***Minor Spoiler Review***
What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World “The Permafrost of Elior Forest”! Truthfully after last week’s episode, it would have been nice if it was this episode that they titled “The Day Betelgeuse Laughed”. I didn’t see any laughing, and you knew that the moment was going to instead come this week where he would fall hard enough that the laugh would would be heard.
Now I gotta hand it to them, when I imagined experiencing what Emilia went through during that dark moment in her life? None of this is what came to mind. I did not expect such a powerful story to be woven. Neither did I expect the emotional impact they were going to have on us by showing what misfortune really looks like in a world like this. This is a world where no one is safe from the consequences of their choices. Emilia was just a scared child looking for a solution to their problems without losing anymore than they already have.
And Pandora was just a Witch of Vanity who was willing to do or say just about anything to manipulate young Emilia into opening the door for her. Still I’m a little thrown off by the sudden introduction of the Witch of Vanity, or even the idea that there is yet another witch roaming around who we did not see present at the Tea Party, but you have to admit that there is something to love about these unknown elements which change everything you thought you once knew about the way this world works. I mean, this witch isn’t even as destructive as the others in the same sense of the word, and yet accomplishes doing so much damage with illusions.
What really hit hard this week was seeing just what happened to Mother Fortuna. For some, this was a huge mystery considering Geuse is alive and broken in the present, and Mother Fortuna is nowhere to be seen. Not even in a block of ice. If you’re a manga reader, then you already knew what to brace for. If you were someone spoiled by manga readers who don’t know how not to spoil anime, then this was probably a moment you knew was coming. Though what you couldn’t have prepared for was how the fate of Mother Fortuna was going to play out. That was a depressing scene for the fact that between herself and Geuse, they both truly underestimated who they were fighting.
In turn, what you knew to prepare for at the same time was the response from Emilia to what was about to happen to Mother Fortuna. Otherwise, this episode wouldn’t have been titled “The Permafrost of Elior Forest”. How this forest and its people ended up the way they are now was intense. This episode was the first time were we could really see just how powerful Emilia is, or can be if she ever allowed herself to just let loose. In the end, I think it made a huge difference to see that there was a meaning to what Emilia did. Anyone could have simply assumed that she was just out of control, but that would have been too simple. It helped knowing that Emilia was doing the only thing she could do in her position, and as a child.
Which brings us to how this trial would conclude afterwards. That scene was one that could make you fall in love with Emilia in ways you never thought you could have before. This second half of the second season took her character to new heights. She’s matured, she’s gotten smarter, and so much braver. One can only hope that Emilia will also take the next step after to be a difference-maker in what needs to be done to free the Sanctuary, and save their friends at the mansion.
As with most episodes like this, the end was also what genuinely impressed me, because this major shift in the storytelling began with the battle both Subaru and Roswaal set into motion episodes ago. So it only made sense that with so much progress that Subaru made that we would find the time to show this to the one man who told him that there was no hope to turn things around.
All that said and done, Re:Zero this week did not let us down one bit. We got so many answers, so much progress in the story, and memorable takeaways from “The Permafrost of Elior Forest”. This episode was a long time coming, and well worth the wait.