I am 6 Episodes deep in this series which came across to me as a really basic anime with so many question marks and cliche backstories.
Story and characters
Artwork and music
Hopefully, after the season end, I will be able to update this review for the better. It is definitely worth a watch if you really like sports anime and have seen most of the good ones, but if this would be your first one you should just head over and watch Haikyuu.
Well well well... Not a lot changed in the second half of the series. We finally got to see some waterpolo games, but to be quite honest, they were not really that interesting. Pace of the game, camera angles and overall quality have not improved whatsoever. I really wanted this to be spectacular, the idea behind the story is really great imo and could have been much better executed, but I guess we need to wait for an other season to be released to decide if it was worth the watch.
Foundation of the anime is solid, story is charming, but the anime lacks in both animation and storytelling. It almost feels like there is next to no tension throughout a game between the Mc and the so called "rivals".
Maybe the best way to describe RE-MAIN is that it’s a sports melodrama that’s more about its drama than the actual sport. Although this isn't the first time something like this has been attempted in a sports anime, you see very few other shows like it for a reason. That’s because melodramatic tones have not traditionally worked for sports anime – usually, they’re at their best when they keep their plotlines strictly on the court.
But then you’ve got something like RE-MAIN that comes along to try and buck the trend. It doesn’t seem like it’ll work at first, but fortunately for us, it’s a gamble that pays off in the end.
There are many moving parts that make up the quiet drama that is RE-MAIN, most of them revolving around its main character, Minato Kiyomizu. After he wakes up from a coma, he finds that he can't remember anything about his past – including the fact that he was once water polo’s rising star. From that alone, you already know what you're in for. You’ll also forgive Minato if he strikes you as generic and loud at first, because him being generic and loud is kind of the point. And if the show starts to get too dramatic for its own good, then know that that’s kind of the point, too.
From there, it’s a roller coaster of twists, turns, and a whole bunch of other scattered revelations, until you get to the meat of it all and see our characters as they really are. This is, in no small part, why RE-MAIN’s story is something that works: while the story is anchored on Minato’s memories, it also makes sure it doesn’t forget about its other characters. The number of twists is enough to exhaust even those who know which story beats are coming, but because you’re already so invested in the characters, the resolutions feel earned.
Thanks to the character drama, you also forget to notice that not a lot of water polo actually happens in RE-MAIN. In fact, it’s only in the last couple of episodes we see any real game action at all. But look past the surface elements that make any sports anime what it is, and you’ll eventually get to the core of the genre's true meaning: that sports anime, at the end of the day, are really about achieving self-improvement and personal change. They’re just more literal-minded about these things, that’s all.
In a way, RE-MAIN’s almost the same. Even if its plot is centered around Minato’s memory loss, that’s not really what defines the show. Like every sports anime like it, it’s got more to do with the power of change and the people who help us achieve that – and of course, a little water polo, too, to give you a concrete sense of direction.
This potentially clichéd Water Polo version of any sports anime had a twist in the beginning of episode 1 where the main character Minato wakes up from his coma. For the last 203 days he was asleep which made him lose his memories of the last three years of middle school where he was the best water polo player in Japan. In the meantime, he forgets his former teammates who are happy to see him finally awake but regretful that he doesn't remember who they are.
Come High School he is eager to play water polo again to get his memories and also make new ones with new people. However, the one lingering thought that occurs through the show is: will he remember everyone at his new school when his memories do return?
This show won me over better than that volleyball show that premiered after the last season of Haikyuu to capitalize on the men's high school volleyball anime craze (I hated it so much I don't even want to say the title).
Though his memories do return and when he realizes that his body is not in the shape it used to be due to being bed ridden for almost a year, he tries to prove his former school wrong who pretty much just betrayed him in Minato's POV, but to the viewer it was just a team looking to the future trying to replicate its past success, but it helps the plot.
With his memories back he helps his team become better players by leading practices and giving advice on how to be better albeit not in a helpful coaching way.
I don’t know what exactly water polo is, but this RE-MAIN is awesome anime
Honestly, a beautiful anime with amazing twists. I loved seeing the protagonist's personality change along the way. Hopefully, there will be a Season 2!