Monday, December 18, 2017

Re:Zero ~ Chapter 2 Vol. #02 Manga Review

What you forget, I'll always remember

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

What They Say:
Working at Roswaal Manor as a humble servant, Subaru had thought he had reached a comfortable new life with Emilia, Rem, and Ram. However, his unexpected demise puts that naive illusion to rest. Alive once more, Subaru works to uncover the cause of his latest tragedy, but learning the truth might be a fate worse than death!

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
Okay, so I know what you're thinking. "Why is the worst character in the entire series on the cover of this volume?" Well guys, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the unfortunate truth is that, yes, we do have to put up with a little more Beatrice than normal this installment. But don't worry- everything is going to be A-okay. In addition to the abundance of wise loli goodness (?), there's a plethora of violent fanservice and more than enough Subaru-fatality to push us closer to the non-Beako arc and back into the dramatic, more enjoyable portion of Re:Zero that the vast majority of us have familiarized ourselves with.

The second volume of the second chapter (Which should honestly just be called Re:Zero Vol. #04) picks up right after Subaru's untimely first demise in the Roswaal Manor. Shortly after realizing that he has returned by d- *Begins coughing profusely*, Subaru begins to retrace his steps. Not having even the slightest idea of how or why he died this time, he decides that reenacting his every action prior to the death would be the best way to figure it out. Of course, instead of going to sleep on the fourth night, he decides to just stay awake and figure out what's going on- a move that can be, in no way whatsoever, regretful. One important thing to mention, though, is that Beatrice seems to be the only one with memories of Subaru from the previous timeline.

It becomes eerily apparent at several points in the volume that Beatrice knows something that both the reader and protagonist do not. And while she remains willfully oblivious to the underlying events that actually caused Subaru's last death, she remembers meeting him again. This whole situation leads us to believe that her chamber/library/whatever exists in an otherworldly plane, not connected to Earth or Lugunica or wherever the hell everyone is. And while this may be easy-ish for us to process, Subaru has a hard time deciphering it. Either way, he forgets about it almost instantaneously as Emilia takes up roughly 95% of his brain.

Ultimately, Subaru winds up dying a few more times- uncovering a few more hints with each agonizing demise. Eventually, he uses his big-boy brain to try things differently and, instead of working as a butler, devotes his time to studying and furthering his relationship with Rem and Ram. When it eventually comes time for him to leave the mansion, he commutes to a nearby cliff face with the full intention of watching the manor until someone attacks again. However, instead of the mansion being attacked, Subaru finds himself tossed into a spontaneous battle with none other than Rem- who had apparently been suspicious of him due to his 'witch scent.' Of course, Subaru is brutally massacred yet again, but he finally knows what's going on and that's all that really matters.

When he returns by *vomit* for the fourth (Or fifth?) time, Subaru immediately approaches Beatrice to see if she has any idea of what's happening to him. After an entire platter of 'I wonder...'s, she reluctantly agrees to safeguard him for the remainder of the next four days. With a survival plan finally laid out in front of him, Subaru now faces the challenge of coming face to face with a girl who had killed him in cold blood just a day or two ago. He has put every single one of his cards into the hands of the worst character in the series- and I'm sure that everyone who doesn't already know what happens next is now on the edge of their seats.

In Summary:
While it's less eventful than the first volume of chapter two, volume two still has several high points in terms of both artwork and story. The twins outshine Emilia in this installment (Despite how much that hurt me to admit) and Rem's 'crazy' scene at the end of the book is one of the best the series has put forth thus far. However, with some sporadic mood switches and unfortunately necessary repetition, volume two feels a bit bland in the grand scheme of things. Regardless, it sets the stage for the coming book- which may just wind up being one of the most interesting ones we've seen yet.

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

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: August 22, 2017
MSRP: $12.99

No comments:

Post a Comment