I have never done an anime review outside of MyAnimeList or Crunchyroll, so bear with me.
I will be using a 5 star system for my reviews, 5 being the best, and 1 being garbage. I will rate based on story, art, and music.
Also note, I will not give a summary of episodes, or what the anime is about. And I will be reviewing the series as a whole. I will touch on what I liked or disliked in each arc in the story section, but the animation and music is as a whole.
I loved Re:Zero. It’s probably one of the best anime I’ve seen in awhile, and one I know will stick with me for awhile. It’s also one that’s easy to write stories for/come up with RPs for, another plus for me. There haven’t been any that I’ve seen like that since Fate/Zero slash Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (Sword Art Online, Danganronpa, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica being others). The only that I can think of where such a thing is a possibility (that I’m interested in, anyway) are Yona of the Dawn (only seen up to episode 6), and Snow White with the Red Hair (which I’ve only heard good things about). That isn’t to say that it’s the only good anime around lately, but it is the only anime that I’ve liked to that extent and that could call for original adventures in that world in awhile. For example, I loved Dagashi Kashi and Your Lie in April, but they couldn’t be RPed easily, especially with new characters.
But ANYWAY.. I do NOT just like Re:Zero for being easily RP-able. It is just a perk. And it’s a good sign for me when I want to.
Why did I like it? I really enjoyed the characters, thought the plot was unpredictable, and wouldn’t have guessed the story would go in the direction it did. There aren’t really any boring characters (the ‘boring’ ones just don’t get screen time), and even the protagonist, who I rarely ever like, at least was interesting. Subaru didn’t feel like some insert character, he isn’t OP, and for someone who’s from our world, he isn’t useless. Not totally, anyway.
The only thing this series suffers from, and the reason I gave it a star less, is repetition, Emilia degrading as a character, and Subaru being out of character in parts of arc 3. Though Emilia does kind of make a comeback.
I get that the story’s main idea is that Subaru can come back, like he used a save point. But early on, the amount of times we have to rewatch the same thing happen was ridiculous. In the first arc, it seemed Subaru was dying way too much. I get that he’s just normal, but it doesn’t make it less dull. I was truly glad when Reinhard defeated Elsa. Because it meant the story could move on. I got sick of watching Subaru die to the thugs, die to Elsa, seeing Old Man Rom die to Elsa, seeing Emilia die to Elsa, etc etc etc. It got really old, really fast. I liked learning about the world of Re:Zero during this arc, and learning about Emilia, Felt, and other characters, but the character stuff was minor this time. The manor arc was better, but still had Subaru restart too much. I got tired of seeing him fail. I got tired of the stupid Mabeasts killing him. I got tired of Rem or Ram deciding Subaru wasn’t trustworthy, and deciding to kill him. (I think that may have just been Rem, but I remember Ram was pretty hostile, too.). I was glad when it finally strayed away from that, and allowed Subaru to stay a productive employee of the Mathers household. And allowed Rem to actually get character development, and allow us to not just think of her as a homicidal bitch. Which I did, originally, because there was no reason not to. Once she finally got character development, I liked her as a character. A lot. And it’s around this time the character development of other characters starts appearing/is allowed to stay. I truly started to be a fan of Re:Zero at this point, though I was disappointed that Emilia was suddenly a background character who just worries all the time. Like a boring, worried housewife. I liked Emilia from the first arc, but this arc had degraded her so much to the point where I started to regret my preorder of her figure. Luckily, she is kind of redeemed later on, but did she ever annoy me during this part.
The third and last arc (I don’t know if the white whale/queen election are considered separate), I had no complaints about the repetition. This arc seemed to not be as interested in showing everything happen all over again or something, because it didn’t give me the ‘this has happened too many times’ issue. It seemed to just speed by the stuff Subaru did already, or something, or it started him off at a later point. I have no complaints about the pacing of these episodes.The new characters are also interesting, though some we don’t get to learn much about. Like Anastasia Houshin, Priscilla, and the cat eared kids (NOT Felis, the other two). They tell us plenty about Wilhelm, though, and he is awesome. Crusch and Felis were also interesting, and we do get to know some things about them, but I wish we’d get to know more. I liked Felis quite a bit, too (in addition to Wilhelm.. seriously, he’s awesome)
That is not to say arc 3 is perfect. Like I said in the stuff I disliked section, I did NOT like Subaru when he went ‘insane’, or when he was being a whiny,defeatist jerk. It wasn’t in character for him. I was glad to see him eventually bounce back. And Betelgeuse was just plain creepy… like another version of Caster from Fate/Zero, but either creepier or just as creepy. Ugh. He made a good villain, though. A lot better than Elsa (Ms. Power Creep who wanted Emilia dead for reasons) was. By the way, he isn’t something I dislike. I just wanted to talk about how creepy he is. D:. I was not satisfied with the ending, though it ended the best it could without going into another arc. All of the plot points introduced are still there in episode 25. We still don’t know who the queen is, we still don’t know about half of the other candidates, and still haven’t seen six of the sins. And we still don’t know why Satella likes Subaru so much. It’s satisfying enough as a season end, but not as a series end. I hope there is a second series of Re:Zero. I am buying the novels, but I still want to see it animated.
Now, on to the second complaint I had. Emilia degrading as a character. Emilia starts off strong. She is able to defeat the thugs, fights well against Elsa, and doesn’t appear to be some weak girl who needs a knight. Arc 2 wrecks this. Emilia is basically just delegated to a background character who doesn’t seem to be able to fight, and only worries about Subaru. That’s it. Luckily in arc 3, she does somewhat come back. She does fight (if I remember correctly), and is given character development by showing that she isn’t 100% sure of her ability as a queen candidate/if the people will like her, but wants to try anyway so that the prejudice against her doesn’t happen to anyone else. She might be shown as insecure, but it’s for actual plot reasons. Not just ‘I’m weak and need someone else’. And this is the arc where she finally tells Subaru he’s just saying stuff about protecting her to satisfy his own ego. He needed to hear it. Emilia still isn’t what she was in arc 1, but she’s at least not a trophy in arc 3.
Moving on.. the art.
4.5/5. I had no major complaints about the art. The animation was mostly good, the style is unique, and the colors are good. The only issue I had was there were some ‘lazy’ frames in which faces looked weird for a few seconds. Other than that, the studio did a good job.
And now, the music..
5/5. I liked the music. A lot. The openings and endings for both seasons were awesome, though skipped like half the time during season one. I enjoyed both of them. The background music was also amazing. There were times I wondered what was making this really nice music (I thought it was a game it was so good), only to find out it was Re:Zero. I rarely pay attention to BGM, so this was unusual for me. The BGMs were always perfect for the scene they were in, and I wish I had paid more attention to them for more than the few seconds I would just so happen to hear them.
Overall, I give Re:Zero a 4.5/5. I liked it a lot, but some animation issues once in awhile/repetition ruined it sometimes. Highly recommended.