Re:ZERO Episode 34

Re:ZERO Episode 34

Echidna’s Payment

It seems like every episode of Re:ZERO season 2 has more to discuss than the last, and episode 34 is no exception. There were a lot of huge revelations in this episode, but the one that probably had the biggest impact was that the Witch’s Tomb isn’t Echidna’s tomb as I had previously thought.

Well, technically speaking, it is Echidna’s tomb. But I thought it was solely her tomb. I was under the impression that the witch’s bodies/souls were scattered around. However, it’s now been revealed that the Witch’s Tomb is actually the Witches’ Tomb. All of the deceased witches reside there.

And there are two reasons why that’s so important. First, it means that not only does Roswaal’s domain have a connection with Echidna, but it has a connection to all of the witches (potentially excluding Satella). Second, it’s this fact that allowed Subaru to meet three additional witches in this episode.

After Subaru meets Typhon, Minerva, and Daphne, he gets Echidna to allow him to keep his memories from his time at the witch’s tea party. However, she asks for a payment in return. And this payment is where my first theory of the episode comes in.

She requests the handkerchief Petra tied onto Subaru’s wrist. Echidna states that she can’t physically take it, but that the idea of taking something from him that holds personal value is what she’s after. She then claims that she’ll only meddle a little bit. But what does this all mean?

Well if you think about it, what role does Petra play right now? She doesn’t really have one. My guess is that this payment will allow Echidna to possess Petra whenever she wants so that she can help Subaru along the way. This would solve two issues as I see it: Petra gains a purpose and Subaru gains access to Echidna’s wisdom on call.

Typhon, the Witch of Pride

Something I’ve been saying ever since we first met Echidna is that the only “evil” which is probably Satella. Echidna seems pretty “good,” and I think at worst, the other witches are neutral. The three newly introduced witches seem to back that theory up, as does the fact that Satella is the one who killed the other witches.

Echidna planned to allow Subaru to talk to Daphne, but before Daphne has a chance to appear in Echidna’s place, Typhon shows up. Typhon is the Witch of Pride, so you’d expect her to be a fairly intimidating person. But as it turns out, the opposite is true. She’s a cute girl with a bubbly attitude.

Typhon from the anime series Re:ZERO season 2
Typhon

However, we still need to keep in mind that Typhon is a witch despite her appearance and personality. And Subaru learned this the hard way when Typhon ripped off his right arm and then proceeded to shatter his body into pieces.

Now, I get it. Ripping off Subaru’s arm and shattering his body into pieces doesn’t seem like something a “good” or even neutral witch would do. But the idea behind Typhon doing this is that she was testing to see what kind of person Subaru was. According to her, if he felt pain from it, that would have meant he was a bad person.

Since Subaru didn’t feel pain, Typhon expresses how impressed she is with him, which is kind of strange when you think about it coming from the Witch of Pride. But all of this is to say that, like Echidna, Typhon doesn’t embody the negative aspect of her sin. Echidna embodies the greed for knowledge, and Typhon embodies the pride one has in others who do good.

Minerva, the Witch of Wrath

After Typhon shatters Subaru’s body, she gets swapped out with another witch who comes to Subaru’s rescue: Minerva, the Witch of Wrath. And again, Minerva embodies the positive side of her sin, not the negative. Minerva’s wrath is the wrath you feel when someone else is harmed that motivates you to help.

Her appearance is also the one I would say is the most at odds with her sin — though, I have to say it’s not the strangest design. Minerva is basically a tsundere, idol, superhero healer. She comes flying down from the sky to rescue Subaru, is wearing an idol-like outfit, punches him back together, and then acts flustered about it. She has a lot going on.

Minerva punching Subaru from the anime series Re:ZERO season 2
Minerva punching Subaru

But despite there being a lot going on with Minerva’s appearance and personality, she’s the witch I have the least to say about. She didn’t stick around for very long and didn’t really tell us much about herself. Most things we learned about her came from her actions.

What I will say, though, is that through Typhon, Minerva, and Daphne, we learned that Echidna accurately described the other witches back in episode 28.

Back then, she told us that Typhon judged criminals, which she probably did via the same method she used to figure out if Subaru was a good or bad person. And Echidna said that Minerva healed the people of a war-torn world, which makes sense now that we’ve seen she can heal people with her fists.

Minerva really is a superhero.

Daphne, the Witch of Gluttony

Daphne has the strangest character design in the series by far. She’s a BDSM loli in a sarcophagus with mechanical spider legs. BDSM loli I’m okay with, but once you add a sarcophagus with mechanical spider legs, that’s a little overboard.

Anyway, Daphne is probably the most interesting of the three new witches we met at the tea party. For starters, she seems to think that Subaru smells good, which I interpreted as her saying that the scent of Satella smelled good since she said that it was probably dangerous for her to think that. Remember, Satella killed Daphne.

We also learned that Daphne didn’t just create all the mabeasts in the world (although she may have done this too), but she created three extremely powerful mabeasts: The White Whale, the Great Rabbit, and the Black Serpent. Subaru already killed the White Whale, he just encountered the Great Rabbit, and the Black Serpent was referenced in the Frozen Bond movie.

Subaru talking to Daphne from the anime series Re:ZERO season 2
Subaru talking to Daphne

As for why Daphne created these beasts, that’s what makes me see her as neutral rather than good like Echidna and Minerva or bad like Satella. She’s more like Typhon, who I would say is neutral based on her role as the judge of criminals (though it could be argued that makes her good).

Daphne created the beasts so that the people of the world wouldn’t starve, which again, is a positive twist on her sin of gluttony. That should make her a good witch. However, while Daphne doesn’t want humans to starve, she also believes that if humans are going to eat creatures, they should also expect to be eaten by creatures.

Yes, the Whale, Rabbit, and Snake all have the potential to provide a lot of food for humans. But on the other hand, they have all eaten a vast number of humans over the centuries. And while Daphne didn’t necessarily intend to kill humans with her creations, she does see this as a fair trade.

Satella Strikes!

Of course, I can’t just leave out the fact that, for the first time in the series, “Satella” has made an appearance. I wouldn’t say this is the true Satella, though. We know Satella was sealed away, so this is just some phantom version of her, which is exactly what it looks like.

But I do have a few questions about this phantom Satella. For starters, why is she in the Sanctuary? Is she sealed there along with the souls of the deceased witches? It was pointed out that she appears to be heading out of the Sanctuary, so that seems to imply that the phantom originated within it and didn’t attack it from outside.

Also, why did she appear in the first place? Theoretically, nothing has changed in this timeline compared to the others. When Subaru exited the tomb, Satella was already attacking the Sanctuary. This implies that the reason for her appearance has something to do with the witch’s tea party.

Was this phantom Satella released from within Subaru himself when he was able to tell Echidna about his return by death ability? Or, going back to the start of the review, was her appearance triggered by Echidna’s payment?

Subaru mentions that she’s headed in the direction of the mansion. The only people there right now are Rem, Frederica, and Petra. So if Echidna really did possess Petra in some way, could Satella be going there to kill her?

And, finally, the post-credit scene revealed that not only does Roswaal know about Subaru’s return by death ability, but he also has what I assume to be a copy of the Tome of Wisdom. I don’t think that’s the original, but it could be, I suppose. This also lends credibility to my assumption that Betty has also known about Subaru’s ability.

Conclusion

What do you think about Re:ZERO episode 34? Do you think the witches other than Satella are good? And which of the three new witches is your favorite? Also, why do you think the phantom Satella appeared in this timeline? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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6 Replies to “Re:ZERO Episode 34”

  1. I rewatched episode 8, and it helped me understand what happened that episode. Before Subaru got teleported by the crystal, there was a speck of snow that flew by, indicating that Emilia had died and Puck was raging rather than Subaru having been transported to the future. So after Garfiel left to check on Subaru’s jail cell, the rabbits killed Emilia. Episode 9 showed Echidna saying that the only evidence that the Great Rabbit leaves behind is a deserted field, which lead to Subaru thinking back to the building with empty clothes, meaning that everybody in the Sanctuary had their flesh eaten and their blood lapped up by the rabbits. Because of the abundance of snow, it’s highly like that even Puck in his giant form was eaten by the Great Rabbit even though he probably put up a decent fight, which is a scary thing if the rabbits can do that.

    DoubleSama, I still don’t think Beatrice knows about Return by Death. She literally said, “I don’t understand” when Subaru said that because of her, this horrible present might become set in stone. It is clear without a shadow of a doubt, as you speculated, that Roswaal does know though.

    As for why Satella is in the Sanctuary and why she appeared in the first place, I believe I have the answers to that. Remember in Season 1 when Satella’s hands emerged from Subaru and killed Emilia after Subaru was going to tell her about Return by Death? Satella is likely extremely pissed that Subaru mentioned it over and over, and she likely emerged out of Subaru’s pores that leak her miasma just like her hands emerged from Subaru’s body to kill Emilia in season 1. As Echidna indicated, something outside was making Subaru wake up earlier, so it’s just impossible that the handkerchief triggered the Witch of Envy’s appearance.

    And we saw in this episode during Subaru and Echidna’s conversation the infamous hand that we sometimes see when Subaru Returns by Death, indicating that that is the moment Satella tried to penetrate the world that Subaru and Echidna were in. When the Witch of Envy couldn’t do that, I guess she decided to manifest herself through a spectral projection. I, like you, do not agree with the people saying that Satella possessed Emilia’s body. This will be more clear next episode if the Witch of Envy can bypass the barrier. Half-elves can’t leave the barrier, but if what we’re seeing is just a spectral projection of her body, then it should be able to leave the barrier since a spectral projection is not a living thing and isn’t an actual half-elf.

    As for why Satella is headed for the mansion, I’m pretty sure it’s to kill the people that Subaru cares for, just like when Satella killed Emilia because Subaru tried to tell her about Return by Death. I don’t think she’s going to settle for only killing Petra.

    1. The main piece of evidence I have for Betty knowing about return by death, at least in some fashion, is when she told Subaru to “at least die somewhere I can’t see you” back in season 1. This could just be her not wanting to see him die, sure. But it really felt like a loaded phrase at the time. I believe she also mentions not wanting Subaru to ask her for help ending his life before he even brought up the idea.

      Anyway, you have some great points about the manifestation of Satella here. I completely forgot that she was what killed Emilia in that one timeline. So if Subaru just trying to tell Emilia about return by death resulted in that, I can imagine that him successfully telling someone about return by death multiple times would make Satella go completely berserk just as we’re seeing. So from that perspective, I do think you’re right about the cause of phantom Satella appearing and her end goal to simply kill everyone Subaru cares about.

      But, I do still think there’s something going on with Petra even if Petra isn’t the one Satella is specifically targeting. Echidna’s choice of Petra’s handkerchief as payment and what she said about it is very suspicious. So I still stand by my prediction about Echidna and Petra becoming linked in some way.

  2. As always, I was waiting for your review for this week’s episode and the wait was absolutely worth it!
    I agreed on all of the points you made here, but I had a question : since Satella’s physical form is one of a half elf, shouldn’t she be contained inside the Sanctuary with no possibility of getting out? Or since she doesn’t look “physical” (by that I mean her spiritual (?) form as in a ghost of some sort) she doesn’t need to abide by the Sanctuary’s rules ?
    I really want to hear your output on this :))
    Also I believe all the witches were made to be misunderstood and not inherently evil because they just don’t seem to have any common sense.
    Once again, thank you for this in depth review^^

    1. Thanks for the comment. I’m glad you’re enjoying these reviews.

      As for your question, my initial thought was that Satella would be contained within the barrier as well. However, if the barrier were to be deactivated (by Subaru or Emilia completing the trials), then she too would be freed. The problem with that theory is that it doesn’t exactly make sense. If the barrier was down, it would mean that Emilia completed the trials while Subaru was talking to the witches — and I don’t see that being the case.

      I suggest you check out Vance’s comment up above. He made some great points that I think accurately explain what’s going on. Basically, this phantom Satella manifested because Subaru told Echidna about return by death and she’s now going to destroy everything Subaru cares about. And, because she doesn’t have a physical form, the barrier likely isn’t a problem for her.

      Also, I agree with you about the witches. I think they all got a bad reputation because of Satella being evil, but they aren’t all inherently evil themselves. And I guess you could even make the argument that Satella isn’t truly evil, she’s just consumed by her sin of envy against her will.

  3. DoubleSama, I rewatched a scene this episode, and I think I might have spotted something big that no bloggers caught. I think Echidna hinted to Subaru how to properly do everything right this arc. She said she has no hope of getting Emilia to break her out of her shell, but maybe Subaru could do it since he’s intent on doing everything over and over again.

    “Even in three days of trial and error, I can’t hold out any hope that she’ll break out of her shell. Or perhaps… you can do it? Since you’ve made up your mind to keep repeating everything, could you give wings to the cowardly princess?”

    Echidna implies here that she might have tried to change Emilia’s trial up (maybe starting from the previous loop in which Emilia went through the trial 4 times), and suggested that maybe Subaru could get Emilia to break out of her shell, doing what Echidna herself couldn’t do, but Subaru mistakenly believes that “Or perhaps… you can do it?” meant that he should definitely undergo the trial himself in Emilia’s place because that’s how his mindset always has been for a while, and he has tunnel vision.

    Subaru will probably try to liberate the Sanctuary entirely by himself this time, but even if he does, he might not succeed if what Echidna said is in fact a hint as to how he should approach it.

    1. I think that’s a pretty good theory. I was taking what she said to mean that Emilia has used trial and error for three days to complete the trial, not that Echidna has been using trial and error for three days to get Emilia to break out of her shell. Also, I was assuming that she was suggesting that Subaru complete the trials himself.

      Either way could probably work though. Ideally, Emilia would be the one to complete the trials because it would be good for her character growth. But if Subaru completes them instead, that could cause friction between him and Emilia again that could be interesting. How would Emilia respond to being sidestepped like that? Would it give her the motivation she needs to overcome her past even without the trials? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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