Anime Review: ReLIFE
Arata Kaizaki was down on his luck, when a night of drinking with some friends led to meeting a stranger on his way home. Being offered a years worth of household expenses paid for and potential to have a job at the end, Arata accepts the strangers offer to under go an experiment. But will the experiment offer him what he’s looking for in life, or will he be yet another NEET? Join Timlah as we look at this latest offering from Crunchyroll.
Crunchyroll offers some of the latest anime at a really good price, so if you’re in the UK and like your anime, I seriously recommend it. No, I’ve not been paid to say that: I just genuinely enjoy the service. With that small unpaid ad out of the way with, I was looking on Crunchyroll for something a little different and lo and behold, a brand new anime by the name of ReLIFE appeared. It seemed to have a relatively unique premise, especially compared to what I’ve been watching as of late, so I figured I’d give it a try. ReLIFE was announced to start airing on Crunchyroll on 1st July 2016, but they ended up putting up every episode of the anime on the day! With just 12 episodes, it seems a waste to not give this one a shot: So what is ReLIFE?
|Initial Release||July 2016|
Arata Kaizaki is one of many NEETs in Japan; a young person who is Not in Employment, Education or Training. Having been previously employed after his college education was over, Arata has fallen on hard luck. He’s not only jobless, but his mother called him late at night to tell him that his support finance from his parents would be cut off. Scared and anxious about what the future holds for him, although a little bit drunk, he meets a stranger by the name of Yaoke Ryo on his travels back home, who seems to know him very well. The man offers him to join the ReLIFE programme, an experiment that would ensure he would be able to afford any living expenses for a year and a potential job at the end of the year. It’s all very overwhelming, but of course, inebriation gets the best of us at times.
The next day, upon waking, he realises he accepted Yaoke’s request. Upon signing on the dotted line, Arata is told he is going to go back to the third year of high school, in the middle of the hardest time for the students of the school. He’s now got to make the most of his situation, having taken the experimental drug and having gone back many years in age. He’s now got to find himself getting through high school once more, re-learning about the awkwardness of education and perhaps learning to have a better life in the process. With a traumatic backstory to couple the reason behind his previous job, Arata is in for a bumpy ride.
Art and Animation
This is a weird one for me, as it’s often visually beautiful to look at… But sometimes, especially having looked back at the screenshots I took… I notice some relative sloppiness. Nothing that would put you off of the anime, by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s visibly noticable. For instance, there’s a point where the teacher is scolding Arata for having a packet of cigarettes and they want to convey the shadow around one of her eyes. They do so, by simply doing a block of black shadowing, which would imply that her nose blocked out the whole of the light on that part of her face. This is pedantry, but as I’ve been watching so many more anime recently, I can’t help but notice these kinds of things. Still, it’s a visibly lush world with some beautiful artwork. Just sometimes, they seem to cut corners!
One of the most joyous parts of the style for me however, was the extreme exaggerations, which took me back to one of my favourite genres: Slice of Life comedy. Now this isn’t all fun and games, but the aforementioned exaggerations are a delight when they occur!
As always though, art is subjective, so here’s our gallery:
Now, this was a highlight for me! Right at the beginning of this anime, there was a part where a piano was softly playing through a flashback, including an interview Arata undertook. The little ditty that was played throughout conveyed the emotion perfectly. That sense of diligence and chaotic thought process that goes behind an interview – and it’s so simple! It really needn’t be anything more than that, a sweet, simple piano tune. It certainly wasn’t Mozart, but that’d have ruined it! Couple this with the catchy theme tune and you’ve gotten yourself an audio joy.
To add to this, let’s quickly chat about the voice actors. Often in anime, there’s a sense of the unbelievable in their voices. However in this, it feels like everyone is having a real conversation, rather than a script. The flow of conversation is really well preserved – So a huge plus from me. Kenshō Ono is the voice actor for Arata, who brings a sense of honesty and realism in his voice. Thank goodness, I’ve seen enough anime in the past with very script sounding dialogues.
Yes, I’d recommend you watch this anime – It’s not too long at just 13 episodes on Crunchyroll at the moment, but that’s a positive to me. If you’re not hooked by the end of the 13 episodes, then perhaps it wasn’t for you after all. The premise alone is what draws me to this one, along with knowing the manga is still ongoing like many modern anime are, I’m thoroughly impressed with what’s been done thus far. If you get a chance to, please do go and check this anime out. If you have a premium account, you can see all of this series now… However if you don’t want to get a premium account, free users will be able to view the whole series on July 22nd.
What do you think? Have you seen ReLIFE yet, or have you never even heard of it? How does this stack up next to the original mangas? As always, share your thoughts with us in the comments below, or leave us a message on Facebook, Twitter or Reddit.