ReLIFE: Kanketsu-hen was one of those things I never thought would come to any streaming service, except maybe HiDive, but if collaborations between services has ever taught me one thing, it’s that competitors like to try to provide everything under their licence umbrellas…
ReLIFE: Kanketsu-hen was an abrupt, albeit satisfying, conclusion to the work I first became acquainted with when I first looked through the Comico website. This is because there were only 4 episodes allocated to it, but it packs a serious emotional punch for something that’s only run for a total of 17 episodes (to be an equivalent to just over 200 short chapters of manga). Why? I suspect it has to do with the central themes it tackled:
The show’s been demonstrating Arata and Chizuru have feelings for each other since they first set up Oga and Kariu as a parallel, so it’s easy to cheer for them now that they progress to the inevitable conclusion in Kanketsu-hen. The idea of star-crossed lovers overcoming obstacles is nothing new, but in this case it was potentially being wrong (on Chizuru’s end) as well as having the obstacle of having their memories of each other erased that made the ending of ReLIFE difficult to pull off.
2) What happens to Arata and Chizuru, should they find out that the other is a ReLIFE subject
It was hinted in the series proper that Arata and Chizuru would have their memories erased at the end of the year, should they have failed (again, in Chizuru’s case). Even though they got close, especially on Chizuru’s part, neither actually discovered the other was a ReLIFE subject and had their memories forcibly erased by Yoake/Onoya, which is part of the core suspense of the series (although it’s easy to forget that it’s there sometimes, because often ReLIFE just looks like another high school series).
It’s right there in the name – Kanketsu-hen means “conclusion arc” and it definitely delivers on that point.
However, it’s said that endings are merely just circumstances for new beginnings and that’s delivered too – Chizuru and Arata begin again as adults under the ReLIFE company while Oga’s brother is chosen to be part of the ReLIFE system. This is why I chose the subtitle of Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World – to parody as the title of this post…because anyone under the ReLIFE system can start again with a new outlook on life once they’re through with that year of high school, regardless of their previous experiences.
The idea of a clean slate can make one scared, but also excited for the future…at least, it makes me excited. Does it do the same for you?