Re:ZERO Episode 36

Re:ZERO Episode 36

The Taste of Death

Starting this review of Re:ZERO episode 36 off with the title, it seems to be referring to Emilia kissing a dead Subaru at the end of the episode. It’s been a tough 36 episodes, but I’m glad our boy Subaru finally got to kiss (or be kissed by) Emilia. This is truly the best timeline for him.

But he died, so he’ll have to do it all again. And this is where my theorizing already comes into play. Throughout this entire Sanctuary arc, every time Subaru resets, things just seem to get worse for him. It’s gotten to the point with this most recent timeline that I really have no idea how he’s going to get out of it.

Elsa and Maylie at the mansion are a bigger problem than I initially thought, Roswaal is breaking Emilia and summoning the Great Rabbit, and someone else appears to be messing with Subaru behind the scenes (whoever took his letter). I figured that once Subaru got Betty on his side, everything would fall into place. But that hasn’t happened.

However, even though I said I have no idea how Subaru is going to get out of this one, there is one possibility. I just don’t know how viable it actually is.

Subaru going to the mansion hasn’t worked out. But, if he doesn’t go to the mansion, Frederica and Petra are almost guaranteed to die. So I think he needs to go to the mansion and have Betty teleport him, Frederica, and Petra to the Sanctuary as she did to him in this episode. Once they’re gone, Betty should survive against Elsa and Maylie due to her contract to protect the library.

The only problem is that Roswaal will have already began to make it snow by then.

Betty Receives the Rem Treatment

Let’s talk about Betty next. I had to rewatch the episode to really soak in all the information from the scene with Betty. But before I get into that, I do want to point out that while I was right about Betty dying, I was wrong about how it happened.

So, one of the big reveals is that Betty is contracted to Echidna. I don’t really think that was too surprising though, as I’ve already mentioned how I thought they were connected in the past. What was more shocking to me was the revelation that the Forbidden Library is actually Echidna’s library and that it stores the knowledge she collected.

That seems like a big detail. I’ve previously mentioned how I thought that Echidna was the owner of the original Tome of Wisdom. And now that we know that it’s her library Betty watches over, it makes a lot of sense for Betty and Roswaal to be the ones with the two, true copies of the Tome.

Betty crying from the anime series Re:ZERO season 2
Betty crying

Also, mixed in with all of Betty’s crying about wanting to die was another detail I haven’t seen anyone bring up. The “that person” didn’t refer to anyone in particular. And it didn’t even refer to the person who’s going to kill Betty. It refers to the person who can choose Betty and her happiness over everyone and everything else.

Basically, Betty was asking Subaru to choose her over Emilia just as Rem did in the first season. And if Subaru agreed to be “that person” for Betty, she would then be free from her contract with Echidna. Basically, her contract states that she must protect the library until someone comes along and promises her a happy life.

And of course, Subaru shot her down for Emilia.

Also, less important is that we saw Betty use two dark magic spells and a teleportation spell which I assume was light magic. This isn’t that shocking because she’s a spirit like Puck, and he’s been shown to use multiple types of magic as well.

A New Challenger Approaches

Maylie was finally revealed, and she’s exactly the character I previously wrote a theory about. I would like to point out, however, that Maylie’s identity wasn’t my theory, it came from Rain., a member of my Discord server. She thought the girl suspected of being Maylie looked familiar from season 1, and I just happened to point her to the right episode to confirm it.

There are some interesting things we get with the introduction of Maylie, and even from Elsa shortly before Maylie appeared. First, Elsa specifically mentions that their targets are Betty, Frederica, and Petra. That means their primary goal is to kill those three, not to obtain a copy of the Tome or access to the Forbidden Library.

That may have seemed obvious originally when Elsa mentioned that her targets were maids and a shut-in. But at that point, I still assumed there was some greater goal and that killing them was just to get them out of the way. If their killing was itself the goal, then that calls into question who Elsa’s employer is even more.

Maylie from the anime series Re:ZERO season 2
Maylie

I really like Maylie’s design. But, I’m bringing up her design here because of the color scheme. Purple, white, and black are colors we’ve seen associated with the witches. So is Maylie a cultist? It’s possible, but I’ve never really gotten the feeling that Elsa was associated with the cult, so why would they be teaming up?

Also, why would the cult want Betty, Frederica, and Petra dead? I don’t think they’re even on the cult’s radar — except for maybe Betty.

Who Hired Elsa and Maylie?

Who else would want Betty, Frederica, and Petra dead? And who else would know of Betty’s existence in the first place? I’ve seen Roswaal’s name be thrown around a lot, but I just don’t see it being him. He’s the one who told Subaru to go get Betty’s help. And he clearly doesn’t want Subaru to die in Elsa’s attack.

If we consider that Elsa was also hired to obtain Emilia’s royal selection insignia at the start of season 1, it begins to paint a different picture. Someone wanted Emilia out of the royal selection, but didn’t want her killed. And yet, they want those who support Emilia to be killed.

I think it’s very possible that another royal selection candidate is behind all of this. And perhaps the reason they want Emilia left alive is so that they can make an example out of her (the half-elf) once they win the thrown.

Priscilla is the only one who hasn’t helped Emilia’s camp in some way. Just saying.

A Broken Emilia

Upon originally viewing the scene of Emilia going crazy and telling Subaru that she loved him, I thought this supported one of my previous theories. Last week, I mentioned how I thought that Emilia and Satella could be one and the same. And while I’m not going to say that’s out of the question now, I will say these scene doesn’t reinforce that theory.

In this scene, whenever we’re shown Emilia’s eyes, it looks like they’re full of witch’s miasma. So, I took this as a hint that perhaps some of Satella’s influence was leaking out from within Emilia, or that she was otherwise being controlled. After rewatching the episode, I don’t think she was being controlled in any way, but the visuals of her eyes are still interesting.

There are a few reasons why I backtracked on that idea. First, Roswaal and Subaru specifically state that Emilia was mentally broken because she was vilified by Garfiel, isolated from the villagers, and felt abandoned by both Subaru and Puck. This definitely would have impacted her, as she’s finally been able to befriend the villagers and rely on Subaru and Puck when she’s in need.

A mentally broken Emilia from the anime series Re:ZERO season 2
A mentally broken Emilia

The second reason I have for this is because Emilia wasn’t acting like she was being controlled by Satella. Satella wouldn’t want to pretend to be Emilia in order for Subaru to love her. She would want Subaru to love her as Satella. And, the things Emilia said definitely sounded like she was revealing what she has always worried would happen — that she would be all alone again.

The question is then, why is this what Roswaal wants? What does he get out of isolating and mentally breaking Emilia? Well, what if this is the state Emilia needs to be in if she’s going to have any chance of clearing her trial? Her trial most likely involves confronting the last time she was truly alone — before Puck found her in the forest.

Maybe Roswaal wants to put her back in that frame of mind to undergo the trial.

Roswaal’s Inhumanity

At the end of the episode, not only did Roswaal do some crazy things, but he revealed some very important information as well. The first crazy thing he did was kill Ram and Garfiel specifically so they wouldn’t interrupt his conversation with Subaru. He did this knowing that Subaru has the ability to reverse that event.

And this brings us to the first big piece of information, which is the confirmation that Roswaal knows about Subaru’s ability. However, he doesn’t know how it’s triggered, and he actually appears to believe it’s something Subaru can activate on demand.

This is important because it backs up what I said about Roswaal not wanting to get Subaru caught up in Elsa’s attack. If Roswaal hired Elsa, he wouldn’t send Subaru to the mansion because as far as he knows, if Subaru actually dies, it’s over. And if Roswaal ever did learn how Subaru’s return by death ability worked, he would undoubtedly capture him and kill him every time something didn’t go according to his plan.

Also, speaking of killing, did you notice that Roswaal mentioned that he vowed to give someone a soul when he killed her? What was that about? Did he mean that he promised to give Ram to Garfiel?

Anyway, the second crazy thing Roswaal did was allow himself to be killed by the Great Rabbit. This might not be crazy if Roswaal would keep his memories after the reset, but as he told Subaru, the Roswaal after the reset is effectively a different person. This Roswaal is going to die here. Roswaal is fine with dying as long as someone effectively external to himself fulfills his goal one day.

When he did this, he also told Subaru that he needs to throw away his humanity and focus on the one thing he cares about.

What Does Subaru Care About Most?

At first, the question of what Subaru cares about most might seem obvious: Emilia. But I don’t think that’s quite right. Roswaal knows what Subaru cares about most deep down, otherwise he wouldn’t have said that. And if what Subaru cared about most was Emilia, it would directly conflict with Roswaal’s plans.

Roswaal wants Subaru to leave the Sanctuary and head to the mansion. He wants Emilia to feel isolated and abandoned by him. So if Emilia was what Subaru cared about most and is what Roswaal was telling Subaru to focus on, then Subaru wouldn’t leave Emilia’s side.

Subaru is actually a pretty standard protagonist when it comes to his personality, and I think that’s the big hint here. What does Subaru care about most of all? His friends. All this time, Subaru has done everything in his power to prevent a single one of his friends from dying permanently. And that’s why Roswaal sends him to the mansion.

Roswaal wants Subaru to focus on rescuing Betty, Frederica, and Petra. Specifically, he wants Betty to be rescued from her contract with Echidna. And before you say that’s impossible because he’ll never choose Betty over Emilia, he doesn’t have to. He didn’t choose Rem over Emilia, and yet their relationship is (was) better than ever. He was still able to make Rem happy.

But, if Subaru goes to save Betty and the gang, doesn’t that leave everyone in the Sanctuary to die? Not necessarily.

Consider the following: What if Emilia completes the trial before the Great Rabbit appears? Perhaps that will awaken some hidden power within her that will allow her to defeat it. So, I think Roswaal’s point was that Subaru needs to focus on saving those who are in the most danger and then rely on Emilia’s strength to save the Sanctuary.

Conclusion

What do you think of Re:ZERO episode 36? Do you think Subaru will be able to set Betty free without killing her? Who do you think hired Elsa and Maylie? And what are your thoughts on my theory about Roswaal breaking Emilia so that she can complete the trial(s) and save the Sanctuary while Subaru protects the mansion? 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 36”

  1. I do think Subaru can free Betty without killing her. Poor Beatrice just wants to have affection and attention like all little girls do. This was foreshadowed when Betty looked longingly out the window in Season 1 when Subaru and Emilia were doing radio calisthenics. Subaru needs to man up and say that he will be that person for Beatrice since she’s just a lonely little girl at heart.

    I believe it to be impossible that Priscilla hired Elsa and Maylie. Priscilla is the type to be believe herself to be superior and have utmost confidence in her own abilities. If she were to actually make an example out of the Emilia camp, I believe Priscilla would fight Emilia head-on in a duel to prove her superiority rather than resort to assassinating members of the Emilia camp.

    I don’t think Roswaal is breaking Emilia so that she can complete the trials. I think what Roswaal is doing in breaking Emilia is to show Subaru what he (Roswaal) can do to Emilia if Subaru doesn’t cast aside everything and focus on one thing as Roswaal told him to do. It’s just to push Subaru to be more like Roswaal which Roswaal expected of Subaru when he said one day Subaru would catch up to him if Subaru did what he told him to do. I believe Roswaal wants Subaru to be as inhuman as he himself is.

    At first, I thought that Subaru was sent to the future in episode 33 because of the snow. Then in episode 9, I revised my speculation to Emilia being eaten by the Great Rabbit, which lead to Puck growing huge and making it snow, only for Puck himself to get devoured by the Great Rabbit. But now, I believe that it was Roswaal who made it snow in episode 8 given that a speck of snow flew by before Subaru got teleported by the crystal in episode 33. Roswaal probably started making it snow once Subaru revealed his intention to leave the mansion. In other words, I believe Roswaal is luring the Great Rabbit to the Sanctuary to punish Subaru for attempting to leave the Sanctuary instead of helping Emilia complete the trials.

    Here’s what I posted for episode 34 on your blog:

    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.

    Given that Echidna likely has the original Tome of Wisdom, I now am more confident that her asking Subaru to give Emilia wings is her telling Subaru how to solve the problems of this loop, and the solution is getting Emilia to complete the trials. Perhaps if Emilia can get past the first trial, she will complete the other 2 trials easily if they don’t involve her past, leaving room for Subaru and Ram to go back to the mansion and get Betty, Frederica, and Petra, and Rem.

    I find Roswaal getting more and more suspicious now, as he revealed that Subaru figuring out that he was the cause of the snow was not a part of his plans, and he literally was surprised that Subaru had found out. The more I learn about Roswaal, the less I trust I him. He wants Subaru to be his partner in crime, and Subaru would have to throw away his humanity to do so.

    1. I agree that Subaru is going to save Betty rather than kill her. He “saved” Rem after rejecting her, so the same thing is likely going to happen here as well. So far, Re:Zero has shown itself to be a series that builds characters in favor of killing them off.

      As for Priscilla, I can see what you mean. But, I’d also say that Priscilla would be the kind of person to think that she’s so above Emilia that it’s not worth her time to personally destroy her camp. That’s just grunt work that a hired assassin can do. But, I’m not sure how realistic my theory about Priscilla actually is. It’s very possible that Elsa and Maylie were hired by someone or some group that has yet to be introduced into the series. I just don’t think they’re connected to the cult.

      At this point, it’s clear that Roswaal is the one who’s causing it to snow in the Sanctuary. I don’t think there’s any debate to be had about that now. But, I’m not sure about your theory for why he’s doing it. Roswaal is the one who told Subaru to get Betty on his side. To do that, Subaru needs to leave the Sanctuary and go to the mansion. So it doesn’t make sense for Roswaal to be punishing Subaru for doing exactly what he’s told him to do.

      1. Roswaal did not tell Subaru to get Beatrice on his side. What Roswaal did is tell him HOW to get Betty on Subaru’s side. I think that’s the key. Roswaal provides information to Subaru to be helpful, but he still intends to make it snow if Subaru leaves the Sanctuary early, and that’s why probably Roswaal was surprised that Subaru figured out that was it was him because he never intended for Subaru to know this and thought Subaru was too dumb to make the connection. The future in Roswaal’s not-quite-Tome of Wisdom probably requires for Subaru to contract with Beatrice, but I don’t think Roswaal will tolerate that happening before Subaru gets Emilia to complete the trials. I believe that if Emilia completes the trials that Roswaal will not lure the Great Rabbit to the Sanctuary, meaning that that is one threat taken care of. The only question would be if Emilia can complete the second and third trials relatively quickly so that there is time to get back to the mansion before Elsa attacks.

  2. first of all Betty didn’t want Subaru to die (Removing curse, fight over Roswaal when Rem dies, casting Shamac). Maybe since Subaru’s is no ordinary person who can attract spirit and become fond to him as a result. And I think she’s know about Subaru from her “gospel” a long time ago before it stopped working or blank.

    the second is Roswaal doesn’t care about the mansion or the people’s inside it (Petra, Frederica, Rem) or even Betty (since he’s know what Betty’s wanted, death).

    third is Elsa and Meyli is an assassin who follow the orders from a client to kill or take an insignia of the ruling candidate of the Lugnica Kingdom. Chose Emilia first since she’s doesn’t have proper knight back then (and even now, Subaru’s whack) and they’re doesn’t care if Emilia live or death (Season 1).

    fourth, Echidna is “confirmed” can foresee the future. But, maybe it doesn’t have exact same thing as Satella have (like a blurry pictures of the upcoming events).

    fifth, Roswaal is indeed live according to the “gospel” that he owns. And he’s aware that Subaru can comeback to live from the gospel too (a glitches in event maybe? his face changed when Subaru’s mentioned about snow and mail. So, it’s safe to assume that event doesn’t present on his gospel). About the disappearance of the mail is I believe it’s another clone of Ryuzu-san who doesn’t want Sanctuary to be freed.

    1. You seem to have a lot of misunderstandings, so I’ll respond to each of your points individually.

      1. I don’t think anyone is saying that Betty wants Subaru to die. I’m certainly not saying that’s the case, so I don’t know where you’re getting that from. And, I would also say that Betty knew someone was supposed to eventually come and rescue her, but she didn’t know that person was Subaru. Even by the time she died, she didn’t seem to know it was Subaru. She thinks he’s just going to be the one to finally kill her, not rescue her.

      2. Roswaal is pretty indifferent to everyone. He uses people to achieve his own goals, but that doesn’t mean he would actively try to harm anyone in the mansion without good reason. It’s true that he knew Betty wanted to die, but knowing that doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about her at all.

      3. From the encounter between Elsa and Emilia in season 1, I didn’t get the impression that killing Emilia was something Elsa had permission to do. It was more like she decided to kill Emilia on her own after getting caught in the act of stealing the insignia. If she was told it was okay to kill Emilia, she would have done that from the start rather than hiring Felt to steal the insignia.

      4. The reason Echidna knows the future is likely due to her role as the Witch of Greed. And it’s extremely likely that the Tome of Wisdom was, or still is, in her possession. Satella doesn’t appear to have that same knowledge because she understands Subaru’s actions even less than Echidna does.

      5. Although Roswaal follows the words of the copy of the Tome he possesses, he doesn’t know that Subaru can come back to life. He knows that Subaru can reset time, but he doesn’t know that it’s tied to Subaru’s death. That’s exactly why Roswaal said that he couldn’t kill Subaru. He thinks that killing Subaru would kill him for good.

  3. Check out the season 2 break time Episode 11.
    It gives the hint that Elsa’s employer is Roswal. (Same eyes as subaru, which Garfiel also mentioned).

    Earlier also I thought her employer should be Roswal when Elsa mentioned how she entered the forbidden library(when you open every door of the mansion then door crossing don’t work – Roswal would have told this information to elsa while hiring her).

    But this also contradict the fact that if Roswal is backing emilia for Royal selection then why would he hire elsa to steal emilia’s insignia. Either it may have been different person who hired elsa in season 1 or may be Roswal was acting according to gospel and somehow knew that subaru would help emilia.

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