Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World (Re：ゼロから始める異世界生活, Ri:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu, lit. "Re: Starting life in a different world from zero") is a Japanese light novel series written by Tappei Nagatsuki and illustrated by Shinichirou Otsuka. The story centers on Subaru Natsuki, a hikikomori who suddenly finds himself transported to another world on his way home from the convenience store. The series was initially serialized on the website Shōsetsuka ni Narō from 2012 onwards. Seventeen volumes have been published by Media Factory since January 24, 2014, under their MF Bunko J imprint.
The series' first three arcs have been adapted into separate manga series. The first, by Daichi Matsue, was published by Media Factory between June 2014 and March 2015. The second, by Makoto Fugetsu, has been published by Square Enix since October 2014. Matsue launched the third adaptation, also published by Media Factory, in May 2015. Additionally, Media Factory has published two anthology manga with stories by different artists. An anime television series adaptation by White Fox aired from April 4, 2016 to September 19, 2016, starting with an hour-long special. The first of two OVA based on the series will be released on October 6, 2018. In March 2017, game developer 5pb. released a visual novel based on the series.
The novels and all three manga adaptations are published in North America by Yen Press. The anime adaptation has been licensed by Crunchyroll, which released the anime on home video through Funimation in the United States and Anime Limited in the United Kingdom. The light novels have sold more than three million copies, while the anime series has sold more than 60,000 copies on home video. The light novels have been praised for their fresh take on the "another world" concept, but have been criticized for awkward dialogue and redundancy. The anime series has been praised by critics for its "culturally complex world" and for the actions of its characters. The series received awards at the 2015–2016 Newtype Anime Awards and the 2017 Sugoi Japan Awards, and was nominated for Anime of the Year at The Anime Awards 2016.
The Re:Zero web novel was initially serialized by Tappei Nagatsuki (writing under the username Nezumi-iro Neko (鼠色猫, "Mouse-Colored Cat")) on the user-generated content site Shōsetsuka ni Narō from April 20, 2012 onwards. As of October 26, 2018, six novels and two side stories have been published, comprising a total of 466 chapters.
A manga adaptation by Daichi Matsue, titled Re:ZERO: -Starting Life in Another World- Chapter 1: A Day in the Capital (Ｒｅ：ゼロから始める異世界生活 第一章 王都の一日編 Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Dai-Ichi-Shō: Ōto no Ichinichi-hen), began serialization in the August 2014 issue of Media Factory's seinen manga magazine Monthly Comic Alive on June 27, 2014. The final volume was released on March 23, 2015. On December 2, 2015, Yen Press announced that they had licensed the series.
A second manga, titled Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World-, Chapter 2: One Week at the Mansion (Re：ゼロから始める異世界生活 第二章 屋敷の一週間編 Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Dai-Ni-Shō: Yashiki no Ishūkan-hen), with art by Makoto Fugetsu, began serialization in Square Enix's seinen magazine Monthly Big Gangan on October 25, 2014. The final chapter was published on December 24, 2016, and an extra chapter was published on January 25, 2017. The second adaptation has also been licensed by Yen Press.
Daichi Matsue began serializing a third manga, Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World-, Chapter 3: Truth of Zero (Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活 第三章 Truth of Zero Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Dai-San-Shō: Truth of Zero) in Comic Alive's July 2015 issue on May 27, 2015. Yen will publish the third adaptation as well.
A manga anthology, titled Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World- Official Anthology Comic (Re:ゼロから始める異世界生活 公式アンソロジーコミック Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu Kōshiki Ansorojī Komikku), was published by Media Factory on June 23, 2016. A second anthology was published on September 23, 2017.
An anime television series adaptation was announced by Kadokawa in July 2015.The series is directed by Masaharu Watanabe and written by Masahiro Yokotani, with animation by the studio White Fox. Kyuta Sakai is serving as both character designer and as chief animation director. Music for the series is composed by Kenichiro Suehiro. Kentaro Minegishi is the series' director of photography, and Yoshito Takamine serves as art director. Jin Aketagawa handled sound direction for the anime, and sound effects were produced by Yuji Furuya. Other staff members include Hitomi Sudo (editing), Yu Karube (3D director), Saaya Kinjō (art configuration), Izumi Sakamoto (color design), and Noritaka Suzuki and Gōichi Iwabatake (prop design).
The 25-episode series premiered on April 4, 2016, with an extended 50-minute first episode. It was broadcast on TV Tokyo, TV Osaka, TV Aichi, and AT-X. The series was simulcast by Crunchyroll. Episode 18 ran 2 minutes longer than a typical anime episode, clocking at 25 minutes and 45 seconds. The final episode ran 4 minutes longer, clocking at 27 minutes and 15 seconds.
The series is licensed by Crunchyroll in the United States; Funimation announced during their Katsucon 2018 panel that they will release it on home video with an English dub as part of the two companies' partnership. Crunchyroll also holds the license in the United Kingdom, where the series is distributed by Anime Limited. Both Funimation and Anime Limited's Blu-ray releases received negative attention after it was discovered that they showed visible colour banding and compression artifacts.
A series of anime shorts featuring chibi versions of the characters, titled Re:Zero ~Starting Break Time From Zero~ (Re:ゼロから始める休憩時間(ブレイクタイム) Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Break Time), were produced by Studio Puyukai to accompany the series. The shorts ran for eleven episodes before being replaced by a new series of shorts, titled Re:PETIT ~Starting Life in Another World from PETIT~ (Re:プチから始める異世界生活 Re:Puchi kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu), which began airing on June 24, 2016 and ran for 14 episodes. The shorts are directed, written, and produced by Minoru Ashina, with character designs by Minoru Takehara, who also animated the series alongside Sumi Kimoto and Chisato Totsuka. Kenichiro Suehiro reprised his role as composer for the shorts, while Tomoji Furuya of Suwara Pro produced the sound effects. Jin Aketagawa directed the sound at production company Magic Capsule.
The shorts aired on AT-X after each episode of the regular series, starting on April 8, 2016. Crunchyroll acquired the streaming rights to both shorts.
An original video animation (OVA) episode was announced at the "MF Bunko J Summer School Festival 2017" event on September 10, 2017. All of the main staff and cast returned for the OVA, with Tatsuya Koyanagi joining as chief director. Titled Memory Snow, the OVA was screened in Japanese theaters starting on October 6, 2018. A second OVA, titled Hyōketsu no Kizuna (氷結の絆, "Frozen Bonds"), was announced on September 23, 2018. The OVA will be an adaptation of the prequel novel Re:Zero Kara Hajimeru Zenjitsu-tan: Hyōketsu no Kizuna (Re:ゼロから始める前日譚 氷結の絆) which was included with the first Japanese Blu-ray release of the television series, and focused on the meeting of Emilia and Puck.