Remake Our Life!
by Mercedez Clewis,
How would you rate episode 12 of
Remake Our Life! ?
The ending to a season or cour of an anime series can sometimes feel a bit inconclusive, even if a continuation is not yet on the horizon. However, episode 12 of Remake Our Life!, “Facing Forward Again”, is definitively the end – no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
More specifically, episode 12 is the end of Kyoya's story. It's the full-circle conclusion to the journey of a twenty-something's reckoning with the life he had, the new life he lived, and the hiccups along the way. And while Remake Our Life! hasn't been a perfect series, what I can ultimately say is that it's been a really powerful series, which I genuinely didn't expect it to be from its starting episodes.
This finale centers around Kyoya's decision to return to the past. While I was hoping the show wouldn't go this route, I understand because Kyoya lays it out so, so well. Every story beat in this finale feels so well-executed that when Kyoya does ultimately return to the past – rather, returns to the original timeline – you can't fault him. This is a different character than in the premiere. Heck, this is a different character than the initial arc. And when you realize what's actually going to happen with his return to the past… god, the tears start falling and they don't stop falling.
About midway through the episode, Kyoya walks out and… never comes back. Not because he hates his current life, but because ultimately, he knows what he has to do. I think that this is the moment that I really internalized things, that I understood that this was ultimately the best way for this story to go. It's just like I said above: the story is laid out so well that I found myself sobbing because gosh, I just really, really love Remake Our Life!. It's so much more than a feel-good coming-of-age story: it's a generation-specific tale about trying to find happiness, and… well, dang if that isn't something I absolutely understand, especially as we look towards a third year of the ongoing pandemic.
Episode 12 pulls all these fascinating plot threads together into a beautiful tapestry of a show that is quite frankly about the struggles of being an adult and desperately wanting to succeed, of wanting to be a good person and succeed. It was never about Kyoya getting married or getting new friends or even just, I don't know, having a better life: it was about him becoming a better person. The Kyoya we're leaving the show with is so different than the young man we met at the beginning, and that's honestly for the better. I genuinely think Kyoya's growth was quite organic, and while the magical realism of his time-traveling are fictional, they ultimately didn't hamper what is a genuinely heartfelt story.
Mind you, there's a lot I haven't covered here because… well, I'm still parsing how I feel. What I can say is that I love where episode 12 returns to, and while we don't ever get to see the scene play out – it skips to a different day and time – it feels like the right way for Kyoya to move on with his life as he continues to shape the life that he wants for himself and his cohort. In many ways, it's the millennial dream, isn't it? I suppose that's why it's so fulfilling to see Kyoya get to play it out and also, support his friends at the same time.
In the end, I feel thankful that I got to cover Remake Our Life!. It is definitely one of the standouts of this sweltering season, and ranks easily among my top 5 anime of Summer 2021. And even though there's definitely a cliffhanger (which will for sure not be answered in anime form) I'm already thinking of thinking about this show, which is marvelously similar to how I felt about Spring 2021's Super Cub.
If you're reading this review without any context, then I highly suggest you give Remake Our Life! a try. It's not perfect by any means: there are some definite hiccups along the way, and it can be a bit awkwardly paced at times. Yet those flaws don't change what the series has to say, nor does it diminish the power of its message. Once again, this is the power of the slice of life genre, and as far as series go this year, you'll find no better example than Summer 2021's Remake Our Life!.
I really want to read the novels, and hope that they'll be translated and localized soon. I'm not ready to leave Kyoya and Team Kitayama behind.
Remake Our Life! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Mercedez is a JP-EN localization editor & proofreader/QA, pop culture critic, and a journalist who also writes for Anime Feminist, where she's a staff editor, and But Why Tho?. She's also a frequent guest on the AniFem Podcast, Chatty AF. When she's not writing, you can find her on her Twitter or on her Instagram where she's always up to something.
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