2020 is here and there's already a great reason to be excited—Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu 2nd Season is finally coming out in April, four years after the first season aired. But before we dive back into the Kingdom of Lugnica, there's a Director's Cut of the first season releasing weekly leading up to the second season, which Crunchyroll managed to get its hands on. But what's actually new about it?
As the Director's Cut rolls out each week, I'll be watching each version side-by-side (literally) and reporting on all the differences I spot, so check back here after each episode to find out what's new. I'll also be looking at the BD (Blu-ray Disc) version to see if any changes happened there first. If I miss anything, just send me a PM so I can add it in!
15:30 The first noticeable difference doesn't appear until 15:30 mark, but it's an interesting one. In the original cut, when Subaru asks for Emilia's name, she pauses and looks off into the distance before answering "Satella" in a somber manner. In the director's cut, she takes several seconds longer to answer, with extended pauses after Subaru's question and in the middle of "Watashi wa…" and "Satella." Both versions inject tension into the scene, but the few extra seconds in the director's cut accentuates Emilia's initial surprise and inner thought process.
There are numerous moments throughout the episode that extend a shot by a fraction of a second, so I'll only be noting those of significant length.
21:12 Subaru and Emilia return to where the insignia was stolen to find that it's outside the shop Subaru dropped by earlier. Much to their surprise, the lost child they helped before is the shopkeeper's daughter. In the background of the original version, there's a CG NPC walking down the street, but they've been removed in the Director's Cut. There's always a lot of background traffic, so I might've missed a previous instance of an NPC being removed, but this is the first I've noticed while actively looking. This was originally updated in the BD version.
22:15 This is very minor, but in the Director's Cut, the overlooking shot of the city slums lasts several seconds longer than the original.
24:54 As Emilia is surrounded with light while communicating with the lesser spirits, the sequence and Subaru's gaze are extended by several seconds, thereby holding the tranquility. This is the point where the first part of the original first episode ends (Crunchyroll splits it up as 1A and 1B).
41:45 Another CG touch-up job, but by improving instead of removing: the pile of coins that Elsa pours onto the table looks much more realistic and matches the lighting of the room. This was originally updated in the BD version.
49:20 In the final shot of Subaru reflected in Emilia's eyes, the moving NPCs in the background are removed. This was originally updated in the BD version.
49:28 The original cut has credits over the top of the final scene, while the Director's Cut has a separate credits roll that features the full version of STYX HELIX by MYTH & ROID.
So overall, there are a few differences if you watched the original broadcast on Crunchyroll. If you watched the BD version, there's essentially no difference so far.
1:09 - 2:36 In the opening theme animation for the original broadcast and BD version, the credits have the title font and a glitch-like effect on them. In the Director's Cut, all text is normal and static.
23:01 The Director's Cut switches over to episode 3 of the original. Naturally, the overlaying opening credits are removed.
44:27 Similarly, there's overlaying ending credits from this point in the original. The Director's Cut instead has a separate ending sequence without the overlaying credits.
47:21 Reinhardt and Emilia turn to look at the moon. In the original and BD versions, there's a fade transition effect between them and the shot of the moon. In the Director's Cut, there is no transition effect.
That's it for this week! There was the usual slew of mini time extensions, but none of significant length nor meaning.
1:10 The looping corridor scene is far more drawn out in the Director's Cut, which is an amusingly sensible spot to place a time extension. Just like the final observation from last week's episode, fading transitions are replaced with straight cuts.
Unlike previous episodes where they were mostly the same, the subtitles on Crunchyroll have been altered significantly in just the first five minutes. Most of these are small, inconsequential changes like the example below. They even have new subs for the opening theme in the Director's Cut, but not the original. However, since this has nothing to do with the Director's Cut itself, I won't be commenting on them individually (believe me when I say there are enough changes there to fill an entire article).
22:55 Like last week, the overlaying end credits of the original are naturally removed in the Director's Cut. The same for the overlaying opening credits in the next episode/half.
49:05 Just as the killing blow is dealt, Subaru's blood splatters everywhere, But something new did catch my eye right before the curtain dropped. In the Director's Cut, we get a shot of his de-attached eyeball rolling away as well. This was originally updated in the BD version.
We've still got a while to go until we get to the good stuff, so that's it for this week. The drastic change in subtitles did make it very interesting to watch, though.
14:20 The first significant time extension of episode four holds for a few seconds, ultimately changing the tone of the conversation. When Ram is puzzled by Subaru's mention of "The Red Ogre Who Cried", there's a longer pause before Subaru answers "Want me to tell it to you?". This further emphasises Subaru's surprise and the release of tension. There are multiple small time extensions spread throughout the story, including another more emotional pause by Subaru when he finishes it.
25:40 Time is usually slowed down, but for Subaru flashing and shoving Rem out of the way, it's much swifter and heavier in the Director's Cut.
Just more timing alterations, fade transition replacements, credit removals, and so forth this week. Keep checking in and you'll be the first to know when the first big new scene drops!
0:04 The transition between the reaching hand of the Jealous Witch and the ceiling uses a white fade in the original version and a black fade in the Director's Cut
1:43 Unlike previous episodes, the opening theme is entirely cut out of the Director's Cut version; it transitions to a shot of bread instead.
17:55 Luckily for Subaru, he gets to lay his head (and sob) in Emilia's lap for an extra 12 seconds in the Director's Cut. There's the usual sporadic use of small pauses, but this is the only one of significance in this episode.
18:57 In the original version, Rem bows and leaves the room before the shot cuts back to Emilia. In the Director's Cut, it cuts away when she's in the middle of bowing.
46:12 A longer version of STYX HELIX plays with the credits.
21:34 There's been quite a few moments in the Re:Zero Director's Cut where I swear the lighting is slightly different, but none distinct enough to call. Episode 6, however, has a pretty clear case of colour correction. This one is actually completely new in the Director's Cut, unlike the below example that is originally a BD touch-up.
27:34 Here's an example of the just slightly different colouring in some scenes, which make the characters look more full-bodied. Most of these are too minor to note individually, but it's certainly worth stating as an interesting alteration from the original release.
37:31 In the picture below, the shot is held on Roswaal for the duration of his line in the Director's Cut, rather than cutting to Subaru at the start of it.
41:05 The writing on Subaru's cast is completely different. This was originally updated in the BD version.
41:20 Rem takes a moment to think before responding to Subaru's encouragement in the Director's Cut, unlike her near-instant response in the original.
46:12 A longer version of STYX HELIX plays with the ending credits, where there is none in the original.
The usual insignificant held shots here and there; that's it for this week.
0:00 In the Director's Cut, Subaru delivers an extended set of instructions to his class before posing for Victory; the "Victory!" chant is also repeated twice (and it sounds like a broken record).
1:30 It's the Director's Cut's turn this week to have the opening theme while its counterpart does not.
8:53 Emilia's eyes look back at Subaru for the entirety of this shot in the Director's Cut, whereas she looks forward the whole time in the original. This is also new from the BD version.
9:10 In the original version, we're shown Subaru and Emilia at the gate after the establishing shot and then Julius' back; this occurs in reverse order for the Director's Cut. His approach is swifter in this version.
40:29 In the below shot, the background is shifted slightly and blurred in the Director's Cut, while the characters are more cleanly drawn—almost every body part, including clothing, is structured differently (I can't stop laughing at the eyes). Although it seems like it would be, it's not a BD release update.
The redraws continue.
40:52 In the upward pan for the crowd, the Director's Cut removes the audience from the shot completely and replaces them with a visual effect.
40:57 Julius changes the way he holds his sword (and how he looks, slightly) in the Director's Cut.
It's evident at this point that they've redone much of this scene (bless the perspective update for the sword).
It's not just cleaning up the art, it's also improving character poses. It's not quite a brand new scene, but it's the largest update in the Director's Cut so far. They really did some excellent fixes that I'm surprised weren't in the BD release.
41:20 A non-art-related change in this scene is Subaru's expression when he's pinned to the ground by Julius. The original depicts fear and regret (Subaru even shakes); the Director's Cut depicts unwavering fury.
It's too much to note everything since it's almost completely redone, but I'd like to highlight the distinct change in character posture and art once more.
Julius looks better from a distance, but a lot rougher in close shots (at least, in my opinion).
42:41 The lip movements are slightly different in this shot.
42:48 Once again, aside from a visual upgrade, Subaru looks more vengeful than pitiful in the Director's Cut (and his sword grew three sizes).
43:07 This is, uh, quite the visual upgrade... RTX Off, RTX On, as they say. This extra layer of visible injuries persists throughout the entire scene.
43:25 He's still going to get the snot beaten out of him, but at least Subaru is better prepared to strike in the Director's Cut.
It's difficult to see, but I'd argue that Subaru's expression in the original is smug, whereas the Director's Cut version appears more violent. His head is far more animated in the Director's Cut version as well, which only adds to his rabid mindset.
43:38 When Julius delivers the finishing blow, the original version cuts to Emilia's reaction at the start; the Director's Cut shows her at the end of the sequence.
46:49 A white mark on Subaru's face in the original is gone in the Director's Cut (it doesn't seem like a tear to me).
48:16 The ending theme is played at a much louder volume in the Director's Cut.
The timing alterations were far more frequent compared to previous episodes; the usual transition replacements were also present.
Broadcasts on Wednesday, February 26th at 10:30pm JST.