Time Travel and Murder Mystery in Erased: A Review

Erased AnimeLosing a loved one would certainly leave almost anyone stricken with confusion and grief, although both self-condemnation and thoughts of preventing such death are only a couple of things that would cross anyone’s mind. Fortunately, when it comes to Boku Dake Inai Machi, or Erased, Satoru Fujinuma (protagonist) finds himself in an unusual situation.

Satoru was able to travel back in time to prevent such tragedy from happening. It was the time when his classmates died. However, the death of Satoru’s classmate may also have a possible link to that of his own family.

Erased: The Plot Of The Anime

Erased is the story of Satoru, a 29 year old aspiring manga artist. He spends most of his time working as a pizza delivery guy. However, his life is not without a hint of the supernatural. Satoru often finds himself a few minutes in the past. With just the right amount of time to allow him to save a person’s life from death. While finding it a hassle, he nonetheless does his best every time leap to save who he can.

However, after one “revival” sets in motion a string of events that leads to his mother’s demise, he leaps not to only a few minutes, but rather to 20 years ago in the past. From a 29-year old into a body of a 9-year old, he comes to one conclusion: to save his mother’s life. However, he must first save someone else from death – his classmate Hinazuki who died in the hands of a serial killer.

Erased: Additional Information

As a loner during his childhood, Satoru was never good at making friends. However, a fellow loner taught him how to fake it and gain, at the very least, superficial friendships. But, as Satoru grew up, he never moved on past that point. As much as anything else, Erased is a story about Satoru gaining real emotional connections both in the past and in the present. With this theme, the story expertly links Satoru’s future and his past as well.

*WARNING: Spoilers Ahead!*

On his first journey to the past, Satoru certainly makes a great connection with Hinazuki. But Satoru chooses to leave his other classmates out of it. It’s not until his failure and subsequent return to the present that makes his connections with Airi. He then takes up her philosophy of “wanting to believe in people.”.

From his experiences with Airi, he becomes willing to let Kenya (his classmate) in on what he’s trying to accomplish. In addition, having the real chance at not only saving Hinazuki, but also his mother.

In other terms, Satoru’s heartbreaking experiences serve a purpose in the story’s narrative. It was to help him become the kind of person who’s capable of not only saving both his mother and Hinazuki but others like him as well.

Erased As A Mystery

Erased is a well-established mystery anime to say the least. There are a couple of real stakes and real dangers that go along with it. This is because of the anime’s excellent villain.

While Satoru may be a child for all rights and purposes, he does have knowledge of the future. Including how the serial killer will make his move to commit the murders. With such a handicap, it’s important that the villain of the story be so cunning. In addition, the villain seems unbeatable to keep the stakes on the rise and the story engaging.

The villain is amazingly cunning, always one step ahead even if Satoru kept changing the past over and over again.

*WARNING: More Spoilers Ahead!*

However, it’s not just his elaborate planning and quick thinking that makes the villain incredibly captivating — it’s his mindset and motivation. He’s not your normal stereotypical culprit. While he succeeds on committing the perfect murder — making someone else fall and covering his existence as a serial killer — that’s not his main objective. What he truly wants is to be perfect in all of his plans and yet still be foiled. It’s less the thrill of killing he’s looking for and more of the thrill of being bested.

Inside him is a battle of pragmatism versus his ultimate goal. He has no plans of being caught at all, but he can’t help but to respect Satoru in his own way. Furthermore, he believes that he’s being fair, acknowledging the tenacity showcased by Satoru.

Erased: What’s Next?

Following the 12-episodes of the anime by A-1 Pictures, a planned live-action drama adaptation of Erased is now on its way to Netflix. The series will show in 190 countries all over the world; that’s according to Crunchyroll. Furthermore, a brand new visual offers a sense of what’s more to come for the series. The scheduled premiere of such in Japan on Netflix is on December 15, 2017, that’s less than a month from now.

Filming started early this year in Tomakomai-City, Hokkaido. The same place where the events in the anime took place. Unlike both the anime and the movie, the web drama will tell the same climax following the manga for the first time. So, there’s something new to look forward too.

29-year-old Yuuya Furukawa will be playing Satoru in his 29-year-old day. Best known as Naoki Irie in Itazurana kiss ~ Love in TOKYO. On the other hand, the 12-year-old Reo Uchikawa will play the role of the 9-year-old Satoru. Best known as Ciel Phatomhive in the Black Butler ~ NOAH’S ARK CIRCUS~ stage play in 2016.

There’s still more for you to look forward too for Erased. So, stay tuned!

Erased: Overall Verdict

The entire anime is about the story of Satoru bringing about the opposite timeline. He prevented Hinazuki’s death and that of all the others, he alone then pays the price. (I would leave the details out for you to discover on your own). But with this sacrifice, Hinazuki and Satoru’s friends are left to grow up happily without the death plaguing them.

As a mystery anime lover, Erased surely lived up to its theme. Thematically deep with great characters, it’s the perfect melding of traveling through time and murder mystery. Plus, this makes for a whole much greater than the sum of its parts.

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