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Light Novel / Re:Zero

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Let us start here... from zero.

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; a second season was announced at AnimeJapan 2019 and was originally set for an April 2020 release, but was delayed to July 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 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.

Spin-Off media includes:


Anime & Manga

  • Re:Zero − Starting Break Time From Zero (Re:ゼロから始める休憩時間(ブレイクタイム), Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Break Time) (2016, 2020): A series of shorts featuring Chibi style versions of the characters.
    • Re:Petit − Starting Life in Another World from Petit (Re:プチから始める異世界生活, Re:Puchi kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu) (2016)
  • Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World − Official Anthology Comic (Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活 公式アンソロジーコミック, Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Kōshiki Ansorojī Komikku) (2016-2018)
  • Isekai Quartet (2019-): The main characters are part of the Crossover alongside the casts of Saga of Tanya the Evil, KonoSuba, Overlord (2012), and as of the second season, The Rising of the Shield Hero.

Light Novels

  • Re:Zero Ex (Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活Ex, Re:Zero Kara Hajimaru Isekai Seikatsu Ex) (2015-)
  • Re:Zero Prequel: Bond of Ice (Re:ゼロから始める前日譚 氷結の絆) (2016): A limited edition short story that was included in Re:Zero BD 1. Adapted as OVA in 2018 and as a manga in 2020.
  • Re:Zero x KonoSuba Crossover (Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活 x この素晴らしい世界に祝福を!) (2016): Crossover with KonoSuba.

Video Games

  • Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- Death or Kiss (Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活 -DEATH OR KISS-, Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu -Death or Kiss-) (2017)
  • Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- INFINITY (2020): A roleplaying game for mobile.
  • Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- Lost in Memories (Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活 Lost in Memories, Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Lost in Memories) (2020): A RPG for mobile.
  • Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- The Prophecy of the Throne/Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- The False Royal Election Candidate (Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活 偽りの王選候補, Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Tsuwarino-ō-Sen kōho) (2021): A Tactical Adventure game developed by Chime and published by Spike Chunsoft for PlayStation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

No relation to Aldnoah.Zero, Fate/Zero, Re:CREATORS, ReLIFE or Re-Kan!.

Re:Zero provides examples of:

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    # — C 
  • Accidental Murder: Subaru accidentally gets Emilia killed in one of the loops by successfully spelling out the nature of Return by Death.
  • Adaptational Gender Identity: Ferris has an Ambiguous Gender Identity but is suggested as being female-identified. The anime treats him as a Wholesome Crossdresser.
  • 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.
    • This is particularly noticeable in the example of the interaction between Subaru and Rem, whose Ship Tease is markedly reduced compared to a light novel in order to simplify the romantic line.
  • Actor Allusion: In the preview for Episode 18, Rie Takahashi as Emilia starts talking and acting exactly like Megumin from KonoSuba, even almost fully saying her explosion catchphrase at the end. It makes the Fandom Rivalry mentioned on YMMV even more ironic. Doubly so when the Author of KonoSuba actually wrote the episode 18 preview himself, as well being friends with Tappei Nagatsuki himself.
  • Advertising Campaigns: Episode 18 gets one here. This is especially surprising considering that almost no series, let alone a single episode, gets this level of promotion.
  • Advertised Extra: While not a minor character in the long run, early promotions of the anime adaptation bill Felt as part of the core cast.
  • 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.
  • Arboreal Abode: Before being taken into Roswaal's mansion, Emilia's home was a hollow tree at the Elior Forest.
  • 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.
  • Background Magic Field: "Mana".
  • 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 Theresia after he was able to defeat her in a swordfight.
  • The Bet: Subaru makes one with Roswaal in Arc 4. If Subaru can clear the Arc in that particular loop without making a contract with Echidna, getting Garfiel to join his side, and have Emilia pass the trials by herself, Roswaal will fully support Emilia in her attempt to become King. Should Subaru fail, he will be forced to attempt to clear the Arc as the Gospel has spelled the future out as.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Subaru sees this as his only option when in the clutches of the Witch of Envy as there is the possibility that he will be absorbed, making Return by Death unless someone managed to kill the Witch of Envy, something that even the 3 strongest characters in the universe failed at centuries ago.
  • Betty and Veronica: Subaru's two potential love interests: the 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.
  • Casting Gag:
  • 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.
    • Pristella’s Metropolitan Government Hall's Radio. It's used prior to the climax for Subaru to give a Rousing Speech to everyone in the city and was mentioned early in the arc for announcements.
  • 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. It promply restarts once Arc 6 emphasizes how much she means to him, and once she's finally awoken for Arc 7, how her amnesiac self still experiences lingering feelings for Subaru.
  • Cliffhanger: By the end of the season, an episode that doesn't end on some sort of twist is more surprising than one that does.
  • Close on Title: Every episode shows its title at the end.
  • 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.
  • 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 KonoSuba. 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: Played with. Subaru's reset powers are 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. Because of this, most people view it as a curse, including him.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Puck often gets treated in this fashion by Subaru and Betty.

    D — H 
  • Dance Party Ending: Season 2 closes with a ball at Roswaal's mansion to celebrate Subaru being made Emilia's official knight and the final scene is Subaru dancing with Emilia.
  • 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.
  • Decon-Recon Switch: Of the typical NEET protagonist found in Trapped in Another World type stories. Showing first what would happen if a NEET from our world actually wound up trapped in a strange world filled with powerful people and gained a special power, then later showing what it would realistically take for that person to become a hero in this scenario. Because Subaru is weak and unskilled he gets killed very early on and comes back to life only because of his special power (which doesn't lend itself to combat). After going through several cycles of this he starts exhibiting signs of PTSD from all the trauma. In addition, his lack of social skills ends up causing serious problems for himself and Emilia later in the story, prompting a self-inflicted "The Reason You Suck" Speech where he acknowledges all of his failings and how powerless and useless he is. He gradually becomes a hero in his own right by learning from his mistakes, relying on his wits, using the information he gains through each cycle to his advantage, and relying on people that are stronger than him to make it out of battles alive.
  • Deconstructor Fleet: The series takes great pains to critically examine many tropes present not just in the typical NEET Trapped in Another World plotline, but aspects of high fantasy and the concept of supporting cast. Rather than a straightforward fantasy of 'fight monsters' and 'defeat a great evil' the driving goal of the series is more political in nature, and both the characters and the setting have complex, interlocking backstories that Subaru (and the audience) learn about as time goes on. In fact, the Witch of Envy (who would normally fit the role of Big Bad in this type of story) was defeated centuries ago and is implied to be what summoned Subaru in the first place, with much of the challenges faced arising from the legacy left behind by both her and her fellow Witches.
    • In general, Subaru being Trapped in Another World makes him a sort of Audience Surrogate, which means that there are many aspects of the background, culture and values of the world that he is woefully ignorant of. Most stories tend to gloss over this outside of some exposition dumps, but here this is something that actively hinders him since it leads to misinterpreting several peoples actions due to lacking the context that most there would consider common sense. It also makes survival much harder since many of the dangers of the world are considered so obvious to the people there, they see no reason to explain them to him, leading to a few cases where his death could have been avoided (or at least delayed) with some basic knowledge.
    • Subaru is pleasantly surprised that his magic affinity is Yin, which is remarked to be incredibly rare. Unlike in most cases of the Super Power Lottery, it's rarity actually makes it less effective, since there are so few users, knowledge of how to use it is much less widespread or documented compared to the more common elements.
    • Unstoppable Rage is picked apart through different characters in Arc 3. While it does grant someone much greater determination it also greatly hinders their ability to think rationally and strategize properly, ultimately making them less effective in most situations. In particular, Subaru is unable to muster up any allies since it makes him appear unstable and Betelgeuse falls for several obvious traps when goaded.
    • The White Whale takes a look at the idea of a random encounter boss from a video-game and shows how terrifying it is applied to a realistic setting. Entire convoys of merchants go missing, supplies and lives lost and it's ability to Ret-Gone people further muddies the waters with no reliable way to anticipate its movements. While there are some precautions in place akin to highways, as a whole the beast is treated as a natural disaster that can claim anyone who does not use the proper roads. Even attempts to deal with it directly are difficult since in addition to the vast amount of manpower and equipment needed to fight the thing, determining where it will be is an extremely difficult task in of itself, making an assault a logistical nightmare.
    • Arc 4 begins to deconstruct Subaru's Not Afraid to Die and Conditioned to Accept Horror attitude. As he becomes increasingly casual about using Return by Death to gain himself and his allies more advantages, he unnerves his friends at how little he seems to care for his own well-being. While he may have come to terms with facing pain for a greater cause, this leads him to underestimate the importance he has to other people, being surprised when they show concern for him and acting independently without fully informing others, causing them to worry in his absence.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Seikatsu IF has Subaru see the world colorless (save for a few people) after he develops an aversion to people, believing that he will never be loved due to his murders by Rem in arc 2.
  • Demihuman: They're 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • You can added Elior Forest to this for Emilia.
  • Door Stopper: The Web Novel version of Re:Zero has a word count of around a few million and about 400 chapters. In comparison, The Lord of the Rings has less than half a million words. And it's only half finished
    • Arc 4 of the web novel qualify by itself, being longer than the previous three arcs combined
  • Easily Forgiven: Subaru can be surpisingly forgiving about being murdered. Being killed by Rem once doesn't prevent Subaru from falling in love with her. He's also quite happy to see Puck for the first time after the spirit killed him, declared his intention to destroy the world, and killed him again.
  • 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.
  • Enigmatic Empowering Entity: The Witch of Envy gives Subaru his Return by Death, the single most enigmatic ability in the series as well as the most powerful, as it allows the Subaru to keep trying after his deaths in a world of demigods.
  • 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.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Deliberately evoked by Julius in his duel with Suburu. While the knights start out cheering to see Suburu get his just desserts for insulting them, they become increasingly uncomfortable with the scale of the beatdown and feel Julius went too far.
  • 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.
  • Fantastic Racism: Half-elves are sometimes treated differently, because Satella, the jealous witch, was a half-elf, according to legend.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Not only is Subaru in an entirely new world, the era seems to be a late medieval time period.
  • Flat World: The world Subaru is teleported to is a flat world that is closer to a diorama instead of a globe. The Great Waterfall marks its end, and beyond it lies supposedly an abyss.
  • 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.
    • Just before she is defeated by the Arcbishop of Gluttony at the start of season 2 the audience is show 2 frames of Rem from her If chapter; one with her children with Subaru, Rigel and Spica, and one with her smiling in Subaru's arms. Giving those who have read or are just familiar with Rem Natsuki If one Hell gut punch right out the gate.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: To encourage Emilia before she undergoes Echidna's trial that caused her so much fear before, Subaru writes loving messages all over the walls of Echidna's tomb to make a giant love letter for Emilia.
  • 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.
  • Happy Ending Override: Arc 3 is probably the darkest arc of the story with several gruesome deaths from both Subaru and Rem and Puck nearly destroy the world. At the end, Subaru completes his mission to save Emilia and the village from the witches cultists, confesses to her and even plans to reveal to marry both her and Rem. However, he realizes too late that Rem was attacked by Ley Batenkaitos and not only falls into a coma, no one except Subaru can remember her.
  • 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 (whom he eventually falls in love too) and Satella.
  • Headbutt of Love: A big one on episode 21 between Subaru and Rem after the battle with the White Whale.
  • Heroic 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.
  • 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.
  • Hope Spot: A staple of the novel. If anything begins to look too favorable for Subaru, expect shit to go down soon.
    • A good example is the transition from Arc 3 to Arc 4. After so many troubles, Subaru manages to defeat the Witch Cult, take his revenge on Betelgeuse, defeat the White Whale, gain the approval of the knights and the other Royal candidates, and gain the forgiveness and acceptance of Emilia. Arc 4? Rem gets her existence UnPersoned by the White Whale, Crusch gets incapacitated, Subaru is unable to undo these incidents, members more dangerous than Betelgeuse and Satella and Echidna show up.
  • The Horde: The Great Rabbit, which consists of a horde of normal looking rabbits that eat any that moves in their vicinity, including themselves.
  • 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 — R 
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: In episode 23, Subaru gets possessed by Betelgeuse and asks Felix 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.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: While the main plot itself is simple, the author is consistent in presenting mysteries in the periphery of the story that don't get answered until much later, or are answered by further questions.
  • Keet: Subaru, who can be compared to puppy when he acts all excited towards Emilia.
  • Killer Rabbit: The "shaman" which turns out to be a puppy that becomes a hellhound as large as a house.
    • One of Subaru's deaths involves being devoured by literal killer rabbits. Inside and out.
  • 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.
  • Knighting: At the end of Arc 4, a ceremony is held at Roswaal's mansion where Emilia officially recognizes Subaru as her knight.
  • 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. It turns out that he's taking Felt in because she's another potential candidate to the throne.
  • Love Confession: Arc 3 has several. Rem confesses to Subaru several times, Wilhelm to his late wife, Subaru to Rem and later Emilia.
  • Love Triangle: The main love story involves Subaru, Rem and Emilia. While Subaru only has eyes for Emilia, he slowly falls for Rem as well as she is his main emotional support when he is suffering from his Heroic BSoD.
  • The Many Deaths of You: Subaru goes through several deaths and goes back to certain "checkpoints" in the storyline.
  • Marry Them All: Played for Laughs in the April Fools' Day celebration in the original web novel. Subaru achieves 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.
  • Mental Time Travel: Subaru's Return by Death invokes this.
  • Merchant City: The country Anastasia comes from, Kararagi, is this.
  • Moby Schtick: Wilhelm's grudge with the White Whale. The name of the White Whale in the Japanese source text, Hakugei, is also the translated title of Moby-Dick.
  • Monster Whale: The White Whale is a demonic land whale that's been The Dreaded for 400 years. If a giant flying whale that hunts people isn't terrifying enough, it also possesses a mystical fog that's capable of Ret Goneing anyone it touches and erasing all trace of them from history.
  • 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.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The marketing and PVs for Re:Zero were all light-hearted and slice of life looking along the lines of Outbreak Company, while in actuality the series is as dark and gritty as Berserk with a penchant for ending almost every episode in an unpredictable twist.
  • 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.
  • "No Peeking!" Request: At the end of episode 26, Subaru asks Emilia to turn around when he starts crying about Rem's condition.
  • The Nose Knows: Rem can smell the witch's scent on Subaru, factoring into her distrust of him.
  • One Twin Must Die: The story of the birth of Ram and Rem refers to the belief from Japanese folklore, as their oni's people must symbolize medieval Japan and Japanese demons in particular. And so, in the people of these girls it was customary to kill the born twins, as it was considered a bad omen, and because very often the twins shared horns for two, because of what they had more weaker abilities than their other tribesmen. However, Ram is a very powerful mage, so powerful that she is considered incredibly talented, so the girls manage to survive. And ironically, all their people are killed after 10 years.
  • 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.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Due to the fact that many anime exaggeratedly show ordinary people as impenetrable idealists and born heroic personalities, especially ordinary schoolchildren, Subaru may seem very repulsive and stupid. Once he gains an Entitled to Have You personality towards the girls he meets, then it gets even worse- in the end, Subaru is acting just as a real teenager would in the perilous situation he finds himself in, and the incredible stress of what happens to him causes him to lash out. He eventually develops out of this behavior, becoming a genuine hero.
  • 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.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: The emblem that has the Lugunican Crest. It represents someone who is eligible for the throne.
  • Resurrection/Death Loop: The main character, Subaru, is cursed with going back in time whenever he dies, keeping his memories. And, being a completely mundane human with no special talents in fighting or magic, he dies quite often. While this does take its toll on him and wears his sanity down, he does put it to good use in order to overcome the problems, trying again and again and trying till he does succeed in his intentions, badly mentally scarred as it leaves him.
  • 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.
    • The Archbishop of Gluttony, Ley Batenkaitos, also has similar powers. By consuming a person's name and memories, no one, again except Subaru, is able to remember the person. While Crusch only suffers from Laser-Guided Amnesia, Rem falls into a coma and no one except Subaru can remember her.
  • RPG Mechanics 'Verse: Another noticeable aversion. The only game-like mechanic in the setting is Subaru's reset power.
  • Run or Die: In the third arc when Subaru's carriage is being chased by the infamous White Whale.

    S — Z 
  • Secret Legacy: Implied with Felt, due to the fact that the insignia she stole, which is a touchstone that identifies individuals chosen by the dragon to be potential ruler glows in her hand and the general characteristic she shares with the late royal family. 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 "swordmaster", 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:
    • When he wakes up in bed after the Ulgarm attack Subaru mutters "Yet another unfamiliar ceiling."
    • In the anime, the ringtone used to Signal the appearance of the white whale from Subaru's cellphone is the op theme from the 1970's anime of A Dog of Flanders. Fittingly, The name of Subaru's ground dragon from the same episode is the same as the dog's name from the book, Patrasche.
    • In the Memory Snow OVA, the Snow Festival is introduced with a theme that suspiciously sounds a lot like the James Bond intro.
  • 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.
  • The Stinger: The Re-Cut of the first season ends with one, which is a Sequel Hook for the next season.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: What Ram's love for Roswaal amounts to. He destroyed her village, and Ram initially hated Roswaal for it, but after he showed her some kindness (probably at least originally motivated by selfish reasons), over time, she fell in love with him, and became extremely loyal towards him.
  • 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.
  • Superpower Lottery: Reinhard has the ability to be (permanently) blessed with new powers whenever he thinks of one that could come in handy.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • In general, the series pulls no punches about how outclassed a person from real life would fare in a fantasy world full of monsters, Magic Knight's and demihumans. Subaru may be in good shape by real world standards, but in the World of Badass he is outclassed by every named character over the age of 12 in terms of combat ability. Return by Death is the main reason he has survived past his first day.
      • When trying to figure out how to deal with Elsa, at no point does Subaru consider directly fighting her himself. After all she's clearly a dangerous assassin who could kill Rom and Felt with ease while he is a former shut-in with no combat experience.
      • Conversely, after rashly accepting a duel challenge from Julius out of wounded pride, he quickly finds himself completely outmatched. Even his attempts at being a Combat Pragmatist fall flat, since as Julius points out, his smokescreen spell is only enough to trip up novice fighters or mindless beasts, not an experienced knight like himself.
    • A recurring problem that plagues Subaru is that while Return by Death gives him plenty of foreknowledge on his enemies plans he has a hard time convincing others to listen since he has no evidence that what he says is accurate, especially when he's initially a stranger to most of his allies.
    • While Subaru has "Return from Death", allowing him to retain accumulated knowledge from his previous lives, he doesn't gain much else when he is first transported. He would need to build on and practice new skills and spells by himself.
    • When joining Ram's search for Rem in the forest Subaru quickly tires, since despite being healed, he lost a fair amount of blood from the Mabeasts mauling him and his encounter with Elsa (which occurred less than a week apart).
    • At one point Subaru falls off a cliff and attempts to reduce the momentum by sticking a sword into it like in movies. It works!.... And then the sword breaks since he just shoved and dragged though solid rock.
    • While Subaru can (somehow) understand what people are saying just fine, the written language of Lugunica is completely different, leaving him functionally illiterate. He does starts getting lessons at Roswaal's mansion, but he is not an Instant Expert and even a month later Rem remarks that he still has trouble with anything more than the basics.
    • Seeing Betelgeuse kill Rem snaps Subaru out of his Heroic BSoD and sends him into an Unstoppable Rage, ranting that he'll kill the Sin Archbishop. This does not lend him any extra strength however, and he eventually tires, wearing out the skin on his wrists while straining against his restraints.
      • His Unstoppable Rage carries over to his next loop and actually proves to be a detriment to his efforts. While it restored his drive, it makes him too angry to strategize properly and hinders his efforts to make allies, since he is clearly unstable and doesn't think to offer any compelling evidence or reason for them to help him.
  • Take That!: Reputed among Japanese circles that Re:Zero is this to the extremely prevalent "isekai" stories which all use Gary Stu NEET protagonist that come from another world, shallow characters that are little more than caricatures, and heaps of women who fall at their feet in response the main character solving their problem. In response, Re:Zero makes Subaru extremely weak and useless, has side characters that almost actively dismiss him, as well as calling him out for expecting something for saving people.
  • Take That, Audience!: The author calls out NEETs for being lazy and believing that they can do anything just because they want to without actually trying.
  • 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.
  • These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Echidna's Book of Wisdom. The book contains a record of every historical event that has ever happened. However, only witches can read it without going insane from the sheer amount of information it burns into the readers' mind.
  • Time Loop Fatigue: Frequently happens to Subaru whenever he's in a particularly devastating time loop where he fails to save his friends.
    • In second arc, he finds he keeps mysteriously dying in his sleep before resetting (later discovered to be due to a curse placed on him). In one loop he finally manages to avoid his fate, but Rem contracts the curse instead. With everyone devastated, Subaru ends up committing suicide in order to reset time and have a chance to save Rem, despite not knowing for sure if he would return.
    • In the third arc, after having watched numerous characters get killed by the Witch's Cult and the White Whale, particularly Rem, he hits the Despair Event Horizon hard and pretty much loses the will to live. When he finally does reset, he's so broken that he tearfully hugs Rem tightly as soon as he sees her.
  • Title Drop: Subaru drops it during the climax of the 3rd arc.
    "My life in another world starts here, from zero!"
  • 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.
  • 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).
    • Japanese suffixes and such spoken by any character other than Subaru are not actually being said. They exist because of the language syntax of Japanese necessitating them, so that the reader can understand the relationship between the characters. So when Wilhelm calls Subaru-dono he's actually saying Sir Subaru, its western equivalent. It's purely meta convenience.
  • 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.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Return By Death is a Save Scumming ability and nothing more. Even with it, and carrying all of the knowledge gained from a previous loop, Subaru's just a regular human being who can get killed very easily. As such, he needs to learn several skills to even stand a chance against anyone, because literally getting yourself killed can only help you so much.
      • Additionally, as explored in Arc 2, just because Subaru is repeating events, does not mean that his interactions with people and such will be the exact same, no matter how many times he tries to repeat the 'first' time experience with them. As Subaru retains his memories and knowledge from each loop, that means the Subaru that loops is automatically different from the Subaru that experienced the events the first time around, and intentionally trying to act like he's as clueless as the 'first' Subaru was only serves to make people around him suspicious. For example, Subaru does extremely poorly in his various servant duties during his first loop in the Roswell Mansion, and in one of his unsuccessful loops, it's pointed out to him that Rem and Ram can tell he's botching the job or not trying as hard as he could to do it well, which only deepens their distrust of him.
    • A side effect of Return By Death allows Subaru to remember everything that has happened before restarting the loop, including his own death. Being forced to relive a traumatic event over and over again is never good for one's state of mind, and in more than one occasion Subaru suffers from PTSD.
  • Walking Wasteland: The Black Serpent, whose very presence destroys the area he sits in for generations.
  • 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, especially Felix, whose title is "Blue" for being the foremost expert of healing magic, to the point he can resurrect himself from death.
  • 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. Tappei describes the chapter it happens in ("The Corridor of Memories") to be the real start of the arc.
  • Wham Line:
    Subaru: The truth is... Rem said she loves me, the same way I told you that I love you! So...
    Emilia: Subaru...
    Subaru: Yes?
    Emilia: Who... is Rem?
    (Subaru gasps in horror)
    • In the early parts of Arc 4, Subaru inquires how Roswaal managed to evacuate half of the village in time for the attack of the Witch Cult, while Roswaal replies with this:
    Roswaal: Oh, that's because... I orchestrated all of it.
    • Similarly, Roswaal reveals this tidbit when Subaru meets him after the witches' tea-party.
    Roswaal: After all, the order to have assassins attack the mansion came from me personally.
    • The end of Arc 6 reverses the quote, when Rem is awoken:
    Rem: (to Subaru) Who are you?
  • What If?: The novel has a couple of scenarios taken differently, with all of them being posted on special occasions, usually on April 1st, Subaru's birthday:
    • On Rem's birthday, web chapters come out for the Rem IF, also known as Sloth IF, alternate timeline where Rem 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 Ayamatsu/Pride IF timeline, where Subaru goes insane from constantly repeating the first loop and becomes a powerful enemy all for Emilia's sake.
    • Then there's the Butterfly's Dream/Lust IF timeline, where all of the royal candidates, along with Rem and Petra, end up in Subaru's harem.
    • The Oboreru/Wrath IF timeline involves Subaru snapping and becoming an Evil Overlord mob boss called the Purge King and Emilia developing a twisted case of Stockholm Syndrome after being kidnapped by Subaru and Puck.
    • There's a Kasaneru/Greed IF timeline, where Subaru agrees to become a test subject for all of Echidna's weird experiments. Emilia seems to become unhinged in this timeline as well.
    • The "Tsugihagu/Gluttony IF" timeline comes as an offshoot of Arc 6, where Subaru ends up partners with Shaula and still has his memories lost.
  • White-Haired Pretty Girl: Emilia. Echidna and Satella are noted to be this as well.
  • Whodunit: Arc 2 plays a bit like this, as Subaru tries to figure out how someone killed him in the mansion on the fourth night. It turned out to be a mixed bag. There was a dog who cursed people in the village, cursing him on his fourth day with a bite, but if he did not go, Rem would be bitten and die in his place. While that is the main reason, a few loops had Rem kill him, suspecting he was some sort of danger to her sister.
  • 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.
  • Wutai: Subverted. When he first arrives Subaru expects there to be a country to the east with a culture similar to Japan's, probably because that's a common element in the Standard Japanese Fantasy Setting, but apparently there is no such place.
  • 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


Ainz Discovers Return by Death

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