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I really like both psychological and time-traveling stories, I loved Dark, I loved Primer, I loved Steins;Gate, so when I heard about this anime “Boku Dake ga Inai Machi” also simply known as “Erased”, I knew I had to watch it. I have watched a lot of anime; FMA Brotherhood, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Code Geass, so these types of anime, including Steins;Gate, can set the bar really, really high for anyone, so it is hard for me to say that an anime is truly good, well I firmly can say right now that in this case, Erased, is one of these anime that will captivate you.
Erased, or Boku Dake ga Inai Machi (lit. “The Town Where Only I Am Missing”) is a thriller anime based on the Japanese manga of the same name written and illustrated by Kei Sanbe, the anime aired from January to March 2016. It follows the protagonist, a 29 years old man named Satoru Fujinuma who lives in Chiba and possesses a unique ability called “Revival” that sends him back in time moments before a life-threatening incident, which enables him to prevent the incident from happening again. This ability and the effects play out almost like a butterfly effect and bring into focus an important moment that took place in his life eighteen years ago.
The story goes like this; Satoru lives a “relaxing” life as a manga artist and as a pizza delivery man. When someone in his life gets killed by an unknown assailant, this ability transports him into the past, giving him the chance to not only prevent this incident but also to save three of his childhood friends who were killed in a kidnapping.
Both the plot and the narrative are astounding and really gripping. Almost every episode will leave you wanting to learn more about our protagonist Satoru, his predicament, and the story. I am not a Death Note fan, but there is something that will remind you of this classic; the mystery. Along with the brilliant film motifs used in Erased that will give you a feeling of anxiety, the mystery plays a really important part in this anime, leaving you wanting more and more and more.
The narrative and the plot are not the only intriguing things in Erased; the characters play a huge part in why this anime is so amazing. While Satoru is the protagonist and the hero of this tragedy, several other characters are also key players in this story and they created a much more holistic experience. Each episode reveals more about each character’s personality, which allows you to understand what they do and why they do it.
Just like any other psychological thriller, Erased manages to keep its momentum, which each episode being more thrilling and more intriguing than the previous one. Erased is a really intriguing anime but the conclusion feels too rushed and lackluster. It is just like that almost perfect story with excellent characters, and an excellent plot, but with a rushed ending that will make you feel a little bit disappointed. It is not a bad ending but it was a rushed ending, and you will probably feel disappointed with the way in which the “tragedy” faced by Satoru was resolved.
Nonetheless, Erased is an anime you have to watch. Despite its rushed ending, I really recommend this anime because it is one of these experiences that everybody needs to experience. The thrilling and mysterious effects it brings are unlike any other anime… Ok, maybe Monster, Death Note, or Serial Experiments Lain are also mind-blowing but we can add Erased to that list. It is said that this anime does not have a second season or 24 episodes because Erased would be even better in a 24-episode adaptation.
Tell me, do you like Psychological Thrillers? Do you like crime mysteries? Then, Erased is for you, because this is a unique experience. In case you don’t like watching anime then read the manga, both are amazing; but despite that, you will start loving this series from the first episode itself. The animation is great, the characters are unique, the plot is amazing, and the name itself “Erased” is simple but original. Erased is for you.