Re:ZERO – Memory Snow

Re:ZERO – Memory Snow

Re:ZERO - Memory Snow anime OVA cover art
Re:ZERO – Memory Snow

Overview

Re:ZERO – Memory Snow (Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu – Memory Snow / Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活 Memory Snow) is the OVA for the first season of Re:ZERO. It came out like two years after the first season, and was recently included in the broadcast of the director’s cut.

I’m not sure if I’m going to review the Re:ZERO director’s cut on its own when it finishes, or if I’ll be updating my original review of the series. Stay tuned for more information on that in the coming weeks.

Originally, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to review this OVA on its own. I only just watched it thanks to the director’s cut broadcast, and figured I might wrap it into that review seeing as it’s “just” an OVA. However, once I watched it, I realized that it’s more than just some slice of life OVA that doesn’t matter.

Rem and Ram from the anime OVA Re:ZERO - Memory Snow
Rem and Ram

On the surface you wouldn’t think the OVA is anything special. It’s basically about a “Winter” festival and gives us a chance to see the various characters in a laid back situation which we normally wouldn’t. But it also does quite a bit in terms of character and world building, which is what makes it an important part of the story.

For example, we get to see a — sort of — new side of Ram which is much more playful than her usual demeanor. In one of the earlier episodes there’s a hint of this part of her character, but it’s expanded upon further in the OVA. The more important information this OVA gives us I’ll be covering in a later section.

But before we get to that, we need to establish where Memory Snow falls in the Re:ZERO timeline.

Chronology

If you’re watching the director’s cut of the series, Memory Snow falls between episodes 6 and 7. And if you’re watching the original version of the series, Memory Snow falls between episodes 11 and 12, titled “Rem” and “Return to the Capital” respectively.

For those of you who haven’t watched the whole series yet, you may want to scroll down to the next section because there’s about to be some minor spoilers.

Episode 11 (6 of the director’s cut) ends the arc of the series which takes place at Roswaal’s mansion and introduces Roswaal himself, Betty, Rem, and Ram. So with this in mind, Memory Snow serves as one last episode added onto the end of that arc before we move on to the ruler selection arc in the capital.

Rem (and Emilia of course) still plays a role in the second cour of the season after this point, but the roles of the other side characters from Roswaal’s mansion are somewhat subdued from this point on. I don’t even remember if we see Ram again (I’m pretty sure we do when Betelgeuse shows up).

But the point is that this episode is one of the last times we get to see this group of characters all together. Either Subaru is off somewhere with Emilia, Rem, or other side characters, or not everyone from the mansion is around (or alive/existing in the current timeline).

New Information

I’m probably forgetting a few important pieces of information we learned from this OVA, but I’ll do my best to cover everything.

Potentially the biggest thing, because it sets up the entire plot of the OVA, is the fact that some magical beings need to release their pent up energy. Subaru, Rem, Ram, and Emilia all have varying amounts of magical energy, but none of them have enough of it to warrant this release.

Only the strongest of magic users need to worry about their magic energy building up. So within the mansion that leaves Betty, Roswaal, and Puck. We previously knew that Betty and Roswaal were powerful in terms of magic, but the OVA explains just how powerful they actually are.

Betty is apparently on roughly the same level as Roswaal — I think she’s slightly stronger — and this was mentioned in the regular series. However, we now learn that when Roswaal and Puck first met, they engaged in a days-long battle which permanently altered the landscape.

That’s kind of a big deal.

Beatrice, also known as "Betty" or "Beako" from the anime OVA Re:ZERO - Memory Snow
Beatrice, also known as “Betty” or “Beako”

But as it turns out, even Betty and Roswaal aren’t powerful enough to really worry about their magic building up. Betty releases her magic constantly due to her magic doorways which protect the library, and Roswaal releases his by flying around and doing Roswaal things.

However, even though we know it takes an extreme amount of energy for Puck to stay in his physical form, he still needs to release massive amounts of energy every six months.

Also, the final new piece of information I can remember which isn’t related to magic is about Betty’s family. I don’t believe she ever mentioned her family in the original series, but in the OVA she mentions that Subaru is somewhat like her own mother.

We don’t know anything about Betty’s mother, but considering Betty is a magical being older than everyone else in the mansion besides Puck, it’s probably fair to say she’s also pretty special. I don’t know if she’s alive, or if she’s going to play an important role in the future, but the fact that she and Subaru are similar has to be important.

Was Betty’s mother perhaps someone summoned from another world like Subaru?

Conclusion

I’m not going to say that Re:ZERO – Memory Snow is as good as the rest of the series, but it’s still a good OVA. And I do think that if you’re planning to watch the series for the first time, you should watch the OVA where it falls chronologically.

Overall, Memory Snow is a 7/10 from me. It has some nice, albeit probably extra, character and world building which I appreciated. The soundtrack is also pretty good, and I’ve actually had that downloaded on my phone since long before I watched the OVA.

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If you’re looking for more Re:ZERO content, I also discussed my theory regarding the seven deadly sins from the perspective of season one.

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