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[Anime] ReLIFE Review

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ReLife in 3 Sentences:

ReLife is about an unemployed adult named Arata Kaizaki, who left his first job just within 3 months. He is a good-for-nothing guy until he meets Ryo Yoake, an employee of the ReLife Research Institute. Ryo gives Arata the chance to redo his life by being a 3rd year High School Student for one year.

Characters:

Arata Kaizaki:

He is the main protagonist of this anime. He is a NEET before taking up Ryo’s offer to be a subject of an experiment.

He is fond of helping others with their problems and is genuinely caring. He always takes the initiative, which is one of his strongest points. However, it is also because of this certain personality that he became traumatized by a certain accident.

Chizuru Hishiro

She is a very intelligent girl and always top of her class. However, she does not care about her surroundings, particularly other people’s feelings. She can voice out her feelings even though it can hurt the person she is talking to. She also has a smirk as a smile. These are some of the reasons why she has no friends until she met Arata, who changed her greatly. She usually searches the internet for the things that are blowing her mind.

Rena Kariu

She is a hard-working and competitive student, who likes to be number 1. However, she is always behind Hishiro and Honoka (her best friend). This leads her to be in depression as she is having a hard time to express her feelings to others.

She likes Oga, but she acts like a tsundere to him. Of course, it is because she cannot express her feelings well.

Honoka Tamarai

She is the best friend of Kariu. She is very athletic but a little bit dumb in terms of academics. She is a gentle student and she cares deeply to her friends.

Kazuomi Oga

He is a very intelligent and good-looking high school student. He tends to help Arata for his studies so he would be able to get out of the make-up loops. He is also dense in terms of love and relationships, and he is always being teased by An and Arata.

Ryo Yoake

He is Kaizaki’s supervisor as he is the one who offered Arata to be the subject of ReLife experiment. He is usually quiet and likes to tease Arata whenever they have a conversation. He can also be a sadist sometimes whenever he teases Arata.

An Onoya  

              

She is a very energetic and cheerful student. She also works at ReLife Research Institute. Just like Ryo, she likes teasing Arata, especially if Hishiro is concerned.

ReLife Summary:

Episode 1 to Episode 3:

ReLife starts as Arata Kaizaki is readying for a get-together with his friends. He is pretending that he has a job when he is already unemployed after resigning from his job within 3 months. While walking alone in the streets, his mom called telling that he should be an independent person without getting any compensation from his parents anymore. This is where he meets Ryo Yoake, offering him a temporary job as a subject of an experiment for ReLife Research Institute. The only thing Arata has to do is to take a pill which will turn him into a high school student and he has to go to school for a whole year.

These episodes also introduce us to key characters and the environment. It is presented in a funny way as Arata tries his hardest to adjust in a high school world such as failing on his first day in school and fitness exam. It also introduces us to a problem with Chizuru Hishiro and Rena Kariu.

Episode 4 to Episode 5:

Hishiro and Kariu are the main concern in episodes 4 to 5 of the series. Hishiro never had any friends since childhood. She thinks 3rd year is her last year to have friends. Arata takes initiative and is trying his best to help her gain friends by advising her what she can do. Hishiro, on the other hand, is a very oblivious person. Instead of expressing friendly gestures to Rena Kariu, she actually triggers Kariu’s anger because of her weird smile. Meanwhile, Kariu is a very competitive student, that is why she easily gets angry because she thinks Hishiro is mocking her. Kariu becomes fed up of Hishiro and she tries to bring trouble to Hishiro. Coincidentally, she gets caught by Arata, and she gets an earful on how her efforts are never in vain. Arata also helps Hishiro by saying that every person has different answers which is a little too much for her to handle.

Hishiro interrogates Kariu about the events and asks if Kariu hates her. At first, Kariu declines it but she later says that she hates Hishiro because of her weird smile. She remembers that Arata told him to ask Hishiro to smile when they talk. Kariu asks Hishiro if she can smile, and Hishiro does his weird smile that shocks Kariu. In the end, they become friends after clearing up any misunderstanding from both of them.

Episode 6 to Episode 7:

These 2 episodes are actually about An Onoya and Ryo Yoake. An tries to seduce Arata in his apartment to check whether An is right about him being the subject for ReLife experiment. Arata acts like a gentleman which confirms that An picks the right subject for the experiment. After all, she is the one who picks Arata.

Ryo’s backstory is also presented to us. He supervises the first subject before Arata, and he fails to deliver good results to the executives of the organization. He is criticized badly by not supporting the first subject. He becomes depressed by this. Ryo, however, is picked to become Arata’s guide, which makes An sad. In the end, An is also transferred to the highschool where Arata is, which makes her really happy.

Episode 8 to Episode 10:

These episodes bring us another arc. It is about Hishiro, Kariu and her bestfriend Honoka, the captain of the volleyball team. Kariu and Honoka have been involved in an accident in a volleyball practice. Kariu gets an injury and she may not eligible to join the tournament. This leads to an argument with the two, and it seems to cut their friendship over. Hishiro notices and asks Arata for advise on how to fix it. They talk about their past problems regarding bullying in Hishiro’s class the year before and Arata’s problem regarding his old job. Both stories are quite similar, thus both Hishiro and Arata decide to get revenge and overcome the past.

They both go to the gym and talk to Honoka. Honoka tells the two her backstory with Kariu. She was about to quit sports until she met Kariu on their first year. Since then, she enjoys every time she gets to spend time with the volleyball team. She wants to compete with Kariu in the tournament. When they are about to go home, they catch Kariu and some of their classmates eavesdropping to their conversation. Honoka exclaims that she wants to be with Kariu in their last tournament, but Kariu is too proud to say what she wants. Kariu leaves the gym, leaving everyone.

At the day of the tournament, Hishiro and Arata talk to Kariu why she is not in the tournament. She even heard all the things Honoka talked about that certain night. Hishiro tries to comfort her and motivates her. Hishiro asks what Kariu really wants. Kariu replies that she wants to be with Honoka for their last tournament. In the end, both Honoka and Kariu thank Hishiro what she has done to fix their friendship.

Episode 11:

This episode is about Arata’s backstory and why he left his job within 3 months. It is the death anniversary of her supervisor so he asks Ryo to give him the pill that will bring back his normal self. Ryo says it is fine as long as Arata is with him. Ryo fears that Arata might do something stupid if he is left alone. At the office, An asks Ryo what he is up to, and Ryo tells her that he and Arata will visit his supervisor’s grave. This makes An worried, so she volunteers herself to join them. Ryo obviously declines because An cannot request a pill for herself and 2 grown-up men with 1 high school girl are quite suspicious. However, Ryo asks An a favor that may help Arata overcome his past.

At the day of their visit, both take their pill in Arata’s apartment. Ryo advises Arata that he is a heavy sleeper so Arata should wake him up after 1 hour. When they are on the way to the grave, Ryo mentions to Arata that it’s been 4 months since they first met as adults. Arata responds that it is 1/3 until the end of the experiment. Ryo notices that Arata says it with a sad tone so he teases him if he is sad about it. Arata declines it, but it is obvious he gets sad. An sends a message to Ryo that the favor is a success. When they reach the grave, Arata is standing silently in front of it. Ryo asks if he is okay but Arata says that he is talking to his supervisor. Ryo gets worried and asks it one more time. Arata gets annoyed by this, but he says it is truly fine. The scene transitions to a flashback with Arata and his supervisor talking about his first big sale in the company. He also talks about how hard his job is and it is a “black” market. He mentions that even though it is hard, his supervisor is happy and strong about it. It transitions to a flashback where Arata is saying that her supervisor must have been sabotaged because there was an error in their job. Her supervisor says it might be because she is a woman, and her colleagues hate her for it. Arata wants to take the initiative to stop the bullying, but her supervisor says it is fine and he should grow up. In the end, he takes the initiative in his own had but it backfires. The harassment becomes worse and her supervisor ends up hanging herself, traumatizing Arata. After a few days, the cops closes their investigation and rules it as suicide. Arata’s colleagues start talking about who will be promoted since Arata’s supervisor is already gone. The boss even takes shots about her. This makes Arata angry and fed up. He feels like no one cares about what had happened so he gives a resignation letter to his boss. He gets fired after having an argument with his boss about how terrible the company.

When they are on the way home, they meet two newly hired employees from Arata’s job. He is surprised that some people get influenced by the things he has done. The employees ask if Arata struggles in his life after he quits. Arata confirms that he struggled at first but he manages to get a part-time job to support himself. He also mentions that he is glad that he resigned because he is able to meet better people. At the train, Arata thanks Ryo for letting him people that he influenced. Ryo thanks him back (probably because Arata is having good results with his ReLife). An sends a message to Ryo asking if it was successful. Ryo says it is and thank An for doing the favor.

Episode 12 to Episode 13:

These 2 episodes focus more on Arata and Hishiro’s relationship, but it is mostly about the confession of Kariu and Oga to each other. Hishiro greets Arata when she is walking toward the school. Arata is surprised and thinks that Hishiro is starting to change too. An interferes by holding to Arata’s arm and teasing Hishiro if she is getting jealous about it. Ryo drags An away from Arata and says sorry to Hishiro for interfering. It is the first time Arata sees Hishiro and Ryo converse. Hishiro says that their classmates the year before. Arata is surprised as Hishiro says Ryo and not his last name and ask if they are close. Arata gets a little jealous because Hishiro calls Oga and Yoake with their first names.

Arata is very happy that vacation is starting, but Oga asks him if he passes his make-up exams. Arata says he does not pass it yet, so Oga tells him he still has to take make-up exams even in vacations which horrifies Arata. Oga, however, tells Arata that he will also study during vacations to prepare himself for entrance exams to college. Kariu is surprised and ask if he is going somewhere else. Oga assures that Aoba College is still his first choice but might check others. This depresses Kariu which Arata notices. An and Ryo goes to Arata’s apartment to celebrate the vacation. They tease Arata if he is going somewhere since he will be taking up make-up exams until the end of the vacation. An also asks Arata if Oga ever notices Kariu’s feeling and Arata confirms that Oga is still dense as ever. They think of events that may help Oga realize but they are scolded by Ryo if they should get worked up about it. Ryo, then, tells Arata to get a girlfriend himself but he also reminds Arata that he is just an illusion. Arata becomes sad because of this.

During lunch in school, Arata teases Oga if he ever likes someone. Oga thinks of Kariu because of Arata’s statements. When they are walking home, they see Kariu and the newly hired guy from Arata’s old job. Oga is forced to come out after Kariu almost falls to the ground but saved by the newly hired guy. The misunderstanding is explained and Kariu is left with Oga. They walk home, and Oga is thinking about holding Kariu’s hands. He messages Arata that he is actually in love with Kariu. The next day, Arata teases Oga when he is confessing about loving Kariu. Arata advises him to invite Kariu to the festival. An, Hishiro, and Ryo suddenly come out of nowhere to check what is going on. Oga asks for advises but nobody seems to give a good advise. He decides that he will invite Kariu to the fireworks festival and confess.

The day of the festival, they plan to leave Oga and Kariu alone without being noticed. Arata is also quite surprised by Ryo and Hishiro. Hishiro is clinging to Ryo’s arm after being dizzy because of the crowd.  The next moment, Oga and Kariu realize that they are left alone and they get embarrassed by it. Oga suddenly tells Kariu that he loves her. Kariu is surprised because he cannot believe Oga says it. Kariu also confesses and surprises Oga. She hits Oga out of embarrassment. Oga asks Kariu’s hand before the fireworks start. Meanwhile, Hishiro and Arata are also set up by An and Ryo. Hishiro thanks Arata because she meets him. Without Arata, Hishiro would not have changed for the better. Arata also thanks Hishiro in his mind by thinking of him that way. He thinks that ReLife is worth doing because he helps other people change. They talk about the fireworks being lovely and lonely at the same time.

A flashback sequence by Hishiro suddenly starts. It starts from Oga’s invitation to the festival until the first day she meets Arata. It, then, transitions to Ryo congratulating Hishiro as she is selected to be the first subject for ReLife experiment in their region. After the flashback, Arata sees Kariu and Oga holding hands while walking toward their classmates. At the end of the festival, Ryo asks Arata to walk Hishiro home. Hishiro asks it again, and Arata accepts the favor. Hishiro becomes dizzy again because of the crowd and they stop to a park for a while. Hishiro talks about how pointless for Kariu and Oga to confess to each other if they are not together in the end. Regardless, she is still happy for both of them. Arata tells Hishiro that she should make many friends and fall madly in love with someone. Hishiro agrees to this, but Arata is actually feeling frustrated that she will not be with Hishiro after the experiment. After a while, he asks Hishiro if she is okay. When Hishiro stands up, she stumbles and falls toward Arata. Arata feels his heart racing, but firmly pushes Hishiro away so she can stand up properly. When they continue walking, Arata asks Hishiro if she really is okay. Hishiro tells Arata if he really is concerned then he should let Hishiro cling in his arm.

Ryo and An are actually eavesdropping on their conversation. Ryo is happy that he will be able to write a lot of good things in his report. An is also happy that Hishiro is also changing with Arata. Ryo says it will depend on An next term since she will be supervising Hishiro next term. Ryo has a monologue about Arata’s ReLife and how he is changing his surroundings. Arata then says that he might be an illusion that will be forgotten but he will treasure everything that happens in his ReLife.

Re:Life Impressions:

ReLife is a very fun anime to watch. The character design is amazing since it focuses on a small cast of main and supporting characters. I actually love the art design of this anime. Yes, it may not be that great but it is really decent for a modern anime. The expressions of the characters are also funny and lovable, especially when they turn into a small chibi-like design.

The story pacing is well-paced, and the whole plot about redoing your high school life for a year is really enticing. Many people would be able to relate to this. Each episode has its funny and serious moments in every corner. You can definitely see the changes or developments of the main character throughout the series. By the end of the last episode, you are just wanting more of it. Some of the characters still need to be fleshed out, but since the Manga do not really have enough chapters to create another season, we might be waiting for a long time too.

Characters are very likable and memorable. The chemistry between characters is presented well, especially Hishiro and Arata. I just wish we get more screen time for other characters to flesh them out more. Hishiro is probably one of the most unique characters I have ever seen in this genre. We usually get to see a tsundere or an over-the-top dandere, but Hishiro is different since her feelings gradually grow as she changes from a friendless person to a caring person. All of them are unique and amazing in their own way.

The soundtrack is really good, especially the opening song. Voice acting is top notch, especially the emotional moments. Background music is a little bit lacking but they are well-placed depending on the atmosphere of the moment.

Overall:

To be honest, this is one of the first romance comedy and slice of life anime I have watched for a long time. This is also one of the reasons why I keep craving for more anime with the same genre right now. I can watch this for the nth time and it will never get old.

ReLife is a funny, exciting, and relaxing anime to watch. The pacing of the story is good and the characters are all unique and memorable. There are several hilarious moments that will make you fall from your seat. Voice acting is outstanding, but the background music is quite few here and there but the timing is always perfect for the situation. If you are looking for an anime to watch right now, I would definitely recommend this.

Rating:

ReLife is a solid 8/10.

ReLife is for:

People who are currently relating to this anime. (e.g. people within 23-28y.o).
People who have not watched many Slice of Life anime.
People who like anime without third party in relationships.

ReLife is NOT for:

People who are tired with the same “High School Life” premise.
People who like betrayals and third party in relationships.
People who want quick pacing for the story.

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