Natsuki Subaru is summoned to a parallel world on his way home from the convenience store. He's entranced at first by the fantasy world suddenly stretching before his eyes, but the cute girl he believes summoned him is nowhere to be found, and soon enough he's utterly lost. Then a gang of punks surrounds him, but he quickly learns that he doesn't have any of the powers that he thought all people transported to a parellel world should have. Just when he's about to be beaten senseless, a girl appears...
After being attacked by someone the first time, sliced open by Elsa the second time, and stabbed in the back by punks the third time, Subaru should have been dead, but found himself back where he started in the same parallel world every time. He finally realizes he’s acquired the power to go back to the time and place he started from, which he calls “Return by Death.” In hopes of changing the fate awaiting Felt, Satella, Old Man Rom, and himself, Subaru takes off for the fourth time.
Subaru attempts to buy the insignia from Felt and return it to Satella before Elsa arrives at the loot house… but Satella arrives before the negotiations are complete, and Elsa still attacks them.
After being badly wounded by Elsa, Subaru somehow survived and awoke in the mansion of Margrave Mathers, in the Kingdom of Lugunica.
Subaru now lives and works in Roswaal’s mansion, working with Ram and Rem, and finally getting Emilia to agree to a date with him. But the day of their promised date never comes as Subaru keeps going back to the day he first awoke in the mansion. He’s confused at the thought that he Returned by Death despite having no memory of experiencing anything deadly, but he’s determined to repeat his previous actions up to the point of fulfilling his promise with Emilia.
Subaru’s first day at the Roswaal mansion begins for the third time. The first time, he grew weak and died of unknown reasons in his sleep, and the second time, he was killed by an attacker. The sound of chains that he heard as he died the second time replays in his mind, waking him in a terrified, cold sweat. He has no idea what the killer is after, let alone who it is, so he makes a plan to leave the mansion on the fourth night and watch for the attack to happen.
Standing before Subaru is someone he never expected. The truth of the attacker’s identity leaves him bewildered, and he feels everything crumbling around him as he dies yet again. Then, for the fourth time, he awakes on his first day at the Roswaal mansion. This time, the night of the fourth day passes without incident, and Subaru is stunned as he greets the morning of the fifth day… but then the situation takes an unexpected turn.
Subaru’s first day in Roswaal’s mansion begins for the fifth time. Determined to save everyone this time, he makes it a point to keep his best smile on his face in order to earn the trust of the mansion’s staff. But although he works his hardest to make them like him, his body begins to have trouble keeping up with his heart’s intentions. Soon Emilia is unable to bear the sight of him struggling any longer and takes an unexpected action…
The scattered pieces of the puzzle finally come together, and Subaru realizes for certain that the shaman who cursed him is in the village at the foot of the mountains. He heads there with Ram and Rem and makes sure all the villagers touch him so that he can find out, with Beatrice’s help, who cast the curse. But the truth he finds is not what he expected, and he finds himself rushing toward the village again…
Subaru risked his life to save the children from a pack of Ulgarm, but he was so powerfully cursed that there could be no saving him. Even Beatrice is unable to undo the complex web of curses on him, and says he’ll grow weak and die within half a day. The only way he can survive is if the entire Ulgarm pack is defeated, but time is not on his side. Subaru is ready to give up when he learns that Rem has gone into the forest by herself…
Knocked unconscious by Subaru’s attack, Rem dreams of an event in her past that she and Ram would rather forget… a sin for which Rem feels she can never be forgiven. After waking up, she tells Subaru that she’s just committed the same sin again. When the three of them are moments from being cornered by the Ulgarm pack, Subaru takes off to draw their attention so Ram and Rem can escape.
At the order of the council of elders that manages Lugunica in the king’s absence, Wilhelm and Felix visit Roswaal’s mansion as emissaries. Emilia is required in the imperial capital right away, so Subaru asks her to take him along. Emilia tells him this won’t be a pleasure trip, but a push from Rem and Roswaal ends in her agreement, so Emilia and Subaru head to the capital. Now all of the candidates to be Lugunica’s next king are gathered, and the royal selection is underway.
As Emilia joins Priscilla, Crusch, and Anastasia in a meeting of the royal selection participants, Reinhard enters the hall with Felt. According to a new prophecy seen on the Dragon Stone, there are five priestesses with the potential to be the kingdom’s next ruler. Reinhard announces that Felt is the fifth priestess, meaning it’s time to formally begin the royal selection, but Felt refuses to have any part in it.
“I just wanted to protect her. That feeling wasn’t a lie. Where did I go wrong?” Rejected by the one who meant more to him than anything, Subaru is still unable to recognize that he may have done something irreversible. He then finds out that some disturbing movement has been detected within Roswaal’s domain, where Emilia and the others are. He’s certain that he can save them somehow, so in spite of Rem and Crusch’s opposition, Subaru makes his way back to Emilia…
Upon returning to Roswaal’s mansion, Subaru is greeted by an unbelievable sight and wails that this was not what he wanted to happen. Stricken with despair, everything before Subaru starts to go white as, finally, he hears a voice: “You were too late.”
Subaru wakes up in front of the appa shop once again. Feeling boxed in on all sides due to his own lack of power to change the situation, he seeks the help of others. First, he seeks the help of Crush, who flatly declines any further involvement passed her contractual obligation of healing Subaru. His requests to Anastasia and Priscilla similarly go unanswered despite his pleas. Having wasted too much time, Subaru decides to at least try to get Emilia away from Roswaal’s mansion as early as possible. He then takes a dragon car back home with Rem.
A mysterious figure appears before Subaru and his traveling companions. As the looming beast attacks with a deafening bellow amidst the darkness and fog, Rem determines that it will be too difficult to escape…
Subaru laments that he could not do anything or save anyone, and has no options left. Exhausted, he suddenly takes off running at full speed as if he’s made a decision…
To save Emilia, Subaru approaches Crusch to negotiate the formation of an alliance. His terms are a bit difficult for Crusch to believe, but she can see that Subaru isn’t lying.
Subaru has devoted everything he had, and done all he could do. His passion has captured Crusch’s heart, as well as Anastasia’s cooperation, and they all enter into the battle against the White Whale together.
Subaru and Rem are at a loss for words. The battle against the White Whale, which seemed to be going in their favor through attrition, suddenly took on completely different proportions. With their tactical superiority and advantage quickly dwindling, the combined forces all but get tangled up in the threads of despair. That’s when Subaru decides to yell out his next move…
With the battle against the White Whale now over, the mercenary force setting up the blockade of the road comes back, Julius at the lead. His arrival gives rise to mixed feelings for Subaru, but after Julius sincerely thanks him for ridding the world of the monster, Subaru finds it in himself to apologize for his past behavior. The group now looks forward, ready to enter the Mathers domain…
The group is making its way in the Mathers domain when suddenly everyone but Subaru disappears and a strange, suffocating atmosphere seeps through the forest. He quickly figures out it is nothing but an illusion, and with help from Julius on the other side, dispels the barrier for everyone caught in it. However, arriving at the village doesn’t make convincing the residents to evacuate easy. Time is running out, and the invisible hand of sloth makes its presence at the back of Subaru’s mind more and more nefarious.
Subaru devises a new plan to correct the mistake of the blank letter sent to the manor, encourage the evacuation of the villagers and move Emilia away from her current location. With these preparations complete, he enacts the second part of his plan designed to cut off the Fingers before severing the Unseen Hand once and for all.
Emilia is hurriedly ushered to the capital along with the villagers under the orders of a mysterious benefactor while escorted by a rag-tag group of individuals from various and opposing factions. She has but one question on her mind: who could this man be and why would he go so far? Meanwhile, Subaru and Julius face off against the Archbishop of Sin Betelgeuse for the ultimate time. Unfortunately, he is very persistent even beyond death, belying his nature of Sloth. Subaru is relentlessly chased while he catches up to Emilia to save her one last time and answer her question.
Amid dying countless times, Subaru finally led the troops to victory against the White Whale and struck down the schemes of the Sin Archbishop of Sloth. After overcoming a painful ending to his these ordeals, he was reunited at last with his beloved Emilia… only to learn that Rem’s existence had been erased from the world, wiped out by the White Whale somewhere in the middle of his death loop. And now that the White Whale is defeated, Subaru and the others face a crisis no one could have expected.
After concluding their talks with Crusch, Subaru and Emilia return to the village of Arlam, intending to report to Roswaal and discuss what to do next. But they find Arlam deserted and learn that the villagers who had taken refuge in the Sanctuary with Ram have not yet returned. When Subaru and Emilia arrive back at Roswaal’s mansion to find out where the Sanctuary is, they are greeted by Frederica, a young woman who used to work as one of Roswaal’s maids.
On the way to the Sanctuary, Subaru unwittingly finds himself invited to a witch’s tea party, where the hostess introduces herself as Echidna, the Witch of Greed. Subaru is alarmed, but Echidna encourages him to sit and drink his tea before it gets cold. When he somehow makes it back outside after a conversation with Echidna, he finds Otto lying on the ground, battered and beaten. Then, before he even has a moment to assess the situation, Subaru himself is attacked.
It’s supposed to be his own room, a place he’s supposed to be used to seeing, but Subaru can’t shake the feeling that something is off. He’s overcome by an indescribable sense of uneasiness, but being caught in his father Kenichi’s armlock shakes it away. Subaru is stunned, but retaliates with a wrestling move of his own. As the two of them carry on, Subaru’s mother, Nahoko, informs them that she’s hungry and they should all eat breakfast together.
Having reached a place he can’t return from, Subaru realizes just how much he has been given and how little he can do to repay any of it. After remembering what he must do, he says goodbye to Kenichi and Nahoko and heads to the school. Steeling his resolve, Subaru opens the door to the classroom, where he’s greeted by Echidna in a school uniform. When Echidna says he arrived much sooner than she expected, Subaru responds that she looks good in the uniform.
After dying to Elsa’s blade in Roswaal’s mansion, Subaru awakens back in the graveyard, in the moment immediately after he passed the trial that required him to face his past. Just like the first time he returned there, he wakes Emilia and holds her to comfort her, then returns to Ryuzu and the others. He tells them that he passed the trial himself and suggests that he could complete the remaining stages of the trial in Emilia’s place, but Garfiel is opposed.
Subaru had reached for the door, determined to save Rem from harm even if his current world would soon end. But instead of Rem, he found himself staring at Beatrice’s library. Beatrice had remained silent throughout Elsa’s attack and saved Subaru’s life just moments before Elsa could claim it. Subaru shouts at Beatrice, demanding to know why she didn’t help before everyone else was killed, and an intense argument ensues. Then Subaru catches sight of a familiar-looking book…
Subaru was caught and confined by Garfiel, but Otto shows up to rescue him. Garfiel can’t leave the graveyard while Emilia is undergoing the trial, so Otto says this is their chance to get outside the barrier, but Subaru doesn’t agree. However, after he learns that Ram will be helping them—that she has been ordered by Roswaal to help him, in fact—Subaru puts his escape on hold to have a talk with Roswaal.
After being eaten alive by a herd of unknown creatures resembling rabbits, Subaru awakens in a half-maddened state next to Emilia in the graveyard. As he pounds his head against the rocky ground over and over in anguish, he finds himself invited once again to a witch’s tea party. There, he tells Echidna about his Return by Death ability, something he has never been able to tell anyone before. Echidna then begins to tell Subaru about the witch who gave him this power and set him on this agonizing path.
Subaru exits the graveyard to find the surroundings engulfed in deep black shadows. With the sudden appearance of the Witch of Envy, everything is swallowed up by darkness. After Garfiel rushes in to save him, Subaru tries to find a way to get them out of danger, but the Witch of Envy is relentless in her pursuit. Subaru finally offers himself as bait to stall her so Garfiel can intercept and attack, but he’s helpless against the Witch of Envy, and everything continues to be engulfed by her shadows.
Subaru heads to Roswaal’s mansion in hopes of finding out what’s going on there and how he can fix it. He has Frederica and Petra evacuate to Arlam Village to protect them from Elsa’s attack, then heads to Beatrice’s forbidden library. He tries to get Beatrice out of the library, but her wishes don’t align with his plans, and their discussion goes nowhere. Then, against all logic, Elsa finds her way into the forbidden library…
Subaru awakens in the graveyard with Emilia lying nearby. This time, he makes up his mind to save not only Emilia, but everyone in the Sanctuary and Roswaal’s mansion from the threats that hang over them. Roswaal makes it clear that he will use Subaru’s power to keep starting over by force if he has to, if it will allow him to achieve his own goal. What is driving Roswaal to go to such lengths? In search of the answer to this and many other questions, Subaru goes to see Echidna once again.
Subaru is shown several visions of events previously unknown to him during the second phase of the trial. When he feels as if he’s worn away to nearly nothing, the one to stir him is the one who loves him more than anyone else… and is tougher on him than anyone else. When he awakens to see Echidna extending a hand to help him, he tells her he’ll never accept it. Then the Witch of Envy appears, clad in a veil of darkness, and extends her hand to him as well. Subaru refuses again, screaming that he’ll solve everything on his own without any of their help.
Tragedy strikes the Sanctuary, and Elsa takes aim at both Roswaal’s mansion and the village of Arlam. After being told that all these threats are cruel traps, Subaru can’t help but give in to despair. While he’s stuck questioning himself and unable to come up with a way out of the dilemma closing in on him, Otto shows up and punches him. Thanks to the many feelings packed in Otto’s fist, Subaru finds his hope again.
Having been born with the “soul of language” divine protection that allows him to converse with non-human creatures, Otto Suwen’s life has truly had its ups and downs. After being run out of his hometown because of his ability, he found his independence as a merchant, was attacked by the Witch’s Cult, met Subaru… and now, his life is literally on the line in a deadly game of tag. To fulfill his part of the plan, Otto must evade Garfiel’s vicious attacks in a desperate effort to buy time.
The missing Emilia was in the graveyard all along, her lost memories beginning to return due to Puck’s disappearance. Confused and losing heart over the realization that she’s forgotten such important memories, she tries her hardest to convey her feelings to Subaru. When the two of them leave the graveyard, they’re awaited by Garfiel, who’s been battered and beaten by Otto and Ram. He tries to prevent the Sanctuary’s liberation by closing off the graveyard himself, but Subaru won’t let him have his way without a fight.
As she attempts the first trial, Emilia finds herself in Elior Forest, where she lived when she was younger. Echidna snidely remarks on her audacity to set foot here after so thoroughly disgracing herself before, but Emilia responds with a bold smile and tells her she won’t cave to the malice of a fellow witch. As they proceed deeper into the forest, they come upon a massive tree towering over its surroundings. At its base is a small, barred door, which Emilia identifies as the Princess Room where she was often sent to play as a child.
Despite a few inconveniences, like being unable to go outside when she wanted, young Emilia lived a happy life in a settlement of elves with Fortuna, whom she lovingly called “Mother.” However, their peace was threatened by the arrival of the Sin Archbishop of the Witch’s Cult representing Greed, Regulus Corneas. In the present, Shima appears before Subaru and the others as they wait outside the graveyard for Emilia to complete the trial, and she tells them of the events leading up to the birth of the Sanctuary.
Pandora, the Witch of Vanity, stands before Geuse and Fortuna. They both face her with all the strength they have. Meanwhile, young Emilia runs toward the place where the seal is, believing that everyone will be saved if she gives Pandora what she wants. But when she arrives, Pandora is already there, insisting that she hand over the key to opening the seal.
When Roswaal happily tells the story of how his romance with Echidna began 400 years ago, Beatrice rebukes him for casually calling it a “romance.” Ryuzu interrupts to comment that Echidna saved her, as well. The one thing these three very different people share is their gratitude toward Echidna. But their days spent in both amicable and argumentative conversation about Echidna are brought to an end by one man’s arrival.
Subaru tries to prevent the attack on the mansion by talking to Roswaal, but Roswaal refuses to let go of the wish he has clung to for 400 long years. Subaru takes Garfiel and Otto along as he hitches up the carriage to Patrasche and heads for the mansion as quickly as he can. Meanwhile, now that Emilia has completed the first trial, Ram asks her for a favor. Touched by the strength of Ram’s feelings, Emilia reaches out to help her.
Frederica is gradually backed into a corner by Elsa’s attacks. Then Garfiel rushes to the scene with a silver shield on each arm. The siblings’ reunion after so many years is cut short when Elsa’s knife violently clashes against Garfiel’s shield. Meanwhile, Subaru heads to the forbidden library where Beatrice is. She’s surprised when he enters the library and tells her that, after she spent 400 years there under a contract that might as well have been a curse, he’s going to get her out.
After witnessing an unrealized present, Emilia completes the second trial and begins the third and final one. Ram and Puck are fighting their hardest to stop Roswaal. Each of them is doing it all for the sake of realizing their own goals. The battle between Garfiel and Elsa at Roswaal’s mansion is also growing more and more intense. As Subaru is being chased by a guiltylowe, he declares that it’s time to make use of his unparalleled knowledge of the modern world and lures it into a closet…
After completing the final trial, Emilia emerges from the graveyard into a blizzard heavy enough to block her vision. The people of the Sanctuary and the villagers of Arlam huddle together behind a giant wall of ice, created to shield them from the bitter cold by none other than the great spirit who was once contracted to Emilia. When Emilia touches the ice wall, something flows into her from within it. With a nod of acknowledgement to the voice she hears, she finally takes action.
The magic Roswaal is using to control the weather generates enough mana to attract the Great Rabbit, which draws closer to the Sanctuary in a massive horde. Emilia takes Roswaal and Ram to shelter in the graveyard with everyone else, but the Great Rabbit horde has already grown enough to engulf their surroundings. Just when all hope seems lost, Subaru and Beatrice appear before Emilia. So begins Subaru and Beatrice's first battle against the Great Rabbit, one of the Three Great Mabeasts.