I’ve finished watching Re:Zero. It was meh.
Don’t get me wrong here. The first half was really fun, and the midpoint where our protagonist fucks everything up as the story moves on to grander scopes felt really, really strong. But to then see him bounce back from true despair and do the things plucky protagonists do again so quickly… It hurts nearly as bad as those episodes of suffering did.
That doesn’t mean there are no good lessons to be learned here. Like I said, the midpoint felt really pivotal to the story at the time. The world revealed itself to be much larger and more complex than we had been shown, and tone made a drastic shift from “this sucks but we can find a way” to “there will only be suffering, thorough and agonizing”.
It worked especially well because of the genre it was placing itself in. Most similar shows tend to stay relatively lighthearted, and so far Re:Zero hadn’t shown itself to be an exception. So when they suddenly flip the script on you and shatter all expectations of a comfy ride, well, it leaves an impression.
Had the writer handled the continuation of the story better, this would’ve been a very clear before/after point. And if you have a very clear before/after point, you have a very clear before/after situation. These are the thickest strokes your brush can draw. Use those to paint a picture of danger, and you will have your audience on the edge of their seats for the rest of the ride.
So, uh, clear plot points I guess.