We’re in our second year of OWLS now, and this is my seventh contribution to our blog tours!

If you aren’t aware, OWLS is a group of anibloggers and vloggers who do monthly blog tours on topics of deeper meaning. We’re accepting of all people, regardless of race, sexuality, gender, or upbringing. And we work to make important topics in our society known through writing and talking about anime and pop culture.

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This month we’re focusing on the topic of “revival,” or the change of a character whether it be for better or for worse.

I decided on an anime from the 2016 Fall season, ReLIFE. I feel I was one of the few people who thoroughly enjoyed watching it as it released, and I was excited to realize how much it connected with this month’s theme!

Though ReLIFE is mainly a comedy, there are some deeper, more serious themes throughout, which will be my focus for this post. My post will make it seem like a depressing show, but it’s not! I just couldn’t focus on the more lighthearted moments to make this post work in my favor.

If you’re interested in the show itself, don’t expect it to be as serious as I made it seem.

Loss of Hope

Arata Kaizaki is a 27 year old who struggles with finding a new solid job. He finds work at a convenience store out of desperation to at least pay rent. His hunt to find a new job is falling through, his parents are no longer willing to help with his rent, and everything seems to be going against him. But then something happens and receives what most people wouldn’t get. A second chance.

Arata is approached by a mysterious man, Ryo Yaoke, one day, offering a new start to his life. Through taking an experimental pill, his appearance will change back to that of a 17 year old for one year, and he’ll relive the experience of being in the last year of high school.

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This experiment is to see if by going through a part of a person’s youth again, they’ll be able to fix the mistakes they made and lead a better life when the experiment is done. The whole premise of the show is exactly what this tour is about. Noticing your mistakes, taking charge, and becoming a better person because of them. Though in real life, we don’t get this kind of opportunity, it’s fascinating to see what could happen if we did have this chance.

 

Recovering from Loss

Nearing the end of the series, it is revealed that Arata quit his first office job within the first 3 months of working there. This was what would ultimately result in his disappointment with himself and the ceasing of his motivation. And was the ultimate reason he was approached by the ReLIFE group.

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Keeping the spoilers on the low, I’ll make this as vague as possible.

Arata was assigned a mentor as he was in his first months of working, and he ended up becoming quite close to her. She understood how he felt in working not long after high school, and tried to support him as much as possible when others wouldn’t.

When Arata argues with her about a project one day, things spiral into chaos. Things that had been building up until this point made his mentor want to give up, and then she did. What happened after that, Arata blamed all on himself. His coworkers wouldn’t understand how his mentor had felt, as they had been pretty much bullying her beforehand as well. Arata viewed the situation as being much more severe than the rest of the company, and became fed up with it, quitting immediately after the incident.

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This chain of events caused trouble for Arata, dooming his career, resulting in interview after interview with no luck of landing a solid job. Potential employers didn’t want someone who would give up so quickly. That’s when he settled for working at a convenience store just to get by until he could find a better job, and slowly he began losing the small amount of hope he used to have.

Road to Revival

 

After being approached by Ryo Yoake, the man responsible for overlooking Arata during the ReLIFE experiment and giving him the pill, Arata learns through the students in his class and the staff of the ReLIFE experiment that he has a second chance. He goes through the experience of high school all over again, but with the information he obtained through his previous adulthood. He gets to see things through a brand new perspective he wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.

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And, back to the deal with his mentor, in the same episode that discusses that ordeal, Arata gets to talk with current employees of that company about the state of it in the present. He learns that he’s become a legend among new employees, and that they look up to him now. He stood up for a corrupt company, and though he screwed himself over in the long run, it may make the administrators think again about how they treat their employees.

This reminder will help Arata move on from his past and work harder to achieve what he desires.

To Reach Your Goal, You Can’t Overdo it

Arata’s constant pushing with interview after interview was just wearing him out. He resorted to forgetting about his worries in the evening by going out with friends for drinks. He avoided their questions involving work, and was just plain miserable, living day to day without knowing where he would be going next.

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Though ReLIFE acts as a rehabilitation to work towards a better future, it also acts as a break from the real world. Arata’s constant pushing was wearing him out, and without letting himself relax a bit here and there, he was just overexerting himself, not making any real progress. The stress and worry of the future was getting to him.

In our lives, we have goals. No matter what that is, we have to work hard to achieve what we desire. But even if we work nonstop, there will be a breaking point. That’s what Arata had reached at the beginning of the series. ReLIFE is both his break from pushing so hard, and also his way of obtaining a better future. After all of this, he’ll be able to find a job through the work the ReLIFE group did, and he’ll be able to get back on his feet.

All it takes is a bit of patience and reevaluation to get on the road to revival.

 


I struggled quite a bit with this post, since I hadn’t thought much about this anime since I watched it about a year ago, but it was nice to revisit. I wasn’t sure where it was going to go in the long run, but I think this was a good way to go.

I hope you enjoyed my first OWLS post of the year, and be sure to check out everyone else’s posts as well! We have a very full schedule this time around, so there are sure to be posts you’ll be interested in.

Takuto from Takuto’s Anime Cafe had a post before me, so be sure to check that out, and then after me is Hazelyn from ARCHI-ANIME!