Sunday, April 10, 2016

Re: Zero — Best show of the season!

Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活 (Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu — Re:Life in a Different World from Zero)

I know it may be a little early in the season and there are still a few different shows I haven't gotten a chance to check out yet, but I couldn't be more impressed with what I've seen of Re: Zero so far. I'll try to avoid spoilers for the first episode because the twist was one that filled me with soooo much glee.

First of all, the premiere was an hour long episode! I didn't know anime did that, but it was a real treat. I loved watching Satella and Subaru get to know each other and it made the events of the episode all the more bittersweet. It's a real toothache of a show if you dwell on their first meeting, which I got the chance to as I rewatched it today.

Yeah I know, usually my ADHD can barely handle a single playthrough, but I figured having it on in the background while I worked wouldn't be too distracting (I was about half-right).

I know what you are thinking, "He just likes it because it has Zero in the title," and while it may be true that I am predisposed towards things titled Zero, that just means I hold it to a higher standard after my initial attraction wears off and this show definitely passes snuff even on repeat viewings.

I will say that the mysterious opening which I thought was going to be a season-long mystery turned out to be explained mostly if you rewatch the first episode (unless they're still planning on explaining the initial planet switching).

Oh, anyway, the story follows Subaru, a physically fit NEET that slips into a fantasy world. I know you're thinking, "Haven't we seen this already?" and you'd be right, we've been seeing this premise since books like "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" which was ohhhh, two centuries ago, but that doesn't mean that it's not a great premise. I realize it's gotten especially popular the last few years in Japan, but I don't see that as a bad thing as long as it's done well (second half of S1 of SAO, I'm looking at you).

Right away he assumes he is given super powers and finds himself ill-prepared for the fantasy world, having only the snacks he just bought at a convenience store, his wallet of Japanese money (which isn't accepted here) and his cell phone.

Relatively rapidly, he meets the thief Felt and the half-elf magic-user Satella with her spirit animal Puck, the cat.

And that's another thing also, even though this show had an entire hour long premiere, they didn't wait to hook you. They started the show with hints of severe danger for our heroes, rapidly progressed through some minor action and goofiness to character introductions, and came through on the promise of danger with the first major twist by minute 30. That's still 20 minutes of awesomeness remaining after that!

Subaru takes a little long to realize quite what's going on after the first twist, but I think if you put yourself in his shoes you might not immediately jump to the conclusion I'm sure we all did. It's not like he had a point of reference in the first place.

It's going to be a real challenge to wait this series out though. Each episode so far has ended in a middle of a scene. I'm really looking forward to being able to rewatch the whole show after it's finished though.

Did I mention it's drawn gorgeously as well?

So have you been watching this one? What do you think? I really hope it can maintain this roll it's on! I love it!