A Step Forward (踏み出した一歩) is the thirtieth episode and the fifth episode of Season 2 of the Re:Zero anime.
Subaru compliments the schoolgirl outfit that Echidna wears, which, amuses her. She then goes onto state that the world they're in was recreated from his memories and reiterates the first trial was for Subaru to confront his past. Furthermore, Subaru adequately passed the trial, from what Echidna witnessed with his interactions with his parents. This leads to a conversation where Subaru gets a bit contentious with Echidna regarding his parents. Wasting no further time, Echidna goes onto state that the next trial will soon begin and that there are three in total. Just then the classroom they're in starts to become blurry and Subaru wants to say something before he goes. Believing that he wants to hit her, Echidna is surprised to learn that Subaru instead thanks her. Calling him an intriguing person, Subaru then declares that he won't be the one that passes the trial, but someone else.
Awakening back in the temple, Subaru immediately checks on the unconscious Emilia beside him. Once Emilia regains consciousness she goes into total shock exclaiming that "It wasn't her". Subaru then embraces and tries to console the aghast Emilia. Back in the household where Ram and Roswaal were staying at, Emilia is sedated with some aroma hypnosis. Subaru sitting at a table with Otto and Garfiel; Otto proposes a suggestion on how to transport the people in Sanctuary out of the barrier. His suggestion entails that those who aren't half-blood carry all of the residents out of Sanctuary. Although Subaru believes the idea is wise, a pink-haired girl admonishes the idea. She introduces herself as Ryuzu Bilma, the guardian of Sanctuary and goes onto explain that Otto's idea won't work because of the power of the barrier. Apparently it would repel the souls of the mixed blood, in other words they'll die if they leave the barrier. Curious to know, Subaru asks if it's possible for Ryuzu or Garfiel to take the trial themselves. Ryuzu responds that they can take the trial, but cannot free Sanctuary. This is because of the contract handed down throughout the centuries in Sanctuary.
In her room, Emilia awakens from her rest and Subaru greets her as he sits by her bedside. They have a brief moment together and Subaru informs Emilia that she can take the trial again later that night. Emilia, however, sounds hesitant to do so. While helping Ram hang laundry outside of the house, Ram informs Subaru about how most of the residents of Sanctuary aren't in favor of expelling the barrier. A conservative faction believes that allowing little interaction with the outside world is ideal. Furthermore, only Garfiel, Ryuzu, and Frederica are in favor of expelling the barrier. Ram leaves off warning Subaru that members of the conservative faction will bring harm to Emilia to ensure she doesn't expel the barrier.
That night, Subaru and allies stand outside the temple where Emilia once again takes the Graveyard Trial. While waiting, Subaru and Garfiel talk with each other mostly about Fredrica. It's during the conversation, the temple's glow fades away and the sounds of Emilia weeping can be heard. Emilia then exits the temple and claims that once again she failed the trial. Later, the situation is elaborated to Roswaal and Subaru berates him about how he knew that the Witch Cult would hunt Emilia. Had she been informed about them, then the situation at hand wouldn't have occurred. Roswaal, however, claims that Subaru did everything in his place and a spectacular job at that as well. Hearing this, Subaru snaps and tries to hit Roswall out of anger, but is stopped by Ram. In her own words, she doesn't condone what her master did, but still accepts it. Calmly if not with arrogance, Roswaal claims everything he did was to draw out the Witch Cult not to personally face them. His goal was to have Emilia and Subaru gain recognition for their actions, mainly Emilia to disprove the Envy Witch rumors about her. All of this would better her chances at the Royal Selection. Also, regardless of the many lives lost in the process of Roswaal's goal, Roswaal had the utmost faith that Subaru would succeed in his goal. He especially was impressed that he managed to form an alliance with Crusch. Subaru then demands answers from Roswaal as he believed Roswaal's interpretations of him were that of trash. On the other hand, Roswaal abruptly ends the conversation for the night much to Subaru's disapproval. Afterward, just outside the church, Subaru and Emilia talk with one another. They discuss a bit about the trial and Emilia's character.
Two days pass by and the Irlam Villagers get ready to leave the village. About to pick a heavy wooden box, Subaru's good luck charm from Petra is revealed. Ram comments on it and Subaru notes it's from Petra and it was given to him after she was hired by Fredrica. A brief discussion is had about Fredrica and then Ram relays a message from Roswaal. Should Subaru get into trouble with Fredrica, go see Beatrice and say "Roswaal said to ask the question".
Riding on a wagon driven by Garfiel, Subaru and Garfiel talk about how Subaru took the Graveyard Trial and how the trial affected Emilia. Closing in on the barrier, Garfiel hands the jewel necklace back to Subaru and if push comes to shove, show it to Fredrica.
- Natsuki Subaru
- Natsuki Kenichi (Flashback)
- Natsuki Naoko (Flashback)
- Puck (Mentioned)
- Otto Suwen
- Garfiel Tinsel
- Ryuzu Meyer (copy)
- Frederica Baumann (Mentioned)
- Milde Irlam
- Roswaal L Mathers
- Petra Leyte (Flashback)
- Rem (Flashback)
- Crusch Karsten (Mentioned)
- Beatrice (Mentioned)
- Elsa Granhiert
- Echidna's conversation with Subaru is streamlined a bit.
- Most of the cut content that was cut in Episode 28 was moved to this episode.
- Ryuzu's first appearance was moved to after Subaru took the first trial.
- Fredrica's schemes were moved to the outside of the cabin, however, instead of Roswaal giving the details of her schemes, most of the dialog was given to Ram.
- Garfiel mentions that he has feelings for Ram was moved to the outside of the temple whereas, in the light novel, the conversation happened in the cabin.
- Parts of Subaru and Garfiel's conversation while evacuating the villagers to Irlam Village was omitted.