Why isn't Subaru (from Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World) becoming a badass hero? Since he has the power to resurrect before the events leading up to his death, shouldn't he develop a skill, die, then develop another skill? I think it's the obvious question, and part of the reason so many people are annoyed with Re:Zero's main character.
Tom Cruise did it in Edge of Tomorrow (2014). (Or should I say "Major William Cage"?) And his predecessor, Emily Blunt a.k.a. Rita Vrataski, did it before him. They both lived, died, and repeated until they were unstoppable. It's the same thing we do when we play video games. If we don't give up after our first try, we start over, learn from our mistakes, get better, and try it again until we prevail.
But for some strange reason, Subaru Natsuki doesn't behave this way, even though he's a gamer! He should know better!
This question really started to bother me in episode #13 when Subaru was embarrassing himself while fighting another knight. The whole time, I was thinking, "Study your opponent, die, then come back and beat this smug bastard." He could have made himself look like a champion. Instead, he lost miserably, shaming himself and the woman he was trying to impress. Then he allowed time to continue on. Why do that?!
(Maybe I should have said, "Instead of making himself look like a hero, he made himself look like a...Re:Zero." Heh-heh.)
So, I took to Twitter to see if anyone else shared my sentiments.
watching re:zero episode 18 why has subaru not got any better by now?— * (@fcknaz) August 24, 2016
Honestly mad at that new Re:ZERO episode, why doesn't Subaru just fuckin kill himself when he fucks up like bitch revert to last checkpoint— Robby (@Ikou_Nata) June 27, 2016
Damn. People on Twitter are even harsher than I am, and it made me feel kind of bad for the guy. Maybe we're thinking about the situation all wrong.
If I could live, die, and repeat, would I be a badass hero?
I'd like to say, "Hell yes I would," but it's easy to compare this to a video game where I can die a thousand times and never feel an ounce of pain. It's the video game character who dies, not me. But what happens when the pain is mine? What happens when that last breath is exhaled from my lips?
I don't know about you, but I'm a baby when it comes to pain. One of my cuticles started bleeding the other day, and I immediately ran for a band-aid. It was terrible! How would I have handled any of the grotesque ways Subaru has died in this show? I mean, it's not like he dies peacefully in his sleep. (Okay, maybe one time he did.) More often than not, he's getting destroyed.
And studies have shown that people avoid small pains — even tiny, electrical shocks.
How would people react to fatal injuries? Would they develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? How about Learned Helplessness? Maybe that's the reason Subaru acts the way he does.
After considering it this way, I think Subaru is doing pretty well with the "gift" he's been given.
If you had the gift, or curse, to be reborn moments before your death, keeping the knowledge from your previous life, how would you live differently? Furthermore, how is it even possible for your body to go back in time (reverting to a previous state) while your mind doesn't (instead, keeping all of your memories)? Check out this cool post which tries to explain that mind-body duality. Freaky!