It was over in a flash, I did not even have a moment to post the “begins” bracket. And now I’m posting before I had another to pull my thoughts together. But perhaps it’s better that way, or else I’d be like Mr. Wonderduck, who I’m sure watched all it, but never blogged it. And nobody else either among top animebloggers, or among geriatric animebloggers, bothered to do so.
I suspect I know why. Like the hideous balloon boobs of Divergence Eve, the dubious premise of ReLIFE spooked them away. They never gave it a chance. And indeed, if you ever let yourself to stop and think about the premise, you are going to end greatly dissatisfied. If ReLIFE were a high character drama, the author could’ve done the same of better job by isolating characters temporarily in a more realistic setting. Consider that, since there are no age changes or time travel, the ReLIFE experiment is largely isomorphic to any other kind of plot device that rips the characters out from their mundane lives and throws them together for a while. A military service, for example. Or being stuck on an island. These situations are really conductive to romance, too.
But I know why it had to be this way. Just as the majority of buyers of Divergence Eve DVDs came in for the boobs, the viewers of ReLIFE are ensnared by the wish-fulfilment premise at fist. It does not work on jaded animebloggers, but it’s their loss, and in any case they do not determine if BDs sell.
With that in mind, what is there for us to be ensnared?
If you ask me, I have to name the voicework Ai Kayano in the role of Chizuru Hishiro. I am not commonly astonished by seiyuu, but this was something else. Not only the casting was perfect, but it was a tremendous surprise because I was poisoned by manga and expected a more pedestrian, deadpan delivery. In addition, I did not even realize who it was. But when I looked it up, none other role of Mrs. Kayano sounded like this (among those I saw and heard, anyway).
Speaking of being poisoned, normally I’d wax poetic about characters first, and about voices later, or never, but in this case I’m quite familiar with the characters from the manga, so all I can say is that the adaptation was solid. I think I can like these people again (except An :-)).
Technicalities were in place, too. They would not win any animation awards, but it was competent and the accents were well placed. For example, the dude headdesks at one point, and the things laying at the table jump. The only thing I’m not sure about is the piano BGM. It is unusual and sounds awesome at times, but I think that by ep.10 it started to overstay its welcome.
<Author> It has some interesting twists wrt production. Like one time one girl steps on a ball by accident and twists her ankle. Naturally, it was off screen, because animating the unnatural movements is difficult and time consuming, so you just get everyone’s shoked faces and SEMPAI DAIJOUBU DESUKA?!!!
<Author> Or so you though
<Author> +t. But actually, they did animate it! They re-post a flashback for her and the whole sequence is in with her stepping wrong and falling. Maybe they failed to complete it for the previous episode time, or the director thought it would be more impactful to leave it off-screen.
<Author> In addition, the anime is cut short and leaves the most interesting parts of manga out.
Actually, I was wrong about the ending of the anime. Instead of ending as I expected, at a natural arc break, it reaches into the manga a little deeper, just enough to end on a massive cliffhanger. I don’t even know what to think about this move. It’s most likely that we’ll never get a sequel. I don’t think ReLIFE was topping ratings, or even the animeblogging haters would feel compelled to blog, if only seethe.
This reminds me, I was just informed today that the Ranka and Sheril thing was resolved in the movie.
Rewatch: Why the heck not… and buying a BD might move the needle on the 2nd season, so…
P.S. Oh yeah, I forgot! They use a different track for ED in each episode, which I only noticed in 05, where it dawned on me that I know the melody… It was Puffy AmiYumi! Singing about… school friendship?! I can’t believe these trolls. They licensed 10-year-old hits as a joke on multiply levels. Get it? Going back 10 years, like the characters. Moreover, since the male lead listens to music on MD, it’s presented that he is listening to these songs.
P.P.S. Come of think of it, the lead is a familiar stereotype — a staple of anime that nonetheless you will not find on TVtropes.
P.P.P.S. Just for the record, the inverse recall scene in the final episode was expertly staged and directed — and it had no equivalent in manga. Talk about using the anime adaptation to its strengths. It works even on rewatch, when everything is known ahead of the time. If I were to compare it with something, it would be the telephone conversation on timer in ef, and frankly this is better. The beeping was rather annoying. Although obviously Shinbo did it on purpose, I think it was a miscalculation. A victory for Toshi Kosaka’s full-on director debut.