Between April and September 2016 was broadcast the animated adaptation of the light-novel Re: Zero, a work signed Tappei Nagatsuki which also enjoyed a great success with us thanks to its distribution on Crunchyroll. And while the editions Ofelbe and Ototo proposed respectively the original illustrated novel and the various manga adaptations, a physical version of the anime was furiously awaiting. The good news finally took place in April 2017: The Crunchyroll and @Anime editions team up again to propose the series in a material edition, but with a particular care. Because besides being proposed in DVD and Blu-Ray, Re: Zero is entitled to a box which announced itself of excellent invoice, a nice digipack accompanied by a booklet in a rigid sheath, and not simple plastic cases.
Before going to our opinion on this box, small sting reminder compared to the scenario, an extreme fidelity to the original light-novel written by Tappei Nagatsuki. Subaru, a teenager who could almost be described as a hikikomori, goes to buy some food in a supermarket when, tired and rubbing his eyes, he finds himself in a parallel world of fantasy, worthy of the RPGs he was able to to play. Such an invocation must necessarily involve powers out of the ordinary but it is nothing: no stronger than usual and unable to use magic or mana, Subaru does not seem to have changed. Rescued by a girl claiming to be called Satella, while he is attacked by three thugs, the young man decides to help his pretty savior by supporting him in his search for a badge stolen by a pickpocket. During this quest, Subaru and Satella will be the targets of an atrocious crime. However, Subaru reopens its eyes in the main shopping street where it was invoked, as if nothing had happened … Hallucination, or power of a reversible death?
In this column, we will not return to the anime in itself, your servant having already devoted a complete chronicle. Our praise for the series produced by the studio White Fox remain unchanged, and Re: Zero is still an excellent example of isekai in 2018. The work could give the appearance of a lack of inventiveness by reusing the concept invoking a parallel (and fantasy) world, but it does so by the power of Subaru, a hero reliving the events that preceded him when he dies, contributing as much to the intensity of the story through a multitude of twists and turns that an exemplary storytelling tool. Indeed, each loop allows the scenario to approach the arc from an unprecedented angle, and to bring different approaches to the characters that are introduced drop by drop. If the first bow, “A Day at the Capital”, serves as an introduction and allows the concept and the encounter between Subaru and “Satella” to be effectively planted, the second plot, “A week at the manor house”, explores with great This is the key mechanic of the screenplay and knows how to confuse its spectator (as well as its protagonist) before proposing a clever conclusion without incoherence.
In these first eleven episodes, the first two arcs are thus covered in their entirety, without leaving the spectator in suspense. As regards the correspondence with the different paper works, the question does not arise on the side of the mangas since the arcs are divided in a distinct way, the first two being entirely available at Ototo at the time when these lines are written. Regarding the original light-novel, the first three volumes (available from us at Ofelbe) correspond to these first eleven episodes in their entirety.
Now let’s talk about what should be the strength of the product: the cabinet. And indeed, in manufacturing, @Anime offers us a very nice room. The sheath, rigid and emblazoned with an artwork of “Satella” in a refined way, welcomes the digipack, sober but effective, containing the two pancakes. Pleasant addition: a hardcover artbook featuring settei (or character-designs) characters appearing in this box accompanied by annotations, as well as sketches and artworks also commented. So a nice reading, but we regret the lack of interviews of the technical staff around the design of episodes, supplements that appear quite often on this kind of mini-booklet.
Regarding the content of the cakes, the first disc offers the first 5 episodes, and the second blu-ray episodes 6 to 11, all in vostfr and vf, dubbing on which we will return then. Bonus side, some supplements that will appreciate the great lovers of the world of Tappei Nagatsuki but not be abounding: the opening version without credits, and six episodes for each of the two miniseries called Re: Zero Pauses and Re: Zero – A parallel world that starts small. Both show the characters in SD format during skits where there is talk of gags in the real universe of Subaru in the first case, and in the parallel world in the second. The second mini-series has for added value its contribution of some additional precisions on the universe, which makes it a bonus a little more interesting.
Contrary to what is indicated in the description of the box, the ending without credit is absent, without doubt there was a confusion in the writing of this description.
However, a big black dot comes to hit the content of two patties: the presence of colorbanding. In other words, these are bands that appear on certain sequences, often those where the image is darkest, which tends to mark the viewer and out of view. For an anime product in 2016, whether on high-definition or simple DVD sold at a high price, so to speak that there is something to cringe if we are picky about image quality.
Let’s talk about one of the central elements of this edition: dubbing. @Anime aware that a community was waiting for the French version with great curiosity, the publisher did not hesitate to unveil the voice cast as soon as the announcement of the physical release. The publisher seemed to have confidence in him, placing our expectations high enough, but it comes out with a rather bitter impression of the French dubbing. Generally speaking, we could summarize our French version according to two facts: well-chosen actors and who are good enough for the game, and others who either do not fully understand their characters or simply do not stick to their role with regards to the tone of voice. Among the good surprises are Emma Gariepy, Lucile Boudonnat, Jessie Lambotte and Jen-Pierre Leblan who play respectively “Satella”, Pack, Fekt and Roswaal. The characters here are faithful to the original intentions of Tappei Nagatsuki: “Satella” is quite dynamic and made very endearing by his actress, Pack is cute to eat, Felt intrepid as it should be, and Roswaal crazy by his tone of high bourgeoisie caricatured effectively.
Where it goes wrong is the other key characters, starting with Subaru. Grégory Laisné is known for many roles in Japanese animation, for example Finnian in Black Butler and Takagi in Bakuman, a comedian who is comfortable with playful characters. But concerning Subaru, the artist is sorely lacking in dynamism. The good mood is present but the protagonist is deliberately in total excess, a rendering that not only takes place in the original dubbing but is also reflected in the original text of the light-novel and in the various adaptations. It is therefore a Subaru that sorely lacks energy that faces us, which betrays a little character while creating a gap sometimes embarrassing with the original version.
Two other choices also come to surprise in the bad sense of the term: Catherine Collomb on Beatrice, and Estelle Darazi for the twins Rem and Ram. Regarding Beatrice, her interpreter simply does not have the appropriate stamp, the girl’s rendering being absolutely not present. A voice too mature so, shame since we feel that the actress has well identified the young lady with the rather haughty and rather mystical in his aura.
Then comes the biggest downside of this French version: Estelle Darazi on Rem and Ram. The statement is a bit the same as Catherine Collomb, but more extreme. The first big damage comes in the way of juggling between an acute tone and a more serious on the two girls, the actress is next to the plate by attributing the thin voice to Ram, elder and more severe of the two sisters, and a more serious to Rem, yet more fragile and sensitive. Rem just looks like she’s ten years older, and you always feel that something does not fit in with the tone of her voice, much, much too much, and too much mature. The final scene of episode 11, yet oh so touching, whatever the support of the story, is hardly convincing associated with a Suzaku lack of dynamism. Obviously, the talent of the actors is not to question, a failure is unfortunately possible in a career. Still, the presence of a doubled French version is always highly beneficial for a physical edition and for many reasons.