Julien Neaves, Editor
Back in May our anime head writer Wayne Rock dropped a list for our fifth anniversary entitled Top 5 Gateway Anime Series for People Who’ve Never Watched Anime. One of the entries was 2016 series Erased, which tells the story of a young artist named Satoru Fujinuma who uses an unexplained ability called “revival” to travel through time to try to save his mother from a mysterious assailant and to prevent a serial killer from murdering three children.
I’ve mentioned before as a casual anime fan I love short run anime, so the one season length and intriguing premise piqued my interest. And so I checked it out and it is was a riveting watch.
I’m keeping this review spoiler free, but I have a few notes for those going into this one blind. The time travel aspect is a major plot point but it is a storytelling device and not a superhero ability as Satoru has little to no control over it. So don’t expect Hiro from Heroes here. The series also focuses more on the drama elements rather than the thriller aspects, though when it gets thrilling the tension is turned up well. And the material deals with the sensitive topics of child murder and child abuse, so do keep that in mind.
The two main settings are twenty-something year-old Satoru as a struggling artist/pizza dilvery man living with his mother and Satoru as a teen student. During “revival” he does not physically time travel but his rather his consciousness travels back into his younger body. Old/young Satoru is a great protagonist, with his constant observation and caring heart. His relationship with reticent classmate and future murder victim Kayo is the heart of the show and it is touching, sweet, thoughtful and beautiful. And it is also funny as Satoru falls for Kayo but has to continually remind himself that he is a grown man in a child’s body. Satoru’s mother and co-worker Airi are both wonderful side characters.
The series really wouldn’t work if the viewer didn’t care about the characters facing possible/ imminent death but the series does a fantastic job of fleshing everyone out. And I was frequently on edge when their lives were under threat. And speaking of that threat, the killer (who I will not spoil) is not that much of a twist, but it is a truly despicable character that I loved to hate.
So if you are looking for a short run anime with a unique premise, riveting thrills and an excellent story, then you should definitely check out Erased.
Editor Jules’s Score: 8.5 out of 10
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Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating board games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.