The Winter 2016 anime season is over and only a couple shows really captured my interest… Erased was at the top of that list. I was captivated from episode 1 and every week I eagerly awaited the newest episode to be released.
Erased is one of those anime’s that makes you want to watch even if you’ve already guessed the big reveal in the story plot, which i called about 3 episodes in. But before I get too ahead of myself I’ll give you a brief spoiler – free summary. Everything said in the following paragraph is revealed in the first episode of the anime.
Summary (Spoiler Free)
Satoru Fujinuma is a struggling manga artist who has the ability to turn back time and prevent deaths. When his mother is killed he turns back time to solve the mystery, but ends up back in elementary school, just before the disappearance of his classmate Kayo – from manga
What I Liked About It
Erased has many things to enjoy. The art style is great and nice to look at, the characters are well voiced and have strong back stories. The story itself is fantastic. The first episode does a great job of drawing you in with supernatural elements and a mystery that needs to be solved. I found myself rooting for Satoru as he went through all of the crazy ups and downs of the plot. His character is interesting without being overdone.
Something that I thought was super cool is the intro sequence. The song that plays is catchy, but if you watch it every time you’ll notice things change depending on the stories current plot point. The changes are very subtle but if you pay attention it gives the anime a whole different feel. I’ve never seen anything quite like that before and it kind of blew my mind.
What I Disliked
Luckily I don’t have much to say in this section. The only thing that kind of bugged me was mentioned above, I called the big plot twist way before it was revealed. Yes, I know it’s hard to write something crazy into a story without giving it away. I will say that even though my hunch was correct, I wasn’t disappointed at all. It was a well rounded plot that I enjoyed every minute of.
Final Episode (SPOILERS AHEAD)
So Satoru manages to save Kayo as well as his mother but finds himself in a coma that lasts years. When he finally wakes up he has amnesia, making him forget that the murderer was his elementary teacher all along. This is the plot point I knew already. They tried super hard to make the teacher look innocent but I didn’t trust him from the beginning.
Anyway, he finally regains his memory and we are graced with the final stand off on the roof of the hospital building. Here we discover that Satoru was Yashiro’s only meaning in life, the only person who had ever bested him. When Satoru attempts to roll his wheelchair off of the roof Yoshiro stops him, claiming that the young man is his only reason for living anymore.
This brought up a lot of debate for fans of the show. It was a point that seemed to come out of thin air and a bunch of people thought it was sort of silly. I disagree. We have a serial killer who had never been suspected of his crimes and suddenly a young boy, one of his students, discovers the truth. Not only that, he screams to Yoshiro that he knows his future when the teacher attempts to get rid of him via drowning in a river. When Satoru ends up surviving the attempted murder, Yoshiro is worried and intrigued. What will happen if the boy wakes up? Will he remember? Will all the meticulous plotting Yoshiro has done have been for nothing? He can’t try and kill the kid again because his mother is watching him like a hawk; so he waits. He waits for fifteen years with nothing but Satoru on his mind.
The day Satoru awakes is the day Yoshiro’s life begins again. Upon discovering the amnesia he plots, trying to figure out what to do now. The encounter on the roof could’ve gone one of two ways: Yoshiro murdering Satoru, or Satoru gaining the upper hand. Yoshiro had every intention of killing the young man but realizes that if he does so, his life no longer holds any meaning. For the last fifteen years he had dreamed of this day, had thought of nothing else. And the thought of it being gone terrified him.
I personally liked the way they ended it. We even got a small encounter with the Airi of this time line which made my heart grow 3 times bigger. All in all it was a very well thought out anime that I definitely recommend watching! Let me know your thoughts about it if you have any and thank you very much for reading!!!