It’s been a while since I’ve been able to get back to ReLIFE, which always leaves me feeling its absence when that absence gets too long. All in all this was a pretty routine episode though, mostly along the lines of #8 – standard high-school friendship drama with a bit of a twist. ReLIFE is a good show and it does this type of material well, but it does feel like rather a waste to spend so much time on stuff any number of other shows could do (and already have).
The other issue I have here is Honoka, who for me is easily the most uninteresting and least compelling character in the main cast. In the first place (and I’ll put this as delicately as I can), her problems don’t strike me as especially heartbreaking and her experience doesn’t jibe with my own high school experience. Simply put, great athletes didn’t generally have to deal with being isolated or alone, because their prowess invariably made them popular. Mind you, they had another issue to deal with, which is fake friends who fawn over them to try and bask in their success – but I never knew one who had Honoka’s experience. Maybe you did, and if so I’m sure her arc resonated more with you than it did with me.
In the end, though, Episode 10 has the same problem Episode 8 did – there’s nothing much ReLIFE about it. Arata is irrelevant, the whole ReLIFE concept is irrelevant, it’s just school drama. There is the fact that this is an opportunity for Chizuru to show off her own growth, which is important – and in her role as the bridge between Honoka and Kariu, she indeed displays that she’s come out of her shell in a big way (thanks to Arata’s help). But we didn’t need three episodes for that, and there’s a tempest in a teapot quality to the whole arc that’s not ReLIFE‘s best side.
With three episodes left, that seems almost certain to change – I sure hope so. It’s pretty much a given that this series isn’t getting another season (unless there’s some weird financial angle to its odd distribution that I’m unaware of) so Kosaka-sensei and his team have an awful lot of ground to cover in a short space of time. I’d think that leaves little to no room for anything extraneous – which can sometimes be a major problem for a series, but in the case of ReLIFE is probably for the best, since it’s the core of what this show that makes it so special.