The live action movie ReLIFE approaches its Japanese release date of 15 April 2017. The original manga has been serializing from 2013 on the manga app comico. After that, it was published as a paperback manga, and there were anime and stage adaptations.
In the live action adaptation, the main character, Arata Kaizaki, will be played by Taishi Nakagawa, while the heroine, Chizuru Hishiro, will be played by Yuna Taira. The cast includes a lot of young, talented actors such as Mahiro Takasugi, Elaiza Ikeda, Sae Okazaki, and Yudai Chiba.
The story is about 27-year-old Arata Kaizaki who lives his life as a NEET. One day, a mysterious man appears in front of him and invites him to join a program called ‘ReLIFE’ in which you drink a potion that turns your appearance back ten years for a period of one year. Kaizaki, who has nothing to lose, begins his second chance at high school, aiming for the offer of employment upon completing the program. He tries to pass the year quietly, not getting involved with his classmates who are all ten years younger than him but…
We have an interview with the author of the original manga, Yayoiso. A wide range of subjects was discussed, from the concept of the manga to the filming locations of the live action movie.
Saturday 15 April 2017 Release
I heard that this story was born from an experience you had. Could you tell me what kind of experience it was?
‘To say that it was from my experience is a bit of a misunderstanding but I, like the main character, quit the first company I was employed at after three months. At the time, I was very depressed and emaciated but if not for that experience, ReLIFE would have never happened and I would not have been able to draw manga as my job. So from my own experience, I didn’t want society dropouts to just end in failure or indebtedness, I want to positively portray that second chance at life the ReLIFE is all about.’
Where did you get the idea to have the character go back ten years and redo high school?
‘I asked myself, “what is necessary in order for a NEET to reintegrate into society?” and I came up with “a well-regulated lifestyle,” “knowing how to get along in a group,” and ‘being able to think about your future.” So I thought that you could do all of this in the step just before becoming an adult: high school.’
How did you feel when the live action movie was confirmed?
‘I was very surprised. Rather than emotions such as happiness, I was very much in disbelief thinking, “Really?”‘
Did you have any requests for the screenplay?
‘When it came to differences in the setting and characters, it was a feeling of “it was like this in the manga but if it’s original to the movie then there is no problem.” I didn’t really have any requests but if there was a part that seemed like it was a mistake in setting then I did ask that it be confirmed.’
What did you think about the casting?
‘Frankly, I thought, “This is an amazing cast. It this okay?” [laugh]. I am really very thankful.’
It seems that you went to the filming location in Sendai. How was it?
‘It was my first time going to a filming location for a movie. There were many thorough takes of one scene, and many people were involved. I was acutely aware of how hard and amazing a thing it is to create a movie. I thought that those who watch movies have to treasure them more. Even though I interrupted them while they were very busy, they warmly welcomed me.’
What kind of talks did you have with the director and the actors?
‘The director was very busy so I was only able to just greet him, but I did get to speak with the actors in between their takes. We really spoke about a lot of things like, how much I draw in one day, the origins of the characters’ names, the contents of the story, and the last scene of the manga. I was told by the staff beforehand that Nakagawa really wanted to talk to me and the conversation was almost endless [laugh]. Everyone was very friendly so I had a lot of fun and was very happy.’
Yayoiso. She is currently continuing her job in her hometown of Oita Prefecture. ReLIFE is serialized on the manga and novel app comico.