Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Episode 20: Wilhelm van Astrea

It’s whaling time.

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Australia and New Zealand must have hated this episode.

Re_Zero 20 Img008Wilhelm is super cool! Both his current and younger selves. He’s like Reinhard, except it’s much easier to sympathise with him because he used to have a top-tier waifu who died a tragic death. I will admit that Theresia was really cute though, I’d dedicate my life to taking revenge for her if she were my waifu – in fact, given how cute she is, I’m not surprised she’s dead. It’s almost as if it was an intentional decision to make her as much of a best girl candidate as possible so that her death would make Wilhelm suffer even more. I don’t know whether there’s more to that flashback, but presumably he married her after growing strong enough to beat her. Somewhere down the line, Reinhard was born as their grandson, and sometime after that Theresia was killed by the White Whale. Or should I say one of the White Whales?

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Re_Zero 20 Img007Are the other two supposed to be clones, or not? Up until now, everyone in the series has referred to it as the White Whale, implying that it’s a singularity within its species. So far we’ve only seen Subaru’s reaction, but it’d be worrying if the others were all surprised as well – because that indicates that in the past, they’ve never driven it close enough to death to the point where it starts using abilities they’re unaware of (regardless of whether it’s splitting itself or summoning allies for help). I have no idea how they’re going to deal with this now that they’ve seemingly lost Wilhelm and a huge amount of their forces. A reset is possible, but I’m really not too keen on watching this battle all over again – and there’s also the fact that Satella is now appearing behind him and whispering lewd things in his ear whenever Subaru uses her powers. I don’t think that’s supposed to be a good sign.

Re_Zero 20 Img004In general, I thought the battle was great! It’s been an action-packed couple of episodes recently, it’s a nice break from the emotionally-draining events of the first few loops of the arc. Most importantly, it feels like progress is being made. Felix even said something about how Subaru has changed a lot. The entire thing reminded me of a Zelda boss battle, which tend to be fought in stages – you hack away at the boss or its weak points until a certain amount of its health is depleted, upon which it usually gets enraged and shifts into a different form or mode that has its own traits. Here, the Hakugei started off simply attacking until Wilhelm successfully gouged out an eye, making it change tactics to using its fog. Speaking of which, we now understand why some of its victims end up being erased from existence whilst others don’t – it’s the fog! It’s only when people die after being hit by the fog that everyone ends up forgetting them. If someone gets eaten, which is presumably how Theresia was killed, they’ll still be remembered. So as unfortunate as her death might be, it could have been a lot worse (not that they’d be aware of it if that were the case). I’m also guessing that the soldiers are tracking exactly how many were lost to the fog from the number of people left in each platoon – there should be a set number or something along those lines, and so they can see how many victims there were even though they’re not sure whom exactly died.

Re_Zero 20 Img003I, too, thought they were doing really well up until the last few minutes of the episode. They were doing so well that I even felt sorry for the Hakugei for a few seconds. Then I remembered everything it had done and returned to willing Wilhelm on as he served justice. One worry I do have is that it can fly – and so if it gets too injured there’s the possibility that it’ll just retreat by flying out of their range. I suppose it’s the reason why they hoped to ground it with their strongest attacks at the very beginning. If there’s any hope left in this loop, we basically need the best case scenario to happen – and by that I mean that Wilhelm kills his way out from the inside, and that the two of the Hakugeis are just weaker clones.

But with a whole five episodes of suffering left, that would be too easy. When has Subaru ever been blessed with the best case scenario?

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I love cute things.

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8 Responses

  1. zztop says:

    Re Zero’s author was in Taiwan last week to promote the Chinese translation of the 6th volume. Some interesting facts he revealed about himself during the organized meet-and-greet sessions include:
    – He’s not a professional writer, but works as a meat shop butcher (Currently taking leave from his job to assist on the anime)
    – He thinks up plot developments while cutting up meat
    – Emilia’s his favourite character
    – He loves putting Subaru through lots of sh*t because it’s fun, but also to give him constant development (Nagatsuki Teppei believes MCs grow strong through adversity). He’s thinking he’s been too soft on Subaru lately and needs him to experience even more intense sh*t

    Here’s some pictures of the author himself!

    The info was obtained from Taiwanese websites, and translated by a Redditor.

    • Vantage says:

      What a cute Ana cover. I’m a little salty about how official Chinese translations are a dime a dozen, whereas English-licensed light novels cost a fortune and are released at a snail’s pace. This time last summer, I saw almost all the available volumes of Antimagic published in hard copy and for sale in Animate HK, and that was before the anime even aired.

      He looks like a fan! But I can definitely see him being a meat shop butcher, yeah. I bet he imagines Subaru dying a tragic and painful death each time he swings his carving knife into his meat. As for him believing Emilia is best girl… I’m aware of the incredible irony there is in saying this, but he has shit taste.

      Just like Kubo, incidentally.

  2. I was really worried earlier that the eye would spawn something awful from within (maybe blame Taboo Tattoos OP for that?) or leak something awfully dangerous onto Wilhelm. I think it all much worse than I’d imagined. “[W]eaker clones” you say? I’m glad you’re thinking in such terms, because that might precisely be what they are, grown from the foul beasts felled parts! If that is so, can they survive without the fog? Can they only be grown in the fog? Even if they are just illusions, I’m no stranger to beings with the ability to instantly or seamlessly swap places with them.

    My greatest fear, however, is of Beetlejuice coming in suddenly, in a fantastic display of blood and gore, dealing a second death to the White Whale whilst declaring his “fellow” Duke SLOTHFUL! (seriously, I wouldn’t be surprised at that attitude). Of course with Wilhelm being alive in there (or so we both believe) it could be an opportunity to deal damage to two Dukes for the price of one… or have Wilhelm get served some instant karma? Please no.

    Speaking of people showing up, I wonder if Roswaal has any idea what’s happening here. I know magic doesn’t always work like the Force in that powerful folk can “sense a great disturbance”, but with mana output like that (provided the fog doesn’t block detection) I wonder if he sense any of that. This is but a vessel for the possibility for Emilia and Puck to show up. As you’ve said before everything in the OP has happened in some form thus far, though, in the case of Emilia being by the tree the time of day was vastly different from the present.

    It’s not even a desire to see Emilia and Pack especially deal with baddies again. I was surprised at the inclusion of the ED and it was just heartbreaking to think that provided it’s still a realistic depiction of her day-to-day life even up to now… she’s gone to sleep crying and has no idea what’s happening to her friends, comrades and fellow people of the kingdom. It’s heartbreaking to think about her showing up. enraged at being unable to have helped them all sooner. But that might just be me.

    And I’m loathed to make this even longer, but I must make it clear that the possibility of the Cult’s plans having no reliance on the White Whale’s blocking of the roads might mean that their plan is soon to be carried out later in the day anyway. Hopefully after the battle the other parties will be quick to go and explain the deal to Roswaal – but the question of their remaining strength is an important one.

    What did you think of Subaru tearing up upon “hearing” what Satella said? I thought it was just the fear of being that close to death.

    • Vantage says:

      Taboo Tattoo has a great OP. It’s actually my guilty pleasure for the season – from a critical perspective it’s a mess, but its quality skyrockets whenever there’s a fight scene and it’s really reminiscent of all the fantasy LN adaptations we had in the mid-2000s. Also Hime is best girl.

      I don’t think Betelgeuse will be making an appearance. At least, I really hope not. There’s still supposed to be a day or so until the KKK are scheduled to interfere, right? And it should still be nighttime, with the sky only momentarily turning bright when they used that super wide-range Lumos thing. As for Roswaal, he should be pretty far away to be able to help – neither him nor Reinhard will be saving the day during this arc.

      We had the same thought with Subaru tearing up – I thought his eyes were just watering from the sensation and nothing more. But apparently Satella was saying that she loved him?

  3. Shiki says:

    This is how you NOT plan a group fight.
    Shit ton of magic dmg, 2 physical attackers and a bait that loses it’s purpose after a few minutes and the best part [They have only 1 healer that has to be close to the wounded] aside from not planning that there might be another enemy popping up like the witches cult. Whale done group, whale done.

    At that scene Satella said “I love you” and subaru started to shed a few tears.

    Btw if you haven’t noticed: Compared to the first episodes where the stench was faint he was not able to resist the curse of the mabeast and was totally a mess, but now the stench is intense, we finally see something from satella and he has a high restistance against mabeast and their abilities now.
    [spoiler] Emilia and Satella are not the same entity and Subaru has deep connections with satella which is why he is “so loved by her” [/spoiler]

    If you want to read more about Wilhelms past (which is something like romeo and juliet

    Webnovel with translations which start with arc 3 which is around ep.12

    • Vantage says:

      They’re having a… whale of a time.

      Satella said she loves him?! I mean… it makes sense, kind of? It would explain why she’s going to all the trouble of reviving him each time, but if she’s not the same person as Emilia then even more questions are raised. I’ve seen and heard various theories (including the Flugel one) but I’m going to hold off on exploring anything (including the WN) until the anime is over.

    • Vantage says:

      I-is Subaru okay?

      Also, I’m going to mention this in today’s post too, but the full versions of both OP2 and ED2 are out. Try not to tear up when you hear the B-side to ED2.

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