So…..we are going back into the winter season of anime…..of 2016. A certain anime that season has gotten a lot of attention in regards of great first impressions from most anime viewers/reviewers/anitwitter people and of course, some that didn’t feel the hype on it. Another observation about this show is…..this was the last noitanimA show that streamed on Crunchyroll, Hulu, any other legal service before Fuji TV made that exclusivity deal with Amazon.
Ladies and Gentlemen, that show is known as Boku dake ga Inai Machi which translates to The Town Without Me……or better yet, Erased.
The story follows Satoru Fujinuma, a man who somehow possesses an ability that sends him back in time moments before a life-threatening incident, allowing him to prevent it from happening. When his mother is murdered by an unknown assailant, Satoru’s ability suddenly sends him back eighteen years to when he was still in elementary school, giving him the opportunity to prevent a kidnapping incident that took the lives of three of his childhood friends, two classmates and one young girl studying at a school nearby.
Like I said, the show has its fans and people that think it’s overrated and where do I fall into this? Well, I was very into the show as the show was simulcasted that season and upon re-watching it (in dub), the tension remains strong and the drama of the situation was enthralling with going back in time to make sure this girl he knows doesn’t die (and this wasn’t an easy feat) and while doing that, he does really get to know the girl and while the mystery of who’s the killer was intriguing, the more emotional parts with Kayo was a great highlight and showing how her home life is fucked up, especially her mother and damn, it got very emotional.
However, when it came to the reveal of who was doing this shit…..we spot it a mile away before the actual reveal and it wasn’t much of a surprise and as for the end……well, I thought it ended on a good note although I think most people wanted it in a different way but I thought that route would’ve been too predictable and hacky at that point. The ways of time travel here or “Revival” does leave me wondering about it more but some of them never got answered here and as for it being 12 episodes…….yeah, the episode count is good as it is.
For characters, Satoru Fujinuma makes himself as an interesting protagonist, especially towards him as a child when Revival happens and him going through the course of protecting Kayo and others from getting killed does show a good amount of boldness with a sense of humor and being valiant. Kayo Hinazuki definitely has her share of character progression when becoming friends with Satoru and others and people showing her love considering the abuse she suffered from her mother. Speaking of mothers….Sachiko Fujinuma is definite best anime mom!! She’s straightforwardly honest and caring and does communicate with her son when she sees Kayo going through some shit. There are some other characters I got invested a little like Airi, a co-worker who worked in the same pizzeria as Satoru and Kenya, a classmate of Satoru. Other than that…..I didn’t have much investment in the other characters.
A-1 Pictures animation is A-1 Pictures animation….meaning this looks good in their usual style of animation with some interesting aesthetic choices like using film reels as timelines when going through the events of the murders and the Revival animation is a sight to see.
Yeah, the opening to this show sounds like something that you would’ve heard in Naruto and you’re right. Hell, I don’t even watch the show and I feel like this song fits more in there than here. Oh, the song in question is “Re:Re:” by Asian Kung-Fu Generation and the song itself is….OK. The ED song for the series, “Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no Youna” by Sayuri is a much better fitting song than the OP as a whole with the tone feeling more like the series. Yuki Kajiura graces her talents in doing the soundtrack and hey, it’s better put into here than another A-1 show I’m not going to say but it is definitely solid and carefully used in those vital moments.
For the English dub, it’s good to see Ben Diskin in a lead role in an anime for once (Yes, I know he’s in Jojo) and he is very stellar as Satoru (older self) while Michelle Ruff takes over as his younger self. I definitely dug the hell out of Sara Cravens as Sachiko and even Carrie Keranen as Akemi aka Kayo’s mom aka who made me want to slap the shit out of her (the character, not Carrie. Carrie did great here.) There is plenty of good in the overall direction and writing and I felt nothing was out of place or sounded awkward.
FINAL VERDICT: So yeah, Erased is in fact a good show. It is a flawless perfect show? No, not really but there is enough positive to keep you watching and leaving you at the edge of your seat of what’s going to happen next among with the softer, emotional moments.
In fact, I was going to give it a 9 but I erased that and instead give it a…..
aka LOW FIRST CLASS
ERASED is available on Blu-ray via Aniplex of America. Streaming options are available on Crunchyroll, Hulu (both sub and dub), and FUNimation EVS. (Yeah, remember when AoA put their subbed shows on FUNi’s site for a while?”)
I’m MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid and really, how does that Revival shit work?
ERASED – animated by A-1 Pictures / licensed by ANIPLEX OF AMERICA