Having watched ReLIFE last year and managing to ignore the blatantly ridiculous premise long enough to get into the story and actually enjoy it, I was kind of happy to hear that we were getting more. Closely followed by unhappy that the anime only got a 4 episode OVA to try to wrap things up. So how did they go?
As much as I found the first ReLIFE series a pleasant binge experience, there was little staying power or any reason to really remember it, so before I could watch this I actually had to go and read the episode synopses for the first anime and as I did it kind of came back to me and I remembered it was kind of fun if I ignored the basic premise that somehow living a year of high school over again would change anything about your adult life.
Well here is the OVA and in four episodes it takes us to the end of the school year which means the ReLIFE experiment draws to an end for Arata Kaizaki. So the questions we now need answered (other than the old question about what is with the punctuation in the title) are whether Hishiro and Kaizaki will actually make it work out.
And this is where this OVA really comes into its own as it narrows the focus right down onto these two characters. Sure the rest of the classmates are still there, but most of their baggage was addressed in the first series. Kaizaki and Hishiro take centre stage and both have their own worries that they can’t talk about as the audience already knows these two are both test subjects.
Where the anime shines, is that it begins with a focus on Hishiro who firmly suspects that Kaizaki is another test subject (she’s somewhat brighter than he is). She also figures out fairly quickly that because they are both test subjects, they will both forget everything about the other no matter what they do. This makes her hesitate even as emotions grow between them and it feels fairly natural. When she finally does give in to her growing ling for Kaizaki it is a bittersweet moment and likewise for Kaizaki who honestly believes Hishiro is a high schooler and while emotionally he is growing attached to her, he really understands that he is actually 28.
Where the story goes after the experiment ends you will have to watch and find out for yourselves as I won’t spoil the fun of watching but I will say that all the way through this OVA you do need to watch through to after the credits and given the final episode has nearly five minutes still to go after the credits are finished it really means you need to stay watching or you are going to miss the final resolution.
Much like the first series, this isn’t exactly groundbreaking or memorable but it was a fun and relaxing way to pass a Saturday afternoon. Clearly this isn’t aiming to amaze with its art or animation, with the majority of students in the school either generic blue and pink shapes or when a character is in the background they are frequently motionless, but it isn’t the kind of story that is relying on its animation. It really is just trying to tap in to how we feel and to make us feel for these characters.
Ultimately your enjoyment of the series will come from how much you actually would like to see these two characters overcome their past demons and make a new life for themselves after their ReLIFE. If that works for you, then definitely check out the show.
Thanks for reading.
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