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"When you realize that Subaru's suffering is all for his own sake in the end."
I finally watched the second season of Rezero! The arc covered in this season was intriguing and I can talk in-depth on any single episode, so I decided to first write my general opinion on the season before focusing on a single side of the story.
The first season of the anime is compromised of three arcs. All of them serve as an introduction to the characters or aspects of the world. Each arc has its threat that Subaru has to overcome. In turn, each arc shows us new aspects of Subaru's character.
The second season covers only the 4th arc "The Everlasting Contract." The arc is so massive, the animators needed 25 episodes with 29 minutes of animated content to adapt it. (Meaning on Japanese TV, they sacrificed commercials time. They often skip the openings/endings too.) With quality and care put in this series, it's clear that White Fox studio is passionate about this anime project.
There are three main things I loved in season 2. Subaru's character development from someone who hated himself to a man trying to value his life. Emilia's backstory and her own character development. The last main thing I love this arc for doing is to finally have a conclusion to Beatrice's cryptic speeches and give her character development as well.
It's clear to me that this arc is the payoff of everything that the first two arcs have set up.
We got the conclusion of Rosewall's true intentions. We finally met Satella and realized she might not be so bad. Her chant of "I Love You" to Subaru whenever he's Returning by Death was her way of saying "treasure yourself more." Something Subaru only started doing this season and even by the end of it, I don't think Subaru truly gives himself the gratitude her deserves.
On the backstory we got this season: Subaru's relationship with his parents got me emotional. The trail he went through in Episode 29 (the 4th of season 2,) was the closure to the development he started in Episode 18. Subaru lost his pillar Rem, but she boosted her hero enough to stand on his own then become the pillar for other people, namely his love Emilia. Subaru went through massive amounts of suffering through this season. If getting eaten by Rabbits isn't hell, I don't want to know what hell is. He still managed to learn, develop and save his friends by the end.
Emilia's parents were something I waited to see for a long time. Despite not being her real mother, I loved Fortuna. Her story with Petelgeuse is so tragic. I feel bad for hating the guy in the previous arc. I wonder what was his relationship with Beatrice because she was so upset when she heard Geuse has died.
Speaking of Beatrice. I was more interested in her during the arc than Emilia. She's obviously lonely and wants nothing but to fulfill her mother's promise to meet "that person." Subaru refused to be that person for her and went through the difficult route. Just to free her from her past and obsession with her mother. My favorite scene in both seasons is the "Choose Me" scene.
"Choose Me, Beatrice! You wanted someone to get you out of here. Isn't that why you're sitting in front of the door all this time?" -- Best Main Character.
Echidna is an interesting antagonist that fits the theme of the arc amazingly well. She never felt like an antagonist to me, and she's still one of my favorite characters. She's the first person who Subaru confides about his Return by Death in an unsurprising emotional scene. Her thirst for knowledge is something I admire despite her lack of empathy.
The Witch of Greed wasn't the only one we met. This season introduces us to all the witches, and I liked how insane they are. We even met Satella. Episode 37 (the 12th of Season 2) is one of my favorites because of that.
Even side characters had a main role this time. Otto has ascended to the MVP status. Garfiel is a great example of how someone's interactions can change people. Petra and Fredrica are sweet as well. There's also everything Rosewall and Ram, but I'll leave that topic to another article.
Overall this was a great season. The ending left me satisfied but wanting more. Despite resolving many of the main plotlines in the series, there are still many questions for the next seasons to answer, and that only increases my excitement!