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Re: Zero - Starting Life in a New World Season 2 Part 2 Ep. 10 - Love, Blood, and Murder

While Emilia’s trial comes to a close, the dangers they have to face are far from over. Subaru and friends are struggling to defend the mansion. And while Emilia gets closer to the end, it might not be enough to save them all.

Minor spoilers!

“Face the disaster that is yet to come”

Emilia stands in the ruins of a mansion, the sky red with flames and sunset as smoke rises to the sky
What hell has wrought

The fight continues between Elsa and Garfiel as the two clash in the halls of Roswaal’s mansion. Things are getting more and more difficult as Garfiel struggles in defeating Elsa, who just so happens to have more than one trick up her sleeve. Meanwhile, Subaru, Otto, Petra, and an unconscious Rem are struggling to get past mabeasts and maybe a few disasters of their own making. All the while, another battle rages inside the Sanctuary. Roswaal and Ram fight to the death while Emilia takes the final steps into ending the Sanctuary. But there’s more coming in the horizon. A darker future awaits them all. And it’s only a question of whether they have the strength to change their future, or fall to its clutches.

At the 10th episode of the season, Re: Zero decided to really step-up its game. It’s really getting close to the end when you see the animation suddenly spike in quality. Viewers should take note of the absolutely beautiful fight between Garfiel and Esla. Beginning from the darkened halls of the Roswaal Mansion, into ethereal flames as their backdrop for slaughter, it’s all just pure art and a visual feast. And while it’s not the only form of action in the episode (Roswaal vs Ram definitely is something to watch), one can’t help but feel thrilled and alive as the two powerful fighters duel to the death. Every action is clear, and the setting used to full effect to make a pure cinematic experience for the viewers. And to be fair, all the action is like this. Even the minor moments of Subaru and co against the mabeast, or the last vestiges of Emilia’s trial, feel much more visually crafted. As they say, save the best for last.

"My love for you will begin after I kill you"

Elsa and Garfiel battling in the burning ruins of the Roswaal Mansion
A dance to the death

But speaking of Emilia, it seems that what her story has to offer hasn’t really stopped. It’s through her third trial we learn that something is coming. Something dangerous. The story really doesn’t let up when it comes to torturing Emilia with the suffering of loved ones, though this time she’s much stronger than she was before. Strong and Capable Emilia is the best Emilia (which could be a sign to doubt why she wasn’t explored earlier because she has so much more to offer as a protagonist, but leave that thought for another time). Seeing what else the writers have for Emilia’s role in the larger story of the witches is something to look forward to. But this time, unlike the previous episodes, she isn’t the only emotional core to the episode.

Everyone pulls their weight in delivering the drama. There’s the survival drama of Garfiel and Fredericka against the two insane assassins hell-bent on killing them. There’s the constant drama from watching Emilia learn more of the hardships she will face and bring to the story. And there’s Subaru doing his absolute best as a powerless main character to find a way to save everyone and the drama of how more and more the world goes against him and whether he can fight it. But surprisingly, we get to experience the sides of Ram and Roswaal more, in an emotional battle. Also in this chaos, there’s an out-of-the-blue weird love confession.

Yes, a love confession. In the middle of all the carnage, feelings somehow managed to get admitted. That is honestly the weirdest thing to happen in all the magical business and end-of-the-world teases. Because the circumstances are so…despicable. It’s not hard to understand why when you watch it. Partly Stockholm Syndrome, partly vibes of questionable consent, partly the relegation of certain characters into the romantic role (though, to be fair, the situation isn’t really romantic and the series knows that at least). It all comes off as twisted and shows the adherence of the show to a toxic character idea that shouldn’t be present anymore in 2021. Respect women more basically.

“This is the root of all evil”

 Emilia stands in a room with magic energy sprouting from a grave
The last barrier

In summary, Re: Zero really decided to up the ante for this episode. A sign for things to come, the remaining episodes are just bursting with excitement and thrills to the audience. A treat that could hopefully address the narrative lapses.


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