Re:ZERO Episode 39

Re:ZERO Episode 39

Straight Bet

Re:ZERO Season 2 is back with episode 39 (the first episode of Part 2). There’s a lot that I could discuss regarding this episode, but I don’t want the review to go on for too long. So some topics I’ll be skipping over are everything involving the four Ryuzu and Otto. I’ll most likely go over that stuff in a later review once we have more information.

The first topic I do want to go over is Subaru’s bet against Roswaal. This bet marks an extremely important milestone in Season 2 because it sets up Subaru’s next checkpoint. Throughout the majority of Part 1, Subaru has been resetting to the same checkpoint within the Sanctuary. But now, he seems to finally be on the right path.

There are other reasons for me believing that which I’ll get to in a later section. For now, the fact that Subaru has confronted Roswaal and that Roswaal accepted the conditions of his bet in order to set things up for the next version of himself, shows that progress is being made.

Subaru and Otto from the anime series Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2
Subaru and Otto

Of course, Subaru’s bet is that he’ll be able to free everyone from the sanctuary and save everyone at the mansion at the same time. If Subaru’s successful, then Roswaal has to throw away his copy of the Tome of Wisdom ally with him.

What’s most interesting to me about all of this is that Roswaal agreed rather quickly. Perhaps it’s because he realized that Subaru can literally reset as many times as it takes so eventually he’ll win. But agreeing to throw away his copy of the Tome seems like a big deal considering how Roswaal is a devout follower of Echidna.

Can he still achieve his goals by following Subaru?

Emilia’s Trial

For anyone who hasn’t already watched The Frozen Bond, I highly recommend you go do that before the next episode comes out. Most of Emilia’s backstory in this episode came directly from that movie. If you want to fully understand what’s going on, you’ll need to watch it (and should have watched it before this).

Now, the trial we know Emilia has been stuck on was the trial of her past. What we know about her past is that she, and all the other elves of the forest, were frozen and that only Emilia woke up. When she did, she was found by Puck, who formed a pact with her, and then she was eventually taken in by Roswaal.

I’m assuming that Roswaal found Emilia thanks to his copy of the Tome, but this hasn’t been explained yet. However, the fact that we know Roswaal can use some crazy powerful ice magic makes him a bit suspicious. Was he the one who originally froze everyone in the forest? Probably not.

Emilia being hugged by Mother Fortuna from the anime series Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2
Emilia being hugged by Mother Fortuna

You wouldn’t know this if you haven’t watched The Frozen Bond, but Emilia can also use extremely powerful ice magic — potentially stronger than what Roswaal can use. And when she was younger, her ice magic often went out of control, and even killed people, if she was threatened.

With this in mind, we have to look at what Mother Fortuna said to her in the flashback. She tells Emilia that the people who claimed to want to protect her were lying, but that Emilia shouldn’t hate them for it. I think the people Mother Fortuna is referring to here are the other elves of the forest.

Someone probably threatened them so that they would hand over Emilia. They probably pretended to be protecting her while actually handing her over. And when she learned of this, her magic went out of control and froze them all — including herself. Her memories of this event were also sealed.

This seems like the perfect past event for Emilia’s trial to be based around. First of all, the Great Fire Spirit Melaquera tells Emilia that what happened to the elves of the forest was her fault in The Frozen Bond. Second, Emilia probably blamed herself for what happened. And third, to pass her trial, she probably needs to accept that it wasn’t her fault.

Puck and Emilia

Where was Puck all throughout Season 2 Part 1? He was just hiding inside of the spirit crystal Emilia wears around her neck. He wasn’t missing at all. As for why he was doing this, it was to void his pact with Emilia.

Your next question is probably, “why was Puck trying to void his pact with Emilia?” And that’s a pretty good question. But if you were paying attention, he actually gives a reason before disappearing. He says “Once I’m gone, the seal on your memories will be lifted.”

I’m not going to go back through all of The Frozen Bond to find this, but I’m fairly sure that when Puck made his pact with Emilia, he mentioned something about sealing her memories. So by voiding their pact, her memories will be unsealed and she’ll be able to properly take on the trial.

Puck disappearing as Emilia holds him from the anime series Re:ZERO Season 2 Part 2
Puck disappearing as Emilia holds him

I’ve seen some people questioning whether that was the last we’re going to see of Puck in the series. I don’t believe that’s the case. Puck voided his contract with Emilia, but it’s not as if he died. He’s a great spirit with the ability to destroy the world. I don’t think he would die so easily.

Also, it was brought to my attention that Echidna was the one voicing the lines in The Frozen Bond telling Puck to watch over Emilia, but not interfere with her too much. So maybe she created Puck just as she created Betty. It’s unclear why she tasked Puck with protecting Emilia though.

But with all this in mind, I think we’ll see Puck return. He’s not dead, he’s apparently connected to Echidna, and he left so that Emilia could complete her trial. I think he’ll either return to Emilia or maybe even form a pact with Subaru in the future. And I think it’s possible that Puck is going to intervene at the mansion on Subaru’s behalf.

Conclusion

What do you think of Re:ZERO episode 39? Do you think we’re finally in the correct timeline to escape from the current loop? What do you think Emilia’s trial is going to entail? And what role, if any, do you think Puck is going to play going forward? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤️ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community. We have an entire channel dedicated to the latest Re:ZERO episodes.

Some of the information and ideas presented in this review came from or were developed with the help of Discord members Rain. and PenguinFTW.

And, finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Key Mochi~ for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika and Senpai tiers this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of the next episode is available here.

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6 Replies to “Re:ZERO Episode 39”

  1. I think you misinterpreted one of the lines, DoubleSama. Roswaal would never lay groundwork for Subaru to beat him in the next loop, so it’s clear Roswaal is indicating he is laying some groundwork for himself, meaning he really wants to win this bet. Here’s what I think. Roswaal seemed to think it’s not a bad idea to lay the groundwork for the next loop, which indicates Roswaal thinks that the bet he and Subaru made will affect Subaru in the next loop, which will be something Subaru has never experienced before, having a consequence from a previous loop directly inconvenience him in the next loop.

    I’m not sure what kind of bet would be able to transfer over between lives, but I have a theory based off of my theory of souls and soul scents that I have posted about before. As you recall from episode 18 of Re:zero, Petelgeuse indicated that in death, he would be reunited with the Witch, which indicates there’s an afterlife and strongly indicates the presence of souls in Re:zero. Arbiter Melakuera indicated there was reincarnation in Re:zero in the Re:zero OVAs, which is a second instance that suggests that there are souls in Re:zero. Season 2 confirmed that souls are a thing in a Re:zero when Echidna indicated that her soul was trapped in the Witch’s Graveyard in the afterlife. As we all know, the Witch has a very foul smell given what we know of Subaru and Witch cultists, and I speculate that the reason they reek of her scent is because her soul smells horrible considering that her body is very likely sealed and should have no biological function. This suggests that Subaru and Witch cultists have their souls bonded to Satella, the Witch of Envy’s soul, and that is the source of the smell. I’m now getting to my point. I believe that the first step of Return by Death involves resetting time, restoring Subaru’s body and resetting to a previous point in time and that when Subaru dies, his soul goes to the afterlife, and the reason Subaru smells more strongly of the Witch after a death is because of increased exposure to the Witch’s soul. This suggests that the soul does not reset with Return by Death, or else he wouldn’t smell more strongly of the Witch after a death. This also suggests the soul is the reason Subaru retains his memories from previous lives since his brain shouldn’t remember anything since it is straight up restored to its previous state, meaning the second step of Return by Death is sending Subaru’s soul back into his restored body. As for why Subaru can’t remember spending time with Satella in the afterlife, remember when Echidna forced Subaru to forget that he had met her after her first tea party with him? That shows that the Witches of Sin have the power to do that and would explain why Subaru wouldn’t remember meeting Satella.

    So if Roswaal and Subaru’s bet somehow has a mandatory effect on the soul, then Subaru would be forced to do whatever Roswaal wishes even after a death because Return by Death does not reset the soul. This could have some very huge implications if this is indeed what Roswaal has in mind. I hope Subaru can actually win on this loop, as otherwise, I think he might be in for another mental breakdown if he is forced to choose either the Sanctuary or the mansion in the next loop against his will if he fails during this current loop. I do want to note that it’d be an interesting way to add tension to the story since Subaru would not be able to kill himself to undo the effect on his soul.

    Another thing I found interesting was what Subaru said to Otto. One thing I didn’t think was clear based off of Crunchyroll’s subs was what Subaru meant when he said, “Unlike Garfiel, I don’t have to worry about dying.” Did Subaru tell Otto offscreen that he can’t die? Or did Subaru mean that if Garfiel tried to get Emilia to spill the beans, that he might die because she’d panic and lose control of her powers since she doesn’t trust Garfiel while that wouldn’t happen if he himself talked to Emilia since they have a connection. If he indeed told Otto offscreen that he can’t die, maybe that is a convenient way to get around attempting to tell somebody about Return by Death or his looping. Echidna did mention that Subaru would never experience true death, so maybe telling someone he is immortal but not mentioning RBD or his looping would be something Satella would be okay with him sharing.

    1. I rewatched the scene with Roswaal and I don’t believe that Roswaal is referring to laying the groundwork for defeating Subaru in a future loop. I also don’t necessarily mean to say that Roswaal is going to let Subaru win either, though. Rather, Roswaal still believes he’s going to win the bet. But if on the off-chance Subaru does happen to win, it would be in Roswaal’s best interest to have a backup plan. That backup plan of course being an allegiance with Subaru that still achieves his goal of making Emilia the next ruler.

      Basically, I see this as Roswaal covering his bases more than anything. He still wants to win by breaking Subaru down. But there’s no harm in laying the groundwork for a possibility in which he’s unable to achieve that. After all, Subaru holds all the cards right now since he’s the one with the ability to continuously reset if he fails.

      As for the thing with Otto, originally I was thinking that Subaru simply told Otto something along the lines of “I know what’s going to happen in the future.” That would be a way to explain to Otto why he’s taking the actions he is without specifically mentioning return by death. The comment about not needing to worry about dying is a bit odd though. It’s possible that he can freely mention return by death now that he’s met Satella at the Witch’s Tea Party. Or maybe he also just told Otto he’s immortal. There are a number of ways I could see Subaru getting around the whole inability to speak about return by death thing.

      1. I don’t mean that Roswaal intends to lay the groundwork to defeat Subaru in a future loop. I believe that Roswaal fully intends to win this loop and that whatever his condition is for winning will lead to him dominating Subaru across time and space and resets because if the winning conditions have an effect on the soul than Return by Death will not undo the effects of the bet. That’s why I used my soul scents theory to posit that Subaru’s soul does not reset when he dies and starts another loop. On the another hand, if Subaru wins this bet, Roswaal will be forced to not scheme like crazy all the time, with this particular Arc revolving upon him forcing Subaru to make a choice between Emilia and the people at the mansion by making it snow and bringing the Great Rabbit to the Sanctuary.

        1. I’m not so sure that Roswaal is thinking of it in this way. Since he doesn’t actually know how Subaru resets timelines, I don’t think he would really bet on something like that. Obviously, he knows that Subaru retains his memories from previous timelines. But if his plan was really to break Subaru in this loop to see himself up in a better position in the next, I’m not sure that he would have told Subaru when the attacks are going to begin. That seemed more like him giving Subaru a tip just to see how things would work out if Subaru really does succeed.

  2. I think you are misunderstanding Roswaal’s meaning about laying the groundwork for next time. The way I interpret it the groundwork Roswaal is referring to laying is with Subaru himself. The only thing that carries over in each loop is Subaru’s memories. Therefore the experiences that Roswaal can force on Subaru in this loop are what will be carried over and affect how the next loop will play out.

    It’s an interesting battle of wills because apparently Roswaal has a book that can tell the future and Subaru has the ability to change the past. Technically Roswaal has to suffer a lot less than Subaru because he never remembers dying. Therefore his determination cannot be whittled away by repeatedly experiencing trauma the way Subaru does. However unlike Subaru, Roswaal is taking a leap of faith every time he gives up his life that he will get another go around.

    I’ve been trying to understand how Roswaal worked out Subaru can redo events and I think it went something like this. Roswaal read the Gospel before one of Subaru’s checkpoints and then read it again after Subaru had looped and noticed that the future written in the gospel had changed from what he had read before the checkpoint.

    There are two parts to this theory. The first part is that the future written in the Gospel changes when Subaru loops and changes the course of events. The second part is that Roswaal does not remember past loops and would not notice a change in the Gospel unless the change occurred after a checkpoint.

    Of course so far we don’t really know much about the Gospel or how it works. We do know that it doesn’t tell Roswaal everything because Roswaal doesn’t know that Subaru loops by dying. I’ll be interested to see if that ever gets explained.

    1. See my response to Vance for an explanation of why I think Roswaal is laying the groundwork for in case he loses to Subaru.

      As for how Roswaal knows about Subaru’s ability to reset, I think you have a good theory here. I kind of just assumed that the copy of the Tome said that this was something Subaru could do. But I think your theory about Roswaal figuring it out due to changes in what the copy of the Tome says makes sense. It would be a bit odd if it gave specific information about Subaru considering that earlier on in the series Roswaal didn’t know if he was a spy or not. Going by your theory, I’d guess that the future written in the copy of the Tome never changed before Subaru was in this world.

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