‘Erased’ review


Courtesy of Funimation

David Eckstein-Schoemann, Reporter

Every once in a while, you find yourself surfing anime streaming sites such as Funimation or Crunchyroll to binge watch random animes that grab your interest. This is definitely what happened to me as I stumbled upon the series known as “Erased.”


The story follows Satoru Fujinuma, a young man in his late 20s who possesses the ability of “Revival,” an ability that allows him to travel moments back in time to prevent life threatening incidents from happening. This includes saving children from car accidents, getting abducted, etc. He doesn’t know how he got this ability, but knows that it began after a kidnapping incident that took the lives of three of his childhood classmates as a kid. It isn’t until the mysterious killer comes back into his life that he finds himself eighteen years in the past in his childhood. This gives him the opportunity to reset the timeline and save the three students before they are abducted, particularly a girl named Kayo Hinazuki with whom he forms a strong connection with.


It’s hard for me to say if there is another series like this, because the premise while familiar has a lot of heart gripping and psychological elements that make it a great anime. The main conflict for most of the series is the protagonist going out of his way to save an abused girl, and this leads to a lot of touching moments. You identify with these characters so much that you want to see them come out okay. A lot of the other characters in this series are also likable. Satoru’s mom is wonderful with how she understands everything about her son. Satoru even has a funny running joke that he thinks his mom is a witch with how good she is. The kids at the school in the past are also great as they’re both childlike but also surprisingly mature with the world around them. You can easily see these people existing in real life; they are so well defined.


Although it is dark at times with a boy trying to find a serial killer, it never loses sight of its charm as at its core it’s a coming of age story. Even though the main character is already an adult, this scenario does lead to a lot of eye opening topics that aren’t brought up in most shows or media. This is especially shown in the subplot involving parental abuse. It is disturbing and hard to watch, but it’s also handled with respect for the children that are involved with it. Even the idea of a grown man in a child’s body interacting with a girl sounds like something that wouldn’t be done with western audiences as it would be seen as inappropriate. But they handle these scenes with maturity and make just the right amount of choices to where you feel the connection between these two characters. I’m really impressed when I see a film or show handle dark subject matters, while still retaining a sense of levity and having it flow naturally.

 Courtesy of Funimation

The use of time travel here is also really imaginative and creative. While we’re familiar with butterfly effect storylines, and how characters have to change certain elements if they want to change the timeline. But the story choices they make here do stand out as they’re not often seen in other time travel plots. For example, the main character who is an adult is suddenly thrust into his childhood body in the past. Choices like this do create a surreal and interesting feel as you’re essentially watching a grown man in his childhood body interact with his childhood friends.


If I had to nitpick, I’d say that once you’re familiar with the series, it becomes more obvious who the villain is. Which is not to say they flaunt it in your face or give it away as they do take their time to reveal who the killer truly is. It’s just that when you look at all these events as a whole and connect the dots, it does narrow it down to one particular person who would fit the bill. But with that said when it is finally shown who the killer is it is pretty intimidating and intense, especially from a child’s perspective. Even then the other characters feel so real and fleshed out that it still kept me invested. 


From episode one through twelve, I was constantly on edge with “Erased.” It’s light and dark. It has large elements but still keeps itself grounded in its subtlety. Anyone of any age can watch this anime and get something out of it. If you’re looking for something really mature with a lot of heart to it. Give it a watch. It might even revive your interest in anime.

Rating: 5 / 5 Spinnaker Sails.


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