Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- – Preview
Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- – Preview:
Original Air Dates: April 3rd, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Natsuki Subaru is your ordinary high school student. Plays too many games, stays up late, and tends to grab late night snacks at the convenience store. On his way home from a late night snack trip, Subaru has a brief series of flashes before his eyes, which he chalks up to his poor gaming habits. But when he opens his eyes again he finds that he’s been transported to another world entirely; a world of elves, demi-humans and swords and knives.
When Subaru finds himself at the mercy of bandits, a silver haired girl, Satella, steps into save him. Seeking to repay her, Subaru agrees to work with her to find her stolen insignia. But things take a terrible turn, when the hunt for Satella’s insignia goes south and Subaru finds himself mortally wounded. Is this the end for Subaru? Or perhaps– merely the beginning?
Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Re:Zero spends a lot of time with its characters, not surprising as we’ve been given a two-part premiere equaling a fifty minute run time. Subaru, our fish out of water hero, is generally okay as anime protagonists go. He’s a little too meta, I think, as much of his persona and dialogue centers around calling out the expectations we all have watching fantasy anime such as these. Otherwise he’s a nice guy, interested in helping out others and saving lives. But beyond those two points, there isn’t much to go on. Our other major characters are Felt, a thief girl, and Satella, a pretty girl who can use magic and was robbed by Felt. They’re both decent enough, Satella a tsundere good girl type, and Felt a money hungry little pocket pincher. We actually don’t get to know Felt too much, as she only plays a major role in the final ten minutes.
Linny: The attempt to potray a meta hero is a little imbalanced. For one, he almost immediately figures out and accepts his sudden transference to a fantasy world in the blink of an eye. Then, he is able to perfectly communicate verbally with the inhabitants of said world but unable to read the language there. It’s not a major complaint but some of the hiccups he encounters seem forced in for the sheer sake of executing a joke or story progression. Otherwise, he is likeable enough as a protagonist and his meta declarations and assumptions make for good chuckles. And of course, no protagonist is complete without his tsundere angel, or in this case, half elf who’s everything you would expect to be to win over our protagonist: helpful, kind, and clearly in need of help. You also get a smattering of side characters who play a nice mix of good cop/bad cop helping the show to feel more engaging as it struggles with its slow pace.
Tom: Re:Zero actually begins interestingly enough, I found myself generally interested and engaged by the first ten or minutes as Subaru gets adjusted to the world. But after he’s saved by Satella, things fall apart. He agrees to help her look for the thief who stole her insignia, but that becomes a monotonous task. We spend twenty minutes of extended sequences searching, helping a lost girl, and Subaru and Satella getting to know one another. It’s all good stuff, but its stretched by needless dialogue and repeated information. Everything takes longer than it really needs to. It doesn’t need to be this long as you’ve gotten the point well before Re:Zero is finished making it.
Linny: The hour long premiere does indeed, feels like it was a direct result of the show’s lack of efficient time management and the show is unable to completely shake off the tinge of generic fantasy world switching cliches. As per usual, the hero is still physically stronger than the average individual despite being an apparent shut in gamer. It does try to offer explanations for certain things but the explanations feel half-assed or like a mere afterthought. Such as him mentioning, mid fight, that his obsession with swinging around a wooden sword for fun being the reason he has a strong grip and thus, defeating three thugs.
Tom: Re:Zero isn’t just Subaru trapped in a Fantasy World. We’re offered a twist that makes Re:Zero the love child of Konosuba and Erased. It’s hinted at early on, but when the twist finally hits, you really see where Re:Zero wants to be going. I’m honestly on board for it, and I think the episode finally picks up once this twist comes into play. If Re:Zero can maintain a tighter pace going forward (please don’t let the writers have more hour long episodes) then Re:Zero could actually be a solid watch this season.
Linny: I would also describe Re:Zero as a mix of Konosuba and Erased, two of our favourite shows from last season. Or, more specifically, Erased set in the world of Konosuba. While it lacks the emotional gravity of Erased, and it’s characters aren’t hyper comedic like in Konosuba, it does manage to integrate some of the smart humour of Konosuba with the game changing twist of Erased.
Tom: As a final note from me, Re:Zero has some heavy use of CGI in order to depict the background characters as well as lizard drawn carriages dashing around the city. It’s definitely noticeable for anyone with a trained eye, but it’s not distracting enough for CGI-haters to be completely ripped from Re:Zero’s story.
Linny: The character designs aren’t that memorable either, with all of them having bland or generic features and outfits. That’s definitely not the end of the world though, and the animation quality is maintained well enough to not distract from the story being told onscreen.
Tom: Re:Zero is a show I see potential in. I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, I honestly believe with a tighter pace, we could be looking at a pretty good show. Right now I think it’s worth a watch, but I guess we’ll see how I feel when we reach the Mid-season review.
Linny: The slow pace of the story is the biggest hurdle this show has to overcome to win us over. It still has lots to offer its audiences with its own take of world swapping by amalgamating two different kinds of supernatural fantasies into one show. There’s some solid humour and meta wit and should hopefully build into a strong story given its unique little premise.
Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com.