A loner who spends most of his time playing RPG or MMORPG online gets summoned to a world that is not his. What if you are suddenly summoned to another world of fantasy without any preparation, what will you do? Re: Zero – starting life in another world is precisely what the title describes. Starting from scratch in a world that is not yours, more precisely a world where magic, elves, dragons, and so much more exist. The start itself should be described in bold as hard as a rock.
Re:Zero started airing on spring 2016. Starting from episode one, it became a hit series with the fluid way the episode marched right away. The ravishing series is an adaptation of a light novel that’s been released in 2014. The authors Nagatsuki Tappei and Ootsuka Shinichirou, the first one wrote the story and the latter dealt with the art. Re:Zero easily takes a high ranking place in a psychological thriller genre, getting the twists all up and running.
The studio responsible for the animation is called White Fox. This anime takes the genres Drama, Fantasy and Thriller up its sleeve. However, it’s deeper than just a dramatic, thrilling fantasy tag. The series has a total of 25 episodes, and possibly a second season.
The story of Re:Zero takes place when Subaru Natsuki leaves the convenience story. That one step rocked his world upside down, and his calm, usual life wrenched from his hands. Subaru goes on an adventure in a fantasy world, more like dropped there. First, the bewildered teenager is taken aback by the sudden change of worlds. Then, not long after his arrival, Subaru instantly falls in love with the idea of him being a fantasy world as a fan of RPG.
The teenager takes this world lightly, and in his quest, he is met by some thugs and his only weapon of defense is his bag of groceries. Subaru is quickly beaten up to a pulp by those teenagers, but then a mysterious, beautiful, white-haired girl saves him.
Story In Depth
The story of Re:Zero is much deeper than it shows on the surface. After the mysterious beauty saves him, he peruses her and offers help to find her stolen insignia. Subaru and Emilia carelessly hop into danger’s way, not knowing the darkest path they just took is evidently their doom.
The show may seem like a boy meets girl situation and they eventually fall in love, or a harem comes up. Yet, in Re:Zero, everything takes the wrong turn one way or another. The wicked-like fantasy adventure of Subaru begins as he meets the white-haired half-elf, half-human. Subaru, not realizing that he alone brought this damnation upon himself, brings on a cool act. And with that cool act, he vows to himself to protect Emilia from all harm, even if it cost him his life. What he did not know is it will cost him his life, his sanity, and his mind multiple times.
This hit series that premiered on spring 2016 is surprisingly a dark-themed anime. Most anime that come out on spring usually uphold the description of light-hearted, but not this one. Based on the levels of enjoyment, Re:Zero accomplishes the beauty of Drama throughout plenty of episodes, most of them. It uses the arcs system, and that provides good connections with the other arcs, all to unravel a big one. This anime successfully puts the mind of the viewer in constant thought of who would die; what would happen.
It’s not like most anime that would give high expectation, but end up a huge disappointment to the lack of episodes or proper scenes to its genre tags. Most anime start out as a big bag of nope. But Re:Zero, even though confusing at first if no attention is paid, does not disappoint on so many levels.
Considering immersion, Re:Zero builds up an entire room around the viewer. It sets up the mood, the situations, and even the dialogue between the characters hits hard. Despite the setting being in an unparallel world, the plot takes a huge step towards immersion. Its parallel combination between psychology, drama and thriller fit rather well. Just like SnK, Re:Zero has Morale Builder. And that is satisfying amount in the series, whether it’s death, gore or just a pure internal struggle.
Sides of Enjoyment
Re:Zero has a bottle of prescription against too much happiness. A series like this would be insufficient, unsatisfying like Bungou Stray Dogs concerning death and cliché. In any anime of action and drama, death is the trigger to satisfy the viewers to the fullest. Re:Zero builds a bubble of dramatic, psychological connection with characters that make anyone weep. The Plot Armor that surrounds every anime or show, which is protecting the main protagonist, is basically non-existent.
Re:Zero is a scarry anime, as it leaves many scars behind, whether on characters or the viewer himself. This anime creates a successful, realistic experience in more ways than one.
Re:Zero contains plenty of characters that cannot be taken for granted for any reason. The main plot twister in Re:Zero is that it can make you love and hate the protagonist throughout the series.
The main protagonist and the center of attention Natsuki Subaru! The portrait of Subaru does not have much of a background from his childhood or anything in particular about him. However, throughout the episodes, the personality of Natsuki Subaru reveals itself slowly. Subaru is the kind of person that is kind-hearted by nature and he deeply cares for those around him. He is not the typical airhead as a main protagonist as in many anime. Quite the opposite, really, Subaru is rather smart and thoughtful; also, very observant.
The character development of Natsuki Subaru is the most outstanding throughout the series. His character slightly changes from the first episodes to the last ones. He is the real portrait of human nature at its best. In addition to the trauma and insanity he has to go through.
However, despite all that, Natsuki has quite an outstanding ability called Death by Revival. This ability, bestowed to him allows him to break the fourth wall and cheat death each time. And by cheating death, what is meant is he dies and he gets reborn, four days before it. Much like a phoenix, isn’t he?
Rem would rank as best character for sure. She is one of the strongest, best female characters in the entire series. Rem, despite not getting classified as a main character, she certainly is to everyone. Not only is she beautiful, but she has the strength of a demon. Literally!
First, Rem’s portrait evolves about her being a calm, resolved, stoic kind of girl. However, all that changes as Subaru cracks her shell and saves her.
Rem can be considered as the second most character developed in Re:Zero. Her character takes a 360 degrees turn. She becomes the right hand of Subaru; she cares about Subaru more than anyone in her life. Rem is the reason Subaru lives throughout the whole series, as she acts like a shield.
Last but not least, Emilia the half-elf. This character is one of the main protagonists, besides Subaru. Despite not making many appearances in the anime, her portrait is shown quite clearly. She is a white-haired girl that has an ethereal beauty but with a twist of child-like character.
Emilia is chosen to be one of the candidates to become the next ruler in royal election. She is good-natured and cannot handle someone getting hurt without helping them. Emilia likes to take care of others, thought she hates to admit it and thinks of herself as selfish. She looks quite similar to the witch of Envy. So, she leaves her appearance to her cat Puck to take care of. Emilia fits the type of character that receives hate and unfair discrimination of others due to her similarities with the witch.
The supporting characters in Re:Zero are plenty, but most of them do not make a huge appearance. These supporting characters cannot be taken for granted for their big roles during the flow of the episodes. In various arcs, there are characters that held an outstanding fighting scene, or just straight up wise words.
If we’re completely honest, the art made by White Fox is superb. The characters, despite being additional, are taken care of quite well. Every character is designed well. There is a certain emphasis on the unique trait of each character in the story. Whether it is hair, eye color, or just the clothing, the animation studio did quite a remarkable job. White Fox unraveled their own animation style that one would think it was Mad House which made the anime.
The impact of the good animation adds up to the entertainment of the show. The angles of Re:Zero are one of the most fitted animations out there. These angles grasp the true emphasized type of situation and it adds up to the excitement.
Nevertheless, there are some quality flaws in other animation like CGI and other designs concerning the episodes. Sometimes they’re not well-fit or blended quite entirely. But, they don’t throw off the show at all, as they are very small and do not affect the quality.
Speaking of fighting scenes and background, White Fox made a top notch job at them. Sometimes, the background, if far away, it’d take a 3-D look and add up to the design and beauty of it. In contrast with the designing of characters, it could be said that the designing of the backgrounds and the fighting scenes took more time and detailing. The shadows, colors, movement blend rather well in the environment.
Aside from animation, the soundtracks, opening and endings are rather intriguing and fun to listen to. They are catchy and well-produced.
The two openings of Re:Zero contain perfection. Whether it was the singer or the production of the opening itself, they both represent the word catchy. Though, it’s not one of the openings that you would never skip, it’s still enjoyable.
The OST of this anime are rather good, enjoyable. But they’re not as fitting often time. For example, the timing would be a little ticked off.
There is no mistake about the voice acting of actors and actresses. They are very talented seiyuus that cannot be taken for granted at all. The most amazing voice acting is Subaru, since he’s the main character. Rem is voiced by Inri Minase and Emilia Rei Takahashi. These two voice actors are quite infamous, which contributed an impact of attracting more audience.
The storyline of Re:Zero contributes as a great factor to bring positive impacts on the viewers. In addition to the plot twists in every episode that brings a satisfying effect on them. Despite it being only 20 per an ep—minus the op and end—it makes great progress over them. The internal, external and character development brings out the heart of the story more.
Re:Zero contains a huge pack of feels waiting at each episode’s doorstep. This is one of the wisest anime ever, whether in plot, situation’s decision or dialogues. Re:Zero is quite enjoyable, but it’ll be a disappoint once its finished. It’s one of those anime that are way too good and you can’t have enough of it.
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