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Re: Zero Chapter 2 Vol. #03 Manga Review

4 min read

The meaning of courage

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

What They Say:
Having experienced agonizing death numerous times at Roswaal manor, Subaru seeks to defy his fate once again. Enlisting the help of diminutive yet powerful Beatrice, Subaru might finally overcome this trial…but success comes at a steep cost. Subaru is faced with a choice — will he live with the burden of regret, or will he take his chances and start over again?

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
You know what’s worse than dying every three days? Nothing. Well, maybe dying every two days or something- but that’s beside the point. What I’m trying to say is, Subaru hasn’t exactly been having the best time lately. In the last installment of Re:Zero, we even saw him going to Beatrice for help. Beatrice. This demonstrates in itself how fed up Subaru is with current predicament. Regardless of how terrible their motley companionship is, Beatrice was somehow able to get Subaru past the third night as Roswaal Manor for the first time thus far. But just when he thinks his luck is beginning to change and that he might actually be able to carry on with his life, he finds out that Rem has died in his place. And as if that wasn’t enough, now Ram has spiralled out of control and is blaming him for it. Poor Subaru…Dude just can’t catch a break.

Anyway, the death of Rem doesn’t only weigh heavy on Ram. In fact, our beloved protagonist takes it just as hard, willing to kill himself for a chance to reset things once more. Of course, both Beatrice and Ram don’t take kindly to this idea. Ram hates it because she wants to be the one to kill him in order to sate her undying rage. Beatrice, on the other hand, is pissed because she just spent three whole days making sure he stayed alive. Regardless, Subaru bites the bullet and jumps off a cliff several seconds after pouring his heart out to both of them. The result? Oh, would you look at that, he’s started over yet again.

Now that Subaru’s life has begun again for the umpteenth time in the last week or so, he really needs to figure out what’s going on. And, after some gruelling research, he uncovers that his death (And Rem’s) had been the result of a curse. But where did the curse come from? Dedicated to uncovering the truth, Subaru retraces his steps, finding common ground from each lifeline and how that may have been transferred to Rem during his time in Beatrice’s room. And since the curse wasn’t stemming from anyone residing at the manor, the only other option was the village. Subaru tests this theory once he learns from the tsundere loli that a curse can be lifted as long as its still dormant within the carrier. So after taking the obvious route of making physical contact with literally everyone in the village, Subaru manages to uncover that the curse is coming from a gosh darn puppy. So much for man’s best friend.

Upon the reveal of this, Subaru sets off to the village right away, hoping that he may be able to save the children and other residents in time. But with Roswaal away on a ‘business trip,’ Ram is hesitant to let him leave. Through sheer willpower (And an intense desire to stop dying), Subaru manages to persuade her under the pretense of Rem coming along with him. Now, the only two main characters to have died in prior timelines thus far have set off on an adventure to kill a puppy together. I now understand why Rem proceeds to fall so hard for him in the future. My mother always told me that the quickest way to a girl’s heart is the slaughter of a cursed dog. Unfortunately, by the time they get to the village, both the dog and the children have disappeared. Now, it is up to Subaru and the blue-haired love-robot to find it and prevent the untimely demise of pretty much everyone.

In Summary:
Despite being a bit repetitious (Which is hard to avoid considering this is the fourth time around this particular loop), Re:Zero is able to remain entertaining through several pages and panels that perfectly emphasize the slope to insanity. Whether it be an enraged close-up of Ram as she blames Subaru for the death of her sister or a terrifying collage of “I feel sick” draped in the background of Subaru’s smiling face, the artwork carries this volume further than it ever has before. Unfortunately, considering the artist-alternation formula Re:Zero’s manga has been elected to roll with, this is destined to change next volume when we are reintroduced to the art of Matsuse in place of Fuugetsu. Luckily, the actual story of this series is complex and unique enough to allow us to overlook that. Even with the reversion back to the lesser of the two mangaka (In my opinion), I’m excited to continue on with the happy and colorful tale of Subaru and his best friends.

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

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: October 31, 2017
MSRP: $12.99

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