Life is not going well for 28-year-old Kyouya Hashiba. Having left his office job to pursue a career in the video game industry, his internship at a popular game studio abruptly ends, leaving him unemployed and forcing him to move back in with his parents. Additionally, his jealousy towards the success of the “Platinum Generation”—a group of similarly-aged creators—has caused him to regret his decision to attend a traditional university instead of an arts college. Even though he believes there are no second chances in life, Kyouya is suddenly given one when he wakes up one day and finds himself 10 years in the past.
Instead of choosing business school like he originally had, Kyouya decides to pursue his passions and attends the Oonaka University of Art. There, he meets classmate Eiko Kawasegawa, the woman who had hired him as an intern in the present, alongside his new housemates and future Platinum Generation members: underachieving artist Aki Shino, aspiring singer and actress Nanako Kogure, and naturally-gifted writer Tsurayuki Rokuonji.
With each project they complete together, Kyouya and his friends venture closer to discovering their true potential as creators and remaking their lives into the ideal versions they desire.
Bokutachi no Remake has been an anime that came as a surprise for me, I will admit. But it was definitely one of the better anime to air this season. That being said, however, as time has gone on and as each episode aired, the satisfaction and entertainment I felt has slowly dwindled. So, allow me to share my thoughts on Bokutachi no Remake.
As much as people hype this anime up, stepping back, there are definitely elements of Bokutachi no Remake that were inspired by other anime. For example, the whole time travel aspect could be linked to Steins;Gate (to a lesser extent). However, if I were to compare it to another similar anime, I would say the closest thing would be ReLIFE. This is because, in both instances, we have individuals going back in time to redo a part of their life that they had messed up or didn’t have the opportunity to experience. In this comparison, Arata is Kyouya. Then we have the whole game development aspect, which can be linked to almost every anime with Game dev as its premise. So in that regard, while the story may seem like something new, everything about Bokutachi no Remake has been seen before.
If there’s a story that is uninteresting to me, then I turn to the characters. What do they offer? Episodes one through six were the best episodes of the anime. The character development and the likeability of each character were superb. The cast of Bokutachi no Remake reminded me of Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo. Their circumstances are similar in that they all live together, and they all live their lives differently. I’d say in terms of character development, those first six episodes rivalled that of Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo. However, that being said, the second half of Bokutachi no Remake falls extremely short compared to Sakurasou.
For me, part of the problem was that from episodes seven onwards, each episode felt unentertaining for the most part. It’s almost like each episode lacked something, and at first, I couldn’t figure out what that was. Looking back on the episodes now, in my opinion, as each episode progressed, I feel as though the impact of the other characters, Kawasegawa, Nanako, Shinoaki and Tsurayuki started to fade. We began to see less of them and their personalities as each episode went on. This coincided with Kyouya taking up more time in each episode. I understand that Bokutachi no Remake was primarily about Kyouya; however, to continuously see him every episode for most of each episode was unpleasant. Unpleasant in the way that his personality felt fake, this “I will fix everything trust me” deal he had in each episode was great in the first six episodes but became excessive during the second half.
We heard more “Don’t worry, we’ll find a way” or “I’ll find a way to fix it, trust me” than we did lines from the other characters. (Exaggeration, but you get what I mean). It got to the point where it felt almost cliché. What’s the point of having a conflict if the main male protagonist ends up fixing it during that episode or the one after? What’s the point of having tension if Kyouya will clear the air right then and there. There could have been something during episode five when Nanako saw Shinoaki steal a kiss from Kyouya when Nanako was on her way to give Kyouya a crepe. But alas, the story did not take advantage of that and defaulted on Shinoaki as the main love interest. There wasn’t even an attempt to bring this up anywhere, and when there was something (Shinoaki and Nanako wanted to feed Kyouya), it felt very comedic. It’s a shame; I thought we had a good set of characters too, the anime just didn’t lend itself to them.
I’m going to gloss over the fact that this blatant disregard for time travel frustrates me a ton.
I would have liked to see a eureka moment where Kyouya understood that in order for his friends to reach their full potential, he shouldn’t have been there as a friend to begin with. As someone there first hand in their lives, instead he must act as a bystander looking on while he remakes his life. But we didn’t get that. We cannot have time travel without respect its rules, if you interfere with someone else’s timeline regardless of how big or small, you have changed their future forever. The fact that the main protagonist fails to understand that frustrated me a ton watching this series. I get that anime is not supposed to be realistic, however, if we introduce a concept like time travel, I expect that we abide by and stay true to what we understand about it. But anyway, that’s neither here nor there.
Bokutachi no Remake was an anime that the stuff to be a great anime. Even though the story was something I’ve seen before, I thought it had the character to make it work. It was also beautifully animated and has a pretty good soundtrack. However, I think the anime’s biggest downfall was that it failed to utilize the characters. Bokutachi no Remake didn’t involve them enough to make the story remotely interesting. In my opinion, they felt too much like background characters and given their significance as the ‘Platinum Generation,’ it was backwards and odd, to say the least.
The potential was there for Bokutachi no Remake to be something great. But like I mentioned, there were a lot of missed opportunities, and it’s a shame. That’s why I do not think it’s one of the best anime to air during the season. Instead, it’s one of the better ones. Would I recommend this anime to others? Probably, but it won’t be the first one I recommend. It’ll probably be towards the bottom on a list of twenty. So my final grade for Bokutachi no Remake will be a 7/10, B. It was good, but it wasn’t spectacular. It definitely could have been way better.