Oh, yis. The new season is here. So glad… At least the suspense from the new scene shown in the director’s cut didn’t last for long and we got some answers from the very first episode. Re:Zero started strong once again.
DISCLAIMER: May contain spoilers ahead. May also contain eggs, milk, soy, nuts and the tears of your enemies.
The Opening Theme. At least it matches the visuals… “Realize” by Konomi Suzuki
Honestly, I am so excited with the new season. I’m not a huge fan of Oregairu, so Re:Zero was the one anime sequel I waited for like crazy. But the new opening is just… under-seasoned. It is unsavory. Yes, most likely, many of you will come to like it (or already do) as it is linked with the second Subaru-being-killed-spree but more or less, that’s about it. Fine, fine. I’ll be more impartial. It works nicely with the visuals, as the music is in sync with the shots. But I’d say that it’s the director’s win, not really the song’s.
Frankly, the first time I watched this season’s OP, I felt like listening to what could as well be Sword Art Online or something (and when I watched the SAO: Alicization War of Underworld Part 2 OP, I felt like I was listening to something completely different; what happened?). I’ll just get it off my chest: I find this season’s OP weak and a bit whiny.
The first opening of season 1 featured something thematic. The second opening was a bit coo-coo -and it should be- as Subaru had a mental breakdown. Is “Realize” truly the sound of Subaru losing his gal, Rem and protecting his crush, Emilia?
I’m just not sold on it… at least not for the time being.
*Clarification* I realize (huh, pun not intended) that it’s a loved opening sequence. However, I’m talking specifically about the music here, not the visuals. The thing is though that I feel that the public’s acceptance and liking of OP3 (still talking about the music) is purely because of the visuals. Yes, the visuals are awesome and as we have linked them with the song, we have come to like its sound too.
OST first impressions. by Suehiro Kenichirou
Scoring for film is a new experience every single time. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve done it. There will probably be at least one thing that won’t go your way. Sometimes, everything may go completely smoothly and still have an end result that doesn’t match your initial vision. Sometimes the concept sounds great- so great that you follow it, stand by it and it just doesn’t fit the image. Something looks funky, something feels off…
No, I’m not saying that the soundtrack of Re:Zero is bad. What I’m saying is that the visuals are what made it as vivid as I used to remember. After I started writing this article, I listened to the entire thing again, without the visuals. Apart from a few memorable tracks, the rest of it felt duller than before. It’s as if its main purpose was to ‘couple’ the anime; it was there to describe and accompany what happened. Nothing more, nothing less. To clarify. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just another way to approach the music. Most directors follow this approach and most of the time it works just fine. They have a certain sound in mind, a temporary track and the composer sees it through. As with most films and series, composing, producing and blending the OST is only half the feat. It’s the mixing, the sound effects and the acting that play an equally important role. And this is where Re:Zero stood above the rest of the isekai. It’s the voice acting, the sound effects and the mixing that made the soundtrack stand out.
Obviously, this psychological thriller isekai setting narrows down the artistic freedom into this darker and more ambient sound profile. I’m looking forward to this season, not only as a fan; I want to listen to the newer prospects and additions of this season’s OST.
BONUS after watching Episodes 1-4:
Since I had to wait 4 episodes for the ending theme, I was ‘exposed’ to the soundtrack more than the usual couple of episodes. Both its quality and use in some scenes made me feel like it has been upgraded and refined when compared to season 1.
The Ending Theme. That’s Re:Zero, alright. “Memento” by nonoc
It’s a surprise… A good surprise as it seems. The composer and arranger is Tom-H@ck, the guy who composes the songs for MYTH & ROID, the same buy who is in OxT. The lyricist is hotaru, who is yet another member of MYTH & ROID. If we take anime titles instead of music groups, then we are talking about Overlord, Saga of Tanya the Evil, Ace of Diamond and SSSS.Gridman among others. nonoc’s single is going to be released on September. Hope we don’t have to wait till then. How many episodes will we have that feature the OP at the end?
[Rest of ED section added on 30 July, 2020]
The answer to that was 4; that’s four weeks. I have to admit, though, I like how the director doesn’t follow the ‘obligatory’ opening and ending sequences in each and every episode. Some episodes just don’t need an introduction and going through with it is quite ballsy. I like that. I liked the sound of the ending theme and how it was presented to us after we were exposed to the real Subaru. This was indeed a successful tie-up.
This ED captures four concepts rather well: the character of Re:Zero’s music, the style nonoc already has (or aspires to develop), the theme of -what I gathered- our favorite new character, Echidna as well as Subaru’s character development. Very well done.
I wouldn’t have guessed that I’d like it so much. Great, just great.
- OP that works well with the visuals
- I don’t really like the OP but I have my reservations. It may work well with the development of the story(?) Can’t say for sure, yet.
- Looking forward to listening to the new additions of the OST
- OST seems more refined and upgraded
- Really nice ED that captures the essence of Re:Zero as a whole, not just the second season
*I have made some additions to this article, as season 2 ED came out with the visuals on episode 4.*