Friday, December 16, 2016

Re:ZERO Vol. #02 Manga Review

"What you forget, I'll always remember."

Creative Staff:
Art: Daichi Matsuse
Original Story: Tappei Nagatsuki
Character Design: Shinichirou Otsuka
Translation: ZephyrRZ
Lettering: Bianca Pistillo

What They Say:
Subaru Natsuki has been summoned to another world. Now, instead of continuing his normal life as a high school truant, he must find a way to adapt to the parallel universe he's wound up in. While this may seem like every young man's dream, things suddenly turn sour when Subaru gets himself caught up in the dangerous life of a mysterious, silver-haired girl. On the plus side, he's been gifted with a remarkable superpower -- time travel. The only thing wrong with said superpower is that he has to die in order to use it. There's no possible way he would need to use that power more than just once, right?

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
In the end of our last volume, Subaru had been killed. Being the first out of the many deaths he is fated to have throughout this series, it's safe to say that Subaru is a little shaken up by this one. In fact, he doesn't even realize that he died to begin with. Instead of trying to figure out why he's gone back in time several hours, Subaru begins retracing his footsteps -- only to die again after a few short pages. It is at this moment that Subaru realizes something weird is going on. About damn time, if I do say so myself.

Finally grasping that he is respawning at a certain checkpoint each time he dies, Subaru sets his sights on not only staying alive this time, but returning Emilia's stolen badge..Wait, did I say Emilia? I meant, uhh, Satella. Yeah. Anyway, the first course of action obviously becomes dealing with those pesky, unavoidable bandits. Having already been killed by them once before, Subaru now knows their one true weakness -- the guards. Not having time to deal with these bandits on his own, Subaru screams for help and is soon joined by a master swordsman by the name of Reinhard. Reinhard, being the manly man he is, fends off the bandits and sends Subaru off on his own again. This time, however, he sets out to find Felt and basically just buy the badge back from her.

Of course, this doesn't go as planned. But this time around, instead of Elsa immediately showing up and slicing everyone to pieces, Emil...*cough* Satella shows up and demands justice. And finally, once everything looks like it's going to turn out okay, the bowel-hunter appears and old man Rom's cabin erupts into an all-out battle of everyone against Elsa. This battle, incredibly well-drawn from start to finish, does an exceptional job of illustrating (No pun intended) the harsher, more action-packed side of Re:Zero. Once again though, we run into the same problem we had last volume -- a lot of the action is cut off due to improper page-layouts. Even with this, though, the lengthy fight-scene is still very enjoyable and suspenseful throughout.

Elsa is not one to be reckoned with -- that much has been made clear. In fact, she's so darn terrifying that she's able to not only repel everyone in the room but essentially bring them to their knees. Even Puck has been outlasted by this seemingly masochistic woman. In the midst of the fight, however, Felt somehow managed to escape. And it's damn good thing she did, because as soon as Elsa is about to kill everyone, she returns with Reinhard. Of course, Reinhard is super manly and super strong, so he's easily able to defeat Elsa. Unfortunately, though, he doesn't finish the job and leaves the woman one last chance to kill whoever she pleases. Considering just how unlucky (Or lucky, depending on how you look at it) Subaru is, he gets in the middle of her and Not-Satella and is ultimately struck down. Thankfully, he was able to uncover the white-haired girl's name before this -- Emilia (AKA: Best-Girl).

Instead of reappearing at his normal checkpoint, however, Subaru wakes up in an unfamiliar bed with two loli-twins staring at him. Now that's a wake-up call.

In Summary:
As I mentioned earlier, Re:Zero still faces several editorial problems in how the volume was pieced together. With several panels being cut-off and unfinished, there are a few seldom, yet disappointing moments of the series that go on to take away some of its underlying immersiveness. That being said, the manga is still exceptional in terms of art and story and sports an always-growing and always-lovable cast throughout. Despite its flaws, Re:Zero remains incredibly easy to recommend to anyone interested in action, drama, or fantasy. Get on the bandwagon with the rest of us and give it a try.

Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B
Text/Translation Grade: B-

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: October 25, 2016
MSRP: $12.99

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