The first episode of Erased was one of the most unsettling and compelling shows I’ve ever watched.
It gave us a look into the life of Fujinuma, the main character, before giving us one of the most amazing twists at the end. What happens next?
I don’t really know what I was expecting when we found out that he had been transported back to 1988 and into the body of his childhood self, what we got possibly was nothing like what I thought we’d get.
For me I think its one of the most uniquely brilliant shows I’ve ever watched. I loved that we had the inner monologue of the 29 year old Fujinuma as well as him bumbling around as the 10 year old Fujinuma. Those moments where both his older and younger slef spoke together were brilliant and it led to some wonderfully funny moments like 29 year old Fujinuma scolding himself for being embarrassed because 10 year old self was touching a girls hand.
So the self awareness of Fujinuma becoming a big part of the narrative is really interesting.
What I also thought was amazing was that the people around him are noticing the difference. His mum and Kenya are the two really noticing, Kenya is the one more vocal and probably aware with certain little slip ups from Fujinuma. I really can’t wait to see where his relationship with Kenya goes as he’s the most switched on of the group and realises that there is something important, more then childhood emotions, at stake. Or at least that is how he came across in the episode. If there is anyone I would think that Fujinuma could turn to and talk about the Revival stuff with it’ll be Kenya.
His mum feels like a completely different person. I guess the whole point of the anime is the butterfly effect to save her. I did feel she was slightly despondent in the opening episode and there was obviously a lot of baggage that the death of Hinadzuki gave both of them so I guess it’ll be interesting to see how him trying to save her will change that bond between them.
Again this has already started and is one of the other fascinating things about the anime. It seems to be fully aware of how people forget small things. If someone complimented something you did when you were small and it made you happy it is hard to remember that if you had a blazing row and no longer speak. Tiny little moments whether its sharing a meal or just them being there for you can be forgotten as time goes on. You take normal things for granted and that isn’t a terrible thing its human nature. Fujinuma’s mother obviously cared enough to come home from work and make, from scratch, food for him but obviously as a child you don’t think like that. Being reminded of these things as a adult is one thing, RELIVING these moments is a completely different thing. 29 year old Fujinuma wants his 10 year old self to show his mum that he’s grateful for what she does which obviously he didn’t do as a kid so already their relationship will be different.
Its the ultimate test of “in hindsight”. With the words of Airi in his head, with his knowledge of what happens, he’s able to relax more and see the world around him, not as someone living through it but as someone who has already lived through it and knows the worst that happens.
He is going to have a birthday party, yes its to save Hinadzuki but at the same time we learn he’s never asked for a birthday before, in his actual time line if he hadn’t asked for one before the death of Hinadzuki then he wouldn’t have asked for one after therefore already he’s putting himself out there more with his friends. Again the ripples of effect will be that, as well as thinking of him as being brave because he talks to Hinadzuki and the others think he likes her, they’ll think more fondly of him because he invited them closer into his life, whether its fake or not to him.
Something that Albert said in the Hogfather springs to mind. When talking to Death about how he’d wanted a beautiful wooden horse for Hogswatch and instead he got a tiny wooden horse his dad had carved he answered Deaths statement of it meaning more because it was made by his dad with something along the lines of “no, because you are a selfish little bugger at 6, its adults that think like that.”
I add this in because it was what I was thinking the whole time.
At 10 Fujinuma would be selfish. Kids are. Not in a nasty way but they are growing, their life is just beginning and education and growing itself is all about YOU therefore you look more inwardly when growing up. Its hard on YOU, you know that others might have it hard but why would YOU care about that? At 29 he’s old enough to know that others suffer. Obvious signs of Hinadzuki being abused and being sad are lost because “I had a argument with my mum this morning” or “I don’t fit in here” are more important to a 10 year old then “that girl has a bruise on her leg and doesn’t like going home I wonder what’s wrong?”
That isn’t to say 10 year old Fujinuma is a bad kid but its a nice reminder as a adult for all of us of how we were as kids.
Not that I hope anyone who reads this has had a traumatic past but I’m sure there are so many different things you’d love to return to in your past with your [insert age] mindset and with full hindsight mode on be able to fiddle with your life to make it happier, nicer, stop something embarrassing happening etc?
Did I mention the episode was really good?