Shut Up, Subaru – Thoughts on Re:ZERO’s Loudmouth Protagonist

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At the start of the show, I was feeling pretty apathetic toward our main protagonist, Subaru. He was bland, but he wasn’t overbearing or overpowered. There wasn’t much to know about him because he was immediately put into this new world from the beginning of the first episode. I thought this was interesting at the time, seeing as the show probably knew its audience and the shows in its genre that came before it. It expected you to understand the “deal” here. A typical “trapped in an RPG” setup, quickly done so that we can get to the heart of the matter and begin learning what sets this show apart from everything else.

And what sets this show apart seems to be what sets Subaru apart as well. What I’m trying to say is, the situation he is in seems to be his only worthwhile characteristic. His ability to keep respawning is the only thing that makes him unique. Otherwise he’s just a loud idiot, and without a real backstory, the way he acts has no meaning. We don’t get a certain feel for his physical or mental capacities, nor do we understand his moral compass or anything else that could define him as a person. One of his only actual traits is that he’s some sort of otaku, and this side of him comes off as half-baked. He makes these basic and blunt references like talking about NPCs and etcetera, but for what reason is beyond me. He says all of this stuff out loud, but who’s going to get it? No one around him is capable of understanding his references, so why does he insist on saying them? Subaru should just focus more on the predicament he’s in and keep his dumb thoughts in his dumb head.

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But that’s just something he can’t seem to do, and it’s probably the most irritating thing about him. He just goes on and on, and has something to say about every little thing, unable to keep a single thought unsaid. From the moment Subaru wakes up he has to say something, whether it’s showing his excitement for the day to come or just plain acknowledging the ceiling above him is different. Seriously, he that happens. He also strikes poses and declares things. And he just doesn’t stop. The flood of never-ending things Subaru says is tiresome and unneeded, and it hinders the show by drowning any useful or interesting word in this sea of droning, awful dialogue. It’s also his attitude that makes things even worse, as he has this sort of undeserved arrogance and confidence. The way he talks around everyone, especially Emilia, is unreserved and all over the place. It’s this weird, almost disgusting, happy-go-lucky nature that he portrays around her that really makes him look like a complete and utter fool. Subaru feels fake, like he’s trying to put on a show, when really if he just toned it down a bit he might be a much more real and entertaining character.

That, or he’s just stupid. Seriously, is this guy dumber than a bag of rocks or what? It takes Subaru forever to get out of a loop and doesn’t seem to learn as much as he could about his prior attempts. It seems to me what takes an average person three tries would probably take Subaru six. And why doesn’t he retread things he knows would work? Like when it comes to the “three stooges”, he managed to kick their asses single-handedly, but then he couldn’t figure out how to do it again? It’s like he doesn’t learn from his mistakes OR his victories.

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I could go on and on about why Subaru is an idiot, but that’s not really the problem. I mean, it’s part of the problem, but I can usually handle a protagonist that’s stupid in some respect *cough* *cough* *Naruto* *cough*. What I really want to ask is this: What makes Subaru interesting? Right now I feel like he’s just the weakest part of an otherwise pretty interesting show, and what’s worse is that he’s actually holding it back because the plot relies on him to push it forward. I hope Subaru starts to wise the fuck up because I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

But what do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the show and on Subaru. Do you hate him just as much as I do? Or do you love him and think I’m a monster? Or maybe a combination of both? I hope to see you in the comments below, and also next week for yet another feature. Thanks for reading!

8 thoughts on “Shut Up, Subaru – Thoughts on Re:ZERO’s Loudmouth Protagonist

  1. I kind of felt that during the first episode which is why I stopped watching. He arrives in a new world and instead of shutting up or asking questions he makes a whole range of ridiculous assumptions and then tried to force them on others and then acts disappointed when every random thought he has doesn’t seem to instantly materialise. I couldn’t stand him so I stopped watching. Then again, I have only watched one episode so maybe he isn’t that obnoxious and he just rubbed me the wrong way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally get where you are coming from but I feel like there is something about how he acts that does make sense. Subaru keeps dying and is put through unimaginable deaths when he is torn apart and ripped to shreds, both physically and emotionally. At first the loudmouth personality thing came off to me as really annoying and didn’t make sense, but now I see it as one of the ways that he keeps his sanity. Like a desperate attempt to forget the pain by putting all of his energy into the present. He has had an increasing number os moments where he remembers the pain, and each time he recovers by talking faster and louder. At least, that is how I see it, but yeah it does get a bit annoying at times.

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    • I guess I could see it going that way, I probably would’ve preferred it going the other way where he becomes more quiet and paranoid. The way he acts just makes him look like he’s not thinking at all, and that’s probably what’s most annoying to me.


      • Haha, it would seem that way. Actually, the last episode was what put me over the edge. Not that the rest of the show was bad, it’s just that it showed (at least to me) that Subaru has absolutely zero redeemable qualities. This could be leading to the turning point where he changes into a respectable human being, but I just don’t care enough to see that happen.


  3. Sara says:

    Duh, I am a bit late to drop a comment. I felt the annoying Subaru is exaggerated just for the cheap show. After all, Subaru is bullied hero like the author wrote in his novel footnote. Subaru is created for insult fest. For example, vicious and overbearing maido, Ram constantly throw inane insults to Subaru even when he was calm and did nothing.

    Seriously, if I were in this show, I will run away from Emilia as fast as I can. Bad things happen to him not from punishment or karma but because of he is stupid like you suggest.
    He doesn’t know how to avoid danger, he continues to jump into fire knowing it will burn. Emilia is bad mojo and bad things constantly happen if Subaru near her.

    The wise man once said; “If you put your value in the wrong place, you will treated like a trash. So don’t stay so long in wrong place.”

    And our foolish Subaru did exactly that. He continues to put his pathetic self in the place where nobody appreciate him. He constantly putting himself in dangerous situation. I doubt he really loves Emilia. Emilia is just an object to him and projection that all girls are damsel in distress. He asked to run away with Rem is proof to that.

    Liked by 1 person

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