I was initially planning on making another multi-anime Impressions post, but then realized, I had a fair bit to say about the first episode of Re Zero, so here we are.
Note: There are a fair few twists in the first episode of Re Zero, so if you haven’t watched it yet (both parts, mind you, it is a 40 minute episode), then don’t read this post.
Good Main Character
The Main Character is one of those self-aware MCs that appear to be all the rage these days. That is to say, he isn’t too surprised or confused when he ends up in a fantasy world, rather he is delighted he is going to have a chance at using Magic and what not.
This is mostly done to add some humor, but in my opinion, its far more useful purpose is cutting back on needless dialogue and exposition. Now, instead of having a character who is shocked at finding themselves in a new world, shocked that magic exists, we have one who is anxious to explore the world and stuff in it. This saves time and lets the anime use it for more useful things!
Actually, you’d think that he’d still be able to apply that reasoning to the time reversal’s that happen and figure out before reliving the same introduction three times. How did he not notice the change in sunlight?! Oh well…..
Other good traits about the main character include not being a total loser. Sure, he is a “Neet” who plays games all day, but he is surprisingly open to talking to people and as demonstrated by both his interactions with the other cast and that lost little girl, he is actually willing to help out for selfless reasons.
I like how he is willing to stand up for himself even when it is futile. It was cool seeing him try to fight that lady at the end because she had killed in cold blood right in front of him, despite realizing he likely stood no chance.
All in all, I think MC-kun is pretty likeable!
Silver hair is good
The silver haired girl is pretty good! At first sight, I was expecting a really annoying tsundere, but as it turns out, she is a good kid, who has a hard time being honest, but doesn’t resort to violence or anger because of it!
MC x Silver is (was?) a cute ship
For the first half of the episode, MC and Silver actually built up a pretty good foundation. You know there wasn’t much bathhouse peeping, smacking or unnecessary blushing. It was just nice you know…
Above: Holy Shit. Is this foreshadowing of what’s to come when she doesn’t recognize him? I think I like the MC and this doomed ship even more now.
Sadly, as nice as it was, it may not be a ship that ever comes true because EVERYONE DIED AND THINGS RESET —TWICE. I really hope the two get that kind of rapport going again, but I think this show will almost certainly go full thriller from here on. That’s a bit of a shame, but I hope they still have some cute moments (really hard to do when your development gets reset every bloody time!).
Not too much time spent on explanations
I was rather happy with how little time the anime actually spent explaining stuff. Part of it is because we have a genre savvy MC and part of it was I guess the anime just didn’t feel the need to front load too much technical world building, which is good.
The explanations for spirits and lower spirits was pretty short as was the stuff related to devices like MC’s cellphone. I am glad for that. We will probably get more details later on, but even if we don’t, I felt like I had a more than good enough grasp on the world without being bored!
Sympathy for the old man and thief
Our initial impression of old man Rom and the thief girl are not so great. I mean, sure Felt is a cute girl, but she is still a thief who stole from the main girl. Rom’s initial impression is even worse. He is first shown as a dead, almost demon like, thing.
My initial impression after watching the first run was the MC-kun had ended up the unfortunate victim of a fight between two criminals. Then the first loop came along and totally altered my view.
We got a nice long conversation with Rom and realized that hey, he ain’t so bad. We met Felt and realized that while yes, she is a thief, she lives a pretty hard life and does whatever she can to survive. We learned that despite having no familial ties with her, Rom looks after her anyway. That’s really sweet.
That’s what made their second deaths actually hurt. Rom wasn’t just some evil goon or thug, he was actually a mostly cool old man. He didn’t deserve to die. Not like that anyway and neither did Felt.
I liked that. I liked that a lot. It is just a shame that like MC’s ship with Silver, all of the development that happened between him and Rom/Felt is now thrown out the window and only we, and him actually remember it.
Good Animation and visuals for the most part
I guess the most obvious point of contention would be the hilarious CG moving monster background characters. I don’t mind CG being used here to save cost.
The character designs aren’t the best (especially when they are not totally on model), but they are more than good enough. Not all of the backgrounds look great, but there were a few very cool backdrops.
They did a pretty great job at the beginning with the first dream sequence as well as the loop sequences.
The battle scenes, especially the final battle, were actually well animated!
I am not a fan of sadistic deaths whose only purpose is to amuse the audience (cough Danganronpa cough Akame ga Kill! cough). It is just not my thing. That said, the deaths in this first anime episode were not sadistic, just cruel.
Above: This is just fucking cruel. Please, my heart can’t take it.
Cruel, as in I did not wish them to happen and did not enjoy seeing them happen, but neither was I meant to (I think). I know, from reading r/anime, that deaths will continue , but I really hope they are not sadistic set pieces. I mean, it is totally fine if that is your thing, but it doesn’t work for me.
Still, anything cruel and sad is likely going to end up dropped by me because I’m a baby, and I hope that doesn’t happen here because I actually did enjoy this first episode a lot and want to see more!
I am almost tempted to just pick up the Light Novel to figure out what happens from here on.