This review written by me has a reason, because I am myself a 27 year old somewhat failed person. The main character is easy for me to relate to what made this show really something for me to look forward to when I first read about it online.
All episodes are well connected with each other and made me wanting to just watch it in one go as soon as I had the chance watching it. This proves the concept of the story and how well I could follow it. There were no gaps or plot holes for me to recognize. The art was fitting and
the comedy elements were well placed breather moments making the whole show not too dense and after a bit of drama acceptable.
The big question is why or when should you watch it? Have you ever had moments in life when you thought: "Damn, what if I didn't do this or what if I would had done that." Ever felt regret about something in the past? This show will unwind those questions in a really good way for you to relate to.
To wrap this good and well written story and the animation fits perfectly. Best part is wanting more of the story to watch/read.
Watching ReLIFE was quite an experience. Although it wasn't "special" it had its moments.
Story, wasn't anything special. The duration of the series follows Kaizaki Arata, a 27-year-old neet or shut in. He gets offered a pill from some odd fellow, Ryou Yoake, because you know, when you meet a stranger on the streets you accept pills from them. Anyway, as you may already know he's able to start his life over, from high-school again. Now it's not one of those, starting over again from a different world, more so, main character Kaizaki is goes back in time, kinda sort of. He's still the same
age mentally, it's only his appearance that has changed. Nothing special is worth mentioning or pointing out in this story. The whole neet trying to redo his life gimmick seems overused and uninteresting at first however, the plot for each episode would have some interesting developments that were actually worth watching. The biggest issue I had was that sometimes intrusive sub-plots began taking over what was really important in the beginning which was the MC getting the opportunity to redo his life. It wasn't all that bad though, although the story-telling isn't consistent, the characters introduced later in the story, Arata's friends, their backstories and situations add for a very amusing, dramatic and emotional experience. From a comedic standpoint, the show is very light on jokes. Often times there were scenes that appeared to be made for laughs however, a majority of it felt forced and just didn't work out. I
Pacing in the story is really slow, if you want to have a good experience watching for the interesting narrative, along with other features this series has to offer, then I highly recommend that viewers watch it at their own pace. Furthermore, please make sure that you don't take users, myself included (obviously.) opinions and reviews and let them ruin or change your perspective of how you perceived the show. Towards the ending of the series, around episode 10 I noticed that there was a good amount of dramatic build up. There was a lot of potential opportunities for an amazing dramatic conclusion, however... NOPE! this potential was thrown out. I thought it would have made for great entertainment if the last few episodes focused more on drama however, this simply was not the case. Instead the last few episodes seemed like they should've been aired around episodes 7 or 9 or at the very least should've been released as an OVA or OAD. If any improvements to the story could've been made I would have liked to seen it focus less on branching out. Often times the story was all over the place. One episode the plot follows this character, doing this that and the other, next episode focuses on another character doing this that or the other. For me it came off as unbalanced, the story hardly focuses on the "Why?" and just keeps going forward. All and all, I wasn't impressed with everything that the story had to offer. Perhaps if there was a season 2 in the works then it would more than likely help me come to terms with the conclusion. Although predictable romances were made clear in the story, I still want to see the final outcome without reading the manga. The story earned a nice 7/10 from me mates.
Art, animation and other related things were pretty bad. Character designs along with the animation quality for settings looked outdated. I thought I was watching something from 2007 or 2008. This would not have been such a bad thing if only the show wasn't released in 2016... you know, the year we are currently in. In addition to that, the reaction faces and backgrounds used for the characters looked like they belonged in the late 2000's period too. Over the top reaction faces with settings that matched them. Speaking of backgrounds, the settings for a majority of the locations, school, parks, festivals, all looked like hand painted cels from before you and I were born. Traditional cel animation... I hope to see the Blu-Ray release improve the quality of the settings and character designs. If this was rushed then I would totally understand. overall it's just unacceptable.
I hope you like pianos...
The soundtrack was pretty bad. It was like they were on a budget or something. I didn't really care for the opening and ending songs. In addition to that the background songs were not, in any way, special. Now ordinarily, I love pianos, if you've ever read any of my past reviews then you already know I'm a sucker for pianos, being a pianist and keyboardist and all.I'll be honest though, there is hardly any songs playing at all for the majority of the time. I kid you not, there are like 3 or 5 songs played in the background, all of them don't seem to match with whatever situations going on in the series. Often times it was as if the background music was added to prevent a scene for feeling bland or boring. It was too late for that though.... The voice actors were alright, I suppose. There isn't too much to say about them other than they did a pretty good job delivering their character's lines. What caught my attention in the sound department was how quiet the series is. Background characters don't say anything. No talking from background characters at the fireworks festival, school, it felt a little too strange to me. I mean, it's ordinary in lots of shows, however because the show was going for more of an authentic type setting, focusing on realistic settings, I think that background noise is necessary, especially since the show is very quiet in terms of sound.
The characters felt so one-sided. Each had one distinct trait about themselves that made the individual stand out, barely. Developing romantic relationships between the males and females were predictable and very, very, cliche. I mean, to the point where it wasn't cute, or sweet, nor emotional. You can easily tell whose going to end up with who based upon their actions with one another. The character development in the show is somewhat minuscule. Chizuru is like the only character in the show that has any major character development and growth. I found this to be somewhat disappointing because I thought that if anything Arata would have been shown to have the most beneficial developments in the series.
Entertaining isn't a word I would use for the "enjoyment" part of ReLIFE. If anything, any sense of enjoyment was rather weak due the inconsistent and often times "strange" way story telling... or presentation. Not to mention that somewhat inconclusive ending. While watching ReLIFE it felt more like I was just in it for the ride. Nothing for me to think about other than how predictable the events will turn out and what characters will form a romantic relationship. Overall I wasn't too impressed with everything that ReLIFE had to offer in the Story, sound, art, and characters department. It felt rushed in those departments. Perhaps the producers were worried about time constraints and not finishing things in time, either way the final product just didn't live up to my expectations. The series just barley earned the 6/10 I gave it.
To start off, ReLife is an anime that you can learn from. There was always some sort of tactic to get you interested, whether it was character development, conflict, or the entertainment. All-in-all, it was a very good anime.
The characters were so loveable and memorable, I even remember their names, plus got emotionally attached to each one of them. Their experiences really pull at your heart strings and make you love them even more. Even the tsundere character was loveable in this one.
There is conflict around every corner, but you understand where the problem is coming from and want to know how it gets
solved. Most conflicts such as the ones in the story are not portrayed as commonly in other animes airing as of late. With this, I am going to have to say that it takes you back and gives you the feeling of nostalgia, especially with the music- mostly piano and jazz-, art - simple with cell-shading and cute editing used from older animes-, and of course the pacing.
With this anime, I kept on laughing or on the edge of my seat. Every episode either had me in tears of joy or sadness. This anime is a slife of life done RIGHT. The simple highschooler, middle schooler, or even those with full-time jobs will love this anime, relating to the characters often. The anime is very light, however touch on inner conflicts that many people face, including jealousy between friends and the "real world".
I have to say that this was a fairly well-made anime. The creators were not afraid to take risks and produced a wonderful anime- and based off a japanese webtoon from comico at that! There were some minor issues, such as the sudden change in music. The modern animes made today have orchestral music or even the computer-made songs in the original soundtrack, but this anime continuously plays rather simple piano pieces to help portray mood. Another this was when in one episode, SOMEONE TYPES ON THE KEYBOARD WHERE THE WORDS ARE AND ON THE NUMBER PAD (usually on the right of the keyboard). (And yes I just had to notice that.)
I REALLY RECOMMEND THIS ANIME.
I have to admit that I was not expecting much when I jumped in to this - A slice of life anime based on a webtoon AND a completed tag when it first airs did not sound promising- HOWEVER, it exceeded my expectations and I ended up finishing the anime in one sitting.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: So when I first wrote this review, I still had 3 more episodes to watch. The original review didn't include my thoughts on the ending. This review you're about to read is my final opinion on ReLIFE and it was spellchecked. I'm only going to add my thoughts about the ending at the end and I decided not to edit the rest. Enjoy.
Should you watch? Short answer: Yes. Long answer: No. This may sound confusing to some but it's how I feel about this series. I feel like if I get into too much details describing the show then I'll sound like I'm
telling you not to watch. Even though I'm not an expert at doing reviews, I'll try my best to express my thoughts while they're fresh.
So as many of you already know, this story follows a 27-year-old jobless man that gets the offer to go back to highschool. With a pill, he turns from a grown adult to a 17-year-old. One of the problems is that he still has the mentality of a 27-year-old and he can't tell anyone about the pill and his real age. He gets assigned to a highschool nearby and ends up falling for a very shy and awkward girl named Hishiro and making many friends. The second problem is that this girl he has fallen for and his friends are 17-year-olds and the difference of age causes a problem on how he needs to act and how far can he go around them. What comes next is a 'not very original' romance/friendship story between our cast.
I came to this series with ridiculously low expectations (like really low). To my surprise, in the first episodes (episodes 1-6 to be specific) I was having a blast. I was laughing my ass off and I really enjoyed the character's interactions with each other. I thought that this series could be something unique and it could hold on its own against the other spectacular series that approach us this summer season. Then...I got to the 7th episode. It all fell downhill from here on.
The main problem I have with episodes 7-10 is that they felt like nothing was progressing. Sure we got some character development for side characters, but to me it just felt like I was watching OVAs or specials. It wasn't until Episode 11 that somewhat picked the story up a little and I felt like shit was progressing. I was really enjoying the first episodes but suddenly I wasn't laughing as much and I wasn't having the same enjoyment as before.
Even though the second half fell flat, it wasn't horrible nor unwatchable. I think that since I was having so much fun with episodes 1-6 that when it dialed down a bit, it felt a bit underwhelming. It was good seeing that development and it was a decent watch all the way through.
The story is nothing extraordinary, but it's interesting. The characters are a bit cliché, but still lovable. The romance is nothing to fangirl about, but it's cute. It's not the best thing I've watched, but I did have fun. I think I underestimated this anime and even though it had a couple of flaws, it was very enjoyable as a whole.
THOUGHTS ON THE FINAL 3 EPISODES: So if you've read this far, you'd know how dissapointed I was about the second half. Now that I have finished show, I think these 3 episodes made up for the mess it got itself into. After 4 episodes of feeling like I was watching non-canon filler, the story really picked itself up, it felt funny again and we got a pretty good ending. Without spoiling anything, all the romantic doubts I had about who was going to end together were resolved (at least in my opinion). The only thing I'm a bit dissapointed about is that I feel like I'll need to pick up the manga to get a 100% satisfying ending. Don't get me wrong, it was somewhat satisfying, but my romance craving heart needs a full confirmation on things. Needless to say, I really enoyed this anime and will be thinking about it for a while.
Overall: 8/10 (I originally gave it a 7.5 but after watching the last 3 episodes, it's a solid 8.)
To conclude this review, I say to go give it a shot. It's only 13 episodes and I think it's worth at least one viewing. I really hope you found this review helpful.
The prospect of being able to live part of your life over again and do things differently isn’t a new setup in any media, let alone anime. One of the more memorable attempts at tackling this premise was a 1986 novel called “Replay”, but it was hardly the first. 18 Again! (1988) and particularly 17 Again (2009) and Seventeen Again (2000) are another similar bunch of films tackling the same scenario. ReLIFE is late to the party, and it makes very little attempt at subverting this familiar premise. But that’s okay; originality isn’t everything. Having an unoriginal narrative that’s well-executed is far more valuable than
having an original and shoddily-executed narrative. All things considered, ReLIFE seemed to be primed for the former category, but ultimately, it wasn’t to be. There simply isn’t one quality I can recall that this show excels in. Not in pacing, not in characterisation, not in drama, not in art, not in animation, not in sound, not in comedy and not in tone. And for the record, having a poorly-executed and unoriginal narrative is the least valuable of the bunch.
ReLIFE's premise is likely familiar to anyone who has read their fair share of web novels; it's the "starting life again in another world from zero" premise that has been steadily wedging its way into recent anime adaptations. That said, ReLIFE feels far more reminiscent of Welcome to the NHK!, wherein the series delves into and ultimately seeks to 'solve' hikikomori issues and thought processes with stunning authenticity. However, this similarity only really extends as far as ReLIFE's initial premise. For better or for worse, ReLIFE only ever touches on NEET lifestyles once or twice throughout its 13-episode run, opting instead for an irritating amount of tiresome adolescent melodrama. Now, melodrama in itself isn't an inherently bad thing; if utilised competently, it can explore a particular theme in far greater depth and provoke far greater emotional impact than if it were to attempt to emulate the nuances and confines of reality. Melodrama is an incredibly helpful tool for dealing with hefty themes even if it ultimately cheapens a character's conflict when viewed from a critical outlook. It is unfortunate, then, that ReLIFE's themes are the weakest and most ill-defined element of the show.
ReLIFE began quite promisingly by setting up several intriguing plot and character threads to later be drawn on and building chemistry between characters with genuinely funny ー if largely hollow and repetitive ー humour. It gradually introduced several interesting and entertaining characters, though they never really stray far enough from their established stereotypes. ReLIFE set up its initial premise exceptionally well, held up mostly on the merit of its characters. However, the ultimate tragedy strikes when the show puts on too much weight for the characters to carry. ReLIFE starts to buckle when it first gives its audience a taste of drama though somehow manages to stay afloat just on the merit of its characters, but it falls flat on its face when it ends up shoving too much bad drama into the show.
Bad drama is drama that viewers can't relate to, care about and/or drags on for far too long. ReLIFE's particular brand of drama sidelines the leads in favour of having everything revolve around not-quite-main-characters that are given too much screen time. It doesn't help that ReLIFE drags out this melodramatic subplot for an entire quarter of its run time, slowly chipping away at my patience and quickly pushing the focus characters from 'sympathetic' territory into 'irritating-and-just-get-on-with-it' territory. As time wore on, I grew to actively dislike, if not outright hate, most of the characters in ReLIFE as more and more melodrama was piled on in a weak attempt at keeping me on the edge of my seat. Admittedly, I was on the edge of my seat ー I came very close to walking straight out of the room and never looking back several times throughout these four agonisingly slow-paced episodes.
ReLIFE spends too much time on what amounts to meaningless drama that has no lasting or significant impact on the characters involved after it is resolved. The problems in question are the kind I was confronted with at the age of 14. In spite of the questionable weight of these issues, I was expecting to find Kariu's drama interesting and relatable, but I instead found it drawn out and shallow. ReLIFE wastes four episodes on angsty melodrama that has absolutely nothing to do with the protagonists, and it doesn't even have the decency to tackle it in any real depth. Worse than being shallow, it quickly becomes boring/grating and lacks any weight because it's incredibly obvious how Kariu's problems are going to be neatly tied up in the end. The problems she faces throughout the series are quite typical of high school drama shows; I've seen it done plenty of times before, and I've seen it done a whole lot better. Do you want good high school melodrama? Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou excels at it. Do you want shallow and inoffensive high school melodrama? Take ReLIFE or Yume Kara, Samenai. And in ReLIFE's case, the supporting characters it shoved into this subplot (see sportsgirl #87408) don't have nearly enough depth or personality for me to latch onto, or they are boring renditions of existing archetypes I've seen a million times over. ReLIFE has boring drama and boring characters, and that doesn't make for a good combo.
ReLIFE is at odds with itself ー while its premise is designed for exploring its characters in a dramatic and meaningful way, most of its characters are seemingly designed primarily for light-hearted comedy and light character drama. It certainly doesn't help that all of the drama it does tackle is predictable and boring, and when the show empties itself completely of comedy, it becomes a slog. ReLIFE suddenly decides that it wants to revolve around teen melodrama that bears little resemblance to its original themes for a quarter of its length. Not only does ReLIFE almost entirely lose its focus half-way through, but the narrative also becomes dry, boring and predictable. After a certain amount of tiresome melodrama, it becomes impossible to see these characters in a sympathetic light anymore. The more this subplot was dragged out, the more irritating the characters became. In the end, it amounts to nothing more than bad filler in a show that had no room for filler. Aside from the sparse developments for the protagonist and one other character, everything else is ultimately rendered moot after the subplot reaches its conclusion -- Kariu doesn't change as a result of this conflict; not really. It feels as if only the surface problems were painted over and bandaged together while the deeper problems continue to seethe underneath. Kariu gets shallow treatment throughout the volleyball arc, but this isn't automatically a bad thing. If these deeper issues were brought up later on in the series, it might serve as appropriate setup. Unfortunately, ReLIFE ends before any of that can happen, so it remains pointless at the moment.
FOCUSING ON THE WRONG CHARACTERS
What most bothers me about ReLIFE is all of the wasted potential ー not only in that it doesn't explore any NEET-related problems or the fact that it wasted four episodes piling more melodrama on top of even more melodrama for characters that were never developed enough for me to care about in the first place, but also how ReLIFE doesn't follow any of its more interesting threads. Yoake is an interesting and, as it turns out, flawed character that isn't perfect at his job. ReLIFE spends an episode focusing on him and his past (another one of its subplots), but in spite of this focus, Yoake still remains largely mysterious to both Kaizaki and viewers; we don't really know what makes him tick. I wouldn't have minded if Yoake got four episodes to himself and his character was actually explored in a decent amount of depth; he has the potential to become an interesting AND multi-faceted character. Unfortunately, not only does ReLIFE spend this time on a much more irritating and less interesting character, it also reduces Yoake to gags most of the time, which means we rarely ever get to see the real him.
And it isn't only Yoake, either ー An, another character who should be prominent in ReLIFE doesn't get nearly as much screen time as she deserves. In fact, she gets even less time than Yoake. Much like Yoake, she is mysterious and a lot of her qualities feel vague and ill-defined; her personality, her interests, her perspective and also how she feels about the romantic tension she oftentimes finds herself entrapped in. Fortunately, An has a lot more surface personality than Yoake and has a bigger role than gags most of the time, but because she has even less focus than Yoake, it all balances out in the end. We never get a sense of what makes either Yoake or An tick, and most of the focus that could have been directed at clearing up this vagueness is instead used for perpetuating its tiresome melodrama for far too long.
It's also worth mentioning that another good character, Chizuru, gets enough screen time for us to actually understand and care about her, but I often found myself thinking: "can we get back to something more interesting ー you know, like Chizuru?" She gets a decent amount of focus, which is something ReLIFE actually does quite well, but I feel that if the series focused more on her and less on generic insecure sportsgirl #59830 and Kariu's melodrama, it would have been a whole lot less irritating and even entertaining if done well. She disappears for episodes at a time, aside from getting maybe a line or two that don't help to progress the plot in the slightest. Chizuru was a big part of what made the comedy and light-hearted feel of ReLIFE work so well, but she essentially vanished in episodes 7-9; ReLIFE dumbly sidelined one of its best qualities to bring into focus one of its worst subplots.
Oh, and I almost forgot about Kaizaki ー you know, the protagonist? Hey, cut me some slack here, the show seems to forget about him a lot of the time, too! The show rarely decides to focus on the protagonist and his problems, but when it does, it's actually interesting. Kaizaki has so much screen time, yet we see so little of his character. Almost every time he engages with other characters ー and particularly the high school ones ー it's usually quite shallow because Kaizaki needs to stand as a symbol and self-insert for the older audience. None of the more interesting parts of his personality are shown; it's mostly just a way for Kaizaki to crack a joke or reference that the older audience can appreciate. If he showcases too much of his personality, that gets in the way of his status as an easy-to-slip-into pair of trousers. This means that he ends up stuck in a rather odd position as the protagonist ー he's boring, bland and ultimately just feels like an observer. Oh, but he's also an amalgamation of all the 'I'm getting near that age' tropes. Yeahhh, ReLIFE isn't great with handling its characters, but the worst of it is when the show starts dealing with Kaizaki's backstory.
Based off his introduction, one might make the mistake of thinking that Kaizaki is an interesting and flawed character, but this notion is mostly put to rest when Kaizaki's backstory is unveiled. Kaizaki is portrayed as a 'good' person ー the show even uses the term 'hero' to describe him ー with nary a flaw in his personality. It's society that is painted as evil, villainous, wrong, morally reprehensible and just all around dickish while ReLIFE makes every effort to portray Kaizaki as a decent person with no significant flaws. This is ReLIFE's crowning moment of wasted potential. Kaizaki's backstory turns out to be quite interesting, actually, but Kaizaki is still as boring as ever. This has to do with the fact that most of his dark backstory doesn't actually have a lot to do with Kaizaki himself; in it, he mostly plays the supporting role to someone else's main character. The problem with Kaizaki's backstory is that it isn't his backstory.
Oddly enough, Kaizaki has rather shallow characterisation despite being the protagonist; about his only real character flaw is, as briefly summarised by another character in the show, "a lack of confidence." He has difficulty coming to grips with his past, but there's not a lot else that viewers can find to latch onto Kaizaki as a character. Most of the time, he's simply used as a symbol for the 'approaching middle ages' demographic and plays the role of the counsellor in this high school drama. Unfortunately, Kaizaki turns out to be a phenomenally boring character that never strays far enough from his established archetype to grasp a firm sense of identity. But it almost seems as if he was never meant to develop like that; to Kaizaki, ReLIFE is 'feel good therapy.' By involving himself in and solving these kids problems (i.e. playing the counsellor role), he is expected to gain back some of the confidence that he has lost, because he is so afraid/self-conscious of how his actions will impact on his environment. Unfortunately, that still doesn't make Kaizaki an interesting ー let alone three-dimensional ー character; instead, it just makes him perfectly suited to overseeing most of the melodrama in this series. At best, it only serves as a justification as to why he sticks so close to his established archetype.
That said, there is some potential to take Kaizaki's character in an interesting direction and give him some depth in the future, but ReLIFE ends before any of this can happen. ReLIFE sets up a great many plot and character elements throughout its run but never draws on the more interesting ones, save for an exception or two with its final two episodes. However, there is some good news: while ReLIFE falls flat as a standalone season, if a sequel airs and actually goes about drawing on the massive amount of setup that ReLIFE has been building up with these 13 episodes, ReLIFE has the potential to become a far more engaging series along with gaining more depth. With enough caution, a second season of ReLIFE could even be enjoyable if it focused a lot more on endearing characters like Chizuru, rather than irritating characters like Kariu. However, this potential certainly doesn't change how poorly-paced, terribly executed and just flat out boring the majority of this season was; it only softens the blow.
But ReLIFE isn't all bad.
THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL
ReLIFE spends its final three episodes attempting to make up for its terrible drama by reverting back to the way it was initially, though it still makes a few feeble attempts at meaningful drama. And, surprisingly enough, ReLIFE does actually manage to redeem itself somewhat by its final episode, but it ends up failing on an entirely different level: by the end of its thirteen-episode run, ReLIFE hardly accomplishes anything. ReLIFE is a lot of setup without a lot of execution. Worst of all, ReLIFE doesn't even have a proper conclusion ー it merely cuts off, prompting viewers to pick up the manga if they want more. ReLIFE doesn't end up being much more than a bad advertisement for its parent manga series. When a show still doesn't have a firm sense of identity by the end of its run, why would viewers want to delve further into the series? ReLIFE fails not only as a TV series, but also as an extended advertisement.
However, it must be said that the show does have a solid final two episodes that gradually repaired my shattered image of the characters. ReLIFE does follow a predictable flow with its romantic subplot, but it wasn't done poorly. That said, there is one thing that this last arc does quite well: (mostly) believable, well-paced and light drama. ReLIFE is at its best when it's taking itself seriously, but not to a ridiculous extent. The comedic tone is still present here, and it blends well with the drama. Better yet, the characters weren't irritating and it never really felt like the show was dragging on in spite of its undeniably slow pace. I even felt like I could get behind these characters and care about them, their troubles and even their trivialities, had I been given more of this. This last arc is everything ReLIFE should have been throughout its entire run.
Unfortunately, ReLIFE's subplot left a fat and ugly scar that wasn't so easily healed, and it ultimately hampered my enjoyment of ReLIFE when it was at its best. It's also regrettable that ReLIFE never truly ends, either. Just when ReLIFE was starting to get into the groove, it was over. On the bright side, that final arc did at least provide some solid setup for a sequel, though that means that this season suffered greatly for it. Had ReLIFE been more focused on what it wanted to achieve throughout its run and stuck more closely to its original premise, it might have ended up as a decent series. Unfortunately, ReLIFE is diluted with too much adolescent melodrama and never quite ends up tackling any issues surrounding NEETs. ReLIFE wastes any potential its initial premise has and resigns itself to being a generic high school drama series with Kaizaki playing the 'lecturer' role, telling these kids how they should go about solving their problems. The final two episodes amount to Kaizaki feeling down in the dumps about the fact that he will one day have to part ways with these kids that he has grown so attached to. It's admittedly executed quite well, but it ends before accomplishing too much.
UNIMPRESSIVE PRODUCTION VALUES
To top it all off, ReLIFE doesn't even have decent animation. At a moderate distance, characters lose facial distances. Colour is bland to the point where it could even be called dry. The animation is lacking too; In an attempt to disguise this, there is an excessive usage of what amounts to still frames with characters yapping their faces off. Character designs are mostly generic and boring, but An is the sole character to have an interesting design. However, the animation does shine in a few choice moments ー episode 4, in particular, has some interesting, creative and even visually appealing animation that does well to visually evoke a certain character's negative emotions. On the whole, though, the artwork and animation are reminiscent of an uninspired low-budget 2011 anime.
ReLIFE doesn't fare any better in the sound department, either. Something particularly peculiar was the lack of background noise throughout the entire show; it was a rarity to hear crowds clamouring about, and background students make very little noise. This was something I kept noticing every now and again, and while I want to say it was immersion-breaking, the rampant melodrama already did a fine job breaking my immersion. On the non-diegetic side, ReLIFE doesn't sport much variety in its soundtrack. It's chock-full of piano and not much else. In addition to lacking much-needed variety, the tracks that are present are utilised at awkward times, further cheapening character drama. Hearing the same piece played over and over again whenever the show wants to portray drama is not only grating on the ears, but also degrades any emotional impact a scene could have had if it were silent or paired with a better track. ReLIFE's soundtrack is wholly unimpressive and, at its worst, detrimental to the tone this series is trying so hard to pull off.
ReLIFE ultimately ends up as a bad show with a few redeeming points, rather than a good show with a few flaws. It isn't bad to the point that it's unwatchable, but it even falls below the average high school drama because it throws in too many unnecessary elements that are never properly expanded on throughout its run. ReLIFE simply doesn't know what it wants to be, and before it can fumble around too much and possibly find some semblance of an identity, it cuts off without accomplishing anything truly meaningful.
ReLIFE is a shallow, semi-funny, melodramatic, endearing, irritating, slow-paced, sentimental, mildly engaging, largely predictable, sometimes boring and sparsely perceptive half-a-show that I don't entirely regret watching. At times, its narrative is a mess. However, at its best, it is funny and endearing in the way it approaches its subject matter. Unfortunately, these good moments are far and few between, and greatly overshadowed by the irritation likely to be incurred by ReLIFE's unhealthy fixation on bad melodrama. If the premise piqued your interest, I reluctantly recommend giving it a go, and if you are charmed by its first episode, I reluctantly recommend sticking with it for as long as you can. If you feel as if you are forcing yourself through an episode, take a break and come back to it with a clear mind. However, if nothing changes by the next episode, drop it like a hot potato; it's only going to get worse. And if the first episode doesn't impress you, I heartily recommend not bothering with the rest.
Story: 3 (unfortunately, it doesn't attach to me)
Art: 7 (decent, but more toward soft art)
Sound: 8 (piano-based, which seems to match the series atmosphere)
Enjoyment: 3 (not enjoy at most of dimensions this series offered)
Overall: 4 (as i don't have any bias in dimensions offered in this series, equally- weighted calculation to obtain overall score will be used)
At first i was interested in ReLife because there is romance genre on it. Note that I'm still searching to search more anime genre of romance but spiced with intense slutty girls and conflict going on. Anime that match my preference well are Trinity Seven, School Days, and
Toradora/Ano Natsu. So for those who want the same things...probably ReLife won't meet your expectation in this case.
ReLife romance is dull, and there is not much interesting aspect going on the interaction between two sexes. Moreover, the main theme, that is, the resetting life of main character, fails to entertain me enough to bring any kind of enjoyment.
The only defense this anime has is ishiro Chizuru whose unique traits can prevent me from dropping this series. Sadly, it seems that she, the only one with interesting aspect, doesn't get much much development.
Imagine a food that does not make you an impression, any food that does not interest you and that does not seem like that worth eating, nevertheless trying it though out of pure curiosity. Imagine that food giving you the taste of something that is not necessarily great or special, but something that you never expected, something that is fine for what it is. That was how ReLife worked for me, and it was surprising, because it is one of these series that you must savor and then judge. What I got was nothing short of a really satisfying watch, especially in terms of
enjoyment and connection with the common, flawed, human beings that it manages to present. I expected this season to be sub-par compared to the last one, and this series, that did not interest me to the least, managed to show me some kind of light, which might make me strive to changing my opinion.
ReLife revolves around your 27-year-old half-NEET man named Kaizaki Arata, who had quit his job in a company only after 3 months after entering, being fed up with his work environment and how cold-hearted and unaware of their surroundings his co-workers were. Following his resignation, he fell into a slump, not being able to fit into society as one of its active members, only working in part-time jobs, and receiving money from his parents to only slightly cover his life expenses. Having a difficult time, hiding the fact that he did not have a stable work environment from his friends, and receiving a phone call from his family saying that they will not send any money from then on, Arata was lucky enough to encounter a mysterious person named Yoake Ryou in the street in front of his house in a calm yet messed-up, for him, night, the latter declaring that he works for an experiment, ReLife, which gives the subjects a chance to re-live a part of their highschool lives leaving their mentality untouched and just looking like highschool students, change themselves, develop, and not regret the choices they make in the process. Arata, at first, does not know what to do, but after a while decides to undergo the experiment, taking the pill in order for him to look younger, like a highschool pupil does, and starts going to highschool in a daily manner, changing not only himself, but his close people as well.
A draw-back in the story department is that the plot development itself is based on a plot convenience, that being the pill and the experiment in general. I usually am not a fan of plot conveniences, as they are used as detritments to the value of the whole plot. What was successful, however, was the execution of the series. Despite featuring characters that you can see every day, they are handled in a slow-paced, caring way that can drag sometimes, that contains malodrama in heavy situations, but however serves as sheer connection between the audience and the characters. ReLife being a slow, arc-based show for most of its running, it takes advantage of its slow pacing as well as the rather big cast of characters and manages to develop it thoroughly. That might as well turn some people off, as focus on the main character is lowered consequently, but ReLife manages to somehow equal quality and quantity, develop even the most side of characters, something that I never expected from coming from such a series, and make them relatable.
On another hand, ReLife is a show that is based on drama, but also contains some amount of comedy, mostly coming from the interactions between the characters, it being sparse yet working out quite fine. There is also an amount of chibi faces included, which is by no means good, as it ruins the mood, but most of the times the transitions between drama and the comedy work out fine, if not well enough. As a matter of fact, the characters themselves helped quite much in the plot development, and both the drama and comedy being hits, as despite them being quite common and their reasoning quite cheesy (school setting, teens, you know), they are different from each other, and as a whole cast it works out quite well. Coming into terms with and realizing their goals and, most importantly, their own-self with well-handled execution, the conclusion is obvious. The ending was not conclusive in a literal manner, but was in a sentimental one, because I felt that all things that needed to be dealt with did. As a whole, although the story was being something that never made me go "wow", it worked out fine for what it was, and that is what is important.
Character-wise, as described earlier, ReLife works out well enough for me to consider it something that is way better than just average. What is likable in it are not the personalities of their characters, not nearly as much as how they execute them and develop them. Their interactions involving comedy being funny, but these including drama being a bit dragged and melodramatic, is not something that is of huge importance. What is important in ReLife is how each character is handled and fleshed-out individually, something that other series do not manage to do, putting the minor complaints into shame really. Explanations will be given below, as I am gonna view each character as a different individual and then draw conclusions on them as a whole, successful cast.
Kaizaki Arata is a very sociable, caring and understanding person, that is until his confidence is stepped on, after several happenings including his senior in work and his other co-workers, quitting his job and trying a different approach in life, including trying to find a new job through applications and, after failing on that, just working part-time in convenience stores. As an obvious consequence, he realizes that he has not grown up enough, that his social skills were rendered useless and that life is not going to treat him any kinder that he thought it would. After him being given the chance to relive one high school year through the experiments, he develops as a person, comes into terms with himself, does not get further involved into other people's situations, and winds up becoming a person that still has his doubts, but is way more mature than he already was. Kaizaki having such a personality is subject to self-insert, creating a character that is so relatable that you will find yourself caring about him all the way through. Except of that, he also is quite the funny dude, and the comparisons between adult life and highschool life he makes in his mind, such as the fact that the former are mostly ridden by logic and the latter by emotion is nothing short of realistic.
Hishiro Chizuru is that kind of girl, who never was particularly close with people, that being due to her transferring schools very frequently in her early years. In the process of growing up till the story takes place, she gradually lost her interest in other people, started not caring about her surroundings, that being partially because of her inability to be close to other people. She always showed doubts about her understanding of things and her hurting people, although she is a great student, and started wanting to change that and obtain social skills and friends, especially after meeting up with Arata. She slowly yet decisively starts showing interest on other people and becomes an all around better person, along with leaving her already good aspects unscathed. After several happenings, it is clear to the viewers and almost all the main characters, excluding one until a certain episode, that she is trying hard to improve.
Kariu Rena's personality is not to my liking, because she is that example of the stubborn girl who is jealous of people because she can not reach them despite trying hard. She sometimes reminds me of a cookie cutter character and is definitely one that is not plausible. She admittedly is a good character though, because she shows many kinds of development as well. She does not get rid of her inferiority complex, but somehow tones it down and starts understanding her close friends, them being Chizuru and Honoka, more. She is full of ill-fated desires, and a very jealous person, but after some events, including her fight with Honoka and her discussion with Chizuru, she starts being more relatable. That can also be supported with the fact that they spend quite some time on her character and that they did not want her to be left as just a character that had a complex.
Tamarai Honoka is the exact opposite of Rena, a person that screams unreachable when it comes to sports and one that is afraid of getting close to people because she does not want to be denied by them. Both Honoka and Chizuru serve as plot devices to Rena's development, but they themselves are developed, and that is another positive thing for the series. They used a big arc for just these 3 characters, which indicates that airing time was used effectively and decisively, making them fleshed out in a proportional manner. As mentioned earlier, their engagements might feel a bit cheesy and melodramatic, but that is not of much importance, as the journey and the conclusion, as a whole, are satisfying.
Yoake Ryou and Onoya An are people who work for the ReLife experiment project, and a whole episode is spent on their flashback, including their relationship with Subject 001, and their interest into Subject 002, that being Arata himself. Worries and implications about their work are depicted in a solid manner. There are other side characters as well, but getting into them is not worth it, because their involvement into the series do not mean many things. Overall, if you take these characters, which are nothing short of common and cliche, and combine them, you create a cast that is good enough for a coming-of-age anime series that ReLife is, that of course supported with respective execution.
The production values of ReLife remind me of my expectations pre starting watching it. Nothing special and something that does not interest me. The character designs were generic and reminded me of quite many slice of life series that I had watched, including Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, the animation was inconsistent sometimes yet worked out, and the backgrounds were quite good. I really have not much to say about the art and animation sections, just that the chibi faces were as annoying as ever. The soundtrack was repetitive, only consisting of few piano songs, and most of the times did not fit the concept of the story. The opening theme was quite good on the other hand, and had lyrics that reminded me of what the characters were going through. The ending songs were many, not as much memorable as someone would think they would be, but a nice change to the "one ending per one cour" archetype. Overall, I think that both the animation and the sound departments could have been better, and that they would grab another point of two had they been a bit more memorable.
The best part about ReLife would undeniably be the enjoyment part. I enjoyed the struggles, the development of each and every character, the interactions, the relationships, the starting and ending episodes, and despite some episodes being weaker than others, I considerably enjoyed the middle episodes as well. It being a surprising watch, ReLife managed to drag me into the story, and make me involved in the difference between the adult and the adolescence world.
ReLife really was a big surprise for me, and I am gonna remember it for quite a long while. It was cliche, it was generic, but it was fine for what it was. It never tried to be more, and it never tried to be less than what it is. And that is what matters. It is a series that does not take itself overly seriously or overly lightly, and managed to create a plausible enough conclusion. It is a coming-of-age tale for people that just want to relax, enjoy, relate with, and have fun with. Ignoring the shortcomings would be something that would make the series even more likable, and for such an experience like ReLife, it would be worth it.
There is a certain dilemma I face when watching anime and it's that there are lots of anime centred around high school and frankly I'm really sick of it. High school anime, more often than not, don't try and focus on the high school aspect but use the genre as a backdrop so that the series can focus on more important aspects. Whether that be romance or an high stakes death game.
That however doesn't mean I don't like my fair share of high school anime that try to deconstruct or play around with the genre. Two of my favourites being Prison School & SNAFU, that
do exactly that.
But Relife is a special case in that it tries to do something with the genre or possibly poke fun at it, but ultimately fails and just becomes another 'high school bullshit' show.
Relife's premise is something I have to address since it simply just doesn't make sense upon closer inspection. Taking pills off a random guy of the street in hopes to become a 17 year old? You've got to be crazy! What about meeting your parents when you look 17? What if someone recognises your real age? How did you enrol in this school with your identification? What about when you go to the doctor? The clothes you wear? What's up with the ReLife industry, how does it work? It's just the little things that add up and aren't explained that make the show frustrating to watch & add to the plot-holes and aren't explored to merely focus on a done to death setting with romance, comedy and drama.
Beside the premise being an excuse to have an escapist fantasy for the people watching and not making sense, the characters of this show are meh. You're not going to see in depth psychological display of teenagers nor a deeper representation of their archetypes. They're one note. Although the show tries to play out certain characters as more, they either revert back to their status quo or don't get touched and stay one note. They aren't likeable.
The main character in particular could have been a tool to deconstruct the setting and really shown the faults of the teenagers living in it, but he just becomes another teenager once he's with his friends.
They tried introducing a dark backstory of his adult life that I would have loved to have been the focus of the series with it being more about rehabilitation & acceptance, which it frequently hints and tries to do, but gets overshadowed by the stupid monotony of high school life & lots of corny uninspired drama that if you've seen any other high school romance will come off as average & generic. I don't understand how a 27 year old making friends but failing all his tests promotes the 'change' he needed.
The high points of the show were the main character's interaction with Hoshino. They had a nice dynamic helping with each other's problems. They acted like actual people when they were around each other, but there development was too scarce around the course of the show, but there focus being restored at the end.
Drama being another centrepiece of the show that looked like it would have been different, but yet again, devolves into what every other high school romance does and has misinterpretations that can be easily solved with a single sentence and cheesy ideological lectures that changes a person's mindset instantly. It's boring, cringy and nothing special.
I must touch on the comedy because this is one of my biggest gripes with the series due to most of its slice of life sequences relying on it. I'm fine with comedy in this type of show, it thrives of it and the earlier episodes showed some promise. Like how he left his cigarettes in his school bag. But all the show's comedy is quite literally, mostly reaction faces. They don't actually say any jokes or create clever funny dialogue, it's more like.
Guy gets says something
Guy has a chibi face reaction
Girl has a chibi face reaction
It's not creative and it's annoying. It gets repetitive and if you don't like Chibi humour, you will probably hate this show due to nine tenths of its humour relying on it & all the jokes following the same formula and being pretty uninspired.
The sound, oh my. Now you're just thinking 'You're just nitpicking the bad things now'. But it really is. Who in their right mind thought that playing the same piano chords over and over again for the whole show was a good idea. They clearly didn't have many songs on this soundtrack because I kept hearing the same upbeat piano melody, no matter if the scene were sad, uplifting or light. Imagine hearing Mary had a little lamb, whilst people were crying. It's more funny than sad and it destroys the tone the show tries to build.
In summary, Relife showed promise and potential in being a new take on the high school premise but quickly devolves into the same shit I've seen 20x times over. It's a cheap escapist fantasy that falls flat on it's face with uninspired humour, drama, romance and story that could have been better if handled by a competent writer.
ReLIFE is a series that borrows elements from other series of the same genre and gives it a twist of its own. The concept proves to be an interesting one, even if the premise makes it seem like it will turn out to be a typical school anime. In some parts, it is what you’ve seen before. But the way the series manages its themes and its characters makes this series much more than it initially started out to be. A story about a man who gets to relive his high-school life can be a great one if done right. But ReLIFE ends up being
just more than a series about a protagonist who goes through awkward situations in a school. It focuses on how this character changes throughout the series and what he learns from his experience.
The premise of the series is definitely something that is quite unique. The story revolves around a 27-year-old jobless protagonist named Kaizaki Arata, who one day meets a man who gives him the offer to join a program named ReLIFE. This program will supply Kaizaki with a pill that can make him look 10 years younger and he’ll be put in a high-school as a test subject, to study his improvements and actions. But the series less focuses on the concept on being young again, and more on the concept of learning new things and adapting to a new environment. ReLIFE just isn’t a story about Kaizaki, but also the story about the people around. It’s not just how his school is changing his life, but how he’s changing other people’s lives. And the series focuses on some really important themes, which elevates the quality of the series. The series plays out like a typical slice-of-life school anime, as the series goes through many different situations and story arcs. And the series rearranged the content of the manga to make the series more enjoyable. Many twists and backstories that appear way later in the series, appears in this series, so anime-only watchers can see these reveals. And the ending may not end the overall main story, but it feels like a satisfying conclusion in the series, knowing how much the characters have changed.
ReLIFE concept and premise may be interesting and all, but the ReLIFE’s biggest strength is its characters and how they are handled. The series is more character-driven than story-driven, as the series primarily focuses on the development in character relationships. And the way the series presents its characters and their improvements is what makes the series so special. And the series manages to focus on some really important themes, both for teenagers and adults. No, it’s main theme is not just “live your life to the fullest” (as the synopsis may suggest), but it’s also about bullying is the social world, how to be able to cope with situations you want to run away from, how to withstand yourself from making wrong decisions, how sometimes the wrong decision might be the best for everyone, how being superior can get you hate, and so on. The series isn’t a page-by-page adaptation of the manga, as many things were rearranged to suit the structure of the anime. Many content skipped from the first episode appears in the second. The reason for doing is primarily because they wanted to end the first episode off with the first day done. And many important moments that happen later in the manga, gets adapted earlier on in the series. This is because they wanted to adapt the big reveal and the major backstories. The pacing of the series is somewhat fast, but not rushed. It manages to not waste time and always entertain.
As mentioned before, ReLIFE’s biggest strength is its characters. It only takes an episode or two for them to be likable, and each character stands out one way or another. And the fact that every character gets an adequate amount of focus makes sure that the entire cast as whole is strong, instead of one character standing out more than the other. The protagonist of the series, Kaizaki Arata, ends up being likable from the start as he can be relatable to adults and teens, primarily because we see him as both. The way he changes a character throughout the series is fascinating. The ReLIFE program managed to makes Kaizaki learn a lot of things that can help him later in the future. He learns his values and realizes how society works, while helping others around him by sharing his knowledge and experiences as an adult. But Kaizaki’s not the only character that gets a lot of development, but also the rest of the main cast too. Hishiro Chizuru also changes throughout the series, as she learns how to be more socially active and how to understand other people. And she’s later give a major backstory that changes the way the audience sees her. And her relationship with Kaizaki is really well handled. Yoake Ryou, a character that very few people expected to be a character with depth, proved to excel and be an excellent character. His backstory on how much he had to go through to make his first subject successful, shows that his smile is just there to cover up his regrets. And characters like Onoya An, Kariu Rena, and Ooga Kazuomi also prove to be just as good of a character as the rest of the cast. Onoya’s interactions with the rest of the characters is always fun, and Kariu and Ooga’s relationship is really intriguing, especially towards the end of the series.
The art is generally good in ReLIFE, especially considering the fact that TMS has a lot to do this season. The detailing isn’t the best, but it works. The backgrounds are fairly good looking as it’s pretty well detailed. The architectures look nice and well detailed and the natural environments look good too. The lighting is a little subpar is sunlight won’t feel like as if it a ray, but rather on flat color with multiple shading would be used instead, which doesn’t work too well. But the shading, particularly on characters, looks fine. The character designs are quite good, even if it’s not anything unique. You’ve probably seen Kaizaki’s face in some other anime before, but it still works well here too. Far away character models can start to lose its details though. The art style is intentionally drawn in a simplistic manner at times for comedic relief and it works well.
Probably the weakest thing about ReLIFE is its animation quality. The production values are okay at best, and this might be because TMS has to many projects to work on this season. The fluidity in character movements is lacking and it can be comparable to Sakamoto desu ga from last season. There’s a particular moment when Yoake was running, and that didn’t look too good. Character movements look alright, but the frame rate feels too low at times, which makes it lack a proper flow. But it still works though, just not as much as you want it to be. And there are times when the animation quality improves, particularly during comedic, over-the-top reactions, when the art is simplified.
ReLIFE may have a large main cast, but it doesn’t have a large supporting cast, so the number of seiyuu needed for this anime is quite low. That being said, there a whole lot of well-known seiyuu behind the voices of some of these characters, and they do a splendid job in adding more depth to the series. Ono Kensho does a great job as Kaizaki, as he does both serious and comedic parts right. His “eeehh!” (which you’ll hear a lot), works well and he does a good job in doing over-the-top reactions. At the same time, he manages to get the serious parts done too, particularly when Kaizaki’s backstory is introduced. Kayano Ai does a great job as Hishiro. It feels weird to listening to her after watching the KonoSuba OVA (since she’s Darkness), but she manages to make Hishiro as emotionless as possible, while adding a sense of curiosity in her voice. She does have experience in these type of roles (like Shiina from Sakurasou). Kimura Ryouhei was the perfect Yoake. He manages to get his optimistic spirit perfectly and it’s hard to see anyone else do his role better than he did. Other seiyuu such as Tomatsu Haruka as Kariu, Uchida Yuuma as Ooga, and Ueda Reina as Onoya, all do a great job in what they have to do. And there are other well-known seiyuu doing supporting roles, such as Namikawa Daisuke, Sugiyama Noriaki and Sawashiro Miyuki, who all do a good job too.
Voice Acting: 8.5/10
ReLIFE’s music is also quite good too. The number of ED ReLIFE has is astonishing, especially for its length. This is because every episode has its own ED. That being said, though none of the ED ends up being extraordinary, all of them at least manage to be good. There’s not a single ED in the series that felt lacking in any ways. The OP, “Button”, is a very good ED that manages to capture the heart and tone of the actual series. Its vocals are nice and the music is great too. The background music in the series is great though. Though there isn’t much a variety, the ones you will hear will work well with the context. There’s a lot of piano music, that’s for sure. The piano music they mostly play is placed so well almost all the time. The music would play when someone is talking, then stop when things are silent. The music will follow the sounds of the characters speaking, which is really great. A good example of this is near the beginning of the series, when Kaizaki and Yoake meet for the first time.
ReLIFE might have been much more than I wanted. If it was simply a series about a main character who gets to relive his high-school life and go through awkward situations, I would have been satisfied enough, But the series becomes much more than that by developing its characters other than the protagonist, and the series. And the fact that the series focuses on really important themes was a big surprise too for an anime labeled simply as a school slice-of-life, as it can easily be called a psychological drama at times too. I had so much fun seeing the characters change throughout the series and create relationships with other characters, whether it be friendship or romance.
In the end, ReLIFE is the anime to watch this season. There was a good amount of hype surrounding it before it aired… or pre-streamed, and the series manages to deliver overall. It’s got a great cast of characters that develop throughout the series so much, and the well-developed relationships are made. The comedy is consistently funny and inventive. And even its serious moments are done with such care. The series focuses on some very important themes throughout the series and some very good life lessons are learned. The production values are weak, but the series makes up for it with almost everything else. And not much is skipped, but rather rearranged, so it would work better in its anime format. Overall, ReLIFE has something for everyone, whether it be lighthearted or serious.
+ Fantastic cast of characters that get sufficient focus and development
+ Character relationships are handled well
+ Premise is interesting and evolves into something much more than reliving a school life
+ Important themes are introduced and well-focused on
+ Fast and consistent pacing with the rearrangement of content makes the flow of the series better
- Production values are weak and animations lack fluidity
Tl;dr – ReLIFE is escapism at its most shallow. It presents a 27 year old, whose life isn't going anywhere fast, an opportunity to repeat his last year of high school & doesn't even think to ask why he might say yes.
It seems one can turn on the TV on any given day, in any given country, & have a reasonable chance of hearing how bad young people have it in today's economy. Mass unemployment, poor quality jobs for those that have them, no access to housing & the list goes on. Many questions have been asked of why, across the world, young people
seem to be cut off from the traditional pillars of society in a way previous generations haven't been, & what can be done about it.
Arata Kaizaki is the Japanese man of these times. At 27, he finds himself living alone in a bachelor pad funded by his parents, relying on part time work since he quit his salaryman job under (initially) unclear circumstances. After having his allowance cut by his parents, & a night of drinking while pretending to still have a “normal” job with his old school friends, Arata is approached in the street by Ryou, a blonde Morpheus, who presents Arata with an opportunity: Take the blue pill & spend a year as a 17 year old high school student as part of the ReLIFE Programme.
Once back at school, however, any potential for ReLife to be an interesting exploration of why Arata would want to resort to reliving the last year of high school, not to mention other themes that could be explored in this scenario, is quickly squandered. For the majority of its thirteen episodes, ReLife is just another forgettable high school ensemble anime. Indeed, as early as the second episode it seems to have forgotten that there might be a reason why Arata would have joined the programme to explore, & instead settles into the usual, predictable routine of misunderstandings, arguments, innocent romance & lots of girls crying.
By the end of episode one, you'll have a pretty good idea of everything that is likely to happen in the following twelve (& probably some ideas that are better). Chizuru, the black haired, socially awkward genius of the class, quickly becomes Arata's “I'm 27! I can't have these feelings for a seventeen year old” slow burning love interest who he is soon teaching how to behave normally. On its own, Arata meeting a socially awkward girl who he helps function in society & in so doing finds out something about himself could have been an interesting core to build a story around; that is if it wasn't introduced almost as soon as Arata shrunk into his teenage body & then just as quickly became second fiddle to the other little dramas going on with the other characters. I bet you can't guess how they resolve that age gap, either.
Ooya & Rena, the other “pair” in the group, fill predictable roles. Rena is an insecure girl who resents that her friends are better than her at things she likes, despite that also being why she's friends with one of them in the first place (don't ask, the writer clearly didn't). Her role is mostly to provide drama & conflict within the group, because bitches be crazy. Ooya, meanwhile is the “I can't believe you're so smart yet so dumb about love!” guy who's blissfully ignorant about anything to do with girls, in particular Rena's feelings for him.
Ryou, Onoya & Honoka round out the group, three characters who can be summed up as being there when needed, although they're also often there when not. A subplot involving Onoya & Ryou is introduced for little apparent reason except to fill a couple of episodes, allow for a cock tease moment between Onoya & Arata (you can make your high school anime protagonist an adult, but he'll always be a teenage virgin) & ensure they can form a third pair at the end without being "weird."
The drama in ReLife, & there is plenty of teenage angst to sit through, mostly seems to come from Rena's intense self-pity causing her to fall out with her friends. Chizuru is smarter than her & that pisses her off. Honoka is better at sports than her & that also pisses her off, although only after resolving her issues with Chizuru. Of course, they just want to be her friend, but simply talking these things through would rob ReLife of half its episodes. Plenty of talking goes on behind closed doors, however, as almost everything seems to be instigated or resolved by a conversation someone wasn't meant to hear.
Now, Rena allowing her resentments & insecurities boil over into lashing out at others could have been a fine story element, if it was given proper time to be established, developed & resolved. But we only have thirteen episodes & a lot of other things to get through so you'll just have to hope it reminds you of a better show that you can use to fill in the gaps. It also seems odd that a series that started out apparently being about why Arata would want to be 17 Again exerts so much time on a 17 already girl having tantrums with her girl chums.
All this teenage drama also gives Arata, the nominal protagonist of ReLife, something to actually do, given the show has no interest in exploring his motivations for being there. Despite being an adult having done him no favours in his own life, it seems that experience somehow gives him insight into things that his teenage companions lack, Ryou even going so far as to imply in an off hand comment that that's what he's there for. I'm sure we're all guilty of giving life advice to others that we'd never follow through with ourselves, but building an entire elaborate corporate business model around it seems a bit much. I can think of better uses for that miracle pill of Ryou's.
One could go on at length about the many flaws, contradictions & things that just don't make sense about the ReLife programme. There isn't much point, though, as to give it any real thought is to do more than the writers did. At the end of the day, it exists only to make the synopsis sound distinct enough from all the other high school anime out there to pique the interest of potential viewers. As for commenting on the characters or society it depicts, or exploring themes of youthful alienation or societies inability to accommodate people like Arata, ReLife isn't interested. Why does the ReLife programme exist? Why not. Why would they want to offer NEETs an opportunity to relive the last year of high school? Why not. Why would someone want to do that? Why not. I miss the days when "a wizard did it" was enough.
Arata, beyond apparently not being interested in why he'd want to be 17 Again, also really doesn't seem like an adult in a teenagers body, despite what his classmates say. In particular, there is a running gag throughout the series that Arata consistently fails tests with abysmally low scores. That's a pretty standard gag in high school anime, but remember Arata has already graduated high school & university to get to this point. Curriculum’s change & all that but, like most of ReLife, it seems indicative of how little thought has been put into exploring the opportunities & complications presented by Arata's unique situation.
At least the show does elaborate on how Arata came to quit his job, the event that began his downward spiral, although it does so in a typically simplistic way – the workers & boss at his old job were a shower of bastards who did something terrible* & went on like it was nothing. Good on Arata for taking a stand against the system & tendering his resignation despite knowing the damage it will do to his future prospects, an act that somehow seems to stand as a symbol for future young employees at evil incorporated.
*To discuss it in more detail would be a spoiler, but it's also notable that ReLife, intentionally or not, does that uniquely Japanese thing of apportioning blame to everyone, including Arata, for said terrible thing. Remember kids, if someone you know is being bullied, doing something is as bad as doing nothing. Grow up!*
Except that he wasn't shut out from society as is at first implied. Sure, quitting his job is a blemish on his CV when applying to other faceless bastard corporations. But even in Japan it's not like soulless office drone is the only option available to him. Indeed on two occasions he has reason to ask for his adult body back so he can see people who helped him get on in his adult life. Good thing Ryou had a blow me pill tucked away in the same orifice he keeps the shrink me ones.
In fact, the more we find out about Arata's past suggests not simply that he's an unhappy victim of an unaccommodating society, but someone who lacks the imagination to function as anything but the lifeless salaryman many people his age would give an arm to avoid becoming. It's ironic to think that an author who presumably wrote ReLife to avoid such a life created a character who apparently can't function any other way. Then again, it's not like there is an academy award winning example of a story where a Japanese guy finds himself unable to keep his job in the big city & ends up working in a socially taboo job which he slowly comes to accept & embrace as others learn to shed their prejudices towards him & the work he does to draw inspiration from.
On the production side of things, there isn't a lot to say about ReLife. The character designs are all pretty standard & unremarkable, with one minor annoyance that they all have mourning armbands on their cardigans for no reason. If you like close up shots of girls crying, smiling & embracing, though, this anime has you covered better than a KyoAni production. Everything else to do with art & animation is functional & not really worthy of comment. The OST, however, is particularly irritating. I assume Masayasu Tsuboguchi is a disciple of Randy Newman, as he mostly sticks to a piano playing along with whatever is happening on screen: “Walking down the street. Looking at my feet. Feeling life is sweet. Just stood in some ****. Dee Ba Doo Ba Dee”
ReLife is escapism at its most simplistic & lazy. It presents a scenario ripe for thematic exploration but instead contents itself with going through the motions with minimum thought. It's purpose isn't to ask why a 27 year old would see to go back to high school. Instead it asks you, the viewer, if you're a twenty something whose life has gone nowhere & offers an easy way to avoid dealing with it if you answered yes. If you want to watch a series about a NEET who feels cut off society but learns ultimately that escaping into fantasy is no solution with the help of a strange seventeen year old girl he forms a questionable relationship with, watch Welcome to the NHK. If you're a twenty something NEET who watches lots of cartoons about teenagers being friends & wish you could be in one, ReLife is the shallow, pandering experience you've been looking for.
I have watched over a 1000 anime since I started watching anime 11 years ago.
So I guess I know how to find good anime from a bunch of various other series.
I am glad to find such a refreshing anime after watching one punch man last year.
The level of enjoyment kept me glued to the seat and I watched all 13 episode back to back....:D :D
I feel glad to find such anime this year. This year is going to be one of my best years because of animes like ReLife.
Story: The story is your typical highschool setup but this anime is quite refreshing as it
has various plots which doesnt allow the viewer to guess what will happen next.
I found this anime very humorous and refreshing each episode was the continuation of the previous episode. The story is quite enjoyable and I am sure the viewer will be awed by how many times this anime can make one laugh in unexpected ways.
Art: I think art was like how various other anime in the market have but the incredible thing was how the animators made the use of art to make the funny scenes thousand times more funnier. :D Right facial expressions and background were used at the right time which helped adjust and enjoy the story to the fullest. For a slice of life anime I think it was very well done.
I still remember various scenes where the art made the plot so funny that I ended up grinning very much.
Sound: Though there were no new tracks but the use of right tracks at the right time helped the series achieve its enjoyment quota. The music blends in with the animation and helps in getting the viewer their enjoyment quota.
Character: What I mainly found awesome about this anime is that it has new characters with new emotions that I havent seen for quite some time. I have to say that the characters are quite refreshing and unpredictable and humorous. I thinks the characters played a very important role in bringing out the originality in the anime.
Enjoyment: I think this is one of the series that I enjoyed the most this year. I stayed glued to my seat filled with laughter till the very end and I hope others will too feel the same.
Overall: I recommend this anyone who wants something new, refreshing and humorous. I can definitely say that those who watch this anime sincerely are in for a very enjoyable ride. I think I will watch this 2-3 times more just fill my enjoyment quota!!
Main word to discribe this show is Funny, Enjoyable, Surprising and Inspiring. I surprised see this show out of nowhere then already finished in one day. I don't have a plan to see this anime even one day before release. But after release, i watched all eps just in one day. I surprised that i watched very good anime without anticipate it comes.
Your life is ruined, job is suck, you afraid that the time that you must life on your own is come but you not ready for it, How if you can back in highschool once again? This is ReLife. The concept is
good, also have some unexcepted plot twist. This show have much life leasson, and inspriring story. But the pacing is slow, not much story progress. Relationship story is quite mainstream.
I can say this have average animation quality, but the expression and comedic scene is very great. Make me laugh more because of that. And also character design is cute i think.
OP song is great, i like very much. Voice acting is wonderful, especially for An Onoya, her voice is really cute XD. But BGM is quite poor. It almost like not have BGM at all.
This show have much character developement, Rena character developement i think have more deep than our MC altough she is just Supporting character. Love relationships is predictable and reasonable. But just me or not, im more interested with supoorting couple than main couple relationship. Seriously, they have very funny, and enjoyable relationship, very refreshing.
This is the best part of this show, i overenjoyed watch this, make me feel back in highschool and also got much inspiring quotes and life leasson. Make me happy, make me laugh, i can see this show as a bright light of my life.
This is not prefect show, but i very recomended this for everyone. Not just for adult but also teenager. Yeah, teenager, You still can life once again (first time) in highschool. You should watch this, dont regret in the end and hoping you can go back once again in highschool life, because it cant!
Do you know that feeling of emptiness after you finish watching the last episode of a great anime, whose void cannot be immediately filled? ReLife is first anime that made me feel that way in a while. I have not thoroughly enjoyed an anime this much since 2014. While its plot revolved something more down-to-earth and reality (well the only exception being the ReLife pill), the anime always manage to make me smile and laugh. It is a wonderful slice-of-life that is not only very funny but relatable.
Unfortunately, I cannot capture how much I enjoyed this anime in a review, even though I just
finished watching it. And I will never bring myself to reveal any plot or spoil the show for you. I STRONGLY URGE to start watching this masterpiece of Summer 2016. The best part: all 13 episodes came out on the same day. NO WAITING FOR WEEKS!!!
Perks of the Anime:
-No needless lewd fanservice
-Beautiful animation, characters,and setting (i'm a huge sucker for works of art)
-Great voice acting in subtitle
-Very real slice of life with some serious subjects but always makes you laugh and grin in every episode
-Very relatable characters and situations
-why only 13 episode T_T. I need more. the anime ends at manga chapter 109 btw.
Why are you still reading? God damn it. Stop wasting time and binge watch all 13 episodes like me! I promise you will not be wasting your time and will cherish this masterpiece.
Good idea, bad development, tatty animation and mediocre OST.
The initial idea was good, a man being a young again, but he's aspect do not change but the people see he more young. Superman 2.0? I cannot do spoilers, so I cannot talk about the development.
About the animation, I was waiting a animation like Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, Orange, Isshukan Friends... This animation is bad for an anime like this, and when the seiyuu stops talk, the character still moving the mouth a few seconds. Small details like this are important.
The only good thing about the song are the endings. After see
ReLIFE, I hate the piano.
High school life really is the most unforgettable moments in our life.
What if we missed to enjoy every moment of it? just like our MC kaizaki arata.
Kaizaki arata is a total loser at the age of 27 after the tragic events happen in his first job. He used to live as a loner and brokenhearted (the reason is. you need to figure it yourself).
After losing his job, he used to apply every company, but still being rejected.
and then he met Ooga, Kazuomi a worker at RELIFE company who introduced him the medicine which can make a person looks younger. He encourage him to work
as a tester of the medicine and to make all his mistake to be right by going back in high school.
The romance is really great. I wont say anything about it. and figure it yourself.
I went into this anime with low expectations due to my perceptions of the slice of life genre being slow paced and outright boring (Looking at you Angel Beats!) That is why to my surprise I can conclusively say that I came out of this 13-episode rollercoaster satisfied and emotionally attached to the characters and their journeys.
First and foremost, I must say releasing this in a Netflix style binge fiesta was a stroke of marketing genius. It has likely contributed to the surging popularity of the show here on MAL and definitely best watched over a short period of time.
As with every review, I
try to limit it to 500 words. Short but sweet as per say.
(✓) Sound (6/10)
Nothing really stood out here from a soundtrack perspective. The opening was forgetful and the OST maybe marginally added different layers of tension to scenes that required it. Thought it was pretty cool that the ending track changed for each episode; this was definitely a nice touch.
A highlight for me was how each voice actor perfectly fit with the character they were portraying and paved way for the chemistry to develop between these characters.
(✓) Art/Animation (7/10)
Not much to really say here that has not been said by previous reviewees, the animation does not really stand out, nor is it required to as it’s a slice of life genre depiction that is not expected to product ufotable produced fate franchise production values. Everything seems animated to a satisfactory level and the output was consistent throughout. One highlight for me was the choreography of the final episode’s big reveal, it was perfectly directed and will leave you gobsmacked and applauding how well it was brought out on screen.
(✓) Characters/Story (9/10)
It take’s something special to create story that has characters that are universally loved by the audience. ReLIFE puts its characters at the forefront with the utmost confidence that they will succeed in engaging us through their dialogue and specific individual characteristics. Whether it’s Hishiro, Kaizaki or Kariu, they all have multiple layers of development throughout the 13-episode journey that enable us to care in suspense for where it might lead. At the time of writing this, I still cannot think of a character that I genuinely disliked on this show, I was paying attention throughout, which is an achievement in itself as I have the attention span of a goldfish.
Story wise there has been critique from the MAL community for the pacing of this show, but in all honesty what can be expected for a slice of life genre and in general, it takes time to develop characters and clear a path for a story to be told. More so I was surprised by the cliff-hanger and have no idea where this story will lead to in the future. There are still many questions that need answering in (hopefully) season 2.
(✓) Overall (8/10)
The anime did the job of keeping me on board for the 13-episode journey and has led me to begin reading the manga, which thankfully the anime has for the majority of the time been faithful to the adaption of the source material.
ReLIFE is a Summer 2016 anime that Crunchyroll gave the Netflix treatment the moment the first episode aired on broadcast TV due to it being released on some foreign app prior to it TV broadcast. It's also not very good. But I suppose if you're going to make available the entirety of an anime from the very start of this miserable season, it should be the one that's incredibly safe and inoffensive, shouldn't it? Because whilst ReLIFE succeeds at nothing, it manages to inoffensively incorporate everything that fans find pleasant about this medium. Are the people who like this show the same ones who say
that Sound Euphonium is unambitious and entirely devoid of meaning? That would be fucking hypocritical of them if you ask me.
The series is centered on a twenty-seven year old man named Arata Kaizaki who is working part-time to make ends meet after an incident with his first company caused him to quit after only three months. One night after drinking some sorrows away, he is offered the chance to take part in an experiment by a mysterious man who will guarantee him a job if he goes through with it, so Arata accepts and soon finds himself in high school again with a body that's ten years younger and an inability to pass even the simplest of high school exams because somehow it's supposed to be funny that a grad student can't solve math problems. He soon befriends a bunch of classmates from the mysteriously quiet Chizuru Hishiro to the academically-gifted but incredibly unfit Kazuomi Oga, and the show is basically these characters going through various awkward issues whilst Arata is also there. Yeah, don't expect the dude and his issues to take center stage all that much in this series. I think Vaan from Final Fantasy XII had more plot importance than him.
Although ReLIFE starts intriguing with the possibilities of what it'd be like to live high school again, if you took that premise away, it's nothing but a boilerplate high school anime with lame jokes and toothless drama. Arata is barely involved with a lot of his classmates' issues, and when he is, it's usually to give a generic speech that the show tries to tie into his real age, but fails because anyone around the age of sixteen would know the advice he dishes out. And I'm not kidding when I say the jokes are lame. It's nothing but crappy reaction faces that try to make light of situations that shouldn't be taken lightly to begin with, especially when dealing with issues as heavy as suicide. There's even a moment early on in the series when drama occurs because Chizuru looks like the Devil whenever she tries to smile. I don't know who the fuck thought good drama can occur when the catalyst is something that can't be taken seriously, but he is more wrong than a Rwanda massacre denier.
Whenever the show does focus on the actual ReLIFE experiment, it can be a little intriguing. But most of what we know about it is told through the eyes of supervisors like Ryo, and he mostly angsts about the first person he put through the experiment and how he failed with him. Thing is, it's kind of hard to sympathize with Ryo when they don't make clear how he failed besides saying the person never changed throughout their high school life, and it's especially hard when you don't tell me anything about Ryo's personal life, so I'm not sure why I'm supposed to care about his failure. It also doesn't help that when they finally reveal who the first subject actually is, they never do anything with it other than make you go "I guess that makes sense". Plus, it doesn't seem like the first subject's failure to pass the experiment is all that bad, although that might be because of all the crappy jokes they make at the person's ineptitude.
But that and the suicide issue I mentioned earlier are honestly the best drama the show can offer. Because oh my god, the issues the characters have to face in this show are unimaginatively lame. Anyone who's read my reviews of Shirobako and Kiznaiver will know that I don't like drama where the characters learn things that anyone over the age of sixteen would already know. The last two years of teenage life I'll give a pass because some people are late bloomers, but despite the fact that these characters are in their final year of high school, they're learning things that I'd expect a seven-year old to struggle with. I mean jealousy at someone's superior sports and academics despite the fact that you're good at both as well? An inability to make friends because you act like a robot? Is that really the best drama you could come up with for these characters to face? High school crushes that are mutual on both ends? In a world where those Persona games exist, that doesn't fucking fly!
Why am I watching characters go through struggles if they don't learn anything profound by the end? You don't have to be original. You just have to make them go through conflicts that hit hard and don't hold back when it comes to the important stuff. And you have to make sure that the stuff is actually important, because those are the kind of experiences that people over the age of sixteen deserve to go through. People discovering empathy or learning that the job market is rough is like discovering that "blue" is a color or an apple is a fruit. Would you really want to watch someone go through a lot of trouble because he didn't know that "blue" belongs in the same category as "red"? Even Barney isn't that insulting to its audiences' intelligence.
Overall, whilst ReLife isn't without its charms, its lack of teeth mars it too much for it be more than a mediocre show, and when it does gain teeth, it finds a way to break them with a baseball bat made out of unfunny. The characters are all tolerable for the most part, but they're never developed beyond being a simple stereotype. The "adult turning into a kid" premise is incredibly underused and lacks tension since it's revealed that Arata can turn into an adult again just by swallowing another pill. And the animation is incredibly plain, although given that TMS is handling four shows this season, perhaps asking for more is a bit much. It even has the gall to just end with a "life goes on" ending, and given how over 100 chapters were covered in something that's currently in the 130s, chapter-wise, I don't expect to see a sequel anytime soon. Also, these chapters must be shorter than Atom Ant if this adaptation really covered that much, because I refuse to believe any manga can be this padded. And I've read Kimi no Iru Machi, man.
Although ReLIFE had just been uploaded in it's entirety today, many people, including myself, binged the whole season/thirteen episodes. The anime had taken place in a high school setting and displayed events with wonderful art, as well as creating characters you would enjoy and want to see more of. The implementation of giving a life event another shot really jumped the story, making you feel emotions for all the different characters and wanting them to have a happy ending. When you finish the season you'll be attached to the characters, wanting another season as soon as possible. Overall, the story had progressed nicely, at a
good pace and is very enjoyable for those looking for a laid back series for the summer 2016 anime season.
Really really awesome , at first i was confused why all the episodes are out i thought it was just a short series about 3 minutes long each episode so made my research first and found out that this is the first time its awesome they know our needs !! They can hear our wishes that if we could just go to future to watch the nxt episode we kinda dont like that cliff hanger they are giving us every week.
So about the review, i like how they made it its really cool i like a second season right away!! I want to know wtf
happened next please dont make it too long please dont make it a year just please dont........ i know that those people who made this happen wont bother to read every review in every site but i still hope that they wont make us qait that long
This anime's somewhat relatable for me. I'm a 23 year old man, who is currently unemployed and also out of education. Though my circumstances/reasons for being in my current situation are entirely different (and valid), I can still relate to the main character a hell of a lot, as well as that desire to just... go back 10 years, make some changes, make more of an impact with what I know now, and have a fresh start.
I really did know nothing going into this. ReLIFE's on the front-page of both MAL and Crunchyroll a lot recently. I saw the genres on MAL as school and
slice of life, and so I thought "WHY THE HELL NOT?!" (school/sol anime is my weakness), and decided to watch an episode.
Less than 24 hours later, I had finished the show, and was browsing Tumblr for #relatable posts. Damn. God damn. This shit's good.
The premise, and the way your introduced into the school environment, is certainly unique, and you've got a diverse mix of characters/personalities. You've got some romance, some drama, some day-to-day life problems, as well as teenagers just being teenagers. The best part though (if you ignore the kind of sci-fi magic pill thing) is that it's pretty realistic! The reasons for the drama, and the build-up to potential romance, the way characters introduce themselves... it all feels pretty natural to me, which I really appreciate in an anime.
However, there's also some deeper story-lines and elements that come into play a few episodes in. A couple of serious topics come to light, and are dealt with in (again) a realistic and mature way. After a few episodes, I just thought ReLIFE was going to be some light, fun fluff, with a generic and positive message, but no. These additional elements made quite an impact, and they were incorporated into everything in a mature manner.
The episodes flow together really well, and can be appreciated both individually, and as a whole. I really enjoyed the music, too. There's a good mix of stuff played during the end-credits, plus a jazz-ish vibe throughout the show, thanks to a piano, and yeah.
ReLIFE will leave you wanting more, which in my opinion is a sigh of an A+ anime. Highly recommended!