EldritchImagination wrote:Thing is, while the show started out good, with the mystery of what's going on, and him finding out how to best solve problems with repeated deaths, it's going downhill for me as of episode 13-15 (as far as I've got). Problem is, the MC is turning to F*CKING PIG HEADED LOSER! And not like the typical anime style loser whose pathetic combat/academic wise but lovable and well meaning (he is that way at first), I mean he becomes an arrogant, selfish, obsessive, egotistical, jerk with a hero complex in that he thinks everything revolves around him and only he can save the day, but can't do a damn thing right. What most ticks me off about him is all the mental and emotional breakdowns he has, leading to just pointless *%&^ ups on his part that just burden other people or at the very least make him look foolish. The worst incident for me was when, after seeing all his friends dead, something he's witnessed multiple times now and has recovered easily from, he literally turns into a mental vegetable after dying and resurrecting, leading to his friends GETTING KILLED AGAIN HAVING TO SAVE HIM!
Despite the hype the show got in its time, it was definitely hit or miss with people over stuff like this.
Personally, I took it as a kind of in-story metanarrative (is that the right term, I dunno but I'm using it anyway). As in, the MC being a normal guy from "normal" reality and having been accustomed to media such as games and anime and their various cliches and tropes, has this thing happen to him and starts making assumptions based on his situation due to the influence living with those kinds of stories has taught him. So like...since he has some fantastical supernatural event affect only to him, he assumes he's now "the main character" in some story and starts trying to do things like a main character would.
But a big point I think the series was trying to make was that, if this stuff ACTUALLY happened it would not be as fun as you think. The best example I think that people argued over back when it was airing was how he has this "extra lives" video-gamey ability but he still hates and fears the idea of dying. "Why does he try so hard every cycle when he could just go bit by bit more methodically to solve the problems? He knows there's no consequence for failure since he'll just come back anyway!" But, IIRC, he actually says at one point that no matter how many times it happens, it's still excruciatingly terrifying and painful. The idea is that even if from a story perspective it's a convenient power, nobody in their right mind wants to experience the pain of getting their stomach sliced open and then slowly bleed to death multiple times.
In a way, I almost feel like the series is trying to break apart the very idea of a "main character." They give him all the traits of one, but none of the advantages by turning all of the things normally associated with a MC into curses. His responses really started making more sense to me when I stopped thinking of him AS a "main character" and actually just started thinking of him as a regular guy. In reality, watching people you love getting violently murdered tends to leave massive mental scars and trauma, and watching it happen over and over again would in no way lessen that damage. His "mental vegetable" phase was where his mind literally reached the point of being under so much emotional stress it had to literally shut itself down to cope like an extreme version of the real-world Anxiety Cycle (people who suffer from Anxiety end up bobbing in and out of phases of Depression because the brain literally can't handle being wired like that constantly).
Anyway, if you're looking for similarly-themed stories I'd also recommend Stein's;Gate if you haven't seen it already. It's more an actual sci-fi story dealing with actual literal time travel, but handles it with more...nuance and detail than most other stories with that theme. It's also a kind of "slow burning" series, and most people say it doesn't really take off until about episode 6, though personally I enjoyed it all pretty equally.