When This Woman Speaks About Anime: A Review of ReLife (リライフ)

I just recently became a fan of Anime and I previously thought they were just cartoons, but Anime is not cartoons, it is so much more. Formerly thought as a thing for men, I am finding out that a lot of women love Anime, shout out to Megan Thee Stallion for bringing that to our attention. Anime is extremely diverse which means there will be something for everyone because there a literally many genres to pick from.

I enjoy the genre “Slice of Life” which is, “a genre that is more akin to melodrama than drama, bordering on absurd due to the large numbers of dramatic and comedic events in very short spans.” (Wikipedia)

This genre fits my quirky personality because it is good for a chuckle or two due to its harmless bouts of light hearted calamities. I was turned onto by a friend who I found was always giggling like a school girl about something on the screen of his tablet. When I asked what he explained about some of his favorite series in anime and that led him to introducing me to this particular genre.

So today I will be reviewing a popular Anime television series called, “ReLife”. In July 2016 it was spotlighted on the streaming platform, “Crunchyroll.com”. Anticipation grew and people were glad to be able to watch all the episodes as once as opposed to having to wait each week for an episode to come out. So without further ado here is my review of ReLife….

The ReLife Plotline (SPOILER ALERT)

Kaizaki is a twenty seven year old underachiever that is failing at life. He only works part-time and is a disappointment to himself and his parents who are cutting him off financially .He has been unable to secure full time employment and his quite depressed in general.

One day he gets off the train and is walking home, and he is approached by Ryo Yaoke and offered a job but the catch is first he needs to be a tester for a company called ReLife. ReLife is an experiment that will provide him with an opportunity to fix the problems in his life.

What does it mean be a tester? He will have to take a pill that makes him appear 10 years younger and he will go back to high school as a student and interact with others who think he is a teenager like them, but he isn’t. Kaizaki accepts the job but is told; at the end of his testing experience all of the teens he comes into contact with will forget him. He will remember his experiences though and it will make him better prepared for the job and the life he chooses to have when the experiment is over.

He is also told if he tells anyone about the experiment they will wipe his memory clean and he will wake up as a twenty seven year old with no recollection or memory of how he got to be that age. He accepts the job and at first he is excited that he will be forgotten by the teens, but as he gets to know them and interacts with them more, his feelings change.

THE MAIN CHARACTERS:

Arata Kaizaki

The protagonist of the story is Kaizaki who we see suffered a trauma when he started working at a company that was exploitive of its employees and where one of his female coworkers was being harassed by male coworkers and ended up killing herself. This caused him to quit the job after only being there for three months, and now he struggles in job interviews when he has to explain why he only worked there for such a short length of time. This leads him to only working part-time and being scrutinized about it.

We see him struggle to adapt to a life a teenager and how he interacts with others including his “handler” who ends up being the guy who first approached him on behalf of ReLife, Ryō Yoake You gets to see many hilarious exchanges with the two as Kaizaki adjusts to his new life as a teen. You also see Ryō Yoake comes to truly care as he guides and roots for Kaizaki.

A love story starts to form as Kaizaki falls in love with Chizuru Hishiro……..

Chizuru Hishiro

Chizuru is seen as being a socially awkward teen who gives a deadpan delivery in all her interactions. She is portrayed as a borderline genius and this further separates her from the others. She has trouble relating to other students and her dealings with them are often uncomfortable and confusing. This leads to many funny moments as she tries to relate and fit in. She is the love interest of Arata Kaizaki and he is often sad when he remembers she will not remember him when he leaves the experiment. It later comes out that she is also an adult who took the pill to become a teen.

Ryō Yoake

We first see him approach Kaizaki but he is actually in the experiment with him as a handler, who as I previously stated, his job is to guide and mentor him. Ryō Yoake has this smile on in his face in almost all of their interactions and his happy demeanor irritates Kaizaki, but will tickle you. There are many funny scenes where he annoys Kaizaki as Ryō Yoake also appears to be a teen but is the age of Kaizaki. His job is to monitor the progress and report how Kaizaki is progressing. He often does things that help Kaizaki gain clarity and later in the series some of these attempts at clarity are very touching.

Do I recommend this series?

Yes! It’s funny in an innocent kind of way. Its different than most coming of age stories because it’s really about adults rediscovering themselves and fighting to be better people. The love story is sweet and refreshingly endearing. You will find yourself laughing at some moments and brought to tears at others. You can watch this with your whole family, there are not cursing or sex scenes. Scenes get dim but not dark and the entire calamity and chaos is what I would consider Rated PG. Dont sleep on this series during this forced pandemic social distancing, pick a day and watch the whole series you will not be disappointed.

Are you an Anime fan? Have you ever seen ReLife?

What are your thoughts?

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References:

https://www.crunchyroll.com/relife

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slice_of_life#:~:text=%20%20%20%20v%20t%20e%20Film,Animals%20Beach%20party%20Blaxploitation%20Body%20%20…%20

https://animemotivation.com/best-slice-of-life-anime/

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