ReLIFE is an anime which aired last year, and one which I was quite excited to watch. Once I finally finished watching it, I have to say, waiting for the anime to finish had been worth it. I confess, I did wait a bit too long, because the list of anime titles which I intend to watch keep growing, and I was unable to keep track of my prioritized titles. Therefore, I had been picking random titles from my list, and I had finally chosen to watch ReLife.
What It’s About
27-year-old Arata Kaizaki did not have much going on around him. He had quit his job at a company after only three months, and since then, he was unable to maintain a steady job with a steady income. Despite this, he lied to this friends about not having a job, to keep up appearances and to not seem like too much of a loser.
Until, one night, he was approached by a man known as Ryou Yoake, who claimed to come from the ReLife Research Institute. After offering Arata some crazily tempting benefits to joining him, Arata was offered a pill. Drunk, yet wanting to turn his life around, Arata swallowed the pill without a second thought.
The next day, when he woke up, he was shocked to see that his face had de-aged. Then, he learned that he was a test subject, and that he would undergo one year of high school as a transfer student. Once he completes it successfully, he would be offered a job at ReLife Research Institute. The rest of the episodes involved him trying to blend in with the high schoolers, despite being a little odd and old-schooled.
My Thoughts on ReLIFE
I thought that ReLIFE started off brilliantly. We are introduced to this hopeless character, who had nothing going on for him, which leads us to sympathize with this character. Then, Yoake shows up with his magical pill, reverting Arata back into a 17-year-old adolescent. Other than the fact that this proved to be Arata’s opportunity to turn his life around, the intention behind the experiment remained unclear. Why did the company produce those pills? How do these experiments benefit the company? Why are they kept a secret? They did not really address these questions, but rather, focused more on Arata’s life as a high school student, and his interactions with the people around him.
I found ReLIFE to be really funny. I don’t think that there was an episode where I didn’t burst out laughing. Yes, as viewers, we do sympathize with the main character as he tries to fit in with people who are ten years younger than him. However, the way he handles the situation could be quite comical. Also, the people that he associates with also had pretty interesting personalities, such as the competitive tsundere, Rena Kairu, and the socially inept Chiziru Hishiro (who, by the way, doesn’t know how to smile either).
I really like how, throughout the anime, there were scenes where we could find Yoake writing a report on his test subject. Yoake, whose job was to observe Arata, had to write on his behaviour and how his actions and decisions affect those around him. I feel like this is the only link between Arata’s high school life and the experiment that he was partaking in. However, as the anime progresses, I did feel as if the drama started to rise and pushed the whole concept of an experiment to the side. The drama that occurred did not even directly involve Arata. In the end, I did think that maybe, it was supposed to give Arata a chance to impact those around him with his words and actions, and not to solely focus on his changing his life alone.
The ending was a little unclear and unsatisfactory for me. I don’t want to include any spoilers in here, but apparently, the test subject for ReLIFE’s experiment prior to Arata was somewhat close by. That was not elaborated upon. Plus, the bond that was created and shared between Arata and one of the girls was not developed upon either. I wish they created another episode, or an OVA, that described Arata’s life after his one-year trial ended.
Honestly, I thought ReLIFE was really good. It was funny, it was attention-grabbing and it was pretty dramatic too (although there were a lot of high school cliches involved). Despite the general quality in animation, and some of the unclear aspects of the concept of the story, I think I would award ReLIFE with a score of seven out of ten (7/10).