It’s an awesome time for Re:ZERO fans, with a new season underway and more than one new game in the works. One of them, Lost in Memories, has been showing off its cool new animation (hailing, of course, from WHITE FOX). It’s promising some pretty amazing experiences, and a brand new story arc overseen by Tappei Nagatsuki.
It also promises a new potential timeline for Subaru — one that opens up if he’d made a different choice “at that time.” Of course, the question is… at which time? Subaru has made his share of decisions — some subjective, some dubious — any of which could have major repercussions. But for now, we’re musing on three. Make sure you’re caught up to at least the first season before you proceed!
The Outlier: Subaru Runs Away
In episode 7 of Re:ZERO, with Rem dead and Ram prepared to murder Subaru, Beatrice offers to help him flee. Instead, he pitches himself off a cliff, but not before promising to save everyone. Thus, he can reset his timeline and once again work to gain the trust of the demonic twin maids.
Nagatsuki explored this possibility in his 2018 April Fool’s story, Re:Drowning (a.k.a. Oboreru IF). It didn’t go especially well for Subaru — or for anyone — as one might expect of one of the IF branches. Our hero falls into a downward spiral of brutal violence and murder. Considering this would be a Rem-less storyline even at its best, it’s one of the least likely options for Nagatsuki to readdress… but he could throw us a curve ball.
The Fan Favorite: Natsuki Rem
Speaking of ideas addressed in the April Fool’s stories, there’s Re: IF itself… the story that jumps off from Rem’s dream of a happy life with Subaru outside Lugunica. For those whose hearts shattered when Subaru said those Three Little Words to Rem (and one of them wasn’t “you”), this is an enticing option. We’ve already seen plenty of indication that Nagatsuki enjoys playing in this timeline — the main indication being the fact that Re: IF is the only book-length What IF story. (There are others, but we’ll let you play catch-up on your own.)
Even if the “different choice” was simply to give his heart to Rem rather than Emilia, that would be an enticing option for a lot of Re:ZERO fans. She’s been through a lot, after all.
The Best Option: Keeping His Promise
It may not be the most dramatic option — it’s likely the opposite, in fact. But if there’s one choice Subaru could redo in Re:ZERO that could change absolutely everything, it would be simply choosing to keep his promise to Emilia. Even in a series as crazy and violent as his, his decision to follow her — and his assertion that he knows better than her — is potentially the single most destructive thing he’s done. Of course, it’s hard to believe that Subaru could or would make this choice in his state of mind. But the option to do so, to show his love and trust, and to escape the vicious cycle that leads to “The Outside of Madness” would be fascinating to see.
What kind of relationship would Subaru and Emilia have if he learned to trust before being forced to? Sadly, this seems like a long shot… but we can hope. Especially since it’s so frustrating to see Subaru go off the way he does.
Eventually, of course, we’ll find out what is meant by “that time.” Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- Lost in Memories will be coming out in Japan soon. There’s no word of a global release, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed.