‘Rebooting’ Ending Explained & Japanese Series Recap: What Happens To Mari And Asami?

What would you change if you had a second shot at life? Now, this question may raise a lot of retrospection on what we could have done to have made our lives better. However, Asami, having gotten multiple chances to reboot her life, goes on to take steps that would avoid her previous mistakes. Rebooting has been directed under the able guidance of Rie Sawaoka and stars faces like that of Sakura Ando and Asami Mizukawa. Netflix has currently been streaming the comedy-drama in collaboration with Nippon TV to acquire a wider audience base globally. Will Asami be able to make her new life cycle count? Will she be able to gain good karma over the years to be born as a human again? Let’s find out!

Spoilers Ahead


What Happens To Asami?

Asami was leading quite a stable life as a government employee in the pension department. All was going well until a sudden incident changed her way of looking at life forever! She decided to catch up with her friends Miho and Natsuke to celebrate Miho’s birthday at a restaurant. After having dinner together, they were also seen spending some quality time at a karaoke restaurant, where they came across Fukuda (a batchmate), who was working as a waiter there. He told them that he had married Shizuka after high school, but later they got divorced as she couldn’t support his music career. He had remarried and also had a child. He had been struggling to juggle his multiple jobs, just to feed his family.

While spending some time together, the three friends are seen to become nostalgic, talking about their school days. Just after Miho and Natsuke bid Asami farewell, Asami was heading home when she was hit by a truck. Right after her death, she landed in a blank space, where she found an information desk. Upon asking, she was told that she would be born as a giant ant-eater in Guatemala. She was told that she lacked enough good karma from her previous life to be born as a human again. She was given the option to either lead her new life as an ant-eater or reboot her previous life and attain enough brownie points in the form of good karma.


What Happens During Asami’s Second Cycle?

After Asami entered the rebooting system, she was seen restarting her life as an infant, but this time, she had the memories of her as an adult. The second go that Asami had in her life made her determined to collect good karma for herself so that she could be reborn as a human. While in kindergarten, she knew that Rena’s parents would be divorced because her father had an affair with Miss Yoko, their class teacher. This had caused Rena and her mother to leave the area and Miss Yoko to lose her job. She knew all the events that were to happen in this life after the experiences she had gathered previously. When she saw Rena’s father exchanging his pager number with Miss Yoko, she tried to interrupt. She stole the number and left another note for Miss Yoko on behalf of Rena’s father, stating how grateful he was that she had been such a good teacher to his daughter.

Asami sneaked out of her house to use a payphone near her school to send a pager to Rena’s father on behalf of Miss Yoko, which read that she would inform his wife if he tried to seduce her. This event resulted in Rena’s parents staying together and her collecting good karma for herself. In this life, she was also close to Miho and Natsuki. They spent time together talking about television shows and trading stickers. She was again going through all the same emotions that she had faced in her previous life as a teenager. However, with more experience this time, she was able to score better marks in her class. She also attended the same girls’ high school and then went up to college, where she completed six years of medicine. She refrained from dating Masaru this time, as she had done in her previous life, as he had turned out to be a job hopper later on. He had also not given back the money that she had lent him last time. Asami had grown wiser this time and was refraining from making bad decisions in her second cycle.


How Did Asami Try To Gain Good Karma?

While Asami was hanging out with her school friends after “coming of age day,” she wanted to alert Fukuda that the singing career that he wanted to pursue would take him nowhere. However, she couldn’t muster enough courage to dissuade him from following his passion. After completing her studies, she became a pharmacist to ensure she had a job that was less troublesome than her job in Cycle 1.

One day, while she was returning home, she saw Mr. Mita, her high school teacher, on the train. She had been filming him secretly to send Miho and Natsuki the video of their former teacher. Meanwhile, she saw that a woman started accusing him of having groped her. Asami realized that in her previous life, she had done nothing to save him despite knowing he was innocent, but this time she had to do something. When Mita was being accused and taken away by the police, Asami came to his rescue, showing them the video that she had made, proving his innocence. She revealed that Chief Taniguchi was the real groper.

She visited her grandfather, as she knew that he would die in the next two years. When she took a look at his medicines, she realized that he was taking the wrong medications. She understood that her grandfather had died early in her previous life as a result of the wrong medications. She immediately consulted the doctors and changed them, which eventually made him feel better. While at the doctor’s clinic, she took up a magazine to read and found that her past-life boyfriend, Masaru, had become a big businessman. She thought that dating her was the reason Masaru didn’t flourish in his business in her previous life.  


How Did Asami Try To Help Rena? 

When Asami went out with her friends to celebrate her birthday, they were also joined by Rena. She told them that she was currently dating Mr. Miyaoka. Asami realized that the man she was talking about was her colleague and was married. Later, when Asami told Miho and Natsuki about it, they insisted that Rena should know the truth. They called her, and Asami told her the truth about Miyaoka. After Rena vented out her frustration at him for having wasted her time, the four women enjoyed their night to the fullest at the restaurant. Meanwhile, Asami was fully aware that there was a risk of her being hit by a truck on that date. She maintained safety to ensure that she did not have an accident.


What Happened To Asami On Her Third Life Cycle?

Even though Asami managed to skip death that night, she met with an accident shortly on the street. This time, when she reached the afterlife, she was told that she was prone to death in her 30s. She was told that if she chose to go on with her next life, she would be born as a double-lined mackerel in the Indo-Pacific. She was disappointed that she still did not attain good enough karma to become a human in her next life and again chose to reboot her life. She again restarted the third cycle of her life and had a pretty similar childhood to the previous two cycles. However, she opted for literature as a part of her higher education this time. This time, she knew that Masaru was going to become a successful businessman, and hence chose to date him again. However, after a few days, Masaru broke up with her as predetermined, but this time she did not face the same intensity of heartbreak as last time.

After completing her education, she joined a TV station, where she worked as an assistant producer. In between her work, she was seen returning home and often enjoying time with her family and friends. On her father’s 52nd birthday, she remembered that Mita would again be falsely accused, as earlier. Even this time, she was determined to save Mita and pushed to complete her work as soon as possible. She followed Mita to the train station and tried to stop him from getting on the train. Mita decided to board the train anyway. Asami tagged along, and they were talking about their old days in school. He was not accused of groping the woman, and the real culprit was caught. While Asami thought to herself that she had completed one major quest, she remembered that she also had to save her grandfather. This time also, she did the needful to save her grandpa, just like in her previous life.

Meanwhile, she was seen prospering in her career after having worked for the team for 7 years. She was on her way to becoming a producer and proposed a series based on her real-life events on rebooting. However, the originality of the story was lost in other creative ideas for the drama. In between her busy schedule, she managed to remember saving Rena. She managed to get her hands on Rena’s number from Fukuda and asked her to meet, so that she didn’t end up meeting Miyaoka. However, Miyaoka somehow managed to meet her at the restaurant and exchange numbers with her. Later, Asami went to meet Miyaoka and warned him to stay away from Rena, as he was a married man, leaving Miyaoka baffled!


What Did Asami Do On Her Fourth Cycle?

While returning home from work, Asami again met with an accident at the age of 29. When she again ended up in the afterlife, she was told she would be born as a sea urchin this time. She chose to reboot her life again. She decided to gain better karma in her fourth cycle. She again tried to stop Rena’s father from having an affair with Miss Yoko, which was successful. This time, she made sure to work exceptionally hard as a student, resulting in her being separated from her friends. She went to the same public school so as not to put an extra burden on her parents. She was able to beat the best student, Mari, in her class this time. Later, she majored in medicine and became a researcher of new medicines to save people’s lives and gain better karma.

On Asami’s fourth “coming of age day” at her school, she again attended the karaoke night with her friends. When Fukuda announced that he would pursue music, Mari secretly told Asami that he wouldn’t make it great in his life and that she wanted to give him a reality check.

In this life, she again tried saving Mita from humiliation at the train station and eventually succeeded. She talked him into drinking a cup of tea with her, making him miss his train. She again managed to save her grandfather and Rena in her fourth cycle. She became a medical researcher at the age of 30 and seemed to like doing her work. Meanwhile, her sister, Haruka, also got married, and Asami thought to herself that these were the perks of getting to live life over and over again and seeing the happy faces of her loved ones several times.


What Did Mari Reveal?

While Mari and Asami were hanging out, Mari revealed that she knew that Asami was rebooting. Mari told her that she was living her fifth life, and she had gathered that Asami was also rebooting when they talked about advanced technologies in their childhood when they did not even exist. She told Asami that in her first life cycle, she, Asami, Miho, and Natsuki were friends, but after her second life, she drifted apart from them. Mari told Asami that in her first cycle, she was studying to become a nursery teacher. She also revealed that she had dated Fukuda for a while, and then she broke up with him after he cheated on her with Shizuka.

She told Asami that in her first life cycle, Natsuki and Miho had died in a flight crash. After the accident, Mari also died as a result of an accident, but she decided to reboot her life and save Miho and Natsuki. In Mari’s second cycle of life, she studied hard to become a pilot but couldn’t save the plane after it hit space debris. She kept on trying to save her friends, even in her third cycle but failed to save Miho and Natsuki. She had again attempted to save her friends in her next cycle but kept failing. This was Mari’s fifth life cycle, and even this time she was determined to save her friends. Just after meeting Asami, Mari’s plane crashed, killing Miho and Natsuki along with the other passengers on the plane.


What Happened In Asami’s Fifth Cycle?

Asami passed on to her fifth cycle after meeting with an accident in her fourth cycle. One day, when she was returning home, a heavy metal scrap fell on her, eventually killing her. When she passed on to her afterlife, she was told that her next birth would be as a human. She was initially thrilled but later decided that she would reboot her life to go back and save her friends. Before the reboot, she was told that this would be her last chance to reboot. In this life, she again met Mari in school and this time they both knew each other’s secrets. While growing up, they both decided to become pilots to save Miho and Natsuki. They started training at an early age to become physically fit.

This time, Asami majored in engineering and later took flight school exams along with Mari. With extensive guidance from Mari, they were easily able to crack it at an early age. They joined the academy, underwent strict training, and eventually managed to get jobs at Jet Sky Airlines in Japan. While on her mission to save her friends, Asami did not forget to help her grandfather, Rena, and Mr. Mita. Both Mari and Asami managed to become captains at the age of 29, keeping their goals in mind.


What Did Mari And Asami Decide Together?

Right before their mission, Mari and Asami were told that they would be assigned to another flight as the pilot and co-pilot. Asami requested that Mr. Nakamura, a senior pilot, let her get the flight as her school friends would be abroad. However, he did not agree to her requests, making Mari and Asami decide to poison his food, making him sick for a day. Despite knowing the consequences—that they would be arrested later—Asami and Mari decided to take the chance. They wanted to make sure that the lives of 180 passengers could be saved.

While Asami was waiting in the lounge to execute their plan of poisoning Mr. Nakamura’s coffee, she came across Miss Kawaguchi. She was Asami’s colleague in her first life cycle. This time, she had chosen the profession of a flight attendant. She knew Asami’s reality of rebooting, and she approached her, saying how glad she was to have come across her after so many years. She told Asami that Mr. Nakamura was going on an affair trip with his mistress. Having a former grudge for being yelled at by Mr. Nakamura at the academy, Kawaguchi had secretly ratted him out to his wife. This had caused his shift to be canceled, and when Asami heard about it, she was thrilled, as they would be the ones to fly the plane now.

When Mari and Asami were about to take the flight, a man named Takagi came to meet them and told them that he was a time traveler and was living his second cycle. He told them that the plane was going to crash because of debris from space. He requested that they change their route. Otherwise, the crash would kill his ex-wife. Mari and Asami told him that this was old news to them, and they had been living their sixth and fifth life cycles, respectively. Finally, when they boarded the plane, they made sure to change the route so that the plane would land safely in Taipei.


What Happened Finally?

When the four friends reunite at the airport, there was an increased closeness between them. Miho and Natsuki were unaware of how many births their friends Mari and Asami had taken to save their lives! Later. Asami is seen going to meet her parents in her hometown after giving up on her job as a pilot. Three years seem to fly by, and Asami is seen turning 40. She had successfully managed to surpass her 30s, during which her chances of death were high, as per the reports in her afterlife.

Asami took up her old government job at the pension office, and Mari taught at a nursery school after quitting her old job as a pilot. They had decided to return to their simple lives in their first cycle. The four women are seen catching up again and spending a good time together on Asami’s birthday. They went to their usual karaoke restaurant and decided to call in other friends for a reunion. Miho, Natsuki, Asami, and Mari were seen reuniting and bonding, just like their first life cycles. This proved that there is no correct time or age to form a bond of friendship! The four women are seen to stick together even in their old age. The last scene shows four pigeons sitting together, indicating that all four friends have gotten a chance at rebirth as pigeons. Even after giving up on their human lives, the four friends decided to stick by each other’s sides!


Final Thoughts

The concept of the series Rebooting can be compared to that of a videogame, where people get multiple lives if they lose in one round! The concept of a parallel universe has been explored in a lot of detail within this drama. The narrative of the series is very unique and can be compared to one of the Indian films, Game Over, where the protagonist gets multiple chances at life after being murdered. She reflects on her previous mistakes to avoid being killed in her next life. Similarly, Asami consciously tried to avoid the mistakes that she had made in her first life cycle. The series is also replete with strong elements of female bonding. Asami and Mari would go to any lengths to save their friends, even if that meant having to relive their lives over and over again after death.


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Debjyoti Dey
Debjyoti Dey
Debjyoti’s obsession with creativity and travel fervor has helped her branch out into the entertainment genre. Her love for psychological thrillers helps her get a daily dose of adrenaline. A regular caricature of the films and its characters is what keeps her going!

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