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Wollawolla
Jan 15, 2007

Are you gonna smash my skull and breathe my blood-mist?


While season 1 was airing, I remember seeing a lot of discourse complaining that with infinite lives he can essentially brute force his desired outcomes, which takes away narrative tension. But weíve seen over and over that just killing himself on repeat isnít a viable solution, even for reasons outside of death being unpleasant. Heís seen the deaths of friends and loved ones. Heís suffered the unforeseeable consequences of having his ďsave pointĒ update. Heís had to deal with people who are increasingly apprehensive of him the more he reeks of witchís miasma. Brute force isnít possible, so the threat of Subaruís death will always have tension. This story is so good.

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Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010



College Slice

The witch's miasma thing feels almost like a developer's hotfix :haw:

"Fixed issue where players could respawn infinite times. Now whenever they respawn a Giant Angry Cat chases them."

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Wollawolla posted:

While season 1 was airing, I remember seeing a lot of discourse complaining that with infinite lives he can essentially brute force his desired outcomes, which takes away narrative tension. But weíve seen over and over that just killing himself on repeat isnít a viable solution, even for reasons outside of death being unpleasant. Heís seen the deaths of friends and loved ones. Heís suffered the unforeseeable consequences of having his ďsave pointĒ update. Heís had to deal with people who are increasingly apprehensive of him the more he reeks of witchís miasma. Brute force isnít possible, so the threat of Subaruís death will always have tension. This story is so good.

Pragmatically, there's also the tension of trying to gather as much information as possible weighted against the possibility that his save point will update past undesirable outcomes.

But yea, technically he could "death abuse" to brute force his way through situations, but that misses the entire point that Subaru is only human. He hurts, he suffers, he despairs, he can't share his burden with others and sometimes he feels like giving up - and at any point he could, because there's nothing pressuring him to go forward other than himself. His wish to see things through while protecting his loved ones.

And he isn't some paragon of determination, either. He could just walk away, it'd be so easy, and this truth weights on him as much as anything else. Thrice over we already saw him almost do so.

In short, Subaru is not a machine, so putting in the effort is not free. There lies the dramatic tension, because Re:Zero is as much a character study on Natsuki Subaru as it is a high fantasy tale of adventure and mystery.

Nagatsuki Tappei posted:

"[The protagonist] can't use a sword. He can't use magic. He does not have the wit or the physical strength to win in a fight. So this is a story about someone who, when pressed on all sides, has only his inability to give up as a weapon.

So it is a story about not giving up.

And if he is to use this inability to give up as his weapon, then how would you depict that? Here is one answer:

You have that protagonist struggle and struggle and not give up. But by doing all that, what does he gain in the end?"

Raxivace
Sep 9, 2014



Yeah these kinds of stories naturally draw comparison to video game logic (Iíve even seen non-anime examples like Run Lola Run being described this way), but if anything Re:Zero is about why trying to game your way through loops without a care (That is, through life) isnít actually viable.

Like most of Subaruís problems/deaths donít even seem to come from Bad Isekai RNG, but rather his own inability to pay enough attention to both the world and the feelings of the people around him.

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012


Though this arc seems to just be really mean to him.

HerpicleOmnicron5
May 31, 2013

How did this smug dummkopf ever make general?




MonsterEnvy posted:

Though this arc seems to just be really mean to him.

More so the consequences of the last arc. This arc itself has been relatively kind.

Hunt11
Jul 24, 2013



Grimey Drawer

The author has written about what happens if he does try to brute force his way through problems and it is not pretty.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


HerpicleOmnicron5 posted:

More so the consequences of the last arc. This arc itself has been relatively kind.

Most gruesome death so far isn't being relatively kind, no.

Also everything going to gently caress and the witch of envy herself manifesting when all he did different was spending a few minutes longer unconscious after resetting.

In this arc he's been doing everything more or less right and yet it's not been working - unlike the others, where there were difficult but relatively straightforward situations he just needed to figure out then overcome by sorting out his own approach to them, this one feels like the deck is actively stacked against him with 4 or 5 separate deadly threats all coming for the throat.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010



College Slice

Raxivace posted:

Yeah these kinds of stories naturally draw comparison to video game logic (Iíve even seen non-anime examples like Run Lola Run being described this way), but if anything Re:Zero is about why trying to game your way through loops without a care (That is, through life) isnít actually viable.

Like most of Subaruís problems/deaths donít even seem to come from Bad Isekai RNG, but rather his own inability to pay enough attention to both the world and the feelings of the people around him.

It's in a way a deconstruction of trying to treat the isekai you find youself in as a video game (cough NGNL which I adore but...) because if Subaru is lovely to the "NPCs" he gets the door to a successful outcome slammed shut in his face. This arc in particular feels like is trying to be more explicit about that.

Wicked Them Beats
Apr 1, 2007

Moralists don't really *have* beliefs. Sometimes they stumble on one, like on a child's toy left on the carpet. The toy must be put away immediately. And the child reprimanded.



Conspiratiorist posted:

Also everything going to gently caress and the witch of envy herself manifesting when all he did different was spending a few minutes longer unconscious after resetting.

I think Satella's appearance has less to do with being out a little longer and more to do with his deal with Echidna, but we don't really know anything for certain yet.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Raenir Salazar posted:

It's in a way a deconstruction of trying to treat the isekai you find youself in as a video game (cough NGNL which I adore but...) because if Subaru is lovely to the "NPCs" he gets the door to a successful outcome slammed shut in his face. This arc in particular feels like is trying to be more explicit about that.

Subaru has done his best to get along with everyone and have their goals and feelings in consideration when taking action during this, so it's not that.

He really took Anastasia's advice to heart.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010



College Slice

Conspiratiorist posted:

Subaru has done his best to get along with everyone and have their goals and feelings in consideration when taking action during this, so it's not that.

He really took Anastasia's advice to heart.

I disagree, I think Subaru especially this arc like when he goes up to Beatrice to ask about the grimoire is a pretty stark example of him, being in the swing of things not being considerate of others as freely thinking independent beings.

The previous arc had its moments, like assuming everyone should drop everything to help him and so on, but this arc is taking pains to break Subaru out of bad habbits.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Raenir Salazar posted:

I disagree, I think Subaru especially this arc like when he goes up to Beatrice to ask about the grimoire is a pretty stark example of him, being in the swing of things not being considerate of others as freely thinking independent beings.

The previous arc had its moments, like assuming everyone should drop everything to help him and so on, but this arc is taking pains to break Subaru out of bad habbits.

He had absolutely no way of knowing she'd have a strong emotional response as a result of having a connection to the deceased Sin Archbishop.

Hogama
Sep 3, 2011


Barusu still isn't quite there yet, no, even though he set out trying to be more supportive - of Emilia's ambition, at least.
Besides not having a good interaction with Beatrice yet, he is also still struggling with the whole concept of "people like him, consider him their friend, and are willing to put their lives on the line to support him".

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010



College Slice

Conspiratiorist posted:

He had absolutely no way of knowing she'd have a strong emotional response as a result of having a connection to the deceased Sin Archbishop.

And part of the problem is he's very surface level in how he interacts with people, cutesy nicknames for Emilia, Beatrice and so on. But how often has he ever just sat down and had tea with them and listened?

Like he just shoved the grimoire in her face, he didn't preface it or give her mental time to prepare in case of a negative response, he just gave it to her like he was turning in a quest!

It's just one example, I feel like there's others, like when he suggested he should take the challenge in Emilia's quest because he went about what seemed like naturally the most effacious solution in the moment but didn't stop to think about how Emilia may thought of it, he just used information he didn't have the complete picture of from his previous attempt to try to speed up the process.

The very fact that they had that scene with Otto was meant to reinforce this point, its pretty obvious that it's the text speaking to us about what Subaru's arc is this season.

It's a subconscious thing, he's getting better, but he still needs to make improvements.

Ironically, him not being fully keyed into the feelings of others might hilariously continue to bite him, but in the reverse way, like seemingly making Echidna fall for him if that's what we're supposed to take from his interactions with her. Because I can see her maybe wanting him to herself if the opportunity presents itself if the story takes that sort of route.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Raenir Salazar posted:

And part of the problem is he's very surface level in how he interacts with people, cutesy nicknames for Emilia, Beatrice and so on. But how often has he ever just sat down and had tea with them and listened?

Like he just shoved the grimoire in her face, he didn't preface it or give her mental time to prepare in case of a negative response, he just gave it to her like he was turning in a quest!

It's just one example, I feel like there's others, like when he suggested he should take the challenge in Emilia's quest because he went about what seemed like naturally the most effacious solution in the moment but didn't stop to think about how Emilia may thought of it, he just used information he didn't have the complete picture of from his previous attempt to try to speed up the process.

The very fact that they had that scene with Otto was meant to reinforce this point, its pretty obvious that it's the text speaking to us about what Subaru's arc is this season.

It's a subconscious thing, he's getting better, but he still needs to make improvements.

Ironically, him not being fully keyed into the feelings of others might hilariously continue to bite him, but in the reverse way, like seemingly making Echidna fall for him if that's what we're supposed to take from his interactions with her. Because I can see her maybe wanting him to herself if the opportunity presents itself if the story takes that sort of route.

But that's just how he interacts with Beatrice: she always acts like an aloof grouchy old lady, and he teases her and takes her abuse in stride in an effort to get her to break out of her shell, which has in fact been gradually working.

And on his proposal to take the Trials himself, he broached it very tactfully and while in conference because it was on topic and he didn't want to keep things hidden from anyone, but it still hit unforeseen landmines.

And yes, connections between people appears to be a theme of the ongoing arc, but condemning Subaru as callously treating people like NPCs is egregiously judgmental. Our boy here is not lacking in empathy.

Tabletops
Jan 27, 2014

anime

It's wild this dude went from not knowing what a witch even is to meeting 5 of them in like 10 minutes. Including his stalker.

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012


I must say it's probably a good thing that Daphne and Typhon were killed.

From what Echidna said Typhon went around judging people. Assuming it was the same as with Subaru she just went around exploding people if they felt guilt.
Daphne created horrible monsters, and it's for sure a good thing she was killed because if she remained active she probably would have created more monsters.

Mindblast
Jun 28, 2006

Moving at the speed of death.




Daphne probably doesn't even mind. She'd consider it balanced/fair.

Nitrousoxide
May 30, 2011

do not buy a oneplus phone





Most of the witches don't seem like real people per se but more like a force of nature or an ancient god. Echidna is the only one so far who feels like she's not some entity bound entirely by one and only one impetus.

ExiledTinkerer
Nov 4, 2009


Did I lose track of portfolios, or was the Lust Witch the only one that didn't elect to make an appearance on the body hot swap carousel?

Mordja
Apr 26, 2014



Hell Gem

ExiledTinkerer posted:

Did I lose track of portfolios, or was the Lust Witch the only one that didn't elect to make an appearance on the body hot swap carousel?

Sloth.

madmac
Jun 22, 2010


ExiledTinkerer posted:

Did I lose track of portfolios, or was the Lust Witch the only one that didn't elect to make an appearance on the body hot swap carousel?

We haven't met lust or sloth yet.

Wollawolla
Jan 15, 2007

Are you gonna smash my skull and breathe my blood-mist?


We've seen: Echidna (Greed), Typhon (Pride), Minerva (Wrath), and Daphne (Gluttony).
We haven't seen: Carmilla (Lust), Sekhmet (Sloth)
Currently rampaging outside: Satella (Envy)

Nitrousoxide
May 30, 2011

do not buy a oneplus phone





Is the sloth witch factor that Subaru has something that can be shared between multiple people or is it essentially the direct and complete bequeathing of the original witch's power? If the latter then it would be very interesting for Subaru and Sekhmet to meet.

madmac
Jun 22, 2010


A little tidbit from the WN version of this tea party: (Not spoilers, it's just the equivalent of a deleted scene)

In the WN, when Subaru meets Daphne here her blindfold slips and he accidentally looks her in the eye. He becomes so consumed by ravenous hunger that he devours his own arm. (Minerva fixes him again and is even more gumpy about it)

Also, the author confirms (outside the story, a Q&A thing) that Minerva is utterly incapable of harming even a fly. All of her attacks only heal whatever she strikes.

madmac fucked around with this message at 13:03 on Sep 4, 2020

Kazy
Oct 23, 2006

THIS DOG CAN DRIVE!



...could Beatrice be the Black Serpent?

Blaze Dragon
Aug 28, 2013
LOWTAX'S SPINE FUND



Kazy posted:

...could Beatrice be the Black Serpent?

Unlikely. All the beasts were created specifically as ways to erase hunger, which Beatrice doesn't fit. Beatrice's "mother" is almost definitely Echidna, both have the same absolute need for knowledge, and Roswaal clearly has a strong connection wtih Echidna.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010



College Slice

We've also not yet seen anything new about the Dragon from prophecy that IIRC (iirc first season?) Roswaal wants to kill?; its unclear to me if this dragon is the same as the one Sekmet(?) made move in order to take a nap.


MonsterEnvy posted:

I must say it's probably a good thing that Daphne and Typhon were killed.

From what Echidna said Typhon went around judging people. Assuming it was the same as with Subaru she just went around exploding people if they felt guilt.
Daphne created horrible monsters, and it's for sure a good thing she was killed because if she remained active she probably would have created more monsters.

They're not really "people", they're like Fey gods as its been suggested before. They do bad things with good intent and good things with bad intent and its a flip of the coin as to which witch is which.

If when they made the beasts was like a more primordial time, like the age of the Titans in Greek Mythology and humans were starving, these might have been boons that made the difference then.

Typhon similarly makes a similar amount of sense, if in such a time humans were more rowdy and not yet been given "fire" so to speak, maybe it made sense then to have someone going around and punishing people for evil deeds, like how Zeus would travel around visiting people (because he was the god of hospitality as well) and punished anyone who broke that covenant and mistreated guests.

I'm assuming this wasn't something they did like 100 years ago, but more like 10,000 years ago.

And in general they really haven't done anything worse than most pantheons did.

AnoHito
May 8, 2014



With how much Roswaal is devoted to Echidna, I wonder if there's cults/followings for each of the witches and not just Satella (PBUH).


I would also like to randomly point out that the author has almost certainly come up with 42 different nicknames for what each of the witches calls the others.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Raenir Salazar posted:

We've also not yet seen anything new about the Dragon from prophecy that IIRC (iirc first season?) Roswaal wants to kill?; its unclear to me if this dragon is the same as the one Sekmet(?) made move in order to take a nap.

Not a prophecy, but history: the Dragon Kingdom of Lugnica is called so because the royal family made a contract with a powerful dragon who'd come to their aid in times of great need. The nation's literal guardian deity. This is the same Dragon that alongside the Sage and the Sword Saint sealed away the Witch of Envy 400 years ago.

The whole deal with the Royal Candidates is happening because the royal family recently perished, so the national assembly is looking for individuals who'd be suited to assume the throne and reforge the contract with the dragon.

If Roswaal has it out for the dragon then presumably he's backing Emilia so that he could have access when they forge their contract, or somesuch. For obvious reasons it's a long-term plot thread.

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012


Raenir Salazar posted:

We've also not yet seen anything new about the Dragon from prophecy that IIRC (iirc first season?) Roswaal wants to kill?; its unclear to me if this dragon is the same as the one Sekmet(?) made move in order to take a nap.


They're not really "people", they're like Fey gods as its been suggested before. They do bad things with good intent and good things with bad intent and its a flip of the coin as to which witch is which.

If when they made the beasts was like a more primordial time, like the age of the Titans in Greek Mythology and humans were starving, these might have been boons that made the difference then.

Typhon similarly makes a similar amount of sense, if in such a time humans were more rowdy and not yet been given "fire" so to speak, maybe it made sense then to have someone going around and punishing people for evil deeds, like how Zeus would travel around visiting people (because he was the god of hospitality as well) and punished anyone who broke that covenant and mistreated guests.

I'm assuming this wasn't something they did like 100 years ago, but more like 10,000 years ago.

And in general they really haven't done anything worse than most pantheons did.

We know the time when they were active ended 400 years ago.

Kung Food
Dec 11, 2006

PORN WIZARD

Raenir Salazar posted:

And in general they really haven't done anything worse than most pantheons did.
If you think about it, every victim of the bunnies dies just as brutally as Subaru did. The villagers, Emilia, Otto, and probably thousands of others. Subjecting huge groups of people to slow dismemberment and even being burrowed through seems a bit worse than Zeus being really horny for mortals.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Zeus created and genocided several beta versions of humanity.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010



College Slice

Kung Food posted:

If you think about it, every victim of the bunnies dies just as brutally as Subaru did. The villagers, Emilia, Otto, and probably thousands of others. Subjecting huge groups of people to slow dismemberment and even being burrowed through seems a bit worse than Zeus being really horny for mortals.

Uh there are many pantheons/myths/legends and so on... Some have examples of pretty bad things. Such as Ishtar almost destroying the world because she was mad at Gilgamesh; then you have all the monsters created in Greek mythology by the Titans and their children that probably have a body count just as high if not higher. Think of the millions of people drowned to death by the god of the old testament and meteor'd two cities whose populace were just having a good time which probably killed tens of thousands instantly.

Tabletops
Jan 27, 2014

anime

Didn't satella create all the mabeasts? Other than the whale rabbit and serpent?

Hunt11
Jul 24, 2013



Grimey Drawer

Tabletops posted:

Didn't satella create all the mabeasts? Other than the whale rabbit and serpent?

I think that was what people believed but it was the witch of gluttony who created them.

Clarste
Apr 15, 2013

Just how many mistakes have you suffered on the way here?

An uncountable number, to be sure.


Well, in a certain weird way you could say that by absorbing all the other witches, Satella is now responsible for everything any of them have done.

XboxPants
Jan 30, 2006

Steven doesn't want me watching him sleep anymore.


Raenir Salazar posted:

We've also not yet seen anything new about the Dragon from prophecy that IIRC (iirc first season?) Roswaal wants to kill?; its unclear to me if this dragon is the same as the one Sekmet(?) made move in order to take a nap.


They're not really "people", they're like Fey gods as its been suggested before. They do bad things with good intent and good things with bad intent and its a flip of the coin as to which witch is which.

If when they made the beasts was like a more primordial time, like the age of the Titans in Greek Mythology and humans were starving, these might have been boons that made the difference then.

Typhon similarly makes a similar amount of sense, if in such a time humans were more rowdy and not yet been given "fire" so to speak, maybe it made sense then to have someone going around and punishing people for evil deeds, like how Zeus would travel around visiting people (because he was the god of hospitality as well) and punished anyone who broke that covenant and mistreated guests.

I'm assuming this wasn't something they did like 100 years ago, but more like 10,000 years ago.

And in general they really haven't done anything worse than most pantheons did.

The way you talk about these witches sounds a LOOOT like Umineko witches. Somewhere in that direction?

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Toalpaz
Mar 20, 2012

Peace through overwhelming determination


XboxPants posted:

The way you talk about these witches sounds a LOOOT like Umineko witches. Somewhere in that direction?

in the re:zero universe witches are real. They do stuff and kill people.

in umineko witches aren't real.

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