Genre: Mystery, Psychological
Related Words: murder, crime, children, abductions
29 year old Satoru Fujinuma can travel back a few moments in time whenever a tragedy is about to strike. He calls this ability a “Revival” and due to this ability, he has saved many lives.
However, one day, when he is wrongly accused of murder, he is sent back into the past to the year 1988, 18 years ago to the time when child abductions were happening. He realizes the murder he had been accused of could have been connected to the child abductions and goes on to solve this mystery.
General Overview (Without Spoilers)
I have to admit, this anime wasn’t one that I would usually watch. As you can expect, it is more of a mystery, suspense kind of anime. I usually stick to the happy, adventurous anime, but I felt like this was a good change.
When the first episode started, I really didn’t know what to expect. But by the end of the second episode, I was very intrigued. The suspense was built up in a short amount of time, but yet it was effective. There were many moments in this anime where I was holding my breath because of the suspense. The atmosphere was brilliant and the characters were well made. I’d definitely recommend this anime to anyone who wants a good mystery to solve.
Full Review (*With Spoilers*)
I don’t even know where to start. I loved it. In the beginning, Satoru has trouble with following his dream as a mangaka and works at a pizza place. I felt like that was very vital to his character, especially how it compared to the ending when he was a successful mangaka.
And the “Revival” aspect. Though the anime doesn’t tell us why Satoru has the “Revival” ability, I thought it was well fitted into the plot and gave the feeling that out of all the students that had been around while the abduction case, Satoru was the only one that could save everyone. In the beginning, he is seen as an unimportant person in Japan, that is very insignificant. But when he gets that chance to do something he should have done a long time ago, he doesn’t hesitate to be the hero that everyone needs. His character changes so much and it is so amazing to watch.
The carry out of the murder in the beginning really started all the suspense. A child goes missing, something that had happened when Satoru was a child 18 years ago. There had been many of his classmates that went missing, all reported to be dead soon after. The adults involved in this case tried their hardest to make the children forget any of these murders had happened, but that only resulted badly in the future.
We learn from Satoru’s mother that the abduction case from 18 years ago, hadn’t been solved. They still didn’t know who had killed the children. But finds out, quite easily in fact, but it killed by the murderer before she can tell anyone. Satoru when he gets home finds his mother dead, and a neighbour who had been passing by saw Satoru with his mother’s blood on his hand and assumed the worse.
This was the trigger to the whole plot and I felt that it was something that defined Satoru. He had to wake up from reality and face his past, knowing that he could have done something to prevent the abductions. And now he can.
Satoru Fujinuma, as the main character, faces many trials and pains during the span of this anime. I really liked how he develop as a character through the 12 episodes, and how we can see his personality.
The murders of his classmates, we can see, had been forgotten by him. But with the attention of his mother, he regained an interest in it and knew that he needed to do something.
When the “Revival” happened, we seen him transform into a 11 year old boy. But instead of acting like an 11 year old, he acted like a 29 year old and took actions based on his experience and intelligence only someone older and wiser would do. And that was the part that kept me hooked on. It was interesting seeing him view the children’s world though adult eyes and noticing things he wouldn’t when he was younger. It helped him figure out the details and be mature– something an 11 year old wouldn’t have been able to do (except if you were Kenya, of course). I know that when I was younger I saw things in a more black and white state, but my visions have changed since then because of experience. This plays to his advantage as well as he know what would happen in the future and who and how his classmates would die.
He did the things that the other adults couldn’t have done and survived even when the murderer attempted to kill him.
If you ever noticed, mothers in anime aren’t very prominent. At most, they only probably have a few scenes and when we see them, they are either cooking in the kitchen, fawning over their child, or watching TV.
But Erased completely blew that out of the water. There is no doubt that Satoru’s mother played a big role in the anime. We get to know her as a person, but also as a mother. We see that she loves her son with all her heart. And in the regular time line, in the beginning of the movie, she was the one who had solved the case first. And she was the one that had gotten killed because of it.
She was also the one that supported Satoru and pushed him to do his best. She was the one that took care of him and I felt that she was one of the characters that had a lot of personality built in.
The only issue I had was that I wished she could have been more involved in the case solving. But that ties in with Satoru as well. Sachiko did help a little with what happened with Kayo, but I sort of wanted Satoru to tell her what was happening. Since Sachiko did solve the case in the regular time line, I was kind of expecting that Satoru would join forces with his mother and they’d solve the case together. However, I do understand it would have been weird for them to interact a lot if the story was about middle school kids. I just felt like their relationship could have been emphasized more.
And, of course, the last one on my list– the one responsible for all of this.
I suspected him to be the killer from the start, but I hadn’t been sure until episode 10 when Satoru sat down in his car. By then, my alarms were ringing and I knew something was up. Besides that fact, it was also very obvious that he was the killer. No one else could have done it, if you don’t count Kayo’s mother, and there weren’t other suspects except maybe for Yuki.
He has a very creepy past, one that I do not care to write out. But it involves something with death hamsters and one that managed to survive his attempt at killing them. Something about that surviving hamster caught his attention and that was how he got involved with murder. They don’t really give us an explanation about why he became so sadistic, but it was really creepy nonetheless.
He seems like a pretty nice guy in the beginning of the anime. He’s a teacher in an Elementary school and supported the children, especially Satoru, in helping Kayo, who he had actually planned to be his first kill ironically. And the scene in the trailer where Kayo was hiding when Yashiro entered in and had a tantrum, that was such an intense scene. Especially the fact that the one he was planning to murder had been just in the other room.
I have to admit though, I am quite impressed at his intelligence to plan things out. He had literally thought of every little detail as he sketched out his plan. It was impressive and scary at the same time. It makes me wonder if the bad guys are actually the geniuses instead of the good guys. I mean, with every story, the bad guys are always the one making the plans; the good guys just have to stop them. Of course, not in every story, but still…
And in the end, when he was finally found out, we see the back story to his personality. He couldn’t kill Satoru because of personal reason. That moment really made me pity him for a second. Though he’s evil, he has his own feelings about things. And I thought that just made his character all the better.
I thought the animation was great. It was graphic at times, such as when Sachiko’s knife wound was shown and Kayo’s abuse. But the details of that really added to the anime. The details of the snow and the darkness when they showed Kayo the first time really set the mood. It was dark, ominous but beautiful. My favourite scene would have probably been when Satoru took Kayo to see the big tree under the stars.
I’d give this anime a…
4 and a half out of 5 stars! I enjoyed every moment of Erased, including all the suspense and mystery. It was very unique and something I had never seen before, although that is probably due to the fact that I don’t usually watch mystery anime. But even so, the plot really caught my attention and it will definitely create a lasting impression on me.
P.S. I totally ship Satoru and Airi together. They are too cute!
What do you guys think? What are you’re thoughts on Erased?