Greetings! For this installment of Chibi reviews, I will be discussing the series which took second place in December’s Best of 2016 Poll (What is Your Favorite Anime of 2016?- Poll Results). That series would be Erased.
The story follows Satoru Fujinuma, a man who somehow possesses an ability that sends him back in time at random moments , allowing him to prevent certain incidents from happening. Satoru has regrets and failures in his and has plenty of things that he would like to change. When his mother is murdered by an unknown assailant and Satoru is deemed the prime suspect, Satoru’s ability suddenly sends him back eighteen years to when he was still in elementary school. This gives him the opportunity to prevent a kidnapping incident that took the lives of three of his childhood friends and possibly prevent his mother’s murder.
Overall, I thought that Erased was a good series. It certainly was a pleasant viewing experience. There are multiple reasons why the show was a joy to watch. However there are also some this which hold the series back a bit.
The overall aesthetics of the show were amazing from gorgeous animation to a great soundtrack. The animation is gorgeous with great character designs and well executed backgrounds. The coolest thing that I noticed about the animation was that the artists changed the color pallet based on the tone of what was happening. Happier moments were brighter and full of vibrant colors while the somber scenes tended to darker and more subdued in color. The transitions between the two also were not jarring at all. This was a great example of how to properly convey a mood or atmosphere. The soundtrack was also amazing. Both themes are certainly quite memorable with the closing theme (Sore wa Chiisa na Hikari no Yō na by Sayuri) especially conveying the tone of the series with a gorgeous sound.
Erased shines when it comes to well executed scenes involving the growth of it’s characters. One of the plots of the series revolves are a classmate of Satoru’s , Kayo Hinazuki. Kayo is one of the kidnapped individuals from Satoru’s childhood and he does what he can to stop her disappearance. When he attempts to do this, not only do we see a change in Kayo but in Satoru as well. Kayo discovers that there are people who actually care and Satoru finds a purpose and something to care about. This was a really powerful aspect of this show and one that I was thought was executed really well. This power of being there for someone and the idea that you are never truly alone are both messages that we should take to heart. I have to applaud the series for conveying these messages.
The plot has plenty of high points. The series does a great job of focusing on the characters and their journey. I personally enjoy these character driven plots as they allow for a greater freedom in terms of the characters themselves. It allows the characters to be characters and not just a plot device. The pacing of the series was perfect and Erased is another example of how to write a cliffhanger ending. Beyond the mystery aspect, you also have a great drama. It is this aspect that really shines in this series. The story line involving Kayo was really well written and would of made a fine series just on that merit alone. It is easy to care about what happens to Kayo in particular and it is because of what the series presents to you that you end up caring so much.
However, there are some points where the plot fails a bit. One weakness of the series’ plot was that Satoru’s ability to travel through time is not really explained. He just has this ability with no conditions for it’s use given or anything. This may seem like a minor point but it makes it feel like his powers activate as a means of plot convenience more than anything else. I was curious while Satoru couldn’t spam his ability more when it seemed like things are going badly for him. I don’t mind that he didn’t but it just left a burning question- why doesn’t he use his power more?
A second weak point of the series really falls with the villain and how the mystery was played out. The villain (who I won’t name because of spoilers) was very underwhelming in my opinion. The series really didn’t do a great job of making him a threat and when the character was there, there just wasn’t the strong presence there that a good villain has. It also was really easy to figure out who the killer is as the show does not give you many options or red herrings along the way. The other suspects are eliminated pretty early on and you are just stuck waiting for your suspicions to be confirmed. These things don’t make the series unwatchable by any means but they were things which stop it from being an all time classic.
Erased is a series which certainly noteworthy for all of the great things that it does. It has great characters, an engaging story, and is one of the most gorgeous anime of recent memory. However, issues with the plot really hold this series back from being something truly great. Because of this, Erased gets a ranking of Silver.
Pros: – Interesting Premise
– Great cast of characters
– Many touching and emotional moments
Cons- The mystery was easy to figure out
– The villain was underwhelming
– Time travel power not explained at all
This concludes my view of Erased. What did you think of the series? Please comment below. If you enjoy what I do then please follow me on Twitter (@Railgunfan75) for news and updates. So until next time, this is Railgunfan75 signing off. See ya next time!