When I went to Mega con Orlando this past May, I saw a cosplay group multiple times that intrigued me. Twin maids with different hair colors: One blue and the other red. After asking my friends who were familiar with the characters, I learned of this anime. I was in the middle of Berserk 2017 at the time, but was told to drop even that anime to watch this one.
And so, shortly after Megacon Orlando, I set aside an entire day to learn the most important question of Re: Zero: Who is Rem?
Re: Zero is a deconstruction of a popular anime genre known as insertion in another world. And unlike most of these tales with an overpowered protagonist who adapts quickly and turns into a Mary Sue, Subaru, the main character fails to accomplish these things. Instead, we have a bumbling protagonist who is constantly wrong genre savvy. Also, lets face it, his super power is pretty awful on both a meta level and a psychological one. I leave those of you reading this blog post to watch the show and find out what I mean.
This anime does not pull punches, and it was certainly compelling enough from beginning to end to keep me entertained long enough to watch it all in one sitting. Roughly 9 hours of my time was spent in rapid succession. Re: Zero did not disappoint at any moment.
Like many of the other Anime I have reviewed recently, such as Berserk, Another, and Future Diary, Re: Zero is an anime that keeps the viewer guessing and constantly puts the protagonist in increasingly horrific situations that he is forced to find himself out of. Insanity, betrayal, racism, and wrong genre savvy are only a few of the tropes at play in this glorious story and the more I talk about it, the harder it becomes to not spoil a thing.
With this in mind, I will point out that I am on the Team Emilia side of the ship wars that take up a large portion of the fan base. To understand that I am in the minority (Team Rem is the majority as well as an indicator of who the most popular character is) one must watch the anime all the way through, and then to understand why I have chosen this character over her popular counterpart, requires an exercise in thought and potentially a peek into the source material. Careful if you read the light novels though as they are ahead of the Anime.
My only criticism of Re: Zero is the pacing is solid, but the character representation is all over the map. With a large cast, it is difficult to keep everyone constantly relevant, but Re: Zero can at times seem to leave plot points unresolved when suddenly prominent characters disappear from the plot. The fact that the Anime is not complete yet might fix this issue, but as of the writing of this blog post, that is the greatest flaw of Re: Zero.
Do not let that deter you from enjoying this masterful story. I recommend my friends to watch Re: Zero to prepare themselves for the even darker Berserk because the two stories have a surprise factor that manages to pull the rug out from the viewer and sucker punch in painful ways. If you enjoy stories where you genuinely fear for the protagonists, this is an Anime to watch.