Re: ZERO ~Starting Life in Another World~, Vol. 19

By Tappei Nagatsuki and Shinichirou Otsuka. Released in Japan by MF Bunko J. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Dale DeLucia.

First off, for fans of Subaru/Emilia, this book is a full-course meal with chocolate trifle for dessert. After worrying when Emilia ended up getting kidnapped and forcibly married off to the worst man in the world (who, we are reminded here, killed her mother and “father”), Emilia spends most of this book kicking ass eight ways from Sunday. She’s joined in this by Subaru, who has his handy whip but more importantly has a increasingly analytical mind, as he, Emilia, and Reinhard (who is occasionally sent off the state in order to allow Subaru and Emilia to be cooler) to try to figure out why Regulus is invulnerable and how to stop it. Over half the book is just this fight, and it’s well worth it. That said, I am a bit worried now, as past arcs have told me that I should expect Emilia to be absent from the 6th one, just because the author simply hates using the same heroine more than twice in a row. Who could be next? Well…

Summary of this volume: They fight. They fight. They fight and fight and fight. Some sights are merely teased and will play out in full in the next volume (Otto, Garfiel, Wilhelm), and one is left for the cliffhanger (Lust vs. Anastasia, Ferris, and Al), so we’re left with two major battles. Subaru and Reinhard break up the wedding just in time, but Regulus is not only seemingly impossible to kill, but also the single most annoying character in Re: Zero to date – and this is a series which includes Subaru himself! The other big battle we get here is Priscilla and Liliana taking on Sirius, which also serves to give us some Liliana backstory. Based on the rather abrupt ending, I’m not convinced Sirius is dead yet, whereas Regulus definitely is. Through it all, Priscilla is simply fabulous. As expected.

First of all, given that I have yelled at illustrators in the past for not drawing the really obvious scenes that should be drawn, bless you, Shinichirou Otsuka, for the two-page color spread of all of Regulus’ wives tearing him a new asshole. That was beautiful. Elsewhere, I really did enjoy Priscilla here, who does show off that a) she has her own limits and weaknesses, and b) she can be quite kind – in her own arrogant way – to those that she likes and respects. And if that happens to be an incredibly annoying bard, so be it. Liliana is much better here, mostly as she’s under threat of death, so we don’t get to see her be irritating. Instead, she pretty much helps save the day. And again, Subaru and Emilia are wonderful here, so trusting of each other. Particularly at the climax, where Subaru uses some very bad powers to do good things. That said… I think he may have gotten more bad powers as a reward.

The next volume wraps up this arc, and we’ll see if there’s any of the city left. Given the cover, I expect it will mostly focus on Wilhelm. Till then, enjoy another volume of one of the strongest light novel series for pure thrills.

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