Title: Re:Zero – Chapter 2: A Week at the Mansion Vol. 3
Author: Tappei Nagatsuki (Story), Makoto Fuugetsu (Art)
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Shounen, Battle, Fantasy
Publication Date: October 31, 2017
The second chapter of Re:Zero continues as Subaru plans to hide until the fifth day… this way he surpasses the event that triggers his death on the fourth night in the mansion. He takes refuge in Beatrice’s room and ends up surviving; however, when he emerges, Emilia immediately finds him and brings him to Rem and Ram’s room where Rem has mysteriously died. Subaru wants to tell them what he knows, but doing so would mean he would have to talk about his Return by Death ability. It causes Subaru great agony to know that he can’t say anything, but his body language states otherwise. This causes Roswaal to become suspicious and that, in turn, causes Ram to lash out at Subaru. Subaru runs away and contemplates suicide, hoping that doing so would reset everything.
Beatrice catches up to him as does Ram, but no matter what is said, Subaru knows that dying is the only way to figure out why Rem was killed instead of him. Subaru takes his own life by plunging off a cliff and he finds himself in the loop for a fifth time. He consults Beatrice about curses and notes that once a curse takes effect, there’s no turning back, but if a curse is placed and has not yet taken effect, it can be removed. He learns that a curse can only be placed after physical contract is made. This causes Subaru to narrow it down to the village. After returning from the village with a curse, Beatrice removes it. Once Subaru sees where it was removed from, he instantly knows who placed the curse on him.
When he returns to the village, he discovers that the children are missing. Rem accompanied Subaru to the village and the two of them enter the forest where the barrier to keep the demons away has been broken by someone or something. The volume ends with Subaru determined to hunt down and expose the shaman that placed the curse on him.
We finally get a break in the loop and with this new lead, we’re certain to get to the bottom of this. It was a bit odd that Subaru asked about the curse, but he didn’t indirectly ask about the other curse on him that grants him Return by Death. I know Subaru isn’t supposed to outright talk about it, but with Beatrice being so knowledgeable, there should be some low-key way to say it without saying it. That’s the only part that bothers me about it… especially when Subaru had a discussion with Beatrice about the Witch of Jealousy.
The character development is kind of odd because just as soon as things develop, they get reset and we’re back to square one; however, because the loop is getting closer to being broken, I believe we have some permanent development beginning to take shape.
The first is with Rem. After she accompanies Subaru to the village, she begins to become a little more trusting of him. She’s probably confused when Subaru mentions that he knows the kids, but despite that, she elects to stand by his side as he goes into the forest to rescue them. In one of the previous loops, Rem kills Subaru because she doubts his true intentions, but here, she is more trusting.
Subaru himself is beginning to undergo changes as well. After failing the fourth loop, he decides to commit suicide. Part of him knows that doing so would cause a reset, but the other side of him seemed okay with it. Of course, he hesitated to pull the trigger which allowed Beatrice and Ram to find him, but in the end, he convinced himself that everything would be okay. This small decision was reflected heavily in the next loop when Subaru was desperately trying to win over everyone’s affection. He knew how everything went the past four times and he wanted to desperately not screw up anything. He wanted Rem and Ram to trust him. He wanted to find the shaman that caused the curse. He knew that he couldn’t fail again because if he did, he would have to die and the thought of dying again is beginning to take its toll on Subaru’s mind.
When Emilia lent Subaru her lap, he eventually caved and let his true feelings out. It’s really eating away at Subaru because nobody knows how hard he’s trying. It hurts even worse that he can’t tell anyone either. In the last volume, I stated that there were some cracks beginning to form in Subaru and while he hasn’t been broken yet, those cracks are getting just a little bigger now.
Slowly, but surely, everything is unraveling and Subaru is beginning to find the answer that will break him out of this latest loop. After figuring out who the Shaman is, Subaru can finally solve this, but there are still questions that remain such as why is the shaman targeting Subaru? What does all of it have to do with Emilia and the mansion? Also… is this all connected to the matter that Roswaal left for?
All of these questions have piqued my curiosity for the next volume. Re:Zero continues to be a great spin on the Isekai genre. It continues offer something a bit different and even though Subaru is an over-the-top kind of character, his experiences are slowly changing him. At what point will Subaru break? That’s the question that keeps the reader’s attention in this series. It also makes you wonder what events will transpire to cause that break! Can’t wait to see how this chapter of the Re:Zero series wraps up!
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press