Re:ZERO Episode 44

Re:ZERO Episode 44

What’s Up with Pandora?

Pandora is, obviously, a pretty big deal. She’s allegedly a witch — that technically hasn’t been confirmed yet. But at this point, I think we all kind of understand that she’s a witch. Pandora’s abilities far surpass anything we’ve seen from the Archbishops.

As for what those abilities are, she seems to have three (so far). First, we saw that she’s able to “remove” or “reset” things at will. Some people have posited that she can simply state anything as fact and it happens. But I don’t think that’s the case. If she could do that, she could have just made it so she had the key to the seal.

Second, she’s able to manipulate what people see. She made Fortuna believe that she hit Emilia when she really hit Pandora. She also made Geuse believe he killed Pandora when he really killed Fortuna. And third, she has the ability to seal or erase memories as we saw her do to Emilia.

Emilia and Pandora from the anime series Re:ZERO Season 2
Emilia and Pandora

What do all three of those abilities have in common? Reality manipulation. She can make things that happened not have happened. She can make people see things that aren’t real. And she can alter what people remember about reality.

With all of this laid out, we can begin to understand the enigma that is Pandora. Why was she not at the Witch’s Tea Party? And why did nobody ever mention there was another witch? My guess is that it’s because Pandora uses her abilities to hide her existence.

I think the other witches genuinely forgot about Pandora’s existence. And Echidna has only now remembered Pandora because she saw her within Emilia’s memories. And, I’m going to say that there probably isn’t a ninth Witch of Acedia. Pandora seems like a final boss. Adding another previously unknown witch alongside her would lessen that to an extent.

Though, you could also argue that all of the witches are as powerful and dangerous as Pandora. But I’d counter that by saying seven of the witches are dead and one is sealed. Pandora seems to be very much alive if I’m correct in believing that Satella is what’s sealed in the forest.

The Permafrost of Elior Forest

Let’s start off this section by pointing out some of my correct predictions. The big one here is that I said Emilia was the one who froze the entire forest due to her magic going out of control. I feel like that was obvious, though, if you’ve seen The Frozen Bond.

On top of that, there were some who claimed that me placing significance on Echidna referring to Emilia as the “witch’s daughter” was a mistake. They said that Echidna was simply teasing Emilia by saying that. Well, Pandora also called Emilia the “witch’s daughter” and even said that it was “obvious.”

It’s still been argued that both Echidna and Pandora were teasing Emilia for her similar appearance to Satella. However, while this could somewhat make sense for Echidna — who claims to hate Emilia — Pandora has no such malice towards her specifically. And, if two of the witches are saying something, it’s probably significant.

Emilia frozen in the forest from the anime series Re:ZERO Season 2
Emilia frozen in the forest

Now, I’ve made it known that I believe Emilia is actually the daughter of Echidna, not Satella. Yes, she does look exactly like Satella. But I think that’s more to throw us off and explain why people fear her. If people kept saying Emilia looks like Satella simply because they’re both half-elves, and then we saw Satella and she looked nothing like Emilia, it wouldn’t have the same effect.

Meanwhile, Echidna seems to be protecting Emilia from something in her own way. She really doesn’t want Emilia to complete the trials. She purposefully said hateful things to her to make her give up — which she didn’t do to Subaru. But is that really because she hates Emilia?

Go to around 18:15 in the episode, when Echidna says she has no interest in talking to Emilia. There’s a shot in which it seems like saying this hurts Echidna. Like she wants to be able to tell Emilia everything, but she’s holding back for some reason. I think this is her way of trying to protect Emilia, her daughter, from getting involved any further.

Subaru’s Insignificant Friend

I wouldn’t call it overlooked, but I think the ending scene of the episode involving Otto meeting Roswaal hasn’t gotten as much attention as I would have expected. At least, from what I’ve seen.

Roswaal is surprised by the appearance of Otto with Subaru simply because he has no idea who Otto is. That means that Otto isn’t mentioned in Roswaal’s copy of the Tome of Wisdom. Why would that be? Is Otto somehow special in some way that’s yet to be revealed?

Personally, I don’t like the idea of Otto being any more special than we already know him to be. He was a blessing that lets him communicate with non-human creatures, and that’s enough for me. I like how, other than that, he’s a relatively average person.

Roswaal inspecting Otto from the anime series Re:ZERO Season 2
Roswaal inspecting Otto

Why Otto wasn’t mentioned in the copy of the Tome is definitely an interesting mystery. Is it really because he’s considered insignificant? I doubt it considering he’s one of Subaru’s main allies. There must be another explanation — one that Subaru appears to understand.

Did the copy of the Tome not account for the power of friendship between Subaru and Otto? That seems somewhat likely. It was in a previous timeline that Otto beat up Subaru and called him his friend. That got reset, and so the copy of the Tome didn’t consider them to be close friends this time. But, Subaru called Otto his friend in the current timeline.

To me, that discrepancy seems like it could explain how the copy of the Tome was wrong. And it would also be a possible explanation for why Subaru knows what’s going on. Subaru knows his friendship with Otto is different this time around, which means Otto is, therefore, more important now than the Tome thought he was.

Conclusion

What do you think about Re:ZERO Season 2 episode 44? Do you think Pandora is the one who made the King and his children suddenly disappear, thus starting the Royal Selection? Have I convinced you yet that Emilia is Echidna’s daughter? And why do you think Otto wasn’t mentioned in the copy of the Tome? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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4 Replies to “Re:ZERO Episode 44”

  1. No, I do not believe that Pandora made the king of Lugunica and his children disappear as it was stated in Season 1 that the royal family perished because of an epidemic at the castle. Unless Pandora can also make people fall ill to disease, I don’t find this to be plausible.

    I’m still not convinced that Echidna is Emilia’s mother as I believe it may be a yet-to-be-revealed witch who is Emilia’s mother. I say this because it appears that Subaru’s name is a major part of the lore of the series. In addition to the Subaru car company, Subaru is also what the Japanese use to refer to the Pleiades star cluster. Six of the stars in that cluster are visible to the naked eye, and there are six dead Witches of Sin. The Pleiades star cluster is also referred to as the Seven Sisters, and there are seven witches bearing the name of the seven deadly sins in Re:zero. Vainglory and Acedia are historical sins, and vainglory is hardly used in modern times, with people using vanity to mean the same thing, so Crunchyroll probably just went with the modern term. Given the presence of Pandora in the story, there should also be a Witch of Acedia if Tappei is drawing also from historical sins for the lore of his story. Interestingly enough, there are eleven stars in the Pleiades star cluster with nine of them having names, making it fitting that there might be 9 Witches of Sin. Two of the stars have yet to be named, and as such, I propose there might be two secret witches that have some other concept applied to them instead of sins. Given that Pandora also referred to Emilia as “Witch’s daughter”, meaning that Echidna might not have said that to insult Emilia and maybe that Emilia’s mother is one of those yet-to-be-determined witches. I feel that if Emilia was actually Echidna’s daughter that she’d have those super bushy eyebrows that Echidna and Pandora have. I do think Echidna legitimately hates Emilia because she looks identical to Satella, the Witch of Envy, who killed Echidna, and I don’t think Echidna is protecting Emilia but moreso being antagonistic to see if Emilia really was ready to face her past. Echidna did actually say something to Subaru to try to mess with him at the end, but Subaru pretty much passed the trial with flying colours with his remarks to her. I think if Emilia really was Echidna’s daughter that Echidna would at least treat her as well as she did Subaru, who she actually treated quite well even though Echidna had an ulterior motive in doing so.

    I’m not confident on why Otto does not show up in Roswaal’s not-quite-Tome of Wisdom, but I do have a theory that I have posted on your blog about in cour 1. Subaru realized when he was in the huge mass of shadow in Cour 1 of Season 2 that Echidna knew what was going to happen. That’s probably why she meddled with the handkerchief and turned it into a special knife/blade. But if she did know what was going to happen, that means that she too can see the future. If Beatrice and Roswaal have the two copies of the not-quite-Tome of Wisdom (Beako reveal episode 7, Roswaal reveal episode 9), that means Echidna must have the original Tome of Wisdom. This is made more likely to be true with Beatrice saying that to wait for “that person” were the last words her mother gave to her. Given that Echidna had already given the not-quite-Tome of Wisdom to Beatrice, and it was that book that showed those words to her, it would be more appropriate to say that the book was what told her to do that. Beatrice’s choice of words indicates that it is Echidna herself who makes the text in the not-quite-Tome of Wisdom appear, which would only be possible if she had the Tome of Wisdom. Okay, I am now getting to my point. What if the reason Otto didn’t appear in Roswaal’s Tome of Wisdom is because Echidna wants Subaru to win this bet between Subaru and Roswaal and had already seen the future in which Subaru succeeded? If Otto was to be instrumental in Subaru’s success, I believe it’s possible that Echidna just didn’t make the text in the not-quite-Tome of Wisdom show any indication of Otto because she’s in full control of what appears in it. Of course the possible implication of this is that Echidna has seen so far into the future that she knows how everything ends, and Re:zero might actually be a story about people achieving their destinies as they were ordained instead of actually fighting for a future that has not yet been determined. I do believe Echidna’s handkerchief/spirit knife shenanigans is a big hint about the events in Re:zero all happening as they were fated to do, but I don’t think that, assuming my theory is correct, will detract from the story as long as the plot and developments remain interesting and compelling.

    1. I actually rewatched the scene in season 1 when Roswaal was explaining what happened to the royal family before I wrote that part. It’s episode 3 from 11:00 – 11:30. He doesn’t actually state that they died from an epidemic. He’s talking about how multiple odd things happened all at once and says, “Around the same time the king went into hiding, an epidemic began to spread throughout the castle. The king and his children are the last of his line.” He’s saying that these things happened together, but not that the king is gone because he died from the epidemic. Also, that second sentence says they “are” the last of his line, not “were” the last of his line. This implies that, as far as Roswaal knows, the royal family is still alive.

      And, we’ve now seen that both Pandora and the Black Serpent showed up in Elior forest at the same time. So I think it’s reasonable to assume the same thing happened at the castle. Pandora “disappeared” the royal family and the Black Serpent caused an epidemic.

      1. As far as Roswaal using “are”, I chalk it down to Crunchyroll simply being bad at translating given it translated “sloth” as “envy” in Cour 1 of Season 2 and a huge mistake it made in Season 1. Echidna fully declared that Pandora is the Witch of Vanity this episode, so the previous episode showing Pandora saying, “In the name of the Witch of Vanity”, was probably a translation mistake. I would guess that it would have been more accurate if that had instead read, “By the power vested in me as the Witch of Vanity”.

        I don’t find it plausible that Pandora disappeared everyone as I don’t believe it would be possible to hide the Black Serpent inside the Royal Palace with nobody catching wind of it given its size. Yeah, I could see Pandora walking into the Royal Castle unannounced, but I see no way she’d also get the Black Serpent in there with nobody noticing. If the Black Serpent got into the castle, I think it’s more likely that there would have been 0 survivors in the castle, and the Witch Cult would have taken control of the country entirely.

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