Anime

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 39: The Best Bro and Upping the Stakes

Introduction

In Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 39, “STRAIGHT BET,” Otto beats the meaning of friendship into Subaru. Emboldened by this unusual act of bro-ness, Subaru confronted Roswaal and made an outrageous bet with him. Is Subaru in his right mind? Is Roswaal right and Subaru’s being too “greedy” — and all that implies? Or is Subaru on to something — something big?

Somehow, I was lucky enough to collaborate on not one, not two, but three reviews this season with Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime! And one of them’s Re:ZERO! How cool is that? Very cool, that’s how cool!

Irina, before I dive in, any opening thoughts on the episode? 

I’m the lucky one. It’s no secret that I’m not exactly the biggest re:Zero fangirl, but it is so much better with a friend. 

I also couldn’t imagine the Promised Neverland without Crow, it’s sort of a unit in my head.

As for opening thoughts. I was a little afraid I would have forgotten everything again. I seem to suffer from a very specific re:Zero amnesia. However, I’m happy to report I recognized most of the characters! 

I’m in plain type, Irina’s in bold type, and there will be spoilers. 

Four Key Moments in Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 39

As usual, Re:ZERO packed a ton of information into a single episode. There were four major events I’d like to touch on. I’d like to say they’re important, but hey, this is Re:ZERO. Who knows how it’ll work out? Anyway, we first get Otto in his Solid Bro Moment(™). Then, Subaru confronts Roswaal, clown to clown. Subaru tries to enlist Ryuuzu (well, one of the Ryuuzus, at least). And finally, we get the triumphant return of Puck

I have to admit one of the things I don’t like about the franchisees is how exposition heavy it is. So many info dump monologues. It’s just not something I tend to appreciate in animes but I have a feeling I would like it a lot better in novel form.

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 39: Otto’s Bro Moment

Otto’s Bro Moment Setup

This episode picks right up where we left him at the end of the previous season. Of that moment, Irina had said, “And even now, in the last minutes when all seems lost, it’s Otto is there to bring Subaru back to his senses!” And that’s exactly what Otto did here.

I’ll give Otto this — he had an effective head-butt. He’s pretty insightful, too! I had laugh when he got Subaru so angry that our hero charged, only to trip on a root. 

“You finally lost your temper, but you forgot to pay attention to your footing. That just sums you up perfectly, doesn’t it?” Dang, Otto! But it’s exactly what Subaru needed to hear. It convinced Subaru that he could ask Otto for help. Subaru still hesitated, though, and said he didn’t know if Otto would believe him. 

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 39: Otto is a real Bro

Otto’s grown a lot since he was a one-note merchant driving a wagon! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

“Just stalk talking. I’ll listen until you finish,” the merchant said. There was something just honest and hopeful about this scene. What did you think, Irina?

Reaction to Otto’s Moment

Otto is one of the few characters I actually like. I guess that’s not fair, but he’s one of the few not evil characters I actually like. I enjoyed seeing him. In fact, I would say the opening act all the way up to the credits was pretty fun. I was really pleasantly surprised. It was way more fun than I have had with re:Zero in a good long while.

I was getting all ready for a long drawn out pity party from Subaru, but once again it was Otto to the rescue. One thing I was wondering about, when Subaru said he had asked a friend for help, was he talking about Roswaal? Has Subaru ever considered Roswaal a friend? If so, Subaru is kinda mean to his friends. This said, he’s been pretty mean to Otto as well, so maybe he’s just that type of guy. He’s all about the ladies, not so much the gentlemen. He was nicer to Echidna than to Otto.

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 39: Two Clowns against the World

Subaru Confronts Roswaal

Otto’s inspiration didn’t stop with just asking Otto for help. Subaru decided to confront Roswaal. He walked right in and told the disciple of Echidna that he, Subaru, was going to save the mansion, liberate Sanctuary, put Emilia on the throne, and would even see that Roswaal’s dreams came true. 

I’ll tell you what. It was worth the price of admission to see Roswaal astonished. It’s plain he’s not used to it! He rallied and told Subaru that the “sheer greed” of Subaru’s goals amazed him — a clear reference to Subaru’s relationship to Echidna. Subaru’s confidence faltered for an instant, but he recovered with my favorite quote of the episode: “Roswaal, put the clown makeup back on, okay? You’re throwing me off my stride. As two clowns at the mercy of fate, let’s fight this out fair and square.”

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 39: It's unusual to see Roswaal so shocked

Gotta admit — seeing Roswaal so shocked was interesting. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I like the idea of “two clowns at the mercy of fate.”

Irina, Roswaal’s one of your favorite characters in the series, isn’t he? What’d you think of this scene?

Reinforcing What We Already Know

It was nice to see them both smiling, I guess, but I didn’t really get the point of the scene. I think it was just a bit more expo in case we forgot what happened in the first part: They reestablished the various upcoming conflicts. As a utilitarian scene it was alright. Those are never that interesting if you don’t need them. but if I had waited a year between part 1 and part 2, I bet I would have been really happy they added it.

Subaru Tracks Down Ryuuzu

Subaru Finds Ryuuzu Arma

This episode could have subtitled “Subaru’s Quest for Assistance,” because he next tracked down Ryuuru. I think we knew that there were more than one, with several of them being supervisors. Turns out there are three supervisors right now, and Subaru was talking to Ryuuzu Arma. At first, she thought that he’d compel her to help him using his authority as an Apostle of Greed. He said nah, he wanted her to help of her own free will. She didn’t have a response to that. I love verbal interplay like that. I liked it even more because Ryuuzu’s voice actor, Aimi Tanaka, has such a beautiful, lyrical voice! 

We learned something here, and I don’t understand the importance. There were four Ryuuzu supervisors, but one disobeyed the rules and now lives in the forest. That was Ryuuzu Shima, and the rule she broke was that she dashed into the trial dungeon to save Garfiel when underwent the trial and didn’t return. 

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 39: Ryuuzu was surprised, too

Subaru was on a streak — he surprised folks left and right! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Any idea how this might be important, Irina?

Ryuuzu Underwhelms

Ok, I’m sorry to all the fans out there but man, Ryuuzu is boring. I had so much trouble focusing on her monologue and I honestly don’t care that much about her at all. 

So Echidna made Ryuuzu, probably for sh*ts and giggles as Echidna does and I assume the older models had some sort of authority. As senpais and all. Then Echidna put a bunch of rules, for funsies and when one disobeyed she randomly punished it. This sounds oddly familiar.

I bet Echidna doesn’t care anymore if she even remembers. In any case, I’m not sure it’s important in any way. 

Not Emilia’s Pout

Puck Returns

I’d like to talk about Emilia’s pout next. It’s a very nice pout! And I’d like to talk about Subaru’s tender scene where he comforted her. But, well, I’m not the mushy type, and I think the next scene was even more important. I’m talking about the scene where Puck came back.

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 39: Emilia has an adorable pout

I’m in the Camp of Rem, and even I have to admit that Emilia has a pretty pout. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

But not for long.

At first, I thought, “Hey, cute! Little Puck!” But Puck was more little because Puck was leaving. He didn’t say why because he said he didn’t have time. In what might be the biggest expression of confidence in Subaru ever, Puck said “I’m entrusting you to the one whose love for you is second only to mine.”

Then, warning her that her memories would be unlocked when he disappeared, the crystal that was his home cracked on its chain around Emilia’s neck, and Puck was gone. 

Emilia was distraught, but not as distraught was she became when she remembered her mother, Fortuna. 

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 39: Puck abandoned Emilia?

What’s Emilia going to do without Puck? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Clearly, I need to watch Memory Snow, because it looks like those are the events that Emilia remembered. What’d you think of this scene, Irina?

Puck, The Best Part of Emilia?

I know I mentioned this in the past but Emilia is the most boring character ever. Well, she is to me. Aside from the character design, I really have no interest for this character at all. Except for Puck. I do like her dynamic with Puck which is why I liked her so much more in season 1. 

Anyway, this was basket case Emilia and apparently she has some Frozen background. I have never seen Frozen. I wanted to, but by the time I got around to it, I had heard so much about it, I was kind of over it already. The craze has died down now, maybe I should go back and watch Frozen. I bet I would understand tons of references that are going over my head at the moment.

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 39 Wrap Up

The show ended with Emilia going missing after a nightmare. Subaru had promised he’d stay with her, but he was gone when she woke up. However, he knew right where to find her — in the trial dungeon. When he saw down beside her, we could see that his face was all scratched up. 

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 39: At least Subaru came back to Emilia

I’m not sure why Subaru left Emilia, but when he found her, he was all scratched up. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

What’d you think of the episode, Irina?

I quite enjoyed the scenes between Otto and Subaru, as well as the short scene with Roswaal. Subaru looked like he was actually having fun in that scene, that might be a first. I also got curious about what exactly the plan is. That last conversation between Garfiel and Otto piqued my interest.

The rest of the episode wasn’t really my thing. I didn’t connect much with it and maybe I just don’t get it. Overall, I would say I liked this episode more than most of part 1. And I do like the set up, like I said. I’m curious to see what Subaru and Otto have planned. 

That’s the thing with time loops, it’s at it’s best when everything comes together. So that bodes well for part 2!

And with Subaru trying to de-emphasize Return by Death, we might see quite a difference in his approach. Now, we wait for next week!

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 39: Other Posts

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8 thoughts on “Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 39: The Best Bro and Upping the Stakes

  1. I really recommend you guys watch frozen bonds. It is quite important to the story and explains Emilia’s character. It even makes me like her and understand her relationship with Puck a lot more.

  2. Roswaal would never lay groundwork for Subaru to beat him in the next loop, so it’s clear Roswaal is indicating he is laying some groundwork for himself, meaning he really wants to win this bet. Here’s what I think. Roswaal seemed to think it’s not a bad idea to lay the groundwork for the next loop, which indicates Roswaal thinks that the bet he and Subaru made will affect Subaru in the next loop, which will be something Subaru has never experienced before, having a consequence from a previous loop directly inconvenience him in the next loop.

    I’m not sure what kind of bet would be able to transfer over between lives, but I have a theory based off of my theory of souls and soul scents that I have posted about before. As you recall from episode 18 of Re:zero, Petelgeuse indicated that in death, he would be reunited with the Witch, which indicates there’s an afterlife and strongly indicates the presence of souls in Re:zero. Arbiter Melakuera indicated there was reincarnation in Re:zero in the Re:zero OVAs, which is a second instance that suggests that there are souls in Re:zero. Season 2 confirmed that souls are a thing in a Re:zero when Echidna indicated that her soul was trapped in the Witch’s Graveyard in the afterlife. As we all know, the Witch has a very foul smell given what we know of Subaru and Witch cultists, and I speculate that the reason they reek of her scent is because her soul smells horrible considering that her body is very likely sealed and should have no biological function. This suggests that Subaru and Witch cultists have their souls bonded to Satella, the Witch of Envy’s soul, and that is the source of the smell. I’m now getting to my point. I believe that the first step of Return by Death involves resetting time, restoring Subaru’s body and resetting to a previous point in time and that when Subaru dies, his soul goes to the afterlife, and the reason Subaru smells more strongly of the Witch after a death is because of increased exposure to the Witch’s soul. This suggests that the soul does not reset with Return by Death, or else he wouldn’t smell more strongly of the Witch after a death. This also suggests the soul is the reason Subaru retains his memories from previous lives since his brain shouldn’t remember anything since it is straight up restored to its previous state, meaning the second step of Return by Death is sending Subaru’s soul back into his restored body. As for why Subaru can’t remember spending time with Satella in the afterlife, remember when Echidna forced Subaru to forget that he had met her after her first tea party with him? That shows that the Witches of Sin have the power to do that and would explain why Subaru wouldn’t remember meeting Satella.

    So if Roswaal and Subaru’s bet somehow has a mandatory effect on the soul, then Subaru would be forced to do whatever Roswaal wishes even after a death because Return by Death does not reset the soul. This could have some very huge implications if this is indeed what Roswaal has in mind. I hope Subaru can actually win on this loop, as otherwise, I think he might be in for another mental breakdown if he is forced to choose either the Sanctuary or the mansion in the next loop against his will if he fails during this current loop. I do want to note that it’d be an interesting way to add tension to the story since Subaru would not be able to kill himself to undo the effect on his soul. This could be a very dangerous bet Subaru made, so he better win, or I suspect he’ll be Roswaal’s lapdog in the future.

    Another thing I found interesting was what Subaru said to Otto. One thing I didn’t think was clear based off of Crunchyroll’s subs was what Subaru meant when he said, “Unlike Garfiel, I don’t have to worry about dying.” Did Subaru tell Otto offscreen that he can’t die? Or did Subaru mean that if Garfiel tried to get Emilia to spill the beans, that he might die because she’d panic and lose control of her powers since she doesn’t trust Garfiel while that wouldn’t happen if he himself talked to Emilia since they have a connection. If he indeed told Otto offscreen that he can’t die, maybe that is a convenient way to get around attempting to tell somebody about Return by Death or his looping. Echidna did mention that Subaru would never experience true death, so maybe telling someone he is immortal but not mentioning RBD or his looping would be something Satella would be okay with him sharing.

    1. “which will be something Subaru has never experienced before, having a consequence from a previous loop directly inconvenience him in the next loop.”

      I’ll be interested to see how that plays out. I haven’t seen this kind of exchange before. I’ve always enjoyed how the writer evolves Subaru’s situation. It’s rarely static! That gives the show depth.

      “and the reason Subaru smells more strongly of the Witch after a death is because of increased exposure to the Witch’s soul. ”

      That make sense. I think I’m following you.

      “That shows that the Witches of Sin have the power to do that and would explain why Subaru wouldn’t remember meeting Satella.”

      That makes sense.

      “So if Roswaal and Subaru’s bet somehow has a mandatory effect on the soul, then Subaru would be forced to do whatever Roswaal wishes even after a death because Return by Death does not reset the soul.”

      Interesting! I wonder how Roswaal would know all of that? Because of his book? Because of how much he’s studied the witches?

      “This could be a very dangerous bet Subaru made, so he better win, or I suspect he’ll be Roswaal’s lapdog in the future.”

      That could be a real problem.

      “Did Subaru tell Otto offscreen that he can’t die?”

      I wondered about that, too. In fact, I was worried that Satella might show up and kill Otto like she killed Emilia back in the first season.

      “Echidna did mention that Subaru would never experience true death, so maybe telling someone he is immortal but not mentioning RBD or his looping would be something Satella would be okay with him sharing.”

      I haven’t seen any evidence of that — but it’s worth keep our eyes open!

  3. Memory Snow doesn’t deal with those memories; it starts with Emilia and Puck already being together but not yet having a contract. It’s really about spirits more than anything. But it’s good and Emilia is way more fun in that one than she’s been in *any* Re:Zero, IMO, including season 1.

    I had fun with this episode, but there’s just little to say. It’s basicaly a reminder episode and we start on the new path. Otto’s first scene was great, but also pretty much a variation of what we’ve seen near the end of last season. Nearly everything was. We’ll see where this goes.

    1. Memory Snow doesn’t deal with these memories? I’ve been misinformed!

      And it looks like I’ve contributed…

      That’s a great way to start 2021.

      I thought the confrontation with Roswaal was the highlight. I’ve never seen Roswaal so taken aback before! For someone like him who’s usually so much in control, I thought it was a fun development.

      And you’re right — now it’s time to see where it goes!

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