ERASED: Satoru is in a mission to uncover a series of mysteries from his past in order to take control of his life and timeline. Except, he doesn’t really control much of what is going on.
In A Nutshell
Satoru Fujinuma is a manga artist that has the ability to go back several minutes in time before an accident occurs. He calls this power “Revival”, and uses it to save lives, even though he cannot control how or when to use it. One day, after he’s wrongfully accused of murdering someone close to him, Satoru is sent back in time 18 years in the past. He then realizes his mission is to stop a series of disappearances in order to prevent the murder from his timeline.
Meet the Characters
Satoru Fujinuma is a 29-year-old manga artist who’s struggling to find success. Because of this, he works part-time as a pizza deliveryman. Satoru’s life is rather uneventful. He’s an introverted person who prefers to keep to himself, and he’s not very good at interacting with other people. Despite being bitter and cynical for most of the part, he always tries to help others with his ability, ‘Revival’.
Kayo Hinazuki is one of Satoru’s classmates in primary school, and one of the kids to disappear in the past. She lives with her abusive mother, who beats her on a daily basis. Because of this, Kayo is a very quiet girl and a loner who doesn’t have any friends and never interacts with others. This makes her a very easy target for the kidnappers, and it’s Satoru’s mission to befriend her and save her to change the lifetime.
Airi Katagiri is Satoru’s coworker at Oasi Pizza and a high school student. She takes an interest in Satoru when she realizes there’s something special about him and how he saves others. Unlike him, Airi has a very lively and cheerful personality, and considers herself a friend of his. Throughout the series, Airi remains very loyal and supportive. The way her relationship with Satoru evolves works as a reflection of Satoru’s character journey.
Sachiko Fujinuma is Satoru’s mother and a former news announcer. Sachiko is very smart, perceptive, and insightful, as she’s very quick to notice patterns and sense danger around her. In fact, she was investigating the disappearances before her son was sent back in time. In the past, she was a very loving and supportive mother. She’s also always very happy to have Kayo and Satoru’s other classmates at home and to cook for them.
A Brief History of ERASED: The When, Where and How
ERASED, Boku Dake ga Inai Machi in Japanese, is a supernatural mystery anime based on the thriller manga series by Kei Sanbe. The manga was serialized in Kadokawa Shoten’s Young Ace magazine between June 4, 2012 and March 4, 2016, finishing at the time the anime was airing. The anime was produced by A-1 Pictures and aired on Fuji TV’s Noitamina between January 8th and March 25th 2016. A live action film was also released on March 19th, 2016, and a spin-off manga series began its serialization in Young Ace on June 4, 2016.
Let’s get one thing out of the way – ERASED was a divisive anime. Even though viewers praised it in the beginning, the ending also disappointed many. But while it’s true that the first half of the series is superior to the second, ERASED is still worth watching for many reasons.
ERASED deals with the innocence of childhood and children facing huge adversities. It deals with abuse in a direct, yet subtle way. Most of what makes the series entertaining is its characters. Kayo is the kind of kid you just want to protect and see live the happy life she deserves, and Satoru is the type of protagonist everyone wants to root for. The sweetness in the dynamics between these two characters was already enough to make the series worth watching, and ERASED shines brighter in its most tender, yet bittersweet scenes.
In fact, as a mystery series, the series often falls flat in the later episodes. There’s no big revelations, and many things are left unexplained. But hey, some prefer it that way. One might say that ERASED is more about Satoru’s character journey, rather than about time travelling or supernatural powers. Regardless, ERASED is still a worth watch as a short, sweet series that is bound to give you many conflicting emotions.