I don’t watch television. Movies, yes, but not television. Part of the reason is that I rarely find a show that really piques my interest. The other reason is that I don’t have a television.
And now I’ve found another reason. Because I’ve finally found a great show. But it has a problem. It’s still airing. (Translation: I’m dying to watch the next episode.)
What show is it? ERASED, or Boku Dake ga Inai Machi. It’s an anime adapted from a manga. (And yes, Boku Dake ga Inai Machi does not translate to ERASED. It translates as “The Town Without Me”.)
What’s it about, exactly? In one sentence: Satoru Fujinuma, a manga artist and pizza delivery man, has a peculiar ability that causes him to involuntarily jump back several seconds in time in order to avert disasters.
IF YOU’RE ALREADY INTERESTED AND DON’T WANT ANY SPOILERS, YOU SHOULD STOP HERE. (In the meantime, however, you can watch the show here.)
If you’re not interested yet, or have already watched it, or simply want to spoil the story for yourself, read on. And while I’m at it, I’ll do a review what I’ve watched.
Here’s an expanded premise. From the first episode, it would appear that Satoru is used to his time leaps and it seems that he never goes back more than a few minutes. However, when he returns home to find his mother stabbed to death, he’s transported back 18 years, to 1988, when he was 10 years old, right before several of his classmates were kidnapped and murdered. And of course, he has to figure out why he’s been sent back and what he must do to change the future. All of this in his 10-year-old body.
Interested yet? Because I’m going on to my review.
I don’t like getting hooked onto shows. I don’t know why. But if you’re like me, then you’ll like ERASED. Why? It’s only 12 episodes, and the show will finish airing by the end of March 2016. And each episode is only 22 minutes. You’d have finished watching even before someone tells you you’re binge watching.
To clear up any ambiguity from my two descriptions, no, it’s not a superhero story. It’s much deeper than that. The anime explores several dark themes, including loneliness, child abuse, kidnapping and murder. But it also explores what’s behind friendships, friends, and family. Basically, it’s quite a serious show, but there are some lighthearted moments.
The cast of ERASED is essentially composed of four main characters: Satoru, his mother, Sachiko, his coworker Airi (in the story’s present, 2006), and his classmate Kayo (in the story’s past, 1988). As a result, each character is developed extensively, and viewers will quickly learn their individual idiosyncrasies. Satoru likes to speak his mind (literally), and this gets him in several awkward situations. Kayo is very serious, and often asks Satoru, “Are you stupid?” His coworker Airi is very optimistic, and wants to believe in people, even when they seem to be in the wrong. And his mother is extremely perceptive.
The show’s not exactly over yet, so I can’t give a full review. However, I can make predictions. (For those who’ve watched more than I have, I’ve only reached episode 8.)
Throughout the story, there’s a character who’s moving around in the background, killing people and framing others for it, Satoru being one of them. His identity is unknown.
I think that he’s actually a character who’s already been introduced. The series probably made a passing reference to him. At this point, it’s unlikely they’ll introduce a new character as the murderer. It would be kind of like an evil deus ex machina, which would be very disappointing. And in my opinion, there’s one main suspect: Satoru himself.
Why? Two reasons. He seems to be at the centre of a lot of chance happenings, and given that in episode 7, he manages to will himself to jump back in time, it seems that he has managed to harness his power somewhat. Maybe, just maybe, he fully harnesses that power and goes crazy in the meantime, and becomes a serial killer. If you watch the anime’s opening, you see Satoru in the background. A split second later, he transforms into what appears to be the serial killer. Coincidence?
It’s a bit of a far-fetched theory, but that’s what I think. (As of right now.)
What other thoughts do you have about ERASED?
[Oh yeah. Now I’ve finished the series. Read my full review of ERASED here.]