Haruki IshiyaNaomi OzoraMiyuki SawashiroAimi
Remake Our Life!
Also known as: Bokutachi no Remake
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2021
Director: Tomoki Kobayashi
Writer: Nachi Kio
Actor: Aimi, Aoi Koga, Atsushi Tamaru, Chinatsu Akasaki, Fukushi Ochiai, Haruki Ishiya, Hazuki Tanda, Hidenori Takahashi, Hikaru Iida, Kohei Yanagi, Kosuke Kobayashi, Manaka Iwami, Masahiro Itou, Mitsuru Ogata, Miyuki Sawashiro, Nao Toyama, Naomi Ozora, Rie Takahashi, Riho Sugiyama, Rina Honnizumi, Sae Ootsuka, Shinya Takahashi, Sho Okumura, Takako Tanaka, Yoshiki Nakajima
Keywords: anime, harem
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes, with ep.1 being double-length
Url: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=24090
Website category: Anime 2021
Review date: 24 November 2022
Remake Our Life
It's an interesting show. It's charming and funny, while there's a lot to like in its message. I enjoyed its first two-thirds... but ultimately it's also reliant on cliches, arguably to the point of being hackneyed. Also, it takes a direction from ep.9 onwards that will have you drumming your fingers, waiting for the inevitable reset button.
Kyouya Hashiba is a 28-year-old man in the year 2016 who tried to break into the computer games industry and failed, so he's now unemployed and returning to live with his parents for lack of any better options. Ironically, there are creators his age who've become massively successful (nicknamed the Platinum Generation) and maybe he could have been one of them if he'd gone to a creative arts school. But he didn't. Luck gives him a second chance and he shows himself to be very skilled at a different games company... but that also ends in catastrophe.
Then, suddenly, it's the year 2006 and he's 18 years old again. If he went to Onaka University of Arts and did all that creative study, might he be able to correct all his old bad decisions?
What follows is... a completely bog-standard light novel adaptation. Despite the slightly off-putting premise, it turns out that we're watching the story of a modest genius (Kyouya) who hasn't realised how amazing he is! He's not a writer, singer or artist, though. He's a producer. He tells everyone what to do, finds last-minute solutions to cover his friends' mistakes and is just such a gosh-darned swell guy. His production skills are partly explained by his timeslipped decade of brutal industry experience, admittedly, but basically everyone else is just window dressing for the Kyouya Is Wonderful Show.
Furthermore, inevitably, all of Kyouya's friends are in love with him. Shinoaki is an easy-going (some might say dozy) artist with big boobs, who fancies Kyouya. Nanko Kogure is an actor/singer and she also fancies Kyouya. Eiko Kawasegawa was a producer Kyouya met in 2018, but now she's another Onaka student and, inevitably, she too fancies Kyouya. Even Tsurayuki Rokuonji (writer, male) becomes so enamoured of our hero that his fiancee will wonder if there's a physical relationship. (She's wrong, but she hasn't necessarily misjudged Tsurayuki's feelings. He's brutally indifferent to his fiancee and you could easily read subtext into his scenes with Kyouya.) RESULT: we're in Questionable Otaku-Pandering Land. Men are delicate maidens who shrink modestly from physical relationships. Women will fall in love with them and pursue their chosen target one-sidedly without the men having to lift a finger. This is the kind of old-school anime bullshit that's trained generations of otaku to be incapable of getting real girlfriends.
Also, the identity of Kyouya's housemates is absurdly contrived, but this is explicable within the fiction. There are no coincidences. God set all this up for Kyouya, presumably including the people in his share house. (Caveat: that isn't necessarily God, but the alternative would be to say that it's another supernatural being with similarly godlike powers. Let's stick with "God" for now.)
I'm about to discuss SPOILERS.
SPOILER SPACE
SPOILER SPACE
SPOILER SPACE
SPOILER SPACE
SPOILER SPACE
SPOILER SPACE
SPOILER SPACE
SPOILER SPACE
SPOILER SPACE
SPOILER SPACE
SPOILER SPACE
SPOILER SPACE
SPOILER SPACE
SPOILER SPACE
SPOILER SPACE
About two-thirds of the way through, though, something interesting happens. We've seen Kyouya being a bullshit merchant, because that's what you need if you're a producer. You've got to make a bunch of creative types do what you want, because it's your job to be aware of the deadlines. He finds flattering, diplomatic ways to lie to them. He'll avoid saying, "We don't have time." He'll shoot down their good ideas by saying, "I want to emphasise this other quality of your brilliant work."
This has unexpected consequences, then God sends Kyouya forward to yet another timeline in 2018.
This isn't bad as such and there are worthwhile lessons to be learned in 2018... but it won't stick and you know it. Kyouya will clearly be sent back to 2006, because this isn't the kind of anime that has the guts to leave it at that. Geniuses have become nobodies and it's Kyouya's fault. He meant well, but he's changed history and not for the better. Obviously, our hero fixes things in the future too (because, inevitably, his new boss is a bloody-minded idiot), but I didn't care. This is a dead timeline. It'll be unhappened. It doesn't matter, no matter how many episodes the show might surprisingly decide to give it.
When he does eventually return to 2006 in the last episode, though, I was pleasantly surprised that the show doesn't unhappen anything. His mistakes are allowed to stand. He'll have to find the right way to continue from them, although it's a foregone conclusion that he'll succeed. (But we'll have to imagine the details, because the show ends before that.)
In many ways, this is a good, interesting show. It has worthwhile things to say about the creative industries and about comparing yourself with so-called geniuses. "I bet even the people you think are amazing are just as worried as you are." It's charming and funny. The cast are likeable. Underneath all that, though, it's a pit of hackneyed cliches and you'll probably fast-forward through the last four episodes.