Anime studio White Fox has been hyping its anime Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World with the release of a new promotional video. The teaser gives fans a glimpse into the second part of season two. According to the anime’s official website and the video itself, this new part will air on Japanese networks beginning January 6, 2021.
Fans have been anticipating the follow-up to Episode 38: “Sounds That Bring Him to Tears.” Episode 38 aired in September before broadcasters took a break, as is typical for “split-cour” airing formats; instead of airing a full season, broadcasters would add a usually-three month break right in the middle of said season.
While conventional broadcast breaks sit between complete seasonal arcs, cour breaks — in contrast — are arbitrarily inserted into the airing schedule of a single arc, or even that of a single season. Recent split-cour anime include Tokyo Ghoul and Durarara!!x2, and they among other shows of their kind have started a discussion about the value of dividing up arcs. While some watchers find the format annoying, others argue that split-cour schedules allow studios to add more quality to their projects. As for Re:Zero‘s decision to go split-cour for the second season, fans have expressed disappointment but also understanding — given the ongoing pandemic’s impact and the importance of episode quality.
Re:Zero is based on an ongoing light novel series of the same name penned by Tappei Nagatsuki and illustrated by Shin’ichiro Otsuka. Initially serialized on Shosetsuka ni Naro (a Japanese novel publishing website similar to Wattpad) the series saw physical publication by Media Factory’s MF Bunko J imprint. As of this year, MF Bunko J has been circulating twenty-one light novels, five short story collections, and four side story volumes under the Re:Zero book franchise.
Suffice to say, such a popular franchise warranted a manga adaptation, which became available to readers starting June 2014. Broadcasters then started airing the anime adaptation on April 4, 2016. While that first season ended on September 2016, White Fox went on to release two Re:Zero OVAs (Original Video Animations) during 2018 and 2019. White Fox then meant to premiere the second season on April 2020, but delayed the date to July 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Re:Zero franchise has been experiencing great success. In a competitive field replete with isekai stories about nerds being spirited away to worlds with magic and beautiful elves, Re:Zero‘s depiction of a gamer summoned to a world with magic and beautiful elves has managed to stand out — notably thanks to its unique usage of game-death mechanics and the author’s very prolific writing and story-building. As such, the anime’s continued warm reception and hype stands as a testament to its accomplishment.