Subaru Natsuki finally gets to take a breather, but he does not waste any time as he prepares for a date with his beloved Emilia. He scouts the nearby village for the right dating spot, and with the help of the village children, he finds a wonderful location. With that, he is well prepared for his date! Unfortunately for Subaru, cold weather suddenly sweeps across Roswaal's mansion on his important day, leaving him with no choice but to postpone the date. Overnight, it becomes even colder and unbearable. Subaru must get to the bottom of this because, at this rate, his date will be the least of his worries. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
There’s your one-hour Memory Snow experience condensed into a few seconds. Those expecting the series’ trademark gore, or any character development or backstory will find themselves considerably disappointed by Subaru and co.’s snow frolicking adventures. Nay, instead we have slice-of-life and comedy, because that’s what everyone likes Re:Zero for, right?
I’ve had a lot of time to think and chat about the series in the three years since I wrote my original Re:Zero review. Though I was immensely critical at the time, there was something about the series that prevailed, that made it hard for me to forget or stop thinking about. Re:Zero’s portrayal of trauma is likely what stuck with me the most, as only a few other anime (Steins;Gate, to name a prominent one) have dealt with that sort of subject matter in a meaningful way. So, I guess, when you take all of that out– y’know, everything that made the series interesting– and have it all smiles and sunshine instead, you’re left with this… Memory Snow.
Let me get one thing out of the way: Re:Zero’s ‘comedy’ is not funny. At all. Nope. I cannot imagine a scenario where anyone, even the most zealous and devoted fans of the series, are laughing at one of Memory Snow’s gags. A guy is making passes at Subaru and pretending to be gay? Gold. Oh my god, Subaru is speaking in (bad) English at the beginning instead of in Japanese? Absolutely H-Y-S-T-E-R-I-C-A-L! (LOL)
Japan, speaking generally, is a pretty straight-faced country that does not really understand a whole lot about humour, and while light novel adaptations have always been especially culpable, boy, oh boy, does Re:Zero’s jokes feel forced. It’s as if someone who has not ever told a joke in their life read a ‘how to slapstick’ manual and thought it okay to just emulate the same two examples ad infinitum. Overreacting, retorting with a stupid voice– all focused on the characters delivering the comedy, without there actually being any comedy. It is painfully clear that the people working on the series are there because they want to tell a serious story, and the comedy and light novel tropes are manufactured merely to be more palatable to an audience who don’t know anything else. Oh, and Rem and Emilia are apparently everybody’s waifu, or something.
Memory Snow, in between its painful attempts at comedy, exists mostly to appease fans of the heroines. Emilia, Rem and Ram get drunk and clingy towards Subaru, and fans can take great joy imagining themselves in Subaru’s shoes. If not, well, Memory Snow is not something you should spend an hour of your life enduring. Why did I? Good question.
Re:Zero, for as many issues as it had, was at least ambitious and entertaining. It swung hard, missing more than it should have, but there was enough value in there to warrant a recommendation. The second season is something I am quite interested in watching– more than I ever thought I’d be, three years ago. So until then, we shall wait. And maybe I won’t have forgotten about Memory Snow by then.