Sad looser Arata Kaizaki decides it’s about time to start making smart choices and get his life back on track! His first step is to accept mysterious drugs from a stranger he meets in a dark deserted street. Best decision ever!

I know that there was a bit of buzz around this show when it first came out and  a lot of people were looking forward to the premiere. It’s generally well liked and well rated, and it was suggested to me (by the internet – I have no friends) several times. What I do not know is – why?

ReLife Review
You and me both, buddy!

The show is perfectly serviceable, I guess. The art and animation are both decent but hardly memorable. The story is supposedly sweet but honestly it was not for me as I strained to stay interested. Ultimately, I just couldn’t get past the show’s flaws.

First, the characters. They are not unpleasant or particularly problematic in any way but what they are, aside from possibly Arata,  is boring, super average, stock high school students each with a particular trait, usually a flaw, that is blown wayyyyyyy out of proportion. Look, I understand being socially awkward, believe me I understand!, but there’s a point when it becomes clearly a mental issue. Same thing goes for jealous, I understand that one too!, but it shouldn’t be your defining characteristic. And how can anyone be THAT naive even have survived that long. I could go on. What I’m saying is that these characteristics are exaggerated to the point that they border on disorders. Now if they wanted to make an ensemble show exploring a cast of mentally ill or unstable characters trying to navigate every day school life, that would have been fine. Actually I would sooo watch that show… Someone please make that show. But, I’m pretty sure that’s not what they were going for here. And what’s worse, the traits seem assigned to just ONE character. Clueless guy is the only one oblivious to his surroundings, jealous girl is the only one who was ever prey to envy, (although other people may say they are jealous of someone or something, she is the only one that exhibits any type of jealous behavior) and so on.

ReLife Review
Just back away slowly and don’t look them in the eye

Second, the story just doesn’t stand up to any kind of scrutiny. The two reveals, such as they are, are glaringly obvious right from the start. If **I** managed to pick up on it then trust me you will too, like the very second the character gets on screen. I’m usually bad at these things. Now you could argue that this is the type of show that really doesn’t need twists and I would agree, but it presents these scenes as if they were these huge clever “A-HA!” moments and they are just boring statements of the obvious. However, for me the worst part by far is that the premise is never explained – at all. The central conceit is is that a shadow company(?), government (?), mafia group (?) – I’m not too sure really – has a drug that can make you look 10 years younger but not actually be 10 years younger, and they are running experiments by sending adults back to high school and observing them for a year for reasons. There is no attempt to explain how the magic drug works or why it isn’t commercially available as an alternative to plastic surgery. There is a mild suggestion that the purpose of the project may be to rehabilitate NEETs into productive members of society but this would seem like the most contrived, ridiculously complicated/least effective way to go about it (I have a similar complaint about Madoka but that was a much better show). We know the “company” actually produces the drug and doesn’t simply purchase it from a third-party lab, and that they have numerous employees some of which are assigned to watch over subjects for years. Enormous resources are obviously being poured into this “experiment” and we are never told why – ever… **Nobody Even Asks*** C’mon I’m not the crazy one here – right?

ReLife Review

And then, as if I wasn’t worked up enough, the show goes and pulls one of my least favourite tricks: it inserts a jarringly dark and maudlin turn of events to simulate “depth”. For no fiddlesticks reason! Ok, maybe the situation **could** happen, it is in the realm of the possible, but it seems very unlikely. On top of that, even though we were just treated to a deeply traumatic incident which is meant to explain the serious emotional and psychological scars of the protagonist, the very next episode everything is right back to normal and it is never mentioned again….

ReLife Review
-What are you doing here, didn’t you just go through a tragedy?                              – Oh dude, that was yesterday!

Edit (I actually forgot to include this in my original post but it bugs me) And another thing: supposedly at the end of the one year experiment – everyone will simply forge the subject… HOW??? Are they drugging EVERYONE? and WHY??? This is their last year of high school. They could so easily just tell people the subject decided to attend college in another country… None of this makes any sense… o.k. I’m done now…

A lot of people like this show. Maybe you would too. If you do – please tell me why?

Favorite character:  Yoake – by process of elimination. I like blondes but Ohga is just too much, even for me

What this anime taught me about myself: There apparently is a limit to what I’m willing to accept from a blonde bishie – who knew?

 “Love makes the world go round? Not at all. Whiskey makes it go round twice as fast.”

Suggested drink: Forever young

  • Every time Ohga is oblivious – take a very small drink
  • Every time people make a big deal about dropping honorifics – take a polite drink
  • Every time Hishiro is surprisingly moe in texts/letters – take a drink
  • Every time Arata fails a test – make plans to study later
  • Every time Hishiro gives a creepy smile – take a drink
    • If it’s to Rena – take a second
  • Every time Yoake and/or An troll anyone – take a drink
  • Every time Hishiro fails to remember someone’s name – take a drink
    • if she insults the other person in the process – take another
  • Every time the silver pin is shown or mentioned – do something responsible (don’t ask me – I make up anime drinking games as a hobby…)
  • Every time Arata smokes – consider quitting smoking. If you don’t smoke consider quitting drin… no wait – don’t!
  • Every time Rena is throwing a jealousy fit – take a stiff drink
  • Every time someone is trying to get Rena and Ohga together – take a drinkReLife Review