Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-

Alt title: Re:Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu

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Themanwithideas's avatar
May 30, 2016

Before you blacklist me please read what I have to say. By the way 5/10 means average not below average. Also some spoilers may be in here but they will be set of like this (spoiler here). Let's start with the most obvious things, being this is in no way shape or form similar to Erased or Stiens;Gate anyone who says so lied. It doesn't have great characters like Stiens;Gate or a mystery to solve like Erased yes it has flaws but is it bad? No but it was overhyped. Now onwards and upwards. The first three to four episodes are actually promising a total idiot for a main character but like any show showing a character to develop over time is necessary, then came the next episodes, and what happens? Forced character development followed by drum roll 2 minutes of plot and a cliff hanger, for how many episodes you ask I don't know it's still happening after 8 episodes.
As for the story, what story? (Do you mean the unexplained teleported to another world and and when he dies he resets thing yea sounds awesome right) great news 8 episodes and not even a hint to what's behind this cool idea.
Characters, I actually have a favorite character you know that shop keeper who he keeps telling he's broke (the one he resets to) now he's relatable just a man just trying to run a business. All the rest are as follows naive protagonist, cute shy girl, a couple of eccentric people and two cute maids and that's it so far oh and that library chick what's the description for her? Emotional stunted. I guess it would be cool if the characters weren't set up like a harem anime think about it you will soon see I'm right.
Every thing else is cool the world mainly but seeing as we never see it after the first couple of episodes what's the point?
Anyway it's your choice blacklist me, start a debate or trust me it doesn't matter.
Final verdict awesome idea poor execution. Wasted potential don't waste your time.

2/10 story
5/10 animation
5/10 sound
2/10 characters
3/10 overall
noge's avatar
Oct 1, 2016

Next-level waifus, tons of suffering and this never-ever-seen resurrection thing. All in a single pack!

Whatever, here's my honest opinion. Spoilers ahead.

Re:zero is a serie that generated a huge fan-base from no where and everyone seemed to be in a huge hype train of "I hope this anime has a plot at some point". Lets get started:

Whatch this if:

- You like shonens and waifus. 

- You like magnifiedly stupid main characters.

- You like seeing whale torture for 2 whole chapters

- You don't mind things happening for no reason and unclosed plot parts.

Don't watch this if:

- The rest of the review is full of reasons to not watch this.

Plot

It looks like the author wrote down the actual anime trends (2016) and some animes he liked and copy pasted parts of them to mix them like if this was the "formula to success". And even thought I don't know how. It worked.

Typical shounen genere, cliffhangers, main character diving into a phantasy world, maids, neko-girls, waifu stereotypes, medieval swordsmans, some time travel or resurrection/resets, more cliffhangers, a "normal" dumb/retarded otaku as main character aaand done.

The story doesn't follow a structure or a goal, he appears in this new world and... well... things happen, because of reasons. And the resons are usually forced dramatism and suffering.

- First plot: they need to recover Emilia's medal without dieing.

- Second: Roswaal's mansion characters being introduced while there's no main goal at all.

- Third: The royal selection seems to be where the story was leading us all this time, but it ends being pointless since it doesn't even conclude.

- Fourth: Bad crazy guys appear and we have to kill a whale because reasons. Most of this part is Subaru dieing all the time without advance in the plot, until Rem confesses his love and he becomes a supersayan. Then they proceed to bully whales for 2 or 3 caps.

It never explains the most important points of the story: why did subaru enter this world, why does he this reset thing, who is the witch and how is this related to Emilia and Puck. It priorizes throwing in more new characters and anime fetishes.

The only thing that concludes is that Subaru kind of saved his waifu and she loves him.

Dont ask why hes bloody

Characters

They are totally flat, and I'm not talking about their chests.

You can easily notice that each one of them is a very stereotypical character copypasted from some other anime with close to zero depth.

Even the main character which is the deepest and most important, has a very irregular progression through the story and he doesn't even really change that much.

Conclusion

At the end there is no message or lesson, the whole story is a big repetitive cliché about conquisting the girl, a girl thaat doesn't even have personality. Well, I like Emilia since all we know about her is that she is always trying to be nice to everyone and she may be the only character who colud be a role model or something, but she is swallow as fuck and there is zero intention of making her more than a standard waifu. Come on, at least Rem is a bit deeper as a character even if that's not much.

My real grades for this anime should be:

Cliffhangers: 10/10

Main character: 2/10

Harem and waifus: 10/10

Script: 1/10

Fillers: 9/10

Forced blood and suffering: 8/10

Flaws and plot holes:

From the first chapter, I watched the anime thinking it had potential; expecting a greater plot to develop at some point. But I kept watching and nothing began. More subplots, more pointless characters and more exagerated blood.

The problem in not about the plot and character development being not clearly spelled-out (which is a lot of the time just ignored), there's plenity of time in 25 chapters to get a way more consistent story, but the anime wastes most of it's time in unnecessary sub-plots and fillers that don't bring anything interesting to it.

Main Story:

- How and why did Subaru get transported to this world? 

- This whole "THERE WAS A BAD WITCH" thing. We will never know who was her, what were her intentions, was she as bad as pleople say ...

- Why Emilia introduced her as Satella at the first chapter? Why was subaru "cursed" by the witch? Why does he ressurrect? (The anime gives some hints about this questions, but not real answers)

- Subaru is sloth? Subaru is pride? The whale is gluttony? Puck is wrath? What's the point about this sins thing anyway. Same for that thing about "we have many types of magic, like pokemons, subaru has shadow magic" that leads nowhere.

- The royal selection looked like the main plot for the second half of the seaon, but it ended up pointless and uncompleted.

- We don't know anything about Emilia's past/origin.

- Filler chapters. The plot advances very slowly, it is a 25 chapters anime, but all his plot could be fit in less than ten. Most of the episodes are not relevant to the story ... I could tolerate it if the anime had no potential or no plot to explain, but it just keeps adding shallow characters instead of adding depth to the ones we already have; keeps adding misteries and plot flaws that will never be resolved, instead of responding to the ones we already have.

More flaws: Unnecessary/uncomplete characters:

- Wilhelm: he is just filler material, what the fuck. "Hello I'm a badass widower old swordsman that hates whales" is pretty much all we have from him, this could be summarized in a sentence but we do get many chapters and thousands of flashbacks about this "I'm a knight with a reason to fight" character. Doesn't add anything to the story, just a reason to kill whales and have "epic battles".

- Beatrice and Roswaal were introduced but we did never know much about their past  / never aported anything relevant to the story. Why do Roswaal support Emilia anyway?¿?

- Elsa "Gut Slicer". Why did she appear in the first chapters and then vanished for no reason? Left with a "see you soon", never came back. Whatever.

- Felt. She joins the royal selection because... Magic? :D

- Puck: why does he call Emilia her daughter? Who is Puck? You can theorize about it, but it's not clear.

- Subaru: he just changes all the time from being a complete piece of trash to a goddamn fucking boss pussydestroyer. Because he decides it. And the reason for his harem to fall in love with him is just because he is the main character, doesn't go deeper than that.

We could keep going for hours talking about flaws but w/e.

 

If you haven't watched it yet I recomend marking it as "Wont watch" and giving a 0'5/5 rating, or 1/5 if you r feeling generous today :)

Recomendations:

If you like this "resurrection thing", read the manga All you need is kill: it is what re:zero tried to be. The film adaptation is "The Edge Of Tomorrow" if you can't read, but it isn't that good.

If you like the drama in re:zero, read Oyasumi Punpun: Not a happy story, and what a masterpiece. Subaru would feel his life is great after reading punpun. 

To avoid recomending only mangas, some anime:

Steins;gate has time-travel, suffering and some save your waifu simulator. The first ten episodes are pretty damn boring but then it gets pretty damn good.

Made in abyss: suffering and friendship in a fantasy world. It's cool but starts slow.

PS: all of this review is based based on my opinion and my shit taste. If you are reading this, thanks for reading or scrolling to this point :)

1/10 story
7/10 animation
6/10 sound
3/10 characters
2/10 overall
Poio's avatar
Apr 5, 2016

Hello, we have ourselves something interesting and relatively new as far as the cliche setting goes. Let's start by saying what this is in terms of genre. You will have your typical teenager coming over to another world. Elves, demons, magic, medieval times - as far as this goes we've all seen this before. However, as far as recommending this I would tell almost everyone to watch it. It doesn't matter if you like this type of show, it's not the dominant trait of it. But let's explain everything like I usually do.

Watch if:

- You generally like shounen-type anime,

- Your idea of watching something involves understanding and thinking,

- Fantasy is your drug of choice,

- You appreciate visual fanfare and eye-candy.

Don't watch if:

- You hate cliffhangers,

- You need everything spelled-out in terms of plot and character development.

ANYTHING BELOW THIS POINT MAY CONTAIN MINOR SPOILERS

Story 9/10

My personal ranking as far as story goes rates this anime very high. Probably on par with things like "Death Note" and "Madoka Magica". Do not look for similarities in terms of setting or even the story itself there, though. What I mean by this is that I believe the idea for the anime is great and somewhat unique. This is inevitably tied to both story and characters, but I will put my thoughts down here - before you get bored of reading.

The main concept (apart from "person in another world") here is that the protagonist will ressurect after death. Not only that, but he will turn back time as well. The idea is easiest explained as an "auto-save" feature in real life. He will go back to a point, remember all his choices and will be able to change events somewhat. There are two ways I found one might look at it. You could treat this as the typical hero power an MC gets in this type of story, but I believe that to be incorrect. Another way of looking at it, as I believe the creators might have intended, is that the guy has no special features about him. He isn't some long lost prince, has no sword coming out of his butt or a magical eye that strips females of their wits and garments. There is some kind of curse on him (let's call it auto-save curse) and he will make the best of that bad situation. What you typically see in shows of this genre is the hero making choices that are ALWAYS correct. If you ever thought outside the proverbial box while watching the genre you'd have at some point asked yourself at least one of the below (or a variation of it):

- "How does he always get to the right place, how does he even know where to go?"

- "How come he talks to this person he just met like they know eachother forever and gives them advice?"

- "Seriously, you just got to this world... why do you know everything and do the right thing every single time? Can you read their minds?"

For me it's utterly frustrating that heroes just come and take the reins, guiding everyone, including the viewer through the cliche plot without a single hiccup. Like, "Ok, so I am in this world, and we need to kill the demon lord" - 15 episodes later they are at the demon lord castle, walking to his throne room. How did he even know which way it was...

In this show you get to see what an actual human being might do, if put in the same situation. He will make MISTAKES. Luckily his "auto-save" lets him try and try again until he gets it right, or as close to that as possible given the circumstances. If you never thought about the above cliche you will after you watch this show. This is also the most compelling reason for watching that I can give you.

Animation 8/10

Visuals are stunning. It's pretty, it's colorful, things are animated and move almost like they should. Given some of the gore I feel it might have been a smart idea by the animators to deliberately conceal some of the more gruesome shots - we get to avoid the omnipresent Rays of Light(Tm), while at the same time we know what happened. Some parts might be too light-hearted and maybe attention to detail could have been better with the scenery, but there really is nothing to complain about. You will find that it's pretty, I promise.

Sound 7/10

I loved the OP, most of it anyway. There's absolutely noting bad to say about the VA's as well. Sound is not intrusive, it plays its role, builds up tension and helps the overall vibe. While it is the lowest point of the show, that is only because everything else is so great.

Characters 9/10

Bread and butter of the series. While the idea and story are both amazing, they would not work without the characters. The MC is actually a typical teenager. They made him a bit too dense, but that is most likely so he doesn't intimidate teenage viewers and they don't feel too inferior. Most any teenager should be able to relate to him, given the fact he has no special powers and tends to actually have emotions that resemble a human being. While this sounds negative, it is far from it. Most shows present you with a sock puppet that will headbutt walls, peek on girls and shout out skill names while disposing of enemies. This guy thinks, analyzes, makes mistakes and LEARNS from them. He is also a role model type, so it's safe to let your teenager watch this, if you're a parent.

Characters have layers, but are not rushing to the MC to tell him their life story. They tend to be very secretive and through decent plot manipulation (and use of "auto-save") the MC gets to discover that some are not what they seem. Genuine relationships develop, sometimes cut short but the MC dying and such.

Overall 8/10

This is a show that everyone should at least try. No matter if you're just looking for a casual shounen or you'd like to explore the more interesting aspects of it, this anime will deliver. The only downside is that clever use of cliffhangers makes you want more. As such, for those who hate waiting to see what happens, one might need to wait for all 26 episodes.

Wholeheartedly recommended.

9/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
9/10 characters
8/10 overall
apoc9's avatar
Jul 27, 2016

Going on downward spiral this anime is worse and worse with each episode. The main character in one moment being overconfident, cheerful and in the next moment suffering from a psychological breakdown, crying like a little girl - rinse and repeat. Especially in the 15 episode, which I would describe as dismal. Who comes with the script for this? It is a complete mess. The whole thing is even more absurd with the time traveling aspect. If any kind of bad end scenario is simply erased by returning back in time. Why he takes it so seriously? The constant time resets if anything should make him more detached from the people and the world. "You died, whatever I am going to save you next time." Further the anime goes less I know what the story is about and what is the motivation for main protagonist to go on. The first arc was decent, the second was worse and the third is the worst so far.

The time resets break any stakes, because as so far the anime goes it seems that until the main character reaches the "good end" he just resets back. It's like a game with checkpoints. He might die, but it is not big deal. The only penalty is pain, depending on how the main character dies. The whole shlock eventually gets boring and I am not a sadist. I do not take pleasure in watching a guy to undergo various gruesome deaths or misfortune for no really good reason. The main protagonist lack of reality-check puts him in situations where he gets beaten a lot, because everyone else is OP in comparison. Good example is the scene at the palace, where gets into the duel with one of the knights and for what?

I don't believe there is a chance for this anime to redeem itself and stand out. As for visuals, sound, etc. it is ok (aka average). If you want to watch some decent story with main character "reseting" after death go watch movie "The Edge Of Tomorrow" instead.

3/10 story
5/10 animation
5/10 sound
3/10 characters
3/10 overall
roriconfan's avatar
Sep 22, 2016

PREMISE
We live in the decade where anime are defined by videogames and time resets. Someone had the bright idea of combining both trends and the result is Re:Zero. I mean, holy shit, 90% of casual anime viewers are going to check it out the second they hear what the premise is about, and the rest will be dragged in by the readers of the source material. The exact same strategy that made Sword Art Online and Erased so famous in a couple of episodes.

So what is going on that can make your average consumer of Far East animation to lose his shit? Well, there is this NEET being transported to an RPG fantasy realm, where he spends his days saving waifus. Nothing special so far; we already have dozens of those. The catch is, he is constantly being murdered in gory ways and he respawns in a previous point in time. Thus it’s not simply a harem in a fantasy setting, it’s also Groundhog Day with lot of gore and suffering.

These last two elements are enough to fool your average watcher of misplaced Chinese cartoons into thinking the story is deep and mature. Because you see, there is this misconception where violence and tragedy makes a story realistic. What did you know; that is exactly what the majority thinks of the protagonist; he is the most relatable otaku because they confuse sympathy with empathy. Too bad that just because you understand ones’ pain does not make him real.

CAST
A closer inspection of said protagonist quickly proves that he is not that different from your typical self-insert bland otaku. He is equally stupid and referential as any run of the mill snarky hero who appeals to a demographic with one-liners and inside jokes. What seemingly makes him stand out is the constant pain and terror he experiences every time things go to hell and everybody dies horribly. Him included.

But that’s the thing with time resets; he never stays dead and constantly respawns back in time where he is free to try again and again, until he manages to prevent the deaths of everyone he likes. And by everyone, I mean waifus. Because you see, there is not actual objective in the story; the MC is not trying to get back home or get rid of the curse that causes the resetting. He is saving waifus, and there are over a dozen of them, one for every fetish.
“You like timid princesses? We have them. You prefer maids? We got two. Maybe cat girls who are actually boys? There you go! And we will also do our best to make them behave like the blandest of archetypes, with artificial dialogues that make them sound like NPCs from videogames. There will also be no actual tension because nobody is in real danger thanks to the constant time resets. No matter what happens to them, can be undone just as easily.”

There are many who think the fear of death is enough to count as tension, since it makes the protagonist slowly go crazy, or that the relationships he spent so much time forming with his waifus are gone every time he resets. Big freaking deal! As much as he claims he is terrified of dying, he is practically immortal and he even goes as far as committing suicide when things go hairy.

As much as we think it’s sad to see the waifus forgetting everything he did to win their affection, there is an equal amount of events that are better off erased from existence. I mean, what’s the point of losing your progress in a relationship when the waifu ends up dead, or she freaks out and cuts you in little pieces? Of course and you would rather load a previous file and try again. And as much as we think he slowly gets crazier from the constant deaths, it’s all nullified every time he sleeps on the lap of a waifu. There is no actual character development.

My point is, him dying is not a tragic thing that messes with his mind and deletes his hard earned progress. It’s a convenient plot device to make sure everything will turn out fine at the end, no matter how grim the situation is at first. It is an even bigger form of plot armor where instead of not dying, he has an infinite amount of credits to continue playing a game of waifu hunting.

And since we are at the topic of conveniences, most of the things he is doing in every retry seem to be one as well. He is going to be conveniently meeting someone who was invisible so far and is going to be saving his ass. Or he will have someone spelling out what he needs to do in his next try in an artificial way. Or he is going to be telling everybody what to do even though he has no excuse for why he seems to predict everything that is going to happen and they should definitely trust him.

STORY
The story constantly tries to make it seem it’s not that easy, since he doesn’t control the moment he respawns, and there is a curse that kills him if he reveals his power to others. That’s not a positive trait because it doesn’t mean anything in the longrun.
“What’s that? A waifu hates you and you can’t undo it because you respawn after the event that made her hate you? No problem; just save her life after a dozen retries and she will love you even more. What’s that? The witch is killing you whenever you mention her? No problem; just abuse this by luring monsters with her scent.”

So basically what you are watching is a show about an obnoxious otaku that does nothing but trying to impress waifus, with lots of gore in-between that have no consequences because they are eventually deleted from the continuity. It’s the ideal show for modern viewers who want escapism with fake tension, a secured happy ending, while at the same time given the illusion that they are watching something completely different. It’s not, it’s one of the same shit that pulls a switcharoo to make it seem it’s a subversion before quickly going back to the usual clichés.
“Oh, look at that, the MC thinks he can predict everything based on stereotypes and that he is the chosen one, who is going to be loved by a pretty princess. No such thing happens, he is weak and nobody treats him as special, my god what a twist. One episode later, he is the chosen one of the witch, undying and loved by a pretty princess. My god, what a double twist, it’s one of the same shit after all. Rinse and repeat in every arc.”

If Subaru doesn’t feel like your typical protagonist, it’s because of these constant switches from stereotypical to self-aware. This makes him inconsistent, irrational and changing behavior every time the plot demands it. He is in effect two different people constantly switching bodies. He doesn’t develop; he gets rewritten, and heals his psychological scars very quickly. He is not a Gary Stu, as he constantly makes mistakes and learns from them, yet the change is never permanent.

PLOT
The plot doesn't follow a set story structure; every arc is vastly different from the rest and doesn't make sense in the continuity. Everything feels like no more than an excuse for generating more suffering towards the main character instead of trying to tell a story that progresses naturally. I mean, did you notice how there is no world-building? We don’t know anything about a setting that is supposed to be different from our own, yet everybody speaks Japanese and has maids and cat girls. It’s a random compilation of anime fetishes thrown in there without much thought. The only thinking the author did, was how to make up fucked up situations where everybody dies horribly, before resetting everything back to square one. Not even the pacing is good; the third arc is twice as long as it should be, and every rehash of events feels like dead time. How can this be called a good story?

VALUE
There is not even a message or a point in all this mess. Why is everything happening in this show that does not come down to a “Save your waifu simulator”? I cannot possibly believe the MC cares that much about people he met a day ago by complete chance. There is absolutely no chemistry between them, since everybody is defined by uniform fetishes and behaves like typical waifu archetypes. Just listen to what the fandom has to say about them as personalities. The internet is filled with softporn images, lots of waifu wars, and absolutely nothing about their depth as personalities. Because they don’t have any.

ENJOYMENT
I was bored while watching it, and infuriated by how almost everybody calls it a masterpiece at deconstructing the fad of being trapped in videogames and time resets. It’s one of the same crap that plagues modern anime, being nothing more than escapism, goreporn, waifus, and cheap ways to undo bad events. It's the glorification of insanity through shock factor, masquerading as a deep and meaningful show, with a ton of ideas but no substance to keep you interested. You watch it purely for the thrill and not for the theme exploration; it's a casual anime fan's wet dream and definitely doesn’t deserve the praise it gets from the majority of the community.

3/10 story
7/10 animation
5/10 sound
3/10 characters
4/10 overall