However, since Subaru knows that he is in a time loop, he also had to figure out whether or not he will get involved with the silver-haired girl or not. Granted, he does get involved, but that’s because he knows that the girl, plus Felt (the theif) and Rom (the owner of the loot house), will get killed by the witch. So, after encountering the knight Reinhard and giving him a message for the silver-haired girl, he tries to get the insignia before the witch appears.
Subaru discovering his power comes in the form of yet another death, which is fittingly pathetic (stabbed in the back by those 3 bandits). It helps to finally tell the viewer what this show’s tone is: dark and brutal, giving the viewer a sense of hope, but not interested in pulling punches towards the characters. If the padding and attempts at humor last episode made you think that this would be a lame comedy about being trapped in another world, this scene helps let you know that this is meant to be a dark, dramatic take on the story. For someone expecting a series among those lines more than the former, this is where I finally can declare that I’m hooked.
After he realizes his power, the rest of the episode follows Subaru trying to barter the insignia from Felt before encountering the witch (who he encounters breifly in a very tense scenes). The scenes with Subaru and Felt finally help establish Felt as a character. It would be more effective if the episode did not have the ominous undercurrent of the inevitable meeting with the witch. This undercurrent creates an unsettling ending, as the silver-haired girl arrives at the loot house.
Like I said, this is the episode that helped give me a sense of confidence regarding how this series will go. While still rocky in execution, it showcases the confidence in direction this show has. While there are moments where the show appears to be preoccupied with less-pressing things (the scenes with Subaru and Felt seem like they needed to occur before Subaru began realizing his ticking clock), the show wants us invested and engaged so that, when we get more killings and failures, they hit harder. I wonder how the show will handle the build-up of variables that will occur as the series goes on, but for now, I’m hooked.
FINAL GRADE: A-
Re:Zero -Starting Life In Another World- is available for streaming at Crunchyroll.com.