ReLIFE OVA: What Happens At The End of a ReLIFE?


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.

Karandi James


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ReLIFE Series Review

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ReLIFE Overview:

Arata Kaizaki’s life has kind of hit a stand still at the beginning of ReLife.

After quitting his first job three months in he is finding it pretty hard to find employment, or even really face the world and is becoming increasingly isolated. Enter a pill and a contract to go back to being 17 years old for a year and have a chance of a job waiting at the other end of the experiment. Yes, Arata is going back to high school.

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ReLIFE Review:

Firstly, I am going to thank whoever decided to release the 13 episodes of this show on one day. If I’d had to wait week to week to watch this, I would have lost interest. Not because this is bad, but because it is kind of ordinary and there isn’t really enough to make you want to come back to it. However, in a single sitting or split over a couple of days, this is actually quite fun and interesting. So, good decision there.

Secondly, what’s with the title of ReLIFE? Why is does LIFE need to be entirely in capital letters? I don’t normally care when anime does weird things to English words but this one kind of just made me wonder whether there was meant to be some greater significance that I just missed.

Questioning the title of ReLIFE

Alright then, on to the ReLIFE ReVIEW (see how silly that looks). Not visually impressive at all.

The premise of this anime (that somehow reliving a year of high school will enable you to overcome your adult gained emotional baggage and become a productive member of society again) is complete and utter rubbish.

No matter how you look at it, even if magic pills that could make you appear older/younger existed, this is not going to work. Even if you learn to get on with others within the confines of school, this does not directly translate to the workforce. More importantly, in Arata’s case, it isn’t his inability to deal with people that’s the problem. It was the criminal negligence of the company he worked for. So reliving high school, not helpful.

If we ignore this (and if you can’t just don’t bother watching), then what we get is a half-way interesting show about nice guy Arata overcoming the hurdles of being plunged back into a classroom and helping all his new high school friends overcome their emotional angst by giving them pep-talks.

Okay, it sounds lame but as I said, it kind of works. It’s sweet and it doesn’t drag and most the characters are likeable.

My biggest complaint would have to be the writer’s inability to let the premise be. He goes to school for a year and then everyone forgets him and he goes back to his adult life. Instead we have a second test subject in the school and a growing romance and you just know that if this story continues they are going to find some ridiculous reason to let at least one person remember what happened.

What's the worst that could happen? Karandi asks of ReLIFE

Just commit to your silly premise already. Hey, you already declared you were going to wipe perfectly innocent students’ of their memories of an individual, what worse things could you possibly do?


There’s some genuine humour to be found in this series. Particularly Arata’s difficulties with studying. Yep, even if you made it through school, if you don’t use it you lose it. In addition to studying we get to look at sports, bullying, romances and all the usual anime high school tropes but from the perspective of an adult who has already had their illusions about real life shattered.

Furthermore, the two ‘support’ characters who are working for the group that are incharge of the ReLife experiment are gold. Their back and forth when discussing strategies, their different approaches in the classroom, and just their ‘support’ really work well to keep the plot moving along.

I enjoyed ReLIFE. I started watching it while waiting for someone while I was away and ended up marathoning the entire series. That doesn’t mean it is amazing but it is watchable and a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. However, if you aren’t going to let go of the fact that the entire motivation behind the going back to school thing is rubbish, you aren’t going to get into this show.

So, what do you guys think?

ReLIFE is available on Crunchyroll.

Images from: ReLife. Dir. S. Kosaka. TMS Entertainment. 2016

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Karandi James