Erased is about the experiences of a grown man fighting his forgotten childhood trauma…but how and why is what reels people into this anime.
Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi, as it is called in Japanese, meaning -The Town Without Only Me. With such an emotionally capturing title where should one place their expectations?
Erased has been able to make an emotional connection between the script and its audience where most other anime have failed in doing so. Our protagonist is Satori Fujinuma who starts off as a delivery boy for a pizzeria. Initial impressions may throw people off as it poses as an anime with a slow start. In the beginning the mood being set is that of an introspective introverted teenager, who laments over the virtues of the world and doesn’t seem to admire the complexities of it. This is where Kei Sanbe, the mangaka, captures the attention of the viewers with an element of surprise.
**Spoilers in red**
Abruptly introducing a glowing butterfly will indubitably, create a gravity towards the plot. The use of fantasy elements to demarcate the initiation of what could be called time-travel is unique to this anime and peaked a fair bit of curiosity. The following events lead to that of a driver, unconscious on the wheel, children crossing the road and our protagonist who just experienced what he calls “Revival”, re-experiences certain elements of the impending accident that he and only he has the power to avert.
The main theme of the anime is debatable, is it sci-fi time-travel? pre-teen trauma? psychological warfare? or is it fantasy? All these elements put together cohesively in an anime spanning just 12 episodes would surely feel rushed or would fail to make that emotional connection, as one might assume. But that surely is not the case here; the story telling is backed well by subtle nuances such as a tear jerking background score, animation that brings out the ruthless winters in Japan which sets the mood for the scene and story being told and the style of animation that has been chosen aptly. As mentioned before, the use of the coldness of winter to tap into certain emotions cannot be underestimated here.
The anime also employs the delicious
** Spoiler in red**
The revival initially seems to be taking Satori back only a few minutes into the past, when Satori would come up with a solution to the mess-up with a fair deal of quick-thinking. But towards the end of the first episode, it is revealed that Satori is pushed back in time to 1988 when he was an 11 year old. This is bound to give the readers the sweats since it creates the impression that he may have to live his life all over again. When one places oneself in Satori’s shoes this could be a win-win deal for some but not such a good deal for many. This creates a burdening curiosity in ones mind which can only be quenched from the episodes to follow.
Perhaps the most riveting aspect of Erased is the voicing when Satori goes back to the year when he was 11. What is portrayed well is how the voicing changes from that of a 29 year old when he talks to himself during introspection to that of an 11 year old when he is interacting with others.
This brings about the sense of the existence of a dual personality in the story and creates an engaging experience.
** Spoiler Ends**
Erased checks all the boxes for the trend and yet maintains its integrity as a short anime masterpiece. The use of film strips to depict the passage of time in several scenes is aptly placed and reminds us of the use of film strips to depict time or memories from the past in other anime characters namely, Charlotte Pudding from One Piece.
In conclusion, Erased is a must watch and can be watched as THE anime for anime-starters. Erased commands respect as an anime and is also a commercial success. Erased is a unicorn.
Reception and Soundtracks
myanimelist.net has given it an 8.5/10 and ranks 87th as of 2019.
imdb.com has marked an 8.6/10 for the series with over 15000 reviews.
The series has received an overwhelming response from the public and there has been a TV series adaptations of the same based on the Anime, here, drama.
Soundtracks : Youtube A splendid performance by Sayuri in this song called Sorewa Chiisana Hikarinoyouna (Meaning: Its like a small light).
The opening track: Youtube
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