LATE TO THE PARTY: “ERASED (A TOWN WITHOUT ME)”
WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE FOR A REVIVAL?
EPISODES: 12 EPISODES
Disclaimer: I knew the premise of the series but not the execution.
29 year old Satoru Fujinuma possess a strange ability he dubs “Revival”, an ability to go back in time moments before a deadly event occurs; which gives Satoru the ability to prevent the event from happening. After successfully preventing a truck crash, Satoru’s mother is murdered triggering Satoru’s Revival ability yet again. This time, however, Satoru is sent back 18 years in time where he now has to prevent the events that lead not only to his mother’s death, but the deaths of three schoolchildren to a serial killer.
Erased is a short anime (12 episodes) that is centered on one central mystery, which is perfect for the slow burn that the series provides. Viewers will be able to stay on point when looking for clues to solve the mystery, while falling in love with the characters involved. By seeing all the characters, particularly the schoolchildren who were originally killed, viewers become invested in the central mystery of finding the murderer. Satoru is somewhat a fish out of water in the series with his 11 year old body containing a 29 year old mind. This disconnect creates humorous moments which further humanizes the deadly mystery at hand. The clues are also nicely scattered and inconspicuous for viewers to trace the killer.
The first stretch of the mystery takes a little too much of the central mystery. Erased dedicates most of the time to the first victim of the mystery as Satoru tries to save her. This causes the remaining time of the series to be shared between the remaining two victims and unmasking the killer. Despite the slow burn and decent pacing of the series, the final payoff of unmasking the killer is not as hard-hitting as expected. The final episode takes place 18 years later with Satoru and the killer meeting face to face and even that confrontation is lackluster. The pacing of the series can also drag on at times if you’re expecting a more thrilling series when you start it. There’s also a huge plot hole in the initial set of episodes that could change certain aspects of the series. Despite coming off as a mystery, Erased is more of an analysis of humanity.
Erased has great pacing given its plot and the characters are enchanting. The main premise itself is enough to get any potential viewer interested and the series is able to keep you intrigued enough to stay. The series plays out like a novel, which is appropriate given the series started as a manga. Erased gets an A in my book.