In typical Subaru fashion, he picks the worst time for expressing romantic feelings.
In Episode 40 of Re:Zero we got an unexpected romantic moment from Subaru. We get that first awkward kiss with Emilia. It’s not something I wanted to see, but I can understand the progression from a storytelling perspective. While I might not like the situation and circumstances, nor wanted to see this story progress in this direction I can accept it for what it is. In a situation of weakness from Emilia, Subaru forces his feelings on her while ignoring larger issues at hand. It’s practically the most Subaru thing ever. While I might critique the situation, it is a plausible situation and outcome for Subaru in the grand scheme of the story.
Given that I am unsure of if Subaru will survive this iteration of the sanctuary, I am unsure if the romance will actually last.
There are reasons why this works as a situation. Given in other iterations of the sanctuary arc, there was one moment that Emilia actually tried forcing herself on Subaru. It was sick and twisted but it did happen. I largely ignored it, but it seems relevant given the circumstances now. If there were any feelings for Subaru by Emilia they were certainly expressed there beforehand.
While I like romantic anime and situations to be ultimately more romantic, with couples learning more about each other and deciding that pursuing a relationship would make them happier overall, how exactly would romantic developments happen in RE:Zero? Given the overall dark nature of the series feelings would certainly be warped or at the very least one sided. We have already had one character, Rem, confess her feelings to Subaru in what was a very one sided love affair. Subaru does not have feelings for Rem. And Rem developed feelings for Subaru after a single conversation of Subaru telling Rem she does have value. So Rem’s feelings, while strong, came from a place of misplaced confidence in Subaru.
But lack of confidence from characters is a recurring theme. It’s not only Rem, but Subaru and Emilia that lack confidence at times doubting themselves or their abilities.
How does Subaru end up convincing Emilia of his love?
Subaru has been nursing a crush that he has had on Emilia from day 1 of coming to this world. He certainly had the chance to walk away from his situation and maybe explore other elements of the world. So it makes sense that after suffering and working so hard to win over Emilia that he would go for the worst situation I could think of for a romance.
When confronted by Emilia for his lies and breaking his promises, he ignores the situation at hand. Now granted Subaru has extenuating circumstances for not being able to come clean to Emilia. He can’t tell anyone about his ability Return by Death. So he can’t really defend himself and he doesn’t try.
Instead he says that everything he is doing is for Emilia because he loves her. It’s a line he has repeated before and gotten nowhere with. Emilia hasn’t accepted that as a reason in the past. Subaru’s obsession with Emilia has always been a one sided choice on Subaru’s end. When asked why he would love her Subaru focuses on her physical appearance, and while Emilia is attractive it’s absurd to suffer and die many times over for her hand. Subaru’s reasons are vain and shallow, but it’s not surprising given his character. Subaru is a flawed character, but those flaws make him an interesting protagonist.
So is it really a surprise when Subaru can’t convince Emilia with words? He basically forces the kiss onto Emilia. And while she let’s it happen I have serious concerns for their future relationships should it continue to develop. Given that it’s RE:Zero, Subaru could die and reset and everything in that scene would be gone. I suspect it’s probably going to be something that sticks.
Do you agree? What are your thoughts? I want to know!
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