Review of Erased

erased

Does anyone else remember Quantum Leap? That’s what Erased reminds me a little of. Aspiring manga artist Satoru Fujinuma doesn’t switch bodies, like Sam Beckett did, but he does possess the ability to prevent tragedies via time travel. In the first episode, whilst out delivering pizzas, Satoru uses his power to save a child from getting run over. Good job Satoru, although I suspect that heroic diversion will cost you a tip. By the time you recover from the injuries sustained, during said roadside rescue, that pizza you were ferrying is bound to have gotten cold. Man, I hate it when Dominos present me with a lukewarm Thin N Crispy.

OVERVIEW

Adapted from Kei Sanbe’s comic, Erased is a twelve-part anime that chronicles Satoru’s biggest time leap ever. In the first episode Satoru is framed for the murder of his mother. Just when the cops are about to apprehend him, his consciousness travels back almost two decades – to the time when he was just ten years old. Based on how his Revival power works, Satoru suspects that the guilty party is a serial killer who hounded his hometown back in the day. In order to prevent his parent’s homicide Satoru will have to uncover the identity of a sick predator, who claimed the lives of three children back in the eighties.

The first step in resolving the abovementioned mystery is to befriend the murderer’s first victim, a reclusive girl named Kayo Hinazuki. As it turns out Satoru’s kindness could potentially save Kayo’s life in more ways than one. His immediate concern is to guard Kayo against the killer. Over the course of the story however Satoru learns that Kayo is being abused by her mother and takes it upon himself to protect her from that cruelty too. The bond that forms between the pair is sweet, almost bordering on romantic. Somehow the relationship doesn’t come across as creepy though, even if it is technically between a minor and a guy in his late twenties (Amos Yee would approve.)

VERDICT

My rating for Erased is five stars. Having watched the series I can finally see why the anime garnered so much praise back in 2016. The time travel elements are right up my alley and I also enjoyed the schoolyard slice of life moments. Aside from the main manhunt plot, the script does a good job of developing its lead. Satoru ironically matures by reliving his childhood. Aiding our hero are present day adult acquaintances and chums from his youth. From the supporting cast Satoru’s mother Sachiko Fujinuma is my favourite. Satoru affectionately calls her a witch, as she possesses an uncanny sense for reading his mind. Witchcraft may explain why she doesn’t seem to age too. Those curries she cooks could well be wrinkle-preventing potions.

I highly recommend Erased, although those seeking a good whodunit may wish to look elsewhere. Mystery is the one area were Erased isn’t exceptional. Viewers catch a glimpse of the killer during the tail end of the first episode. Said scene was enough for me to successfully deduce the antagonist’s identity as early as episode two. The script tries to cast doubt with a few red herrings later on, but it was for naught. For once, the obvious candidate turns out to be the culprit. Do I get a cookie for guessing right? My Sherlock Holmes skills deserve a reward. If biscuits aren’t available I’ll take a free pizza instead. Just make sure it isn’t cold.

35 thoughts on “Review of Erased

  1. Yes, you watched it ! πŸ˜€ I absolutely adore this anime. It was brilliant, mixing a lot of genres that I really like into a perfect blend. It was also quite powerful and brave as the subject of child abuse, while not an easy subject was adressed here in a very heartbreaking but powerful way.
    I agree about the culprit, that was the one thing that I pretty quickly deduced as well, though not as early as episode 2: so yeah you definitely get those cookies! πŸ˜€ Great review for a terrific Animeseries πŸ˜€

    • This show has been on my radar ever since MIB named it his top show of last year. Your review, which I recently read, reminded me to finally watch it. Seems like time travel is a good way of highlighting hard hitting issues. This show covered child abuse and Orange touched upon depression.

      I guessed the killer during the episode two OP. The guilty party’s dress sense is what tipped me off. I owned hamsters when I was young. Hopefully I won’t turn into a serial abductor too!

      • Haha, no I hope that doesn’t happen either for you lol πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ But you are right, both Orange and Erased had tome travelling aspects, almost forgot about that.
        That said it really adressed the subjects in a way that I thought was very respectful.
        I’m glad you enjoyed this one as it really is one of my favorite all time animes πŸ˜€

  2. This animation is very good.
    However, when compared with the original manga, many contents were deleted and adapted
    The original manga is much better.
    I recommend the original manga.

  3. Great series and thanks for the shout out! πŸ™‚

    The only thing I didn’t like was the mother’s fish lips which was a huge design flaw, otherwise this was a deeply affecting show. I would have gone for the UK Blu-ray release but those greedy swines at All The Anime splitting it into two volumes and charging the earth for each one is a real turn off! 😑

    BTW – you must really be up on Asian youth culture – I had to Google Amos Yee (who sounds like a real dick)… :/

    • Her lips look odd, but I guess she is an awesome kisser haha.

      To be honest I rarely buy anime physical releases these days. Between the high price point and regular defects it feels like we are getting exploited. As someone who just wants the show I don’t like how Anime Limited inflates prices by focusing on special editions. In this case however they might just be following Aniplex’s mandate. That company loves to milk anime fans.

      Amos Yee I recently heard of because some channels I follow were commenting about how outrageous he is. I’m not surprised that Youtube removed the video were he defends pedophilia.

      • I am very fortunate to be a supplied reviewer in that regard, although it is only occasionally films from All The Anime that I get sent – if I want a series or other films I have to buy them (when on sale, natch).

  4. Even though the culprit was obvious the entire way through, right up until the moment they were revealed, I was hoping that it wasn’t them, constantly searching for evidence to reassure me. In that regard, I did kind of enjoy the wild ride the ‘mystery’ lead me on.

    • Most of the reviews I have read are positive, but some people didn’t dig the show so you aren’t alone. It all comes down to taste. If the characters didn’t click with you, even if the story is good, I can understand why you would enjoy Erased less than other viewers.

  5. This looks like something that I’m going to have to do some research on. This one managed to stay off my radar but the concept sounds good. It’s a good day for me if Dominos give me a lukewarm pizza, most of the stuff they give me feels like it was delivered from Narnia.

  6. Pan > hand-tossed > thin n crispy.

    I can’t complain about cold pizza being delivered since there are no delivery places in my area, but I can complain about the local bar using little dinky stick-type pepperoni that curl up and burn easily instead of normal large, thin slices.

    I’ve mostly avoided this series since I really want to read the original first, but I still haven’t picked them up. I’m still waiting like the person who ordered that pizza.

    • The manga is probably worth reading, as some of my readers say that the anime cuts stuff out to squeeze the main story into twelve episodes. You can buy Erased on Kindle I believe. I wouldn’t recommend the hard covers because, as I mentioned on your site, they are crazy expensive.

  7. I agree about the lack of mystery in the series, but another critique is this: the last few episodes were too rushed. When it first aired, I remembered asking a friend about the manga: how long is the manga? Is this show likely to go two-cour? Things were moving so slowly that I couldn’t imagine it resolving so quickly. My friend mentioned that there wasn’t enough manga for 24 episodes, and that they would likely gut the last portion of the manga, which they did, and it shows unfortunately. I wish we could have somehow gotten a few more episodes, or more reasonably, that the director would have timed out the series a little better.

    • That’s quite the predicament. Not enough material for twenty plus episodes, but a story that is hard to squeeze into twelve. Whenever I get round to reading the manga I’ll be in a better position to judge how well they adapted the source material. I didn’t mind the pace of the last episode, although the way that the final confrontation, with the killer, played out was a bit silly.

  8. oooh sounds dark and exciting πŸ˜€ I must check this one out. I watch so much cold case, hawaii 5o, mentalist and probably most other shows of that nature. But I never really watched an anime crime solving show (except for death note, but I’m guessing that doesn’t count). It seems like a really interesting series πŸ™‚
    Great Review πŸ˜€ I sort of fancy a pizza now, too hehe. So, I’ll leave you with an interesting pizza fact. Dominos Gluten Free pizza tastes like popcorn. πŸ™‚

    • Sounds yummy. I’ll have to order that pizza next time I fancy some fast food.

      I wouldn’t describe this series as dark, but things do get bleak around the midway point. The killer’s identity in Erased is pretty obvious so I woudn’t watch this just for the mystery. If you seek an anime that is more mystery focused I would recommend The Perfect Insider, Beautiful Bones and Danganronpa.

  9. But, with time travel powers, couldn’t you save the day and then still deliver the pizza while it’s warm?

    In any case, guess this is another one to add to the list. I work through my anime really slowly, but the series that seem interesting and that you give five stars to haven’t steered me wrong yet.

    • If you don’t watch much anime per year Erased is a good pick. The show is only a dozen episodes long, so not a big time investment.

      Unfortunately for Satoru he doesn’t have direct control of his power. When a disaster strikes he usually gets catapulted back five minutes. In the pizza incident he saved the child, but was injured in the process. As a result he was rushed to hospital. The fate of the pizza is unknown. Perhaps a reptile emerged from the nearby sewers and devoured it.

  10. Yup, it was pretty obvious who the culprit was after only a few eps., but I don’t think it was really the author’s point to hide the killer’s identity until the end.
    Going back in time wasn’t just about saving his mom. In order for him to do that, he had to save Kayo, too, because these murders where irretrievably linked — if he ‘s able to stop and expose Kayo’s killer, then he can ensure his mother’s future survival. I’d like to think that, and in process, he was also “saving” himself, because that event left him with emotional scars he could no longer ignore (he has always felt guilty that he didn’t do enough to save Kayo).
    Basically, he had to go back to where it all began. The only way for him to survive this horrific tragedy with his sanity intact was to solve the whole thing, and finally MOVE ON with his life.

  11. I also loved the series, however:

    Denny imitating Kathy Bates in “Misery”.
    THEY CHEATED US!!!
    They never showed/explained how he got out of the sinking car.
    THEY CHEATED US!!!

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