Title: Re:Zero, Chapter 3: Truth of Zero Vol. 4
Author: Tappei Nagatsuki (Story), Daichi Matsuse (Art)
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Shounen, Battle, Fantasy
Publication Date: August 21, 2018
Truth of Zero’s fourth volume opens up with Subaru witnessing Rem getting twisted and broken at the hands of Betelgeuse. Betelgeuse has some choice words for Subaru before he leaves Rem in a bloody heap and walks away. Rem uses the last of her strength to crawl to Subaru but dies in his arms as she mutters that she loves him. Subaru carries Rem back to Roswaal mansion when the entire area is covered in dead bodies. A cold wind strikes up and a massive cat-like monster tells Subaru to sleep together with her daughter and that’s when Subaru is cut down by frigid winds.
Subaru time leaps back and is in front of the Abble stand once again with Rem. Knowing the events to come, he rushes over to Crusch’s estate to enlist the services of her army to take down the Witch’s Cult; however, Crusch has no intention of helping Subaru. He tries again with Priscilla, but that only gets him humiliated. This is when Subaru takes things into his own hands and wants to leave for Rowaal mansion immediately. He runs into Anastasia and the two of them exchange information. Subaru realized that he has been set up from the start but in the end, he did receive the dragon carriage he was aiming for.
Subaru and Rem make their way there and run into Otto and a group of traveling merchants along the way. Subaru hires them to evacuate the village but as they are traveling there, they run into the White Whale. One by one the merchants fall and Otto doesn’t seem to remember any of them. Rem jumps off to fight the White Whale so that Subaru escapes. Soon after, Otto forgets who Rem was as well. The two of them get into an argument and Otto can’t take it anymore. He tells Subaru to die and pushes him off the carriage. For whatever reason, the White Whale refuses to do anything to Subaru and disappears. Subaru finds Otto’s cart empty and filled with blood. He doesn’t care at this point and takes it, heading for the mansion as our volume comes to an end.
Poor Subaru! He knows what he must do and at the same time, more and more obstacles are being through in his way. Refuse of assistance from any of the royal candidates was one thing; now he has the White Whale to contend with. With the Witch’s Cult on the move, he doesn’t have time to be dealing with this stuff and yet it’s almost as if he has to. This puzzle is getting deeper and deeper to solve for him and you can see it starting to really take hold of his psyche!
I feel that’s a good segue to talk about Subaru as a character. We can see a hybrid of the Subaru we’ve known for so long and a new, more determined Subaru that is being driven by madness. The encounter with Betelgeuse was the catalyst that began to slowly melt Subaru’s brain and ability to rationally think. Seeing Rem tortured before his very eyes only to die in his arms while being told she loved him was enough to send Subaru into a state of bloodlust. When he Returned by Death, he still put on a smile for Rem but when she wasn’t looking his way his eyes were burning with a murderous rage.
Even during the negotiations with Crusch, he broke down and started shouting out in desperation. His argument was barely even convincing and throwing a tantrum didn’t help matters. As the volume goes on, you can see the desperation settle in more and more to where Subaru is willing to do almost anything just to get back to the mansion and save Ram and Emilia from their fates. The worst part is, due to the Witch’s Curse, he can’t divulge how he knows any of this information, making things even more difficult.
In the end, he just seems to accept Otto’s death and something that happened without any thought or remorse. He simply took his carriage and carried on. What is also interesting to note is that when he did that, he could have easily turned around and went back for Rem but he chose to just press forward. Either this means that the White Whale made him forget about Rem or that he had accepted the fact that she was dead, once again, and that Ram and Emilia could still be saved and that was the best option right now. Either way, Subaru seemed almost drone-like in the end which symbolizes just how far gone he is at this point.
Outside of Subaru, not much in the way of development. Rem confessing her love to Subaru just before dying was something we all saw coming. It’s quite obvious that she has loved him for quite a while but for her to finally say it before she drew her final breath was a bit heart-wrenching to read… even though we all knew that Rem would be back once Subaru experienced another Return by Death.
We are now journeying through a pretty dark moment in Re:Zero’s story. The problems that Subaru is facing now almost seem unbeatable. He cannot muster anyone’s help, the White Whale stands in his way and even if he manages to find a way past that, there’s still the ticking clock counting down to when the Witch’s Cult will attack. Out of all of the battles Subaru has gone through thus far in this series, this one seems like it is the most unwinnable; however, I feel as if one more Return by Death will happen and with the amount of information Subaru has now, mostly in part of his discussion with Anastasia, I think he’ll be able to figure out a solution.
We’re not out of the woods yet in this arc. Subaru has a long way to go and it will be interesting to see how he manages to pull this one off!
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press