Erased, also referred to as Boku Dake ga Inai Machi is a 12 episode series adapted from a manga that airs in the winter of 2016. The anime is told from the perspective of the main protagonist, Satoru Fujinuma who is a 29 year old manga artist who works at a fast food restaurant to make ends meet. Portrayed as a introverted loner, Satoru has the ability to go back in time for a few minutes before something terrible happens, which he calls the ‘revival’. One day, Satoru goes home to find his mother brutally murdered and is wrongfully accused by his neighbors and the police, which ignites his ability.
However,this time he doesn’t go back a few minutes in time, he ends up in 1988 in a body of a young boy. Satoru is forced to relive his childhood until he figures out how to return to the present and why he was brought back to this year.
After, Satoru starts to regain his long lost memories of that year, he begins to realise that the murder of his classmate which took place in 1988 is linked to the murder of his mother in the present.
The plot of the anime continues on with Satoru as a young boy tracing his steps back in time trying to determine who the killer was, whilst simultaneously changing the present with his decisions.
Erased as a whole does a great job at igniting thriller with the slice of life genre. It achieves this by focusing on the family dynamics between single parents and their children as an underlying sub plot which completes the story.
Satoru and his relationship with his mother is portrayed as two individuals who have extreme faith in each other. Whereas the character Kayo Hinazuki, (the classmate who dies in the year of 1988) is demonstrated as having an abusive relationship with her mother.
The stark differences between the two lives, displays to us the sad twist in the anime, that was the cruel life Kayo has had to live for a very long time unnoticed.Even though this wasn’t a crucial plot line to the anime, Erased draws you in by tugging on your heart strings because of the vulnerability of the character Kayo.
Although, Erased does well at demonstrating family lives in a authentic way, it also does well at balancing it with the thriller elements especially the cliff hangers. I can guarantee you that whom ever you ask about this anime will tell you the cliff hangers make it or break it.
Personally, I thought that they executed the cliff hangers extremely well, they left it till the last minute before the episode ended which got my brain thinking via Sherlock. I enjoyed them because it encouraged me to draw my own conclusions of what, where and when something happened and let me tell you, I was bang on with the murderer.
Another aspect Erased did well was by keeping the structure of the plot steady throughout. When I first heard about the anime and began to watch it, I had some worries that the anime might loose its direction and get too messy and out of control later on.
However I must say, Erased never did that, it continuously showed what was happening in the present time of the anime which helps us understand how far the present had changed with Satoru’s decisions.
The ever changing colour of Yashiro Gaku’s eyes (from brown to blood red) is also worth mentioning. This attempt did make it fairly predictable as you could guess that the colour blood red meant death.
Although this did happen towards the end, so I wouldn’t say the anime was spoiling itself to you straight away.
Another character worth mentioning is obviously the main character Satoru. What should be noted is how his character design is drawn, he is not the typical flower boy and actually looks his age.
A1 pictures thought about this well as as it clearly aims to show that this isn’t like any other anime, theres more to the characters then just the outer appearance, it is more about their story they’re telling.
I liked that he was determined to fix the past in order to save the present of certain people’s lives, he is extremely smart and doesn’t lack common sense. His character carries the anime extremely well along with Kayo.
The animation uses sharp colours, nothing is blurry or over drawn, the colours are vibrant but dark at the same time.
The audio is Japanese dub and has an English dub too, I think the anime could of gotten away with just strictly being Japanese but I do see why they also did an English dub.
Erased is an intricate anime that ignites your brain and your senses with the versatility of its genre and the plot twists that happen towards the end. It was fast paced but steady and gave each character a chance to shine which is why it is one of the best anime’s this season.