Things are constantly changing in Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-, as normal guy Subaru Natsuki reboots his life over and over again. But one thing that doesn’t change is how he does it: via painful (and sometimes gruesome) deaths.
With the second cour of the second season well underway, we’re getting to see even more miserable ends (and new beginnings) for our hero. So today, we’re counting down some of the freakiest so far. We will be spoiling up into season 2 — but nothing from the light novels. Got it? You’ve been warned. There’s no going back.
Disembowled. Again. And again.
You can always count on Elsa to get you right in the gut. She’s not only responsible for Subaru’s first death in Re:ZERO, she keeps coming back like the proverbial bad penny for more kills. And she has one way she likes to get it done: disembowling. And enjoying every second of it.
So far, Elsa has sliced up Subaru four times, and he’s not the only one. Several other beloved characters taste her knife throughout the various cycles our protagonist endures. At this point, we’re just assuming she’s a constant.
Morningstarred by Rem.
You always hurt the ones you love, especially in Re:ZERO. Admittely, Rem’s violence against Subaru came significantly before her love confession, but we stand by the statement. Remember, Subaru was persona non grata when he first came to this new world. (Admittedly he sometimes still is.) It’s not surprising that a complete stranger with so much witch miasma on him got that kind of welcome.
As a bonus, we get some context for that death (and others on this list) during Subaru’s trials in season 2. It hits different once you know what Ram and Rem talked about after he died…
Jumping off a cliff because his life is cheap.
Re:ZERO offers its hero a unique chance to start over again at death… which can be as much of a cheat as it is a save. Because if you’re willing to make the reset happen yourself, you essentially have unlimited resets. And Subaru does, indeed, get to that point.
One of the most memorable — and freakiest — is when he cheerfully pitches himself over a cliff in order to reset and get things right. Sure, he makes good use of it. But it shows just how cheap his life has become to him early on. It’s now a disposable commodity, and he’s willing to endure some pretty horrific things with the knowledge he’ll come back. That mindset definitely comes back to haunt him in Season 2, of course.
The various monster of Re:ZERO are pretty terrifying, from the actual animals to the Witches themselves. One in particular is much worse than it looks at first, and it just proves that old saw that a mob is a lot harder to fight than one big baddie.
The Great Rabbit is, in fact, lots and lots of normal-sized rabbits. But these bunnies have a taste for blood, and they’ll mob a person like a herd of raptors. Subaru falls to them more than once. And the first time it happens, we get a very detailed view of what that’s like — ending with a first-person shot. Don’t be fooled, there’s death in those eyes.
Getting absolutely wrecked by Puck.
One of the most emotionally jarring moments of Re:ZERO is the end of episode 15. In it, Puck shows just how much he loves Emilia by freezing the world in the wake of her death. Subaru, carrying a mangled Rem, freezes to death as this happens. And then, just for a little extra nightmare fuel, his head pops off. And we’re left to watch what remains get buried under a snowdrift as the credits roll.
This is still one of the most chilling (yes, pun intended) deaths in the series, and seeing it referenced again both in the challenge and the opening credits reminds us how affecting it was on that first watch. Affecting, terrifying, gut-punching, et cetera.
At this point, Subaru is doing his best not to throw his life away as readily as before. But we get the feeling there will be many more moments like this to come, nonetheless.
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