Think of the Children! — A Re:Zero Post

I wanted a satisfying answer to this question when it showed up. You know what I got?

Urrrggghh.

*Gargling noises*

Ow! It’s hurting me. This show is physically hurting me!

I actually skipped showing a kid, but even if that wasn’t the case, how many children is this scene going to emotionally exploit anyways?

Well I don’t! You just introduced the kids this week during that opening act that lasted for all of three minutes, and this is the first time I’ve heard their names, let alone their hobbies.

Why?! Why do they matter so much to you? Why should I care why they matter so much to you? Because they’re kids? Come to think of it, when the fuck did they become so important to the story? Literally the only reason they’re in danger is because the dog that hangs out with them is the source of your goddamn curse. That’s NOT a reason for them to be in the story. That’s just an explanation for their presence.

I think Frog’s recent essay just got undermined with the latest episode and he’s going to have make several additions if he wants to convince me that this show provides more of a legitimate analysis to the concept of Japan’s view of white-knighting than Kiss x Sis’s “analysis” of the country’s declining birth rates and history of motherhood. Now that the show is trying to emotionally exploit little kids who barely have any screen time and yet suddenly they’re the world to our hero, Re:Zero has officially made Subaru too unrelatable for me to sympathize with him. Caring about girls who take care of you after nearly dying in a fantasy world is one thing, but whilst any sane person would care about kids being threatened in real life, it matters in fiction how you use kids as victims, and Re:Zero doesn’t do it in a way that makes me want to give a shit.

Not to mention, Frog failed to touch on one important thing about this show’s white-knighting that I brought up last time: how it’s mostly being used as an excuse to torture our hero physically and mentally. To which I say: why? What is fun about a guy getting turned into a human shiskabob over and over to the point that he has a breakdown? It’s empty and hateful and in bad taste and doesn’t amount to good satire at all. And if there is a payoff for all this mental torture, the show is taking too long to get to it. Subaru hasn’t had any changes to his personality or his goals as a result of all the shit he’s gone through. All he’s doing is becoming more emotionally open and weary, which isn’t enough character development after nine episodes of this shit. I don’t exactly see him turning into a faux-Neo Nazi anytime soon.

But hey, as long as we don’t have to see Subaru die again, forcing another reset that will inevitably pad the story out longer than the Great Wall of China…

No. No!

Minor Quips

  • If you want to preserve your sanity, don’t read a Re:Zero forum. Especially the one on Crunchyroll.
  • For the record, if Subaru does survive, that’ll just make the cliffhanger cheap.
  • To those participating in that MAL game I forgot the name of (FAL. That was it) and don’t have this show on their team, bwahahahahahaha!

5 responses to “Think of the Children! — A Re:Zero Post

  1. Hmm, I think you’re misinterpreting my post. In essence, I like what Re: Zero seemed to be trying to do with Subaru, but he never actually came across as a well-written character, because a) his character development wasn’t consistent, and b) none of his relationships with the other characters (particularly the girls) feel convincing.

    Technically, his obsession with helping the kids here isn’t out of character. He did help a kid in episode 1 as well. But the “think of the children!” moment was still bad because there was no buildup or prior interaction whatsoever. Very cheap.

    Also, I don’t think the show is satiricising or criticising Subaru for his white knight complex by making him suffer. If anything, it’s the suffering that vindicates his point of view.

    • My problem with Subaru’s suffering is that it’s gotten to the point where the show is just dumping on him to get a reaction out of the viewer or set up a cliffhanger, which I think is cheap and exploitative. It reminds me of those overly long torture scenes in Now and Then Here and There, which I thought was a pretty terrible way to convey how awful war is. Apparently the author is known for being a sadist and…well…egh.

      I’ve got another post coming up regarding a helpful Japanese protagonist I ended up really liking. Hopefully it’ll be up tomorrow so I can get a quick counterpoint to my recent bile.

    • Technically, his obsession with helping the kids here isn’t out of character. He did help a kid in episode 1 as well.

      Also, I never said it was out of character. It’d be weird for a guy who forgives a maid for beheading him to not like kids as well. My problem is that the kids have no reason to be in the narrative and all they’re doing is making Subaru’s sainthood look ridiculous.

  2. “For the record, if Subaru does survive, that’ll just make the cliffhanger cheap.”

    You sure you don’t want that? Another house cleaning montage and more banal chatter with the maids and Emilia-tan might change your mind.

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