Review of ReLIFE

relife

Would you return to school if given the opportunity? That’s a tough question to answer, as there are numerous pros and cons to consider. My time at comprehensive was plagued with inept teachers and bullies, so I don’t have fond memories of the place. The cushier school hours easily trump my present day nine to six job though. Now that I am older and wiser, I would like to believe that I would fare better if given another chance at education. In ReLIFE, a thirteen-episode anime based on Yayoiso’s manga, twenty-seven year old NEET Arata Kaizaki accepts the challenge of spending one (all expenses paid) year in high school. Blending in with the student body won’t be a problem, as he has been asked to trial a miracle drug that transforms its users into teenagers.

OVERVIEW

Arata didn’t have much to lose when a mysterious lab asked him to test their youth restoring pills. It was either that or work retail (shudder) as a part time convenience store clerk. Arata’s first job, a stressful marketing gig, ended with him quitting after three short months and since then he has been unsuccessful in getting hired elsewhere. He’s so ashamed with his employment status that he even pretends to still work at his old office, whenever his drinking buddies invite him out for a few brews.

Tales of adults masquerading as kids are commonplace in fiction. ReLIFE handles the premise better than other shows though. Even if you strip away the anime’s sci-fi elements, it still holds up as a humorous high school romp that has a likable cast. Thankfully the series is devoid of sleaze, so you won’t see old man Arata inappropriately cavorting with girls. ReLIFE also isn’t one of those insufferable stories were an adult returns to school and becomes the most popular kid in class. Quite the opposite in fact! Despite looking young on the outside, Arata has the stamina of someone pushing thirty – so he sucks at sports. Academically he is also a failure, leading him to flunk all his exams. That’s actually realistic. If I returned to school now I too would struggle with subjects like math and science.

VERDICT

My rating for ReLIFE is three stars. Although technically a drama, the series consistently put a smile on my face thanks to its funny scenes and feel good moments. Arata may struggle with grades, but when it comes to enriching the lives of others he easily scores top marks. You might be wondering why such an outstanding guy cannot find work. Well, the reason is explained in one of the later episodes. It’s tied to a dark event that occurred in his first job. Despite enjoying the series, I wish the storylines were spread out more evenly. ReLIFE is only a single cour long and for some reason ends up dedicating most of its story arcs to a redhead named Kariu Rena, who is only an auxiliary character.

Best girl without a doubt is class representative Chizuru Hishiro. She is one smart cookie, but hasn’t got a clue when it comes to socialising. Chizuru reminds me of Sawako (Kimi ni Todoke) because they both possess awkward smiles that creep people out. There’s some romantic chemistry between Arata and Chizuru, although the former is reluctant to pursue a relationship due to their age gap. I am curious to see what will happen next between the pair; especially given the bombshell that the show ends on. Thankfully more animated ReLIFE is due out in 2018. Crunchyroll also hosts the source material, so fans can follow Arata’s future exploits that way too. Good to know that the story of the youth restoring tablet won’t end on a cliffhanger… that would be a tough “pill” to swallow.

28 thoughts on “Review of ReLIFE

  1. I was planning to watch this one while it was streaming on the Twitch Crunchyroll marathon a few months back but I unfortunately missed it. However I’m a lot more interested in checking this one out now, after reading your review. It sounds like a show I would enjoy and it has some interesting aspects to it since, for example, I’m not that knowledgeable in stories about older guys going back to high school.

    Thanks for your review! πŸ™‚

    • Back when I was growing up there were quite a few movies based on adults turning into kids or swapping bodies with their teenage children. I guess the genre is less popular these days. From what I hear 21 Jump Street is a funny movie about adults going back to school.

  2. I like the concept of this. I’ve heard the name but never had a chance to check it out or actually find out what it was all about, but this makes me want to give it a shot! Cheers!

  3. Hope a second season may be adapted from its manga source too (more than just having ovas), since more chapters are out now, shifting the focus from Reina to Chizuru and Arata, and also touching on some aspects of the organization too. πŸ™‚

    • Ideally I prefer it when an anime sticks close to the source material. Some anime original finales I have seen were noticeably weaker than the stories taken directly from the manga/book. Still an anime original ending is better than no conclusion at all.

  4. Great review! πŸ™‚ Just watched this the other day when I wanted something short and mindless to take up time. It was unexpectedly enjoyable and a LOT better than I thought it would be. Also found myself smiling at all the jokes. I can’t wait for the next season!

  5. Cool! Have you checked out my blog recently, I use a new theme. I would TOTALLY take the pill becuase I would actually grow up! IM not a teenager yet so I totally want to see how it is to be one!

    • When it comes to age the grass always seems greener on the other side. When I was younger I envied adults who had the freedom to do what they wished. Nowadays I miss the time when I have fewer responsibilities and more free time.

  6. Leave it to this blog to keep introducing me to new shows to keep an eye out for. There aren’t too many movies, or shows that do this concept well. I think Case Closed was the last anime I watched that did use the premise in an entertaining, and inventive way. Granted, this one doesn’t center around a lawyer, but is it fair to assume those who liked CC, may enjoy this one?

    • I have heard of Case Closed, but never watched it. After getting burnt out on long shows such us Dragon Ball and One Piece I tend to avoid long running anime. Doesn’t Case Closed have over 800 episodes? By now that detective should have naturally grown up to be an adult again πŸ™‚

  7. I have to be honest I was disappointed with this show. It started off s a hilarious comedy then turned into a mawkish drama that made me care even less about the characters. Or maybe I’m just a jaded old git… 😦

    • I liked this series, but the quality varied from episode to episode, which is why I only gave it three stars. The drama wasn’t a problem for me, but I can see how it would be for some people – especially when the show started off like a pure comedy.

      Jaded old git? Guess we shall have to give you a pill and whisk you off to school. That experience can apparently transform a person’s life.

      • I don’t have a problem with comedy and drama working together if the blend is handled smoothly, but this is too drastic a change from one tone to the other for my liking. :/

  8. Oh Glob, going back to high school would be glob awful. 😦
    For some reason, this anime reminds me of the movie “17 again”. But thats probably just the whole getting young again and going back to high school thing. πŸ™‚
    Great Review πŸ˜€ You always find the most interesting anime to review πŸ™‚

    • You can thank the bloggers I follow for my review picks. Often I choose a show because I spot it on Crunchyroll and remember that it got positive scores on one of the sites I read. Not sure what to cover next, so feel free to send me recommendations if you have them.

      I haven’t watched 17 Again, but from looking online I note that it stars Matthew Perry. He was my favorite actor from Friends. Chandler’s sense of humor is similar to my own.

      • Oh Glob, my minds gone blank. I can only think of anime, that you have probably seen before. I’ve also recently hit an anime slump, so couldn’t recommend anything I’ve seen lately. (Except for Little Witch Academia, but I’m guessing that would be to cute, for your taste).
        But a few older anime, that took me by surprise and that might interest you, could be Akira, 009 Re:Cyborg, Wolf’s Rain (one of my all time favourites), Trigun: Badlands Rumble and 7 deadly sins. There not the be-all-and-end-all of anime (excluding Akira, of course), but I was surprised by how good they actually were.
        A Non-anime series, I would highly recommend is the OA, if the haven’t already seen it. Its unbelievably good and very mysterious.

        Chandler was awesome and very funny. I can see why he’s your favourite πŸ˜€

  9. People lose stamina as they get closer to thirty? Good thing nobody’s told my body yet. Still getting stronger every year.

    But yeah, I’d give high school a go again. High school is a horrible hive of horrible people, but it beats a lot of real life.

    • Back when I was in school I wanted to grow up because I figured that adults are more mature and civilized. In reality that is far from the truth haha.

      In general people get less fit as they age. That’s why footballers struggle to get contracts when they hit thirty. I probably am in better shape now than when I was younger though. My diet is much healthier, even if I don’t do any exercise.

  10. Well…for me it wasn’t a tough question to answer at all. I have had a really bad time at school, especially with bullying, and the few pros their were don’t even come close to the amount of negatives. So my answer would be no….never going back 😊
    I actually started with RElife a while back, but for some reason did not continue with it. It doesn’t even have a reason why I stopped watching it, just that other things got my interes first. Might go back to it eventually, but that will also probably be next year, as this year there just is too much I still have to finish. Another great post though!

    • That has happened to me with a bunch of shows. I get distracted by something else midway and never get round to finishing them, even if the series themselves weren’t terrible. Perhaps ReLIFE will be worth revisiting when next year’s batch of episodes come out.

      • Yeah, this year certainly won;t be a year when I’m going to watch anything new. I’m just hoi g to finish the things I’m watching now, and make a plan for next year. Maybe RElife will be on that list πŸ˜€

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