Re:ZERO Season 2 Ep 31 Introduction
I’m glad you could join us for our collaboration review of Re:ZERO Season 2 Ep 31 (or 6 if you’re counting from the start of the season) called The Maiden’s Gospel. If you’re wondering if the show’s lost any of its punch, I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say no, it’s still very punchy. Before we dive in, any opening remarks, Irina (of I Drink and Watch Anime fame)?
I’ve updated my router and now my streaming is all smooth and quick like a bunny. It makes watching anime a real pleasure. You know it’s the little things you don’t really notice. I never had any issues watching anime before or anything. It’s just that once in awhile the image quality would go down. No big deal. It’s a little thing I probably would have hardly noticed at all if I wasn’t taking all those screencaps.
But now that it’s not an issue anymore it just hit me how much better this is. I find myself watching more anime or trying out all sorts of different shows just to see how they “look”.
Re:Zero is pretty conventional with the visuals but it was still nice to see all those designs in their full glory. And since we get some Beatrice next week, I can’t wait to admire those curls!
Glad you ironed out the technical issues!
I’m in standard font; Irina’s bold. There will be spoilers. I mean, it’s Re:ZERO. I don’t even know how we’d talk about an episode without spoilers. Except to say, “Ow.”
Dude spoilers! I’m sort of watching Dorohedoro at the moment so a lot of anime seems pretty mild in comparison.
What Happened in Re:ZERO Season 2 Ep 31
Subaru threw himself right back into the action after the save point. Too bad that might have been his most peaceful moment. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
This episode contained a lot of Re:ZERO Goodness(™). Subaru learned that the memories after Return by Death don’t always help him. Something Subaru said troubled Ram, quite a lot, but not in the usual way that what Subaru says troubles her. A little later, Ram made me think that perhaps she’d lost her mind, but I think it was only temporary. In fact, it was so temporary that she was back to herself and schooling Frederica in the fine art of verbal combat just moments later. And finally, we learn something critical about Knifey (a.k.a. Elsa Granhiert) — something I’m sure she would not have told Subaru had she known his power.
You were right – they actually confirmed that her name is Elsa. Subaru has a way better memory than me. In my defence if she had killed me, I may have remembered her. I’m also going to keep calling her Knifey though. Frozen may have sort of ruined the name Elsa for me and now. I was just waiting for her to burst into song the whole time. It would have been funny!
Talk about not being able to unsee!
A Limit to Return by Death’s Insights
Emilia felt like Subaru wanted to take on the trial because he couldn’t trust her to do it. He had badly misjudged the situation. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Subaru Had Good Intentions…
At the end of the previous episode, Knifey had disemboweled Subaru. His save point was just after he’d finished his classroom rendezvous with Echidna (okay, it was the end of the trial, but putting that way is more fun). Emilia woke up terrified from her trial. This time, Subaru acted quickly by comforting her. Later, in the cabin, she even surprised everyone (including Subaru) by saying Subaru had helped her calm down.
That’s when he accidentally overstepped. Turns out Return by Death’s insights don’t always help the way he wants them to. He offered to take on the next two trials instead of Emilia, because “I want to be your strength.” Garfiel’s strong opposition surprised him. Garfiel had suggested the idea in the previous timeline. Emilia’s reaction, though, really surprised Subaru.
She was very upset. She thought he wanted to take on her trials because he didn’t trust her to do it. On one hand, I had to respect her for wanting to face her past. On the other, I thought of your recent post, Irina, about knowing when to give up. What’d you think?
But Emilia’s Not Made of Porcelain!
I think they are going a bit overboard with turning Emilia into the helpless Damsel this season. She deserves a chance to shine. And although it is very difficult for her, liberating Sanctuary is a task she undertook and found some pride in. The people had rallied around her. She made the difficult decision to do something very dangerous because she honestly thought it was for the greater good and she tried really hard.
Regardless of what machinations were happening behind the curtain, I can see why having all that effort she put into getting some self-assurance ripped away from her like that would be terribly painful and just a little insulting. Especially from someone, she considers a friend. It was the one thing she could do, and now Subaru is saying he’ll do it instead. I mean that does sting. To borrow your expression: Ouch!
Besides, it’s not like she’s guaranteed to fail or Subaru is guaranteed to pass. All we actually know at this point is that he had a much better childhood than her and that’s hardly news. It doesn’t mean the next tests will also favour him.
Good points. I was honestly glad to see her object.
Ram remembered… something. Not Rem, but she remember some of the events Rem had been part of. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Subaru wanted to get back to the mansion as quickly as possible. I gotta give the guy points for bravery — heading back to the spot you know you’ll get disemboweled if you’re not careful sounds, you know, painful and unpleasant. Roswaal suggested he take Ram, and you can guess how enthusiastic she felt about it.
You said it twice now. Did he actually get disembowelled or just skewered? Nifty was there to do a job, she didn’t seem particularly interested in torture or anything fancy. Did I forget what happened in the last episode again? This is getting really embarrassing.
I might be wrong, but I think the reason Subaru tripped at the end of the last episode is that he suddenly found his feet tangled in his intestines. But there’s a chance I was reading too much into it!
Garfiel showed up to say goodbye, and Subaru expressed his relief that Garfiel wasn’t going to try to stop him. He joked that he was afraid he’d have to throw Ram into the forest as a diversion. Subaru noticed she looked pensive, and it didn’t lift as they rode towards the mansion. He finally asked her about it.
Ram Has a Good Memory
She said what he’d said bothered her because it felt “something like that has really happened before.” She remembered some of the events Rem had been part of, even if she couldn’t remember Rem herself.
In fact, Ram recalled the events of episode 10 (original version) around 22:03. Rem had been on a rampage against mabeasts, and Ram and Subaru had been desperate to stop her. So Subaru threw Ram at Rem.
This show has a lot of memories….
This is a jab at me, isn’t it?
You know one of our readers told me to watch the OVA which I plan on doing this weekend so I can refresh myself a little on the lore. So have your fun while you still can birdboy!
I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it. You rock Crow!
You had me nervous for a minute there!
Has Ram Gone Insane?
Ram actually asked Subaru what they should do. And she wasn’t being sarcastic! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Shortly afterward, Ram and Subaru made it back to the mansion. Subaru greeted a startled Petra with huge affection (seriously, how hard would it be to watch those around you die and die and die again?). That’s when Ram gave me a start. I thought she’d gone insane.
She asked Subaru what they should do. Unironically. Without sarcasm.
Not sure why, but that was one of the highlights of the episode for me!
One of the highlights for me was her making fun of Garfiel’s feelings for her. You know, she was surprisingly gentle about it, for Ram I mean. It made me smile, do hope we see those two together a bit more.
Let me be clear though, I do not want to see them as a couple, that would be tedious. But having them just as playfully flirty was cute. It’s nice that Ram finally has other interests.
Nope – Not Insane!
Fortunately, Ram wasn’t insane. Plus, her verbal combat skills were as shart as ever! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
Subaru and Ram both suspected Frederica, so they confronted her in the civilized way: over tea. Subaru came out and asked why Frederica had given Emilia the teleport crystal, which was the catalyst for taking Subaru into Sanctuary. Frederica had no idea what he was talking about, and the more they talked, the more obvious it became that she was being honest.
In an attempt to trip her up, or maybe just because she’s Ram, Ram berated the other maid’s tea. Annoyed because she was proud of her tea making skills (talk about a battle of Top Maids!), Frederica called her unlovable.
I adored Ram’s response, which was, “I’m perfectly lovable. If I were more lovable, the world would be in danger.”
Now, that’s that Ram I know! Whatever temporary insanity had driven her to ask Subaru’s opinion seems to have passed.
One of our readers said that Frederica was being controlled by Roswaal. As in he gave her the pendant and the orders. They sounded like they knew what they were talking about and had potentially read the novels. And there certainly are plenty of reasons for Roswaal to have hatched such a plan.
Still, a little part of me is hoping for a surprise twist. A new evil to discover or maybe even… dun dun dun treason! I mean with Roswal these things don’t even count as a heel turn anymore, it’s just sort of par for the course. But if it was the new baby maid (Petra), now that would be a turn of events!
Knifey Lets Something Slip
Despite being in obviously bad shape, Subaru had the sense to get Elsa to drop some clues. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
A Tough Fight Sequence
Irina, I’m not sure how much we want to say about the battle that started when Knifey/Elsa entered the room as she held a knife to Petra’s throat. The ensuing battle was brutal. It escalated beyond what I expected when a vicious mabeast arrived. And it ended with several shots from Subaru’s perspective, where to his credit he never let go of Petra’s hand.
Even after it was no longer attached to her body.
Wow, you really did skip a lot. Then again, there’s not that much to say. It was really action-heavy. I guess we could describe it like an old Batman episode with zings and kapows!
I have to admit, pretty much the second they jumped out of the window I thought to myself, why doesn’t Subaru just grab one of those big needle things and plunge it into his heart before his save point resets at an inconvenient spot. But I was going to give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m sure dying isn’t super fun even though he used to treat it as a minor annoyance. O.k., maybe he thinks they can still do something or he wants to gather more info.
But as the damage to their side got worse and worse and he was too out of it to really pay attention to what was happening, I was just like, what is he waiting for? It’s a weird show that makes you impatient for the main protagonist’s death but there you go.
All I can say is I hope it’s not too late now. (I don’t think it’s too late, re:Zero isn’t that type of show).
In case the introduction of Echidna made us forget, these scenes reminded us: the world of Re:ZERO is horrifically dangerous.
Subaru Kept His Wits About Him
Something Knifey said at the end struck me. Subaru, bloody, unsteady on his feet, and broken-hearted over Petra’s death, still had the presence of mind to get Elsa to talk. He was trying to gather as much information as he could before he spent his life in defence of Rem, who was on the other side of the door.
Kinda touching he decided to make this timeline’s last stand there.
Knifey said that she would never betray her client, which means she didn’t visit the mansion just for the pleasure of slicing. Someone had hired her. Even more interesting, they had hired her with the intent of her meeting Subuaru. Whoever was pulling the strings knew about when he’d be back.
What do you make of that, Irina?
They knew exactly when he would be back. She mentioned he showed up too early and we know that he ended up arriving at the mansion two days earlier this time around. So it’s someone that had eerily perfect pre-reset information that didn’t change when Subaru went back. But it seems that a lot of the travel decisions were made after the reset point, so how would they have known?
If it’s someone feeding Knifey information from the inside, someone from Sanctuary for instance, why didn’t they update her this time? It’s very odd. It’s as if someone who can see the future arranged this based on a future that existed one day before the reset or something. Are there oracles in reZero? Probably.
Beatrice to the Rescue?
Subaru did not expect that. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
The last scene was another agony for Subaru. Instead of entering the room where Rem lay sleeping, he opened the door onto Beatrice’s library. She had saved him, and the pain in his voice made it plain that he wasn’t happy about it. I’ll give Yuusuke Kobayashi, Subaru’s voice actor, credit: he nailed the sound of anguish in this episode.
I’m really looking forward to his conversion with Beatrice in the next episode.
Irina, what did you think of the episode?
You know Bea is my favourite. I can’t wait to see her next week. I was really wondering why Subaru didn’t just go straight to her and give her the password Ram told him last time around.
I also hope they didn’t screw up the reset point. I would find that very surprising, but still a little part of me worries.
Reviews of the Other Episodes
- Re:Zero 2 episode 1 – Like Dejà Vu All Over Again
- Re:ZERO 2 episode 2 (ep 27) – The Lost Forest of Clemaldy
- Re:ZERO 2 episode 3 (ep 28) – The Long-Awaited Reunion
- Re:ZERO 2 episode 4 (ep 29) – That Should Not Have Worked
- Re:ZERO 2 episode 5 (ep 30) – Once More Unto the Breach
- Re:ZERO 2 episode 6 (ep 31) – Knifey and the Three Maids
- Re:ZERO 2 episode 7 (ep 31) – Beatrice’s Reasons
- Re:ZERO 2 Episode 8 (or 33) – Before I Heard You, I Saw You
- Re:ZERO 2 Episode 9 (or 34) – Natsuki Subaru and the Magical Maniacal Menagerie
- Re:ZERO 2 Episode 10 (or 35) – The Witch’s Tears and the Apostle of Greed
- Re:ZERO 2 Episode 11 (or 36) – Fridge Horror