OP: Koko kara Saki wa Uta ni Naranai「ここから先は歌にならない」by Poppin` Party
「なにもかもダメになって」 (Nanimokamo Dame ni Natte)
“Everything is Useless”
The season premiere of Bokutachi no Remake encapsulates the main premise of the anime as Kyouya wakes up in 2006 right at the moment where he could change his fate and choose to go to art school. Although his second chance at a video game career that isn’t abysmal is a good chance to meet his idols and learn more about his career path of game design, it also gives him a better understanding of who the people he idolized really are and the struggles it took for them to get to where they ended up in 2016.
50 minutes might seem like a lot to digest for a show that combines the time-bending fantasy of Erased with the youthful wish-fulfillment of ReLIFE, but it helps to distill where Kyouya came from and what exactly he wants to fix about himself now that he’s time-traveled 10 years into the past. With how much he had to contend with as he ended up saddled on the butt-end of canceled projects from embattled game developers, it makes him easily sympathetic, especially with how tech company struggles ultimately end up being more relatable than many viewers would have hoped.
It does beg to question though what he could gain from going back to change his past by interjecting his life into others. He might be able to be more successful by learning more trade tips and such, but he could end up impacting how his colleagues would be able to get out as much content as they normally would have by 2016. There could be a butterfly effect where his involvement with one of his favorite developers’ lives could cause them to completely alter their career for the worst.
Not to mention that not everyone is going to be successful right out the gate or be permanently successful once they make it big. Yuji Naka’s work on Sonic the Hedgehog and Nights Into Dreams might have been stellar, but gamers nowadays have been kicking him down and stomping on his legacy because his most recent game was the critically lambasted Balan Wonderworld. Most of these Platinum Gen people could easily have a Balan Wonderworld in the works, but Kyouya would never know because he only caught them while they were still on their Nights Into Dreams phase.
Likewise, Sakaguchi Hironobu was close to quitting the gaming industry entirely after his involvement with 8 games leading up to the first Final Fantasy. Kyouya’s Final Fantasy could’ve been around the corner or could’ve been present within the next few years, but never know it because he decided right off the bat that he wasn’t where he needed to be unless he switched schools back in the heyday. Unless he ends up networking, he might just end up in the same spot he was before.
It also gives us a window into the life of Kawasegawa Eiko, who also would have much to gain from Kyouya’s time travel. As his last chief, before he woke up in the past, he had become heavily invested in making sure her vision becomes a reality, and that she won’t have to feel weighed down by the miserable treatment she gets at work. It’ll be interesting to see how much this comes into play knowing that Kyouya’s knowledge of the past might drive him to see what it is about her past that would lead her to be unhappy with what she got at SucceedSoft.
His fellow dormmates at the Share House Kitayama are also very fun and interesting characters to have around. We don’t know as much about Nanako for now aside from being one of the more abrasive residents. But we get a little background on Tsurayuki, who has a good grasp of the material he’s given in spite of his multiple jobs causing him to work himself to sleep during class. At first, I wasn’t sure what to think about Shinoaki because she did have a kind of infantile appeal for someone heading into art school, but her involvement in Kyouya’s favorite game helped amplify her as a character knowing that she was able to build up enough confidence to create a great game by her own accord.
Perhaps the main takeaway from Episode 01 is that motivation and determination might be more of a silver bullet for reaching your desired outcome in life than being at your preferred college of choice, though the latter helps anyways. Assistant Professor Kano makes it clear that the 8/135 chance of success makes it absolutely foolish to bank off a career in entertainment, so unless he’s wrapped up in the warm and endearing arms of nepotism, he could easily be stuck in the same position he was in beforehand. A decent education is only half the battle.
It’s an odd story because even though everything came together so nicely in the 50-minute runtime, it’s hard to imagine what Kyouya would get out of living out his fantasy of palling around with the designers he’d come to idolize. Still, at the moment, the story is wholesome enough that you can’t help but hope that Kyouya is able to achieve a better future alongside his new friends.
ED: Kanousei「可能性」by Argonavis