A ReLIFE Review

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To be honest, I wasn’t expecting ReLIFE to be very good. From the very first episode it was clear that this show wasn’t a powerhouse in terms of visual design/animation. It was almost as if my screen screamed “low budget” the moment I laid eyes on it. This didn’t necessarily have to be a problem, as all it takes is a little creativity and/or skill to work around the confinements of time and money. For one reason or another however, ReLIFE lacked the ingenuity to create any sort of visual spectacle throughout the season’s entirety. The show went with a very basic, but very consistent style. While it was at no point an eyesore, it was also at no point something worthy of awe. Backgrounds were no more than sufficient and background crowds ended up being less appealing due to lack of details/movement. Continue reading

ReLIFE, Episode 13

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Before we get into the surprising (and exciting) narrative developments within the final episode of the first (and probably not intended last) season of ReLIFE, let’s first give a little attention its overall animation quality. ReLIFE hasn’t really been much of a visual spectacle in all of the episodes leading up to this point. It was clear that the show had somewhat of a low budget from the get-go, and a lack the ingenuity to still make something extraordinary within its confinements. Now, I wouldn’t characterize the visual art of the show as anything less than pleasing, but it’s certainly nowhere near the top dogs of the industry in terms of creating immersive and awe-inspiring scenery and sequences. Continue reading

ReLIFE, Episode 12

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Well, it’s very apparent that this show is not going to end anytime soon. Or at least, this show is probably expecting another season for itself. The setup for the second to last episode of the season is made so that Oga and Kariu finally confessing to each other will be the climax. While this is cute and I look forward to seeing it, I know that there is no way the deadline narrative focusing on Kaizaki throughout the entire series is going to be wrapped up, and that’s a shame. It’s a shame because, well…because it’s a deadline narrative. The whole point of a deadline is that your supposed to hit it. Kaizaki’s youth has an expiration date, and because that’s revealed to us, it should be expected that we’re going to see that come to a close. Continue reading

ReLIFE, Episode 11

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We’re finally getting an in depth look at the past of Kaizaki, and I must say I’m surprised, mainly because I was skeptical about his backstory being as dark as what was alluded to in previous episodes. Turns out crazy, traumatic shit happened to Kaizaki, and it affected him in a way that seemed to be appealing to the ReLIFE corporation. It broke Kaizaki as a person and left him completely inadequate for other hiring companies, leaving him to work a part-time job just to get by. At some point ReLIFE decided to swoop in and help him, both financially and as a form of unbeknownst rehabilitation. Continue reading

ReLIFE, Episode 10

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Okay, I’m see my main issue with this arc now: it’s using the same character to illustrate a problem that’s already been solve once before. Kariu is being stubborn and taking her frustration out on others again. Her envy is fueled by the same self-loathing that any “hardworking dreamer” goes through when in the face of extreme talent. She did it with Chizuru, and now she’s going through it with Honoka, who is actually her friend at the time unlike in Chizuru’s case. You would think that Kariu would’ve learned from that experience, but apparently not because she’s still letting her emotions get the best of her. Continue reading

ReLIFE, Episode 9

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Kariu is taking her frustrations out on people again, and that just makes me want to take my frustrations out on her. Did she not learn from that whole bag stealing business from a couple episodes back? Apparently not, because ReLIFE didn’t even bother to flashback it (which the show seems to be very keen on doing overall). Still, it’s happening again, which means Kaizaki has to come to the rescue again…except this time he doesn’t know how to approach the problem. Continue reading

ReLIFE, Episode 8

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Why is Kaizaki still struggling in school? Is he just an idiot? He’s seems quite in tune when it comes to solving the problems of other people, so what is it that keeps him from solving the problems of a high school test? While there does seem to be a reason narratively for his continued failures (and I’ll get to that later), there doesn’t seem to be a reason for his ineptitude as character. We don’t get to look at the contents of his test or the details of his study regimen. All we know is that Oga is a great student, but even he can’t seem to help Kaizaki for some reason. Continue reading

Expectations of an Audience: Flashback Edition

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We often talk about what we as an audience expect from our entertainment (in this case, anime). We expect there to be a certain level of quality, from animation to the musical score. While we don’t always know exactly where our individual borderlines for “good” and “bad” stand, we do feel it when something lives up or falls short to our standards. But what if we look at this from a different perspective? What do creators/meddling publishers think of us? What is their standard for an audience, and are they underestimating us? Continue reading

ReLIFE, Episode 7

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We’re finally getting a look into Kaizaki before the ReLIFE program, and interestingly enough, it’s through Ryou’s moments leading up to their first confrontation. Kaizaki is Ryou’s second chance, as his first test subject didn’t produce much results. That we already knew. What we didn’t know however, is that the outcome of the first experiment may have had something to do with Ryou’s mishandling of the situation. Ryou feels somewhat responsible for what happened, as during the experiment he was torn between two approaches for supporting his test subject: hands on or hands off. He was rattled by his employer’s judgment as well, but ultimately he feels that it was his fault. Continue reading

ReLIFE, Episode 6

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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. Continue reading