A Sci-Fi Whodunnit Must-Watch: ERASED
“I’m scared to get to the heart of my own mind.” – Satoru Fujinuma, ERASED.
Typical anime protagonists are high schoolers. Whether they’re saving the planet, or on the swim team, we rarely see a main character over the age of 17. Whenever an anime breaks this mold, it’s bound to stand out.
ERASED is a true mold-breaker: 29-year-old Satoru Fujinuma is a struggling manga artist whose work suffers from his inability express himself. Despite his detached exterior, Satoru consistently acts the hero as a result of “Revivals” – experiences where he’s thrown one to five minutes into the past in order to prevent a disaster from occurring. One day, Satoru’s Revival throws him 18 years into the past to prevent the abduction and murder of a classmate. But as we know, the past isn’t so easy to change…
ERASED may very well the best anime of 2016. The animation quality, complex and mature story, and compelling characters will have you hooked by the end of the first episode. Not since Steins;Gate have we seen time travel portrayed in such a unique and heartbreaking manner.
The story centers around a series of abductions and murders that occurred in Satoru’s hometown. His mother, Sachiko worked for the local television station and was investigating the crimes. Though, in typical murder-mystery fashion, she uncovered too much and had to be silenced by the culprit.
It’s this event that catapults Satoru 18 years into the past (and the animators made the clever decision to display all 1988 scenes in widescreen format to differentiate from the present world). Still possessing the memories of his 29-year-old self, Satoru sets off on a mission to save the lives of his mother, Hinazuki, and the wrongly prosecuted Jun Shiratori.
Throughout every trial, Satoru’s passion and determination to change the future are unwavering. As we’ve seen in previous time travel stories, changing the past is no easy feat, yet Satoru refuses to give up. Along the way, he forms a heartwarming bond with the first victim, Kayo Hinazuki, that you can’t wait to see mature, provided she ends up alive in Satoru’s present world.
With only three episodes left in the series, do yourself a favor and start watching now. Part of the joy of this series is the mysteries that build week by week, and cliffhangers that leave you wanting more. It’s a suspense that’s sure to get lost if you end up binging the series once it’s all released, so pace yourselves and brace yourselves for a truly fantastic show.