Light Novel / Re:Zero

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Full title: Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (Re: Starting Life in Another World from Zero)

Subaru was an Ordinary High-School Student on his way back from a snack run one day, when he suddenly finds that he's not in Japan anymore. When he looks around, he realizes that he's in an archaic fantasy universe. Luckily, he lands in a populated town. Unluckily, it's not all that safe. His life is saved thanks to the efforts of a half-elf named Satella. Subaru decides to repay her by helping Satella recover a trinket that was stolen from her, and begins to develop feelings for her as they spend time together.

And then they're both murdered.

And then Subaru wakes up exactly where he was when he first appeared in the fantasy world.

Subaru eventually realizes that every time he dies, he goes back to a certain "checkpoint" in the story. Once he's dealt with the threat to his life, he tries to live peacefully in this new world until a new threat arises and a new checkpoint is established. Unfortunately, every time a threat is dealt with, the checkpoint is immediately established, so if Subaru can't deal with whatever is threatening him without undesired consequences, he's stuck with them.

Despite the fantasy premise, it soon becomes apparent that the series is a Psychological Horror thriller, and that there's going to be less swordfighting and action and more death and despair.

The light novel series, written by Tappei Nagatsuki, was adapted for the Spring 2016 Anime season and is being directed by Masaharu Watanobe and animated by White Fox. The published version of the light novels has been licensed for publication in the west by Yen Press. People who can read Japanese can read the original web novel here.

Crunchyroll is streaming the anime, which can be viewed here for audiences worldwide except Asia.


This work contains examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: Subaru accidentally gets Emilia killed in one of the loops by successfully spelling out the nature of Return by Death.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The anime is this by rearranging certain events to make the flow better as well as removing exposition like Al being from another world and foreshadowing like a woman implied to be Satella appearing between Subaru's loops. The light novel itself does cut out quite a bit of chapters from the original web novel.
  • Aerith and Bob: The names in the fantasy world mix fantasy-like names, like Rem, Ram, Crusch or Roswaal, with real-world names coming from different languages, like Emilianote , Beatricenote , Reinhardt or Wilhelmnote .
  • Air Whale: The White Whale, natch.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Several. Rem is in love with Subaru, but he only has eyes for Emilia, who doesn't respond to his advances. Similarly, Ram is in love with her master, Roswaal, but he's obsessed with Echidna, the witch of greed.
  • Always Save the Girl: Subaru will always do what it takes to help and save Emilia and later Rem even if it means dying over and over again.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Witch's Cult.
  • Anyone Can Die: Due to Subaru's ability, nobody has plot armor as they can all come back. Whether they can "come back" complete, especially after Subaru hits specific checkpoints where he's stuck with his choice, is a different question.
  • Apocalypse How: Invoked by Subaru, twice, in the third arc. In one loop, the audience is only given a sense of foreboding towards it when a massive creature erupts from Roswaal's mansion and beheads Subaru with a glance. In a later loop, it is revealed that by getting Emilia killed, Subaru inadvertently breaks Puck's contract with her. This causes Puck to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge and freeze the world over, destroying it. That's right, getting Emilia killed is The End of the World as We Know It. Or at least until Reinhard gets off his ass and does something.
  • April Fools' Day: The April Fools celebration in the original web novel has Subaru achieve a harem end with all of the women in his life, with some children on the way. For the most part it's wacky and fun, except when it gets to Rem's portion, which is more mellow and sweet.
  • Artistic License Physics: Averted. While in other shows someone would stab a sword into the cliff to stop from falling, the sword in question would not break. In Re:Zero, the sword breaks immediately, but not before slowing down the momentum to survivable levels.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The White Whale.
  • Award Bait Song: Rem's Image Song "Wishing" by her voice actress, Inori Minase is introduced this way in ep 18, to a powerful effect.
  • Ax-Crazy: Elsa Granhiert, who disembowels her victims when she kills them and takes absolute glee in doing so. And later in the third arc we have the bishops of the Witch Cults, who, for all intents and purposes, are all completely unhinged in various flavors of crazy.
  • Badass Grandpa: Old Man Rom, a big burly man who can swing a big club around with ease.
    • And Wilhelm van Astrea.
  • Badass Normal: Subaru is a normal human aside from his reset powers. He did work out a lot on earth, so he can hold his own in a normal fist fight, but there are some very powerful and dangerous people in the fantasy world.
  • Best Her to Bed Her: Wilhelm van Astrea married his wife Thearesia after he was able to defeat her in a swordfight.
  • Betty and Veronica: Subaru's two potential love interests: the Tsundere royal candidate and half-elf outcast Emilia (Veronica) and the humble maid Rem who loves him and supports him unconditionally (Betty). Subaru is leaning toward Emilia, but openly admits he would like to have both her and Rem if he's allowed to.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Reinhard does this when he shows up at Old Man Rom's shop after Felt runs around town asking for help.
  • Blade Run: In the successful attempt on the battle with Elsa, she perches atop Rom's club at one point. She points out that this is only possible because of his ridiculous strength.
  • Born Winner: Reinhard, who since his time of birth, had been blessed with a lot of gifts that would basically let him win in any and all situations, according to Emilia in one of Break Time specials.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Witch Cult members who are brainwashed by the Gospel if they have the necessary characteristics.
  • Break the Cutie: Subaru, oh so much. Every time loop wears on his sanity and conscience a little more each time.
  • Brown Note: The White Whale can release a sound that makes other people go insane or flat-out kill them if they can't resist.
  • Cassandra Truth: An especially notable and tragic example of this happens with Rem. She can literally smell this world's version of the Devil on him and therefore has pretty good reason to assume he's working for her. In the loop where they confront each other, nothing he says, even when choking the words out through his tears, manages to change her mind.
    • Another example would be the time Subaru tries ask Crusch for help to fight the Witch's Cult and is ignored due to the Witch's Cult spreading false rumors about where they'll appear multiple times.
  • Cast from Hit Points: Magic spells consume the user's mana, which is basically the user's life energy. As such, reckless usage can easily tire out or even kill the user in the worst case scenario.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The story starts off relatively light hearted in the first arc where that stakes are low and the main problem is solved relatively easily. Then comes the second arc which starts to test Subaru's mentality and psyche. Then last comes the third arc, as well as the end of the prologue, and starts the beginning of Subaru's journey and assaults his psyche like a battering ram and if he fails, he has to watch the slaughter of an entire village as well as his loved ones.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: Subaru's cell phone. It was originally used as a bargaining chip for Emilia's insignia, by pretending it is a Metia that freezes a moment in time. Later, Subaru once again pretends it is a Metia, this time as one that predicts the future and uses it to explain where he gets his information about the White Whale that is normally impossible to know ahead of time in order to gain the cooperation of Crusch to save Emilia.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Emilia's cloak. Subaru received it in Episode 13 after she leaves it with him. It comes in use in Episode 24 to disguise himself when meeting again with Emilia.
    • The blank letter. Serves as the first sign that Rem was attacked by the Archbishop of Gluttony and erased from existence.
  • Chekhov's Skill: In episode 12 it is stated that ground dragons have a blessing which allows them to remove air resistance for them and their riders. Subaru accidentally discovers that this blessing doesn't work if he were to move too far away from the ground dragon. This effect comes back when Betelgeuse tries to catch the gospel that Subaru threw, making him drift far enough that the blessing no longer works. It leads to his death as it opens him up to multiple attacks from Subaru.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Reinhard, who was mostly minding his own business, does this to save Subaru in the alley, and later to save him and the others when Elsa attacks them.
  • Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends: After becoming an Official Couple with Emilia, Subaru's Unresolved Sexual Tension with Rem is put on standby after the latter is promptly put into an indefinite coma and erased from everyone's memories by the Archbishop of Gluttony.
  • Cliffhanger: At this point an episode that doesn't end on some sort twist is more surprising than one that does.
  • Colossus Climb: Wilhelm does this to the White Whale to severely injure it.
  • Comically Small Demand: Some of Subaru's requested rewards for saving people's lives include asking for Emilia's name, petting Puck's fur whenever he wants, and being hired to work in Roswaal's mansion as a butler. In the last case, it's pointed out to him afterward that he could've asked to be a VIP guest at the mansion for as long as he wanted. Apparently, he hadn't even considered it.
  • Conspicuous CG: A lot of the background characters and monsters in the anime are realized through this.
  • Cringe Comedy: Subaru seems to have almost no inhibitions, which frequently makes him come off as a complete fool on the occasions where it doesn't get him killed.
  • Crossover: With the cast of Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o!. Both authors took the two heroines of Re:Zero and put them in the KonoSuba universe. On Tappei's part, he wrote about Emilia, while Akatsuki wrote about Rem.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Hoooo boy. A lot of Subaru's deaths are so gruesome that you think the author has it out against him or something.
    • That's not to say that the characters around him don't suffer death in various brutal ways as well. However, Subaru has the added misfortune of actually remembering all of his deaths in vivid detail, which takes its toll on him.
  • Curse: In this setting, curses are spells that once activated cannot be undone. But they require physical contact with the target to initiate.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Subaru's reset powers seem useful, but he remembers the pain of every death he experiences, especially if they're not quick ones. A good portion of the story is dedicated to how many drawbacks his powers have, such as all of the people he'd worked hard to befriend suddenly forgetting him, the horror of knowing about impending disasters without being sure if he can actually avert them, and his lack of control over save points meaning he can get stuck permanently with terrible unforeseen consequences.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Puck often gets treated in this fashion by Subaru and Betty.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the series starts off relatively dark compared to some contemporaries, Arc 3 is when this really sets hold in the series itself and it doesn't let up from there. It's an example that's done right, as well.
  • Dark Fantasy: While the setting starts off being similar to that of a traditional High Fantasy, the experiences that Subaru goes through, in addition to factions like the Witch's Cult, send it straight into this territory hard.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Zigzagged. Subaru finds out that he's stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop, so can resurrect and restore back to a previous time before the incident that killed him. Unfortunately, any pain he feels while dying is still with him along with his memories, so he tries to avoid getting himself purposefully killed.
  • Deconstruction: Holy Hell. What starts out a seemingly normal Trapped in Another World anime has become what is considered to be the pinnacle of deconstruction for the genre as a whole, and is getting comparisons to Neon Genesis Evangelion, Naru Taru, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica for similar reasons.
  • Detect Evil: Some non-human characters can smell the "Witch's Scent/Miasma" on people who have received favor from the Witch of Envy, or are otherwise somehow connected to her. This serves as an immediate tip that a character is not trustworthy or a threat. As Subaru's Return by Death ability was given to him by the Witch, he passively carries the apparently unpleasant stench.
  • Dirty Old Woman: In the Rem IF novel, Subaru's repeatedly smacked on the butt by the old women of Kararagi. Apparently, he has a figure nice enough to get a reaction.
  • Disturbed Doves: In episode 18, a flock of white doves are shown to compliment Rem's speech of love and devotion to Subaru.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Who is the shaman who curses people to death in the second arc? The dog. Yes, in the most literal sense, The Dog Was the Mastermind. Of course the real reason the dog was brought to the village was because of Meili, the little girl with blue hair.
  • Doomed Hometown: The village that Rem and Ram were born in. Additionally, Arlem, the town where Subaru lived for a month, becomes this and is up to Subaru to save.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect: What Subaru considers his efforts in arc 3. He manages to get through without anyone dying, but certain characters have lost their memories, which Subaru considers acceptable losses as he doesn't think that he could pull it off again. It bites him when he discovers that Rem was sent into a coma with nobody remembering her and the latest checkpoint is just after it happens. As a result, he cannot go back to save her.
  • Driven to Suicide: During some grim loops, Subaru tries to kill himself to go back in time and try to save more of his friends before he reaches a new checkpoint.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Witches. They're all extremely powerful and linked to a primordial sin and depending on which can range from Knight Templar to The Sociopath.
    • Puck's true form.
  • Elective Monarchy: What Lugunica has come down to as all of the possible successors have died.
  • The Epic: The story of Re:Zero follows Subaru's quest to make Emilia the king of Lugunica, while he faces insurmountable odds, deadly enemies, ancient mysteries, as well as Subaru's journey from being a wimpy NEET teenage shut-in transported from another world to being a true hero.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The alley thugs trio have no problem threatening, robbing or beating up Subaru, but when they accidentally stab him fatally, all three freak out and flee the scene in horror before someone sees what they did.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: When the main character dies almost every other episode, it's pretty likely that everything is trying to kill.
  • Evil Smells Bad: The Witch of Envy and the people given favor to or connected to her have a foul scent, which only certain characters can smell. Since Subaru's Return by Death ability is given to him by the Witch, he also has this scent, which makes the other characters having a hard time trusting him.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Literally every death, save a few that aren't shown on screen.
  • Fan Edit: There is an edit of the entire of the anime that removes all of the loops, giving an outside perspective of how insane Subaru looks when he resets.
  • First-Episode Spoiler: Subaru dies and leaps backwards in time. He does this twice in the first episode alone.
  • Fish Out of Temporal Water: Not only is Subaru in an entirely new world, the era seems to be a late medieval time period.
  • Fog of Doom: The White Whale creates white fog that erases people from existence.
  • Foreshadowing: The White Whale first appears in episode 16, but was mentioned way back in the first episode as part of Old Man Rom's password. This makes one wonder if the other parts of the password, involving poisoning a rat and a noble dragon lord, might also hint at something even farther into the plot. (Subaru does get "poisoned" by a spell in the second arc, and some other characters have mentioned an apparently important dragon.)
    • Subaru's death in episode 18 also subtly foreshadows Betelgeuse' ability to possess people upon death, something that directly leads to Subaru's later death in episode 23.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The first opening has lots of this, foreshadowing Satella's influence on the plot, Daphne creating the Mabeasts, and the villains of the later arcs.
    • Episode 11 also has a brief flashback of Frederica, who has not yet appeared in the LN and does not appear in the current airing of the show.
  • From Bad to Worse: Subaru and the allied forces of Crusch and Anastasia have trouble fighting the White Whale and are completely disorganized. Then two more of them appear.
  • Genre Shift: The series starts off seeming like another Trapped in Another World romance anime, but then Subaru and his primary love interest are murdered. Things still seem up when he tries to get around what causes their deaths, but the real tone sets in after he dies a third time. The first episode was nearly an hour long and Crunchyroll split it into two parts in order to better maintain this effect. Fans of the novel looked at the promotional art and compared the marketing to offering a child an ice cream cone with nails hidden inside of it.
  • Genre Deconstruction: The entire plot of Re:Zero is deconstructing every single trope of the generic transported to another world genre and spinning them in the darkest possible fashion from mercilessly breaking apart the generic NEET protagonist trope to playing with expectations of what plots of this genre entail.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: The three alley thugs, Ton, Chin and Kan, are encountered by Subaru multiple times throughout the first arc. Their threat to him range from mildly dangerous, to absolute bumbling pushovers.
  • Great Big Library of Everything: Flugel's library that contains the memories of every dead person in its shelves.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Due to Subaru's Return By Death, no one will ever no know about the struggles he faced when trying to save everyone. However, unlike most examples, people still remember the results of his struggles.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: Subaru's "power" consists of him reverting back to an earlier point in time, with him remembering everything that happened in his previous life. Though useful, especially since all the other characters have no recollection of any of their previous interactions with him, he still tries to avoid getting killed, as he also remembers the pain from any wounds suffered before dying.
  • Half-Breed Discrimination: All demi-humans are discriminated against to a varying degree, but Half-elves take the cake because Satella, the most infamous witch, was a half-elf.
  • Harem Genre: Noticeably averted, given the genre. The only woman Subaru seems interested in is Emilia, who herself doesn't consider him a possible love interest until the finale. The only other people in love with him are Rem and Satella.
  • Headbutt of Love: A big one on episode 21 between Subaru and Rem after the battle with the White Whale.
  • Hero Killer: Elsa Granhiert, the lady who kills Subaru and various other characters at the thief's trade shop several times.
  • Hidden Depths: Literally the entire cast of the show. This is especially poignant considering that the show initially looks extremely generic and each character looks like one archetype or another.
  • High Fantasy: Though it doesn't look like one from the onset and has many traits of Dark Fantasy, Re:Zero becomes this with the introduction of the Myth Arc, backstory, and true villains.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Various characters who are slashed will often spurt out blood in this fashion.
  • Humiliation Conga: Episode 13 is basically an twenty minute length one for Subaru, good god. First he speaks out of turn at a royal meeting and proclaims himself to be Emilia's knight in front of actual knights and feel that he has insulted their chivalry code. Julius then questions Subaru's credentials to be a knight despite his lack of noble status. Subaru then tries to save face by insinuating that knighthood is nothing special. He's then kicked out of the palace hall in front of an obviously disappointed Emilia. You'd think that'd be enough, but nope; Julius challenges Subaru to a duel to defend his knight's honor and beats the shit out of him in front of everyone while he futilely tries to fight back. Even his ace in the hole has no effect as he's too much of a novice for it to be effective against an experienced fighter like Julius. The last scene is Emilia giving him a What the Hell, Hero? for disobeying her requests while still trying to proclaim it was "for her sake" and calls him out on his selfishness and tells him in no uncertain terms that she wants nothing more to do with him, and Subaru ends the episode alone and despondent.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: In episode 23, Subaru gets possessed by Betelgeuse and asks Felis and Julius to kill him. They reluctantly agree to do so.
  • Identical Stranger: Emilia is said to heavily resemble the evil Witch of Envy, Satella, who was also a half-elf with silver hair like her.
  • I Lied: What Subaru tells Rem when she asks what Subaru's cellphone does and how it knew when and where the White Whale would show up.
  • Image Song: Rem has one, "Wishing", which played during the latter part of Episode 18. Additionally, the second ending theme, "Stay Alive", is one for Emilia; Word of God mentions it's meant to represent Emilia's lonely life after returning to the mansion without Subaru.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Beatrice, who drains Subaru of his mana and insults him when they meet for the first time, doesn't seem to like it when Subaru, or anyone else for that matter, feels down. In her own way, she tries to comfort Subaru when she sees the distressed look on his face when he realizes that he looped again after his Relationship Upgrade with everyone in the mansion.
  • Keet: Subaru, who can be compared to puppy when he acts all excited and adorkable towards Emilia.
  • Killer Rabbit: The "shaman" which turns out to be a puppy that becomes a hellhound as large as a house.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The Witch's Cult, officially entering as an antagonistic force in Arc 3, drives the main conflict of the show and introducing new threats such as the Ax-Crazy Betelgeuse. Their very presence, as harbingers of Satella's influence, pushes the Cerebus Syndrome further with each appearance.
  • Lap Pillow:
    • Subverted when Subaru first runs into Emilia. He wakes up thinking she's doing this for him, but instead it's a larger sized Puck, while she's merely sitting nearby.
    • Played straight later, however, when Emilia offers her lap to Subaru after she realizes that he's about to break down from everything he's been through so far.
    • Rem also does this for Subaru after his fight with Emilia.
  • Large Ham: Both Subaru and Roswaal speak in this fashion regularly. Betelgeuse from arc 3 manages to outham them both.
  • Last Stand: When Ram is killed by Witch Cultists in one loop, Subaru finds her body along with dozens of Cultist corpses surrounding her.
  • Least Is First: In the anime, during the battle with the White Whale, after the entire army has given up, Subaru still charges off head-on, prompting Crusch to give this speech, Shaming the Mob back into fighting:

    Crusch: "Stand up! Lift up your faces! [...] Look at that boy. He's so weak and fragile, a breath could blow him away, and he's unarmed! He is a powerless boy, whose defeat I have seen with my own eyes! He's weaker than anyone else here! Yet he's shouting louder than anyone that we can still do this. So how can we sit here with downcast gazes? If our weakest man hasn't given up, how is kneeling in defeat acceptable for us? Did you all come this far, to wallow in shame?!

  • Leave No Witnesses: Subaru's first encounters with Elsa end this way. In his first interaction, Old Man Rom is already dead, and presumably Felt as well. He is then attacked from the shadows by a mysterious assailant, and Emilia is killed shortly afterwards as well. In his second interaction, he almost gets away with it, until he mentions returning the item he was attempting to barter for back to the owner, prompting her to kill them again. His third interaction almost ends the same way, until Reinhard shows up to save them.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Beast humans are citizens with a mix of human and demihuman blood in their veins, and typically appear mostly humanoid with the exception of animal ears, tails, etc.
  • Loophole Abuse: Reinhard mentions that he could do a lot of things after saving Subaru and the others from Elsa, but decides to look the other way, because he wasn't on duty that day. Unfortunately, once he sees the item that Felt stole from Emilia, and notices that the gem inside it is glowing, he forcefully apprehends her, stating that while the theft of the item is of no little significance, it pales before the crime that he'd just discovered to have happened and that he'd be committing by leaving things be.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Subaru goes through several deaths and goes back to certain "checkpoints" in the storyline.
  • Mortal Wound Reveal: After Subaru blocks Elsa's final attack in episode three, all seems well. However, Reinhard examines the club he used to block her attack, and notices that it was cut rather cleanly. Subaru's shirt then falls, revealing a cut, and then he falls onto the ground after a High-Pressure Blood spurt. Fortunately Emilia manages to heal him in time.
  • Mental Time Travel: Subaru's Return by Death invokes this.
  • Merchant City: The country Anastasia comes from, Kararagi, is this.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In one of their encounters, Subaru stops Emilia in the streets. Unfortunately she has yet to run into him in this timeline, and gets rather angry at him. This then provides enough of a distraction that Felt is then able to steal Emilia's insignia.
  • Ninja Maid: Subaru guesses correctly that Ram and Rem, in addition to being maids, are also powerful fighters.
  • The Nose Knows: Rem can smell the witch's scent on Subaru, factoring into her distrust of him.
  • Petting Zoo People: Demihumans are a species of anthropomorphic humanoids who are common denizens of Lugunica. They come in many different species of animals, and range from very animal-like, to just a Little Bit Beastly.
  • Polyamory: Subaru loves Emilia first, but he later develops feelings for Rem too. He then admits he loves them both and wants Emilia's permission to keep Rem as a second wife.
  • P.O.V. Boy, Poster Girl: The protagonist and point-of-view character is Subaru, who is swept into Emilia's story, which the plot revolves around.
  • Prolonged Prologue: The first 2 arcs as well as parts of the 3rd are the prologue of Subaru's life in Lugunica and his quest to make Emilia the King.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The White Whale's yellow eyes Turns Red when it gets mad. Then bad things happen.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: See the note on Single-Minded Twins below. The maid sisters may act and speak similarly, but their core personalities and abilities contrast one another's. The Oni part is played literally straight too.
  • Religion of Evil: The Witch Cult.
  • RPG-Mechanics Verse: Another noticeable aversion. The only game-like mechanic in the setting is Subaru's reset power.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: The emblem that has the Lugunican Crest. It represents someone who is eligible for the throne.
  • Ret Gone: Anyone hit by the White Whale's fog blasts is erased from reality, and forgotten by anyone who knew them... except Subaru. The effects are a bit inconsistent—Rem gets erased in one loop, and all evidence of her existence vanishes, down to the decorations in her room at the castle; but when some of Crusch's soldiers get wiped out, they still remember that each squad originally had 15 members, allowing them to keep track of how many they lost.
    • It actually isn't inconsistent. There are supposed to be a fixed number of 15 units each. They can't be any less for no matter what reason as the Crusch would never field less then that initially. So say if their are suddenly 15/15/15/14 after the original 15/15/15/15 someone would eventually realize that something is wrong because their strict orders not for anything less those numbers and would see the inconsistency. This displays a weakness of the White Whale's power, it can erase a person, but it cannot erase common sense. You don't need to remember the individuals soldiers lost, just the amount that is supposed to be there.
  • Run or Die: In the third arc when Subaru's carriage is being chased by the infamous White Whale.
  • Secret Legacy: Implied with Felt, due to the fact that the insignia she stole, which is a touchstone that identifies individuals with Royal Blood, glows in her hand. It is due to this that Reinhard grabs Felt and takes her into custody, as she may likely be a lost or unknown daughter of the king.
  • She Is the King: Every candidate for Lugunica's royal succession is a woman, but one of them is still going to crowned "king." A past "Master Swordsman" was also a woman, though this may be a fault of the translation.
    • The Japanese title translated as "Master Swordsman" is 剣聖 Romaji  where the first kanji means "sword" and the second one i.a. 'priest', 'sage' or 'master'. The most natural translation would be "swordsmaster", and Japanese has no feminine counterpart (cf. English master/mistress). Thus, while the Japanese version does indeed carry a masculine sense for historical reasons, only the English translation uses an actually gendered term.
  • Shout-Out: A rather obscure one: Subaru's ground dragon Patrasche shares its name with the titular character of the 19th century novel A Dog of Flanders. Additionally, Subaru's ringtone (which serves as a warning for the White Whale's incoming) is lifted directly from the intro of the novel's anime adaptation.
  • Shown Their Work: The author has taken particular interest in astronomy and has given many characters names related to celestial bodies and the myths they are named after, namely characters that are Archbishops of Sin, Witches, or haves something to with them. In addition, many of Subaru's later challenges require detail information of space and the constellations.
  • Similar Item Confusion: Averted in Episode 3 of the Break Time shorts, where it is mentioned that one of Reinhard's many abilities include not confusing sugar with salt when cooking. Emilia mentions this ability would come in handy for her.
  • Single-Minded Twins: Averted, the twin maids Ram and Rem look and speak very similar. However, Ram, the older pink haired sister, has a caustic personality and is not a very good maid. Rem, the younger blue haired twin, is better with the house chores and is more demure, although she has an impulsive streak, as demonstrated by her decision to brutally murder Subaru and hide it from Ram.
  • Slain in Their Sleep: Happens in episode four. At the end of the episode, after having trouble falling asleep the night before, Subaru wakes up, and realizes the two maids who had been training him for the last week don't know him at all, and that the cuts on his hand from learning manual labor are gone. He then realizes to his horror that he was murdered sometime during that last night, but has no idea why anyone would kill him. He explores two possibilities: either one of the people living in the manor secretly wants him dead despite acting friendly to him, or an outsider found a way to kill him (and possibly others) while he's secure inside the manor.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Lampshaded in the anime specials, where Emilia, despite being the lead female, mentions how she feels Rem is often given more focus than herself.
  • Stellar Name: All bishops of the Witch Cult and Witches are named after celestial bodies. Plot point because Subaru himself has a name that references stars, hinting at a connection with the Bishops.
  • Succession Crisis: The current state of Lugunica. The king and all of his relatives have died and as a result, elections are being held to crown the new king.
  • Suicide by Cop: What Subaru does after Betelgeuse takes over his body.
  • There Are No Therapists: Justified considering this is a Standard Fantasy Setting, but even if there were it wouldn't matter because Subaru's curse prevents him from telling anyone about his powers.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Reinhard's attack destroys the building they are in during his fight with Elsa. Though he doesn't kill her, it was still a bit excessive.
  • Title Drop: Subaru drops it during the climax of the 3rd arc.
    "My life in another world starts here, from zero!"
  • Tongue-Tied: Subaru cannot talk about his reset power to others. If he tries, the power will make him suffer enough pain to stop. If he decides to go full speed ahead, and damn the pain, as noted above in Accidental Murder, his prize for successfully talking about his power is guranteed death for either him or his listener.
  • Translator Microbes: It's not clear how everyone is speaking the same language—presumably it's got to do with whatever magic summoned Subaru in the first place. Also, the microbes are inconsistently effective—"slangier" Japanese words are apparently untranslated and confuse the listener, like the honorific "-tan" or the loanword "OK", while more "conservative" words are used by characters native to the setting or (when used by Subaru) pass without comment, such as -kun or "pierrot" (a common loanword for clown).
  • Tomes of Prophecy and Fate: Both Roswaal and Beatrice have one created by Echidna. Roswaal's describe how he can achieve the revival of his master. Also the reason how he knew Subaru's looping abilities. However it is destroyed by Subaru, forcing Roswaal to think for himself for the first time in centuries. Beatrice's on the other hand, explains when she can leave the library and take another task. Unfortunately for her, the book will never change, and she would have stayed in the library for all eternity, until Subaru convinces her to leave.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Sometimes it feels as if half of the plot is essentially: How much can the author make Subaru suffer?
  • Turns Red: The White Whale, after the attacking group does enough damage.
  • Water Is Blue: Water magic is always presented in the anime as glowing blue. Prominent water magic-users, Rem and Felix, are also closely associated with the color blue.
  • Weaponized Teleportation: Beatrice's Al Shamak spell which teleports the Oosagi to another dimension and finishes off one of the most dangerous threats in arc 4.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Episode 7. Subaru finding out who his killer is, the way he is killed, and the trauma afterwards make it one of the most brutal episodes so far. Not to mention that Subaru finds out the hard way that he can never tell anyone about his power, and his inaction leads to the death of Rem in the same way that he died in the mansion the first time, which causes him to realize that although she brutally murdered him in the last two loops, she's actually a good person, just misguided, and accepting this, he jumps off a cliff to his death in order to try to save her.
    • Episode 14. Subaru gets word that Emilia is in trouble and leaves with Rem to save her, but when Rem leaves him for his own safety, he forced on to Arlem (the village outside of Roswaal's mansion). The end result though, is that he's Late to the Tragedy: everyone in the village has been slaughtered by several oddly polite cultists and Subaru discovers Rem's impaled corpse in the Roswaal Courtyard.
    • Episode 15. The psychological trauma of the last loop breaks Subaru's mind, leaving him nearly catatonic. Rem tries bringing Subaru back to the mansion, but the witch's cult attacks them on their way, and kidnaps Subaru, only for Rem to try and save him. Betelgeuse, the archbishop of sloth, breaks down Subaru's psyche and seemingly kills Rem, then horrifically maims her body while Subaru is forced to watch, screaming bloody murder. Betelgeuse leaves Subaru to die, but soon afterward Rem crawls over to Subaru, breaks his chains, confesses and dies in his arms. To top it all off, Subaru carries Rem's body back to the village, once again finding a massacre, and then watches as an enormous monster erupts from the mansion, turning everything into a snowy apocalypse, and decapitates Subaru with a glance.
    • Arc 6 in the web novel is a big one; Subaru suddenly shouts the first thing he said when coming to this world, and it appears that he's forgotten everything. The sixth arc then reveals its title— "The Hall of Memories".
  • What If?: The novel has a couple of scenarios taken differently, with the two most prominent ones getting chapters on their focus characters' birthdays:
    • On Rem's birthday, web chapters come out for the RemIF alternate timeline whereRem and Subaru fled the country to go to the more Japan-esque Kararagi. They end up having children and leading a happy life, but because of their fleeing a lot of plot threads are still left hanging and all of their companions at the mansion are dead. This IF story received a full side story novel detailing the months before one of their children was born.
    • On Subaru's birthday comes the Dark Lord IF timeline, where Subaru snaps and becomes a powerful enemy all for Emilia's sake.
  • White-Haired Pretty Girl: Emilia. Echidna and Satella are noted to be this as well.
  • The Worf Effect: Old Man Rom suffers this. He's big, and presumably very strong, so when he starts swinging his club at Elsa, it looks like he could easily win. Unfortunately she's much faster than he is, and manages to kill him in all but their last encounter, when he's saved by Emilia's healing magic.
  • World's Strongest Man: Reinhard who is universally acknowledged as the most powerful of the Imperial Knights, and likely humankind.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: After encountering the ruffians in the alley multiple times before, Subaru instead tries a new tactic when he runs into them again during episode two. He merely cries out for some police, which initially startles the thugs, but then they quickly turn their attention back to him. Then Reinhard shows up, having heard Subaru's cry for help.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In many instances, Subaru seems to be this (e.g. assuming he would get powers when in danger fighting Elsa in the first anime episode). However, he does gradually learn from his mistakes, and tries not to repeat them, such as when attacking the ruffians in the alley.
  • Yandere: The most powerful and most evil of all witches, Satella, is the one who brought Subaru to the fantasy world and cursed him with the power to reset, all because she's madly in love with him.
  • You Shall Not Pass: Subaru does this to the Ulgarms so Rem and Ram can escape. Granted, his Return by Death ability means he wasn't exactly pulling a Heroic Sacrifice to buy time, but rather he wanted to die so he could reset the time loop and try for a better outcome where everyone survived.


Alternative Title(s): Re Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu, Re Zero

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/LightNovel/ReZero