Now, I know the title says I dropped this show, but let me explain before you form a mob to chase me out of town; yes, I dropped this show after episode 2, but not because I didn’t like it. To be honest, I was really looking forward to this show, and when I started watching it I immediately fell in love with everything about it; the art is absolutely amazing, the characters are beautiful and have personalities that I immediately loved, the soundtrack is amazing, and it has a top-notch cast of voice actors. After watching episode 2 however, I reluctantly removed it from my queue on Crunchyroll. Read below for a more detailed review of the parts of the show I managed to watch, and my reason for not continuing it.
MY RATING: 8/10
Re: Zero follows Natsuki Subaru, a high-school student who is (ridiculously) suddenly transported to a world of fantasy. Not long after arriving in this world he encounters some thugs in an alley, who try to mug him, but after he attacks them (knocking two of them on their asses in the process. Go Subaru!) one of them pulls out two blades and the three proceed to kick the shit out of him. During his ass-whooping a small girl flies in out of nowhere, essentially shrugs the scene off, and disappears over the rooftops. Not long after that, a second girl shows up; this one a silver haired beauty, apparently looking for the first girl who stole a badge of some sort from her, but despite that she decides to forget about the thief and save Subaru. The rest of the story that I saw is the two of them attempting to get back her badge, with them forming the beginnings of their friendship along the way.
The biggest thing I loved about them starting the show off this way, is that not only does it introduce some of the main characters right from the get go – with enough of their personality shown that you can already identify them as a unique individual, but the scene where Subaru attacks the thugs thinking he has some sort of special power after being brought into an alternate world, only to get put on the ground and beaten to a pulp, showed us that our MC is in fact very human. He doesn’t have any superpowers or advantages over anyone else; he’s just a mortal man – who is pretty fit mind you. Well, he does have one thing special about him; he can turn back time – but only by dying, and it takes him to the same, specific point in time every time it happens. The story as it’s been told so far is fantastic, and the presentation of it all is equally so.
I won’t go into more detail on the plot to avoid the risk of spoilers, but this is essentially where I took my leave from the show. It takes Subaru three bloody and painful deaths to figure out that time is resetting, and all but one where he essentially makes a stupid mistake and kills himself by accident are quite brutal and terribly vivid. Hell, even the accidental one was quite detailed in explaining his thoughts and what he felt as he bled to death. The other two death scenes on the other hand, involved the grim death of other characters along with Subaru; and this is where the whole thing got to be too much for me.
The reason I couldn’t handle these deaths, is that it builds the characters up beforehand; you know a good deal of their personalities, and you have already started forming the typical “connection” to the character just before they are brutally slaughtered. I very quickly grew attached to the characters of this show, and after I finished the second episode I realized I was literally shaking. ERASED had me shaking all throughout many of it’s episodes, but that was the suspense leaving me eagerly awaiting what would happen next – with RE:Zero it was literal fear. I don’t know about you guys, but I seem to form emotional bonds to fictional characters very quickly (probably why I can watch just about anything and enjoy it), and I apparently cannot handle seeing such lovable characters die in such horrific ways. The fear of having to watch them suffer and die again outweighed my desire to see the rest of this story, but I keep seeing cute clips or interesting scenes from some of the newer episodes and thinking “I really want to see that.”, but then I remember how sadistic the author of this story is, and decide to avoid the risk of seeing those characters faces twisted in pain.
I don’t care if people call me a wimp, or whatever they want to call me. The fact of the matter is that I really want to watch this fantastic story unfold, but because the author is so damn brutal, I can’t. I don’t understand how someone could create such lovable characters, only to repeatedly have them suffer and die throughout the story. Based on how many people are lovingly talking about the show though, I guess the majority of folks have a better tolerance for this stuff than me, but it honestly scares me a bit that nobody else seems to mention how brutal this show is.
I feel like i’m starting to ramble at this point, so i’ll end it here; even though I couldn’t handle how graphic the show is, it has all the makings of an amazing story, and I recommend anyone who isn’t squeamish give it a try at least. Although, I didn’t think of myself as squeamish until I gave this show a try, so take that as you will.