Re:ZERO

Re:ZERO

Re:ZERO anime cover art featuring Subaru and some main-supporting characters
Re:ZERO Cover Art

Overview

Re:ZERO is one of two isekai genre anime which are actually good; the other being KonoSuba. While KonoSuba is a parody isekai, Re:ZERO is more of a twist on the classic isekai genre. You could think of it as the Madoka Magica of Isekai.

The protagonist, Subaru, is a NEET who is transported into a parallel world, so that’s standard, but he has no magical abilities and he’s not completely overpowered. He’s just a regular guy.

The twist of the series comes one or two episodes in when Subaru dies. Oh yeah, spoiler by the way. Anyhow, Subaru dying is kind of a major plot point for the whole series so that’s not really a spoiler in any way.

So Subaru can die, cool, but why does that matter? Well, when he dies he is “reincarnated” back to a specific point in time with all of his memories from before still intact. Sounds like a pretty neat ability to have until you realize how much physical and psychological trauma you’d be going through after dying a few times.

Basically this series follows the adventures of Subaru as he attempts to woo his beloved Emilia while also not dying. He strangely doesn’t seem to care about going home to his own world; probably because in this new one girls actually talk to him.

Characters

As mentioned previously, Subaru is the main character of Re:ZERO. He’s just your average NEET with no special abilities to speak of other than that he can die multiple times. Besides that, he’s kind of a blend between a standard isekai protagonist and Kazuma from KonoSuba.

He’s standard because he’s a white knight who will defend the honor of any girl (Emilia). However, he’s also cynical like Kazuma who isn’t your typical isekai protagonist. Further, he’s not useful like your typical isekai protagonist.

Other than the ability to die multiple times, if I had to say he had one thing going for him it’s his confidence. We see this in the very first episode when, after being transported to another world, he assumes he’s the main character and the world revolves around him. While he quickly learns this is not the case, he still doesn’t lose his self-confidence even after repeated failures.

Emilia is the girl who Subaru falls in love with at first sight. She’s a candidate to be the next ruler of the land and she has a little cat fairy named Puck. Emilia is also able to use a type of ice magic. Subaru is completely obsessed with Emilia for whatever reason.

Next we have better girls Ram and Rem. Rem is generally referred to as the “best girl of 2016,” but she has blue hair instead of Ram’s pink hair so how good can she really be? Ram and Rem are twin demons who work as maids in the mansion in which Emilia lives.

The final character I’ll mention just because I like her is Beatrice, or Betty. Betty also lives within the mansion in a library which is hidden using magic. Of all the hundreds or thousands of doors in the mansion, you can never know which one will lead to Betty’s room at any given point. A running gag, if you will, in the series is Subaru’s inexplicable ability to always pick the right door to find Betty despite her wanting to be left alone.

There are two main reasons why I like Betty as a character so much. The first is obviously her character design. However, what’s more important is her role. She’s the protector of our protagonist, Subaru, in the same way best girl Mayoi is the protector of Koyomi in the Monogatari series.

While both Betty and Mayoi have the appearance of children, they actually serve multiple roles for their respective protagonists including being mentors and friends who can be relied upon.

“Best Girl” Rem

Conclusion

Re:ZERO was definitely one of the best anime to come out in 2016 in my opinion. Like KonoSuba, it brought something fresh to the isekai genre which seriously needed it (and still does if you’ve seen any more recent isekai). While I haven’t seen any Re:ZERO clones yet like we got after Madoka Magica, I wouldn’t really be too surprised if there were some eventually.

Overall, even with only the first season being out, I think Re:ZERO is a solid 9/10 and I’m hoping that it can become my third 10 once more seasons of it air. Whether the isekai genre is for you or not, I would highly recommend giving Re:ZERO a watch because it’s just a good anime in general.

As a bonus, the two OPs for the first season are both amazing so that’s one more reason to watch the series. The first OP for Re:ZERO can be found here.

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