Title: Re:Zero, Chapter 3: Truth of Zero Vol. 3
Author: Tappei Nagatsuki (Story), Daichi Matsuse (Art)
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Shounen, Battle, Fantasy
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Truth of Zero’s third volume opens up with Subaru and Crusch having a discussion where he teases him about his blatant love for Emilia. Suddenly, Rem interrupts and says she received a worrying telepathic link from Ram back at the mansion. Subaru and Rem head back but make a pit stop in a village for the night. When Subaru wakes up, he realizes that Rem ditched him and went back to the mansion alone. Subaru pays a merchant to take him there, but the dragon carriage is halted by an ominous presence. Subaru foots it the remainder of the distance and comes across the village in a state of ruin with no one left alive. Subaru approaches the mansion and finds Rem stabbed and killed in the courtyard. After investigating inside, he comes across Emilia’s chamber which is covered in frigid ice. Subaru cannot even get close enough and ends up freezing to death.
Return by Death kicks in, but this time Subaru’s mind is completely broken to the point where Felix can’t even heal him. Rem thinks that bringing him back to the mansion will help Subaru’s condition but from the previous attempt, we know that this isn’t going to end well. As suspected, the events change and the two of them get surrounded by the Witch’s cult. Subaru is kidnapped and brought before Petelgeuse (I thought it was Betelgeuse? Is this a mistranslation perhaps?) of the Witch’s Cult. Rem shows up to save Subaru, but she is killed, once again, right in front of Subaru’s eyes as our volume comes to a close.
This is the moment I have been waiting for! This is where Return by Death becomes a true curse for Subaru as he gets to relive all of these experiences over and over again. Seeing it once already broke his mind… now imagine him seeing it for the second time. Even though the situation has changed, the result was the same.
Outside of this, the volume planted the seeds for a future story involving the white whale. Based on where the manga is now, we won’t get to that for a while, but there is a moment in the light novels at the end of that saga that didn’t make it to tv and I’m really hoping that moment makes it to the manga adaptation. It was just a simple mention for you to keep in the back of your mind but if you haven’t experienced that story arc, I wouldn’t choose to forget about it. For now, Subaru will be dealing with a ton of hardships and this is where we are going to start to see his character develop!
Speaking of the characters, Rem and Subaru were the main focus of this volume and both of them received some significant development.
Rem never flat out said it but she has made it painfully obvious that she is in love with Subaru. The fact that her personality has pulled a complete 180 from the first time we met her is proof of that. Add in the fact that she thanked Subaru for changing her and you can start to see Subaru’s influence on other characters. This is also the beginning for one of the most wall-punching, head-desking, facepalming, etc. moments in the series that is to come, but like the white whale story, that will come a bit later. I’m sure people have seen the meme online by now so you probably know what I’m talking about. If not, prepare yourself to join the rest of the world!
Cryptic foreshadowing aside, this is the beginning of Rem’s development which made the internet fall in love with her. This is the foundation of why everyone regarded her as the ultimate best girl. Her love for Subaru may not have been outright claimed here, but you’re going to see how much she cares for him soon enough… you know, as if walking into a cave with P(B)etelgeuse guns blazing wasn’t a big enough example already.
Subaru, on the other hand, begins his “broken arc.” After witnessing everything he came to love and care about destroyed, his mind broke to the point where he can’t even speak. Despite that, he can still move his body and partake in instinctual reactions. However, that doesn’t count for much when he’s in such an apathetic state. There is always light at the end of the darkness, but Subaru’s journey through that darkness is just beginning.
Re:Zero is a series that went from light-hearted to being very dark rather quickly in the anime and now we have reached that part in the manga adaptation. The series you’ve been reading up until is about to change as a whole. This is the arc that changed people’s opinions about the series. Those who thought the series was “just okay” came to realize the full potential that this series could have. We have now entered that arc and trust me when I say that we are in for a hell of a rollercoaster of emotions in the coming chapters and/or volumes.
In a world saturated with isekai series, it’s becoming more and more crucial for an isekai series to do something to set itself apart from the others. It needs that major hook, that one unique shining example that makes people, not only pay attention to it but to praise it and fall in love with it. For Re:Zero, this is the arc that does it for the series. We’ve had some unique gimmicks up until this point to try and hook the reader, but what was missing was something emotional, something that the readers can connect with on a myriad of emotional levels. We are on the cusp of being given that missing link and I, for one, am excited to see it continue to unfold!
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press