Re:Zero (Starting Life in Another World): Season 1/ Episode 18 “From Zero” – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

Recap It is often said that in order for a person to move forward, they must look back. I think Peace From Broken Pieces says it best: “[…] lives fall apart when they need to be rebuilt. Lives fall apart when the foundation upon which they were built needs to be relaid. Lives fall apart,…


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Recap

It is often said that in order for a person to move forward, they must look back. I think Peace From Broken Pieces says it best: “[…] lives fall apart when they need to be rebuilt. Lives fall apart when the foundation upon which they were built needs to be relaid. Lives fall apart, not because God is punishing us for what we have or have not done. Lives fall apart because they need to. They need to because they weren’t built the right way in the first place.” So prepare to watch an episode in which Subaru finally has a productive breakdown and Rem helps him rebuild a strong enough foundation to stand on.

Trigger Warning(s):
Imagery of death, decapitation, and blood

Major Characters

Rem | Subaru

Main Plot (with Commentary)

Topic 1: Failed Again (Subaru)

Summary: Betelgeuse and Puck battle it out, but while Betelgeuse is powerful, Puck is a spirit. He makes quick work of the Witch’s cult, has Betelgeuse freeze to death, and then reprimands Subaru for breaking his promise to Emilia, ignoring her wishes, and letting her die. Thus beginning an apocalypse.

[Commentary]

It is interesting to know that Puck is the reason, or at least part of, for perhaps the most violent series of deaths on the show. Mostly because we have never seen Puck mad or in a dark place, much less witness his true form. So seeing this gargantuan beast was something. Though with it being clear that Subaru has to take out the Witch’s Cult while avoiding the whale and Puck’s potential wrath, you have to wonder how can he do this? At this point he has asked for nearly everyone’s help and with him not honing the powers of his shadow magic, nor becoming a better swordsman, can his simple ability to see the shadow hands lead him to win? Betelgeuse, as crazy as he is, seems much more well adept to combat. Plus, in the ways of the sloth, he may let his minions participate in order to win. Never mind he has no honor so trickery and underhanded attacks are always on the table.

Topic 2: Run Away With Me (Rem & Subaru)

Summary: Subaru, done with trying, figuring he has hit an end point, he figures maybe it is best to just avoid the whole Emilia situation. Why not just live life away from the capital, outside of this country, and maybe settle in Kararagi. He and Rem could live together, work together, he’d give into her desires for it would mean peace and stability. An idea Rem rejects because she knows these aren’t his true feelings. He is just tired, scared, and while she has run through the idea, to almost precise detail, she wouldn’t be running away with the man she loves but someone else.

[Commentary]

The more Rem talks, especially when it comes to her affection regarding Subaru, it is hard to not fall for this girl. I mean, even in the wake of Nerve and Indignation, I found this animated couple to be the cutest. Granted, he has nothing to offer her but jokes and odd mannerisms, and he thinks very little of himself, but here she is. She fantasizes, sees him as a hero for the stuff he doesn’t give himself credit for, and dreams of perhaps having a chance.

Topic 3: You Are Not Who You Say You Are (Rem and Subaru)

Summary: Subaru has an utter and complete breakdown. Not one like before where he takes a vow of silence suffers quietly, he verbalizes his anger, angst, anxiety, and frustrations. All the while Rem listens and she also presents a sort of breakdown. Not a mental one like Subaru is having, but she breaks down why she loves Subaru and doesn’t see him the way he sees himself. For while he notes he was a neet (more than likely) before coming to this world and how he makes things worse, I could go on, she dismisses nearly all of that in such a passionate and beautiful way.

Yet, even after building him back up, she receives a rejection. Not just a rejection, but a request. One in which he asks her to continue to help him, continue to stand by him, as he continues to pursue Emilia’s safety and happiness. Which she agrees to, if just to be by his side.

[Commentary]

Usually, when you cry, or should I say I cry, it is because something bad happened or, like in the case of Room, they are finally safe and sound. With this, with Rem’s speech, this is perhaps the first time I was crying because someone just was so open with how much they loved someone and are appreciative that they can be vulnerable with them and be their hero. I mean, kudos to the writers and voice actors for even the way the rejection was handled, and her response, it made me mad, but it didn’t seem illogical the way things were crafted.

I have to admit, though, if I didn’t know this show still had 6 episodes, which will be airing week after week, I’d fear this episode would have been a cliffhanger or else the end before an OVA or a movie. The emotional impact was that great that it felt like a high note which the show may never recover from.

Collected Quote(s)

This is the kind of man I am! I have no strength, but I want it all. I have no knowledge, but all I do is dream. There’s nothing I can do, but I struggle in vain. […] All I do is talk a big game and make myself sound like a big shot when I can’t do anything! I never do anything, yet I can complain like a pro. Who do I think I am?! It’s amazing that I can live like this and not feel ashamed. […] I had all that time, all that freedom, I could have done anything, but I never did a thing. And this is the result! What I am now is the result! All of my powerlessness, all of my incompetence, is the product of my rotten character. Wanting to accomplish something, when I’ve never done anything, goes beyond the limits of arrogance.

—           “From Zero.” Re:Zero


I know that no matter how deeply you have fallen into darkness, you still have the courage to reach out your hand.

—           “From Zero.” Re:Zero

Review Summary

Highlights

Subaru opening up and breaking down to Rem in the way he never really could with Emilia. Also, him admitting, while being a bit self-deprecating, his faults and issues.

Rem’s speech about how she loved Subaru. Oh, the amount of tears.

Low Points

Fatigue from this loop going over and over again is starting to come. Here is hoping Subaru’s death this episode is the last one for this storyline. After all that has happened this episode, they can maybe pull one more checkpoint and maybe a handful of loops, but this one, in particular, needs to end.


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