As one romance blossoms, another begins to bud.
Genre: Drama, Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Comico (JP), Crunchyroll (US)
Serialized In: Comico
Translation: Andrew Cunningham
Original Release Date: April 20, 2017
Rena and Oga have finally admitted to themselves, but not each other, that their relationship isn’t just one of close classmates but one of the “slap slap kiss” variety. Their puppy-love is painfully obvious to all of their friends, both the teens and adults-in-teen-bodies alike, and so everyone is clamoring to help them set up the perfect time to confess.
But this “last summer vacation” has a special meaning for Arata: it’s the last summer vacation he never should’ve had, and he’s left wrestling with his own feelings. After his year of ReLIFE all of his new friends’ memories of him will be erased, so is it worth it to get close to them for his own sake or is it better that he keep his distance for theirs?
Frustratingly for anime viewers, ReLIFE volume 7 ends just where the anime did if not a little before so. This seems to be the fault of the Japanese publisher Comico, as despite having enough chapters to publish roughly three more volumes right this minute they’ve been oddly slow with their releases (possibly due to the fact that each chapter needs to be reformatted from its original single-scroll format into a printable page layout. The delays still seem excessive though). Volume 8 is set to be out this summer so hopefully English-speaking anime-viewers will have new material to read in the early fall.
For the non-anime viewers, it may seem like it’s taken Rena and Oga forever to get together but hey, that’s a staple of manga series everywhere! While I did prefer the confession scene in the anime version, I thought it merged together several scenes neatly and was a bit more visually interesting — the confession here was still rather sweet and perfectly in-character for the two of them. On top of that, Arata and Chizuru’s eavesdropping on the two helps force Arata into confronting some of his own feelings. Arata has a habit of giving his classmates very mature and “adult” advice, only to have it come around and bite him in the butt later and it’s with some trepidation that Arata admits to himself that yes, he’s beginning to crush on Chizuru as well.
Arata did have some help with this realization as well — as the whole gang went to a summer festival (to accommodate both Rena and Oga’s separate confession plans), An and Yoake seem determined to make Arata a little jealous of the attention Yoake is giving to Chizuru. This is a little baffling; An has already proved that Arata will not make a move on an underage, high-school girl, and he’s starting to realize that the more time he spends around his new friends, the larger the gaps in their memory will be once his ReLIFE is finished. Arata is especially worried about this with Chizuru, given how hard of a time she’s had making friends he really doesn’t want her to only cling to him and be missing memories of an entire year. He seems to be on the verge of starting to pull away from his new friends which will be something Yoake and An are going to have to contend with regardless.
Of course, the real reason that anime fans are clamoring for new material is a conversation in the last few pages of this volume which both explains and complicates Arata’s life further. With the teens starting to settle down it’s time for the adults to solve their own problems!