There are many anime titles out there focusing on what we would change if we’re given a second chance to relive our past. The best recent example that came to my mind is Boku Dake ga Inai Machi. ReLIFE carries a similar tone except it doesn’t emphasize too much on what the main character, Kaizaki Arata, would change when he was given the second chance to be a high school senior again.
Instead in ReLIFE, while also sorting out his personal issues, Kaizaki remembers to treasure the moments at what is his second time as high school senior.
Be warned though, from hereon there may be spoilers here and there.
When Kaizaki took the pill given by Yoake Ryō, he unknowingly became a high school senior. Initially, I thought this is going to be another anime about rewriting what he did wrong in the past to start all over again, but I was wrong. ReLIFE turned out to be quite a different journey.
Despite being what society refers to as failure in his adult life, Kaizaki succeed on being a high school student. He is observant about his surroundings, lends a listening ear and is always enjoying the time he has in this fake life. He’s the main reason why his fellow younger classmates are enjoying their youth to the fullest when they’re at it.
Because he’s roughly ten years older and more experienced in life, Kaizaki is often the voice of reason for Kariu Rena, Ōga Kazuomi and socially awkward Hishiro Chizuru. Using his experiences, he advised Kariu to never give up, stop running away and stop trying just because things are hard. He also pushed Ōga to actively living the “ideal” youth by making him realize his romantic feelings for Kariu.
Above all, Kaizaki is always encouraging Hishiro to take a small step toward being more socially adept. Through her, he’s able to help other students to resolve their issues and ultimately treasuring their limited time at school. And it is with her, Kaizaki shines on learning to treasure the current moments, actively reaching out even though he knows he’ll be forgotten after one year.
Throughout its 13 episodes, ReLIFE always drops reminders on learning to enjoy the time when you have it or you may end up regretting it when the time has passed. Things may not be going on well for Kaizaki in adult life, but he never forgotten the importance of living in the now. And that makes for a positive character!