By: Denise Salazar
Receiving increasing attention from the internet, Boku Dake ga Inai Machi or ERASED, is off to a great start for itself, as well as the anime lineup of 2016.
For the unfamiliar, ERASED is a mystery-thriller-fantasy anime adapted from the 2012 seinen manga by Kei Sanbe. The story revolves around 29-year-old Satoru Fujinuma, who possesses an unusual ability to go back in time prior to a dire event, permitting him to change history and prevent it from occurring. Following his mother’s murder, he is brought back eighteen years into the past, in which he is given a chance to stop a series of kidnapping incidents that occurred within his hometown. Think of it as a darker, more serious version of Mamoru Honda’s The Girl Who Leapt Through Time with an older adult male protagonist. (If you are unfamiliar with that animated movie, I suggest you watch that one as well. Classic.)
Five episodes in, this anime has shown very strong promise. Each episode ends on a disturbing cliff hanger that leaves its audience wishing for the next one in hopes of receiving answers and closure. With the present being set in 2006 and the past being set in 1988, it is also interesting to 1) observe Japanese school and daily life in the late ‘80s and 2) compare and contrast between the two eras. With regards to the abduction incidents and Fujinuma’s mother’s death specifically, the viewer is also made to ponder on how the two events connect.
Fujinuma is also a very likeable character. He is smart, intuitive, caring, strong-willed and, frankly, human (duh). Although he tries to approach situations rationally and logically, being in the unfortunate circumstances that he is in, he still inevitably experiences the anxiety, paranoia, and pressure over bearing the responsibility of rewriting the future. Really, though, the one true thing I like about him is that he isn’t annoying. It probably has to do with his age and maturity, as well as the audience this anime is suited for. Ain’t nobody got time to deal with the impulsive shenanigans of a shonen boy!
Lastly, so much sketch: apart from Fujinuma and one other person, I literally do not trust anybody in the show – and that’s great. It might just be my cynicism, but suspecting almost all of the characters constantly puts me on the edge and on the lookout for any possible clues that could point out the kidnapper(s) and murderer(s) identities (Or maybe they’re the same person?).
If you want to start off the year with a great anime, I highly recommend ERASED. Its story, setting, protagonist, and/or suspense will surely draw you in. Side note, the opening theme is by Asian Kung-Fu Generation, so it’ll be a nice treat and throwback for fans of Naruto, Bleach, and Fullmetal Alchemist. It definitely was for me.
Feel free to comment and ask questions below, or if you just want to talk about it with me, please do so!
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