The story revolves around 27-year-old Arata Kaizaki who has been unemployed for several years after quitting his job of 3-months, claiming that it is because it "does not fit his highest potential". As a result of this action, he finds it difficult to gain a full-time job at another company and instead he works as a part-timer at a mini market. One day, a mysterious man named Ryō Yoake offers him a job opportunity, but first, he needs to become a tester for ReLife: a scientific experiment to make him appear 10 years younger and send him back to high school as a student. The experiment is supposed to provide a chance to experience youth once again and, in the process, fix whatever is wrong with the subject's life.
ReLIFE (リライフ Riraifu) is a Japanese webtoon series written and illustrated by So Yayoi.
The animation for ReLIFE is elegant and beautiful. I guess they could afford to put more details into the art as it is mostly people talking. The colors are also very vibrant, giving you that nostalgic high school feeling. Around episodes 13 and beyond is when you’ll see a dip in the art quality. I don’t know if it was due to a lack of budget or what, but the animation isn’t as smooth, and the background characters become just generic silhouette.
The opening theme is “Button” by PENGUIN RESEARCH, while various artists perform a different ending theme for each episode. The ending songs are compilated into one album titled “MD2000 ~ReLIFE Ending Songs~” and to be released on September 21, 2016. The title “MD2000” comes from a type of mini disc that came out in 2000 while the concept of the ending themes comes from the songs that Kaizaki used to hear back in his (old) high school days.
Don’t let the concept of a slice-of-life high school show deter you from giving this wonderful anime a chance. Every character is engaging and interesting, and each will pull on your heart string as you watch their struggle to overcome their deficiency. This is a deeper series than your typical slice-of-life show. For one, there is a continual plot that is impactful.
Don’t worry about the weird premise. Japan is facing a crisis where there is a high percentage of people that are being classified as NEET. A NEET is a person who is “Not in Education, Employment, or Training”. The acronym NEET was first used in the United Kingdom, but its use has spread to other countries and regions, including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. Compound this issue with Japan low birth rate, it is understandable that instead of using a pill that makes people look young for a capital gain, they would use it to correct their NEET issue using an anime logic. The ReLIFE Laboratory feels more like a company from the future that went back in time to correct an issue in the present day.
The interactions between the characters remind me a bit of Here is Greenwood in many ways. It is a 1987 manga that was adapted into an OVA in 1991. Now, I gotta find and rewatch that series.
The first season left it in a sorta meta ending, where it was rather open-ended. Though the season was good, it left a lot of questions that were later answered in the four part OVA.
I highly recommend this series to the fan of romance genre that want their anime a bit more profound. ReLIFE contains alcohol and tobacco consumption and mature themes and dialogs. Intended for young adults.
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A collection of notable music and song from this series.
- “Button” by Penguin Research (eps 1-12)
- “Button” by Penguin Research (eps 1-3)
- “Easy Rider” by Okuda Tamio (ep 1)
- “Hot Limit” by T.M.Revolution (ep 2)
- “Timing” by Black Biscuits (ep 3)
- “Honey” by L`Arc-en-Ciel (ep 4)
- “Kore ga Watashi no Ikiru Michi” by Puffy (ep 5)
- “Sunny Day Sunday” by Sentimental Bus (ep 6)
- “Saudade” by Porno Graffitti (ep 7)
- “Yuki no Hana” by Nakashima Mika (ep 8)
- “There Will Be Love There” by The Brilliant Green (ep 9)
- “Asu e no Tobira” by I Wish (ep 10)
- “Pieces of a Dream” by Chemistry (ep 11)
- “Natsumatsuri” by Whiteberry (ep 12)
- “Button” by Penguin Research (ep 13)
- “Hana” by Orange Range (ep 1)
- “Che.r.ry” by Yui (ep 2)
- “La La La Love Song” by Kubota Toshinobu feat. Naomi Campbell (ep 3)
- “Button” by Penguin Research (ep 4)
- “Momoiro” by Kayano Ai
- “Regret” by Ono Kenshou
- “Rejoin” by Ueda Reina
- “Relife” by Ono Kenshou
A collection of notable videos, ranging from a fan-created trailer, music video, opening, and ending clip.
All images are copyright to their respective owners.
Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.