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Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41 – Young Garfiel and Simply Emilia

Quick Summary of Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41

In Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41, “Nobody Can Lift a Quain Stone Alone,” Garfiel, having somehow gotten past Otto and Ram, confronted Subaru and Emilia on the steps of the trial ruins. Overcome by despair at the memory of his attempt to get through the trial, Garfiel has decided to destroy the ruins — and trap all of them in Sanctuary, forever. Can Subaru, even with a revitalized Emilia by his side, even slow Garfiel down, much less convince him to stand down? He if can, does Emilia stand any hope of getting through the trial herself? And what happened to Otto and Ram?

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41: My Turn to Host!

Welcome to our collaboration review of Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2, Episode 41. Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime and I have teamed up to give you twice stunning insights. Well, 1.5x the insights. She usually has more insights than I do.

Irina, before we get to the review, any opening thoughts about the episode?

You always write so much when you host. The readers are going to think I’m a real slacker. I mean they’re not going to be entirely wrong, but I was hoping I could fool them a little bit longer. 

OK, so about this episode… let’s see… I guess it was impressive how they could still do exposition dumps in the middle of a fight. It’s sort of nostalgic, like classic DBZ or Sailor Moon fights.  

And I really enjoyed that out of nowhere erection metaphor. Crow said he didn’t see it. But I didn’t imagine that huge, long purple fist thing that was coming out of Subaru’s general crotch area, did I? Man I hope I didn’t, cause that seems like something you shouldn’t be hallucinating. Unlike all those good healthy hallucinations.

This is off to a great start!

It’s more likely our readers will think I’m an undisciplined writer for whom the word concise is aspirational. 

And yeah, I missed the metaphor first time through. Maybe I thought it was Subaru’s wish fulfillment?

Review of Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41

Introduction

I hope those of you who enjoy re:ZERO in novel, light novel, or manga form will pity those of us who are anime-only. Because there were three major developments in this week’s episode, and that’s not counting the interesting character developments that, in other series, would have constituted the episode’s high points!

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41: Garfiel figured prominently in this episode.

This was a Garfiel-heavy episode. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

In this episode, we learned the subject of Garfiel’s trial and the impact it had on his life. We learn that Subaru can take one helluva punch and not die (though one of his teeth, sadly, belongs to the ages). We also learned that Subaru can throw a respectable punch — and one punch that is, to most, invisible. The episode gives us a scene with Ram that was so shocking it made me question my understanding of reality, or at least my understanding of Ram. And finally, we get what is to a poor anime viewer as myself, a thunderbolt revelation of Emilia’s identify. 

And those are only the high points! Seriously, in some series, that would be a freaking cour.

Did I miss anything major, Irina?

I don’t think so. Honestly, you did way better than me. I really only noted one important event, maybe 1.5. So, I’m looking forward to seeing what I missed!

Garfiel, Living with the Failure of His Trial

Garfiel confronted Subaru and Emilia as they emerged from the ruins. Blood covered him, and he looked furious. Whatever had happened between him and Otto and Ram, it had reawakened his memories of his trial, and Garfiel was in complete despair. Unable to face his past, he declared his intent to rip the ruins apart and bring an end to the trials.

Now, the episode had opened with a view of what had happened. When Garfiel was very little, his mom had decided to leave him and Frederica Baumann behind in Sanctuary. Garfiel perceived it as his mom wanting to abandon the two of them and seek her own happiness. 

Somehow, Subaru had learned about this, and he hammered Garfiel hard with questions like, “Garfiel, what are you so afraid of?” Emilia confidently joined in and shared her experience in the trial. 

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41: Emilia tried to protect Subaru.

I’m curious what Emilia thought she was going to do. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The exchange was intense. As someone who adores dramatic dialogue, it riveted me to the scene. When it became clear that Garfiel wasn’t listening and intended to charge through them, Emilia actually stepped in front of Subaru, but he gently pushed her aside. Then Garfiel transfigured into his monster self.

Garfiel Goes Full Monster in Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41

Irina, what odds did you give Subaru of surviving at this point?

100%. 

I watch reZero during the evenings, so I did see a few tweets about it before watching the episode. And one was from this person who tweeted that they hoped Emilia would get a chance to do something this week. Then responded to their own tweet like 15 minutes later with “Yeah!” and a screencap of Emilia on the staircase with her arm in front of Subaru all protective like from this scene.

I was thrilled. So I get to the scene and I see them talking about stuff. Garf is getting increasingly angry (because as we learn later he’s going through puberty mood swings) and Emilia steps forward thrusting her arm out and I think:

Awww yeah, this is it. Emilia is going to whip out some ancient power and completely destroy this guy (in a non lethal way of course). Or maybe she’s going to muster up that confidence Crow mentioned and actually give a scathing and poignant speech that will own the boy so hard he won’t even be able to stand after that. Heck, she could seduce Garf, that would be super unexpected. Emilia the femme fatale! They could even play into the whole vulnerable thing they’ve been going for and make her cry and be so cute that Garf just can’t bring himself to even try to hurt them anymore.  Whatever the case may be, Emilia is here to save the day.

Emilia Manages Not to Save the Day

I don’t think I managed to get all those ideas quite sorted out in my head before Subaru just pushed her aside and she spent the rest of the scene literally standing in one spot with her hands folded on her chest.

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41: Emilia didn't protect Subaru

In Emilia’s defense, she was every bit as effective as Subaru in changing Garfiel’s mind. Which is to say, not at all. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

So now I’m wondering if the person on Twitter just saw those few cells and immediately took a screenshot and tweeted it out or did they saw the whole scene and they were being ironic. In any case, they got me good!

Yeah, that was a bit of a letdown. I wanted to see what she intended to do!

Garfiel charged. Subaru, instead of running for his life, charged, too! When he got within a few meters, Subaru screamed “Shamac!” and that dark cloud that’s his only magical ability billowed out. Garfiel couldn’t see his target, and in the confusion, Subaru stabbed Garfiel in the arm with the gem from Frederica’s pendant. 

I did not know that stone would revert Garfiel to his normal form, but it did. Subaru kept trying to talk sense into Garfiel, especially encouraging him to “Learned what strength in numbers means!”

Like Subaru didn’t just learn that lesson a few episodes ago!

So Long, Little Tooth

Garfiel, though, tenacious as all get out. He didn’t have his monster form, but the dude still had his fists. He landed a blow on Subaru’s face that he expected would drop our hero. Subaru just glared at him. Well, glared and spit the broken tooth out. RIP, little tooth.

Now we come to one of the major developments. Garfiel still would not listen to Subaru’s reasoning, and he charged again. You know that knot of Satella energy that we’ve seen within Subaru before? Well, it woke up. It took the form of a fist and slammed into Garfiel’s chin. 

Oh that was the erection looking thing, right? 

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41: This is not Subaru's new power.

An alternative representation of Subaru’s new power.

Yeah! It looked… just like that… You know, I really should have seen it right away.

And that’s the most unusual high five I’ve ever seen. Or is it a low five?

Shape aside, Irina, am I right in thinking that’s an awful lot like the power Petelgeuse wielded? What does this mean for our hero?

I gotta admit, that’s not where my mind went. But sure, your thing is really good too. Yeah, I mean  totally. Petelgeuse, that’s it. Who would ever think of anything other than that. I take it back, that is 100% exactly what I thought as well. It’s just like the Peter guy …

Garfiel’s One Tough SOB

The blow (hehehe) nearly finished Garfiel. But remember I said he was tenacious? I was selling him short. He would just not back down. Subaru was near the end of his endurance when Garfiel… well, he didn’t so much charge as shamble with purpose towards Subaru.

Fortunately, Subaru’s newfound appreciation of teamwork paid off. Patrasche decided it was her turn, and she smacked Garfiel across the courtyard and into a stone wall.

Nice shot, Patrasche.

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41: Patrasche to the rescue!

Well, somebody’s proud her herself! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I didn’t expect to see her. Did you, Irina?

I really like Patrasche. She always shows up just at the right time!

Subaru collapsed, and when he regained consciousness, he could that Emilia had laid his head in her lap. It was a pleasant continuation of their relationship, and I am sure Subaru enjoyed waking up that way. He was confused, though, when he asked Emilia about Garfiel, and Emilia answered that he was over by the wall. But that they shouldn’t interrupt.

Ram, Always Going Above and Beyond

Interrupt? Interrupt what? Subaru looked over and saw a sight that made me question space/time. 

Garfiel was lying unconscious. That’s not the unbelievable part. The unbelievable part was that Ram had placed his head in her lap.

Ram. 

Had placed Garfiel’s head.

In her lap.

I did not know such a thing as even possible. Now, I felt a little better about my worldview when he woke up. Because as soon as he came to, Ram asked if he was awake. As soon as he confirmed he was, she flicked him away and said, “Then get off me already.”

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41: Garfiel wakes up in Ram's lap

Ram’s not patting Garfiel’s head. She’s going to fling him off her lap. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Yeah, I exaggerated a little, but that shot was about the most unexpected thing I’ve seen this season! What did you think, Irina?

Yay, Emilia did contribute… as a pillow. She didn’t even get a chance to do first aid or something. It’s fine, I get that Subaru is the hero and he drives the action, but why does Emilia have to be so bland about it. She could have at least thrown him off like Ram or screamed out insults at Garf during the fight to distract him. 

You know how Flanderization is taking a minor flaw or tick a character has and slowly blowing so out of proportion that the character becomes ridiculous? This is the opposite of that . This is like slowly smoothing out any traits until the character is completely dull. And I think she deserves better.

Ram, Smacking Garfiel Around With Love

Apparently, Ram was well aware that Garfiel was in love with her. She declared, almost clearly, that she was most certainly not about to say how she felt but that he’d need to work hard to find out how she might feel. 

Ok, this time I feel like I actually remember something. We found out in part 1 that Ram knew all about Garf’s feelings. I’m almost sure of that.

Garfiel’s in for a long, though probably rewarding, journey.

Speaking of journeys, Garfiel does undergo the trial one more time. He confronts his past and learned, with the help of little Frederica, that his mom hadn’t left because the two of them were a burden on her. She’d left to find their father, who she intended to bring back to Sanctuary. A landslide had killed her on the way out, so little Garfiel had internalized the loss. 

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41: Garfiel finds closure

GArfiel got some much needed closure. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I’ve said this kind of thing before, but this series brings it out in me: In other series, that would have been a solid, satisfying emotional endcap to the episode. But it wasn’t enough for re:ZERO. No, it had to drop a major bomb after where the ED would have been, if this show had had one.

Emilia Heads Back In Near the End of Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41

Emilia entered the ruins to undergo the trial. She found all sorts of scribblings on the walls. They were dozens of encouraging sayings from Subaru. That seems to be where he was instead of keeping his promise to stay with her as she slept.

So, she’ll probably forgive him.

Her trial starts. And who do you think Emilia sees waiting for her in the dream forest? It’s Echidna! You might remember from previous review that I hold her in high esteem. Echidna berates Emilia, calling her bold and loose for kissing up to Subaru. Emilia stood silently, enduring the insults, until Echidna asked why the “witch’s daughter” didn’t say something.

So I’m thinking, cool, I get to see Echidna again! Wait, witch’s daughter? Is Emilia Satella’s daughter? I didn’t think she was the daughter — I thought she was Satella!

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41: Echidna wasn't happy to see Emilia.

Hey, look who’s back! And she doesn’t look happy! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Then Emilia adopted the finger pointing stance she’d learned from Subaru. I’m still in the warm glow from seeing the Witch of Greed when Emilia said, “My name is simply Emilia! I am the Frozen Witch, born in Elior Forest! I won’t give in to the malice of a fellow witch. I’m quite an insufferable woman, after all!”

Emilia’s a What, Now?

Okay. I have questions. But before that, Irina, what do you make of this development?

Honestly, I was so relieved to see that. Even though it did feel a little unearned. I’m not sure if it’s the pacing of the adaptation that’s off or I’m simply missing some cues. In any case, I thought it was a cute shot and exactly the sort of thing fans have been longing for after seeing Emilia so reduced for so long. 

Of course, we’ll see how this goes. There is a small chance that she’ll just revert back next episode. This was just the after credits tag, they don’t have to stick to it if it doesn’t suit the tone going forward.

As for the witch thing, well she looks identical to Satella so it’s not a big shock. Considering the Frozen backstory and the fact that she had a magical familiar and demon servants, it fits pretty well.

Closing Thoughts about Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41

The Frozen Witch and the Witch of Envy

Does this mean that Satella, the Witch of Envy, is actually Emilia’s mother? Who’s her dad? What does this mean for Satella’s relationship to Subaru? What’s Subaru going to do when he finds out Emilia’s a witch?

The last one’s a dumb question. Subaru is head over heels in love with Emilia. He’ll just discover he’s head over heels in love with Emilia, the Frozen Witch. 

Still, it seems like Subaru’s already interesting life is going to get even more interesting.

Based on the story so far, I would be inclined to believe you, it changes nothing for Subaru.

What If The Show Explores the Nature of Attraction?

But wouldn’t it be super interesting if Subaru wasn’t in love with Emilia. Like what if he had never been. What if that’s just magic…

Lately, I’ve read a few fantasy stories where that question comes up. If only one partner is capable of magic, and magic can charm and entice mortals, can one ever be certain of their feelings? And the question beyond that, even if someone does love you just because of magic, does that matter? Is it really so different from falling in love because of their laugh or because you saw them across a crowded room? 

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41: What is love in a world of witches?

Is Subaru in love with Emilia because he thinks she’s cute and adorable, or because she wills it? Is there a difference? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

It’s actually a pretty interesting exploration of the meaning of romance and what we attach importance to. It’s also a very contemporary question, in a world where love is evolving and changing form, what does it mean to each of us? I dunno, I think it’s sweet.

Man, I really hope they explore that!

I’ll give Emilia this: She decided to throw down against the Witch of Greed. It’s like she skipped Garfiel because the little dude was too far beneath her.

Guess the next episode will show if I’m right!

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29 thoughts on “Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 41 – Young Garfiel and Simply Emilia

  1. Understanding that Japan is a very oppressive culture will explain many Japan Anime themes.

    Women are expected to be some man’s or organization’s show piece. Thus, precious princess Amelia is like a precious gem for display only for the benefit of Subaru who is the man in charge. He just needs his precious woman to nudge him in the right direct. The same goes for Garfiel who needs a big nudge from Rem. Even though it is clear the he is madly in love with her and she also has feeling for him enough to be used as a pillow. Again, a women’s role must be in the background.

    Powerful women who act are regarded as weird, or as witches or sorceresses with some hidden agenda – It’s an attitude that shouts, “How dare women imitate a man’s role!”. Finally, Emilia has gained confidence in her ability to influence her world, she acknowledges herself as a witch.Then you will understand why Emilia acts the way she does.

    The Hopelessness and despair themes prevail through out Japanese anime is because it resonants with the general population. Japan is still a very feudal society; you give your life to the country and organizations as CEOs are the modern equivalent to Feudal Lords. Thus, the only way an ordinary young person can hope to make an impact in society is by “magical thinking” or Chuunibyo, and wishing a reality into existence.

    1. I have certain issues with that statement. While the Witches are portrayed to be strange and has differing ideas of morality, I don’t see how this then implies that attitude that you brought up. Furthermore, Crusch runs counter to that very argument. She has been portrayed to be a strong and capable woman who led and army herself. The only time when she shows vulnerabilities and weakness is when she loses all her memories and even then, she asserts herself when she disagreed with Felix’s argument to dissolve the alliance which shows that even if she has become more meek due to losing all her memories, she is still willing to stand up for herself is she sees someone trying to take her command from her.

      “Powerful women who act are regarded as weird, or as witches or sorceresses with some hidden agenda – It’s an attitude that shouts, “How dare women imitate a man’s role!”. Finally, Emilia has gained confidence in her ability to influence her world, she acknowledges herself as a witch. Then you will understand why Emilia acts the way she does.”

      I find this statement rather strange. She calls herself a witch as reference to the insults she was called by those who were afraid of her in the past. She was using it as a title to make herself equal to the Witch of Greed and to then be assertive towards said witch who had insulted her before. She didn’t become a witch just because she said she is. She was simply asserting herself. Her morality and personality still remained the same. Furthermore, while the witches have their agenda and their blue-and-orange morality, most of them are not portrayed as evil for being that way. They simply have their own beliefs that a normal person wouldn’t understand and thus, act upon said beliefs.

      Furthermore, the 3 episodes after this focuses mostly on Emilia’s story with the main heart of said story being the bond between Emilia and her aunt, Fortuna. Emilia is put in the forefront. She isn’t in the background as some show piece. and in the end, she has her confidence and made peace with her past.

      1. You completely missed my point!
        I am explaining WHY Japanese anime frequently portrays powerful women as passive. Just because you can show an exception does not disprove what I have said. Japan is an extremely sexist society for a developed country (It’s mentality is still very Feudal). Take SAO, Asuna is a very strong character in season 1, but in Season 2, she becomes a pathetic damsel in distress, as if to put her back in her place.
        What you wrote also supports what I say; Emilia has to acknowledge herself as a witch to become strong enough to overcome her feeling of powerlessness, and YET she is still that pathetic passive princess that lets Subaru confront Garfiel. We all know Emilia is probably one of the strongest characters in the show as she was able to freeze an entire forest before Puck showed up.
        Her morality is irrelevant to her being a witch- but she has to assume that title to gain the ability to act -why? Because Japanese culture demands it. I am sure that the author has that similar belief system hammered into him as he grew up in Japan. The author has stated in interviews that Emilia is his favorite character and yet he still makes her a passive object of worship placed on a pedestal rather then the wind of change.
        Summarizing – To be a heroine in Japan culture, you are either a witch or a sex-symbol, or something like that.
        By the way, hair color has connotations in East Asia stories. They will offer a clue to a character’s angst. I will let you figure that one out.

    2. I have certain issues with your statement. Firstly, your opinion that this show seems to exemplify that “Women are expected to be some man’s or organization’s show piece”. Crusch runs counter to that argument. She is portrayed by the show to be a strong and powerful woman who leads an army under her might. The only time when she shows weakness and vulnerabilities is when she loses all her memories and even then, she has shown to be assertive when Felix did something she disagreed with. The show didn’t portray this as some offensive thing Crusch did. This showed that even if Crusch had no memories, she is is still willing to stand up for herself.

      Then, the opinion about the witches. Yes, they are portrayed to be strange and has blue-and-orange morality, yet, they are not portrayed to be evil. They simply have their beliefs that no normal person could understand and thus, acts upon said beliefs. Heck, the show sometimes even portrays some of them in a more heroic stance. When Subaru was injured, Wrath was angry that pride had hurt someone and then, she healed him. Even Gluttony, she is seen as strange and dangerous, but she is not portrayed as an evil person.

      Your opinions on Emilia are another thing. She calls herself a witch as a kinda-insult to Greed. She named herself a witch in reference to the names people had insulted her with to make herself as an equal to Greed and then, she asserts herself by telling Greed to not “insult a fellow witch” . She doesn’t just call herself a witch and then becomes one. Her personality and morality remains the same. To add to this, the next 3 episodes mainly focus on Emilia and her story with Subaru mostly in the background. Furthermore, the heart of said story is on Emilia and her bond with her aunt, Fortuna.

      1. Good point about Crusch. The witches, too — in fact, it’s almost as if the series has built up their reputation as something dreadful and horrible, only to reveal the truth is much more subtle.

        BTW: Have you seen 44? If not, stop now — I’m going to ask what might be a spoiler question.

        In episode 44, Pandora came out and said that Emilia was a witch’s daughter. Just who is Fortuna’s sister?

        Is her name Satela? I honestly don’t know, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

        1. For now, we know certain things.1) Her mom is a full-blooded elf since she is Fortuna’s sister.2) Emilia’s parents are in a negative considering what was spoken of them.3) Pandora also had something to do with Emilia’s parents. This takes away Satella from being her mother. However, there are (theoretically) 9 witches. Maybe, Emilia is one of their daughters.

            1. Did you really mean Subaru’s dad? Or Emilia’s?

              Because if Subaru’s dad is an elf, I missed something important in the last seasons!

    3. I don’t know enough details to answer your specific points.

      But I will say that through the ages, witches have been cast in a negative light. If you’ve ever met a real witch, you’ll see right away that they are normal every day women. You can’t tell them apart just looking at them (unless they self-identify with a hat or something, which would be cool but would defeat the point I’m trying to make).

      Also, if you examine a witch’s life, you won’t see very many murderous rampages. None, in fact.

      Yet, patriarchal societies came up with ways to smear their reputation — hooked nose, warts, and the like. Ancient Hebrew scripture didn’t have much nice to say about them, either.

      So, there’s historical precedent for at least some of what you’re saying. I’ve also see how executives in Japan get treated; conversely, I’ve seen how professionals get treated.

      No wonder Japanese suicide rates are so high.

      1. That has actually changed due to modern storytelling. Because of books like Harry Potter and thousands of different shows and movies that portray witches in a more positive light, they are now typically seen in a more neutral stance. If one introduces witches to a story, chances are split between them being good, bad, or neutral.

        1. Fair point. I tend to think in terms of decades, so since the Harry Potter books started coming out in the late 1990s, that’s almost too soon for me to notice!

          But now that you have me thinking in those terms, Wicked would be another example supporting your point.

    1. I haven’t watched the director’s cut, because the original had such a profound impact on me that I didn’t want to confuse it! But maybe I’ll change my mind…

      1. There’s really not much difference between the director’s cut and the series’ original run aside from the extra 4 minutes at the end.

      2. You should watch director’s cut if you want to see more dark and dangerous scenes. I don’t think there is much difference but yeah I am loving it. And I wish you like it too!!

  2. I know my post is relevant to last week’s episode, but here is my character analysis of Subaru:

    At the beginning of Season 1 of Re:zero, Subaru thought of himself as the main character of an isekai story who would no doubt also be rewarded with the affections of a pretty girl. I now propose that to an extent, he still thinks of himself in that way, possibly as a coping mechanism for him to continue living on this world in spite of all the suffering he must experience even though his initial expectations of him being really strong were proven false. I will draw upon things he has said in 4 occasions across both seasons of Re:zero to support my analysis.

    First, I will draw upon something he said in the first arc in episode 3. “For all the injuries I got, all the crying I did, all the pain I felt, and all the fighting with my life on the line… my only rewards were her name and a single smile. Jeez, talk about unequal compensation.” Subaru here already thinks he’s entitled to a lot more from Emilia because of what he went through, but it’s my belief that you should never expect something from others when you do something for them. He has made it clear he believes in common isekai tropes before in episode 1, and I believe what he said indicates that he thinks of himself as the main character of an isekai who will no doubt be rewarded with Emilia’s affection. Yes, Subaru took note of how kind Emilia was for being the only one who helped him when he was struggling alone with no benefit to yourself. He also became aware that Emilia helped the appa guy’s daughter on more than one loop even when he wasn’t present, which showed off her saintly behaviour, and this fueled his initial attraction to her, but as of episode 41, I still find that he feels entitled to Emilia’s affection, and I am not liking what I see about this behaviour.

    After the second arc, in which Subaru succeeded in foiling a mabeast tamer’s attack, which resulted in him killing a single Ulgarm and even fighting a huge Ulgarm which he landed blows on, Subaru became way in over his head, thinking he was some big shot. When Emilia was met with derision by the Council of Wise men as well as other nobles and Priscilla, Subaru went and forcibly tried to make a case for her, culminating in him declaring himself to be Emilia’s knight partly because he felt that what Reinhard and Julius felt for Felt and Anastasia was no less than what he felt for Emilia. After Subaru felt belittled and humiliated by Julius, he lashed out, saying that knight’s are just born into the job and that it’s not a big deal to be a knight. After this outburst, Emilia and Subaru had a talk in the room Crusch had provided to him, and he told her what he really felt deep down from the ugliest depths of his mind after failing to justify his actions, which was that Emilia should have a greater debt to him than she could ever repay. Episode 3 already showed Subaru’s sense of entitlement around Emilia, and the end of episode 13 was the ugliest example of that.

    Then fast forward to episode 25, Subaru says, “As far as I’m concerned, it’s written in stone that you’ll give me an answer, and it’ll be a positive one at that.” Now, this may seem like an innocent remark, but I’ll tell why when I saw Subaru say this that I reacted with anger and was fuming for a few hours after I finished watching the episode. When I consider how to interpret dialogue, I consider a holistic approach that draws upon everything that had happened so far, and given Re:zero’s penchant for including foreshadowing in even the most unlikely places, I interpreted that as Subaru feeling that as the main character of an isekai story that Emilia would no doubt return his feelings even possibly thinking that it was destined to happen. I know this interpretation of that line will be very unpopular as most people will see it as just Subaru being confident, but considering Subaru says something very possessive and entitled in episode 40 during the second season, I believe it lends credence to my interpretation. With episode 25’s scene, I feel Subaru has merely gotten better at hiding that he feels entitled to Emilia rather than him no longer feeling entitled to Emilia.

    Now, here’s the final piece of text I draw on to support my analysis from episode 40. After a long exchange in which Emilia refuses to believe Subaru when he says that he loves her because he broke his promise to her, Subaru says, “All I think about is how to look good in front of you. I’m suffering for you here! At least try to look as cute as I hoped you would!” That last part demanding Emilia act as cute as he hoped she would shows that Subaru thought Emilia would take his confession much better than what actually occurred in reality. He had fully expected her to react in the way he had expected her to in his mind when he planned this all out and believed that she should act the way he wanted because Emilia would no doubt do what he the main character of an isekai story would want to since she’s the heroine. It was another moment in which he felt entitled and possessive about Emilia. Viewers were meant to take Emilia’s side on the matter considering she demanded that he not talk to her as if she were some doll.

    After saying all of that, I do want to clarify that I don’t consider Subaru to be a bad person. He’s just a guy with his own issues just like everybody else who is struggling to make his way through the world. However, I do think that Tappei included moments in the dialogue when Subaru reveals himself to be possessive and entitled because this is the stage Subaru is at right now. I personally believe that in true love that there is no sense of entitlement and that as long as Subaru has this sense of entitlement, regardless of whether it may be a coping mechanism to continue living in this world, I will not acknowledge his feelings for Emilia as being true love and will root for him to fail if he enters a relationship with her. I do want to note that I believe Subaru will get past this stage of entitlement by the end of the story, so it’s not that I wish him eternal despair. I just believe that when Subaru isn’t wallowing in despair, he thinks of himself as the main character as a coping mechanism to keep him going since the suffering and pain takes a toll on him mentally.

    As for this episode, I believe the glass shattering image was Subaru’s gate breaking. Felix did tell Subaru to not use magic for 2 months because of the strain on his gate. As a result, I don’t think Subaru will be using magic for a while, and I wonder what it would take to heal a shattered gate.

    Also, I am confident it wasn’t Frederica’s stone that reverted Garfiel back to his normal form but Puck who did so. Beatrice revealed that Puck could drain mana much like she could in Season 1. That’s why Puck says that’s all the help Subaru would be getting from him.

    I think Garfiel revealing that he saw Subaru and Emilia’s kiss was cute. I guess that’s why in the previous episode he said that it wasn’t exactly like he was waiting for them. He had walked into the tomb and actually saw them.

    1. You make a good argument that you supported with solid references.

      I’m not sure, though, that Subaru is as possessive as he seems. Beginning in episode 18, when he asked Rem to run away with him, I think Subaru’s becoming more realistic about his chances with Emilia and his position in this world.

      Now, in one respect, he’s right that he is in a position to uniquely affect events. Well, maybe not uniquely — Roswaal clearly has some abilities to affect the course of events, too. But he’s still well positioned. So him being aware of that is a good thing.

      With regard to him asking Emilia to at least look cute, I think that’s an indication of how much lower his hopes and expectations are. I mean, compare that to episode 13. That’s a huge difference.

      Now, I’m not saying Subaru has given up on Emilia. I’m suggesting he’s trying to get more realistic about it.

      I wonder if Otto could give him any advice? Garfiel would clearly be no help in that regard…

  3. This wasn’t my favourite episode. Drama really isn’t Re:Zero’s greatest strength.

    And yes, I did think that Petelgeuse arm was interestlingly placed and angled. Imagine that being a standard shounen power and you’d have to yell out p*n*s punchi every time you use it.

  4. The Frozen Witch is a reference to what she was called in her backstory movie, Frozen Bonds. The village near her called her that as she has a close resemblance to Satella. Thus, out of fear and distrust, she was nicknamed that. This means that Emilia was using a supposed insulting nickname given to her as a sort of title to make herself appear to be an equal to the Witch of Greed. Also, I really think Echidna was using the “Witch’s Daughter” as a sort of insult to reference Emilia’s resemblance to Echidna because it really doesn’t make sense parentage-wise. Satella is a Half-Elf. So, doesn’t that mean Emilia should be a quarter-Elf or 3/4 Elf instead of also being a half-Elf?

    Also, the Invisible hands thing must be what this Sloth Witch Factor that Subaru inherited. Sekhmet and Betelgeuse had that exact power. Though, we didn’t see Sekhmet’s hands but we see her using some sort of power to crush the other witches to the ground, similar to how Betelgeuse tend to use his Invisible Hands to crush his enemies. It also makes sense in a sort of symbolic way. I mean what power would make sense for a slothful, i.e. a lazy person, an extra hundreds of hands to carry things around and make life easier. Though, I do love that using one hand exhausts him almost immediately so that this powerup doesn’t feel a main character having a new OP ability.

    I loved Garfiel’s story and my theory that Garfiel would be a potential asset in the right set of circumstances was quite accurate. Him being 14 also makes sense for his temperamental attitude and childish behavior, he still is just a kid.

    1. ***Satella is a Half-Elf. So, doesn’t that mean Emilia should be a quarter-Elf or 3/4 Elf instead of also being a half-Elf? ***

      Ah, but her father could have been a half-elf, too, in which case…

      Seriously, that’s not how these sort of lables tend to work. You’re either a pure breed, or you’re a bastard. They just call it “half”, because it’s not worth thinking about. (You know, how in fantasy you usually het “half-X” to mean “half human, half something else”. Make a list of all the half-characters you know, and then calculate the proportion where none of the halfs were human. I mean imagine the family tree.

      Grandpa was half-orc/half-faerie, while grandma was half-elf/half-dragon. They had a daughter who got into a magical accident that left her magically pregnant, so her daughter part elemental, which shouldn’t be possible, and anyway you can’t calculate a ratio here, since she’s just mixed. That girl married a strange-looking orphan who knows nothing about his parents. They have a son who accidently gets isekaid into a SF world, where they use his DNA to experiment on but because of the stuff they don’t know about the experiments go wrong, and they end up creating a species that defies the logic of the world and thus causes the apocalypse. One member of that race had been about to create a form of shamanism capable of recalibrating the world, so they’re now a vague hint of a sould drifting in the space between universes, until they take form in a random universe, appearing to all intents and purposes to be a pure-bred elf.

      Now for the question: How much elf is in the mix?

      Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I actually agree with you that I don’t think it’s clear whether we’re supposed to take the “daughter” part literally. I mean she might be. In fact it would be hilarious if she is, and it turns out Subaru’s her father. But the word “daughter” here could easily have some metaphorical meaning, so who knows?

      1. “In fact it would be hilarious if she is, and it turns out Subaru’s her father. ”

        Or even if Subaru’s not, it’d be a strange love triangle with Satella as mom and Emilia as her daughter. Well, maybe not strange for anime…

    2. “This means that Emilia was using a supposed insulting nickname given to her as a sort of title to make herself appear to be an equal to the Witch of Greed. ”

      I wonder… Would that kind of bluff work on Echidna? She’s really bright!

      “as a sort of insult to reference Emilia’s resemblance to Echidna because it really doesn’t make sense parentage-wise.”

      I’ll defer to Dawnstorm’s discussion of genetics (which was fun to read!). I’ll just say that these are witches we’re dealing with. I have no idea what Satella, Echidna or the others are capable of. Well, except for the brief introduction we got about their powers.

      “Though, I do love that using one hand exhausts him almost immediately so that this powerup doesn’t feel a main character having a new OP ability.”

      I liked that, too. So far at least, there’s no way we can call Subaru OPed!

      “Him being 14 also makes sense for his temperamental attitude and childish behavior, he still is just a kid.”

      I think Re:ZERO excels at those kinds of character details. Like you said, it all makes perfect sense now! Now, instead of thinking Garfiel’s a hot headed monster, I know he’s an adolescent — who’s holding it together pretty well for someone his age in his situation. Completely changed the character’s vibe.

      1. Who knows. Maybe Emilia is just using that title to piss Echidna off. Making the arrogant witch equivalant to a nobody that just resembles Satella would probably make a decent blow to one’s ego.

Please let me know what you think!

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