The hype! It is so real for this show. I started this show when episode 9 had just come out and I wished I would have waited till it was over. This show definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat for a majority of the show. I couldn’t wait to see how it ended!
Erased or Boku dake ga inai machi is a 12 episode anime with a manga of the same name that recently ended with 44 chapters in 8 volumes. It aired in the winter anime season of 2016. Don’t worry, I will not talk about anything past the first episode in my synopsis of the story line. There are somethings that I talk about at the end of the review that could be considered spoilers. You have been warned.
The story starts with our male protagonist, Satoru Fujinuma, a 29 year old struggling magaka who works at a pizza joint. He has the unnatural ability to go back in time to prevent something bad from happening, later called “revival”. Like keeping a small child from becoming a hood ornament on a freight truck. In his past, during grade school some of his classmates were killed by a serial killer. He harbors special animosity towards himself because he believes he could have saved them. Over time these depressing memories fade into repressed memories where, at 29 years old, he barely remembers what happened. “I’m scared to get into the heart of my own mind” is something the Satoru says at the very beginning. Throughout the first episode you learn a lot about the main character. His underlying depression to write a good story for his manga, his strained relationship with his mother, the little connection he has with society and those around him all play a part in showing you that Satoru is a closed off individual who would rather stay away from others because of past experiences.
After Satoru saves a small child from a fatal traffic accident, he is taken to the hospital. He ended up having a head on collision with a car while saving this boy. Once he is released from the hospital, he goes home to his apartment to find his mother there. Due to the terrible accident, she decides to stay with her son for a few days to keep an eye on him. While out on an errand to buy food, He has another “revival”. Because he can not figure out where it is coming from he decides to let it slide. Although, his mother notices something is off as she sees a shady looking man holding a little girls hand as he brings her to his white van. I don’t know about you but that’s creepy AF!
When the mother saw this, it sparked her curiosity about the case involving the abductions 15 years prior, the ones of Satoru’s classmates. She does some digging the next day and believes that the culprit who was convicted was innocent and that there was a different person behind the string of murders in their hometown. Well… she does a little too much digging because while she is coming home that night to her son’s apartment, she was tailed by someone, that someone ends up stabbing her with a kitchen knife. Killing her, in her last breaths she says she knew who it was and she should have believed her son.
Almost right after this happens, Satoru returns home. He finds his mother laying lifeless on the floor. Desperate to wake her and completely in shock, he falls backwards into the hallway. Unfortunately for him the neighbor paid a visit at the worst time and saw Satoru’s hands covered in blood and immediately jumps to conclusions. After this happens Satoru freaks out and sprints out the door. This causes another revival, but this time it brings him back 15 years ago just a couple months before the sting of murders happened to his grade school classmates. He is back in grade school!
This series exceeded my expectations on a number of levels. It was the best anime I watched this season. It was a breath of fresh air from what I have been watching. This is one of the few shows that is really good even though it is only has 12 episodes. The are a few flaws however. The first one is how did he get this “revival” power? That was never dived into further detail. Another is what was Airi’s influence in the show? Other than being the emotional support character, what was her purpose? I hear that she is fleshed out better in the manga. I hope so because I personally really liked her character. The last gripe I have is that in the first episode the revivals happen without warning or control. Yet halfway through the show he is able to force a revival. What’s the deal with that?
By no means whatsoever is this a bad show. So why all the hate?! I don’t get it. On MyAnimeList the overall score of the show went from a 9.13 to 9.06 to 9.00 in the first two or three hours of the finale episode being released. It was at a 8.97 yesterday and is currently at a 8.93. While this is still a good score and keeps the show in the top 15 best ranked anime on MAL. I still don’t get why everyone is totally just bandwagoning to hate on the show. I read multiple reviews of the show on MAL and a lot of the low score reviews were all about the negative aspects like the ones I talked about previously. There was no positive feedback whatsoever in their reviews. While everyone in entitled to their own opinion, the fact that so many people just completely bypassed the good qualities and the amount of enjoyment to be had in this anime is really disheartening. I’m sure I’ll get a lot of flack about this but I don’t see the point in constructively reviewing shows like this and just pointing out the bad parts of the show.
So… in conclusion, while yes, it had its flaws and derp moments just like any anime. It is still very well done and I would recommend this show to anyone. So I give Erased a 9/10. On an enjoyment standpoint, I would give this a 10/10 but I can’t look past these unanswered questions I was left with at the end of the show.
I hope you all enjoyed! Have a wonderful day!