Now, if you’ve been keeping up with some of the posts on the site, you may have noticed I’ve been talking about Remake Our Life a lot over the past two months or so. Like around 14 times a lot.
That’s because I decided to do episode reviews. If you want a nice little post that summarizes the episode reviews, check out this post of my top 10 episodes from the series.
Anyway, it’s time to cap Remake Our Life once and for all with a review of the entire series. We’re no longer just talking about small sections of it, which is kind of freeing in a way.
So what is Remake Our Life? It’s a story with a clear message and direction from the beginning. Kyouya Hashiba isn’t happy with his life. He’s been hopping around from dead-end job to dead-end job, coasting through life pretty miserable. Finally, he got his dream job as a game developing company, just to get his dreams crushed once again.
All he wants to do is use his skills to create and live his best life. Well, it turns out that all this bad luck can be attributed to one decision Hashiba made in the past. Hashiba had the choice between going to two colleges. One that was the safer option, and one for an art school where he could nurture his creativity. In this failed life, he chose the safer bet.
If only he had one more chance to change his decision. If only he could, I don’t know, have a remake of his life or something like that. So Hashiba falls asleep depressed one night and wakes up 10 years in the past with all memories intact. Determined not to make the same mistake twice, Hashiba goes to art college and lives out his second youth.
Remake Our Life has a lot going for it. Because of the whole episode review thing, I’ve been forced to think about this series and its story a lot more than I normally would. That’s one perk to episode reviews, really.
I think we all, to some extent, have regrets. You can try and live your life as free as possible, but you will likely have some regrets no matter what. And that’s for the simple fact that nobody is perfect, and regrets can come from both doing and not doing something. There’s really no way to avoid all of them.
But just because you have those regrets, it doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about them. It’s never too late to make a change, and that’s exactly what Hashiba does, albeit in a more supernatural way than we can.
That means the story is both about fixing your regrets as well as making sure you follow your heart, so you have less of a chance of carrying those regrets with you. It’s a fantastic story and is one that really sticks with me. It’s just unfortunate that towards the end, it kind of falls apart. Read more about that here.
The series is not perfect. I think it has some really good highs, but also big lows, and most of the time I think it coasts on being slightly above average. The series has many weird flaws, which may be problems from the adaptation for all I know.
It has the problem you occasionally see where the series talks about doing things rather than show you. For instance, the series claims to be about Hashiba reliving a creative youth. Hell, I think that’s even said in some of the promotional artwork.
Yet, there’s not a whole lot of the creative part. It’s more about the creative people rather than anything they create. The first part this really shows is in episode 3. You see, in the prior episode, Hashiba and the gang had to make a short film. In the end, they screwed up, got the wrong camera, and needed to film something.
Rather than showing us anything involving the filming, they just show us the end result. But what’s worse than that is they don’t win, and we never even see the film that did. We’re told it was good, and we’re supposed to assume it was better and leave it at that. It’s weird.
There’s also a character named Sayuri who shows up for a single episode, teases one of the characters, and leaves, adding absolutely nothing to the plot. Later, when a company Hashiba works for is failing, you don’t see him fix things. You see him tell people what to do and leave it at that.
What I said earlier was fitting. It is less about a creative youth and more about the creative youths. It’s about the people behind their skills more than the actual skills themselves. You have a colorful cast of characters that all add something to their projects, and it’s about the drama that comes with it.
You have Shino the artist, Nanako the voice actress turned singer, Tsurayuki the writer, Hashiba the director/know-it-all, and Kawasegawa the…assistant know-it-all. The story is about all the ways these characters deal with their respective paths in life.
This is still a really good premise. Going down the road of a creator is filled to the brim with hardships. You’ll want to quit many times, let alone ever actually getting anywhere with it. There’s a lot of good drama and stories to be told within that. But the problem is, I’ve seen it done better.
It was a running joke for a lot of the episode reviews, but Remake Our Life is absurdly similar to The Pet Girl of Sakurasou. They have more or less the same themes, messages, and character dynamics. Half the characters are the same creatives. Writer, artist, voice actress, etc. They both even have one struggling with money.
The difference is that Sakurasou is just better. If you want an anime about the struggles of following your dreams and pursuing a creative path in life, Sakurasou is factually better in pretty much every way.
Not only does Sakurasou focus on both the actual creative process as well as the drama that stems from it, it just has much more realistic characters with relatable problems and just does a better job. That’s it. So from that standpoint, Remake Our Life is still good but is a worse choice.
However, one thing this series did that Sakurasou didn’t was the time travel aspect. Remake Our Life actually handled it in a very cool way. Granted, it’s never explained how Hasihba travels back in time, but it does matter.
At first, it seems like an excuse to push the plot forward, but actual consequences stem from this. People have their lives changed, and the future gets altered because Hashiba decided to inject himself into the past. He doesn’t belong here, and the world will change to reflect that. I wrote about that more here.
The story is at its best when the focus is on time travel. The entire last arc of the series is centered around that and it’s easily the best part of the story as a whole.
If Remake is trying to be the best series about creative youths, it just fails. It’s good, but it isn’t going to win in a world where Sakurasou does almost the exact same thing but better. But as a show about the consequences of time travel and the burden Hashiba carries for changing the future just because he was unhappy with his, you’ve got something interesting.
It will make you think a lot. It’s a very thought-provoking plot, and it handles time travel in a way I didn’t expect. In a way, I don’t think many people watching the series expected.
It’s just such a shame that the ending kind of did away with everything that the series could have been. Some people may like the ending, and that’s perfectly fine, but I can’t pretend like it didn’t happen, just like Hashiba did to his d– Oh, wait, that’s a spoiler, and also very cruel. I need to stop myself.
The ending doesn’t make the series, and I’ll certainly keep fond memories of Remake Our Life, but it sadly ends up being left in kind of a weird spot. It’s a series about creative youths that ends up being more about time travel. Weird, but good.
Though I compare it to Sakurasou, the series are different enough, especially towards the end that I believe makes both of them worth watching. Remake Our Life had some really neat ideas that were executed pretty damn well. Wrap that all up with pretty good art, and you’ve got a solid anime. Possibly anime of the season, although not on a better season, I will say.
This series will continue to mean a lot to me, and it’s not even because of the series itself. Episode 1 of Remake Our Life is the first episode review I ever wrote and is the beginning of what I hope will be a long history.
So thank you, Remake. Despite the fact you had some flaws, you gave me lots of good content, and I had an equally good time watching you. More time travel plots, please. Some people may think they’re overdone and riddled with plot holes, but they’re fun, dammit!
Thank you very much for reading
What did you think of Remake and my episode reviews in general? I’d like to know.