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Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


She'll be missing from S2.

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Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


I don't know about the web novel, but in the anime and LN there's no Truck-kun involved; he crossed between worlds instantly and without fanfare.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


OscarDiggs posted:

Do we know specifically when it's happening, or just that it's happening?

The latter, but since it's being announced right now then it's probably for 2020.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


ActionZero posted:

I haven't finished season 1 yet so this might be completely obvious to those that have, but is that loving Petelgeuse!?

Oh no, people who completed S1 are in for a ride too.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


a kitten posted:

Wow, I'd completely forgotten that Subaru didn't get killed in some way before he was summoned. I think maybe the op where it shows him resurrecting/time flowing backwards somehow put that idea in my head? Huh.

Yeah, he didn't die before being summoned, but the story does do something that I think is more interesting.

See, initially Subaru has memory gaps whenever Return By Death activates, which is why he acts so confused during his first couple deaths. So, when you combine that fact with the way the anime presents its opening moments before he gets summoned (and the Prologue in the LN), I believe it's hinting that the continuity we're watching/reading from his appearance to Lugnica to his dying at Rom's isn't the first actual death, but the death in which he finally starts remembering his previous loops.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Why did you hate the second half?

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


I wouldn't agree with that, given that even when he plans ahead and succeeds, poo poo always goes wrong and he's got to desperately fumble his way forward.

And then the big wham of the arc is that he only gets one chance to get things right.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Toalpaz posted:

Subaru has always had multiple chances iirc. Unless you're talking about a future arc in which case you shouldn't spoil by even hinting at future developments.

No, I mean that the "Save Point" is outside his control and moves forward the moment he accomplishes a major objective.

He doesn't get to redo once he succeeds; all the mistakes he made will stay with him. For example, he lucks out in the loop where Petelgeuse possesses him after they defeat the Witch Cult, since he then had another shot at the scenario and it allowed him to minimize casualties, but all the people that died before that as a result of not knowing the White Whale's full capabilities and struggling against it? Gone.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Toalpaz posted:

I really liked all of the arcs.

I liked arc 1 for the confusion and the 'what's happening'.

Arc 2 has an amazing hook and is a wonderful little unique mystery setup.

Arc 3 has the most character interaction and growth, where the main character gets owned. He also starts to accept his situation as real life and acts as if dealing with real people where before he sort of though he was a super hero or something.

Arc 4 is basically a continuation of Arc 3, I do like it. It has some of the most interesting shots like Subaru walking towards the mansion and freezing to death. It also opens information about the antagonists, the witches cult, because before that everyone kinda knew Subaru was pinging them as a bad guy, but now we know what those bad guys are like.

Basically, I think the author reveals an appropriate amount of world building and character interactions where the pacing feels incredibly nice.

Defeating the sky whale was very rewarding for Subaru but like... I've never really seen a character taken down so many notches before, and he literally admits that he wants to give up before Rem intervenes. They kinda have to give him something to feel kinda good about, though some of the respect is probably unearned considering how he'd been acting just a few 'days' earlier in their time.

I've also loved all of it, but I can understand why people wouldn't like some parts as much, since although the first 3 story arcs share characters and themes they're structurally fairly different types of stories.

On unearned respect, that's a very important element - after being humbled so much, both by breaking down in despair over his own failings and witnessing how actual heroes carry themselves on and off the battlefield, Subaru can never truly feel like he's earned any credit for the things he's accomplished. After all, his ability is so easy and simplistic: what's a little suffering for the chance to undo one's mistakes at a critical juncture? He certainly would never imagine the likes of Wilhelm or Crusch or Julius or Ricardo hesitate, much less break down over it.

But at the same time, hating and deriding himself over it would be disrespectful towards Rem, so his only way forward is to push himself to be better, and actually try and become someone who is deserving of the respect and admiration of the amazing people around him. It's a true "zero to hero" story, and also a peculiar one in that sorting out his issues doesn't result in him powering up and displaying hitherto hidden Legendary Hero prowess - Subaru is still Subaru, and has to make do with what he's got.


Minor point: Arc 3 is everything covered from the Royal Selection to the end of the anime. Actual Arc 4 is what we'll get with the second season.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


It's worth pointing out that Subaru isn't conceited; he's deluded.

He's initially comfortable with the isekai situation because it was a chance to run away from the dissatisfaction of his normal life on Earth, and when rewarded for saving a Royal Candidate by a wealthy Lord, his choice is the so very mundane request for a job as a butler - because he genuinely just wished for a place where he could feel like he belonged, and even enjoys that his life is now the routine of performing housekeeping chores and spending time close to a pretty girl he likes. A world of magic and adventure before him, and that's what he wished for from the bottom of his heart.

When looping begins at the mansion, he dreads it. At no point does he wish he'll be the hero, rather, his impetus to deal with the situation comes first from self-preservation, and only after seeing Rem die does his goal switch to saving her, because while the situation is complicated, he truly wishes to protect the people he felt he became friends with. And the attempt is so psychologically tortuous that it nearly breaks him because, again - just as when he saved Emilia - he's just desperately fumbling his way forward.

And the key thing here is that nobody judges Subaru harsher than he himself does. He's the one who knows when he's been most cowardly, he knows when he's been just lucky, and deep down, from the beginning, he can't be introspective without feeling like a piece of trash. The foolish-looking, exaggerated and self-deprecating way he acts is a mask he puts to ingratiate himself with people, because he desperately wants people to like him and not see the piece of poo poo he *knows* he is.

What's born after saving Emilia and then Rem and the kids isn't pride, it's an innocent hope: "maybe I can be a hero... things worked out thanks to me, right?"

So when he confronts Roswaal at the Royal Selection, when he insults the Knights and then gets challenged by Julius, it's not because he's grown conceited: it's anger and frustration because he knows he's powerless. He desperately wants to help, but deep down he knows he's nothing but a gently caress up, and just wants to hold onto the illusion that if he just shuts everything else out and pushes forward then things will work themselves out.

When Emilia confronts him afterwards, it's desperation and despair, too. Subaru has been under tremendous stress, on the verge of losing his mind more than once already, gaining some tremendous baggage that he literally can't begin to explain and on top of things about himself that he doesn't dare unpack. And Emilia has been his rock so far, so when she rejects him too it's too much - he snaps, and tries to guilt-trip her in an attempt to force her to show him sympathy, that he's owed that much, despite the fact that he knows that she really can't understand his circumstances, and has her own reasons to be upset at him that he's choosing to overlook.

What follows after that is a continuation of the trend: anger, desperation, frustration, and trying to make things work out somehow. Until finally it's too much; the mounting failures and the horrors he's forced to witness as their consequence finally breaks him, and he admits to Rem that deep down he always knew he was worthless, that he couldn't accomplish anything, that it was all luck and that any praise he received was misplaced - he's no hero and can't save anyone.

"But you saved me."

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Ytlaya posted:

My apparently controversial Re:Zero opinion is that Rem is not actually that interesting following the conclusion of her brief-ish character arc. Beyond the latter parts of Arc 3 there isn't really any place for her character to go and she basically just exists as "girl who loves Subaru really hard." I also generally strongly dislike the whole anime/manga trope of a love interest being totally cool with the protagonist being in love with someone else and having such a "pure" love that they're fine just sort of existing in their close social circle for eternity. The absolute worst and most inexcusable part was when Subaru mentioned taking on Rem as a second wife if Emilia is okay with it - like I mentioned before, romance is the only aspect of this series I actually dislike, and I'm hoping for the extremely unlikely possibility that Emilia at some point tells him to gently caress off with that.

edit: Even the stuff Conspiratiorist mentioned in his post above this one is almost all just tied into Subaru being an interesting character, with Rem just sort of existing as a reminder that he had a positive impact on someone.

Rem isn't like that, though. She's head over heels for Subaru because he's this mysterious, quirky stranger who came out of nowhere, and despite being a weakling, through heroic determination and saying the right words not only saved her life, but also managed to break through her shell and allowed her to finally start sorting out her traumatic life issues.

And she knows there's another girl he likes - he won't shut up about it - so what does she do? She mimics him and voices her affection for him just as he does for Emilia, doing her best to grab his attention. And Subaru notices this, but dismisses it by reasoning she's just going through a hero worship phase... until she clearly confesses her feelings for him when he needs to understand just how much he means to her.

He rejects her. Specifically, he rejects her because she told him to follow his heart rather than elope with her just because she was available. Because she'd love that, but that's not the point.

And this is heartbreaking for her, but she still loves him, and still wants to support him, so she doesn't act any different over it. Why would she? The only thing that's changed is they now know clearly and without pretenses where they each stand, deepening their bond. He's still her hero.

But most importantly is that even after being clearly rejected, she hasn't given up. Rem doesn't accept being out of the running. Despite the situation they're in, and the short time they have available, Rem insists on showing that she's interested in him in a more than platonic way (to Subaru's awkward surprise), and goes so far as to feign she's dying to force a confession out of him. The entire thing with the polygamy option? That was Rem grabbing him by the balls. There was nothing pure about that.

Rem gives her 100%, truly.

And later, after Emilia and Subaru formally become an item, she's a thorn on her side - Subaru is very clearly in love with Rem as well and there's no way for Emilia to compete with her.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Ytlaya posted:

By "pure" I mean the sort of thing where the character is basically willing to (as is made explicit in this case) literally be a second wife. And this is really as much of a problem with Subaru as it is a problem with Rem; it wouldn't really be an issue if Subaru just changed his mind and stop pursuing Emilia, but it is very obvious that Emilia is still the "main love interest."

I believe you're really selling short the complexities of the relationships involved here by both wildly extrapolating from limited information, conflating the situation with one of the classic simplistic solutions for love triangles/harems in fiction, and your own notions regarding polyamory in real life.

And fact is, straight from the author's mouth is that he dislikes harems, so that's not what he was going for with this, either. Case in point is the sentence I spoiler tagged.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Yeah. He still doesn't know if there's some kind of limit, so suicide is something he'd contemplate in only the absolute worst possible situation, like Emilia dying.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


LostRook posted:

So is Satella the half-elf n-word?

Imagine if the devil was real and killed half the world a couple centuries ago.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


The novels up to the end of the anime (Chapter 5 of Vol. 9) are still a good read to get a more fleshed out perspective on the world and the characters.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Taken out of context the Subaru and Emilia scene can be read that way, but ultimately the point of it is they're both wrong.

Subaru hosed up, and he tells it straight he hosed up, but makes the mistake of overlooking just how important the promise was to her, then hoping Emilia would understand his feelings even though he can't explain them, and lastly snapping and in desperation demanding she accept his behavior as is because he owes her at least that much in light of all he's done for her.

Meanwhile, Emilia was hoping Subaru would be her friend, and doesn't understand he loves her. Can't understand it. That someone would truly be willing to push themselves like this - even against her own wishes - just because of personal affection towards her is simply something she can't internalize. And ultimately decides that what's best, for Subaru, is to push aside the matter of his reasons and cut contact with him.

The importance of promises is also something that's a quirk of hers that she's nevertheless pushing onto him, even though Subaru has little way of knowing.

It's a failure of communication on both sides. The scene with Rem, then, serves as the exact opposite: both parties patiently listen as they take turns pouring out their hearts to each other.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Nah, the fact that Emilia isn't the perfect character that Subaru pretends she is really works both ways. For example, she isn't playing ball with the whole 'love' thing: she enjoys it, but chooses to respond by treating it as him just fooling around rather than addressing it.

She also gets depressed after their fight because she feels like a hypocrite - Subaru's clearly willing to risk life and limb for her because he thinks she's a wonderful person, but because it's uncomfortable to tackle that she starts demanding he explain himself while she's holding all her own cards close. When he pulled the dick move, that was just an excuse for her to disengage rather than taking another shot at addressing their issues while he was calmer. Emilia is intelligent and level-headed enough to know that was something she could've done, and the least she actually owes to a person who saved her life and she felt could be a friend, but again, that would've involved addressing the elephant in the room. It was easier to run away.

They were both really childish in that fight, and they know it, so they both feel horrible and at fault afterwards.

And taking out the White Whale is actually very important in the context of the larger story - aside from knocking down various dominoes that become relevant right away, it also showcases the scope of the accomplishments required to win favor for the nomination to the throne.

Plus, two episodes dedicated to an epic fantasy battle (with a third of that constituting a narratively-appropriate telling of Wilhelm's backstory) isn't at all intrusive in the 'action/resolution' part of a 13-episode story arc.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Clarste posted:

I don't feel like continuing this conversation, but I'll just say that think your strangely passionate defense of Subaru and the show is more creepy than interesting and makes me appreciate it less than I did before you responded.

It's not a defense of Subaru; it's an analysis of Emilia.

I'm sorry you find uncomfortable to talk about a work beyond a surface reading of it

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Eej posted:

I have no idea how you can see Emilia did anything wrong in that situation when from her perspective she was telling off a dude who was going in way too hard for her liking

Because it addressed nothing and solved nothing, and at this point they've been living together for IIRC almost two months now? Beyond being indebted to his actions she's grown quite fond of him, so Subaru isn't just some stranger, either. He's legitimately become one of the few people she considers a friend, so that's simply not her perspective.

Emilia's perspective is that there's this guy who really likes her, who in the short time they've known each other has a done a lot for her, and who is open about himself in the general but clearly has some complicated circumstances behind him because he's far from home with nowhere to go but the space her social circle opened up for him, and has evidently also suffered a lot, which he tries to hide behind a bright personality. And she grew to like him back - almost immediately - but from the beginning it troubled her just how far he seems willing to go for her, and after his latest round of seemingly reckless behavior she can't overlook it anymore and so she has to ask what prompted it.

And he admits he was just being reckless. Acting out of impulse, due to his feelings for her.

So she pushes: why does he feel this way about her? Why is he so quick to endanger himself so much for her? She's trying to understand, so she'll have him explain his circumstances and then maybe she'll get what are these feelings he has for her and where they're coming from... and the mistakes start here: she gets upset when the answers aren't forthcoming, and angry even at the notion the affection really isn't for her because he doesn't really understand her. Of course, this is important to Emilia since she's always been treated differently because of what she is, and was hoping to find in Subaru someone who'd see her without bias.

But... what does Subaru actually know about Emilia? What does the audience know? About her past, about her goals? This is what I meant earlier with keeping her cards close, not playing ball - she's never given him anything to work with in that regard. Emilia is a smart and empathetic girl, so she can tell he's struggling to answer her, therefore when after demanding he explain himself she starts chastising him for not understanding the real her, that's a turn that ends up being both hypocritical and completely unfair.

Now, when Subaru snaps back and rudely demands that because she's indebted to him she should just accept it? Absolutely out of line, but it's ultimately Emilia who exercises her power and ends the discussion.

She declares that they'll put an end to those debts then, and rationalizing that by cutting him off then he'll be safer, free of the burden of trying to help her. He won't have to worry about her, and she won't have to worry about him. But again, that failed to address anything. That was her getting angry and giving herself an out.

In the end, tempers flared, they both got hurt and said things they shouldn't have and that they regretted immediately, and both are aware they should've known better. And it's something that ends up making true reconciliation hard even without all the horrorshow bullshit, because they both feel they were the ones who hosed up, but nevertheless can't stop feeling like they were somewhat justified anyway.

Clarste posted:

I said I didn't want to talk about this, but I guess I lied.

I don't much care for your "looks like you're a sexist" reading into my analysis.

You might not have noticed since Emilia is normally very level headed and caring, but during their exchange Subaru inadvertently hit on three nerves related to deep-seated insecurities of hers, and her reaction to that was anger, and that anger colored the responses that resulted in the discussion ending the way it did.

And you know what? As an outside observer, knowing what I do? I don't really blame her for reacting the way she did, and I actually think it'd be unfair to expect from Emilia the level of emotional maturity that'd have led to that discussion ending much more positively but, objectively speaking, just as Subaru could've done better by just shutting his drat mouth instead of trying to guilt trip a person who genuinely cares for him, Emilia could've also done better by either being more patient or being more honest about what was going on.

Conspiratiorist fucked around with this message at 10:36 on Apr 7, 2019

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


ViggyNash posted:

Oh boy. You might want to take a step back. You're falling into exactly the same mindset that Subaru did and that Emilia specifically calls out at the end of their argument: you are creating a fictitious version of Emilia from the perspective of Subaru and arguing Subaru's side with that image in mind.

No, I have not, because all this time I've never argued for Subaru's actions. I've purposely avoided delving into the discussion on whether people have any sort of real responsibility towards those they care about, or the circumstances surrounding the situation at the palace.

There's just this weird and frankly very loaded default assumption going on that criticizing Emilia's response must be some kind of roundabout way to absolve Subaru of some culpability.

It's not. I'm judging Emilia's actions based on the context of her personal feelings and available information. Case in point, when Subaru finally apologizes to Emilia it has nothing to do with the points I've been discussing and is centered around coherently conveying his feelings and what he feels he did wrong. He's started to get an inkling of just how complicated the situation is (beyond the obvious), but he doesn't quite get it yet.

Ytlaya posted:

There are also other reasons further elaborated in future content that make Conspiratiorist's evaluation of Emilia in this situation even less accurate, and IIRC he's one of the people who's read ahead?

It's the opposite: reading the official material up to vol. 9 (when it surpasses the anime) and then further ahead when the Subaru/Emilia relationship actually becomes a story focus, made go back and look at their interactions throughout the story and try to recontextualize them, their fight in particular. Turns out it was all laid out there from the beginning, because of course it was. Re:Zero.

I mean, my initial reading of the events was that Subaru hosed up (with the understanding of why he'd react the way he did, but it was still wrong) and that was that. Emilia was just really sad but nevertheless handling the situation with a level-head. But then looking at it more carefully made me go "Oh... oh! So that's what's actually going on. Oh, this! Yeah, this is the moment she gets pissed."

It was mentioned earlier that the story places great emphasis on getting immersed in Subaru's perspective, and the fight works as a wake-up call for both him and the audience to get out of his head and start understanding other characters as people with their own goals and perspectives. This is true; the story arc is thematically built around it.

But wait, so why is Emilia then taken at face value here? The narrative tricks you by having her deliver a brutal takedown then immediately exit the stage, and distracting you with Subaru's self-loathing as the reminding impression of the exchange.

LostRook posted:

When you're so afraid of sexism that you say someone is completely in the wrong for calling out racism.

I've been sidestepping it because Subaru doesn't even attempt to justify himself when pressed for reasons, but yeah... there's some slight dissonance going on here.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Eej posted:

I'm not sexist, I just hold women to a standard where they are only emotionally mature when they can control their anger and have infinite patience for men attempting to coerce them via guilt or other emotional manipulation.

But that wasn't what got her angry - Subaru playing the debt card was actually the one part of the exchange she could understand and latch on, because she's a huge hypocrite who can't help the urge to be selfless yet contextualizes all relationships involving her as ordered give-and-take contracts.

Legitimately, one of the ways in which she could've done better is by telling Subaru to cut the bullshit, and lay down on him just how much he was loving with her and had been for the past several weeks. She can still tell him to gently caress off and never see her again afterwards. That'd have made her feel better by taking it off her chest, and allowed Subaru to get clue instead of having to slowly and haphazardly work out over the course of weeks afterwards just what Emilia's deal is.


Oh, that's absolutely a great way to rephrase it.
VVVV

Conspiratiorist fucked around with this message at 20:54 on Apr 7, 2019

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


It's because Re:Zero's world is an appropriate setting for a fantasy epic where the protagonist - while important - isn't meant to be the all-encompassing fulcrum of the story, whereas for most modern isekai the setting is just some hackneyed enabler for whatever flavor of wish-fulfillment the author is shooting for.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Clarste posted:

After reading far too many isekai stories for my own good, I've come to realize that it's actually a little different from that. It's not just that they're so uncreative that they can't come up with a more interesting setting (not saying they aren't though), but rather that they're intentionally imitating every last little detail of every other isekai story in existence. It almost reminds me of bands playing a cover of another band's song. The point isn't to make something new, but to present something the audience already knows the words to by heart, so they can sing along.

It's certainly a strange phenomenon.

Oh, I have too, and that's what I meant with "hackneyed enabler"; that it is for the most part intentional doesn't change its nature.

What I find sad, though, is when it's unintentional or forced - you know, those fantasy stories that are clearly trying to be their own thing, but that for no appreciable narrative reason happen to be some flavor of isekai. It's like the incestuous slurry that forms the idea well for Asian light/graphic novel media has become so thick newbie authors can't even tell what's the purpose/reasoning of the subgenre, or that they're so wary or desperate they feel shackled to it.

An example of this is Faraway Paladin, which I find a quite nice story, but the protagonist is reincarnated because... well, just because. He's got only very vague memories of having lived a lonely and lovely life, which sorta serves as a motivation to try and be a better person this time around but... he gets raised by really awesome people, so the prevailing sense throughout is that he turned a great kid because of that nurturing. And he starts over as a baby and doesn't bring any usable knowledge - doesn't even know the language - so it's not following that angle of "I am awesome because I've got the wisdom of a 30yo in a child's body", either. He even reasonably acts his age while growing up.

I had hoped it would all tie up into the various mysteries surrounding his caretakers, but no, it eventually becomes clear he was just some NEET from Japan who got isekai'd after dying. And I'm like "why? even if you wanted to use it as an element to tie it with the wider cosmological aspects of the setting, why does it have to be Japan rather than a soul native to this fantasy world?"

It's baffling.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


I thought Re:Zero was the Dark Souls of isekai.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


UnfurledSails posted:

I never thought of it as the Evangelion of Isekai but holy poo poo that's not too far off. I really feel invested in this kind of story where the protag makes bad choices and completely falls apart as a consequence of those choices.

I mean, if we're going to seriously talk about it, then both Re:Zero and Evangelion are certainly genre deconstructions (modern isekai and super robot shows, respectively), but Shinji and Subaru are nearly diametrically opposed character types whose only overlap is in sharing some common teenage insecurities.

Shinji also starts off and remains a broken person for the entirety of his story (as does most of the Eva cast), the stresses he's put through only serving to highlight his issues, while Re:Zero is a story about growth.

Eej posted:

i dont think Evangelion invented genre deconstruction

Also that, though it did have a big influence on how genre deconstruction is perceived due to its popularity. Nobody talks about Ideon.

Conspiratiorist fucked around with this message at 17:33 on Jul 7, 2019

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Did you make it to Unlimited?

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Muv-Luv Extra:
Highschool rom-com (with some drama thrown here and there for good measure) about how the already wacky daily life of highschool senior Shirogane Takeru gets turned upside down when a beautiful and comically wealthy girl transfers to his class appears in his bed in the morning, seemingly intent on marrying him.


Muv-Luv Unlimited:
1958 - The Viking 1 probe reaches Mars and transmits images of creatures assumed to be of Martian origin.
1967 - A geological exploration team from the international lunar base Plato-1 encounters beings identical to the lifeforms discovered on Mars. All contact with the team is lost. The hostile lifeforms are christened "BETA". The First Lunar War begins.
1969 - "The Moon is Hell."
1973 - A BETA landing unit launched from the Moon lands on the Kashgar Autonomous Region in western China, and begins construction of H01 ("Original Hive"). The Moon is abandoned. The joint PLA-RKKA front collapses within a month. Scorched earth tactics with tactical nuclear weapons prove of limited effectiveness. The BETA begin their westward push.
1974 - A second BETA landing unit impacts Athabasca, Canada. Learning from the ongoing conflict in Eurasia, the US military destroys it through concentrated use of strategic nuclear weapons, turning half of Canada into irradiated wasteland. The UN announces the world population has fallen by approximately 30% as a result of the BETA invasion of Earth. The F-4 Phantom, the first Tactical Surface Fighter, enters service.
1978 - Operation Palaiologos. Joint NATO/Warsaw Pact forces attempt to seize H05 (Minks Hive). After two months of fierce fighting, with the combined forces of all Europe acting as a diversion, the Volk Regiment of the Soviet Army 43rd Tactical Armored Division successfully enters the Minks Hive. They're wiped out after a few hours. A massive surge of BETA subsequently annihilates the sieging units, ending the operation. Central Europe is overrun.
1979 - Under UN Security Resolution, the war against the BETA including Hive capture operations are to be conducted under UN leadership.
1982 - The United States Congress approves a 50-year lease of Alaska to the Soviet Union, which soon begins relocation of all industrial assets and population centers.
1983 - The Oder-Neisse line falls and Eastern Germany is annihilated by the BETA. Western Europe becomes a battlefield.
1984 - The Indian subcontinent is abandoned.
1993 - With the collapse of the Northern European front that had continued to resist to the end, the European Union declares a complete withdrawal of all forces. The BETA gain total control over the European continent.
1994 - The UN announces the world population has fallen to approximately 50% of its pre-invasion numbers.
1997 - The Arabian Peninsula front, which had withstood the BETA invasion for over ten years, collapses. The African Union and Middle East Coalition forces retreat beyond the Suez Canal.
1998 - The BETA Invasion of Japan. BETA proceeding east from H16 (Chongqing Hive) make landfall in Japanese territory. 30% (36 million) of the Japanese population is wiped out within a week. Citing a tendency of Japanese forces to disobey orders, the US military unilaterally breaks the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security and withdraws all forces stationed in Japan. BETA groups begin construction of H21 in Sadogashima and H22 in Yokohama.
1999 - Operation Lucifer. The Imperial Japanese Army, the United Nations Joint Force, and the COSEAN military launch the greatest large-scale counteroffensive operation in Asia, second only to Operation Palaiologos in the entirety of the BETA Wars. After 2 days of fierce fighting, and with little warning to allied forces, the US military intervenes by deploying a newly developed WMD, eradicating the surface Yokohama Hive structure and its surrounding BETA. The operation officially ends with the capture of the Yokohama Hive - the first successful Hive capture in human history - and the retaking of Honshu.
2000 - Yokohama Base, hosting the UN 11th Force, commences operation.
2001, October 22 - One "Shirogane Takeru", wearing what was determined to be some kind of counterfeit cadet uniform, is apprehended outside Yokohama Base after failing to provide adequate credentials. Two weeks later he's released on orders of the base XO, who intrigued by his detailed descriptions of a world where the BETA are unknown, arranges his transfer to the 207th Training Unit...


Muv-Luv Alternative:
2001, October 22 - One "Shirogane Takeru" confronts Yokohama Base security and urgently requests to meet with base XO Kouzuki Yuuko regarding "the worst case scenario"...

Conspiratiorist fucked around with this message at 21:26 on Jul 24, 2019

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Muv-Luv is the Starship Troopers of isekai

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


The protagonist gets to meet parallel world versions of most of his close friends and a couple of his teachers, and goes through military training with them.

Lots and lots and lots of worldbuilding, nostalgia for his carefree old life, connecting with his new old friends, struggling with the culture shock, learning to pilot mecha (called Tactical Surface Fighters), trying to piece together the mystery of why he's there and what he's supposed to do, and romance blooms.

Then the Alternative V plan is activated: 100,000 people will evacuate Earth in a migrant fleet built using scavenged alien technology, while the rest of humanity stays behind to fight the BETA to the bitter end through liberal use of weapons of mass destruction.

It doesn't end well.

And that's when Muv-Luv Alternative, which is 3 times the length of Muv-Luv Extra and Unlimited combined, starts.

The whole thing is one hell of a ride.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Ytlaya posted:

I remember that it always bugged me how

You mean the G-Bombs?

They operated on poorly understood principles, so scientists across the world just didn't know what the long term effects would be at all. You know, like how the Manhattan project scientists were afraid of the potential of nuclear weapons setting the atmosphere on fire? Well, the immediate effects of G-Bombs were fairly obvious, but what if it wasn't just that, and it wasn't localized? And, because of the potential of the BETA developing countermeasures, once they started using them they had to take out all hives within weeks. No time to take it slow.

And as it turns out, concerns for unexpected effects were validated following Operation Babylon as shown in The Day After:



The mass use of 5th-dimensional effect bombs shift the planet's center of gravity, pushing large regions of the world out of the habitable zone of Earth's atmosphere, and prompting megatsunamis that blast through and eventually submerge Eurasia, with the displaced oceans leaving behind vast salt flats.

Gravity anomalies cut off access to space. Satellite telecommunications are lost, and a powerful Dellinger effect makes even ground-based radio spotty and of limited range. Surviving orbital forces can do little more than powerlessly look down at the devastated planet while their supplies dwindle.

The world's only surviving powers, the American-Japanese Alliance and the French-Canadian alliance, immediately go to war over the limited resources and habitable territory, and America's perceived responsibility for the catastrophe.

And worst of all, some BETA are later confirmed to have survived, and with all previously-known hives now inaccessible underwater, humanity has forever lost any chance of defeating them.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Thing is that's not quite the calculus - nations were already willing to be very environmentally unfriendly that with the deployment of heavy metal clouds as part of bombardment doctrines, depleted uranium rounds as standard vehicle armaments, and use nuclear weapons for area denial, so while the desire of one day returning to their homelands is something that's posited by Captain Isumi as a reason, Takeru himself ponders on how these other things are okay but G-Bombs aren't.

Because it's something the story lampshades, then the truth lies in the subtext of the answer given by the person that's highest on the pecking order: Yuuko says they don't know what the consequences will be. Since it's her that's saying it, what that means is that based on the understanding of the scientific community (and consequently political/military higher-ups), the ramifications could be catastrophic - enough that for Yuuko, a person who regularly pushes the odds with the fate of mankind at stake, Alternative V just wasn't a dice worth rolling. In fact, something she desperately opposed.

And remember that the evacuation fleet is an addendum to the overall plan, a concession from the US to convince other nations play along, which reinforces that the UN Security Council knew the G-Bombs could end up causing apocalyptic ecological damage. Why else have planetary evacuation as a pre-condition for launching the operation? There were real, monumental fears at play here, and like so many things in Muv-Luv, these were concerns kept away from the eyes and ears of the men and women on the ground.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015



To keep it brief since this is the R:Z thread, the other part of the equation is that there was a genuine belief that humanity could eventually defeat the BETA through conventional means. While the BETA remained relatively static, TSF technology had progressed enormously since the beginning of the war, and Gray Element research was opening scientific avenues beyond the Moorcock-Lechte engine. Indeed, the practical objective of Alt. IV was intelligence gathering - and as Operation Sledgehammer would go on to demonstrate, simply possessing semi-accurate intelligence on BETA numbers and Hive layouts was enough to mount successful Hive capture operations with a fraction of the manpower of Operation Iceberg.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Your time is your own, but if after committing more than an hour and a half to a piece of media not only are you not enjoying it, but also actively disliking it, maybe the best thing to do would be to just cut your loses.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Condiv posted:

yeah i know. the reason i keep trying is cause when you reduce the plot down to abstracts, there's an interesting story there that I should like. cause of that I keep trying to give it chances, but it might just be the case that this isn't a show for me.

Subaru is intentionally something of a subversion of the safe generic anime protagonist archetype, and the story is very character-driven, so if you find Subaru grating, and dislike the clash between him trying to live out his fantasy slice-of-life tale only to have to contend with the horrors thrown his way, then things probably just won't work for you.

What I'll say, though, is that a significant part of why his behavior comes off as disjointed during the first arc is that initially he doesn't have accurate recollection of events preceding his death loops. In fact, it's possible the first time we the audience see him die, is not actually the first time he dies during the loop - what we follow is his continuity of consciousness for the first time he starts remembering.

Conspiratiorist fucked around with this message at 12:01 on Jan 13, 2020

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


I like Subaru, warts and all. He's by no means a perfect person, but he's a good kid at heart and the story is all about him confronting his mistakes and growing from them. Return By Death is even the ultimate guilt plot device - every time a loop closes, he alone knows he could've done better. While everyone praises him as a hero, he alone knows that not only did he cheat, but that things could've turned out better had he tried harder.

Ytlaya posted:

I feel like Subaru's behavior is actually pretty well explained.

My controversial Re:Zero opinion is that Rem is actually pretty lame. She's not bad or anything, but the fanbase seems to think she's the most amazing thing ever for some reason. Emilia is also pretty lame for the first three arcs, but is still more interesting on the whole than Rem (though Emilia is even worse than Rem as a romance, even if she's pretty good as a character). Both romances are pretty bad, with the romance angles being the only aspect of this series I really dislike (it's the only aspect where Re:Zero kinda gets into "typical isekai/anime" territory).

Most of the rest of the cast is good.

I think the romances are pretty believable in how straightforward they are. To me it feels that media has sort of conditioned audiences in regards to their expectations of what a good romance looks like, which is mainly tied to inter-character chemistry, when the truth is that people are irrational creatures that get together sometimes just because, and bonds build from there through shared experience.

Subaru develops an instant-crush on Emilia because she's a cutie that's totally his type, who helps him out when he's lost all alone, and the stresses of their situation turns it into a near obsession before he actually tries to address her as a person, and by then he's committed.

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.

And for Emilia, she's young and Subaru is essentially the only boy her age in her life, who is nice to her and she finds fun and clever and courageous (if foolhardy), but even then she only very hesitantly considers returning his obvious affections - not because she dislikes him, but because of her circumstances combined being understandably wary of his and the effect she feels she has on him.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


EponymousMrYar posted:

This is my beef with Rem and her relationship. This sort of one-sided devotion isn't healthy and typically ends poorly for everyone involved.

Also it reminds me too much of the 'unwanted harem' setup that I am thoroughly sick of after experiencing Ranma 1/2, Tenchi Muyo! and Love Hina.

Oh, it's very much not healthy at all, but it's acknowledged as such in-universe and by the people involved rather than just given a complete pass, so I give it points for that, as well for the fact that it does lead to a relatable ongoing relationship conflict between Emilia and Subaru that's realistically impossible to resolve.

At the same time I find myself rooting for Rem. She's been through a lot, and now she's finally trying to pursue happiness for herself - perhaps not in the best way, or with the best candidate, but Subaru is still a good boy who's able to understand her and deal with her eccentricities (the opposite also being true), so if they had met each other in better circumstances they'd inarguably be a pretty good match. The IF stories even show that they work things out and the result is so saccharine it's a borderline diabetic risk. Also, unsurprisingly, they're pretty bad parents. With how much effort she puts in, I think it's hard not to feel for her.


ED: IIRC Nagatsuki once said that had Subaru not been isekai'd, his parents would've eventually strong-armed him back to school, where he'd have hooked up with and eventually married an underclassman with a personality much like Rem's.

Conspiratiorist fucked around with this message at 04:07 on Jan 14, 2020

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Best Girl Satella wins in the end.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Maybe the writers realized a character without a personality and whose only gimmick is being uninterested in things going around him wouldn't work for the format.

Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


They're separated by "situation" they're dealing with, which often coincides with Subaru dying and discovering he's got a new save point.

Arc 1: Subaru's initial arrival, saving Emilia.
Arc 2: Roswaal mansion, dealing with the shaman controlling the demon beasts.
Arc 3: the entire stretch from returning to the capital and the introduction of the royal candidates, to defeating Petelgeuse for good and an epilogue that got skipped by the anime.

Notably, Arc 3 begins several days before Subaru gets his first save point, and also has his save point updated twice over the course of it.

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Conspiratiorist
Nov 12, 2015


Roswaal wasn't around (his whereabouts are addressed in the following story arc), and Betty is limited to protecting the library.

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