Review: Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World E.02

The second episode of Re:Zero is interesting. I don’t know if it’s as strong as the first episode because it had the benefit of being twice as long. That kind of worries me a little because it almost seems like this idea can’t properly be developed in the twenty-ish minute time frame. Time will tell on that. The episode does pick up right where we left it which isn’t surprising, but it kind of is. It’s something you think would happen more often, but it tends to get dropped to tell the story differently or because the team has written themselves into a corner. Subaru finds himself getting chewed out by the white-haired witch and not really understanding why. He unknowingly helps Felt pick her pocket as well which is more confusing to him because he still hasn’t figured out what's happening to him. He runs after them to help, but instead runs into the three dudes yet again. He still doesn’t get it and ends up getting stabbed and dying right there in the alley. What cues him into it, is the fact that the chips that Old Man Rom ate… are back in his bag. I mean, there should have been some other stuff, but whatever.

re-zero-mvHe starts over in front of the appa stand and figures out that he’s starting over. Finally. Subaru decides he doesn’t owe anyone shit and to just do whatever. But then he remembers the white witch’s death and he runs to try to help. This puts him head of schedule in reaching the loot house, but not by much. He still runs into the three dudes, a new character is introduced and he learns that knowledge is dangerous.

What I find particularly interesting about this story is that Subaru can’t just shout out that he knows the future. He does that to an extent at the very end of this episode and it makes him look really crazy. That’s the challenge for this story. How do you beat whatever event you’re trying to beat when you have all the cheats, but can’t use them? It’s just like Groundhog Day in that regard, but because lives are on the line it’s far more interesting. The villain in particular has another great scene when Subaru bumps into her (he actually physically bumps into her) and nearly shits himself.

The animation continues to be really strong. I know usually shows don’t dip from episode one to two, but sometimes they do. And sometimes they finish looking like shit when they started wonderfully, so I’m just glad to see that for now the quality is really in control and this world continues to feel alive no matter where it goes. The slums, the streets, it’s constantly moving.

Now that Subaru knows what is happening to him the story is going to shift again. If it can keep adapting and changing like that it’ll set itself apart from the rest of the run of the mill anime this season. For now, it has my attention and I’m looking forward to more.

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Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World E.2 Official Website