ReLIFE is the story of a 27-year-old who is given a chance to rebuild his life by swallowing a pill that make him look a decade younger and going to high school again for a year. The series has a rather unique feature in that each episode ends with a different popular song that’s guaranteed to pull Japanese viewers into the past—even though the anime itself isn’t a time travel story.
The music that plays for the ending credits of ReLIFE are songs from the late 90’s to early 00’s. The joke is that each of these songs are from the main character Arata Kaizaki’s own music collection–playing on his ancient MiniDisc stereo. As Arata is really 27 years old, the themes are songs that were popular back when he was a teenager–i.e., the time most people remember nostalgically.
Not only do the songs that play add a layer to Arata’s personality by showcasing the music he listens to, but each song also subtly reflects atmosphere or themes of each given episode.
Here is a list of the twelve ending themes of ReLIFE:
Note: This article contains spoilers for ReLIFE.
Note: YouTube links are provided for the songs that have officially authorized promotional videos. These videos may not be viewable in all regions.
Note: Ranking information is according to Oricon, Japan’s biggest ranking database.
Song: E-jyu Rider
Artist: Tamio Okuda
Released: June 21st, 1996
Ranking: Reached number four in the weekly charts. Was 48th of the top 100 of 1996
How it ties into the episode: The original song was a play on the term “easy rider” and the industry jargon for “30 years old.” At the start of the series, Arata is a 27 year-old NEET with no job. Despite his own wishes to be part of society, to his family, Arata seemed like he was coasting through life, living off of his parents’ support with no purpose or care–an “easy rider.”
Song: HOT LIMIT
Artist: T.M. Revolution
Released: June 24th, 1998
Ranking: Reached number one in the weekly charts. Was thirtieth of the top 100 of 1998
How it ties into the episode: The song is about a hot summer love. In episode two, we are shown Rena Kariu’s long-time crush on Kazuomi Ohga. The episode also gives hints at the possible beginnings of emotions between Arata and Chizuru Hishiro.
Artist: Black Biscuits
Released: April 22nd, 1998
Ranking: Reached number two in the weekly charts. Was fourth of the top 100 of 1998
How it ties into the episode: The theme of Timing is about someone whose timing/ability to fit in socially is off, yet, that quality about them is what endears them to the people around them. Episode three focuses on Chizuru and her social ineptitude.
Released: July 8th, 1998
Ranking: Reached number one in the weekly charts. Was seventh of the top 100 of 1998
How it ties into the episode: A somewhat somber song of love. Episode four features Rena’s jealousy over being unable to beat Chizuru, as well as the fact that by becoming class president, Chizuru unintentionally stole the position next to Kazuomi that Rena wanted. The song also features the lyrics, “korogatte yuku michi (path I fall down)” and “I want to fly” which fit nicely with a scene at the end of the episode where Arata and Rena fall down a flight of stairs.
Song: Korega Watashi no Ikiru Michi (This is the path I live)
Released: October 7th, 1996
Ranking: Topped at number one in the weekly charts for three consecutive weeks. Was sixteenth of the top 100 of 1996
How it ties into the episode: Just as the title of the song states, in Episode five, after falling both literally and figuratively, Rena manages to find herself thanks to Arata. After momentarily losing her way, Rena successfully finds the path she lives.
Song: Sunny Day Sunday
Artist: Sentimental Bass
Released: August 4th, 1999
Ranking: Reached number four in the weekly charts. Was 39th of the top 100 of 1999
How it ties into the episode: The song is about a Sunday baseball game where a boy goes to play and his girlfriend cheers him from afar. In the episode, during a holiday, An Onoya reveals her support for Arata. The song features a line “Itsumo no nichiyoubi, kimi wo tada mitsumeteru (a Sunday like any other, I just watch you)” a line quite fitting for An.
Released: September 13th, 2000
Ranking: Reached number one in the weekly charts. Was 28th of the top 100 of 2000 and 68th of the top 100 of 2001)
How it ties into the episode: Saudade is a Portuguese word meaning sorrow, nostalgia, painful memories, or reflective emotions of things lost. Episode seven is a reflective story of Ryo Yoake, Arata’s ReLIFE manager, and his failure with test subject number 001.
Song: Yuki no Hana (Flower of Snow)
Artist: Mika Nakashima
Released: October 1st, 2003
Ranking: Reached number three in the weekly charts. Was 53rd of the top 100 of 2003.
How it ties into the episode: A longing sentimental love song of one woman’s earnest wish to be with the one she cares for, this song reflects how the volleyball ace, Honoka Tamarai, unintentionally distances those around her. And how, through the events of the episode, inadvertently destroys Rena’s chances at participating in the last big high school game she would ever hope to play in.
Song: There will be love there – Ai no Aru Basho – (A place where there is love)
Artist: the brilliant green
Released: May 13th, 1998
Ranking: Reached number one in the weekly charts. Was 22nd of the top 100 of 1998
How it ties into the episode: In the fallout of the previous episode, the relationship between characters are strained and those involved unsure of what to do. One of the lyrics in the song, “Marude tesurisaemo nai makkurana yami no naka ni aru kaidannwo atemonaku oriteita (Like walking down a flight of stairs in the dark without handrails)” describes the feelings of insecurity and fear the characters feel.
Song: Asuhe no Tobira (Door to Tomorrow)
Artist: I WiSH
Released: February 14th, 2003
Ranking: Reached number one in the weekly charts for two consecutive weeks. Was sixth of the top 100 of 2003
How it ties into the episode: A song of a new start after the storm. The song encapsulates the healed rift between Rena and Honoka. One line of the song in particular, “Ikiba nakushita tsuyogari no kuse ga (my habit of pretending I’m strong whenever I’m cornered)” is a perfect description of Rena’s personality.
Song: PIECES OF A DREAM
Released: March 7th, 2001
Ranking: Reached number one in the weekly charts. Was third of the top 100 of 2001
How it ties into the episode: It’s a song about growing up and the loss of innocence. In a story about Arata and what drove him to quit his first job, the song, PIECES OF A DREAM, encapsulates the sense of having ones youthful ideals shattered.
Song: Natsumatsuri (Summer Festival)
Released: August 9th, 2000
Ranking: Reached number three in the weekly charts. Was 34th of the top 100 of 2000
How it ties into the episode: This episode is literally about a summer festival so a song about one is a perfect fit. It’s also a song about fireworks, which the episode itself uses a metaphor for school romance–a momentary sparkling explosion in the sky that quickly fades away.
All thirteen episodes of ReLIFE are currently available on comico’s app in Japan. It can also be viewed on Crunchyroll in the US with English subtitles.