Re:Zero Starting Life in Another World Season 2 Limited Edition

Re:0 -Beginning Existence in Every other International- Season 2 Restricted Version Anime Blu-Ray Evaluate

For the past ten years, as wave after wave of isekai mush has swept over me, my constant mantra has been, “Just make it about something!” Put an end to the trite, calming content that is meant to be as undemanding and clichéd as possible! Put your petty ideas of retaliation aside. Not to mention all the television shows that feature slavery. Themes from Re:Zero: Starting Life in Another World’s second season could hit you over the head like a hammer, but at least they’re there.

To be completely honest, I found Re:Zero’s first season to be rather boring. I thought the world was too indulgent, Rem too fawning, and Subaru too annoying and self-centered. Even though I wasn’t very fond of what I had seen, the universe and plot were intriguing to me. Maybe the focus changed for the second season, but I discovered around halfway through that I wasn’t just interested in it—I was enjoying it. Thank God, I enjoyed it.

The fact that Subaru gives up a lot of the focus for the majority of the show and lets other characters take center stage—especially in the second half of the season—probably helps. As odd as it may seem, this is a reflection of Subaru’s development as a person. Subaru participates in one of Sanctuary’s challenges in a previous episode, transporting him to a make-believe version of his childhood home with his parents. This explains why he is the way he is: Subaru always felt under pressure to keep up with his father, who is a leader in the community. He turned into the clown when he reached a stage where he could no longer do things with ease. Eventually, he withdrew, unable to imagine himself as likeable in his own right, as his peers lost interest in his gimmick. He was nothing if he wasn’t the protagonist of this new world, which is what initially made him so annoying. He can accept other people’s humanity and agency now that he knows that those by his side care about him as a human, rather than always attempting to fit himself into the position of the main character.

Rem also remains in a coma the entire season. Apologies, Rem devotees. She is uninteresting to me, and I didn’t miss her at all.

As a result of Subaru and Rem using up less oxygen, more duration is devoted to more captivating and compelling characters. This includes both newcomers like Garfiel and Echidna as well as those who have been present since the beginning, like Roswaal and Ram. At times, the new cast does exhibit harem dynamics — sorry, Subaru being treated like the center of the universe again — but overall, they have enough going on in their own right that I don’t feel like their stories are getting overtaken by their love for the main character. Emilia actually gets a lot more attention than anyone else in the season’s climactic act.

Even while Emilia was adamant about not wanting Subaru to be too attached to her and to give her the freedom to make her own decisions, a significant part of Emilia’s personality is her emotional dependence on Puck, despite her difficulty trusting other people. She doesn’t do anything on her own, despite her objections to Subaru flying in to help her. I used to view that as damseling in the first season, but now I see it as a flaw that she needs to overcome, regardless of whether it was her purpose from the beginning or it became apparent once the plot started. Seeing her develop was so fulfilling.

Emilia is by no means alone in this. The second season of Re:Zero has a somewhat convoluted plot, to be honest. There’s a lot of time and place jumping, and each character has their backstory explored and disclosed in turn. As each episode passed over me, I eventually just sat back and hoped that everything would become evident in the end. What was the snow situation? When the story was about escaping Sanctuary, why all the fuss about mabeasts? What was happening at the mansion of Roswaal? The finer points of the what and why take a backseat to the bigger picture for the time being, but maybe when the third season starts, that will come back to bite me in the butt. In fact, I am really considering watching the third season of Re:Zero, which is a statement I never imagined I’d utter.

The bewildering presentation and the back-and-forth between time and place combine to create a stunning image with a single theme: in order to move past trauma, one must gaze both clearly into the unknown future and into their immutable past. No matter where it originated, be it Otto’s need to conceal his linguistic abilities or Subaru’s inferiority mentality, all wounds can only be healed. Since the future is unpredictable, trying to follow a set course will only serve to restrict you. The only path to self-actualization is acceptance of these two realities.

Even as Crunchyroll’s physical media releases grow increasingly scarce, they have decided to release this in a limited-edition bundle. Although the chipboard packaging has a decent appearance, the accessories are not really impressive. Although the art cards are wonderful, box sets these days usually include them. Although the stickers are meant to be reusable, I haven’t tested their longevity because I don’t really want to cover anything with a simple bust of Frederica. The art book is especially disappointing: it has a few background images, character model sheets, and genga, but nothing unique or insightful that would reveal to fans of the program any of the hidden depths they could not find online. Only creditless openers and trailers make up the on-disc bonuses. It is not worth the additional $20 over the regular edition for anything.

The nicest thing I could say about Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- before was that, compared to most post-2010 entries in the genre, it featured a more engaging storyline. I’m now seriously considering watching the first season over again in order to catch up on callbacks and ongoing narrative threads that I missed during this viewing of the second season. Like me, you may have been hesitant, but I strongly advise you to give it a try. If you’re an avid fan, though, and can’t decide between the limited and ordinary versions, go with the standard edition and use the $20 you save for anything else. Maybe a great supper out.

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