A Wager That Defies Despair (絶望に抗う賭け) is the twenty first episode of the Re:Zero anime.
The armies become demoralized with the appearance of three whales. While running with Crusch and watching the armies battle two whales who attack them, Subaru notices the difference in fighting strength and the gouged left eye in all three whales. This leads him to conclude that two whales are doppelgangers of the third that is keeping its distance from the armies and that they need to defeat that one. To draw the whale to the ground, Rem launches Subaru on an ice shard towards the whale. Subaru taunts it, and then falls towards the ground, using his smell of the Witch to draw it towards him and Flugel's Tree. Rem catches Subaru, and the armies use magic and explosives to cut through the base of the tree, felling it onto the passing whale. Immobilized by the tree, Wilhelm slashes away wildly at the Hakugei, killing it and avenging Theresia's death, and causing the other two to vanish. With the Hakugei defeated, Subaru turns his attention to his original objective of saving Emilia and villagers from the Witch Cult. In recognition of his courage, the Crusch and Anastasia Camps provide some soldiers and knights for Subaru to destroy the cult that includes Wilhelm, Ricardo, Felix and two of the Pearlbaton siblings, Mimi and Tivey, while the injured and weak, including Crusch, Rem and Hetaro, travel back. A group of Anastasia's mercenaries provides further reinforcements, only for Subaru to learn that Julius is among them.
- Mimi Pearlbaton
- Crusch Karsten
- Ricardo Welkin
- Natsuki Subaru
- Hetaro Pearlbaton
- Wilhelm van Astrea
- Conwood Melahau
- Witch of Envy
- Theresia van Astrea (flashback)
- Julius Juukulius
- Tivey Pearlbaton (debut)
- Shaknar (debut)
- Ricardo is seen visibility injured whereas, in the light novel, he was nowhere to be seen. Also, Mimi's dialog and carrying the injured Ricardo was added.
- A scene where Mimi saves Subaru with her magic was omitted.
- Rem's attack was added on to Mimi and Hetaro's attack to free Wilhelm.
- Subaru and Hetaro's conversation was omitted.
- Crusch's speech was moved farther into the battle and an anime original scene was added to include it.
- Rem faking her death to get Subaru to confess was omitted.
- The post Hakugei battle scene was changed to have Subaru and Crusch talk one on one instead of being with Rem and Ferris. In accordance with this, several other scenes such as Subaru and Ferris' talk was also omitted.
- Parts of Ricardo and Mimi's dialog with Subaru was omitted.