One of the most anticipated releases of the summer season, ReLIFE is the story of 27-year old Kaizaki Arata.
After quitting his job, he bombs all of his job interviews, and what little life he has falls apart. As a NEET, he meets Yoake Ryou of the ReLife Research Institute, and is given a choice.
Would you want to go back to high school and re-do it?
Obviously, he takes the chance, otherwise this wouldn’t be much of a series. The story is a slice-of-life with some romance, surrounding the idea of what it would be like for a 27-year-old to fit back into high school as a 17-year-old.
But it also released all at once, so it’s possible to blow through the whole thing in one day. If you did that, and you’re looking for something similar to take something similar to give you a similar feeling, here are a few places to start.
Boku Dake ga Inai Machi
Similar concept, very different approach. While ReLIFE takes a comedic approach to its main character being sent back in time, Boku Dake ga Inai Machi goes a bit darker.
In this case, the main character isn’t going back in time to relive his school life. He’s going back to his childhood to try to prevent the murder of one of his classmates. That case apparently has something to do with a murder in his adult life that he’s being framed for.
What the connection is, and how deep it runs, is something he will learn in time.
Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru.
There’s no time travel involved here, no age-changing shenanigans. Just a school-life series about navigating high school life.
Yet there’s a lot similar here. While Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru‘s main character isn’t a 27-year-old in the body of a 17-year-old, he is unusually mature and apathetic for his age.
While both main characters undergo growth over the course of their respective series, Hachiman Hikigaya’s growth comes from being forcibly named to the Volunteer Service Club. Since he doesn’t want anything to do with people, this is obviously a hilariously poor fit, rife with comedic mishaps.
Welcome to the NHK
A NEET means someone who is Not in Education, Employment or Training. That’s what the main character of ReLIFE is, and that’s what the lead in Welcome to the NHK is as well.
And in both cases, they’re trying to get their lives back on track. Of course, that said, Welcome to the NHK takes a more realistic approach – no magic reverse aging drugs here. Of course, there are a couple of interesting hallucinations involved, but nothing really supernatural… probably.
Again, this isn’t exactly sharing in tone with ReLIFE, but this is about going back to childhood to fix something.
Naho Takamiya gets a letter from someone who claims to be her, just 10 years in the future. That sounds dubious, but the letter predicts everything that happens that day. One of the major events is the introduction of a new transfer student, Kakeru Naruse.
The letter goes on to explain that Naho has many regrets in the future, many of them related to the fact that Kakeru is, for some reason, not with them anymore. This is Naho’s chance to correct the mistakes of her past – without even really knowing what they are or what to do instead.
You can’t talk about deep stories where high schoolers come to grips with their flaws and fears without talking about Kokoro Connect.
One of the best relationship-based comedy-drama series you’ll find, Kokoro Connect follows an exceptionally believable and lovable cast of characters as they learn about themselves and each other through a series of supernatural events.
Body-swapping is involved, and there’s even a reverse-aging arc… in which one of the characters is turned into a baby. It sounds weird, but it’s good and everybody should watch it.
Kiznaiver is about a group of kids sharing their feelings and pain with one another. On the surface, that doesn’t have much to do with ReLIFE.
But if you want a story about a disconnected main character figuring out his life in some weird circumstances, that’s what you’ll get in both.
A strong, likable ensemble cast is a common thread between this, ReLIFE, and most of the other series on this list.
Kimi Ni Todoke
It’s hard to explain exactly how this and ReLIFE are similar. Aside from them taking place in high schools, they don’t have much in common.
Kimi ni Todoke is a purely romantic story about a shy girl trying to come out of her shell and come to a better understanding with her friends and the boy she likes. ReLIFE also has strong romantic tones, but it doesn’t drive the plot the way it does in Kimi ni Todoke.
But the feeling of these two series is surprisingly similar. The comedic style is fairly similar, and both series have a female lead who needs a bit of a nudge meeting new people.
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo
Who needs to be sent back in time to make new friends? Just adopt a few cats, and watch the group form around you.
This makes the list not because it has a similar plot to ReLIFE, but because it shares in a similar blend of comedy, drama, school life, and slice-of-life elements. These two series also stay away from the common anime trope of over-glorifying high school life, opting instead for a down-to-earth, realistic perspective.