Title: Re:Zero, Chapter 3: Truth of Zero Vol. 2
Author: Tappei Nagatsuki (Story), Daichi Matsuse (Art)
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Shounen, Battle, Fantasy
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Truth of Zero’s second volume opens up with Emilia’s turn before the council. Right away, she is criticized for having a striking resemblance to the Witch of Jealousy, but then Roswaal steps in and calls her a valuable chess piece. This gets under Subaru’s skin to where the causes a scene. This leads to Emilia bringing out Puck and hinting at her power. After the fiasco calms down, it was revealed to be an act by Roswaal to demonstrate Emilia’s power. Emilia only asks for fair treatment and states that while she has little experience in politics, her passion is bigger than any other candidate.
After her statement the council asks who Subaru is to which Subaru responds by stating he is Emilia’s knight. This draws the ire of Julius who questions Subaru’s claim. Subaru is asked to wait outside until the ceremony is over. This is where he runs into Rom who is searching for Felt. Rom breaks through the guards and enters the chambers where Felt, who had no intention of entering the royal selection, changes her mind so that Rom can be set free. Julius then finds Subaru and challenges him to a duel on the training grounds. The fight goes exactly how you think it would… with Julius completely owning Subaru. Ferris tends to Subaru’s wounds and then he and Emilia have a falling out. Subaru tries to explain why he’s in debt to Emilia, but his curse prevents him from doing so.
Emilia and Roswaal head back to the mansion, leaving Subaru in Ferris and Crusch’s care. Rem remains behind to keep tabs on Subaru as well. Once Subaru is better, he begins sword training under Wilhelm Van Astrea, Crusch’s master swordsman and someone Subaru previously met at the mansion. Our volume ends with an unknown figure (unless you’ve seen the anime) looking at an image of Emiia.
A LOT happened in this volume, but the royal selection seems to be over, for now. The actual election hasn’t happened, but the candidates are now official. Subaru and Emilia’s falling out was a nice break in the romance story between the two of them, but the appearance of Betelgeuse at the end (yeah, I’m using his name because it’s just easier than saying “unknown guy” over and over) was a bit unexpected. While I do know that the events to come do bring us to our next “loop,” I would have thought that this series would have included this portion of the story in another “Chapter.”
Some nice character development here for Subaru. While, at first, he’s still the same hot-headed, loud-mouthed, obnoxious Subaru that we all know, “losing” Emilia was a major blow to his psyche. It did give rise to his determination to get stronger, though, but when Emilia said she was leaving without him, it began to put things into perspective for him. Also, you could just see the pain on his face when the curse prevented him from telling Emilia the truth. Emilia has no idea that she saved Subaru from the thugs because those events were erased when Subaru experienced Return by Death. Before, I stated that you could see things beginning to eat away at Subaru. This was another step in that direction and if the manga is adapting the story the same way that the anime has, then the worst is yet to come!
Felt’s change of heart towards the royal selection showed a little bit of her compassion. She had no intention of entering until Rom was captured and the guards wouldn’t release him because she had no intention of taking the throne. Felt’s decision to run for the throne shows the compassion she has for friends and people she considers family. Rom wanted her to go for it because this is her big chance to finally get out of the slums and Felt realizes it as well. It’s just not the path she really wants to take. Her reluctance is going to make her an interesting candidate.
Julius is actually growing on me as a character. While he is a bit arrogant, everything he said to Subaru was warranted. With the way Subaru is, calling himself a knight is a complete and total disgrace to those who had and continue to cut their teeth to protect their land. Julius only challenged Subaru because he needed to teach him a lesson and he did just that. Call Julius pompous, arrogant or downright harsh, but Julius was right with what he did. He was simply standing up for the integrity of the knights. Plus, this gives Subaru even more motivation to get stronger so, in a way, Julius is indirectly helping Subaru grow as a character.
This was a pretty packed volume of Re:Zero. Everything from Emilia’s turn in front of the council, to the beatdown of Subaru by Julius, to the falling out between Subaru and Emilia and the reveal of Betelgeuse had this volume hitting on all cylinders. The story is moving along nicely and it seems the royal selection will be put on the back burner for a bit as the next major plot point comes into focus.
The questions now remain of what does Betelgeuse want with Emilia and what does he mean when he refers to her as slothful? Truth of Zero volume three promises to be an interesting one and I, for one, can’t wait for it! If you haven’t seen or read Re:Zero yet, I highly suggest you get caught up because one of the best story arcs in this series is on our doorstep and it looks to get underway next volume! In fact, this was the story arc that got fans talking about this series!
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press