Re:Zero Vol 1 Review

Re:Zero’s volume 1 was one glorified introductory chapter.

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Subaru found himself transported to another world where he met the half-elf Emilia. Emilia lost her insignia to the thief Felt. They did found a spot where Felt could have been, but both were attacked and killed. Subaru then woke up on the very spot where he was first transported to this other world. Seemingly, events were happening again and again, until he noticed that he also dies again and again. Apparently, he keeps dying until the conditions are met for his story to continue.

Thoughts. With some heavy spoilers.

Just writing that up above made me realize how Re:Zero’s volume 1 was one glorified introductory chapter. So Subaru died, got attacked by 3 thieves, saw Emilia, went to that house, and got killed. The next thing we know, he was looking for Felt, then got attacked again by¬†Elsa. The story repeats. Again and again, until Subaru realizes his gift of dying and returning to a save point. It makes him stronger because all the knowledge from his past lives, he can apply on his current one.

This is the narrative of Vol. 1- how Subaru keeps getting wiser and stronger each time he dies – making sure he chooses a different path if the other path is a dead-end. This, as we know, will be very valuable for him in the future. (I know because many of us have watched the anime already)

What I don’t particularly like is actually the fact that Subaru dies just too many times to realize that he’s resetting. The novel took a lot of “returns” to the apple vendor. I figured it should only take him twice to realize that, but perhaps the novel wants to drive home the point that this “restart” from zero is the focal point of this series.

Clearly, since it took too much minutes when reading, I felt that that opening sequence was handled well by its anime counterpart.

The next thing I don’t like is how there seems to be no “goal” to be had at the end of the series. Like, what is the point of all of this dying and returning? In Danmachi,the weakling Bell Crannel’s goal is to stand on equal grounds with his crush, the strongest Knight Aiz Wallenstein. In Konosuba (I can’t believe I will use Konosuba as an example), the characters have to defeat the Demon Lord. In Re:Zero 1, what is the end goal? Even One Piece, with 900+ manga chapters and all, has an end goal – when they find that treasure. I don’t see this in Re:Zero vol. 1 and since I have watched the anime, I will not find the answer soon.

This dying and returning. The exposition of characters and events via cliffhanger, I feel the Re:Zero anime was really really good. I just can’t say the same thing with the light novel version.

NOW. I know for a fact that the anime version is adapted from the Light Novel. Meaning, if there was no light novel (or the web novel, since it was the first inception of the series), there would be no anime. In my opinion though, the anime was very successful in making us care for the characters, making us jump with every cliffhanger, and making us want to see what the next episode will be. In a way, we have the light novel and the thousands of volumes sold in Japan to thank for the anime release.

Final Rating: 2/5

What I like

  • This is Re:Zero
  • I love Emilia

What I don’t like

  • Some of Subaru’s internal monologue is kind of a bit… I don’t know.. depressing?
  • The fact that Subaru took too long to realize what is going on.