Natsuki Subaru (ナツキ・スバル) is the main protagonist of Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu. He is a shut-in NEET who is sent to a fantasy world. He officially becomes Emilia's knight following the incident at the Sanctuary and is later revealed to have the necessary qualities to become a Sage candidate.
Subaru is a reasonably tall young boy of athletic built with short black hair and brown eyes. He is described to have an ordinary look and an evil gaze due to his sanpakugan. He usually wears the tracksuit that he was wearing when he was summoned, but other outfits have included the butler's clothes he wore when serving at the Roswaal mansion.
During the events of Arc 5, Subaru's right arm and leg were infected by Capella's Black Dragon Blood.
While Subaru tends to not read the situations he encounters, ultimately leading him to make irrational decisions, he is loyal to those he holds dear, willing to help them, even if that means taking the thorny path. He has his resolve confirmed through the many situations and circumstances he faces in the fantasy world, originally having been one to always take the 'easy' route. As a shut-in NEET, he is hopeful of the possibilities that being sucked into a new realm brings, but later realizes the realities of the predicament he is in. Eventually, he resolves himself to be faithful and protective of the ones that he cares most about.
Beneath his eccentric demeanor, however, Subaru is actually a very insecure person suffering from a severe inferiority complex due to growing up in his father's shadow. This also caused him to develop a fundamental misunderstanding on relationships where he believed he would be abandoned if he wasn't the center-of-attention. Even his otaku-tendencies were really just another method he used to stand out. Ironically, though, these desperate attempts to connect to others only caused him to make a fool of himself and push others away. It wasn't until he was transported to Lugnica that Subaru finally met people who accept him for who he is and he began learning how to build genuine relations.
Subaru is first seen at a local Japanese convenience store, buying consumer goods. After leaving the store, he somehow ends up in a fantasy world, after the atmosphere around him distorts itself. Confused by the happenings around him, Subaru later realizes that he has been sucked into another world.
Back in his original world, Subaru was the only son to two odd, but well-meaning parents. From a young childhood age, Subaru idealized his dad in particular, a popular man in his community who was highly talented in whatever he did, a loving father who prioritized his family above everything else, and had a boisterous personality that charmed anyone he met. Kenichi was everything he wanted to be and growing up around him had a huge influence on Subaru's life. Taking pride in being his son, Subaru worked to live up to the expectations that came with that in his mind. For a time, he achieved this, as Subaru found himself smarter, more physically able, and popular than his peers. When he received praise, Subaru would of hear how it was expected of him being Kenichi's son, which made him feel special and entitled to a sense of superiority.
However, as the young boy's small world started to gradually expand upon entering middle school, Subaru would come face to face with limits of his own ability. Suddenly, he found people who were becoming smarter and faster than he was and, in general, being better at the things he used to be. He felt as if he was slowly losing his place and began to harbor a deep sense of shame at letting down his parents and fear of everyone leaving him for failures, doubt and self-loathing began to develop in his heart. But rather than prioritizing getting better at those things to combat his anxieties, Subaru instead placed more importance on doing daring and outrageous things to maintain his fragile dignity and keep himself the center of attention. However, the more reckless Subaru's actions became, the fewer people wanted to be around him. Yet Subaru continued to deceive himself and believe his own lies because as the son of his seemly indomitable father, he couldn't be seen as a failure. Eventually, one day, Subaru noticed he no longer had any friends and in his loneliness, Subaru realized he wasn't anyone special.
From then on, the comparisons between his father and himself turned into a curse that wounded and suffocated him everywhere he went, yet his strong admiration for his dad made it impossible to show that pain to anyone. Eventually, he stopped trying to stand out and when high school came, he found himself in a new environment where no knew his past. Seizing this opportunity, Subaru tried to build new interpersonal relationships, but he had no idea how to be himself around others and instead only ended up emulating his father, his only frame of reference which instead led to others to treat him as a clown and classmates simply ignored his existence altogether. One day, Subaru skipped a day of school out of lack of enthusiasm, which slowly turned into a constant thing until at one point, he hadn't been to class for three months. When out of public spaces, Subaru felt liberated, but more than that, his own degradation meant people would start distancing him from Kenichi and in a twisted sense of hope, his parents come to acknowledge him as worthless and cast him aside in self-abandonment.
After coming to this world and first meeting Emilia, he felt that he gained a new sense purpose and salvation now separate from his old life, but his lingering insecurities that Subaru tried to push aside worsened due to the more unforgiving conditions. It was only when he finally hit a wall, lost everything, and was brought down to his lowest, did Subaru shred his ego and began barring his heart. With the support of Rem, he was able to stop running from himself as he did in his old world. However, he would not start to forgive himself until much later.
According to the author, after Subaru went missing (was transported to Lugnica), a police investigation was launched but ended up empty-handed. As a result, his parents now spend their days praying for their son's safety.
Return by Death (死に戻り Shinimodori): Returns the user to a "save point" after their death. This ability was given to him by Satella as a means to help him save the ones he loves should he need it.
- Penalties: Subaru is unable to reveal his ability to others. There are three primary penalties for attempting to do so:
- Subaru will be forcibly and painfully silenced by the Witch's hand, and, in some cases, die.
- Anyone who is told about Return By Death might potentially die.
- It will increase the density of Witch Factor at least for a short time, which will draw any Demon Beasts in the immediate area to him like moths to a flame.
Authority (権能 Ken'nō): Subaru is currently able to use two Authorities: Sloth and Greed. His Return by Death is also mentioned to be an Authority by Echidna, but nothing has been confirmed.
- Authority of Sloth (怠惰の権能 Taida no Ken'nō): Subaru gained the ability to use the Authority of Sloth after Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti's death.
- Invisible Providence (インビジブル • プロヴィデンス Inbijiburu Purovidencu): Subaru can cause physical interference by creating an invisible force field in the shape of a hand that can phase through objects if he focuses his thoughts. This Authority heavily aches to Petelgeuse's Unseen Hands (見えざる手 Miezaru Te) though he is only able to control one hand and its range and damage are minimal and it also sprouts out of his chest as opposed to his back. Despite it's eerie similarity to the aforementioned Sin Archbishop's very own cherished Authority, Subaru's Invisible Providence is vastly inferior compared to other Authorities of Sloth we've seen so far.
- Authority of Greed (強欲の権能 Gōyoku no Ken'nō): Received after the death of Regulus Corneas in which Subaru became its current holder.
- Cor Leonis: A reverse form of Regulus' "Lion Heart" which Subaru gained in Arc 6. As such, it works inversely to how Small King does, in which Subaru takes on the burdens of others, be it physical or mental, and transfers them to himself temporarily in exchange for increases in their combat abilities. It seems to only work on people Subaru has an emotional connection to whom he can sense by seeing them as points of light when the authority is active. It can be used to derive the relative locations of everyone and their emotional states to himself. According to Ram, Cor Leonis has similar properties as Synesthesia. It can also be used to transfer the user's burden to others however, it only works if they are willing to.
Magic User: Subaru was formerly able to use Yin Magic before his gate collapsed, though he is still able to use it to a certain extent with Beatrice's help by using her as a gate instead. He later comes up with three Yin Magic that he is only able to use with Beatrice. Of the three magic, the third one is still incomplete, and each magic can only be used once per day.
- Shamak (シャマク Shamaku): Shamak enables Subaru to trap his opponent in an area of darkness that confuses their senses. As it was the only magic he could use before his gate collapsed, he used it a number of times, and even came to grow attached to it, calling it "Shamak-san."
Spirit Affinity: Subaru has a rare innate gift to form contracts with spirits.
Spirit User (精霊使い Seirei Tsukai): Subaru is contracted with the Artificial Spirit Beatrice, though according to her, he isn't a true Spirit User. She also has a terrible mana consumption rate and formerly got around this by draining mana from people in the mansion using the library as a medium. Like Julius, Subaru is also considered to be a Spirit Knight (精霊騎士 Seirei Kishi). As she is an Artificial Spirit, she also has several conditions Subaru is forced to follow:
- Subaru cannot form a contract with other Spirits
- Beatrice cannot restore mana on her own
- Beatrice cannot use the mana in the atmosphere
- Beatrice can only drain mana from Subaru
Spirit Arts (精霊術): Following Arc 4 Subaru is able to use:
- E・M・M (エミリアたんマジ女神 Emiria-tan Maji Megami, "Emilia-tan is Seriously a Goddess"): E・M・M is an "absolute defense magic". Beatrice uses Yin Magic to interfere with the time and space around Subaru, and while he can't move during activation, he experiences no interference from outside the barrier. It is similar to Regulus Corneas' Authority of Greed, but doesn't have the same risk, and can be used until mana runs out.
- E・M・T (エミリアたんマジ天使 Emiria-tan Maji Tenshi, "Emilia-tan is Seriously an Angel"): E・M・T is an "absolute negation magic." A spherical field several ten meters long with Subaru and Beatrice at the center is created, which negates effects from mana within it. Julius remarks that it is useful against mages and those who use mana to assist their techniques. However, the magic only negates the use of mana, and so it has no effect against opponents who fight without it.
- Rental Goa: Not being one of his spells made after forming a formal contract with Beatrice, this was instead a makeshift fire spell created on the spot during Subaru's provisional contract with Ia. It was used against Petegeuse to set him on fire after being doused with oil.
Melee Fighter: Subaru grew up an active athlete in his early years in his school, and although he drifted from partaking in any school activities prior to his transportation to the new world, he nevertheless still maintain a strict fitness regimen and as a result, he has raw athletic prowess and a high degree of physical strength, reflex and stamina. While he is not a skilled warrior like Reinhard, Julius and his other companions, he is a capable and competent fighter that he can defeat three thugs that assailed him. He also has sharp reflexes and demonstrated it when he was able to dodge Felt's confused swings when she confused him for an intruder and Rem's flail attack in the second attempt for his life.
After his humiliating defeat at the hands of Julius, Subaru received some rough sword training from Wilhelm but he is still unable to hold his own against anyone who's relatively skilled with a sword as he's completely talentless with a blade.
Subaru personally mentions that he is able to bench 80kg (176 lbs). Before being teleported into the new world, he maintained a fitness regimen of one hundred push-ups, sit-ups, and squats a day, allowing him extremely above average physical ability, especially for a hikikomori whose diet consisted of mostly convenience store items.
Parkour: During the several months after the incident at the Sanctuary, Subaru learned the basics of parkour from Clind and began training himself.
Equipment: Subaru uses a whip as his main weapon. Like his Parkour, Subaru learned the basics of using it from Clind. In the Light Novel, it was revealed that his preferred whip was made of the Demon Beast they fought in Arc 4, the Jet Black King of the Forest Guiltylowe. He named said whip the Guiltywhip.
Defective Gate: After the events of the Sanctuary, Subaru completely ruptures his "gate" due to over-stressing it by casting magic while it was still recovering from the demon beast incident in Arc 2. Now he can no longer use magic on his own at all because he cannot expel the mana, which puts him at risk of dying from "Mana Poisoning," a state when too much mana builds up in one's Od due poor mana circulation. Fortunately, his now permanent contract with Beatrice allows her to absorb the excess mana via physical contact which they do daily.
- According to the author, Subaru's birthday is April 1, and his birth flower is a Gypsophila elegans, or annual baby's breath.
- In astronomy, "Subaru" is the Japanese name for the constellation Pleiades. Of which, seven stars in the constellation are named after the Seven Sisters, the daughters of Atlas and Pleione in classical mythology.
- He's surprisingly talented at sewing. In the later arcs, his skill improves to the point where he can even make stuffed toys.
- He did kendo in middle school for a bit so he has some basics in swordsmanship.
- Before My Fair Bad Lady, he had cross-dressed once in his old life under the name "Schwarz Natsumi".
- "Schwarz" means "black" in German.
- Like his parents, he has a personal bottle of mayo back home.
- The reason why he tapped Crusch's hand instead of shaking it in episode 27 is because he was shy about shaking a girl's hand.
- From the very moment Subaru was summoned to another world, he subconsciously knew he would never return to Japan.
- Subaru's phone ringtone is "Yoake no Michi" from Dog of Flanders.