THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS. EPIC, DRAMATIC, SHOCKING SPOILERS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
Series: Erased [Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi]
So, one night as I was sitting comfortably on my couch, curled up in a blanket with my Kindle reading away, my husband sat down next to me and propped open my laptop. There was silence for a long while, and then suddenly
“Watch something with me.” he said.
I mumbled back “Okay. What are we watching.”,
And so began our three-night couch date that was marathoning through Erased. We actually stopped both nights not because we wanted to but because we wanted to have something to watch the next day. Let me tell you– it is so easy to just sit through all twelve episodes of this series. Every one of them ends on a nail-biting cliffhanger, and I mean that literally. You crave the next episode.
It starts out simple enough; a struggling manga artist trying to place meaning into his work finds himself intervening in events that can turn into disasters. He calls it Revival; it’s his tool that allows him to sense disturbances and identify them, allowing him the forethought to prevent any misfortune.
I assumed this power of his would end up being the inspiration for the series he would write that would finally be his big hit– and, for all technical reasons, I assume I wasn’t wrong in that thought– but that’s not all revival is. Revival appeared in Satoru’s life after a series of murders of his classmates. He blames himself for never reaching out to the children who were taken, and holds guilt over the man who was accused of their untimely demise.
Then his mother is murdered and he is framed for it; in shock he runs from the police, running so hard he runs all the way to his 10 year old self in 1988.
And that’s just the first episode.
Satoru decides that since he has the chance, he will change history and save Kayo, the first victim of the serial murderer, using his knowledge as a 29 year old from the year 2016 to stay one step ahead of the murderer and his friends. While his efforts draw the attention of those who know him well enough to see the change, it also draws the attentions of the murderer.
This series is a dramatic crime thriller, full of humor and cuteness and then at the drop of a hat a large dose of insane violence. Stabbings, beatings, arson, drowning– you name it, it happens in this show.
Does Satoru succeed? Yes, but at the sacrifice of 15 years of his life. Everyone lives. Kayo has a child and a happy family. His friends Kenya and Hiromi are still searching for the murderer who attempted to kill Satoru to protect his secret.
And his homeroom teacher has become a prominent member of the political scene– despite being the greatest foe Satoru would ever have.
All in all, this series was absolutely fantastic. I loved it. I would watch it again and love it all over again. The ending felt a little rushed to me, but I was still satisfied with how full circle it came. Satoru’s power comes with consequences (he cannot change the future without losing the time that would have changed for him as well) but it still feels as if he has gained the greatest victory by bringing the true villian to justice and finding himself and his friends along the way.
4.5 out of 5 stars. Bravo. I love it when short series make you feel so complete.