Title: Re:Zero – Chapter 3: Truth of Zero Vol. 1
Author: Tappei Nagatsuki (Story), Daichi Matsuse (Art)
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Shounen, Battle, Fantasy
Publication Date: October 31, 2017
With the “Week at the Mansion” Chapter concluded, we move onto another. This time, we are experiencing the “Truth of Zero” chapter in which Emilia is summoned to the royal capital for a hearing on who will become the next queen. That’s pretty much the gist of the story for the first volume, but there are many little side stories which flesh everything out nicely!
Embarrassed by what might happen, Emilia only brings Subaru to the capital so he can catch up with the people he interacted with back in Chapter 1 of the series. She does not permit him to come to the candidate selection hearing in fear that he would do something outlandish and ruin everything. Upon arriving at the capital, Emilia agrees to take Subaru to see Reinhard so he can get some information about Felt. Subaru learns that after they were attacked at Rom’s pawn shop, Reinhard took Felt and Rom into his custody.
While waiting for Emilia, Subaru hears a girl in distress. He comes across the bullies from Chapter 1 and attempts to save the girl, but she wants none of it. After forcing her away from them, Subaru is reunited with Rom who helps them hide. Subaru informs Rom that Reinhard has Felt and that he is trying to speak with him to find out what happened to her. After the bullies evade, Subaru and the girl reunite with Emilia and a one-armed knight named Al, who reveals that he is traveling with the girl. Emila seemed rather disturbed by this and locks Subaru away in a room with Rem after she showed up to save the girl, Al and Emilia from the bullies.
Rem conveniently tells Subaru that she thought of a new recipe and needs to concentrate and that she may not notice if he goes missing. Subaru leaves to head to the capital building when he runs into Al. He offers a carriage ride to the ceremony and inside is the girl he met previously. She turns out to be Priscilla, one of the five candidates! She’s only bringing Subaru along for her own entertainment and even threatens his life if he couldn’t guess who she was! Subaru arrives much to Emilia’s dismay. After some commotion, four of the five candidates have gathered. The fifth and final one makes her entrance and it’s Felt! Apparently, Reinhard noticed that Emilia’s badge reacted to Felt, making her a candidate, which is why he took her into custody.
The volume ends when the candidates begin to state their convictions and Emila’s turn is up next!
This was a nice change of pace from the first two chapters of Re:Zero. There doesn’t seem to be anything that would get Subaru killed so it makes me wonder if this is going to be another loop or not. One of Subaru’s primary reasons for being there is to get healed by Feris, who is the knight of Crusch, one of the five candidates. Obviously, that didn’t exactly happen thanks to the little escapade Subaru went on with Priscilla. The cliffhanger here really isn’t a huge one. It’s mainly hearing what Emilia has to say, but since she is treated differently because she resembles Satella, I wonder how her speech is going to go?
While there were no developments here for Subaru, Roswaal or Emilia, there were several new and returning characters.
Up first is Julius. He is the second highest-ranking member of the Royal Knights, under their leader Marcus. He is also the knight of one of the five candidates, Anastasia. Julius seems noble enough, but he immediately draws Subaru’s ire when he kisses Emilia’s hand, instantly making him a love rival.
Anastasia, on the other hand, is greed incarnate. She talks about wanting more and more. She started working at the Hoshin company and made a suggestion, the company prospered and she ended up finding herself as the Hoshin company’s owner. She still wanted more and felt that ruling the kingdom would be the next logical step. It was pretty funny when they asked her what would happen if just the kingdom didn’t sate her avarice. I would have put money on world domination after that, but she dodged that question quite well. Yeah… I wouldn’t exactly give her my vote. We have enough of that to deal with in the real world, after all!
Priscilla is a fun character. She’s obnoxiously smug, severely optimistic and feels that you can do whatever you want in this world and things will just work itself out… or so it seems. Apparently, she has a gift of foresight and she can kind-of, sort of predict what will happen. This allows her to be as carefree as she wants with minimal consequences, although every situation she ends up in seems to resolve itself through coincidence. Makes you wonder if her luck will eventually run out and she’ll end up in a situation that she can’t get out of… either that or her levels of obnoxiousness only make you wish for something like that to happen.
Crusch seems to be an idealist. She doesn’t want the people to re-enter a covenant with the dragon, who has protected their land for a very long time now. She admits that the people will struggle without the blessing and aid of the dragon, but she would rather walk on her own two feet and that the nation should do the same. In other words, she wants to make her own Brexit. I’m not exactly sure if those ideals will win over the hearts and minds of the people she’s campaigning to lead, though…
Felt being a candidate was a nice surprise, but she, herself, doesn’t want anything to do with it. She just wants to get the whole ceremony over with she can go back to her normal life. Felt is still a little firecracker and she was quite happy to see Subaru at the ceremony. Nice to know that she hasn’t changed and I’m looking forward to what her “speech” will be in the next volume of Chapter 3!
The most intriguing character out of the new cast is Al. He is Priscilla’s knight, but most importantly, just like Subaru, he too was summoned to this world! He lost an arm after being summoned, but didn’t state how he lost it. He did reveal that he has been in this world for eighteen years, which makes Subaru question just how long he’s going to be stuck there. Even after being there for eighteen years, Al has no idea how he was summoned and couldn’t give Subaru any more information about it. Despite that, Al and Subaru seemed relieved that they are not alone in this world which opens up the possibility to many others being trapped! This one little dynamic just blew the doors wide open on this series!
There wasn’t much action or mystery in this edition of Re:Zero, but what this volume does an excellent job of building the world in which Subaru has been transported to. We not only got introduced to a myriad of new characters, we also learned how some people have different dialects, similar to how it works in Japan. We also know that the world is, seemingly, flat because it talks about “The Cascade,” which is a giant waterfall at the end of the all continents.
In addition, the presence of Al is the most intriguing because now it makes you wonder if there are many others who were summoned here to this world and if, one they, they will meet and shed some light on this entire situation. One thing about Isekai stories is that there are usually multiple people trapped in another world. Re:Zero was different because it was only Subaru, but now we’re beginning to add the possibility of more characters being affected by the summon. It doesn’t really make Re:Zero any less unique than it already is, however. I like the fact that this information is being introduced to us in a slow and controlled manner. I feel with a series like this, that’s the correct way to handle this plot point.
Needless to say, the world building was interesting and I can’t wait to hear Felt’s speech for her candidacy. I can almost predict what will happen with Emilia, though and I think that’s where things will get a bit more interesting because Subaru will end up firing off his mouth like he usually does!
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press