ReLife is the story about Arata Kaizaki, a 27 year old who is picked to undergo the ReLife experiment. ReLife takes people who’s at a dead end in life and helps them get over traumas while teaching them valuable skills to prosper in the workforce. They do this by making the subjects take a pill that physically makes them look 10 years younger and reattend their 3rd year in high school.
When I started this I was afraid it was going to be the standard teenage anime drama with just an adult falling for a teenager trope. I didn’t actually enjoy the first few episodes because I thought it was heading that way. I didn’t like Arata at first either. Its not that he’s a bad character but I thought he was a little too good. This experiment is meant to help flawed individuals, but he seemed a little too perfect. You soon find out he is indeed a flawed individual. But not just him, his circle of friends and even the handlers of the project are all flawed. And that’s what got me invested and interested. This maybe a lighthearted comedy most of the time but this show has real dark problems people face. It deals with depression, inferiority complex, ptsd, and insecurities. It doesn’t just solve these problems in a span of one episode. Like real life, these issues take time to overcome and slowly but surely the characters address and overcome. Helping these young adults also helps Arata with his own deep-seated problems.
ReLife does this thing of consistently telling you the ending but as you get deeper and deeper into it, you don’t want it to end. It is still just as devastating even though we know what’s going to happen. As previously mentioned ReLife is a drama, comedy that develops into romance as characters develop. This theme is accompanied by a jazz influenced soundtrack. The tracks are really smooth, and they set the vibe of the show. The animation is good for the most part. During the OVA episodes the idle background characters don’t get animated. They’re just bright outlines to represent someone is there. While it technically doesn’t take anything away from the narrative it just looks silly.
ReLife is a nice spin on the slice of life genre because Arata is an adult looking in on teenage drama. He knows that their issues aren’t as big as they believe and gives sound advice. Each of the major characters has enough depth to be the protagonist if chosen. This anime is only 13 episodes long and if it would have ended there it wouldn’t of been close to satisfying. Luckily there are 4 OVA episodes that give closure to the story. Really, it’s a 17-episode anime because the 4 extra episodes are a necessity. Watching it a second time was much more enjoyable than the first.