Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World: The Complete Watching Order [2021]

Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World: The Complete Watching Order [2021]

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While most anime franchises are adapted from manga, there are some that start off as light novels, a type of young adult novels illustrated in a manga style. Such an example is Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World, a very popular Japanese franchise that started as a light novel series, then received a manga adaptation before finally becoming an animated series. Re:Zero is a combination of isekai, dark fantasy and adventure and is one of the more popular anime franchises today. It was created by Tappei Nagatsuki and illustrated by Shin’ichirō Ōtsuka and it debuted in 2012. Re:Zero is an ongoing series, both when the written materials and the anime are concerned, which is why today’s guide is going to focus on the material that came out as of February 10, 2021. The guide will be updated as more material is released.

Today’s guide is going to give you an insight into the animated material related to Re:Zero. Currently, there is one complete anime season and an ongoing second season of the same anime. There are also two OVA episodes tied into the same continuity and two ONA series that follow chibi versions of the characters and aren’t exactly considered as canon. We’re going to give you a summary of all the material and then suggest the best possible watching order for Re:Zero. Enjoy!

What is Re:Zero about?

The story follows Subaru Natsuki, a NEET who suddenly finds himself in a parallel world in the evening after buying some groceries. After initial confusion, he is saved from a group of thugs by a silver-haired half-elf who introduces herself to him as Emilia. He stays close to her as he wants to help her find her locket, which was stolen from her recently and is very valuable to her. After a while they find the thief’s hiding place in the city’s slums.

Subaru enters the thief’s house, but only finds a man’s body covered in blood. Thereupon he is fatally injured by an unknown woman. Emilia, who has been waiting outside so far, becomes suspicious of the noises and also enters the house, whereupon she too is killed by the woman. With his last breaths, Subaru promises to save Emilia. The next moment, Subaru finds himself in broad daylight in front of the same greengrocer whom he asked some things about after his arrival in the world. Subaru is confused, but assumes his death was a daydream and therefore only his imagination.

He goes in search of Emilia and her locket. That is why he goes back to the slum and finds the landlord there, Rom, whom he had previously seen dead, alive again. In conversation with him, Subaru finds out that the thief, Felt, will have to arrive soon and he can buy the locket from her. However, another party is also interested in the locket, which is represented by a woman who introduces herself as Elsa. Elsa offers a large sum for the locket, but Subaru wins the negotiation by offering his cell phone, technology that doesn’t exist in this world.

Elsa collapses, but asks him what he plans to do with the locket, whereupon he replies that he would like to find the owner (i.e. Emilia) and give it back to her. Then the mood changes: Elsa attacks Subaru and a fight breaks out. In the course of this, Rom, Felt and Subaru die, as Elsa proves to be extremely strong. The next moment, Subaru finds himself in front of the greengrocer and collapses. When he wakes up he sees Emilia walking on the street and calls for her. “Emilia” turns around, but is angry that he calls her the name of the evil envy witch and apparently does not know Subaru.

Subaru later finds out that he has the ability to undo his death and thus rewind time. The problem is that he cannot determine the point in time at which he wakes up, but that it is determined at random. Furthermore, no one except himself remembers what happened before his death. Nor can he tell anyone about his ability, because when he tries, time seems to stand still and threatening arms of miasma appear, giving the impression that if he continues to speak, they want to kill him.

Series overview

In this section, we are going to bring you a complete overview of the whole Re:Zero animated series. You’re going to find out every relevant information about the segments that make up the animated franchise, as well as what each of these elements consists of. We’re going to star off with the anime series and the explain the additional materials.

Anime series

Directed by Masaharu Watanabe, the anime adaptation of Re:Zero started airing on April 4, 2016 and is an ongoing series currently in its second season. The first season started airing on April 4, 2016 and ended on September 19, 2016 after a total of 25 episodes. Each episode was roughly 25 minutes long, but their durations weren’t fixed and ranged anywhere from 24 to 30 minutes; the first episode lasted for 50 minutes. The first season was rereleased as a 13-episode “Director’s Cut”, with each episode lasting about an hour; most of the narrative was from the original episodes, but there were some additional scenes. The “Director’s Cut” version also had improved animation, which is why it is usually considered to be better than the original first season.

The second season of the anime is also going to contain 25 episodes; its airing was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The season premiered on July 8, 2020. The first part of season two (episodes 1-13) aired from July 8, 2020 to September 30, 2020. The second part (episodes 14-25) premiered on January 6, 2021 and is currently airing. Here is the full episode list:

Season 1

#Episode TitleAir Date
1“The End of the Beginning and the Beginning of the End”
Transcription: “Hajimari no Owari to Owari no Hajimari” (Japanese: 始まりの終わりと終わりの始まり)
April 4, 2016
2“Reunion with the Witch”
Transcription: “Saikai no Majo” (Japanese: 再会の魔女)
April 11, 2016
3“Starting Life from Zero in Another World”
Transcription: “Zero Kara Hajimaru Isekai Seikatsu” (Japanese: ゼロから始まる異世界生活)
April 18, 2016
4“The Happy Roswaal Mansion Family”
Transcription: “Rozuwāru-tei no Danran” (Japanese: ロズワール邸の団欒)
April 25, 2016
5“The Morning of Our Promise is Still Distant”
Transcription: “Yakusoku Shita Asa wa Tōku” (Japanese: 約束した朝は遠く)
May 2, 2016
6“The Sound of Chains”
Transcription: “Kusari no Oto” (Japanese: 鎖の音)
May 9, 2016
7“Natsuki Subaru’s Restart”
Transcription: “Natsuki Subaru no Risutāto” (Japanese: ナツキ・スバルのリスタート)
May 16, 2016
8“I Cried, Cried My Lungs Out, and Stopped Crying”
Transcription: “Naite Naki Wameite Naki Yandakara” (Japanese: 泣いて泣き喚いて泣き止んだから)
May 23, 2016
9“The Meaning of Courage”
Transcription: “Yūki no Imi” (Japanese: 勇気の意味)
May 30, 2016
10“Fanatical Methods Like a Demon”
Transcription: “Oni Gakatta Yarikata” (Japanese: 鬼がかったやり方)
June 6, 2016
11“Rem”
Transcription: “Remu” (Japanese: レム)
June 13, 2016
12“Return to the Capital”
Transcription: “Sairai no Ōto” (Japanese: 再来の王都)
June 20, 2016
13“Self-Proclaimed Knight Natsuki Subaru”
Transcription: “Jishō Kishi Natsuki Subaru” (Japanese: 自称騎士ナツキ・スバル)
June 27, 2016
14“The Sickness Called Despair”
Transcription: “Zetsubō to iu Yamai” (Japanese: 絶望という病)
July 4, 2016
15“The Face of Madness”
Transcription: “Kyōki no Sotogawa” (Japanese: 狂気の外側)
July 11, 2016
16“The Greed of a Pig”
Transcription: “Buta no Yokubō” (Japanese: 豚の欲望)
July 18, 2016
17“Disgrace in the Extreme”
Transcription: “Shūtai no Hate ni” (Japanese: 醜態の果てに)
July 25, 2016
18“From Zero”
Transcription: “Zero kara” (Japanese: ゼロから)
August 1, 2016
19“Battle Against the White Whale”
Transcription: “Hakugei Kōryaku Sen” (Japanese: 白鯨攻略戦)
August 8, 2016
20“Wilhelm van Astrea”
Transcription: “Viruherumu van Asutorea” (Japanese: ヴィルヘルム・ヴァン・アストレア)
August 15, 2016
21“A Wager That Defies Despair”
Transcription: “Zetsubō ni Aragau Kake” (Japanese: 絶望に抗う賭け)
August 22, 2016
22“A Flash of Sloth”
Transcription: “Taida Issen” (Japanese: 怠惰一閃)
August 29, 2016
23“Nefarious Sloth”
Transcription: “Akuratsu naru Taida” (Japanese: 悪辣なる怠惰)
September 5, 2016
24“The Self-Proclaimed Knight and the Greatest Knight”
Transcription: “Jishō Kishi to Saiyū no Kishi” (Japanese: 自称騎士と最優の騎士)
September 12, 2016
25“That’s All This Story Is About”
Transcription: “Tada Soredakeno Monogatari” (Japanese: ただそれだけの物語)
September 19, 2016

Season 2 (Part One: 1-13; Part Two: 14-25)

#Episode TitleAir Date
1“Each One’s Promise”
Transcription: “Sorezore no Chikai” (Japanese: それぞれの誓)
July 8, 2020
2“The Next Location”
Transcription: “Tsuginaru Basho” (Japanese: 次なる場所)
July 15, 2020
3“The Long-Awaited Reunion”
Transcription: “Machikaneta Saikai” (Japanese: 待ちかねた再会)
July 22, 2020
4“Parent and Child”
Transcription: “Oyako” (Japanese: 親子)
July 29, 2020
5“A Step Forward”
Transcription: “Fumidashita Ippo” (Japanese: 踏み出した一歩)
August 5, 2020
6“The Maiden’s Gospel”
Transcription: “Shōjo no Fukuin” (Japanese: 少女の福音)
August 12, 2020
7“Friend”
Transcription: “Yūjin” (Japanese: ユージン)
August 19, 2020
8“The Value of Life”
Transcription: “Inochi no Kachi” (Japanese: 命の価値)
August 26, 2020
9“Love Love Love Love Love Love You”
Transcription: “Rabu Rabu Rabu Rabu Rabu Rabu Yū” (Japanese: らぶらぶらぶらぶらぶらぶゆー)
September 2, 2020
10“I Know Hell”
Transcription: “Jigoku nara Shitte iru” (Japanese: 地獄なら知っている)
September 9, 2020
11“The Taste of Death”
Transcription: “Shi no Aji” (Japanese: 死の味)
September 16, 2020
12“The Witches’ Tea Party”
Transcription: “Majo-tachi no Chakai” (Japanese: 魔女たちの茶会)
September 23, 2020
13“The Sounds That Make You Want to Cry”
Transcription: “Nakitakunaru Oto” (Japanese: 泣きたくなる音)
September 30, 2020
14“STRAIGHT BET”January 6, 2021
15“Otto Suwen”
Transcription: “Ottō Sūwen” (Japanese: オットー・スーウェン)
January 13, 2021
15“A Reason to Believe”
Transcription: “Shinjiru Riyū” (Japanese: 信じる理由)
January 13, 2021
16“Nobody Can Lift a Quain Stone Alone”
Transcription: “Kuwein no Ishi wa Hitori ja Agaranai” (Japanese: クウェインの石は一人じゃ上がらない)
January 20, 2021
17“A Journey Through Memories”
Transcription: “Kioku no Tabiji” (Japanese: 記憶の旅路)
January 27, 2021
18“The Day Betelgeuse Laughed”
Transcription: “Heikeboshi no Waratta Hi” (Japanese: 平家星の笑った日)
February 3, 2021
19“The Eternal Freezing of the Great Elior Forest”
Transcription: “Eriōru Dai Shinrin no Eikyū Tōdo” (Japanese: エリオール大森林の永久凍土)
February 10, 2021
20“TBA”TBC
21“TBA”TBC
22“TBA”TBC
23“TBA”TBC
24“TBA”TBC
25“TBA”TBC

Original Video Animation (OVA)

Re:Zero also released two OVA episodes during its run, both of which are in feature length format. The first OVA, Memory Snow premiered in Japanese cinemas on October 6, 2018 and has a runtime of 60 minutes. the second OVA film, The Frozen Bond, was released on November 8, 2019 with a runtime of 76 minutes; it was a direct adaptation of the prequel novel Re:Zero Kara Hajimeru Zenjitsu-tan: Hyōketsu no Kizuna.

#TitleDirectorRelease DateRuntime
1“Memory Snow”Masaharu WatanabeOctober 6, 201860 minutes
2“The Frozen Bond”
Transcription: “Hyōketsu no Kizuna” (Japanese: 氷結の絆)
Masaharu WatanabeNovember 8, 201976 minutes

The synopses for the two OVA films are as follows:

Memory Snow

Not long after the Mabeast incident, Subaru returns to the village in search of a place for his date with Emilia, where the children show him a hidden flower spot, which he thinks is perfect. Over the next couple of days, the weather starts to get surprisingly colder, forcing the date to be postponed, although Emilia doesn’t seem to mind.

Subaru then wakes up to find the mansion completely frozen, and eventually discovers that the cause is Puck, currently in her period of exerting all of her excess ice magic, with Emilia and Beatrice helping to confine her to the mansion alone. To avoid freezing to death, Subaru suggests staying outside where the weather is normal, but is stopped by the rain.

He tries to think of other options to stay warm or quickly unleash the rest of Puck’s magic, but each time he is foiled. Later that night, realizing that the rain will eventually turn the area outside the mansion into snow, he hatches a new plan to pass the time: to host a snow festival, inviting the villagers to join in and participate in a snow sculpture competition.

While everyone is having fun in the snow, Subaru tries to convince a recluse Beatrice to join in as well, who ultimately agrees with Puck’s push. The winner is chosen to be Petra’s Mecha Snow Bunny (which Subaru helped create), winning Subaru’s bag of corn soup. Then the villa dwellers celebrate with an afterparty with food and alcoholic drinks, during which Emilia and Rem get drunk. During his travels with Beatrice, he talks about constellations in the stars, revealing that it takes its name from one of them.

As the rest of the group gaze in awe at the Snow Spirits, Puck unleashes his last remaining energy, sharing the snow with the rest of the capital’s residents. As Beatrice walks inside, Roswaal teases her about not drinking at Subaru’s request, claiming that it has nothing to do with him. As the snow begins to melt, Emilia and Puck reflect on Subaru’s desire to host the festival again next year, though they even consider whether he will still be with them at that time. She then meets Subaru outside as they head to the flower garden for their date.

The Frozen Bond

Shortly after her date with Subaru, Emilia looks back on her story and her original relationship with Puck. In the past, Emilia has saved a family from a snow plague, but they fearfully run away after the father’s arm is accidentally frozen by her magic, as well as being scared off from her resemblance to the Witch of Envy. Emilia lives alone in a tree in a snow-covered forest, so as not to frighten people, doing her daily chores such as maintaining the “snow sculptures” and mapping the area, as well as occasionally visiting the village to refuel.

Puck often visits the two and has fun enjoying each other’s company. One day, a group of men approach Emilia, saying that the village has committed a crime by trading with a demi-human, and that she must hand over her body to them or they will be punished; she reluctantly accepts, revealing her true face. Just then a Snow Blight appears and starts attacking everyone, but Emilia ends up defeating it Once again, her magic spins out of control and begins to affect the men, but Puck seems to fix it, scaring the men.

Upon awakening, Emilia returns to the village to find the merchant who tells her never to come back, and she, in turn, reveals her identity to him and tells him that no one should ever enter the forest. The leader of the men, Chap, tries to find a way to get revenge on Emilia, but fails when Puck threatens him again; a bright red orb suddenly appears and consumes Chap in flames. Puck convinces Emilia to make a deal with a lesser mind, which she also accepts.

That night, Puck confronts the Red Orb, which turns out to be Arbiter Melakuera, claiming that the Frozen Forest is unnatural, even though Puck claims to be the cause. Emilia, accompanied by her new spirits, discovers a large black mass, which turns out to be the venom of a black snake, which begins to attack the forest. Puck tries to end it, but is stopped by Melakuera, leading to a battle between the two. With the black mass heading towards the village, Emilia tries to deflect it, causing it to swallow, even as her magic and spirits help her freeze everything completely.

Just then, her spirits are all destroyed by a Red Spirit, which turns out to be Chap, who has become a new vessel for Melakuera to play out his revenge. Emilia enlists Puck’s help, who defeats Chap by submerging him in ice. Puck then reveals to Emilia that she is a half-elf, making her believe that she is the cause of the Frozen Forest, when Melakuera appears to confirm that she is, trapping her in his flames. Puck berates that the black mass attack was orchestrated by Melakuera only to entice Emilia, with him claiming it is “fate”.

Puck then asks Emilia to make a contract with him; she is afraid to do it because she is afraid that he will leave her, but he insists that he never will, so she accepts. Transforming into his true form, the two beasts fight it out. With Puck the winner, he and Emilia watch the sunset as she asks why he’s signed a contract with her now, saying he had never been allowed to do so before because of his “oath”, and felt it was worth breaking up now. So he decides to call her “Lia”.

In the present, Emilia sees Subaru cleaning up her family’s snow sculpture as it begins to melt. Subaru comments that there is no snow that does not melt, which makes Emilia delighted as she thinks back to her forest, Puck silently nodding.

Original Net Animation (ONA)

Re:Zero also has a spin-off ONA series that is focused on chibi (a specific style of caricature where characters are drawn in an exaggerated way: small and chubby, with stubby limbs and oversized heads) versions of the main characters. The ONA has two separate series, Re:Zero ~Starting Break Time From Zero~ and Re:PETIT ~Starting Life in Another World from PETIT~. The first ONA initially ran from April 8, 2016 to June 17, 2016 with 11 episodes, after which it was replaced by the second ONA, whose 14 episodes ran from June 24, 2016 to September 23, 2016. The second season of the first ONA series began airing on July 8, 2020 and its 18th episode aired on February 3, 2021; we don’t know at the time whether more episodes are planned.

The episodes are as follows:

Re:Zero ~Starting Break Time From Zero~ (Season 1)

#Episode Title
(based on the characters featured)
Release Date
1Subaru, Emilia, PuckApril 8, 2016
2Subaru, FeltApril 15, 2016
3Emilia, Puck, Reinhard (cameo), Subaru (cameo), Elsa (cameo)April 22, 2016
4Subaru, Ram, Rem, Roswaal (cameo)April 29, 2016
5Roswaal, Subaru, RamMay 6, 2016
6Emilia, Subaru, PuckMay 13, 2016
7Subaru, Beatrice, Roswaal (cameo), Emilia (cameo)May 20, 2016
8Emilia, Subaru, Rem, RamMay 27, 2016
9Subaru, Ram, Rem, Emilia (cameo)June 3, 2016
10Ram, Subaru, RemJune 10, 2016
11Subaru, EmiliaJune 17, 2016

Re:Zero ~Starting Break Time From Zero~ (Season 2)

#Episode Title
(based on the characters featured)
Release Date
1Otto, Subaru, Roswaal (cameo)July 8, 2020
2Otto, Subaru, Emilia, Frederica, PetraJuly 15, 2020
3Otto, Garfiel, Subaru (cameo), Emilia (cameo), Ram (cameo)July 22, 2020
4Petra, Rem, Subaru, Beatrice, Otto (cameo)July 29, 2020
5Otto, Subaru, Emilia, Satella (cameo)August 5, 2020
6Otto, Subaru, RamAugust 12, 2020
7Otto, GarfielAugust 19, 2020
8Frederica, PetraAugust 26, 2020
9Ricardo, Mimi, Tivey, Otto, AnastasiaSeptember 2, 2020
10Petra, FredericaSeptember 9, 2020
11Elsa, Meili, SubaruSeptember 16, 2020
12Frederica, PetraSeptember 23, 2020
13Otto, SubaruSeptember 30, 2020
14Otto, SubaruJanuary 6, 2021
15Ricardo, Anastasia, Mimi, Julius, Otto, Hetaro, TiveyJanuary 13, 2021
16Otto, Garfiel, Subaru, RamJanuary 20, 2021
17Emilia, EchidnaJanuary 27, 2021
18Emilia, Fortuna, GueseFebruary 3, 2021

Re:PETIT ~Starting Life in Another World from PETIT~

#Episode TitleRelease Date
1“Return to School”
Transcription: “Sairai no Gakkō” (Japanese: 再来の学校)
June 24, 2016
2
“Beatrice, Self-Proclaimed Teacher”
Transcription: “Jishō Sensei, Beatorisu” (Japanese: 自称先生、ベアトリス)
July 1, 2016
3
“The Master and His Maids”
Transcription: “Goshujinsama to, Sono Meido-tachi” (Japanese: ご主人様と、そのメイドたち)
July 8, 2016
4“That Menu Item Is…”
Transcription: “Sono Menyū wa…” (Japanese: そのメニューは―――)
July 15, 2016
5“Ditz”
Transcription: “Ten’nen” (Japanese: 天然)
July 22, 2016
6“Greed That Isn’t a Pig’s”
Transcription: “Butadenai Yokubō” (Japanese: 豚でない欲望)
July 29, 2016
7“From Zero”
Transcription: “Zero kara” (Japanese: ゼロから)
August 5, 2016
8“The Day of the Battle”
Transcription: “Kessen Tōjitsu” (Japanese: 決戦当日)
August 12, 2016
9“Conquering the Watermelon”
Transcription: “Suika Kōryaku-sen” (Japanese: スイカ攻略戦)
August 19, 2016
10“Just Resisting Desires of the Flesh”
Transcription: “Bon’nō Ni Aragau Dake” (Japanese: 煩悩に抗うだけ)
August 26, 2016
11“That and That and (Omitted) at Checkout”
Transcription: “Are to Are to (Ikaryaku) no Seisan” (Japanese: アレトアレと(以下略)の精算)
September 2, 2016
12“Buy It”
Transcription: “-Kae” (Japanese: ―――買え)
September 9, 2016
13“The Book the Lion King Saw”
Transcription: “Shishiōnomita Hon” (Japanese: 獅子王のみた本)
September 16, 2016
14“That’s All This Promotion Is About”September 23, 2016

Re:Zero: The Ultimate Watching Order

Now that you know everything about the show, it is time to give you the ultimate watching order of the Re:Zero franchise. There are two ways you can approach it – by the release dates or by the chronological order.

The release date watching order is quite clear, as you have the dates in the tables above. You start off with Season 1, then continue with the two OVA movies, and finally with Season 2, which is still running and is set to be completed in several weeks’ time. As for the ONA series, you can watch it alongside the main anime seasons, as these episodes have roughly the same release dates as the anime episodes, so just follow the release dates as depicted in the table. This watching order is as follows:

  1. Re:Zero Season 1 (alongside Re:Zero ONA Season 1 and Re:PETIT)
  2. Memory Snow (OVA movie 1)
  3. The Frozen Bond (OVA movie 2)
  4. Re:Zero Season 2 (alongside Re:Zero ONA Season 2)

As to whether you should watch the first season in its original form or the “Director’s Cut”, we strongly advise you to watch the “Director’s” Cut”. Not only is there more material, the animation is much better and it is overall a higher quality work. Since the plots are completely the same, you can easily skip the original season and just watch the “Director’s Cut”.

Re:Zero: Chronological order

As it is often the case with anime series, the whole franchise wasn’t released in the correct chronological order. This is why we have decided to give you the exact chronological order of the whole franchise and here it is:

  1. The Frozen Bond (OVA movie 2)
  2. Re:Zero Season 1 (episodes 1-11 of the original series, 1-5 of the “Director’s Cut”)
  3. Memory Snow (OVA movie 1)
  4. Re:Zero Season 1 (episodes 12-25 of the original series, 6-13 of the “Director’s Cut”)
  5. Re:Zero Season 2

This is the exact chronology of the materials and if you decide on watching the series in the chronological order, this is how you should approach it. The ONA series doesn’t really fit anywhere in the chronology so you can watch it either as we advised with the release date watching order or just anytime after, there shouldn’t be any issues there whatsoever.

As for whether you should pick the release date order or the chronological order, we advise first-time viewers to respect the original release date order but the chronological order is ideal if you’re going to watch the whole series again after a while.

And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!

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