Art: Makoto Fuugetsu
Original Story: Tappei Nagatsuki
Character Design: Shinichirou Otsuka
Translation: Jeremiah Borque
Lettering: Anthony Quintessenza
What They Say:
Subaru hasn’t known peace since he first came to this world, but after surviving the demon beast attack, he has finally found some respite. Whether it’s deepening bonds with the residents of Roswaal Manor, meeting an eccentric world-famous chef, or dressing up as Roswaal himself (?!), Subaru is in for a fun (if exhausting) time. Tragedy takes a break in this final volume of Re:ZERO – Starting Life in Another World-, Chapter 2: A Week at the Mansion!
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
After Fuugetsu’s last volume tied up pretty much all the loose ends of the Roswaal Manor arc, this final installment of Re:Zero treads upon entirely new ground. Yup, you guessed it, we’ve finally got a filler book! And while I’m normally opposed to material like this when it comes to more ‘serious’ series, something about watching Subaru up to his normal Subaru-antics when his life isn’t at stake just seemed too intriguing to pass up. Plus, Fuugetsu’s artwork over the last several books has been phenomenal, so there’s really no reason to pass this one up. Well, at least that’s what I thought before finding out it was going to be 75% Rem fanservice.
I kid, I kid. Kind of. Like I mentioned before, volume five throws us into several different, completely new scenarios that were not included in the anime nor were they alluded to in preceding installments. The first of these is actually a glimpse into the life of Petra- one of the young, village girls that Subaru saved from those evil dogs. This chapter goes pretty much as you’d expect it to. Petra lives a normal life, almost gets killed by a giant dog, and then wakes up and thanks Subaru for, you know, not letting her become food. And while it’s a little interesting to see these events depicted from a different angle, it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. I mean, honestly, you could probably just skip this chapter all together as it does not contribute anything to the rest of the book or the franchise as a whole.
The next chapter, however, is one that is sure to excite the vast majority of Re:Zero fans. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got a chapter all about how much Rem adores Subaru and how she handles “looking after him.” Surprisingly enough, I actually liked this bit of the book. Apart from being a love-robot whose only programming is to ensure that she is fawning over the protagonist, Rem’s depiction in a light-hearted setting is really kind of…adorable. There, I said it. Be prepared for an onslaught of over-the-top, romcom-esque reactions that could no way ever make it into a real volume of Re:Zero. Oh, also, there’s a pretty random scene involving the sucking of a certain appendage.
What? No. Not like that. You’ll see.
As if that wasn’t enough to get you excited, be prepard to see some crossdressing Subaru action as ‘Natsumi Schwarz’ makes “her” first [and presumably last] appearance. All joking aside, Subaru actually makes a pretty cute girl. But I bet now you’re wondering how that happened in the first place, aren’t you? Well, the only reason he’s cross-dressing is to prevent Emilia from overreacting to a famous chef’s food so that she’s able to maintain her dignity and prose when it comes to becoming queen of Lugnica. And yes, that is all I am going to tell you about the middle section of this volume as saying any more would likely just add to the confusion.
The final two chapters combine into something that I guess you could call the ‘main plot’ of the book? Maybe? I don’t know- they form a coherent story while everything else seems completely random, so I’m just going to stick with that initial description. These chapters show us an alternate universe where, when Ram and Roswaal head away for a few days, Subaru and Rem get sucked into a weird box and are forced to reenact that horrible movie Cube from several years ago. And if you’re unfamiliar with Cube, which I am sure you are, they basically have to undergo a few trials to ensure that they make it out of a cube alive. Crazy, I know. Well, it turns out that the cube was really just a Mitia that some new character named Ezzo made to try and impress Roswaal. At the end of the day, he (Or she? I honestly can’t tell) doesn’t and Rem brings Subaru back into the cube so that they can spend more time together.
In another alternate world, I’m sure they’re both still in that cube somewhere- living out the ultimate non-canonical ending that most fans have dreamt of for roughly two years now. But back in the real Lugnica (IE: Chapter 3, Part 1) things are just getting started…But we’ll touch on that soon! For now, feel free to enjoy these exceedingly random and rather entertaining additions to the series that literally none of us asked for, but are completely okay with.
This [completely optional] installment in the Re:Zero franchise brings us some OVA-esque material in manga form. With absolutely no story tell and not even a general direction to pursue, volume five manages to maintain the reader’s attention through sheer nonsense and buffoonery alone. And while I certainly had a good time seeing Subaru and company enjoy fun and games while their truly unfortunate lives allow it, I can completely understand why some would elect to skip this volume. All I have to say in that regard is- who cares? Read what you want to read. If you don’t like fun, go check something else out. This book has absolutely nothing to offer you. However, if you’re a fan of the characters here and just want to see them messing around, dive in and let the weird cube-water overtake you.
Content Grade: C
Art Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A-
Text/Translation Grade: A-
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: September 18, 2018