Welcome, one and all, to the final first round match-up in this year’s Crunchyroll of the Dice tournament! This is going to be an interesting match-up between two shows of very different styles. We have an isekai show and a drama. So, who will win in … The Battle of Fantasy vs. Reality? Let’s find out.
RE:Zero -Starting Life In Another World-
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Studio: White Fox
- Love the opening scenes. The dark, mundane real world and the contrasting colourful parallel world makes for a fun transition, albeit one that happens far quicker than I was expecting. Looks like the other world is a veritable furry paradise too. I approve.
- Subaru’s ineptitude in trying magic rather than just saving someone was funny. As was his poor luck in general. I also love that he automatically assumed he was destined to be a big hero, and that was the reason he was summoned there. Methinks he’s read too many isekai.
- Ooh, the cute lil’ talking kitty is called Puck. I hope that means that he’s a trickster! And there we go. His growth and acting as a pillow to heal Subaru’s wounds was fun. We’re at the half way mark, and this has been a blast so far.
- I know that Subaru’s attitude is a little rough around the edges, but he seems like a genuinely nice person. I’m assuming that Satella will be the main love interest. Given the detail that went into the earlier running girl’s outfit design though, I wouldn’t be surprised if this all went a bit harem.
- The whole thing with helping the little girl find her Mum was a nice lesson in good deeds leading to good things.
- Given the dark foreshadowing in the opening scenes, I actually expected a more violent conclusion to the episode. Still, that was a great opener.
Genre: Crime, Drama
- A short intro gives way to a flashback of domestic bliss. Given the title of the episode though, I’m expecting this to all go horribly wrong for the characters very quickly.
- The art style is interesting, it kinda seems similar to Bungo Stray Dogs and ERASED to me, but a little simplified in terms of animation. The design work is reminiscent of the 20’s. Or, I think it’s the 20’s. It may be the 30’s. I’m not fantastic with eras.
- Angelo’s Dad was pretty bad ass when called into action. There’s the murder though, two adults and one child.
- This feels like an old crime drama at the moment, and that’s no bad thing.
- Angelo is now Avilio Bruno, and it looks like he’s toughened up plenty. His use of the term ‘brothers’ comes across as a little manipulative though, which given that Corteo was there for him in his time of need, seems a bit scummy. My understanding is that this all comes down to revenge though, so Angelo becoming someone who acts like that makes sense.
- The fight with Fango was interesting. Well-paced, and full of realistic action.
- I figured that one of the ones present was Nero, so the twist at the end wasn’t unexpected. It makes sense though, so there’s no issues there.
Let the battle commence!
I will now compare each series on several different aspects. The winning series in each category gets two points, and both series get one point in the case of a draw. The battles will be:
- Best Character: which character, whether leading or background, drew me in, or at worst annoyed me the least?
- Best Individual Scene: which scene stands out the most in my mind?
- Best Art And Animation: which show did the best job in terms of overall art quality?
- Best Soundtrack: which show shone in the sound department?
- Best Opening Episode: which show did a better job of creating intrigue or setting up the series going forward?
So, let’s see who excelled at what …
BEST CHARACTER: Okay, this should be fun. RE:Zero gave us a few characters to get to know, the most prominent of which was Subaru. He’s interesting, but his character type isn’t too uncommon, especially in the genre. Satella hasn’t revealed too much yet, but her spirit cat Puck was a lot of fun. In 91 Days, we can only really look at Angelo here as he got the most time by far. The tragic backstory and his seemingly manipulative nature are definite attention grabbers though, and I’d say that he’s a bit more well-rounded than anyone in RE:Zero as a result. So … THE WINNER IS: Angelo (91 Days)
BEST INDIVIDUAL SCENE: The whole first flashback in 91 Days was certainly impactful. I find it difficult to give points to child murder though. With RE:Zero, I thoroughly enjoyed Subaru’s long run of bad luck, from his magic mishap right through to having to be saved by a stranger. That whole sequence was long, but it flew by. For making me laugh … THE WINNER IS: Subaru’s Bad Luck (RE: Zero)
BEST ART AND ANIMATION: Okay, this one is actually surprisingly close. The animation quality in RE:Zero is actually higher than that of 91 Days in my opinion. It seemed smoother and had more flashy moments to demonstrate what it could do. At the same time though, the art itself was very standard for the genre. 91 Days may have felt like a toned down version of other shows to me in some ways, but it made up for that with an authentically vintage feel to the design work. So, neither series gets full marks here. That means that … THE WINNER IS: Draw
BEST SOUNDTRACK: Okay, now I didn’t actually notice too much in terms of background music in either show. It was there, I’m sure, but it was all very unobtrusive. When it comes to ambient sounds, 91 Days edges it. From the rain to gun fire and bottles smashing, it all felt very authentic. What RE:Zero did was good, but it put less out there. So, based purely on sound effects … THE WINNER IS: 91 Days
BEST OPENING EPISODE: Both shows excelled here, to the point that I want to keep up with both. When watching them, it all felt so quick, and neither left me checking the time and feeling like it was dragging. As such … THE WINNER IS: Draw
Final Scores: RE: Zero – 4 points, 91 Days – 6 points
That was a highly entertaining battle. I really do want to keep up with both shows as a result, and RE:Zero seems like a damn fine example of the genre so far. 91 Days had an interesting edge to it though, which saw it through in the end. It’s gonna have some stiff competition though! Round two will see it go up against Tsuredure Children, which took an easy 10-0 win in round one.
But what about yourselves? Have you seen either show? What did you think? Do you agree with the result? Let me know in the comments below.