ReLIFE 12-13 [END]

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Ahh nothing more romantic than fiery explosions

I can’t say this final arc is what I expected or hoped for. With only 13 episodes, I suppose it had to awkwardly end somewhere with a “to be continued…” banner being raised. Still, it’s not such a bad way to cap off the series!

I’m not a big fan of romance (in anime, not in real life. You can buy me roses anytime~). I’m just not interested in jittery, naïve high school students going through an awkward courting process. It’s painful to watch. The stuff with Kariu’s crush on Oga thus far has been fine since it was part of Kariu’s mental block where she thought Hishiro was taking away everything she loved. In other contexts, it was used as a passing joke to show us how dense Oga is in terms of romantic issues.

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However, getting Kariu and Oga together became the focus of the final arc. I did not like that. As much as I appreciate the way this show has given other characters the spotlight, the finale wasn’t the time or place to step so far away from Arata’s side of the story. It’s also a shame since Hishiro and Arata have wayyyy better chemistry than Oga and Kariu. Even without the whole issue of the ReLIFE system throwing a monkey wrench into any potential romance, the two of them have great conversations. Perhaps it’s due to their maturity, but the more complex nature of Arata and Hishiro’s relationship is much easier to cheer for…especially since we now know that Hishiro is also secretly a ReLIFER (I knew it!!!).

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It’s like the “they’re not actually blood-related!” reveal that suddenly makes it ok

Kariu and Oga are just…a mess. Kariu is a worldclass tsundere, meaning she’s constantly snapping at Oga to hide her affections. Based on this, I have no idea why Oga would even remain friends with her let alone fall in love. This makes it harder to swallow when Oga suddenly realizes – out of the blue – that he likes Kariu. Once Arata put the concept of having a girlfriend into his head, something snaps into place and he comes to the revelation that he wants to be with Kariu…or at least hold her hand and blush about how “indecent” it is. It almost feels fake. It’s like Arata used some weird inception tactic to trick Oga into thinking he likes Kariu when he really doesn’t, in a last ditch effort for the series to shoehorn in a happy couple since Arata and Hishiro are out of the question for now.

I think what the show is trying to go for is that Oga became so comfortable with Kariu that he didn’t realize that he treasured her more than he would a regular, female friend. Until someone from the outside points this out, it’s impossible to step back and see it for what it is. But something about it feels cheap, like they’re throwing a bone to those who need people to hook-up by the end, and that’s just not the right kind of reward for me.

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As much as I didn’t enjoy the couple thing, I liked the specific moment where Oga confessed. It was the most casual confession ever, and it seems like something a nervous highschooler would genuinely do out of desperation. It was great! The rest of it kind of dragged on, but eh, at least they’re finally together and I don’t have to deal with their insufferable awkwardness.

The highlight of the finale for me were the scenes with Hishiro and Arata as they worked out their feelings. Hishiro is becoming increasingly aware that she has a crush on Arata, but is still wrestling with the concept of getting into a relationship she knows will have to end. Of course, the beauty here is that it doesn’t have to end since they’ll both return to their regular age and probably remember each other. Arata doesn’t know this yet, so he still ends up holding back despite triggering all the right flags for a romantic kiss. I’m kind of glad they ended it that way, because it shows how much Arata is conscious of Hishiro’s feelings. He doesn’t want to hurt her or make her rely on him instead of making her own friends. Awwww~

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I wish there was a little more time spent on Arata in this final episode, especially since his whole dilemma is infinitely more interesting than a tsundere and a (sort of) bokke hooking up. I just wasn’t feeling the finale. That being said, I had a great time blogging ReLIFE and looking at some more down-to-earth drama. This made me realize I’ve been picking a lot of the edgier shows with crazy-ass storylines (steampunk edo-era zombies on a train, say what?!) instead of simpler shows that actually can end up being more rewarding if they’re done right. I think next season I won’t just pick the most grimdark thing I see so I can find more gems like ReLIFE that excel in nailing the fundamentals without the need of laserbeam-firing vampire zombies.

ReLIFE is a very quiet, quaint show that doesn’t go for any heavy tearjerker scenes. It didn’t play up the suicide scene too much, nor did it dwell on Arata’s sorrow. I like that ReLIFE doesn’t over-embellish anything, but at the same time, I think that homeliness may have been boring to some. As such, ReLIFE does little to be a memorable show. I’ll likely forget the characters a week from now. But during the time I was watching it, I felt connected to each and every side character since they were all treated equally. Efficient and mature, ReLIFE was a surprising hit for me in a season full of misses.

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Good luck with next season’s shows! Ganbare!

About

A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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14 Responses to “ReLIFE 12-13 [END]”

  1. Joojoobees says:

    And so it ends.
    I agree that it was a fine show to watch, but probably won’t stand out after a few years. Nevertheless it was the only show I managed to watch last season, and I enjoyed it more than some shows that I forced myself to finish in the past.

    • Overcooled says:

      I think the fact it came out all at once made it easier for people who have busy schedules to find time to squeeze it in, instead of falling behind the weekly release schedule and then getting discouraged as episodes pile up.

      Time for the new shows soon!

  2. ProtoSovereign says:

    Yeah, Kariu is the biggest tsundere with Oga… I have had bad experiences with tsundere characters such as Houki(Infinite Stratos), Taiga(Toradora). I generally can’t tolerate tsundere unless its really mild.

  3. ProtoSovereign says:

    I also felt Oga’s confession was good cuz it wasn’t super forced or dramatic. It just happened naturally. A dramatic stuff isn’t bad though if that’s in the tone of the show.

  4. Highway says:

    I think the finale episode was just about everything I could have asked for. I thought they leveraged Kariu and Oga’s high school crush very well into both Hishiro and Arata realizing how much they’re attracted to each other. And the setup with Kariu saying that she didn’t want to regret not saying anything worked very well on Hishiro’s point of view, which I imagine was very much like Arata’s professed “I’ll just get through this year and not cause trouble” (which we know he just didn’t do).

    But I think the best thing about this episode was the flashback sequence for Hishiro. Set off by the very pretty fireworks (really, they were wonderful to look at), leading from the current time back to her first meeting with Yoake inviting her to be subject 001, I thought it built tension very well. And after that, Hishiro’s repeated attempts to break through herself and actually make the feelings she’s getting acquainted with known to Arata. I think she even faked falling against him when she stood up. Back in Episode 3, she said that she hadn’t fallen since she was 5 years old. I think she “tripped” to try to kinda force something to happen.

    Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be a Japanese story if they didn’t fail to get together until the last minute. And since they’re only 1/3 through this year, there’s no way they’d actually get together, especially with the web manga still going. I definitely hope that it keeps going and gets more of an anime. I really thought it was a great show.

    • zztop says:

      True, there’s not enough webmanga chapters at the moment (about 150-160+). Perhaps once there’s 200+ chapters then they’ll consider it.

      • Highway says:

        Yeah, I think they put something like 120 chapters in this first series. I’ve read up through 80-some, the volumes that had been released so far (looks like one came out recently, too).

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, KariuxOga wasn’t for nothing, it did tie some nice themes together for Hishiro and Arata. I liked the way knowing about her being part of relife totally changed the mood from then on out. (and yes, those fireworks were really, really good)

      Oh wow I forgot she said that about tripping! Hmmm maybe she DID fake it then so see what would happen.

      If there’s more, I’m definitely on board. I wanna see how this ends!

  5. Highway says:

    There were some other things that the show did a few times that I wanted to mention as things I really liked. One was Yoake’s multiple times laughing at Arata from afar, usually when he was trying and failing to get something into Oga’s thick head. Another was when Arata would get that knowing look with the “Hmmmm?” like when Oga said he wanted to confess to Kariu.

    If you liked the story, I think the manga is definitely worth reading. I’ve read through Volume 6 (Chapter 97.5) on Crunchyroll, and there are a few details that just didn’t make it into the anime, mostly dealing with Hishiro’s thoughts. Like when she left Arata’s place after he had grabbed her in his flashback to Saiki, she asked him “Did you hug the Four-eyed Braid Girl?” and was happy that the answer was no, as she reflected on that. For me, things like that add enough to make it worth rereading a story I like.

    • Author says:

      On the gripping hand, the big reveal was handled better in the anime — IMHO, of course. The manga wasted too much time on the foreshadowing, the place was trivial by comparison.

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