Fans of Re:Zero don’t need a separate introduction to the authority of Sloth, “The Unseen Hands”. It was an authority, or power, bestowed upon Petelguese Romanee Conti, the sin archbishop of Sloth by the Witch of Envy. And in Episode 16 of Re:Zero season 2 (or episode 3 of part 2), we see Subaru using the very same unseen hands.
Being put in a tight spot, Subaru had no other option but to sacrifice his gate and use Shamak to stop a raging Garfiel. But that was not enough to stop the “chuunibyou” demi-human. He was hellbent on preventing the Emilia faction from liberating the sanctuary. When Garfiel came at him once again, a helpless Subaru manifests an unseen hand. This helps him lands a crucial blow on his opponent. The question here is, was it a one-time thing? Or has Subaru gained the power of the unseen hands permanently?
To answer in short; Yes, Subaru is able to use the authority of sloth, the unseen hands. However, he can only use one hand at a time now and has a long way to go before he can completely master it.
How did Subaru get the Unseen hands?
Subaru inherited the Unseen Hands from Petelguese Romanee Conti. Unseen hands originally belonged to Petelguese, who was the Sin archbishop of Sloth. Thanks to Subaru’s connection to the Witch of Envy, he was able to perceive the Unseen Hands. This allowed him to defeat Petelguese, albeit with a lot of scheming and “dying”.
And, when Subaru defeated the Sin Archibishop of Sloth, the latter’s witch factor chose Subaru as its new bearer. It is this witch factor that allowed Subaru to manifest the authority of Sloth. This authority of sloth enables Subaru to manifest an invisible force field around him, which he can control and use to hit people. However, Subaru remained oblivious to the witch factor in him until he met with Echidna.
During the first Tea Party, the Witch of Greed informed Subaru that he had the Sloth Witch Factor in him; enabling him to enter her without any restrictions tomb. As a matter of fact, Echidna had taken a keen interest in him due to the witch factor and played a major role in activating it.
Echidna’s role in activating Unseen hands:
When they first met, Subaru unwittingly drank Echidna’s special tea. This tea, as we all know, was made from the Witch of Greed’s body fluids. It is thanks to this “special tea” that Subaru activated the Witch Factor inside him.
According to Echidna, the body fluids helped the Witch Factor take root and increase his resistance.
Overtime, the Witch factor’s presence grew more in Subaru’s body, until he was finally able to use the Unseen Hands. So it is safe to say that Echidna played a major role in helping Subaru manifest this new power. He also gave this newfound power of his a peculiar name; calling it the “Invisible Providence”, and not unseen hands.
As mentioned before, the authority of Sloth, which was actually used by Sekhmet, allows users to create a force-field that surrounds them. This allowed her to hit and crush her opponents without even having to move a muscle. Very much a sloth.
Subaru’s Invisible Providence, though eerily similar to Petelguese’s Unseen Hands, is a bit different too. Both Subaru and Petelguese create force fields that take the shape of a hand. But unlike “Juice” Subaru is only able to manifest one hand and that too from his stomach. Whereas, Petelguese was able to manifest multiple hands from his back. The range and power of Subaru’s Invisible providence also seems to be limited as of now. It needs to be seen if he can use it as proficiently as Petelguese in the future.
Now that Subaru is able to use to authority of Sloth, it raises new questions in our mind.
Has Subaru become a Sin Archbishop?
Well, no. Subaru has the Authority of Sloth, but he is not the Sin Archbishop of Sloth. Sin Archbishops are titles that are given to the leaders of the Witch Cult. Following the Gospel and working towards breaking the seal that holds back the Witch of Envy is what they strive for. Subaru does not seem to have those motives.
However, we do not know if his actions may inadvertently end up doing so. The witch cult itself is an organisation that has been shrouded in mystery and ambiguity. Their goals, why it was founded and other details regarding it are still not revealed. So maybe, Subaru being a Sin Archbishop is still a point that is up for discussion. It was also theorised that Subaru was the Sin Archbishop of Pride based on his interaction with Petelguese.
What are your opinions on Subaru using the Unseen hands? Do you think he will become a sin archbishop? Let us know your opinions in the comments below!