Review: ReLIFE E.01

If you were given the chance to partake in an experiment that would cover your costs of living for a year, would you do it? What if the experiment called for taking a pill that makes you look younger and you have to go back to high school? Would you still do it?

ReLIFE is just that. Kaizaki Arata is a 27 year old deadbeat who can’t land a full-time job and has to work part-time just to get by. After a night of drinking with his pals, Kaizaki is handed even more damning news: his family is not going to be giving him money for the next month. Kaizaki is then approached by a “spokesman” of ReLIFE and given this opportunity and jumps right on board. I mean, who wouldn’t? ME.

ReLIFEAfter finalizing the contract with ReLIFE the next morning, Kaizaki is ready for his first day back in high school. It’s at school that we found out that the spokesman, Yoake, is apparently a student as well. Of course Kaizaki is conflicted by this discovery. All of that gets put aside as he finds he has three tests to take. With luck never being on his side, he reaches into his backpack and what you do you know, no pencil box to be found. The teacher approaches him and requests to see the backpack. Disgusted with what she finds, she pulls out a pack of cigarettes and questions him. He casually replies with, “what of it?” It isn’t until after she repeats what he said that he realizes he is no longer 27 and freaks out. Hilarious.

After the end of school and on his way home, Kaizaki runs into Yoake. It is then when you learn that Yoake is in fact an adult as well. He is merely in his class to keep an eye on him as well as offer support. In order to train to be of adequate support, Yoake was a student the previous year as well. Yoake also reveals the true purpose of ReLIFE: a program to rehabilitate NEET’s.

The animation follows a lot of your typical anime tropes: over the top reactions, cloudy colorful backgrounds when a certain emotion is evoked, similar character designs, etc. It’s not bad, but it is something that has been played out for too long. Luckily, it doesn’t take away from the enjoyment. The only issues I had, however, was with Kaizaki. I could not tell the difference between him at 27 and him at 17. He looked exactly the same.

The premise is something interesting and not one that I’ve seen before. It makes me wonder, too, would someone really be willing to to take another stab at high school and aim for a better outcome? I’m curious to see how all of this plays out, so it looks like I’m on board for the long haul. Luckily for me, it’s available all at once.

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