Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Episode 20: Wilhelm van Astrea
It’s whaling time.
Australia and New Zealand must have hated this episode.
Wilhelm 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?
Are 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.
In 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.
I, 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?