Re: Zero Ep. 15: Play by Play

“The outside of madness”

This episode was amazingly directed and animated. The ending credits was fresh and so impacting. Let’s begin.

Subaru is standing at the gate of the mansion, struck with horror. He sees Rem, dead with a knife in her back. He begins to search around for anyone still alive. He finds Ram, dead, in a room with all the other children from the village. They are all dead as well, he is deteriorating mentally at an alarming pace. He can’t control his emotions. While searching the mansion he stumbles upon a secret door leading down a staircase. It’s very cold down here, to the point you see hooded men frozen to death. Subaru attempts to open the door but it is so cold it breaks off his fingers, he then falls over, breaking off his legs as well. This is when he takes one final look into the camera, he has been frozen alive. With the words “you were too late” resonating.rezero_episode_15_image_54

He wakes up, or respawns for lack of a better term, looking at the man in the shop where he bought apples. Rem just meets up with him. He looks at Rem, broken and battered, immediately starts crying and grabs onto Rem’s waist. He is brought back to the Crusch mansion. He is laying in bed, he looks insane and unstable. He can barely say a word. His pupils are tiny and completely scattered and he has this black aura hanging over him.

Rem decided to bring Subaru back to the Roswaal mansion. On their way there Rem receives a signal from her sister just like last time, only this time she can barely breath afterwards. It is much more severe than last time. At that same moment the same hooded figures attack the buggy, beheading the dragon and flipping the buggy over.

Subaru is still in his comatose state. All the hooded men surround Rem and Subaru. We find out that these hooded men are witch cultists. They want Subaru. I think that’s why they bowed to him last episode and didn’t kill him. They acknowledged him but let him go last episode. This time they take him away. Rem, fully enraged, goes on a rampage. She kills countless number of these cultists but is unable to save Subaru.

Subaru is awoken to a new character, Betelgeuse. A terrifying man with massive mood swings and a strange affection toward Subaru (he also voiced by the voice actor who played Kirito in sword art online). Betelgeuse is convinced that Subaru is faking being broken. He even licks Subaru’s eye to get his attention, like what the actual fuck. If that was actually the case then I would absolutely hate Subaru for the rest of the series, considering what happens next. But that wouldn’t be too far from what his character would do. In these last few episodes, we’ve seen Subaru as this flawed and selfish person. If you think back to all the times where he is talking to Emilia, he is asking for approval, asking for sympathy, asking for affection. It’s almost like he craves the attention. Betelgeuse calls out Subaru on this, calling him a poor actor in regards of acting crazy. Is he acting this way to get affection, attention, and approval from those he cares about? Even though he is basically comatose, he has shown signs of being cognitive. If he’s cognitive, if he’s actually aware of what’s going on why doesn’t he help or do anything? Did Subaru get exposed to his own mental insanity?! It’s like Tokyo Ghoul all over again. I did get some major Tokyo Ghoul vibes from this episode too.

Rem shows up to save Subaru! Rem, like before, is furious and begins to kill everyone in the room again. Betelgeuse isn’t the ringleader of the cult for nothing, in an instant he kills Rem right in front of Subaru’s eyes. Subaru wakes up from his mental breakdown and starts screaming and crying while he watches Betelgeuse twist and deform Rem’s body, bones cracking and skin ripping. One the most brutal anime scenes I’ve seen in a while.


Subaru has lost it now, he’s like a savage dog now. pulling at the chains on his wrists and screaming, “I’ll kill you!” over and over again. Hours pass and we see Subaru pounding his head into the concrete, wrist all bloody from the struggle and blood streaming down his face. That’s when we hear something dragging on the ground. It’s Rem! She’s still alive! All deformed and dying, dragging her body towards him. Subaru manages to grab her and hold her in his arms. She uses what’s left of her mana to break the chains that is holding Subaru… and dies… in his arms… and says I love you to him!!! I’m sorry but you can’t top that! She is best girl, she’s on a whole other level of best girl than the others.

Subaru begins to shed more tears has he hold Rem’s lifeless body. He carries her out of the dungeon and to the mansion. Where the same thing happened as last time. Everyone is dead. The only difference is that it is snowing at the castle and a giant creature is destroying the mansion. I’m pretty sure this giant creature is Puck, it sounds like him and if you look closely you can see an earring just like how Puck wears his. It takes one look at Subaru and says, “Sleep, like my daughter.” and just like that… Subaru falls to his knees and is decapitated. Roll credits… god damn it! The ending credits was so brilliant too. The music and watching Subaru and Rem’s dead bodies slowly be covered in snow was beautiful. After the credits we get a little more. Subaru once again wakes up in front of the apple shop with Rem just meeting up with him. He takes her away, holding her hand, I assume back to the Crusch mansion. There is fire in his eyes. It is going to get very real next episode and I can’t wait.

You lied to yourself Subaru.

I’m done, I am so done right now! Even with all the shitty things Subaru said last episode and all the problems he’s caused, god damn it he doesn’t deserve this. But he needs to see it… Even though he keeps saying this isn’t his fault. It kind of is, how he went about things could have caused all this. Him yelling about half-elves in the town square with the shopkeeper, maybe someone did overhear him and hunted him down. These people who killed them all were witch cultists, meaning once they knew Roswaal was supporting a half-elf, his mansion immediately hard a giant target on its back and yet Subaru gathered none of this information at all. But, he’s starting to realize that things that he said are irrational. He can’t save Emilia by himself and he’s not the only one who can help her and protect her. Even though he’s still recovering from his breakdown, he’s starting to gain his composure back. He’s realized now that what has happened may not be reversed.

It may not be entirely his fault but this is the reality check he needed to get his level head back on track towards creating a great plan. Despite being arrogant and weak, he is very good at creating plans that will succeed. Hopefully he can hatch a brilliant scheme to save the day like always. But… he needs to understand his limitations. Everyone has something they’re bad at or can’t do at all. He needs to understand that he is not some strong, unstoppable knight that will ride in on a white horse and slay every enemy that’s in his path. If he thinks this way, he will burden those around him once again and further prove to me as a viewer that he hasn’t changed and is still very self-centered and selfish. The development is there, now it just needs to be executed. I can’t stress enough how great this episode was, this was by far the best all-around episode I’ve seen all year. Everyone who is involved with this show, from voice actors to producers, needs either a pay raise or bonus. From the voice acting, to atmosphere, to music, to animation. Everything was virtually perfect and I applaud those working hard and White fox to create a borderline masterpiece episode. Alright, I think I’ve fangirled enough over this show. 10/10 would bang!

I hope you all enjoyed! Have a wonderful day!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. cauthan says:

    Definitely a big episode for the show and as you stated in your recap, the presentation of it all was quite spectacular and very cinematic near the end with the manner in which the credits rolled. I’m glad you touched upon Betelgeuse’s dialogue with Subaru where he calls him out on his poor acting because I thought that was an especially interesting exchange and played well into the kind of ongoing character study he presents. Regardless of where the show eventually goes or ends up, I’ll remember this episode distinctly as quite the trip.


    1. samreality says:

      Thanks! This episode definitely was the best so far. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!


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