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Nightmare Fuel / Re:Zero

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Wait till you see what the rest of him looks like...
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Make no mistake; beyond its lush animations, fantasy setting and cute girls, Re:Zero is still a Psychological Horror series at heart. All spoilers are unmarked!

General

  • The anime's soundtrack is fairly scary at times, with memorable tracks like Tabboo Investigation and Hexentanz building an atmosphere of foreboding and dread with their witch-like chanting and deep, sharp strings. King of them all is Call of the Witch, which is used to punctuate particularly disturbing scenes. The vocals in this track also sound like laughter, which only emphasizes the hopelessness of Subaru's current situation. If this track plays, something has gone horribly wrong with this timeline.
  • Subaru's special ability is to come back from the dead. The downside is: He has to die first. And while he makes plenty use of it, death is still an ugly thing... and very bloody. Put it this way: it's like Kenny if his running gag of dying all the time was Played for Horror. As such, Subaru's many deaths are always either horrific or deeply upsetting:
    • The aversion of Harmless Freezing for a couple of his deaths are nothing short of chilling. Special note goes to his death in episode 15, where, just as a final fuck you to Subaru, his head falls off.
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    • His other death at the start of that episode, in which he makes it down to Emilia's Last Stand. his fingers are frozen off, as he stumbles back his leg shatters in front of him, and he eventually freezes entirely as he stares at the icy carnage around him before his frozen head SPLITS OPEN.
    • The way Return by Death is depicted in the anime is very creepy- a disembodied, black, clawed hand that reaches out to Subaru. Even creepier are the times, if he ever attempts to reveal his ability, it gets him to shut up by lovingly caressing his heart.
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Arc 2 / Season 1 Episodes 4-11

  • Episode 4: One of the most memorable is ironically the least violent—Subaru is killed in his sleep without warning. The sudden shock of this revelation causes incredible panic in Subaru, who had assumed the worst was over after Elsa.
  • Episode 5: Despite everything Subaru has done to determine how he died in his sleep during the previous episode, he gets violently ill and starts vomiting. Then as he begins to search for someone who can help him in the mansion, he gets assaulted by an unknown assailant and murdered. If you're watching the director's cut version, you see one of his eyeballs roll out.

Arc 3 / Season 1-2 Episodes 12-26

  • Episode 14: When Subaru walks into Arlem, Late to the Tragedy after being left behind by Rem, he finds [the entire village slaughtered by the Witch's Cult with the corpses mutilated in various ways ranging from being burnt alive, stabbed in the back, or having their eyes ripped out.
  • Episode 15: Betelgeuse. Just Betelgeuse. His faces, movements and mannerism, despite being creepy, can be even funny at the beginning, but, the way he kills Rem is so brutal and cruel the dude ends up being a walking Nightmare Fuel source.
    • The scene when he licks Subaru's face is not any better.
      • Nor is the way he acts while possessing Subaru's body.
  • Episode 16: Subaru and Rem are traveling to Roswaal's lands with a group of merchants. Suddenly, one of them disappears, and when Subaru asks Otto when the merchant disappeared, he responds to him he didn't remember anyone there. After that, a mass of mist extends by the zone where they are traveling, and when Subaru directs his mobile phone to the mist, he suddenly finds a giant, menacing yellow eye. That's the White Whale for you. The face of the creature is pretty terrifying too.
    • From earlier in the episode, after Crusch rejects Subaru's request to help defeat the Witch's Cult, Subaru start ranting about how much he hates the Cult and wants to kill them, all with a look of psychotic rage on his face. Crusch even points out that the glint in his eyes is one of murderous intent. The scene is a genuinely disturbing display of how much all the trauma has affected him.
  • Episode 17: Subaru's horrified reaction to everyone forgetting about Rem and not knowing why.
    • Otto shoving Subaru off his cart in a cowardly attempt to save himself from the White Whale. Subaru, in complete fear, ends up running in any direction in desperation, crying out that he doesn't want to die. Through some miracle he survives, though when Subaru tracks down Otto's cart, he sees nothing but blood stains, which implies that the poor bastard ended up running into the Witch Cult...
    • Later in the episode, he sees first hand what happens when he ignores the pain in his heart when attempting to tell someone about his ability to Return by Death: the person listening ends up dying. Poor Emilia...
    • Subaru was about to be subjected to more torture by witnessing Betelgeuse rip apart Emilia's corpse with his powers. Pack ends up preventing this...only Pack is furious over what happened to his "daughter".
  • Episode 18: Puck's rage against the Witch Cult and Subaru. His true form and the power he holds gets unleashed the moment Emilia dies, and he goes on his way to cause The End of the World as We Know It, which is what viewers saw in Episode 15. In the end, Pack ends up freezing and shattering Subaru, with the latter laughing at himself over how pathetic he is, his self-hatred brought to its breaking point.
  • Episode 20: The White Whale shows just how such a thing has become so menacing. It has a Fog of Doom that Retcons you from existence, it's a giant whale that can swallow nearly anything and there's three of them.
    • There's also what happens when Subaru exploits the Whale's reaction to him revealing his powers. This time, there's no ghostly hands at all, oh no. An apparition of what can only be Satella herself manifests right behind him and whispers unheard words into his ear.
  • Episode 23: "I am the archbishop of sloth, Betelgeuse Romane-Conti, DESU!!"
  • Episode 25: The final battle between Subaru and Betelgeuse...specifically how adamant the latter is in wanting to catch and kill the former. Betelgeuse utilizes the last of his power and all of his determination to turn himself into a crawling, nightmarish abomination, shouting at Subaru to "give" him Satella's love and ranting about how Satella could abandon him despite devoting all of his life to her. Subaru himself kills Betelgeuse by running him over with a cart and Betelgeuse's last words is screaming his nemesis' name.
  • Episode 26: The first episode of season 2 already has its nightmarish moments in the form of the archbishops of greed and gluttony.
    • Regulus Corneas, the archbishop of greed, has a warped obsession with his personal rights, believing he is justified in blasting away the entirety of Crusch's party, leaving only flying debris and severed limbs in his wake. Crusch attacks in anger, only for Regulus to block her attack and blow off her arm.
    • Rye Batenkaitos, the archbishop of gluttony, is heavily implied to be a cannibal and literally eats people's identities. If he knows the name of his foe, he can "eat" them, and it would be as if they never existed, a la the White Whale's fog. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens to Rem.

Arc 4 / Season 2 Episodes 27-

  • The alternate timelines, or possibly alternate universes where Subaru died shown by Echidna, are horrific messes as many characters have died from the threats that Subaru prevented.
    • Even worse when you remember that Subaru's deaths do nothing to prevent what comes next.
  • The second season's first opening shows Subaru walking past the various locales where he died, including Rom's bar when Elsa repeatedly murdered him, the bottom of the cliffs where he killed himself by jumping, and the blizzard where his frozen decapitated corpse is holding Rem's. Then he finds Emilia's corpse and finds himself surrounded by the dead.
    • It also showcases the enemies that Subaru and company have to eventually deal with in the future, like the Archbishops of Greed and Gluttony and the return of Elsa.
    • While an Awesome moment showcasing Subaru's iron will to persevere, seeing him die again and again (with his body exploding in various areas every time he bites it), only to see another version of him behind the destroyed version run forth is brutal. Subaru doesn't even die in some "loops" but being caked in blood and screaming defiantly at his death can be very disconcerting. The caption as this goes on even states "No matter how many times it takes to save you, I'll die".
  • Episode 30: Subaru returns to the mansion. It's suspiciously empty, and the evening's red light makes things more ominous. As he rushes to check on Rem, he suddenly trips and falls. He looks down, only to find that his entrails have spilled on the floor. He barely lives long enough to see the kukri and face of his assailant...
  • Episode 33: Subaru is forced to watch Garfiel transform into his tiger form and mow down Otto and the villagers protecting him. At this point, Subaru is horrified and crying, trying his utmost best to die so he can reset and save everyone. The problem is, no one else knows this, so they instead sacrifice themselves to save him.
    • Probably the most dreaded and gruesome death this show has to offer: Subaru's death by the Oousagi (Great Rabbit). It starts out innocently enough, with Subaru noticing the Oousagi at a distance. It looks like a harmless, cute rabbit. It comes closer and Subaru reaches out to pet it... and his hand is chopped off. Subaru, horrified and in excruciating pain, sees the rabbit is chewing on his thumb, its red eyes now glowing menacingly. Subaru tries to take a few more steps back only to collapse, having lost one of his feet. Two more of the things emerge from the snow. He then looks around and sees a horde of the Oousagi rising from the snow, surrounding the poor bastard. As Subaru can do nothing but whimper in despair, every one of the Oousagi, with their eyes glowing blood red, charge and begin to eat Subaru alive. There is no Gory Discretion Shot; we are forced to watch and listen as Subaru suffers a slow and agonizing death.
      • Several gory shots include the Oousagi biting into Subaru's chest and neck, cutting off his remaining hand, one of the Oousagi actually entering his stomach (indicated as a disturbing bulge moving around) and eating his organs, ripping off and chowing down on pieces of mangled ear and tongue, etc. We get a first-person view from Subaru's remaining eye, caked in and crying blood, as another Oousagi finishes him off by eating that too, giving the audience a scare before a jarring Smash to Black. Subaru then Returns by Death, but the pain and trauma are still there, causing Subaru to bash his head into the pavement a couple of times, drawing blood as he screeches at the indignity of it all...
      • Believe it or not, it's a lot worse in the Light Novel/Web Novel, as not only does all of the above happen, its being a novel can actually describe what Subaru is feeling as the rabbits eat him, with some of the monsters actually traveling up his anus, not just his stomach. Subaru also doesn't die until the rabbits crack open his skull and feast on his brain. Waking up from his death doesn't cause Subaru to beat his head into the floor like the anime but he instead vomits violently and suffers a full blown seizure.
      • The stress from that particular death was so bad that not only does the above happen, he completely ignores Emilia's presence when before, he would at least tend to her after composing himself; Echidna had to pull his soul into her world because he was on the verge on having a permenant mental shutdown from the trauma of it all.
  • Episode 34: We finally get to see some of the witches face to face. Though they look cute, their mannerisms are unnerving, to say the least.
    • Typhon, the Witch of Pride, is a cheery little girl who tests people's morality by ripping their limbs off and breaking them into pieces, considering them "baddies" if they feel pain.
    • Minerva, the Witch of Wrath, seems the most harmless, with her healing fists and her Cry Cute moments. Web Novel readers, however, will note that her "threat" to "heal everyone" would be a legitimate concern if she was alive. Her healing powers sap the mana of the Earth itself, which is needed to keep nature in balance. When mana is lacking, powerful natural disasters result. She was actually the most hated of all the witches due to her killing far more people than she heals.
    • Daphne, the Witch of Gluttony, disturbs Subaru greatly due to her twisted morality and logic. She created the three great Witchbeasts (the White Whale, the Great Rabbit, and the Blacksnake) so that people could eat them and never go hungry. After all, all the other sins "sate" the heart, but if you don't "sate" the stomach, you'll die, right? When Subaru points out that the beasts kill so many people, she retorts that it's selfish to want to eat something while expecting to not be eaten themselves.
  • In the web novel, and episodes 34-35, we get to see a brief glimpse of what happens when Satella breaks free of her seal. Subaru is chased by a being wrapped in darkness that literally shreds anyone that gets between him and her—including a fully transformed Garfiel—to bits, while repeatedly professing her love for him over and over. It's worse for viewers wearing headphones: some of her "I love you"s are right in your ear. She attempts to absorb Subaru so they can spend eternity together. Subaru only escapes this fate by killing himself, but not before seeing Satella's uncloaked face...which looks just like Emilia's.
  • Episode 36:
  • Episode 37:
    • If you thought Sabura's deaths were bad, the illusions (hopefully) conjured by the following words during the second trial are far worse...
      • "Behold An Unthinkable Present" and see Emilia break in tears over Subaru having killed himself after finding a comatose Rem, Whilhelm and Felix both sad and angry at Subaru taking the coward's way out.
      • "Behold An Unthinkable Present" and see Reinhard and Puck duke it out as the latter tries to destroy the world.
      • "Behold An Unthinkable Present" and see Ram spitefully scorn Subaru for spouting insane crap and throwing himself off the cliff.
    • Echidna nearly forms a contract with Subaru before the other witches intervene and force her to reveal her motives: All Echidna cares about is getting her hands on Return by Death. As she begins to rant about how perfect of a match they are together, Echidna's sweet facade finally cracks, revealing the cold, unfeeling sociopath beneath who only cares about satisfying her own curiosity, regardless of the bodies it leaves behind or lives it ruins.
    • There's also her reveal that the 'someone' mentioned in Beatrice's contract doesn't even exist. Anyone could have been the one to free Beatrice if she chose them to be, but Echidna intentionally left their contract vague and gave her an incomplete Gospel just to see what she would do. The end result? A child who has spent 400 growing bitter and disdainful towards the world, wishing only to die because she doesn't think anyone is The Chosen One in her Gospel. All for the sake of one of Echidna's twisted experiments.

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