Taking a break from the wacky school antics, ReLIFE decides it’s time for a little change in scenery by having this episode take place almost entirely in Kaizaki’s apartment. But just before we get there, we get a glimpse into what’s on Chizuru’s mind as the cold open is a scene of her searching “heart stirring pangs” on the internet. Hilariously enough, the show’s parody search engine asks if she meant “love”. So of course I immediately googled the same thing, but sadly that’s not actually how the internet works. Most of the results were related to actual heart issues and not the budding romances of delicate young teens trying to understand their emotions. I got a good laugh out of it though, so good job Chizuru.
We move on to Kaizaki’s room, which is full of empty beer cans and cigarette buds. That kind of disappointed me, as I thought he had quit from the beginning of the season. Still, he has plenty of adult stuff laying around, and so when his friends show up unannounced, Kaizaki had to frantically clean up all the evidence of him not being a real high schooler.
An and Oga are here for a study session, because apparently they still haven’t made any progress with their grades. At this point, I feel this running gag has overstayed its welcome. The longer An and Kaizaki’s ineptitude goes on, the less cute and more downright pathetic it becomes.
Anyway, silly hijinks ensue as Kaizaki has to keep warding away his friends when they’re about to stumble upon something that will expose his secret. The most absurdly stupid moment comes when An starts reading his calendar, seeing the adult things like “interviews” and “resumes” marked with a deadline. Kaizaki grabs the calendar and throws it at the wall, then covers for himself by saying there was a bug. Again, just another dumb moment that made me smile.
There was one point where I wasn’t quite as amused however. When An and Kaizaki go through their normal conversation regarding Oga’s love life, Kaizaki says some that rubs me the wrong way. Once they talk about how handsome Oga is, Kaizaki says to him, “even I find you good looking, and I’m a dude”. In a way, what he said somewhat implies that there’s something weird, unnatural, or wrong about a man thinking another man is attractive. That kind of casual language hits on a problematic societal issue, and while I can see that the intent of the writing probably wasn’t in malice, it does in a way reflect the values of the creator, values that I happen to believe are flawed. But that’s neither here nor there, in respects to the episode and show as a whole. Just thought it was something worth pointing out on its own.
Now we come to the twist. Oga suddenly has to leave, meaning An and Kaizaki will be alone together in his apartment. And of course, a boy and a girl alone together can only mean one thing: Awkward sexually charged moments that lead absolutely nowhere! Yes, An makes a move on Kaizaki, saying she first met him at a convenient store and fell in love with him at first sight. And then when I thought this episode couldn’t get any more bizarre, Ryou shows up to explain that she’s part of ReLIFE, but she seems to be going off on her own just to study him. Her poor grades were just an excuse to spend time with him studying, and her flirting was apparently just a test.
This revelation really changes An as a character. At first I thought she was just a nice side character that related well to Kaizaki, but know we know that she’s manipulative as well as an adult. She’s still cute though, and there’s still a chance that she’ll have an unrequited love for him, although I think the show would be better off without it.
Finally, we learn that half of what Ryou and An explained to Kaizaki was a lie, but we don’t know what half it was. Not really a strong cliffhanger by any standards, as the ReLIFE program has been the least interesting part of this entire series for me. It’s more fun just watching Kaizaki go around and solve teen problems, unwittingly planting seeds of relationships that will certainly flourish by the time the series reaches its conclusion.