Re: Zero Episode 34 (Season 2 Episode 9) Review

Welcome to Anime Rants, where we’re taking a look at this week’s episode of Re: Zero.

First of of all I have to say that although it took over 30 episodes, I have grown to like Subaru. I’m fond of the character. My biggest problem with him before was that he didn’t seem aware of his many faults and annoying traits, but by season 2 he is keenly aware of them and trying to make life work with those hurdles. The moment that made me smile and sealed my fondness for Subaru was when he took courage against the Witch of Envy inside, not willing to play according to her plan. He said, “Nobody’s better than me at betraying people’s expectations!” I loved that. Subaru turned a negative trait into a tool to fight his curse.

In the castle of dreams world where the Witches’ souls reside, Echidna tells Subaru about the Great Rabbit, one of the three strongest mabeasts, which was created by the Witch of Gluttony. It seems that the Rabbit will strike and kill everyone in the sanctuary if the barrier is not broken quickly enough. Echidna suggests the risky idea of speaking to the spirit of Daphne, Witch of Gluttony, and asking her how to deal with the monstrous “rabbits.” Subaru agrees even with the warning that he could lose his mind permanently.

The little Ojou-chan lolita Witch is quite excited to meet Subaru. But she begins to drive him mad immediately by tearing apart his body. There is no physical death or pain in this dimension, but the mental horror of being dismembered and shattered is still there. Fortunately, Minerva the Witch of Wrath intervenes, repairing Subaru. She notes that the previous girl was Typhon, one of the other Witches, and not Daphne. After Minerva vanishes in a comedic rage at Typhon, Daphne finally arrives. She’s bound and blindfolded, and Subaru has been ordered not to touch her.

Daphne is straight to the point in all matters during their talk. She wants to eat Subaru, but is restrained. She created the Three Mabeasts to be able to feed the world, or so she says– despite the fact that the beasts eat far more than they feed. She gives important information about the Great Rabbit openly, such as the way it is attracted to strong mana, and the way the infinite rabbits actually share one consciousness. If they can be kept gathered in one place, using a powerful magic user as a lure, then it’s possible to destroy them all faster than they multiply.

When Echidna reappears, she encourages Subaru to take the trials in Emilia’s place. He had been wanting to do that anyway. But it’s frustrating to me that Echidna has absolutely no hope for Emilia passing the trials; she says she can’t ever envision the “cowardly princess” coming out of her shell. If the hints in the Frozen Bond OVA are right, then Emilia’s past truly is a terrible thing. It would take anyone a long time and a lot of effort, brains, and courage to overcome such facing such things. I believe that Emilia has a curse from the Witch of Envy as well, or is perhaps herself the unwilling incarnation of Satella. Her powers, which she could not control, likely caused all of the Elves to become frozen ice statues.

That aside, Subaru is beginning to be drawn back to reality. As a small payment for all her information and kindness, Echidna asks for the handkerchief that Petra tried around Subaru’s wrist. The physical item will not disappear. Rather, the payment is the recognition of the existence of one who cares wholeheartedly and innocently for Subaru. So Echidna says. She also mentions she may “meddle,” so I have no idea what will happen with Petra next time we see her. Subaru finally returns to the waking world.

Chaos unfolds immediately. There’s no slowing down in this season. Emilia is gone, and an ominous shadow covers the ground all around the ruined church. The Witch of Envy, Satella, appears from the shadow and embraces Subaru, repeating over and over that he loves him. This was more unsettling than ever, since Satella truly does resemble Emilia in appearance and voice. At that moment, Garfiel intervenes and runs away with Subaru. For the moment, they are safe. But this apparition of Satella isn’t following them– it’s headed for Roswaal’s mansion.

After the credits, Roswaal is shown hugging one of the large Gospels to his body. He says some mysterious things, including, “Try not to make any mistakes next time, Natsuki Subaru.” We have an intense ending here. I’m legitimately excited for next week. And I think that wraps everything up, so thanks for reading. It’s much appreciated. Sayonara!


PATREON

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