Boku Dake ga Inai Machi (Erased) Final Thoughts

Recommendation : 100% YES!

The juggernaut series of the Winter Season. A dark murder mystery story with time travel and so many twists and turns it is unbelievable.

I don’t think the story was without flaws but it was a trip and a half to make and if you are reading this wondering if you should make it then really you should.

The story is about Satoru. He has a strange power he calls revival in which he’s sent back in time a few moments to stop accidents happening around him. Suddenly he is caught in the middle of something from his past and gets thrown back in time a good 15 years to stop a series of kidnappings that happened when he was a kid.

There are so many turns and twists in the story though that it keeps you hooked till the end.

Compared to some people I wasn’t as impressed with the story as a whole.

Personally I felt like there were too many skips in the story telling for it to feel complete by the end.

It was a beautifully animated series. In some way it felt extremely real even though you knew it was just a anime show. The characters didn’t have high detail to them but in some way that helped make it feel extremely realistic.

The characters are what made the series so good. More then anything the series felt much more about learning about each other then it did about the mysteries, after all the main character Satoru had to go from being a introvert who hated contact with the outside world to being the most people-ish person in the universe to save a bunch of people who in his actual past he’d shown little to no interest in. It was interesting to learn what we did about the people in Satoru’s past but that is what also disappointed me. There seemed to be such a big lesson to be learnt by Satoru but that lesson never really was noticed by him. For me his end speech about friends and everything else felt hollow because it felt like he had forgotten who he had been.

For me the best character was Satoru’s mother Sachiko. She was such a strong and wonderful character and was the only character who never questioned anything her son told her. The sad thing was that I don’t think she ever got the recognition that she deserved. In the first episode she seemed so distant from her son but the more you got into the story the more you saw that it was probably Satoru’s fault instead. After that she did everything to back her son and you could see every single thing he did she second guessed and supported. Satoru never really saw it that way though, he praised Airi for never giving up on him but she was doing it for selfish reasons, because no one had believed her father she made a decision to believe Satoru. That doesn’t actually mean she believed him. I guess through the biggest negative in his life his mother wasn’t actually there (no spoilers) but the more he tried to save people the more his mother was there and she stuck next to him completely.

Looking over all the characters though and there are so many that are so interesting.

Learning about the abuse that a child like Kayo not only went through but how she dealt with it day to day on her own was heart breaking. The intelligence and kindness of someone like Kenya was wonderful to see and how he broke down the walls Satoru had put up around him was so interesting. Even smaller characters like the rest of the friendship group Satoru had and the only vaguely seen Aya has so much character and so much to give.

One thing that let this work was the stories. They never ever hid away from telling difficult stories. Of any kind. They didn’t hide the abuse of Kayo in dialogue but showed her mother being abusive in many different ways. They didn’t hide who Yuuki was, though I do feel we never really got to see enough of him to make up our minds on him, so you could understand why he’d be the prime target in the investigation.

They let all the stories play out perfectly not hiding behind anything and it let the characters grow. It showed how kids dealt with things and that worked even though it was always shown through the lens of a adult.

It is a emotional rollercoaster. Just when you think things are going right they often then turn out going wrong. It was a difficult one to second guess.

Personally I don’t think you have to have a “type” of anime to like this. Its interesting, character driven and a proper murder mystery. The story is engaging, full of people you feel a connection too and so many cliff hangers that no matter what genre you really are into you will love it.

So no matter what kind of anime you like I highly recommend Erased to you. One of the most intriguing and thought provoking anime’s I’ve ever watched.

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