At first, I thought Subaru was a strong protagonist. That’s how he appeared in the beginning. When he was in the forest and one of the witchfiend’s attacked him, he impaled it on a branch. Then, he fought and stabbed the leader. Subaru did not seem powerless. Well, I was wrong. Subaru is completely powerless throughout the anime. It becomes painfully apparent when he’s trying to save everyone from the witch-cult. First, he cannot save anyone himself – he does not have the strength. When they capture him and bring him back to the give, he can only watch as Rem is broken and mangled. Second, when he tries to recruit help from the other candidates, their bodyguard stops him from moving any closer. When words fail, violence is the next step. If Subaru had power he could’ve forced the others to help him, but he does not. Instead he must yield to the bodyguard, accepting the harsh judgment of the other candidates not to help him save anyone. If Subaru had power he could save everyone himself. It is a tormenting position to be in.
Another thing that is a consequence of Subaru’s time-traveling is that he sees the darkest side people, including those close to him. The first person is Rem. He thought they were getting along and becoming friends, turns out she’s the one who killed him. Second, Otto, the traveling merchant, pushed him off the wagon as a sacrifice. Third, when Emillia died, he had Puck call him truly useless. Also, he experienced all the candidates turn down his request to save everyone. Subaru must constantly experience powerlessness and humanity’s dark side. Even though he’s crying and on the verge of madness half the time, it takes some real strength to move forward. I eventually would expect him to become a stoic. If he saw Emillia die 1000 times, why would 1001 arouse the same emotion as the first time? It’s like in Stein Gate. Okarin sees his friend die so much that he becomes used to it.