If one day you were offered a pill that could make you a high school student again, would you consider taking it? Well, for the main character Kaizaki Arata it did not take too long to agree. Despite being a young 27-year old guy he is already jobless, with no money in his pocket and no girlfriend by his side. But fate gives him one more chance in a face of Yoake Ryou—representative of a ReLIFE project, who offers him a possibility to become 10 years younger and start his life once again.
After reading 86 chapters, I believe it is time to write a review for ReLIFE. I gave 9 but subjectively I would without a second thought give this manga a 10. It is one of the most enjoyable I have ever read so far.
For those in high school or about to get there, it gives a preview of what happens after that. While the story is obviously culturally based in Japan, it does not change the fact that it is a very realistic approach on employment and social issues. Food for thoughts means good reading material value to me. It is very light hearted but
sometimes a more serious tone is introduced which is really good for a change of pace. We are far from a RomCom in high school with a stupid protagonist who's popular will lots of beautiful girls and wants to get the girl.
The art is really outstanding and Yayoi Sou really has a talent for facial expressions, being also skilled at drawing chibi versions of her characters. The colouring is amazing and stands out a lot. Also each character has a defining colour which helps a lot during conversations to know who is talking.
It is very easy to relate to the characters and the protagonist Kaizaki Arata is really the strongest point. In a country like Japan where most people have to follow norms and be conformed, I find interesting how the protagonist has been sidelined by the society he lives in for being slightly different. I am sure everybody has been confronted to a situation where we had to decide whether to blend in or stand out, wanting to be the best and failing... the kind of hardships we face all the time not just in school or at work. For those who forgot about these experiences, ReLIFE is there for you. What Kaizaki Arata goes through for being a high schooler again can make you question yourself. If you don't, everything is going your way or you do not care that much about what will happen to you. Either way ReLIFE would still be an enjoyable read for the interactions between stupid, dense, smart, violent, cute, awkward... all completely different characters.
This review is mostly to show support for the talented Yayoi Sou. ReLIFE is really getting popular in Japan and the fourth tankobon is about to go on sale soon. It made me want to know more about the author's work and I discovered Yowamushi Resound because of it, but it is still relatively unknown outside Japan. I hope people are willing to give this manga a chance as I personally believe it is one of the best out there.
These days it is abundant to experience pressure on your profession, as well as from your peers. Injustice and the feeling of hopelessness is a common occurrence, consequently inducing stress and possibly even drop-outs to any graduate young fresh man. In the case of Kaizaki, he quits his job and is unable to find a better employer, let alone finding one becomes an impossible task, being branded as a quitter. ReLIFE is a tale of a man who is able to revert to his 17-year-old self thanks to a drug.
Kaizaki, struggling with life, encounters a young man named Yoake, who offered him a drug for
an experiment to change his appearance back as it was in his adolescence. However, there is a catch to it, its period spans only a year on high school, after anyone related to the subject having their memories erased. And thus begins Kaizaki's new student life in which he explores and learns to regain his confidence and clearing his doubts, in addition to reliving the student life.
This is certainly an intriguing aspect that enhances the whole narrative of the story, in addition to keeping tension in events that occur throughout the manga. It starts off with a well paced introduction to various elements that needs to be considered when reverting, as well as the consequences that it involves. Interactions between different characters are well conveyed, yet are rather simplistic, typical situations as in any school setting, riddled with love and studying problems.
However, as the story continues, it begins focusing more on school life itself, rather than the hardships the main protagonist experiences. This doesn't imply that these are not portrayed, in fact, it subtly introduced, yet in small quantities, which can be a drawback for readers, as the manga gave the impression of tackling human hardships in nowadays society. Comedy is also present in the manga, which are actually hilarious at times, be it due to characters behaviour, or simple play with words.
The cast of characters in ReLIFE are varied, yet very stereotypical: stupid but charismatic protagonist, tsundere girl, emotionless girl, clueless boys you name it. Nevertheless, the characters which made it more interesting as a whole, were certainly the employers who check tabs on Kaizaki, as it adds to a certain intrigue on what the purpose and roles of this characters are, as well as their fates.
Character development is rather lackluster, yet it has certainly some progression as in the case of the main protagonist, and his employers. In addition, some background story on his past is provided, which is a good addition in understanding said character's behaviour and motives.
The art style of ReLIFE is as a whole average, as it trades detail in favor of coloring the manga. Backgrounds are drawn when needed, depending on the atmosphere it is trying to convey to the reader, be it a comedic sketch or facial expression to transmit character's emotions. Character design is however generic, with no real outstanding supporting cast.
Overall ReLIFE was an enjoyable read that proposed an interesting theme, yet didn't tackle the theme as much as it should have, as its main focus switched to describe typical school life events, which can be dull when the premise is so much more interesting. This however remains to be seen. It must be said that even as a typical school manga it managed to display these very well, in a believing manner, as it was not overdramatized or exaggerated. Recommended to anyone who has an interest in slice of life manga with a school setting, with an interesting premise.
The premise of what would you do differently if you went back to high school is practically ingrained in every person's brain. Of course hindsight is 20/20 but this premise begins with a 27 year old taking a pill and becoming a senior in HS again. Don't read if you need the exact science behind it.
The characters and story are being developed well and constantly progressing.
Handles tension well by keeping unanswered questions while solving others.
The art is good and in color.
Details in the picture are sacrificed for color instead.
While the plot is constantly progressing it does so at a crawl. The chicken crossed
the road on a flying pig before a major scene with drama and tension was finally hit (The only one so far).
The main character is inept at school but has a graduate degree...How the hell did he attend university in the first place then? Minor plot hole.
Now having reading 101 chapters so far, i love it even more than i began to read it.
small summary- you can skip down this review for more practical information.
Life didn’t worked out as Arata Kaizaki (27) imagined it would. Being single, unemployed and having no success with his job-hunt. While others have jobs and a relationship, he is having it rough until one night. He came across a mysterios man, whom he never met but that man knew everything about him. His name is Yoake Ryo an employee of Relife Laoratory. Arata being suspicious about all of this because he never met Yoake
and he has never heard of Relife either. Even more suspicious Yoake says Arata is being selected to conduct an experiment for one whole year, in return everything in his expenses in his life will be covered by them, even more they will refer him to a company immediately after the experiment is completed.
All he needs to do is be a high school student for one year .
It includes of the struggles of turning from adult to a normal student.
I won’t spoil anymore of this amazingly funny and lighthearted manga, because it is still running and I don’t want to spoil the laughter you will be having. Enjoy the journey he will venture and care for him throughout the manga.
Reason to read ReLife:
story line continuous
Also there a rumors that there will be a anime adaption. I really hope so.