The curtains are being pulled open on Emilia’s past.
It feels like we might finally be getting relevant information regarding Emilia. After watching Re:Zero for years and even getting an OVA about Emilia we have never gotten to the point where Emilia can remember her past. Echidna serves as a mechanism for unlocking those memories. We are getting a peak into what Emilia is, or was.
For a long time Emilia has been a stagnant character that Subaru adores for superficial reasons, her looks. Emilia has been limited in the scope of her actions. She is being whisked along with the story and the royal candidate selection. Her reasons for candidacy are along the lines of equalizing the balance of power, and creating a kingdom without prejudice. Her reasons of course match the modern viewers tastes in terms of a world vision that envisions a world where everyone can be equal.
We rarely see Emilia step up to the plate, show leadership qualities, or have a charismatic air.
This makes sense when a character doesn’t have a history. Without memories there is nothing for Emilia to judge present circumstances against past circumstances. She is a blank slate, and her motivations are as plain as they come. Her ally Puck is the only one she can rely on to back her up. Roswaal, while supporting her candidacy for royal selection, is up to his own plans. He isn’t raising the next queen of the kingdom.
So what do we do with this character who is plain? How do we make Emilia something more than the beauty Subaru sees?
Will Emilia gain purpose?
If she has a past to confront and overcome, this will give her a purpose. You can’t confront a past without changing your present. If characters are the sum of their experiences and their summary judgement of those experiences, at least we will have a character with more depth. If Emilia is central to the story then this is the moment she needs to become more than what she has been.
I am not sure if we will see rapid character growth and character development from Emilia. I would like to see it. But at the end of the day I only get to observe Emilia the same as everyone else viewing. I do not dictate the character’s direction.
At the very least it’s nice to get more information on this character’s past. We have been watching for 40 or more episodes at this point. I want more than an OVA that doesn’t really answer the real questions. Of course it is some nice back story, but doesn’t answer where Emilia comes from or why she was frozen in a forest.
But we are getting closer to those answers. Things are about to take an ugly turn and we are going to have more information about this character. I can guarantee that Emilia didn’t end up how she is now because she has had an easy past.
Do you agree? What are your thoughts? I want to know!
Is there anything you would like me to cover? Do you want to know my thoughts on anything? Have something I should know? If you answered yes to any of the previous questions, comment below!
My prior thoughts on who Emilia might be.
4 thoughts on “Re:Zero – More Information about Emilia’s Past”
Great post, GeatsxShogun. After this season revealed that a significant chunk of Emilia’s memories were sealed, it makes sense why Emilia struggled so hard with the Sanctuary’s first trial. Not having access to her past memories makes it harder for her face who she actually is as a person, and it’s about time that Emilia stopped cowering in fear about the past so that she can finally make some progress. I look forward to seeing Emilia develop as a character. My brother joked about Emiiia becoming Subaru’s girlfriend after their kiss as her character development, and I thought it was cringeworthy and not a good joke.
I know I already posted an old version of my analysis of the Priscilla and Subaru scene in episode 16, but I have updated it since then and felt I might as well post the updated version of it. I still feel very strongly about my analysis, so that’s why I feel the need to bring attention to it again.
My interpretation of the scenes in which Priscilla had an extreme reaction to Subaru considering licking her foot and her decision to grab Subaru’s arm and say to Emilia, “Is there a reason you stare at my manservant, half-wit?” is that Priscilla actually found Subaru to be attractive and possibly a potential lover after he had the moxie to show her that appas have red skin even though probably nobody has dared to contradict her on that in all her years of living and because he stood up to the thugs even though he was a weakling. To me, Priscilla saying, “It seems you really are just an insignificant man!” shows that she thought Subaru was more than just a loser before he made a fool of himself at the castle, and her challenging Subaru to lick her foot was an attempt to see if he actually had any dignity left and to see whether he’d show the same kind of attitude he had when they first met, which was one that didn’t show deference to her and even taught her something new. Basically, I believe Priscilla was shit testing Subaru to see if he was worthy of her after her initial positive impression of him contrasted with his ugly outburst at the castle.
On the surface, Priscilla may have been calling Subaru a jester and a clown, which would give reason for people to think she isn’t attracted to Subaru, but I didn’t take Priscilla’s words at face value because of just how offended Priscilla actually was by Subaru deciding to actually lick her foot. She lectured him about what he displayed not being an act of loyalty or devotion but more akin to a pig’s greed, leading her to say she would strike down any camp he was a part of, and this tells me that Subaru’s decision to lick her foot was something that was the complete opposite of what Priscilla wanted even though on the surface she made it sound like favouring his miniscule pride would lead to an undesirable result. I believe Priscilla decided that she would make a weak pathetic Subaru her mortal enemy because he did something that insulted her to the core, and for someone as extremely proud and confident in herself to the extreme as Priscilla is, it would be to show that she was wrong about her judgement in some way, and that would be that Subaru showed that he was pathetic and not worth her time after she would go as far as to try and make Emilia jealous by grabbing his arm and suggesting that Subaru was her (Priscilla’s) manservant at the Royal Palace. Showing that she was wrong to think more of Subaru was shameful to her, so much that she beat the hell out of him, lectured him, and threatened him to strike down any camp he was a part of. In my opinion, her wanting to strike down any camp he is a part of shows she wants Subaru to be humiliated as much as she had been or even moreso because it was a personal humiliation for her that she misjudged Subaru, and for a guy who is struggling through his way in the world and wants to be a hero, what greater shame could he face than to have his ambitions be thwarted by Priscilla, the one who had him on his knees and asked him to savour the humiliation of licking her foot, every time he tried to make something of himself? This interpretation is backed by Priscilla saying, “Your careless behavior and attitude have lead me to that decision!” It shows that she thought that Subaru would think over the reason for that particular interaction leading to the way it did and that she expected a better response from him. I do note that Priscilla might also have been angry because Subaru abandoned his pride, and for someone who values her pride so much, seeing Subaru lower himself to that level probably disgusted her, but I believe the main source of her anger that bordered on rage was a sense of humiliation due to her pride being wounded. If Subaru was just a little ant or clown to her, she would not have reacted the way she did in my opinion. I believe this shit test showed to Priscilla that Subaru does not value himself and is a low-value man, which went against her initial impression of him, leading to her being furious at herself and at Subaru for defying her expectations. Subaru botched up the interaction completely and should have tried to turn the tables on Priscilla somehow. I’m sure Priscilla sees herself as a very high value woman who has no trouble finding a man for herself, and this results in her putting men through shit tests to root out those who are unworthy of her affection because she doesn’t want just any man but someone who is confident and self-assured, not someone who would comply with everything she asks no matter how humiliating it is like a loser.
I know it might be a tough sell since it’s just one scene from a character that has only showed up in 3 episodes so far, but Priscilla’s outrage along with her body language during the scene which included her playing with her hair and uncrossing and crossing her legs says to me that she thought of Subaru as being more than just a clown or jester. I have seen some people say that the author has a mean streak with that Priscilla scene and was being nasty to Subaru for the hell of it, but I think that that scene had a lot of care and craft in how it was presented based on Priscilla’s tone of voice and also the music and tension and that it might be relevant to the endgame of Re:zero. I do acknowledge that it’ll be extremely difficult to convince Re:zero watchers that this particular interpretation is correct barring the airing of additional unreleased content that might be on the longer side of several seasons away, but I try my best to put myself into the shoes of the characters and see whether their interactions made sense, and coming to the conclusion I did was the only way I could make sense of Priscilla’s outrage in that scene. Her reaction changing from disappointment initially (judging by the voice acting and the line, “It seems you really are just an insignificant man!”) to that of righteous indignation is why I believe what I do about that scene. Priscilla’s reaction showed that what she proposed to Subaru wasn’t just some game for her amusement in which either response from Subaru would have provided entertainment for her as Priscilla had indicated before he had decided to bite the bullet and lick her foot. I believe Emilia herself knew that words can be deceptive, which is why she couldn’t believe it when Subaru kept confessing to her over and over and needed something more substantive like an actual kiss after Subaru broke a promise to her, a spirits arts user for whom promises are very important, for the second time. Actions speak louder than words after all. Thus I conclude Priscilla never intended for it to be a trivial game but an assessment of Subaru’s character given her outsized reaction to what he did.
I do think that moving forward that Priscilla will eventually be a love interest for Subaru. However, I do think Priscilla will very likely try to knock him down a peg whenever they meet each other and attempt to see whether Subaru really is a confident as he would like people to think he is. She will try to ascertain whether he really is the type of man she would deem to be worthy of her just like she did in episode 16 and won’t settle with just accepting his accomplishments based on the value society has given them. I believe someone as prideful as Priscilla will largely determine Subaru’s value herself, largely through social conversation to see whether his confidence is nothing but smoke and mirrors.
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I am still waiting for the Vance blog. But this is an interesting way to see Priscilla. While I find her an intriguing character I hadn’t put too much thought into the matter of her character.
I can more clearly see the point you intended to convey originally. You might be entirely right. While I am not fully convinced that this is the case, I can be persuaded to buy into pending more information. But as you also pointed out we are still going to have to wait for more character information later. And it would make for an interesting plot twist if Subaru and Priscilla ended up as a love interest.
My current theories regarding Re:Zero are going up in flames. But I had fun thinking about them while I could.
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I don’t think I’d ever have a blog because the only show I would blog about would be Re:zero since the vast majority of shows don’t interest me enough to post about in large detail.
Petelgeuse saying Fortuna’s words could carry him through for a long time suggests that she might be the only one keeping him sane. Maybe Regulus kills Fortuna, and that is the catalyst that leads to Petelgeuse becoming insane like he was in Season 1 of Re:zero.
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I forgot to note that Priscilla denigrated Felt as being someone who could only manage tedious conversation as the reason for why Felt was confined to the slums, so I do think Priscilla places very high value on strong social skills, and that is why I believe she will try to ascertain Subaru’s status through his conversational aptitude.
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