Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Episode 18: From Zero

I’m going to marry Rem. 

Re_Zero 18 Img002

Impression

1470003074742I was expecting quite a lot from this episode. I didn’t know exactly what it would entail, but through the grapevine I knew it was significant somehow – complete with a fun preview featuring Takahashi Rie act like Megumin while using her Emilia voice. There were even adverts for it in the streets of Japan. The one to the right says something along the lines of: ‘the worst, the best, despair and hope… the heart-burning 25 minutes and 45 seconds begins’. I got more than just that, I think. I got a truckload of feels, lots of involuntary tears and a free application form to join the Church of Rem. I’m also nursing a split lip from the sudden outburst I had when Subaru said he loved Emilia. It hurts. I’m going to get onto that later, but for now – what the actual fuck, Subaru. I’m kind of glad I hadn’t decided to waifu Rem or take any irrevocable steps like that, because if I had (and she’s made a very persuasive case even before this episode) I think I’d feel a lot more wronged than I already am feeling. Waifu wars have been exploding all over the internet for the past few hours. I haven’t seen such a unified outrage of this degree since Kayo had a baby with someone who wasn’t Satoru.

Re_Zero 18 Img005Firstly, I won’t blame Subaru for deciding to run away. In fact, it’s the option I’m sure a lot of us (me included) would have ended up taking if we were forced to endure so much suffering and despair with the end of the tunnel nowhere in sight. But I have to disagree with his belief that it would solve everything, and that has nothing to do with Rem’s unwavering belief that Subaru isn’t someone who gives up so easily – I just don’t think it’s a viable solution at all because of Puck. He’s apparently contracted to destroy the world in the event of Emilia’s death, and we know that everyone in entire Roswaal estate is guaranteed to be massacred courtesy of the KKK if Subaru fails to act. I can’t fathom why Emilia would ever agree to condemn the world to destruction (up until now I had assumed Puck went nuclear out of anger and nothing else) but it would mean that Subaru would have experienced a reset soon after escaping even if Rem had agreed to run away with him. Her fantasies of her future life with Subaru are really sweet, though – so sweet that it’s prompted a bunch of Rem AU slice-of-life stories on what life would have been like if she’d settled down with Subaru in Kararagi and had a few kids with him. It’s extremely comfy, and is perfect bedtime reading. I’ve put some links at the bottom of the post. I fully recommend it! It’s also exactly the kind of life I’d like to have one day.

Re_Zero 18 Img004I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a loving and encouraging waifu speech. It was perfect, just like Rem is. Anyone who believes that Rem isn’t a top-tier waifu is just objectively wrong. Rem has seen Subaru at his very lowest, and yet she still loves him with all her heart. She loves even when he doesn’t love himself. Subaru was worn down to the brink of despair from everything he’s experienced in the past few loops – and Rem provided him with hope once more, like the absolute angel she is. His self-esteem was probably lower than it should have been due to his recent failures – he might have been completely useless in the capital and completely unable to do anything, but he has achieved things back during the first arc and within the mansion. He saved Rem for example, and she loves him from the bottom of her heart as a result.  Just when you think it’d be hard to top the sheer devotion she displayed after having survived Betelgeuse’s torture and releasing Subaru before dying in his arms, this happens. And then he rejects her and says he loves Emilia.

Re_Zero 18 Img003Why?! Why would you do that?! She literally pours her whole heart out to him, and he responds with ‘I love Emilia, help me save her’. Fuck! Even if it’s how he actually feels, that’s literally the most insensitive time to say something like that to Rem! And she even accepts it with a smile, she’s too fucking good for him. She’s too good for this series, which keeps killing her off. As I said, I’ve kept relatively quiet about best girls and all that for Re:Zero, but I’m outraged. My expressions basically mirrored Subaru’s this episode up until he said he loved Emilia, at which point my jaw just dropped. Even when he asked Rem to run away with him, it felt like he was settling for her and starting a family with her just to give himself a reason to keep on living. Could his feelings have something to do with Satella? Is she manipulating things? He barely knows Emilia, whilst Rem would go to the ends of the earth and back for him. This feels so infuriating. I’m not saying he should love Rem. But at least he shouldn’t tell her to her face that he loves Emilia after all she’s done for him.

It’s okay Rem. I’ll love and marry you if Subaru won’t.

Natsuki Rem AU

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_oxWJ1yWNv4S2ZDOWs2NHo1bUE/view?pref=2&pli=1

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zQ7NRY5S_S5Oua3sHwNuiSVxmW27KRjhskCwSpFmwPM/edit?pref=2&pli=1

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hDWe95EYBFULs1DenrHzAAczt9QQC_0Y9UkGeYfEBrg/edit?pref=2&pli=1

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bFlEXFA8WjoPSrqKoiHQXFtg-DoMf6xVPZm62u7C2lY/edit?pref=2&pli=1

Vantage

I love cute things.

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20 Responses

  1. Iron Maw says:

    “Why?! Why would you do that?!”

    Because it needed to be said. If he doesn’t truly feel that way then coming clean and being honest is for the best. No should be with anyone out of obligation, it’s very thing that created the rift between Emilia and himself.

    Loving someone is not something to be decided on scale.

    • Iron Maw says:

      And I’d like to add that Rem already knew about his feelings, still supported him in spite of that.

    • Vantage says:

      I definitely agree that someone shouldn’t be with someone else out of obligation. It’s exactly why I mentioned at the end that I’m not saying Toyota should love Rem. No matter what she’s done for him he retains the right to choose to love her or not. But I think it’s terrible that Nissan immediately told her to her face that he loved Emilia. She’s just finished consoling him, pouring her heart out to him and describing everything that would happen in her perfect world, complete with her plan for kids and their comfy domestic life together – and Mitsubishi starts talking about how he loves another girl. Rem having then accepted everything with an angelic smile on her face makes her even more wonderful than she already is.

      It’s true that it needs to be said, but I thought it was horribly insensitive for Suzuki to have done so when he did. If he was playing Pokemon the game itself would have stopped him. Oak’s words echoed! There’s a time and place for everything! But not now.

      • Fluca says:

        Agreed. I was sobbing like a SOB through the whole ordeal, but then, he said it and I was like WTF? It undercut the whole moment for me.
        It didn’t feel genuine, it only felt arrogant and self absorbed…

        • Vantage says:

          That one line also sparked waifu wars all over the internet and created a whole new bunch of Emilia-haters, which is rather unfortunate. Emilia did nothing wrong! It’s just that the difference between RMT and EMT is like heaven and earth.

  2. Shiki says:

    This episode was just incredible and I was quirming and hugging myself like a little fangirl (note i am a guy). For a episode that was pretty much 2 people talking at the same place for 20 minutes, I was not bored or something and was even surprised that the episode already ended.

    But before I get to RMT you forgot a few important things:
    – BJ beeing himself, biting his fingers again before dying
    – him challenging Puck and Puck said “You need at least 1000, the half amount of what Satella has before he could try to actually kill him”
    — Puck knows who satella actually is and has a past
    – I think it is something along the lines of ‘Puck was going to destroy the world anyways but found some love and hope within Emilia so he is giving a try to live in peace as long as he is with her, calling her his daughter’
    – White Whale = Sin of Gluttony
    – Puck telling Subaru that he comitted 3 Major sins: Breaking the Promise of coming into the castle; Coming back to the Mansion; Letting her die
    and it seems that as a spirit-user, which is pretty much promise between her and the spirits to help each other out and trusting, the promises to subaru were extremely important
    – Subaru hearing a hateful laugh before he dies, thinking it was from BJ only to realize it was himself all along

    I love that this story is realistic (besides the obvious fantasy plot devices). That’s just how love is: you simply love a person with all their flaws etc. and even if you are suffering and there is a person by your side (like your best friend for example), you won’t suddenly stop loving your boy-/girl-friend and start loving that person that is right next to you, that is not how humans works.
    At the very least he is not the standart idiot harem-protag and is properly rejecting Rem instead of keeping her close with false hope.
    Rem being Rem is just waifu of the year if not more. She could have just say yes and run away with subaru, but that would mean there is no real happiness since subaru would hate himself forever for letting the girl and everyone in the mansion behind to die. Also she is accepting the fact that she got rejected but at least she said it straight out “I love you” or is starting a waifu/bitch-war. This was literally awesome plotwriting and character-writing. But finally subaru is self-reflecting and what he said and thinks about himself struck deep with me because that’s how I think of myself everyday as well, which gave what rem said even more power than it already had.

    But throughout this whole episode there is one thing that is bothering me as hell: With this Rem just triggered a shit-amount of death-flags on her way to the waifu-throne and I don’t think that even her mad twister-skills (sorry about this joke) won’t get her out of this alive.

    Rem: The girl we all wish all wish and hope for, but we all don’t deserve.

    • Vantage says:

      I can’t believe I forgot about all the Puck stuff! The most important part to take away from that is probably his comment on Satella. According to Betelgeuse spirits live for eternity and so it would seem that Puck does indeed have some sort of past with Satella, or at the very least knows of her through first-hand experience. It was also really weird to see Betelgeuse get so incensed by Puck – he knew there was no way he would win and he seemed to go from insanity to adopting this really hateful, accusatory tone. Poor Subaru. He is truly slothful.

      I’ll give you that point on the standard harem protagonists. As a committed disciple of the ‘Onodera best girl’ sect, I’m currently being repeatedly run over by the Japanese truck that is Nisekoi. Subaru’s words also struck home with me more than I’d like to admit, although it’s probably especially tender for full-time NEETs. I had a relatively good day at work today (albeit a long one) and I’m sure that thinking of Rem helped contribute to that.

      >mad twister skills

      YAMEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  3. Ryan says:

    lets see who denial and go to AU for this episode

    • Vantage says:

      I’m in denial! To me the AU is now practically canon and I won’t listen to anyone who says otherwise! Look at this, this is what happiness looks like. Spica a cute.

      Natsuki Rem

  4. xhuizini says:

    Damn it, Rem is really the best! If the church of Rem is open still, I’m joining now!!!

    And Subaru really has the worst timing! Proclaiming his love to another girl in front of the girl who openly expressed her love to him but oh well, it was already said.

  5. kuramasensei says:

    one of the greatest most heartfelt speeches I have ever seen in an anime. I thought we all knew Subaru loved Emilia though, and it broke my heart as well to hear Subaru say that he loved Emilia right to Rem’s face but I just knew that was the way it was going to happen. Because if Rem thought for one second Subaru could be the happiest Subaru he could be with her, she would have run away with him. But like Rem said, running away wasn’t the real answer, because for how Rem views Subaru running away isn’t even an option. And hey I’m just going to throw this out there: we’ve all been in love with someone at some point, it doesn’t mean we don’t fall out of love with that person. Although at that point the person who loved you back then, may no longer love you anymore or have a hard time coming to terms with being the second option. So I can’t quite give up on Rem yet, there’s no ring on any waifus fingers.

    • Vantage says:

      I don’t think it’s ever been explicitly stated until now that Subaru is in love with Emilia, but it was very obvious. I’m not sure when his feelings became more than a mere unhealthy attraction, but it should be safe to say that he’s truly loved her since the start of the third arc at the very latest if not earlier. As for Subaru falling out of love with Emilia, this is where I think Satella might be pulling some strings – if all of his key objectives during these loops continue to revolve around Emilia, I don’t see how his focus will shift from Emilia to anyone else. It’ll be interesting to see how their recent falling out changes their relationship though, or whether Subaru even manages to make up with her at the end of the arc.

      But yeah, there’s no ring quite just yet. That’s fine by me though, I’ll put a ring on Rem if Subaru doesn’t want to. She’s too perfect.

    • Vantage says:

      I’ve already listed those at the end of the post, plus an extra Natsuki Rigel one! But keep sharing them! We need as many people as possible to read this AU!

  6. kdfe001 says:

    Well, you all have covered the major points, but I think we the audience were trolled big time. What I, and maybe everyone else, expected a mutual confession between Rem and Subaru, but that idiot essentially slapped Rem in the face with his “I love Emilia.” Compared to Rem’s actions, Emilia has done far less to deserve Subaru’s affections, so what the hell, dude?

    • Vantage says:

      I didn’t expect a mutual confession at all! I kind of foresaw Rem confessing (which has technically already happened before and so it was less of a big deal than it was when it first happened) but we know that Subaru doesn’t love her. I’m pissed about the whole ‘I love Emilia’ thing, but it’d be even worse if he pretended to love Rem and lived a lie.

      While I don’t know whether it’s right to require Emilia to have done things to deserve Subaru’s love, I know what you mean. She’s had far less interaction with him in general and sometimes it feels like she’s in the lead only by virtue of the unspoken ‘first girl always wins’ rule. In terms of physical appearance I do think she’s hotter than Rem, but she’s utterly dwarfed by Rem in terms of character development and personality. As I said in another comment, I don’t think it’s clear when exactly Subaru fell in love with her. Maybe it was love at first sight? Maybe it was all Satella’s fault?

  7. I’ve not made this comment elsewhere yet. Not only do I trust the series to show people the clear, though not effortlessly perceived truths of that scene, which I can be confident it will do thanks to some of the more pensive WN and LN readers. But this blog, of course, stands at a much more personal place in my heart than the comments section on various other sites. I’ve had good talks with you! : ) And I can see that his is agonizing…

    Like Subaru, I ended up becoming someone’s hero. That someone was a girl who came to love me. She loved me as much, if not more than anyone else in her life. She loved me as much, if not more than anyone in my life had ever loved me.

    Do you know what one of the first parts of me she came to love was? It was the way I loved the girl I who I already shared a romantic bond with. She fell in love with who it proved I can be. Yes, she fell in love with who she knew to be the real me.

    I could go into more detail about the similar factors between her and Rem. The cultural constrains, despising the one loved, excelling acts contrasted by self-deprecation and more. The most important point is out in the open. Oly Oly Oxen Free. All out in the free:

    REM LOVES. REM LOVES THE REAL SUBARU.

    In her love she is wanting—wanting the real Subaru, whether or not he can become hers one day.
    In her love she is selfless—selflessly restoring him, to their world, to himself, to her friend Emilia.

    REM CHOSE… Rem chose TO SAVE the real Subaru.

    And that is what she wanted him to see more than anything.
    Natsuki Subaru: loved by Rem, loving others and in love with Emilia.
    Rem: wiser than us, not settling for less, not leaving Subaru hollow like much else.

    Even after her divine intervention, it seems that it was forgotten: it was forgotten that Subaru gave Rem the choice.

    First, a future, a Subaru that she could completely call her own… except it was false. Puck would destroy both before they could truly come to be. But Subaru’s reality was that it was the best that he could, that he could give her. “How much do you know about the Subaru-kun that I see?!”

    Again, Rem, wiser than us, saw the second choice he could not see and that many of us refuse to see as a valid one. Subaru, the hero. Her real hero. Subaru who would never give up until he saw a way through. Rem knew best! What did Subaru truly did next?

    It also seems that it was missed: it was missed that Subaru gave Rem the choice ONCE AGAIN.

    “I love Emilia” In that single sentence Subaru gave “the Rem [he] saved” both the “Subaru-kun that [Rem sees]” back to her (for who can grasp that which they cannot see; who other than Subaru can grasp him better than Rem currently?)… along with a choice. Stay. Stay (knowing you are fully capable of even forcing me to stay) in accordance with our instructions. Or help me save our friends, our family and the girl I love. Yes, this was the composite purpose of that line. This was the meaning of Subaru who valued Rem’s life over having any and everything to help save Emilia.

    Indeed, this was not an episode of tearing down, of rejection. “I will hold you up” Rem caused a restoring. A restoring to zero. False flags flying high, symbols of terror reigning over her beloved—gone. Precious treasures, traits hidden away and buried deeper and deeper in despair—restored. Yes, out of no one’s reach. Perhaps under lock and key, but through forming relationships, not out of reach**. And what’s more?

    “I want to take her away to a future where we can all laugh together!” Indeed, the upbuilding has already begun, not by one but by two—Rem AND Subaru.

    For his part, however, he has most certainly taken responsibility. “You get a front row seat…” Subaru says, drawing Rem to take hold of the person she refused to let go. “To see the man you fell for become the most awesome hero ever!” If that isn’t taking responsibility for her feelings- if that isn’t doing so in the most responsible fashion fathomable, truly, I do not know what is!

    **This is where I’d like to look at reality again. We’ve already seen how Rem has been resplendently realistic in her choices. This is where I tell you that it’s entirely realistic that the real Subaru can really love her. Why do I know that? I know that because ‘my Rem’… before she knew it, with the odds still stacked against her… she got to be with ‘her hero’. So take heart, fellow fans. Have heart for them all—in our reality and theirs.

    They are starting from zero. We all can too.

    • Vantage says:

      Thanks for thinking so well of us! We’ve had some good discussions, yeah – ever since Kancolle, right?

      Rem loving the real Subaru is pretty much the crux of the episode. Subaru has many flaws. He’s pretty much the opposite of what you would expect from an isekai protagonist, i.e. an onii-sama who can do no wrong. If you self-insert into Subaru it fucking hurts, because it brings to the forefront all the sides of yourself that you dislike and are trying to hide away. Subaru fucks up, drops his spaghetti, fucks up some more, and reveals many ugly sides of himself countless times in the series. And it’s because of that that we know Rem loves the real him. I’m envious that you have someone in your life who’s as devoted to you as Rem is to Subaru, you should really cherish her.

      I can’t confidently say the same for Subaru and his feelings towards Emilia. I think it’s one of the reasons so many of us were enraged when he said he loved Emilia – as right as you are to say that it’s an indication of Subaru giving Rem a choice, all I could think of was how the sincerity of Rem’s speech and confession was in no way anywhere near that of Subaru’s one-liner. He doesn’t really know Emilia. Does he love her, or does he only love his ideal of Emilia? As she herself said during their fight, the Emilia in his head must be an amazing person who totally understands him and accepts him completely. Or maybe he only loves Emilia because that’s what Satella’s subconsciously telling him his feelings are. It reminds me of Oregairu a bit – specifically, how I once questioned whether Yukinon was actually in love with Hikki, or whether she’s only in love with the emotionally supportive role in her life that Hikki is currently in (therefore, her love is not genuine).

      What I think was so wonderful about Rem was that she changed Subaru’s mind. He was dead set on giving up. I’m sure most viewers (including me) would have given up by now if we were in his shoes. I don’t think anyone would blame him for wanting to run away. Rem changed that through pouring out her feelings for him. He hated himself, he didn’t think he could achieve anything at all – he genuinely thought he had zero self-worth and self-esteem. But Rem showed him her perspective, where he was her hero and an awesome guy who would never give up. That’s what healed him. From zero, he’ll learn to think of himself as the very same hero that Rem fell in love with.

      In other words, to borrow an iconic phrase from the Trigger classic that turns boys into men, he quite literally believed in the Rem who believed in him.

      • Have you seen this? I don’t know about the accuracy of the cultural division here, but the fanbase as a whole is certainly like this right now: http://imgur.com/gallery/iSXZj (yes, I messed up my first imgur upload)

        Anyway, it’s been a real interesting time explaining the truths of the scene between these two around the community. Even worse than the continuation of angry views are the posts that just fan the flames though. I’m sure the author would comment in this scene differently than I would, mind you.

        I’ve definitely called into question how Subaru’s feelings may not be what he thinks elsewhere, whether it’s a love of a different kind or less than love, or Satella’s had a hand in this (I swear that wasn’t a pun). Part of Subaru’s struggle is that he has experiences of Emilia that “don’t exist” anymore except for in his heart.

        Speaking of experiences, it’s worth noting that Subaru’s had the worst possible scenario in which to experience Rem’s growing affection for him, until this scene. The Elsa event and the MaBeasts from the forest were bad, but Subaru was afforded A LOT of calm, happy time to really think about and admire Emilia.

        By the time Rem started to open up to him he’d already been killed by her and died for her technically and worse and worse things just kept happening at an increasingly rapid pace. So Rem has natural psychological barriers (that she can’t know of, nor is Subaru necessarily aware of) and a lack of quality time standing in the way of her goodness reaching Subaru’s heart effectively until this episode. Despite all that she’s done, she may as well be starting from zero too in regards to Subaru.

        It’s incredible how unaware some people are of that factor, but most of us have been caught up in the flurry of events enough not to think back on the earlier episodes for anything more than theory crafting often enough.

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