taking this all in and forming their own opinions about Subaru, his situation, and how they felt about the course his life has been taking. It was actually shocking how many of them were ready to be so upfront about the reality that what Subaru thought to be a curse, was anything but. You probably felt the same way that Satella was in the right frame of mind to say the same.

Now there are some out there who joke about the way that Subaru broke down with the arrival of Satella. Though it goes without saying that this moment here was a brutal reminder for Subaru of everything he now knows about this witch. The cause of his suffering, the fear he feels over someone who obsesses over him, and what he knows she is still capable of from beyond the grave. You stack these things together, and that is a recipe for falling apart on sight. These witches surrounding him weren’t even close friends, so it didn’t matter if this was something which brought him to tears. Now the big question was how he was going to snap out of this. That was what made this episode so endearing for Subaru. Well, endearing for the most part. It was moving to see him collect himself and come to realize that he still had some growing to do. What Subaru thought was growth in the past was not the end of the journey he needed to take to become a better version of himself.

Being a mid-season finale, they still had to do something shocking that would leave us all stunned till next year. Here I thought that would happen the normal way, or even not happen at all for how important everything happening in the Tea Party was. Yet they couldn’t help messing with us one more time when it came to things Subaru didn’t understand about his checklist of problems. Personally I was impressed with how far they have taken this thing with Roswaal. Unless you read the manga, you would not have guessed that this guy was so twisted and willing to go the lengths he has gone to achieve his own desire.

Everything else aside, if there was one thing I loved most about this mid-season finale? It was the continued role they have chosen to give Otto in Subaru’s life. This guy right here has honestly been the breakout star of the second season so far. Always reminding Subaru of what a real fiend looks like. Reminding him of what it looks like to pay attention to the people you care about. The importance of just being there and saving someone from themself. I don’t know what the future will hold for this character, but I do hope that Otto can be a vital character to us in the same way that Rem is. I also hope that in time his future role will involve diving deeper into his past. It still feels like there is much to learn about Otto to explain why he would go this far for a friend.

The game has changed through the events of this mid-season finale. I know I’ve said this before, but never before has this been more true. Subaru has a new lease on life, but not without the understanding that many more hard calls will have to be made to save everyone. Including himself.

Jideobi Odunze Author

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