First Impressions – ReLIFE

Wait – I can do a First Impressions and Series Review post at the same time?

ReLIFE - 01 -1I have no idea how I’m going to watch ReLIFE, never mind blog it – but I’m all but certain that I will.  Maybe it’s just anime entering the binge watching age at last, but this thing about releasing all the episodes at one (courtesy Comico in this case) seems odd to me.  And Crunchyroll is apparently going to do likewise with the official subs.

ReLIFE - 01 -2For now, it’s enough that the first episode is good – and it’s very good.  There are a few moments when the broad comedy and distorted faces seem forced and out of place, and I won’t deny that this general theme is trendy as fuck in anime at the moment.  But all in all, this was smart, funny and the time flew by.  ReLIFE is off to a very solid start.

ReLIFE - 01 -3Ono Kensho is Kaizaki Arata, a 27 year-old who quit his post-grad school job after only three months.  Because he took two years off before starting college, that makes Arata solidly a NEET – and his parents decide to cut him off financially to try and force him to take ownership of his life.  After a night getting drunk with some old friends, Arata is approached by a smiling young man in an alley (that can’t ever be good, even when it’s Kimura Ryouhei) and promised that he can get a full year’s living expenses paid if he agrees to an experiment – take a pill to make him look ten years younger, and spend a year in high school.

ReLIFE - 01 -4This is a pretty standard conceit, and certainly evidence of animanga (and Japan’s) odd obsession with high school.  But you know, just because this sort of body-switch (kind of) thing is common these days, that doesn’t mean it can’t work.  This episode is snappy and tightly-written, and evidences a good deal of sensitivity and insight.  Naturally enough it’s no easy thing for a 27 year-old to try and fit in at high school, and Arata’s first day is believably disastrous without being so bleak as to be unfunny.  Of course he’s intrigued by the notion that he can be openly attracted to high-school girls (as opposed to secretly, like most guys his age) but it’s with the 25 year-old homeroom teacher Amatsu Kokoro (Sawashiro Miyuki) who busts him for smoking that Arata feels a real connection.  I’ll be interested to see how that’s going to work.

ReLIFE - 01 -5I like both those characters, and the other high schoolers who settle in around Arata – played by a fine group of seiyuu – seem likeable and interesting as well.  Based on what I know of the manga this first episode is not a mirage – the source material is pretty strong – and the premiere reveals that the anime staff isn’t going to make a meal of it.  I wish ReLIFE were airing on a normal weekly schedule, but hey – I guess you have to change with the times, and I’ll figure something out for a series that has this much potential.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 comments

  1. For what its worth I’ll probably pretend and watch this series weekly. Its interesting that he had the most interaction with the teacher in school, I’m curious to see how that relationship progresses.

  2. That sounds like a good idea with the big summer rollouts I just don’y want to Marathon Right now I would be way behind very quickly

  3. l

    Just finished binging it throughout the day, and I enjoyed it a lot. The characters felt genuine and acted like real people instead of cardboard cutouts as is often the case. I enjoyed how I was able to relate to Arata’s struggles as well. I’m sure you’ll enjoy watching and blogging it too!

  4. I’m currently on episode 9 and I like it a lot as well. Don’t want to say any more then that and spoil things for those that are gonna watch it 1 episode a week but there is a lot to like in this series.

  5. H

    WAIT Arata is voiced by Ono Kensho? I thought I heard his signature tone come out briefly when binging it but I quickly denied it because I have never heard him in a role much different to Kuroko (knb) or more recently, Tanaka. It’s cool that he’s branching out instead of doing the same old soft-spoken roles.

    Anyway, to the actual series, I definitely enjoyed it. I agree with lordq, the characters felt quite real. I wasn’t sure what to think of this series when I first started it, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

  6. R

    “Wait – I can do a First Impressions and Series Review post at the same time?” Bwahahaha…I was waiting for your post to see if you would actually do both first impressions and series review in one post, but I guess there are viewers who may choose to take the time and enjoy this show weekly.

    ReLIFE is nice to watch. It’s not like a masterpiece, but I like that the show doesn’t have the usual tropes in a high school setting, and that’s refreshing.

  7. Z

    I watched the whole thing straight through. It was good . . . the animation wasn’t the highest quality all the way through, and I found the background music to be incredibly jarring. But the story and the protagonist won me over.

  8. B

    I watched the whole thing at a go and enjoyed it. The story had a point and knew what it was trying to tell

  9. I watched it in one go as well. 😀
    I pressed fast forward on all flash backs, and there are parts that bored me out, but the ending totally worths it. Thanks goodness it was a well spent 4 hours.

  10. o

    Just finished it as well… I would have kept watching if there had been more episodes.

    One thing with them releasing it all at once – with some shows, after a couple of episodes it starts to feel like they aren’t sure where they’re heading. They certainly didn’t have the luxury here of releasing a couple of episodes to buy time while they figure things out, and it definitely showed. The characters are likable, every episode moved forward, and the wrap up didn’t feel thrown together.

    Guess I better go find the manga now.

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