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Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


MonsterEnvy posted:

I would say more the Sauron then Satan equivalent.

The evil Dark Lord who meanced the whole world, but is currently largely dormant, though their servants are still causing trouble.

I mean... Sauron basically is Satan, right down to being a fallen being of light.

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Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


Conspiratiorist posted:

Rem has her entire world absolutely rocked by this mysterious stranger, who she knows only accidentally managed to reach through to her and allow her to start unpacking a decade of pent up guilt, and she's smart and perceptive enough to know he's got his issues, but she doesn't care. You could argue that hero worship isn't a good or healthy starting point for a romance (and Subaru would agree), but Rem really doesn't care. She's going for it. Subaru's response is rejection, and even then she doesn't care. She's overwhelming.

The resolution of Rem's arc (in the anime, I haven't read the LNs) is also basically "I love you but I'm not going to settle for second place and neither are you," in contrast to, and as a result of processing and starting to outgrow, her earlier hero worship-based crush.

The whole show is a male fantasy but as fantasies go, "self-respect is hot" isn't really that offensive. :v:

e: oh yeah almost forgot the actual reason I came in here -- are there any major changes in episode 4?

e2: ehh, on rewatch, I think I forgot how much Rem fawns over Subaru even after the rooftop chat. guess we'll see what happens next v:shobon:v

Tuxedo Catfish fucked around with this message at 10:39 on Jan 27, 2020

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


Grouchio posted:

(And yes Bakugou's VA is voicing Garfiel. Now the break makes sense. He had throat surgery this month.)

that's an extremely good reason for a delay on both a compassionate level and in terms of "well yeah, no one else would do"

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


Nitrousoxide posted:

So I assume Subaru remembers the forgotten because he's outside of the normal flow of time?

Why does Puck?

Puck doesn't remember Rem I think, he just knows about Gluttony's powers.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


There's at least one other very heavy-handed hint, and while a sharp-eyed viewer could have caught this on their own I'm going to err on the side of caution since I didn't see it until it was pointed out to me.

All the archbishops are named after stars / constellations.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


Hunt11 posted:

Going back to the whole pride thing, wasn't there a scene towards the end of the 1st season where Subaru bonded with an animal almost instantly who was described as the epitome of the pride or something like that?

Patrasche, his ground dragon; yes.

Tuxedo Catfish fucked around with this message at 00:52 on Jul 16, 2020

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


Ah, now we meet the real danger: The Witch of the Windows 95 Desktop Background

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


Echidna is the "Mother of Monsters" from Greek mythology, responsible for creating horrors that terrorized the world (usually until gods or heroes killed them). Naming the marsupial after her was, I'm pretty sure, an ironic choice.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


Not Keyser Soze posted:

“Satella” is the only gibberish Anglican name so I assume the naming scheme was thought of later as the story developed.

It might be a mis-romanization of Stella, a girl's name that also means "star."

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


Kung Food posted:

Why does he have JoJo shoulders?

It's imitating a scene from Jojo's where the Crusaders grudgingly drink lemonade to get a cafe owner to talk to them.

I dunno if it's supposed to be part of the joke or just a convenient thing to trace, though.

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.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


Nitrousoxide posted:

I don't understand why he's retaining damage between resets now.

That wasn't a reset, Beatrice teleported him to the ruins with the last of her strength.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


doomisland posted:

Someone remind me why hes infatuated with Emilia

he's a self-loathing teenager and she was nice to him

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


HppyCmpr posted:

So, one other thing I noticed is Roswaal saying he went insane 400 years ago when he looked into someone’s eyes. He must be really old, which doesn't really line up with his family passing the land down through generations. I am not sure what the life expectancy is on a powerful magic user though; so maybe it is not odd at all.

I mean, he is the inheritor of a project designed to transfer souls/memories to new bodies...

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


Nitrousoxide posted:

I really lost the plot on Roswaal and Subaru's bet. He's betting he can save everyone and if he does Roswaal has to throw his book away? Why? What does Roswaal get by winning? The status quo?

If Roswaal wins Subaru does what Roswaal wants him to do, which is to say, accept that he has to make sacrifices in order to win and proceed (in future lives) with that in mind.

He has no way to enforce this but Roswaal is already explicitly suicidal, his only remaining investment in this timeline is breaking Subaru's spirit so he can rebuild him in his own mold, at which point (as far as Roswaal knows, keeping in mind he doesn't perfectly understand how RBD works) Subaru will voluntarily rewind time, take the necessary steps, and another version of Roswaal will be there to guide him. From his current perspective he basically has nothing to lose.

Tuxedo Catfish fucked around with this message at 00:01 on Jan 13, 2021

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


Grouchio: "i can Return by Pos-"

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


ninjewtsu posted:

i was really hyped to love this episode and i kinda didn't care for it tbh. garfield's backstory is compelling but i don't really understand how it connects to his current actions nor do i understand his reasoning. also they really could've had an episode or two before the second story of garfield's mom, some distance between those beats would've really made it hit harder.

this is one of the places where how dense the web novel is with internal monologues and flashbacks doesn't really translate well to animation. this stuff isn't supposed to be obsure, if anything the WN is sometimes downright amateurish in terms of telling you directly why the characters are motivated to do or not do X

it's further complicated by some really weird decisions to retcon or rearrange events in the anime that i don't want to get into for spoiler reasons but should be clear by the end of the arc

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


So she's Evil Haruhi? :haw:

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


that scene is also Emilia explicitly declaring that she doesn't need her fantasies realized and just seeing them was enough (and by all appearances actually meaning it)

in front of the Witch of Greed

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


The only halfway-decent fan translation stopped after arc 4, and official English releases are even further behind, so yeah I'm really looking forward to seeing 5 in a format that isn't gibberish.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


So something doesn't sit right to me. I had an idea about what it might all mean, but there are enough points that weaken or contradict my theory that I can't call it a slam dunk either, so instead I'm going to pose some questions.

Q: What is the purpose of the Sanctuary?

There's a saying in systems theory that goes "the purpose of a system is what it does." So what does the Sanctuary do?

It traps people who are exactly one-half demihuman. (Garfiel is able to leave because he's only one-quarter beastman, so we know it's pretty choosy.)

It violently repels (almost) anyone who gets near the tomb. It is particularly hostile to people with high levels of mana (Roswaal is nearly killed, because he's such a powerful magician.)

It permits a handful of people to enter and undergo trials that require them to make peace with their past, confront horrifying alternate present timelines, and witness dire warnings about the future. Most people who experience this are too traumatized to continue. The qualification to undergo this process is seemingly based on Echidna's* whims (she's able to extend and then remove Subaru's qualification at will) but is not based on whether or not she likes you (she despises Emilia and lets her complete the trials anyways.)

This doesn't sound to me like it has anything to do with preserving Echidna's memories or soul (Betty thinks her mother's attempt at soul transcription failed anyways, and she was there for the founding of the Sanctuary, so she shouldn't be confused about that).

To me, that sounds like a prison. Specifically, a prison for half-demihumans -- or maybe one half-demihuman in particular. In flashback we see Echidna create the Sanctuary at the last possible minute in response to an approaching enemy. You would think Hector was this enemy -- but where was Echidna when Roswaal fought him? Was Hector not alone?

Could the Sanctuary have been, specifically, a prison for Satella, who attacked alongside Hector?

Echidna* tells Subaru that the Witch of Envy "devoured" or "used for sustenance" the other Witches. But Echidna's body is still safe and intact in the Sanctuary, powering the barrier. So if this is true, she must mean that they were devoured in some other sense besides physically -- maybe their souls or powers were taken into Satella.

We know Echidna was working on soul transcription as a way to preserve her existence, but again, per Betty, that process failed. It's also pretty strange that Echidna appears alongside the other seven witches in her dream construct; if they were devoured, what are they doing there? They could just be Echidna's memories of them (after all, the main thing the construct does is reconstruct people from memories) but that doesn't explain Echidna's own presence, and there's another potential explanation:

The dream world is inside Satella, and that's why the witches she devoured are all there.

Q: Who is the person who first introduces herself to Subaru as "Echidna"?

Throughout this season Echidna's face is hidden in flashbacks and when her physical body is shown, up until the very last season where it's revealed that while she closely resembles the person in the dream construct, they don't look quite the same. The difference really is very slight -- the dream construct is obviously meant to be Echidna, or at least someone closely related to her -- but the show goes to tremendous lengths to obscure that small difference until the big reveal. Why?

Another weird thing: Roswaal ostensibly worships the ground Echidna walks on. His Gospel ostensibly relays information and commands from Echidna in order to bring about some desired goal.

Echidna, again ostensibly, didn't know about Subaru's ability to Return by Death until he told her. She was excited by the potential it represented, if not all that surprised that something like that was possible in theory.

But Roswaal has known what Subaru could do since before this season even began. How does he know that?

Possibility 1: Echidna is lying by omission and knew about Return by Death before Subaru said anything. In which case, how did she know that?

Possibility 2: Roswaal's book doesn't actually relay information from Echidna. It relays information from someone else, someone who is either passingly familiar with Return by Death and told Roswaal everything they knew -- since we know Roswaal doesn't have the full picture re: how it works -- or someone who was intimately familiar with how it works but withheld important details from Roswaal because he doesn't need them to do his job.

I kind of need a rewatch to confirm the exact details of what happened then, but last season Roswaal reacted very negatively when the person he worships was referred to as "The Witch of Greed."

Was that because he resents the title of Witch? But that's strange, as Echidna* gleefully wears that title and jokes about it.

Or was it because Echidna, the Witch of Greed, is not actually the object of Roswaal's affection and the power behind his Gospel? Roswaal is pretty strident about having dedicated hundreds of years of his life to the pursuit of "just one woman" and "his teacher" but he's remarkably hesitant to actually name who it is he's carrying a torch for. And at the end of the season when he comes face to face with the real Echidna's body he seems so blase about it that Betty remarks on it.

At first I thought Roswaal might not even be Roswaal at all -- for starters, in Echidna's estimate in the flashback to the creation of the Sanctuary, there's no way he could possibly beat Hector, yet here he is. He also pretty obviously speaks with Hector's exaggerated vocal tics. We know that whoever he is, Roswaal is a body-hopper, which inherently calls his real identity into question; we know that there's precedent for body-hopping in the Witch Cult, and that whatever the source of this power is it's not the same as an Authority (Betelgeuse's Authority was his Unseen Hands, which Subaru seems to have inherited in a limited form), which means it isn't necessarily unique or restricted to the Archbishop of Sloth. Roswaal is also working to subject Emilia to a series of trials or ordeals, just like what Betelgeuse said his goals were.

But then at the end of this season Betty recognizes him as the same Roswaal she knew and the way its presented doesn't leave much room for doubt. So he's probably not Hector, and his excuse about being so traumatized by the encounter that he took on his mannerisms, as thin and weird as it sounds, is presumably the truth.

However, the inconsistency in what Roswaal's Gospel tells him and what Echidna knows is still very strange. On a more abstract level, it's also a little odd that Echidna* (in her role as the Witch of Greed) is thrilled and amused by Subaru's intention to save everyone, and offers to help him achieve that goal -- however self-serving her actual means of getting there might be -- while Roswaal is horrified by what he sees as Subaru's naivete and sees single-minded devotion to just one person as the only viable path forward.

Bluntly, I think Roswaal's Gospel relays orders and information from the Witch of Envy, and Roswaal, regardless of exactly who he used to be, is a Witch Cultist. That does raise an interesting tangential question -- who is on the other end of Betty's gospel -- but Betty's gospel has been dead silent for centuries. This could be because Echidna is cruelly letting Betty hang in the wind... but she seemed genuinely affectionate towards Betty in the flashbacks, so that's pretty strange.

I think the more likely explanation is much simpler: Echidna can't relay any information through her gospel, because Echidna is dead.

And the Echidna* in the dream construct is someone -- or something -- else. Like, say, a reconstructed memory of Echidna conjured up by the real animating will behind the dream construct, the prisoner of the Sanctuary -- Satella.

Tuxedo Catfish fucked around with this message at 23:47 on Mar 31, 2021

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Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

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


ninjewtsu posted:

I mean we know roswaal is a witch cultist, he's specifically one of the ones that murdered rem and ram's village

i knew i should have done a complete rewatch before posting instead of just checking a few highlights lol

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