Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama, School, Slice of Life, Redemption
First Aired: Summer 2016, 13 episodes
Summary: Arata Kaizaki is a 27-year-old that does not have a lot going his way. He’s unemployed, single, and his family has had enough of his lazy ways. To put it in anime terms, he’s a NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training). While out drinking one night Arata meets a mysterious guy in an alley. He’s offered a pill that will turn him back into a 17-year-old, giving him the opportunity to start over with his adult life. Arata wakes up as a fresh faced teenager, regretting his decision but restarting his senior year of high school nonetheless. Who knows what kind of experience he’ll have this time around? Will he use his knowledge and experience to his benefit?
I’m sure we’ve all wondered at one time or another what it would be like to return to a younger age, retaining our current knowledge and memories of the past. ReLIFE shows an example of how that would be. Before I started watching I thought the story would entail Arata becoming a teenager and then he would integrate seamlessly into high school life, leaving a run-of-the-mill school anime as the result. I’m glad to report I was wrong. Arata retains his memories and assumes he’ll fit in, but high school has changed in the past decade. It’s also been ten years since he studied, so he is lacking in his knowledge of high school subjects. There are also reminders throughout that he cannot live the adult lifestyle he was used to, considering he’s only 17 now.
I found the story enjoyable since I’ve contemplated this type of situation on many occasions. It was told in a believable way, considering the content. The characters were another positive aspect, with multiple characters being focused on in various episodes and character development being apparent. While the protagonist is Arata, the series is not solely focused on him. The animation is bright and vibrant, which I am also a fan of.
You might enjoy this if: You’ve wondered what it would be like to get a second chance at reliving a younger age and being able to make different decisions based on what you know now. Not that it’s completely related, but there were moments of ReLIFE that reminded me of Plastic Memories, so if you enjoyed that anime, check out this one.
You might not like it if: You’re the type to always move forward, never looking back in life.
Note to the Viewer: If you pay attention you’ll notice each episode contains a different ending theme performed by various artists.
AMV – Rather Be by Epitome
(Warning, the AMV contains spoilers. I figure if you haven’t seen the show, you don’t know what’s getting spoiled, right?)