Feel’s 2021 time-travel fantasy anime is based upon a well-worn idea: what if, coming to regret one single decision in your life, you could go back and change it? Main character Hashiba Kyouya is a talented producer working from the game development market, yet he has had a run of bad luck and is out of work. He regrets not accepting an offer to join an arts college 10 years earlier. His luck is about to change when he wakes up and his dream has come true. Silly, huh? Yup. Actually, although this concept is hackneyed, the delivery is sharp. The older Hashiba had idolised a group of gifted creators working in game development: illustrators, musicians and story writers. Once he is sent back in time, he finds he is sharing student digs with these very people. The audience would likely forgive this sort of audacity because the story takes the sort of non-linear path only possible in time-travel takes. Since Hashiba has become unstuck in time he is able to, not only rework his mistakes, but he is also able to see the consequences of the new mistakes he is making.
Even for those of us who never did arts at university there is plenty here to engage and entertain. As with all such time-travel hokum the audience is required to overlook the paradoxes and plot flaws that arise along the way. Principally there is a problem with the core idea; that extremely talented and creative young people should suddenly just give up on their careers after a brief brush with working in a harsh commercial environment. Afterall that is precisely where they were working at the start of the story. Yet, it was also this idea of the unintended consequences of Hashiba’s attempt to remake his life that prove to be so absorbing. He learns quickly that he simply could not remake his own fate without reworking everyone else’s too. Thankfully he gets a second-second chance to make things work and the audience all breathes a collective sigh of relief. You also briefly learn of why he is time travelling although it doesn’t really explain anything. Maybe you have to plough through the light novel series by Nachi Kio (illustrated by Eretto) to learn more. It doesn’t detract from the overall story line in the anime. A highly watchable story yet not without its flaws. The details of the gaming industry seem authentic giving the story-telling a genuine feel.