When Subaru first came to this other world, I doubt he believed that he’d get caught up in something like this.
I came into this series with very little knowledge of the Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World story. I basically knew nothing besides a little chatter around random events when they first aired. Then there was the little bits of information I could gather from Isekai Quartet. Apparently most of what I did know came from this episode.
What a messed up world this is. If you ever wanted to create your own fantasy world and were trying to create a clear evil group, take a look at the Witch’s Cult for inspiration. What a messed up group. No wonder Subaru lost his mind after the sights he just saw.
For starters, this episode is probably best viewed by a more mature audience. There are some pretty graphic, violent scenes on par with something like you see out of Berserk. Rem gets some especially rough treatment that she doesn’t deserve. I had a hard time watching it myself.
The violence is used to highlight just how rotten the Witch’s Cult really is. If the behavior of the Sin Archbishop Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti is any indication, the Witch’s Cult is really messed up. He somewhat reminded me of Caster from Fate/Zero. I know there are plenty of differences between the two characters but they both have the same sinister aura surrounding them. It’s like they’re both completely twisted and corrupted.
All that made me do is despise Petelgeuse even more. All of those pent up bad memories of Caster fueled my hatred for Petelgeuse even before he did what he did to Rem. I really hope that Subaru is able to figure out a way to get out of this mess and take down Petelgeuse. He needs to be relieved of his head.
One thing that did confuse me a little bit at the beginning of the episode was the timing of Subaru’s return by death. Once I saw Rem carrying some apples I first assumed that he had come back prior to the events that led to the fight with Emilia. It took a little bit, as well as a comment about their fight, to correctly orient myself to where I was in the story. I can see how this could be problematic going forward if there are moments that are too similar.
I’m not saying that Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World messed up in their timing. All I’m saying is that it is possible that Subaru’s return by death could lead to issues with the audience accurately figuring out where the story returns to. Logical continuity of a story is important, especially when there’s a mechanism that allows for time travel.
Now I’m wondering if Subaru would be able to go back further in time if he died right after coming back. Could Subaru continue to go back all the way to the beginning of his time in this other world? Can he only go back in time to the last return point? Does it work like a checkpoint in a video game? I doubt that will actually be addressed but who knows.
I get the feeling that Subaru is going to be a mental wreck by the time this series is over. We’ve already seen him close to losing it before and in episode 15 his mental state really takes a hit. Thankfully by the end of things Subaru has gotten back to a healthier mental state but I wouldn’t put it past him to digress again.
Is Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World Episode 15 Worth Watching?
Only if you have a strong stomach. This is one of those anime episode that will have you squirming in your seat. That said, it did a great job of introducing us to the real bad guys in this anime. I can’t think of a way to do it better off of the top of my head.
One last note, I did appreciate the ending of episode 15. The way in which the credits rolled while a decapitated Subaru stood in the snow holding a dead Rem was reminiscent of other anime with sad endings. To have that all erased in a moment by Subaru’s return by death skill made it seem like the animators were playing off of standard anime norms. I liked it. Now it’s off to see how Subaru gets out of this situation!
Now go watch some anime!