Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 43 – Thought As a Child

Quick Summary of Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 43

In Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 43, “The Day Betelgeuse Laughed,” we get a little break from Emilia’s spiritual trial to listen to Ryuuzu speak of a time before Sanctuary was Sanctuary — when it was, in fact, just a village. It had a prestigious visitor. Very, very prestigious, in fact. And she brought a daughter with her. Who is this visitor? Who’s this visitor and daughter? In true Re:ZERO fashion, finding out only raises more questions… Back in Emilia’s dream, Geuse tells Fortuna to make a run for it with little Emilia. What does Geuse think he can do to stop Regulus Corneas? Especially since that Bishop brought a friend?

Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 43: My Turn to Host!

Welcome to our collaboration review of Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2, Episode 43. Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime and I have teamed up to give you twice stunning insights. Well, Irina’s insights tend to be stunning. Mine are more mildly interesting, from an academic sort of perspective.

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

It seems that they will be stretching out the events for at least one more episode. Although we have a pretty good idea of what happened already, there are still some questions left unanswered. So far, it wasn’t as bad as I feared. I hope that means it’s a good sign and it’s not going to be that awful. Not that some horrible things didn’t happen this episode or anything, but we’ve seen way worse in re:Zero. Unfortunately, this could also very well just be an extension of the calm before the storm and the real stuff is only going to go down next week. That would be sad.

Since Emilia is not a character I find particularly interesting, I do find myself sort of latching onto the parts of the episode that show us what the other people are up to. I look forward to catching up with the rest of the cast as well. Also, even though Echidna is there, she doesn’t really have a very big part to play in these flashback episodes, so I am looking forward to figuring out how she is tied into the whole thing. Like why would she want Emilia to relive this.

Then again, she also made Subaru see his parents so maybe she just makes people see their parents for some reason. Honestly, that’s not a bad trial. I could see most people having some sort of feelings there. Just some witchey randomness again.

Review of Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 43


I like Re:ZERO, and I think you’ve probably noticed that. I like its characters and its richly textured world. Its interrelated-ness fascinates me. The show has generated some of the most complex and interesting comments I’ve seen on my site. So, when you read what I’m about to say, you know it’s in the context of someone who loves this show to death.

It’s Subaru’s show, and he has Return by Death, so loving it to death… well…

Anyway. This episode, on two separate occasions, made me sit back and think, “Why?” 

The Return of Beatrice!

But first, let’s talk about some cool things this episode did. Maybe the coolest is that we got to see Beatrice again! After my initial rush of joy, I got a little apprehensive. I knew that Irina enjoys Beatrice’s character, and I hoped the episode didn’t mess her up. Irina, how’d the writers do?

I thought Beatrice was fine this episode. Did you notice that she called Echidna her literal mother? I mean she went out of her way to point out it wasn’t a figurative relationship. I wonder what that means. I’m not sure if any of them are in fact human. Like I sort of thought maybe the witches were once long ago humans (or elves I guess) that had some special spirit affinity and slowly accumulated power and it’s that power that made them no longer human. But maybe they are just a different species to begin with. That’s why they can have spirit children. Or maybe once they become witches, they can have special magical kids. I guess both work.

It was great seeing Beatrice again! She even made a friend! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

To be honest, I had never thought of Beatrice as a child. I sort of figured her childishness was an affectation. A way to amuse herself and maybe hide some of her feelings. I guess if she’s really just a little kid that explains a lot. She’s much more likely to crack under pressure, for instance. Then again, just because she was a kid in that flashback, doesn’t mean she still is. We don’t know when that memory was from. Maybe she’s a clone too.

Beatrice and Ryuuzu’s Friendship

It was sweet that Ryuuzu and Beatrice supposedly became such good friends. Maybe we’ll get to see more of that in the future. We’ve never really had a chance to see Beatrice be very sweet so that could be a chance to nuance the character a bit.

Although I still think that she’s the best when she has a bit of bite to her. Also Beatrice is a character that works best as a foil to others, in my opinion. And the Ryuuzu from the flashback may be a bit too weak to bring out the funnest parts of Beatrice. Then again, I could be wrong. In any case, I hope we get to see a bit more of them together. 

You know, it was good seeing Beatrice even interact with someone else! I felt relieved to see her not trapped in the library!. 

This scene, as Ryuuzu told it, prompted my first “Why?” You mentioned it above. Ryuuzu felt shocked to see Beatrice in the village (Before Sanctuary or BS). When Echidna, the prestigious visitor to the village I mentioned, introduced Beatrice, the witch said, “She is like a daughter to me.” 

Ryuuzu didn’t know what to make of this conversation between Echidna and Beatrice. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

To which Beatrice said, “I’m not ‘like’ your daughter! I am your daughter, I suppose.”

Daughter — Yes or No?

Why that distinction? What’s that about? Is the narrative just trying to confuse me? To be honest, it’s doing a decent job about that! But I just don’t understand why the insistence on ambiguity. Of course, that’s nothing like the second why…

In the meantime, though, I really enjoyed the dynamic between Ryuuzu and Beatrice. The former was obviously in awe of Echidna, and she had never seen anyone like Beatrice before. Beatrice, being Beatrice, was not so much socially awkward as socially imperial. It seemed like she wanted to have nothing to do with Ryuuzu. That is, until she started following Ryuuzu, who had a basket of laundry. Out of the blue, Ryuuzu asked if Beatrice would like to help fold. Beatrice was all like, well if you can’t handle it, I suppose I’ll help. The two ended up being close friends. That was sweet.

Ryuuzu was surprised by another visitor. This time, it was a makeup-less Roswaal Mathers. Or, as Ram corrected, “More accurately, that was the Roswaal-sama of several generations ago.” Kinda cool seeing Roswaal, and I was really curious to see why he was looking for Echidna. But then, to story switched back to Emilia.

Before we head back in time, any closing thoughts on Ryuuzu’s story, Irina?

Roswaal Turning Heads in Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 43

He didn’t want to be addressed by his surname. He preferred “Roswaal.” Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Wow Roswall… I mean Geuse was drolly enough already, but man, Roswall, forget the makeup and get a dye job cause that is just delicious looking. Why did all the boys look so much better in the past? I’m sure there are a lot of ladies who like Subaru. Well actually I know there are at least like 5 in the show, but you know what I mean, the fans out there! And I guess Garf does go around shirtless a lot and he seems to work out, but I dunno, they don’t really do it for me.

I do like Otto a lot but that’s about it. However, the past boys are just great looking. I mean good Geuse is a pretty boring character as well. To be fair he didn’t get much chance to get developed, so it’s to be expected. But as long as you have characters that are just going to be there for a short time, you might as well make them really fun to look at. So that’s great.

But I almost paused and went back for a second look at that Roswaal. Really love him in that palette. He also looks more or less like a clone which isn’t suspicious at all. If anyone has figured out how to cheat death and live forever, you know it’s gonna be Roswaal. He’s like a vampire or something and every 50 years he changes his hair color and makeup style and starts pretending to be his own grandson or something. Except I bet the truth is even more crazy than that. No way is Roswaal showing up for nothing.

Roswaal’s Ties to Sanctuary

And do you remember how he spoke about Echidna and the book in part 1? The current Roswaal has huge ties to Sanctuary and its founder. That wasn’t someone just remembering a story passed down from generations, that was a man with a huge personal stake in the events. Someone with first hand experience. Am I starting to sound like a crazy conspiracy theorist? 

I’ll say it: I think that Roswaal was our Roswaal. I’ll bet that’ll look obvious in retrospect! Or maybe it already looks obvious… It’s been another long week…

Looks like Regulus brought a friend. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Remember the ending of the previous episode? How Regulus Corneas showed up and we were all like, ohs noes! This can’t be good! Oh sweet summer child, Regulus wasn’t the real threat. The real threat was the friend he’d brought with him. And oh boy, was Fortuna pissed to see her! So much that she attacked with a barrage of ice skewers and then dropped an ice asteroid on her.

Pandora Arrives!

The “her” was Pandora, the Witch of Vainglory. At first, it really wasn’t clear how powerful she was. She was just a slip of a girl — nowhere near as tall as, say, Minerva, and just a little bigger than Typhon. The fact she’d just taken a direct hit from Fortuna wasn’t particularly surprising. I mean, Regulus had taken it, too! But there was something about her attitude that suggested casual, brutal, and significant power.

Well, it’s Re:ZERO. She’s a Witch. That wasn’t exactly a leap, was it?

Pandora said “Now, bring the key and the seal here, so that the Witch’s Cult can fulfill its long-cherished desire.” That can’t be good for our heroes. 

Irina, what’d you think of Pandora’s introduction?

Pandora also looks a little like Emilia, but not as much as Fortuna does. Well, Fortuna is the same character design with shorter hair so it’s difficult to look as much like she does. And she looks a lot like Echidna as well. She has those same fluffy white lashes. I would have thought that it was a general witch look but we did see the other witches and they all look very different. So the white (or silver) haired ones might have a special connection. Or maybe it’s just a design choice. I actually haven’t been paying much attention to the visual language in reZero so I don’t know if they usually use visual cues like that or it’s really more aesthetics driven.

Re:ZERO has more than its fair share of white and silver-haired characters. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

In season 1, there wasn’t really anyone that looked like Emilia so this is a change up.

Pandora’s Title

I didn’t know that Pandora was the Witch of Vainglory. That’s quite a title! I thought we had seen the witch of Pride in part 1 and she looked completely different. I guess this is a flashback and maybe Pandora will get replaced by a different witch of pride at some point. That’s interesting. Echidna is still the same. 

Oh wait, I’m still assuming both flashbacks were happening at more or less the same time but maybe not. Emilia is like 100 or something so I guess the events with Fortuna could have happened a century ago and then the flashback with sexy Roswaal could have been like 50 years ago. That sort of works. If not though, would that mean that Echidna was a witch before Pandora? Would that make her more powerful? I think I’m sort of mixing years of high fantasy lore in my mind and assuming a lot of things. 

I’m still chucking at “sexy Roswaal.” Reminds me of “Stupid sexy Flanders…”

I’ve been wondering what had happened to turn Geuse from this sorta bumbling, kind-hearted dude who clearly loved Fortuna and worshiped Emilia. Well, we found out. As Fortuna got Emilia to “safety” (more on that in a minute), Geuse knew he couldn’t stand against Regulus, much less Pandora. So he took out a box containing the power he’d been granted. I have no idea where it came from. His church, maybe? Irina, if you know, feel free to jump in! 

Geuse on the Highway to Hell

Wherever he got it, it contained writhing purple arms — the arms we saw him use with such brutal effectiveness in the first season. Regulus seemed a bit freaked out, but Pandora just smiled and said, “Bishop Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti… Have a good journey.” 

If this is Pandora’s idea of a “good journey…” Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

He slammed the container against his chest, and they entered him. And promptly drove him within just a couple of inches of madness. In response to his agony, Pandora clapped, feeling so much joy that her eyes teared up. She was so impressed that she granted him the title of Sloth. So, at least we know what set him on the course that led to his run ins with Subaru.

On the plus side, we got to see Geuse’s invisible arms pick up Regulus and slam him around for a bit. Didn’t really hurt him, but it was still fun. But then it became a standoff, which Regulus being stronger and more experienced with his powers. Echidna convinced the adult Emilia that it was time to check on Emilia’s younger self.

I thought oh my, is that Pandora’s box? It just kind of fits.

Why is Pandora the one who can give the title of Sloth? Will Sekhmet get mad at her for saddling her with followers like that? Although I gotta respect that as a power move. I should go into work tomorrow and just hire a bunch of people to work for a different department. My respect for Pandora as a bit of a chaos gremlin is going up!

Obscurity for the Sake of Obscurity?

See, those are the kind of questions that bug me! Is Re:ZERO just being obscure for the heck of it? Would it kill them to have a clear chain of command?

This is my second why. It’s the bigger of the two, because it just doesn’t make any sense. Little Emilia begged Fortuna not to go back to help Geuse. Even a kid knew that was suicidal. But as Fortuna tried to convince her it had to be done, the “truth” came out. Fortuna was Emilia’s real mother!

This is shaping up to be all kinds of bad for Emilia. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Shock! Gasp! But why go to all that trouble? What was the purpose of the subterfuge? What did it accomplish? If I had known that Fortuna was Emilia’s mom all along, it would not have diminished their parting scene at all! In fact, I found the reveal distracting. I was trying to process it and not feeling the authentic emotions coming from the mother and daughter. 

Or something like that, because when Fortuna asked poor, doomed Archi to escape with Emilia, Fortuna referred to her as “She’s the beloved daughter of my brother, his wife, and myself.”

Irina, am I overreacting? Did I just hit the cap on my Re:ZERO “New Concepts Per Minute” quota?

Mother in the Important Ways

I think by real mother she meant that Fortuna was the one who acted as a mother to her. You know, comforted her and took care of her and really gave her everything that a mother gives their child. And that’s actually what makes a real mother. I mean that’s how I understood it. Maybe I missed a subtitle or something. In any case, it sort of didn’t occur to me that she meant biological. I really thought no new information was given there.

Also that Emilia is the daughter of Fortuna’s brother and her sister in law because they gave birth to her, and her own daughter because she took care of her and regards her as such? That’s consistent with the last episode.

Well, I guess that makes sense. But seriously, clarity in language is a plus! Though maybe I’m just complaining now, but with a show like Re:ZERO where every single detail could have monumental consequence, clarity is all the more important.

The child Emilia thought just as a child. It was the perfect way to setup the ending. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Now we come to what I think is probably the most well done aspect of this show (though I did enjoy watching Geuse’s descent — dramatically speaking, that is). It was Emilia’s reaction to all of this.

Emilia Thought as a Child

When she begged Fortuna not to leave her, she promised she’d be a big girl. It was such a perfectly child-like, self-centered view of the world. Emilia thought that if she behaved, things would be okay! 

Having raised two children, I saw this play out often. Honestly, in retrospect, it’s heart-breakingly naive. It’s an innocent view of the world, a world in which good is rewarded and “bad” punished.

We saw it again as the poor, doomed Archi (I know, I said it twice — it’s emphasis) tried to carry Emilia to safety. She pleaded that if she promised to stay in her room and not explore anymore, would everything please go back to normal? Again, such a perfect depiction of how I’ve seen children react to those situations. And here, as in real life, it had zero impact. A nasty form of mabeast attacked Archi. He fought well, but he knew how it was going to end. He implored Emilia to run and not look back.

Which she did. Or started to do.

In what’s another perfect example of child logic, Emilia reasoned if she just gave Pandora what she wanted, Pandora would leave. Asking the help of her spirits, Emilia headed for the glade with the sealed wardrobe. She found Pandora waiting for her.

Pandora was Waiting at the End of Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 43

“I’ve been waiting for you,” Pandora said.

I wonder what happened to Fortuna and Geuse… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I think I’m beginning to see why Emilia suppressed these memories!

What’d you think of this sequence, Irina?

I hope Emilia gets to kiss Subaru again soon, because I miss her personality change from last episode. I guess it would have been pretty weird if she remained all bubbly and stuff, but she could be a bit more fierce or angry. 

Really, I hope Emilia and Pandora get to be friends. They look about the same age and I bet they could find some shared interests if they tried. Pandora standing in front of the door was my second favourite moment after previous Roswaal.

Did you notice that Archi got infected by that beast? It seems there used to be plaguebeasts in reZero. I sure hope those things aren’t around anymore because it was ridiculous. One touch and the victim just turns to lava or something like that. It looked very uncomfortable. And it was instantaneous. Can you imagine what type of damage the cult could do if they still had creatures like that at their disposal?

The Cult and the Witches

In part 1, I was wondering about the nature of the relationship between the cult and the witches. Was it more of a one way thing where the cultists worship the witches and maybe they give them some powers here and there for giggles, but don’t actually care at all about the cul or whether the witches were just as invested. 

Cause Pandora looked quite hands on. Then again, maybe she was just using them to get to the seal. Not sure why she needed anyone else, she seems to be pretty capable of doing things for herself. But it does show that at least some of the witches acknowledge the cult. I’m a little disappointed. There was something amusing about the cultist just being completely deluded nutters.

Just what is the relationship between Witches and cultists? It looks like it can get contentious at times. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

It’s still an interesting relationship, though, isn’t it? I mean, Regulus tried to destroy Pandora, though the cults are supposed to revere the witches. Doesn’t speak well of Regulus’ sanity! 

So now we have to wait another week to resolve two mini-cliff hangers: How Ryuuzu’s story turn out? Did Roswaal meet Echidna? Plus, what’s in that box? I’m guessing it’s Pandora’s box, at least in terms of its mythological meaning. 

Closing Thoughts about Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 43

Any closing thoughts on the episode, Irina?

For me, reZero is the type of story that opens up 3 questions every time it answers one. It’s mostly my fault because I have so much trouble keeping the lore and the characters straight. 

Like I said earlier, the flashback is fine but I do miss the rest of the cast. I actually miss Rem a lot. I’m surprised fans aren’t getting impatient to see her again. I guess she wasn’t as liked as I thought. But I do miss her. She balanced out the main characters in my opinion. 

Maybe we can get a spinoff after the Sanctuary saga. Where Otto has to rebuild his business and reestablish merchant routes and needs a helper like Rem. It could be a little Spice and Wolf inspired but more comedy Slice of Life. And they could drop by and visit the rest of the cast for one episode, maybe a Christmas special. And everyone would tell of these absolutely insane adventures they had offscreen! Then the next episode they would be back to taking inventory or something. I think that would be a cute show!

I’d watch it! And it’s funny you mention that — I missed Rem this week more than I have all second season. Maybe it was seeing Beatrice again. In any event, next week should be a consequential episode. I’m ready to see the story move forward!

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12 thoughts on “Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2 Episode 43 – Thought As a Child

  1. ok. Here is a fun little historical fact. In bible history, there was once 9 sins. The 7 sin plus vainglory and acedia(melancholy). The 2 sins were then considered too similar to a pride and sloth respectively and thus, they became 7. The writer obviously then made that surprise twist based on the original 9 sins. Thus, there must also be a witch of acedia as well. Btw, Irina was right. Emilia saying that Fortuna was her real mother was more Emilia seeing her as her actual mother in comparison to her mysterious biological mother. Btw, considering Betelgeuse and Regulus seems to be from the same cult, but Betelgeuse is angry that Regulus came, and is horrified that Pandora(a higher in rank person than Regulus and thus, Betelgeuse, since he is respectful to her), is it possible there is like a split sect like how Christianity has different sects?

    Furthermore, Betelgeuse brought up a master name Flegel. That is actually a name we have heard before. Before the battle of the white whale, Subaru saw a huge tree and it was explained that it was the Flegel tree, name after a wise man who planted said tree. That tree was then used to crush the White Whale.

    About your asking of why there is a distinction between Echidna and Beatrice, I think there is something to it. It is possible that Echidna is Beatrice’s mother by technicality (like through adoption or as Echidna’s creation) but Beatrice regards Echidna as her actual mother. This can show that Beatrice cares far more for Echidna as a mother than Echidna cares for Beatrice as a daughter. It could show that she didn’t really care that much for Beatrice

    1. “Btw, Irina was right. Emilia saying that Fortuna was her real mother was more Emilia seeing her as her actual mother in comparison to her mysterious biological mother.”

      Yeah, I see that in retrospect. The trouble with this show, if I can call it a trouble, is that I have to sift every word to figure out what’s going on, and the relationships of those words change over time.

      For example, between Echidna and Beatrice, there’s disagreement on what mother means. In a show that forces those distinctions on one character, it’s hard not to apply them to all characters.

      “It could show that she didn’t really care that much for Beatrice”

      That would make Beatrice an even more tragic character. One that might not last through the present timeline if Subaru can’t execute his plan well.

  2. I also agree with the rest of you that Re:zero’s dramatic scenes could use a little more understatement.

    In Beatrice’s case, I think there is probably a real distinction in what she said and what Beatrice said. Echidna stated in the first cour that she was highly involved in Beatrice’s birth, which doesn’t outright indicate that she conceived Beatrice in her womb. Echidna saying Beatrice is like a daughter to her in this episode with the context of the first cour suggests that perhaps she created Beatrice, making Echidna moreso Betty’s creator than her actual mother. To Beatrice, she says that she is Echidna’s daughter, and she has a point given that Echidna is the one who raised her. Echidna herself asked Beatrice if she had raised her to act like that, so Echidna is clearly a mother figure to Beatrice, and I believe this could be why she says she actually is Echidna’s daughter. To a kid, the one who raises her might as well be her mother and see herself as that person’s daughter. I believe this also applies to the Emilia and Fortuna dynamic in that Fortuna was the one who raised Emilia and gave her the affection and attention that mothers provide to their children even though she isn’t Emilia’s biological mother, who is some yet-to-be-identified human and may or may not be a witch depending on whether Echidna was just using her “witch’s daughter” comment as an insult or whether that comment was meant to be literal.

    As for Roswaal, he clearly and unambiguously said that he met Echidna 400 years ago in the first cour, so I take that as being a true statement, and thus, one way or another, it’s the original Roswaal who is driving the events of this arc even though the current day Roswaal identifies as Roswaal L. Mathers instead of Roswaal A. Mathers as he does in the flashback. Hence, I can think of 2 possibilities:

    1. Roswaal has cloned his body multiple times and injected his soul into the clones

    2. Roswaal possessed the bodies of his descendants.

    Given we know that cloning exists from Echidna’s experiment with the Sanctuary, that first possibility is highly plausible. I don’t know how a human would be able to possess bodies, so I’d say that second one is not as plausible although still within the realm of possibility. There’s no clear explanation for who and what can possess bodies in Re:zero so far.

    As far as the box, I don’t think there’s any special significance to it aside from containing the Sloth Witch Factor. Petelgeuse having a box with the Sloth Witch Factor could be a sign of his status in the Witch Cult. Already in this flashback, people were calling him Bishop Romanee-Conti, so it’s possible that he was given the box when he became a Bishop of the cult. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason Petelgeuse had followers in the first place was because he carried the Sloth Witch Factor with him. In that case, I wonder who gave him the Sloth Witch Factor. Before taking in the Sloth Witch Factor, Petelgeuse said he was sorry to Flugel-sama, and I’m guessing this is because Petelgeuse promised this Flugel to never take in the Sloth Witch Factor. If you recall from the first season, the people referred to the tree that the strike force burned down to trap the White Whale as Flugel’s tree, and Rem indicated that Flugel planted the tree hundreds of years ago. Given that Petelgeuse knows both Beatrice (who got stuck in a library 400 years ago) and Flugel, Petelgeuse was very likely to have been around for at least 400 years at the minimum. I guess him being a spirit explains how he could have survived for so long while maintaining a youthful appearance. Whoever Flugel is, we will probably eventually see a flashback of him from hundreds of years ago. I wonder if he knew Flugel from 400 years ago or whether from a period even before that. Regulus also identified Petelgeuse as a spirit, so that’s probably how Petelgeuse looked so youthful despite being ancient. I wonder if Petelgeuse’s face in Season 1 had more to do with Petelgeuse being insane and mutilating himself rather than him naturally losing his good-looking face as he aged since as far as we can tell with Petelgeuse’s words in episode 18 of Season 1 that Puck, and likely all spirits by extension, live forever.

    I also find it interesting that Regulus has not seemed to age at all since this flashback, and I assume that he isn’t a spirit given the manner in which he indicated that Petelgeuse is a spirit, so if there’s something keeping him young, I think it could be the Greed Witch Factor. Perhaps Witch Factors extend the lives of their hosts. That could mean Subaru will start aging very slowly. Of course, I don’t rule out that there’s a different reason Regulus isn’t aging that is still unknown to viewers.

    Pandora’s power seems incredibly overpowered. The power to selectively rewrite reality as she wishes will make her very difficult to defeat. I also wonder how she found the seal even before Emilia did. Did she use her powers to rewrite reality as it she had been there all along it or was the seal in the opposite direction Archi had told Emilia to run in, meaning the seal was closer to Pandora than Emilia, allowing for Pandora to have more time to search for it? Maybe Pandora had Regulus look through his Gospel to get a hint about where the seal was.

    1. “If you recall from the first season, the people referred to the tree that the strike force burned down to trap the White Whale as Flugel’s tree, and Rem indicated that Flugel planted the tree hundreds of years ago. ”

      I’d forgotten that. There’s certainly no shortage of complexity in this series…

      “I wonder if Petelgeuse’s face in Season 1 had more to do with Petelgeuse being insane and mutilating himself ”

      That’s the way I took it. As the Sloth Witch Factor took hold. his face looked distorted in several shots. Not to the extent from Season 1, but I think that’s to be expected — the longer he had it, the more integrated it became.

      1. One another point I forgot to Regulus didn’t seem too happy about Petelgeuse taking in the Sloth Witch Factor. I wonder if it has anything to do with Petelgeuse actually being diligent rather than slothful whereas Regulus is super greedy in that he tries to control the conversation, hating being interrupted in the process and has multiple wives, . Subaru really isn’t slothful either, and after Subaru used his Invisible Providence, he either coughed out a lot of saliva/vomited (it’s hard to tell which it is) and felt awful. Maybe how your personality matches up with the Witch Factor you have influences whether you’re a good fit for it. Petelgeuse was straight up bleeding after all from using the Unseen Hand, and he works very hard, which might be the reason it took such a heavy toll on him. Subaru usually tries hard, but he has moments where he considers giving up on everything, which could be why he isn’t as badly affected by the Sloth Witch Factor as Petelgeuse is.

        1. “One another point I forgot to Regulus didn’t seem too happy about Petelgeuse taking in the Sloth Witch Factor.”

          I wondered about that. It was just annoyance that “Oh, this’ll inconvenience me.” There was definitely something else going on.

          “Subaru usually tries hard, but he has moments where he considers giving up on everything, which could be why he isn’t as badly affected by the Sloth Witch Factor as Petelgeuse is.”

          I can see how that might be true. I can’t think of any evidence against it.

  3. Honestly, I’m not sure what’s going on anymore. Who is Pandora. The Witch of Veignglory? Similar in naming, but not a deadly sin? I was under the impression that Satella killed all the other 6 witches around 400 years ago and then was sealed as the only one left. Is Pandora a late-comer to fill a power vaccuum? Why does she want to unseal Satella? Get her power for herself? I’m confused because her power to re-write events making things just not happen seems to have a lot in common with Subaru’s return by death. Less crude; you can pick what you want to undo and keep the rest. That’s pretty impressive and looks like magical progress.

    We pretty much know that the seal won’t be broken, or do we? I mean, maybe they weaken the seal a little, since Satella obviously can influence Subaru and roam around in her miasma, however that works.

    Next, I thought last week that we saw Betelgeuse pre-cult, but that doesn’t seem right, so they don’t all seem to get along. I have no idea where he got the witchfactor of sloth. I thought when he revealed it that cult members high-ranking enough (say a bishop) would get one, but Regulus seemed surprised so probably not. Huh.

    Then that strange black snake/worm thingy: Didn’t the Witch of Gluttony say that she created three great bests: the whale, the bunny, and the black snake? From what I gather they’re out of control, except that Regulus (or the other guy, my memory’s bad) said that they killed his toy (the whale), so maybe the cult can control them after all? In any case, something like this snake thingy, but not quite the same came up in the OVA I kept misidentifying as Memory Snow but is actually Frozen Bond, and nobody mentioned the cult there. They seem wild, to be honest.

    Finally, and I’m not sure about this, but I think Fortuna looks a lot like an elf version of Subaru’s mum; face less round, different iris/pupil combation, different teint and hair colour, but very similar in bearings, build, eyeshape… Maybe there’s something at play here like Mike Moorcock’s Eternal Champion: the same set of characters and events repeating themselves across universes, with occasional overlap. Maybe Pandora erased the local Subaru and Satella got herself an alternate-universe replacement instead? Now I’m really just confused, ain’t I?

    Strangely, I actually don’t doubt that the author knows what he’s doing. One day I’d like to figure out what makes me trust a story and what makes me worry. I’m not confident I’ll like it, but I’m fairly confident that it’ll make sense in the end.

    Finally, I don’t remember what scene it was, probably Fortuna saying goodbye to Emilia, but I really, really think the dramatic scenes in Re:Zero could use a little more understatement. The events would speak for themselves, I don’t need all those extended speeches and close ups. It renders those scenes emotionally ineffective, even when I was already buying into them. It’s just overkill. It’s not the what; it’s the how. Important scenes usually turn out too melodramtic for my taste.

    1. I’m pretty lost too. I’m hoping we’ll get some explanations but I feel like the adaptation expects the audience to know a lot. Like to have seen all the movies and read the novels. So I might never really catch up with the lore. Vainglory means pride so I thought Pandora was some iteration of the witch of pride, I guess?

      I also think there needs to be some emotional balancing in the scenes. Then again, a lot of people adore re:Zero so this may just be my lack of patience for melodrama.

    2. I like re:ZERO. I really do. But it _does_ demand quite a bit of its viewers, if we’re to correctly interpret what’s going on in at any given point.

      I mean, check out some of Vance’s comments to our reviews. Vance pulls details out of multiple previous episodes to draw conclusions, and likely as not, they’re accurate. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing; quite the contrary. But I’m reminded of a Dewbond quote from one of his recent reviews of Steins;gate:

      The quote was, “Steins;Gate is a show that rewards you for paying attention, but also doesn’t penalize you not paying attention like ReZero does.”

      That stuck with me. Again, I like “Show, don’t tell.” I prefer points be dramatized; I prefer the narrative give me the data to draw conclusions.

      But at a certain point, saturation sets it. I have to screen each and every word against previous text and subtext, and it gets tiring.

      That’s why I concluded (incorrectly) that the narrative was saying that Fortuna was actually Emilia’s biological mother. I left it in to make the point that there’s a cost for excessive narrative detail. Also because I thought it’d be funny to see how folks reacted!

      To be clear: I’m not saying that the writer erred. My week sucked so badly that my tolerance for ambiguity is at an all time low, and I’m pretty sure I took it out on re:ZERO. But it was an honest reaction to the story, so from that perspective, insofar as my perspective has value, it was worth leaving in.

      I also agree with both you and Irina about the emotional balance.

Please let me know what you think!

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