ReLife, the anime released all at once and binged by thousands… has a recap at the beginning of the second episode.
Well we rejoin Kaizaki Arata shortly after the entrance tests he forgot a pencil for. He failed all of them. Of course. I mean the mans been out of school for a number of years now, I wouldn’t remember grade 11 math anyways.
The top two students, Oga and Hishiro are declared class reps. That entitles them to a silver pin, which grants them free lunches, transit discounts and other privileges and rewards. But they cant skip the lunch line. They have to wait like everyone else.
Arata makes 2 friends easily, and is partially friends with 2 others. His for-sure friends are Oga, the class rep and smarty-pants, and Onoya, a fellow test failure. They hang out at lunches and during class.
Oga may be book smart but he is an airhead as far as they come. When asked if he and Kairu, the girl he was class rep with last year, are dating, he laughs and askes why they would think that. Its clear to everyone else that Kairu likes Oga. She pierces her ear to match his, and when she sees Hishiro talking to him she becomes agitated.
He also tried to tell Kairu what Arata and Onoya asked, thinking she would find it funny. Good thing he was stopped or it could have been a very short 2 episode anime.
Arata doesn’t hang out or speak to Yoake at all in class, in fact he only speaks to him over the phone and when he has questions, such as would smoking damage his body as it is now. Its his body, it’s a 27 year old body, it just looks younger.
Our main character learns that the hard way when he tries to participate in gym without stretching. He trips, and strains his shoulder. He’s a weak adult, and is mocked by his classmates, in a nice way. He’s already known as the dumb one, the one with the cigarettes, and now the unatheltic one. Perhaps he will be the class clown.
Aratas age is sort of showing itself in certain scenarios. When Onoya pulls out her phone, he freaks out thinking it would be confiscated, remembering his school days. Majority of the students have their phones out, and he is the weird one for freaking out. He also drops the honorific immediately when Onoya asks to be called An. Oga adds -chan and is horrified or impressed by Aratas casualty with the female.
Another female, Hishiro, was engaged in a small argument in the cafeteria with the lunch lady. Arata didn’t hesitate to stand up and go over to see what was wrong. When he offers to loan her money for lunch (as she did not have her silver pin yet) she comments that its too much money for a high schooler to carry and asks him if he an adult. Geez, $10 is too much for a high school senior? She makes this comment quite frequently, about how Arata is an adult. I don’t think she knows about the ReLife program, I think she is blunt and doesn’t understand how words can offend or affect people. She doesn’t appear to have friends she can speak to or to speak causally with. It appears most people avoid her. Hishiro is a stereotypical character. She is intellectually smart, and friendless. That is a pretty standard character in a lot of school based animes or otome games. The goal is to have that character open up to you, and that is what ends up happening.
The two have a moment later on in the day. There she straight out askes Arata if she in unapproachable. This is of course after she forgets his name and shoots him in the heart by calling him ‘4 score’ after his terrible math mark. Arata is blunt in turn and tells her she in unapproachable, but that she should learn to smile. She tries. She shouldn’t smile.
The two exchange phone numbers after an awkward conversation and head their separate ways.
Hishiro and Kairu have a strenuous relationship. Kairu is under the impression that the two are rivals, as both were student reps last year, so both were the top scoring girls in their grade. Hishiro attempts to smile at Kairu one day, but with the creeyness of it, it came across as a smirk of condescension. When Hishiro is close to Oga that bothers Kairu as well. But when she finds out Hishiro does not know her name, Kairu becomes upset in a sad way, kicking herself for assuming Hishiro thought of her as a rival. To add spite, Kairu called her by her full name, emphasizing that she knew her name.
Now I originally suspected Onoya/An as being a second ReLifer. She failed all of the tests like Arata. My theory was almost confirmed when Yoake had 2 binders on his desk. As the observer he has to make notes on each of the participants. He documented Arata as having made friends and was heading in the right direction. When he opened the second binder, it was filled with ‘no progress, not progressing’. If Onoya was the second ReLifer, then there would be progress, and she has befriended Arata. None of the characters we have met so far could be the second participant. All either have known each other for years or plays an active role.
We also discover that after the year ends, all memories of Arata is erased from the classmates minds. In ‘mind wipe’ plots the character ends up being remembered due to the power of friendship or unusually blank spaces in photographs. So lets look out for that.
The animation of these episodes was pretty similar to the first episode. A couple cuts were undetailed, closups of faces had a thicker outlines while medium frames used a thinner outline.
The piano seemed to be the preferred instrument in the soundtrack, in both emotional, upbeat and creepy tracks.
The backgrounds were motionless still and slightly blurred to focus on the speaking characters.
The second ReLifer is very intriguing. Because he or she was ‘introduced’ at the end of the episode they may be introduced in the next episode, or kept hidden until the end of the season. Arata doesn’t suspect another ReLifer, he is more concerned with keeping Hishiro from getting herself mauled while not committing any crimes of dating a minor. Aside from a few ‘doki doki’ moments there isn’t much of a romantic element yet. While it would present an interesting moral dilemma, the romance is kinda the least theme I’m looking forwards to.