I haven’t seen many anime that revolve around time-travel and butterfly effect. In fact, I believe the only anime I’ve seen of that kind is the stellar Steins;Gate. Until ERASED came along.
The protagonist of ERASED, Satoru Fujinuma, is a failed manga artist and works as a pizza-delivery man. A 29-year old man, he is devoid of any interest in normal pleasures, and passes through from day to day, following his routine. Ever since an incident that happened in his fifth grade, Satoru has been scarred for life and is unable to come out of his deep-felt trauma. He believes that if he had only done things somewhat differently, a tragedy could have been avoided, and everyone, including himself, would have had a normal life.
Satoru experiences minor shifts in the time-line every now and then, and gets placed one to five minutes in the past whenever there is a danger to people in his surroundings. He refers to this phenomenon as “revival”. Using his observation skills, he is able to prevent accidents or wrongdoings in this way. But when a shocking incident forces Satoru to confront his past and “revival” takes him back to his fifth-grade days, he has to do everything in his power to stop the tragedy in his past, and his present.
The plot is conveyed in a gripping manner, and right from the start it begins to weave an intricate web around the viewers’ minds.The whole anime plays out like a suspense thriller, although its pacing is a bit of an issue. But some parts of ERASED feel meandering at times, and we’re left wondering why so much of the episode is being taken up by inconsequential elements. Well, not exactly, but these parts feel a bit overplayed, in my opinion.
Most of the characters have a surprising amount of depth to them, considering the anime is only 12 episodes long. Satoru, as a 29-year old adult, has been characterized brilliantly. And his best friend Kenya’s character, especially, is really awesome. Although there are some characters who are not really essential to the story, and don’t even do much. The story plays out from Satoru’s POV throughout, and kinda drops us right there into the middle when his “revival” takes him into a past more than 18 years ago. Which is actually how it should be, considering even Satoru himself doesn’t expect these developments.
The animation style is really good, although I’m no qualified judge of animation techniques.The atmosphere throughout the entirety of ERASED is quietly haunting and melancholic, and suits the mood of the show perfectly.
On a final note, I would say this is one of the better anime out there, and those who like mysteries and suspense anime should definitely give it a try.
RATING : 8.2/10
– well-rendered main characters
– environment settings
– pacing is off sometimes
– loses steam approaching the finale
– a bit predictable
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