One month in and it is spreading up into my neck from my right arm. Dictated reviews will be continuing until I know more about what I am dealing with.
During this “speak up” I’m going to refer to this anime by its English title Erased. To be honest the literal translation of “the town of where only I am missing” is far more evocative and symbolic, but let us go with the designated English title for now.
As I mentioned in a previous blog entry the anime that I am currently watching is the first season of Gintama, however that is 201 episodes long so I felt like taking a break to cross off a smaller series. As of “writing this” Erased is the most recent series on the list. In fact, it made it to the upper echelons despite the fact it had yet to reach its conclusion. It’s a bit suspect I grant you, having a series so high on the list when only 2/3 of the episodes had aired.
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this series and pretty much watched it from beginning to end in one go. The first five episodes were watched in an evening with the remaining seven consumed before lunchtime the next day. It has been a long time since I’ve been so gripped by an anime series. It would have to be my initial viewings of Steins;Gate or Anohana back in 2011 that made me feel the same way. I would not rank this is highly as either of those, but it’s pretty close.
It is an interesting proposition of a series – if you suddenly found yourself in a position to go back in time to foil a serial child abductor and killer how would you go about it. This is the position that Satoru finds himself in. After a traumatic event in the first episode he somehow travels back in time and finds himself in the body of his 11 year old self. He uses this as an opportunity to right the wrongs and save the lives of three children and his mother.
When I first red up on this series the concept intrigued me, but having a lot of it taking place with a bunch of 11 year olds made me wonder how silly it would get. I should not have worried. After all this is anime, and so does not have to rely on child actors.
One thing that I really liked about the series is how much it was able to keep me guessing/doubting the identity of the serial killer. There are a number of good candidates and whilst I had worked it out before the reveal, I felt it was done very well. Some people feel that it was pretty obvious and looking back they’re probably right. I just figured there could be a few more twists and turns along the way.
Massive props have to be given to the art department on this one (A–1 Pictures) as the visuals were, at times, stunning. There is a scene where Satoru goes up to the forest with another character to look for a Christmas tree. The image of the icicle covered tree and a sea of stars was utterly beautiful. So too was the scene just before then where both characters encounter a pair of red foxes. Having watched sports animes, which don’t have to rely as much on artwork, I forgot how good a series could look.
My one issue is that this could have been longer. I feel that if we’d had 18 or 22 episodes the ending would not have felt as rushed and there could have been a bit more character development. Still, it managed to grip me and I enjoyed the ride while it lasted.