Many people have theorized that Subaru's love for Emilia is as shallow as it was in the beginning because of her connections to Satella. Yes, he may see more character in her and he does see her as a "heroine", but because of their similarities some people think that there may be foul work at play. This view has also become a breeding ground for the emergence of the theory that his "love" for Emilia is only the result of Satella's spell with the aim of helping the Witch back to this world. This may be the reason for the blindness and obsession of his feelings and the fact that the farther away from Emilia he is, the less he is inclined to show his Love Makes You Dumb features, and he's quite capable of thinking rationally or even falling in love with Rem.
"Requiem of Silence", the ending theme of episode 15, is considered by many to be one of the most hauntingly beautiful and sad music pieces heard in anime in years. The full-length version takes this to an unprecedented level.
The first ED, STYX HELIX, is well-regarded by the fanbase, especially for its lyrics and how they relate to the story.
The first opening, "Redo". The lyrics are about being trapped in the past but still fighting for someone's sake. The recurring guitar riff may have helped it too.
Subaru has become the biggest one in the fandom as the series has progressed:
The first point of contention regarding him is his non-reaction to being transported to another world. Some people don't mind it and consider it not important to the story as it is. Other people find it ridiculously unrealistic even by fantasy setting standards, and that it sets Subaru's character for a very bad start. Among readers of the LN it's a bit better, since the issue is at least addressed, albeit not really explored.
Albeit at first the split was more or less moderate, it became much larger since the start of the third arc (starting in the 12th episode). One half of it despise him for his idiotic behavior, his quasi-stalkerish obsession over Emilia and his stupid choices, which lead him (and others) into trouble. Plus, many argue that those idiotic choices are plot-driven, instead of character-driven. Or in other words, "Subaru behaves like an idiot when it's convenient for the plot", which is a pretty common comment among detractors. The other half likes the guy because of how realistic they find his behavior and defend that Subaru acts like a flawed human being rather than acting like an idealized, typical fantasy world protagonist. Episode 16 only added more fuel to the fire, as his rage clouding his mind made him do, in some people's eyes, even more stupid decisions.
More in general, people put Subaru's motivations into question, particularly those regarding Emilia. Supporters claim they're perfectly understandable, since they have more than enough interaction for Subaru to genuinely fall in love with her, and it creates a solid foundation for the story to brutally depict Subaru's character archetype. Some compare this to how people can become infatuated with others, and blindly "loving" someone for shallow or little reason. Especially in episode 14, where Emilia mentions, "the version of me inside of you must be amazing", which many supporters say is justified, since Subaru has seen Emilia in more ways and has had more intimate moments with her throughout his loops that she's not aware of, but Subaru is. Detractors, on the other hand, disagree that they have enough chemistry to justify Subaru going to such lengths for her, which, coupled with his aforementioned non-reaction to being in a different world, makes him feel artificial. And that's beforeincluding Rem in the equation, which takes things Up to Eleven.
In particular, by the second half of the show, many viewers complained about Emilia growing into a Living MacGuffin and the nature of her and Subaru's relationship/his love for her being little more than explicable religious fanaticism, while Rem the fan favorite character formally remained on the sidelines, even after Subaru confesses his love equally to both girls. At the same time, some Rem fans seem quite satisfied with such author's superficial attitude to Subaru and Emilia, believing that much more concretized SubaRem attitude can give hope for future better chances for Rem, than at the moment.
Did his breakdown in episode 13 show that he was an entitled dick or was it just him grasping for straws as his mental trauma surfaced due to the sudden fear of being abandoned, rendering all his former suffering for naught and then leaving him alone with it?
At the end of the third arc, Subaru decides to start taking things more seriously and become a true hero, and manages to succeed, with some help, in defeating the White Whale and the Witch's Cult. Many fans are up in arms about this being the typical self-insert harem protagonist played straight and claim it to be the worst incarnation of Subaru of all because he's not losing. Others claim that his development is realistic and doesn't go into tensei hero territory, and after all that has happened to him over the course of the story, letting the poor guy succeed and save the ones he cares about is the least the writer could do. And others know the actual ending to Arc 3 (which the anime has yet to cover) is one of the main sticking points against this point of view.
The above point brings to light the fandom's divide on Subaru's successes. Some fans believe that Subaru having some success here or there doesn't detract from the story's dark elements, and are okay with him making things better before he's gut punched by the next Diabolus ex Machina. Others are against the very idea of Subaru succeeding at anything, winning any conflict, or even learning to be a better person because they see that as playing into a standard isekai series.
Emilia is disliked by part of the fandom because they see her as a bland, generic love interest of the main character, claiming that Rem, who is more fleshed out and has a more active role in the series as Subaru's sidekick, should be Subaru's main love interest. The other part (usually people who have read the light novels) defends her, claiming that this is justified as part of the series's handling of the "trapped in a different world" genre, and knows that she will be more fleshed out in the future. Web novel readers instead perceive her as too immature, with the writing reflecting that with her interactions with Subaru and her being better received during the flashback chapters when she actually is as young as her mental age. It is justified due to her mental age not lining up to her physical age due to being frozen and unconscious, but whether or not it's well written is a matter of debate.
Rem also often gets a similar attitude outside the fandom of the series, especially because of her unexpected huge popularity. In particular, while many viewers consider her to be literally the perfect girl and the romantic partner they would like to have in real life, another part of the audience criticizes her for excessive hype, an artificial change of accent from Emilia as the main female character, and simply sexist Pandering to the Base. Some even say her status as a love interest is just as archetypal as Emilia's, but she's forgiven for it due to being the "devoted" character rather than the "devotee". The fact that she's receiving the most merchandise out of every character so far doesn't help the case at all.
Petelgeuse is either an effective villain you Love to Hate or an overly narmy villain that is hard to take seriously. Some fans actually like him for immediately establishing himself as the most threatening villain in the series and find his antics to be amusing. Others find him to be a one-dimensional villain who's only crazy for the sake of being crazy and tries way too hard to come off as frightening.
Ram, after the flashback showing her and Rem's childhood revealed the depths of her devotion to Roswaal. Either it provides an interesting facet to her personality and gives her room to explore and revisit those feelings without Roswaal around, or it ruins her and makes her an ultimately hypocritical character.
Episode 18, which, while just as intense as episode 15 in a way, has far less gore, death, and despair than any of the previous episodes as well as giving Subaru his Heroic Second Wind to try once again to be a hero.
Episode 19 which brings the return of the humor that characterized the earlier parts of the series, as well as having no gore and death.
The show's various attempts at making self-aware jokes. Some don't mind them since "trapped in a strange world" anime usually have a tendency to take themselves very seriously and it shows ambition on part of the writers, who want to make sure it stands out from other similar anime. Others think it's one of the weaker aspects of the show, as they think none of the jokes are funny, and much like Akame ga Kill!, it completely disturbs the darker tone that it's going for. Arc 3 ends up getting rid of the self-aware jokes entirely as the Genre Shift kicks in.
The beginning of the Roswaal mansion arc, since most of it is spent in the mansion since Subaru keeps on respawning there. Some like it since its focus on character interactions give the viewer time to better understand the characters, making future scenes even more brutal. Others think it's the weakest part of the series due to the fact that it could have made its point in a shorter time-span, and how it constantly repeats the same events while rarely ever leaving the same location.
Whether or not the series went through Seasonal Rot in the third arc. Most viewers find it to be the best in the series due to how brutally it shows the "trapped in a strange world" concept and how the Genre Shift allows the show to take itself more seriously by dropping the humor from the first two arcs, to later on give Subaru a much-needed Character Development that gives a satisfying resolution to the arc. There are some people however who feel that the series goes downhill during this arc in two different ways in its two halves: in the first half, the criticism is that it borders on torture porn and lacks the humor from the first two arcs, which causes it to lose its charm from early on, and Subaru's idiotic decisions, which many argue are so due to plot contrivances, instead of genuine character flaws. As for the second half, there are those who think that the show becomes a generic "isekai" story.
Part of the fanbase also considers the anime to be a controversial or even bad adaptation in the context of material handling, which is especially evident in accusations of Flanderisation of Subaru as an even more silly idiot, cutting off most of the romantic subtext between him and Rem, and replacing the Downer Ending of the third arc with an almost artificial happy ending. Especially because of this, the scene in the hall of royal elections suffers, along with the conversations Subaru have with Rem before and after the battle with the whale, and, of course, the whole ending of the third arc, which is perceived even by anime fans as a huge missed opportunity. The announcement that the first season would be getting a recut prior to Season 2 with additional footage doesn't help.
Creator's Pet: Some fans accuse Emilia of being this, given that the light novel tries to work her into the story more and some character building scenes and important moments in the web novel version get omitted or heavily reworked, with Emilia receiving some of them.
Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Kicks in during the later episodes, where Subaru's punishments for screwing up become more visceral. For some people this borders on unnecessary cruelty.
Die for Our Ship: Rem, being a side character, almost completely eclipses Emilia both in terms of popularity among spectators and in terms of developing a relationship with the main character. Moreover, all the romantic moments Subaru has Emilia are immediately duplicated with him and Rem, and vice versa. In the end, this causes regular conflicts and mutual accusations, despite the fact that Subaru repeatedly declares his equal love for both girls. On the one hand, the fans of Rem accuse Emilia of having no personality other than being a soft, archetypal love interest, as well as barely participating in the second half of the anime. On the other hand, Emilia fans blame Rem for killing Subaru, as well as an unjustifiable shift of focus due to the excessive popularity of Rem outside the context of the work.
Elsa Granhiert the Bowel Cutter is immediately established as someone who is... not well. Thanks to both the Evil Is Sexy and Evil Is Cool tropes as noted below however, you'd really have to watch the show or read the novels to know of her true nature.
Petelguese has seen some lighter portrayals among the fandom as well, especially given his memetic status.
Satella is probably the biggest example from this series. A Witch who has committed many unspeakable evil deeds in the ancient past and is heavily implied to be the one who kidnapped Subaru from his real world is potrayed by many fans of the series as "the best girl" because Satella "truly loves Subaru" in her own ways. Some people go as far as saying that Return by Death is actually a gift of sincere love from Satella and not a Witch's Curse. Having Rieri's gentle and cute voice in the anime adaptation escalates her popularity even more than before.
Earn Your Happy Ending: What Subaru uses Return by Death for; to die over and over again until he sets right what once went wrong. And he pretty much does it be the end of each arc so far. Though it's later subverted. It's implied he isn't starting over from a save point in the same timeline, but waking up in a different yet identical timeline.
The sloth soldier who appeared after the White Whale's defeat gained a lot of popularity after his Death by Irony at the hands of Sloth. People were ecstatic to see him return in episode 24.
Subaru's parents turned out to be very popular during the episode where they appeared, both for being incredibly nice and supporting parents to Subaru and for giving to the viewers one of the most emotive episodes of the whole series.
Even Better Sequel: Season 2 is considered much better than Season 1, as it covers Arc 4, which is considered by most fans to be the best arc in the series
While the two shows are completely different in genre and theme, there is a rivalry between fans of Re:Zero and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure over which show is better, since both began airing in the same season and immediately received universal praise. The rivalry was only amplified when the 2016 season of JJBA was based on Diamond is Unbreakable, one of the most well-liked parts of the manga. The fact that on many anime websites Re:Zero managed to gain higher ratings than JJBA didn't please many fans of the franchisenote Since the 2012 TV anime reboot began, JJBA has consistently been one of the most highly praised recent anime with each season that has aired, while Re:Zero fans didn't seem to get why JJBA fans were getting so hyped up about the current season of the anime.
Fans of Berserk and Neon Genesis Evangelion have not been pleased with the comparisons people have been making between those shows and Re:Zero. For many years both Berserk and Neon Genesis Evangelion have been some of the most well-liked and respected series in the anime community for how they use dark and mature themes to create realistic characters and scenarios. Fans of those series however find that Re:Zero is just another otaku-pandering show that tries to take itself more seriously than it is but doesn't understand how to tackle darker themes in a mature manner, or how to make Subaru's breakdowns feel realistic.
Many fans would like Rem to be Subaru's love interest instead of Emilia, since Rem is a much more fleshed-out and active character than Emilia in the crucial moments of the anime and the third arc respectively, and the level of her love for and faith in Subaru goes far beyond the one Emilia could ever show. To be fair, Subaru does start falling in love with Rem after the third arc and treats her as one of his most, if not the most important person along with Emilia, even saying to Emilia that he loves them both.
A lot of fans have taken to the idea of Felt and Reinhard hooking up, up to the point that many fans perceive them as the canonical Beta Couple.
The series also has a large number of Yaoi Fangirls who like to pair Subaru with Julius or Reinhard (or for novel fans, Otto). It's so popular that most of the fanart with Julius can be attributed to shonen ai.
Some fans are amused by pairing up Ram and Garfiel because of their relationship being an obvious foil to that of Subaru and Rem, and a number of hints in one of the side stories in the series. It helps that her canonical devotion to Roswall is portrayed as sketchy due to how, exactly, Roswall got her and Rem and why he specifically chose them.
Fountain of Memes: Petelgeuse. His nonsensical reactions as well his catch phrase have inspired a large number of memes, for example Aladdin references due to him flying with his invisible hands.
A good amount of fans of Re:Zero are people who were fans of Akame ga Kill! back in 2014 and early 2015 but have grown out of the series either because of the anime adaptation's ending or the Seasonal Rot of the manga.
KonoSuba, due to the authors being friends and the similar premise (tracksuit-wearing otaku NEET gets transported to another world and finds out it's not as awesome as they had hoped it was), it isn't surprising that there is overlap in the fandoms.
Growing the Beard: Episode 7/arc 2 is the start of this for Re:Zero, as this is when the series stops being a part-slice-of-life, part-action-fantasy anime and shifts to a darker fantasy take on the Isekai genre.
All of the times that Subaru dies and uses Return By Death are pretty hard to watch to begin with, but they become even worse with the implication that all of his deaths don't actually rewind him to a checkpoint, but actually copy the world and put him at the "checkpoint" in that copied world, leaving all of his loved ones from the previous world to grieve his death.
Subaru x Felix is one of the most popular ships, rivaling even Subaru with either Rem or Emilia. It is further strengthened by Felix's feminine mannerisms and flirty actions towards Subaru, such as biting his ear.
Subaru x Julius started gaining traction in the fandom after their team up in the last few episodes of the anime. In fact, the pairing has become an example of Take a Third Option among the fans who don't care about Emilia nor Rem.
Subaru and Reinhard have some nice moments in the earlier episodes. Reinhard seems immediately taken with Subaru when he rescues him in the alleyway, and later when Reinhard comes to save them at the Loot house, Subaru calls him his friend and there's a little moment where Reinhard pauses and looks either disappointed or pleasantly surprised that he's considered a friend. He also offers to let Subaru stay as a guest at his mansion despite them just meeting that day. Becomes Foe Yay in the Dark Lord IF timeline, where Subaru's destruction of the country and everything Reinhard loves is partially influenced by his jealousy over Reinhard's skill for heroism.
The scene where Subaru rests his head in a human-sized Puck's lap.
After the third arc, some shippers have taken to pairing up Subaru and Otto because of their friendship.
Hype Aversion: Thanks for being one of the most popular characters in the character poll and for the huge amount of merchandise made for her, anyone who got introduced to Rem through word-of-mouth and memes of her being the best girl in the 2016 season will find her not as amazing as her fans would claim, and yes, this also includes the people who watched her until the very end.
Hype Backlash: One of the most striking examples. Although the show quickly became a Sleeper Hit and received a lot of praise from various people and critics, the hype around it very quickly provoked Hype Aversion with accusations that Subaru was an unbearable character, and that the titles themselves are not only overrated but very bad works in themselves.
Iron Woobie: While the frequency of his deaths and other traumatic encounters do not exactly decrease, Subaru does get better at dealing with them as the story progresses.
It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: Hype Backlash option. A lot of people really hate this show because it has major hype around it and a bunch of fans who consider this anime an absolute masterpiece. On the other hand, many fans of the original novel do not like the adaptation, since it led to a lot of biased hatred for the series and even greater Die for Our Ship controversy than before.
LGBT Fanbase: Ferris is very popular among transgender fans, as it's heavily implied that "Felix" is a dead name* a term for a trans person's birth name.
Love to Hate: Petelgeuse. His hilariously over the top behavior coupled with the absolutely horrible things he does made him the most memorable villain in the entire series.
Memetic Badass: Reinhard van Astrea, who was confirmed to be the most overpowered character in the entire series by the author himself. His over thirty blessings (when it's considered a blessing by the gods themselves to even get one decent one) include making any projectile miss him, resistances to all magics, instant proficiency with any and all weapons, and being a great cook. Any discussion about this guy will end up talking about how awesome he is.
Memetic Bystander: The sloth soldier from the assault on the Witch Cult due to his ironic death and then return.
Subaru, due to being so weak and flawed, has become synonymous with suffering. Not to mention, he's often punished for his own mistakes as well.
Rem is also this in an extent, as many fans often mocked her being completely non-existent thanks to the episode 17.
To round out the triangle, we have web novel!Emilia. Considering how important Rem becomes to Subaru in later arcs and spinoffs (to the point where the sixth is all about getting her memories back to wake her from her coma), as well as the aforementioned light novel revisions, many fans see Emilia as a cheaper heroine trying to ape off of Rem and failing.
Ram flying through the air after Subaru hurls her at Rem quickly became memetic following episode 10's airing. Ram is seen with open hands extended in front of her, one of the versions of the Up, Up and Away! trope.
Twister Explanation (spoilers) A shot of Rem after she is pulled apart by Petelgeuse modified to look like she's playing Twister.
On a more romantic note, the beautiful image◊ from episode 21 of Subaru and Rem embracing under a blue sky with a rainbow. Many SubaRem supporters asked around in forums for hi-res files so they could put it as their new wallpaper and/or profile image for social media.
"Who's Rem?" Because of episode 17 it has become extremely common for people to make comments about Rem not existing due to her existence being erased by the White Whale, and later when she has her name and memory eaten by the Archbishop of Gluttony.
Related to the above, "Who's Emilia?" Explanation The merchandising zeroing in on Rem caused some to joke about this towards Emilia, especially when several promotions gave her about as much merchandise as the rest of the side cast. Her birthday event coming a year after Rem and Ram's only added to the joke.
Rem:Zero, "Rem is the real main heroine of Re:Zero", and other jokes about Rem's popularity Explanation Due to her explosive growth in and focus shifting from Emilia to her in the third arc, Rem suddenly became the most popular character of the series. It seems that even Crunchyroll and other anime media like jokes about this, especially when Rem became the main character for related products dedicated to Re:Zero.
Less than 9,500 PHP. note During an anime convention in the Philippines, a large poster with Ram and Rem on it was auctioned off and sold for a whopping 9,500 Philippine pesos (roughly ~200 U.S. dollars), about 20 times more than what it's really worth. Mere hours later, it was discovered that the art on it was stolen from a Pixiv user named Tomato. Cue netizens on Facebook making snarky references to that 9,500 peso poster whenever someone sells Re:Zero merchandise online.
"I Love Emilia" note As of episode 18, image macros of people confessing is followed by that phrase as an out-of-nowherein-your-face love declaration. When applied to other series, the phrase is typically uttered in comments and such whenever a confession is about to happen, especially when a supporting female is deemed "best girl" by the fandom over the actual female lead by a large margin and they expect the latter to "win" regardless.
ASSUMING DIRECT CONTROLnote Mass Effect 2 has a primary antagonist named Harbinger, who is known for his penchant for Villain Overrides on random mooks in the game, which is similar to Petelgeuse's power of possessing his followers.
Forgotten Ram Birthday. note Advertising events in Akihabara focusing on the oni twins' birthday put Rem at the forefront in near all of them, causing a wave of jokes and questions about where Ram was since the ads ignored the fact that Ram and Rem have the exact same date of birth as identical twins. Even the official birthday chapter got in on it, with Ram justifying in-universe why Rem should get primary focus during the festivities. Some readers felt like it was an easy way to make a Rem-focused event even more about her, since Ram already became "second twin" in the background of the immense popularity of her younger sister.
Some people also began to refer to a certain type of female Love Interest as "Local Rem" or "Rem of this title", implying that this girl is a stereotypical "ideal waifu" who, as the romantic line develops, will be rejected by the protagonist, notwithstanding all her devotion or merit.
Heaven or Hell End?note A comparison between the "Rem's Happy Family" What If? chapters with the "Dark Lord" chapter published on Subaru's birthday got a little muddled with a dose of Ship-to-Ship Combat: simplifying the plots, it looked like marrying Rem only resulted in a loving, but sad relationship, but staying devoted to Emilia ended in a Thanatos Gambit involving the complete destruction of the kingdom to make Emilia a hero. Thus: Rem = Heaven, Emilia = Hell.
Teapits note A fanart of Echidna pouring tea onto her armpit and into a cup has been reenacted by many famous cosplayers.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Upon his introduction in the Royal Selection arc, Julius was not well liked among fans for his Jerkass tendencies and his holier-than-thou attitude towards Subaru. However, the Rivals Team Up between him and Subaru in the last few episodes of the anime got him much more respect towards the fandom due to the Character Development it gives him and even launching a Ho Yay shipping between him and Subaru.
The entirety of episode 15, particularly after Petelgeuse makes his debut, is this for the fandom. Rem's death in particular is what the episode is most famous for and it (and the stir it caused on the internet) will most likely be what this show is remembered for.
Subaru and Rem's dialogue in episode 18, especially Rem's iconic "From Zero!" quote. This is especially noticeable due to it being an entire episode of dialogue, lacking any action or gore save the beginning, yet it is as memorable as episode 15.
Spiritual Adaptation: Due to the theme of chronic deaths and respawning, some fans have deemed it the closest thing to a novel and anime adaptation of Dark Souls.
Elsa touching Subaru's bleeding guts after she slashes him in the second half of episode 1, all with a sadistic smile on her face showing that she enjoys doing this kind of thing to her victims. Yikes.
Petelguese licking Subaru's eyeball to try and prove that he is merely pretending to be a vegetable is just as bad, for entirely different reasons. Overall, everything Petelgeuse does can easily be considered this trope.
Tastes Like Diabetes: What many fans consider the finale of the anime to be, due to it excising the dark cliffhanger ending the web novel had.
Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Subaru is hated even by many fans of the series, who consider him an overly stupid, silly schoolboy who makes mistakes in moments where even another normal person wouldn't. Moreover, even when Subaru begins to win, he does it not because of his analytical abilities, but only because he knows the enemy's actions in advance.
Visual Effects of Awesome: Reinhard's battle with Elsa in episode 3 was universally praised for featuring very fluid animation.
What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The series has the feel of a shounen with darker elements such as Akame ga Kill! or Hunter × Hunter, given all of the gratuitous violence. However, while the series is a light novel, the manga version is a seinen and the anime adaptation airs in a midnight time slot, allowing for more violent content.