When tragedy is about to strike, Satoru Fujinuma finds himself sent back several minutes before the accident occurs. The detached, 29-year-old manga artist has taken advantage of this powerful yet mysterious phenomenon, which he calls "Revival," to save many lives.
However, when he is wrongfully accused of murdering someone close to him, Satoru is sent back to the past once again, but this time to 1988, 18 years in the past. Soon, he realizes that the murder may be connected to the abduction and killing of one of his classmates, the solitary and mysterious Kayo Hinazuki, that took place when he was a child. This is his chance to make things right.
Boku dake ga Inai Machi follows Satoru in his mission to uncover what truly transpired 18 years ago and prevent the death of his classmate while protecting those he cares about in the present.
Boku dake ga Inai Machi is based on Kei Sanbe's manga series of the same title. The manga adapts the full story of the manga, though it condenses and alters the events that take place in volumes 6 to 8.
The first two episodes were shown at an event on January 5, 2016, at Shinjuku Ward 9. A live-action movie adaptation was released in Japan on March 19, 2016 which also featured an alternate ending. A live-action Netflix TV series was released on December 15, 2017.
Losing a beloved person would certainly leave any person stricken with grief and confusion: self-condemnation and thoughts of preventing such death are things that would cross anyones mind. Luckily in the case Boku Dake Inai Machi, or Erased in its english title, the protagonist Satoru Fujinuma finds himself able to travel back in time to prevent such tragedy from happening; furthermore, he is set back at the time where a fellow classmate died. This is not everything: the mystery surrounding the death of the girl also seems to be tied to that of his very own family. Erased is a psychological mystery anime that portrays
human drama, yet sadly was very disappointing, being the characters and numerous plot holes the main culprits. However, it must be mentioned that it has a great direction in animation and a good buildup in the first few episodes, which arguably was enthralling, pulling viewers into the show.
The main problem in Erased lies in the little problems that become apparent as the show progresses: these ultimately are magnified by many others, which will be depicted. The concept of preventing occurrences through time travelling has been explored in numerous other works, yet a problem with the anime is the fact that these are completely random, allowing the author to make any necessary changes in direction when necessary. This is not bad on its own, yet instead of using it as means to develop the characters in the story, it utilizes it purely to change the direction in the narrative, which was not done in a subtle manner. Regardless of said issue, it managed to create some tension in the story as viewers never really could correctly anticipate the course of the narrative.
As mentioned earlier, the protagonist is able to travel back in time to his 11-year-old self to prevent a certain death from happening, in a time in which one of his classmates died. However, it becomes soon apparent that the protagonist does not explore said option at all, and instead of going to the root of the problem, investigating the possible murder, he decides to protect Hinazuki, his classmate. Another complication is also associated with the mystery surrounding the murderer: it is very clear who it is, which is not a great issue on its own, but the anime does not offer any alternative that may leave viewers in doubt. In essence, this anime fails at being a good "mystery". The anime also presents human drama, yet was rather poorly portrayed because of the characters actions and all the events tied to those. These were often of very simple nature, such as parents beating their own child, deaths or betrayal just to name some. The main problem with these are that they're cheap, without ever sufficiently expanding on it in a satisfying manner. It must be said that it uses this to its advantage to create tension, but it is just that, tension and shock factor without any strong meaning behind it. In addition, the anime sets up a lot of things, time-travelling, possible consequences of his own actions, yet just never explores them in-depth.
The problems are further magnified by the pacing of the work, which is rather lackluster as well. The introductionary episodes are satisfying, yet as the show progresses, it quickly becomes apparent that important segments that contribute to the overall plot are either too rushed or information is omitted, whereas the more "mundane" moments are too much focused upon. In fact, the majority of the show is centered around Hinazuki and her problems - but to this later. This actually brings into play the positive aspect of the anime, the interludes between the different occurrences, which are generally well executed portraying insight into the characters and their emotional state: however, this doesn't affect the important points of the story. There are just so many improbable events in the story that it just looses any credibility it has, going from nonsensical behaviour of the characters, or just the sheer amount of centering on the violence exerted by a second party - victimizing for the sake of it is not good writing.
The major issue that brought the whole series down were its cast of characters: they didn't act according to their age, their motives/goals were either very lackluster or were just a mess, and ultimately the abrupt changes in behaviour to accommodate the direction in story. There is the 29-year-old Satoru, a typical otaku protagonist being mostly indifferent to society, and has the power to prevent deaths by sneakpeaking into the future. The main problem with this character is his incomprehensible and irrational behaviour he displays throughout the series, such as fleeing from a crime scene he didn't commit or even attempt on murder. In addition, his main goal of seeking the killer just shifts from finding the murderer to protecting his classmate - which in turn brings up the pedophilic tendencies the protagonist displays towards the minor. The anime develops a light romance, which includes Satoru constantly thinking of either being together with said person, or even imagining things when in the bathroom. This came out of nowhere, and just felt very off-putting for obvious reasons. Character development is present, yet is lackluster and limited by the actions of the character himself; rather than resolving the issues on his own, it gets resolved by a second party, which is understandable due to his physical appearance, yet could have been expanded on.
Then there is Hinazuki, a victim of child abuse, which throughout almost the whole series is treated as a mere plot device, rather than human being - it could be compared to seeing a soulless robot. Luckily enough, she gets fleshed out in which through subtle scenes her human side is displayed. Which is a nice change to the constant unnecessary abuse scenes. Other character of interest is the super intelligent psychoanalyst Kenya, who possesses an intellect far superior to that of Satoru despite being only 11 years old. He aids the main character in many instances, yet his motives behind why he supports the protagonist are rather lacking as well, as he apparently was smart enough to solve various issues. Finally, the last character of interest is the murderer: although he is portrayed to be a mastermind behind the scenes, avoiding detection over the span of several decades, he makes tremendous mistakes when the main character is concerned. He ultimately degrades to a simple one-dimensional villain with no convincing motive at all: furthermore, this also raises the question why said person took so many poor decisions and why he just didn't switch his killing target(s) when things became too heated and unfavourable.
The various interactions between the cast are handled poorly in most cases, be it the one dimensional evil parent or perverted manager, or the supporting cast whose poor choices leads viewers questioning their mental age; or just the fact that most act as passive observers. Because of the stale personalities of the cast and their changes in behaviour, the interactions between them feel unnatural: however, this mainly affects the main plot points. For the slice of life moments, these were often well handled by the studio - those were often the most enjoyable parts of the anime, which is a huge disappointment, as it is not the main purpose of the show.
~Animation and sound~
One thing that can be given credit to the studio is its direction and use of animation: this was well done, displaying the various themes the anime had to offer such as loneliness, isolation, happiness, you name it. Through the art it is able to portray the different emotional states as well as physical conditions of the characters; despite executing this well, it is rendered useless when the narrative constantly shows constant abuse, making these little detail utterly pointless, which is a waste of resources. An example would be the focussing upon the bruises of Hinazuki. As for the art style itself, I personally didn't like it and found it off in some situations, be it in the character design or the different facial expressions. The anime also tried to mitigate the problem regarding the mystery behind the killer by applying red eyes to suspects, yet this is a cheap alternative to creating tension, and when everyone is can have those eyes, it loses its purpose.
Concerning the soundtrack of Erased, it often uses the different compositions to its advantage to correctly portray the various atmospheres of the show, intertwining with the dialogue: piano, violins, xylophones, gloomy tones, you name it. There is fact a huge preference to classical instruments, which was a good choice. The opening and endings were equally well crafted, presenting the themes the anime had to offer with some pop tunes to it. As for the voice actors, these generally performed their tasks well, complying with the different personalities of the cast. This wasn't entirely the case with the protagonists, where no significant difference could be appreciated from his various emotional states.
Erased had some potential, yet failed in executing the basic elements of the show, which was due to the little issues that ultimately snowballed into bigger ones - which is a shame, as its direction and usage of animation was befitting and well executed. I quite honestly did not enjoy the series at all, despite being intrigued by the first batch of episodes: the characters, lack of expansion upon key elements as the villain or time travelling gimmick are just a few of the many issues that made it a bad anime. It fails in providing a good mystery with cheap cliffhangers and shock factor to accomplish tension. It praises itself on being a human drama, but it equally lacks in said theme. Now I will admit I never have been a fan of drama, which made it more difficult to enjoy that genre. I personally do not recommend this anime, unless you aren't bothered by the above mentioned problems - which in turn, can make for an intriguing ride. Boku Dake Inai Machi is ultimately a show that feeds itself on cheap emotions and thrills.
Note: Tl;dr at the end for the lazy ones.
*MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS*
Boku dake ga Inai Machi, or Erased in English, is clearly the most popular Winter Season Anime of 2016. With it's sky rocketing popularity and rank on myanimelist in such a small amount of time, Erased has successfully caught the attention of the crowd and everyone has probably watched it or thought of watching it soon. Here on myanimelist, most of the reviewers are filled with negativity and are over-exaggerating the negative points of this anime. It is not that bad as most of the reviews are indicating here. So here I'm writing a honest
and positive review of Erased.
Erased narrates the story of Satoru Fujinuma, who is a 29 years old and works as a pizza delivery boy. He posses a strange ability called 'Revival'. This ability, 'Revival' sends him 2 to 5 minutes back in time, without his consent, whenever something dangerous happens around him. He usually tries to figure out what is wrong in his surroundings and tries to prevent that dangerous thing from happening. When he was wrongfully accused of murdering his mom, in the first episode itself, he is sent 18 years back in time when he was 11 years old in 6th grade where he tries to solve one mystery of serial abduction and murder going around the school to prevent his mother's murder in the future as they seemed related.
I feel that the initial story (from first to fourth episode) is the reason why Erased became so popular and highly rated! It's thrilling! The suspense will really eat you and will left you wanting for more. You will probably want to binge-watch the show or jump onto reading the manga to know more.
But after the first half of the show, I feel that the story starts moving in a wrong direction and it sort of becomes less thrilling. The studio was clearly rushing a bit to complete the anime in 12 episodes only.
There are many things which are left unexplained. For example, Satoru's ability of 'Revival'. So yeah that's the reason why I have rated the 'Story' section 8 instead of 10.
Erased clearly flaunts it's art in many ways. The backgrounds and scenes, like the Christmas Tree scene which was made using the stars in the sky, successfully delivers warm and entertaining moments. The way 'Revival' is portrayed by showing a blue butterfly across the screen and the way history or the future is compared with the timeline using movie reels makes Erased more interesting to watch. The suspenseful atmosphere which Erased is able to create, and the facial expressions which arouses suspicions on various characters are perfectly executed which supports it's mystery genre incredibly well.
Being a fan of Asian Kung-Fu Generation, I loved the opening of Erased, "Re:Re:" right off the bat. The ED "Sore wa Chiisana Hikari no Youna" by Sayuri is a beautiful song indeed. The OSTs are carefully played at crucial moments and is able to set the suspenseful mood very nicely.
Coming to the voice actors, they have done an incredible acting. The way Satoru uses his adult voice to show his real mature self is interesting.
There are some characters whom I really liked. And there are a few for whom I don't give a damn.
Satoru Fujinuma, as an adult, is a very boring character. But he has a really good side which forces him to save people whenever 'Revival' is triggered, and sometimes he even hurts himself in that process. On the other hand, Satoru, as a kid, seems more interesting. His boring side is removed and he's got determination, sense of humor and a really cool and gutsy side which makes him a likable character.
Kayo Hinazuki, the girl whom Satoru is determined to save from being the victim on the serial murders, gets a good amount of screen time and development. The circumstances which she is going through like being abused by her mother or bullied by her classmates makes us sympathize her.
Sachiko Fujinuma, Satoru's mother, is another great character. She has been portrayed as a very honest, caring and courageous mother with high willpower. She cooperates with her son in saving Hinazuki from her mother's abuse and nursed his son for 4 hours daily for 15 years which emphasizes mother's love.
Apart from these three characters, Airi Katagiri (a coworker of Satoru in a pizza shop), Kobayashi Kenya (smartest childhood friend of Satoru) etc are a few people who get a little amount of screen time but are still likable.
On the other hand, I never became much attached to Nakanishi Aya or Sugita Hiromi (other two victims of the serial murders) and most of the other side characters.
The idea of putting a supernatural ability like time travel is not a new one. I have seen Steins;Gate, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Higurashi: When They Cry, Charlotte etc in which the character goes back in time to save his friend again and again. Erased, is actually different than all these titles above. It has a dominant mystery genre which is centered around realistic and old school mystery of serial abduction and murdering which makes it enjoyable. If you are into mystery and detective shows then this anime is pretty much recommended.
In the initial episodes, the pacing was excellent. The show does an excellent job in creating suspense and leaves us wanting to know more. But in the second half, it starts to feel a little rush, but still it is able to maintain the the quality of it's genre.
Erased maintains a good sense of humor which makes it fun to watch. For example, Satoru, in his young form, often speaks something out loud while thinking it which puts him into embarrassing or awkward situations.
While Erased is a very enjoyable anime, it still is far from perfect. There are many things left untold, for example, the origin behind Satoru's ability 'Revival'. And it makes even lesser sense in the whole Erased world that Satoru is the only one having this ability. Infact this ability is the only thing which makes this anime a part of Supernatural genre.
Many realistic and thought provoking philosophical themes are offered by this anime. For example, mother's love for her child, child's love for his mother, frustrated parent's abuse on their child, loneliness in youth age, bullies in school, human's tendency to run away from problems, human's tendency to help other's in need, parent's situation whey their child is in a permanent bed rest for years, and I can go on and on.
+Very interesting and engaging premise
+Great art and animation style which is suitable for a mystery anime
+Main characters are realistic and interesting
+Great OSTs, OP and ED, excellent voice acting
+Lots of philosophical themes
-Story becomes a little monotonous in the second half
-It starts to feel a little rushed, especially in the last quarter
-Many characters got a very little screentime and character development
-Many things, including the ability 'Revival', are left unexplained
-Sometimes it becomes predictable
Erased is an anime, which you must watch this year. Though only one season has ended, I can guarantee that Erased is going to be one of the best, if not the best, anime of 2016. So if you haven't watched it already, then go for it!
~ updated 03/24 ~
English is not my first language so I'm doing my best writing this review, sorry!
Spoilers of the first episodes ahead!
✧ Introduction/the story:
Someone travels through time to save a person he/she cares for. I've already seen this. Madoka Magica, Steins;Gate, Higurashi. No creativity in that aspect, and in the case of Erased it's even worse because the time travel has no explanation at all. This is not a deconstruction and does not present something we have not seen before. This would not matter if the premise was well executed, but this isn't the case either, let me explain why.
✧ The characters:
The MC is
a cold, edgy guy that is good on the inside, I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but it makes him cliche and boring. He is also terribly written, acting like the story needs him to act, he goes through traumatic situations as he goes to work every day. This would be excused if this was a fighting shonen, but we are talking about a seinen with mystery and drama. The main character even acts irrationally running out of his house when a neighbour saw him near the body of his mom and thought it was him who killed her, which is quite impossible too, why would he worry about being accused of homicide if there are some little things called inspection of the crime scene and evidence?, of course the MC has no absolutely no reason to kill his own mother, which poses the question: is the police brainless in this world or something?
In spite of having a 29 year old mind, he still acts like a child most of the time. The excuse given to the viewers is that he wants others to like him (which is kinda contradictory too, because on the first episode he's cold with everyone), for example, instead of asking for all the help he can when he travels to the past, he thinks he can do everything on his own, which is childish and illogical. Nevermind that he is only a bit surprised when he travels 18 years on the past, when he should be extremely confused and overwhelmed by the situation.
The other characters act like soulless robots too, especially the ones that talk to the MC about the murder of his mother like they were talking about the weather, they are also forgettable because most of them act like passive observers.
The actual kids doesn't talk or act like kids in this show, which takes away all the credibility. For example, there's even a little boy who suspects that the MC is up to something, and when he decides to talk with him, it's like he just read the MC's mind. We are talking about a 10 year old kid, not about a private detective.
✧ Satoru's power:
It's supposed that he "applies" his time travel powers to save his mom, but instead of focusing on that, he tries to save a girl he barely knew. Why would he care about her instead of worry more about his mom and his friend? I know the disappearance of the girl and the murder of his mom are kinda related, but there is not a direct factor between the two events, I mean, yes, he can save his classmate, but the kidnapper could abduct any kid they wanted and the events would end up being the same or simmilar.
Also, if the MC's mind applies the time travel like in the first episode, why didn't this happen when he saw her full of bruises? the time travel has no rules or explanation so the writers can make up anything that is convenient for the plot. You can see the inconstancy of his power only on the first episode.
✧ The script:
This anime also presents some themes through the dialogue, such as depression, or even existentialism, but never explores them properly, it feels like they were put there just to turn the dialogue into something "out of the ordinary"
The show also presents pretentiousness by showing how a girl is hit by her mom, which is not even necessary and it's shock factor, only there for people who get emotionally manipulated easily.
And no, the abuse is not there to delve into the psyche of the girl, it's just there to victimize her. These themes need to be explored with more delicacy and should not be thrown in your face like this. If you remove those scenes, the story would remain the same, just implying it with the bruises would have been enough, but no, you need to feel bad for a character about which you know literally nothing more than that she is a cute, but abused child. We can only conclude that this series also fails miserably on the psychological aspect.
Erased also fails as a mystery series, because the murderer ends up being really obvious and they don't give us the opportunity of using our minds or feeling excited about the mystery itself because the way that is developed is very hard-set and they never give it too much importance.
The drama on this anime is also forced and ridiculous sometimes, to the point that they want to convince us that a reason for a divorce could be something as improbable as an accusation of stealing a chocolate bar. And the viewers are supposed to take that seriously and feel bad for the characters. This was also an external excuse for the MC to have an ally.
✧ The villains:
Another aspect in which Erased fails with its writing, are clearly the villains, we have two villains, Kayo's mom and the murderer who killed Satoru's mother and the kids.
First, we're going to talk about Kayo's mom:
At first, the show never gives any reasons for the abuse and Kayo's mom even looks happy while beating her own child. You may say that these things happens in the real world all the time, but that doesn't make them realistic or relatable, because not only was the girl murdered by a psychopath, but she was also abused by her mom with no motives at all.
There's always a motive behind such acts in real life. For instance, does her mom have a mental illness? in other words, on why her mom hits her and not only on the act of abuse.
Then, when it's already late for delving into real problems or motivations, the show explains in literally two minutes the "reason" of her being a abuser, this is presented very superficially and in a way that her, Kayo's mom, ends up being victimized too.
Now, the main villain:
I'm not going to say who they are, but their "reasons" for killing little children are also very bad excused through a very morbid metaphor. We never get to know him enough to know his true motives.
People who are bad just because, are a big problem.
✧ Production values:
This anime has a very good animation with delicate shadows and a soft color palette that mix perfectly with the bittersweet feeling that the story wants to transmit. It's also very interesting how they put 2 voices on the MC to differentiate between his old mind and his young body.
The music is on point with the feeling of the characters and it mimetizes perfectly with the way that the characters interact.
The cinematic effect that shows the memories of the MC is very nice and interesting, but they could have taken more advantage of it. It doesn't fit the story altogether.
This anime is bad, it has poor theme exploration, it's full of conveniences, plot holes, fails on its psychological aspect and creating a good mystery, the tension and the drama are meaningless and the only good aspects are the production values.
It's becoming more apparent to me by each passing season that if an anime gets any sort of recognition like this, it's bound to divide the community into 2 groups. The majority goes on to ride the hype train and hype the series in question up to the high heavens, while the other hops onto the hate train and then the shit-fest begins. I usually see myself not siding with any of these but frankly, the latter seems more reasonable to me than it ever was. I'll try to offer an unbiased opinion on this even though seeing its rating is kinda baffling. So let's
get into it, the most hyped up anime of the season and quite possibly the most overrated anime of the year (I'm asking to get shot, aren't I?) - Boku dake ga Inai Machi, otherwise known simply as Erased. This review won't spoil anything beyond the first episode.
The story centers around a 29 year old emo Pizza Hut employee who is trying to become a mangaka. On the other hand, he also has a reset power, "Revival", that occurs a few minutes before an accident, lending him the ability to stop said accident before it ever takes place. So yeah, he's basically a Final Destination lead. One day, while stopping an accident from happening he gets injured and in that time his mother moves in to live with him. The next day in Satoru's absence, his mother is stabbed in the back and killed in his apartment by some random guy with a fedora. Do you see the problem here? I said the next day which is quite literally the next day. We don't even get a full episode to get to know or sympathize with this character. Instead we just know her for half of the first episode until she is brutally murdered. Oh no, it's almost like Attack on Titan. Who didn't cry at the first episode of Attack on Titan?!
Anyway, we don't know the man who did it nor do we know his intentions. When Satoru arrives to the crime scene, someone conveniently finds him next to his mother's corpse with blood on his hands. Everything is going downhill for Satoru as the police arrives when he is suddenly, out of nowhere sent 18 years into the past to the year 1988, which at the time he was merely a 10 year old elementary school student. It definitely isn't too far of a stretch to say this is a lame plot device at this point, especially now that he has no control over it. Also, I'd like to mention how further down the line Satoru says that it will be his last Revival. So how does this thing work? Plot convenience, duh.
Prior to this it is also shown that a few kids from Satoru's school were murdered at that time period, namely our loli heroine, Kayo Hinazuki. Hinazuki was a troubled and lonely girl who never got along with anyone and was often abused by her mother. Satoru decides that as well as preventing his mother's death, he will also save Hinazuki before her birthday which is on the 2nd of March. Considering it's already mid February he doesn't have much time. The accused murderer of these kids was 23 year old Jun Shiratori or known to the children simply as Yuuki due to his courageous nature. He was a person who would always approach the lone students around his house, which already raises a giant red flag. However, Satoru always remembered Yuuki to be a kindhearted and happy guy who would never commit a crime.
So obviously the show's primary element is mystery, which I have mixed feelings about. If the mystery is done well it can really lead to a great series, but that usually isn't very easy to pull off and more often that not it just falls flat. The worst mistake a mystery series can make in my eyes is when it raises so many questions but in the end fails to answer them, or maybe just leave it off at a cliffhanger like Rokka no Yuusha. Erased done well in that aspect, seeing as it didn't raise that many questions to begin with. See, what I think is the main problem in Erased's mystery department is the amount of suspects it brings up, or lack thereof. 4 episodes in I was pretty confident in my guess on who the killer was as it was so easy to trace back once you actually think about it. I would of been surprised if my guess was wrong to be totally honest, and that's not because I'm some sort of super-genius.
Art / Animation
I seem to have a very obvious bias when it comes to works done by A-1 Pictures. I thought the art style resembled their previous works too strongly and therefore it derived from the series for me as it didn't strike me as dark enough in tone, especially for the kind of series Erased is. So, much like the opening and ending, the art and animation slowly grew on me the further it went on. It's very soothing and visually appealing. Combined with a decent musical direction and atmosphere it even felt cinematic at times.
I wasn't a very big fan of the opening at first to be honest but it gradually grew on me and is easily the best opening of the season and even one of my all-time favorites. That also applies to the ending, it's neat too. As for the OST, I'm indifferent about it. There wasn't anything that struck me as good or above average, it all just felt like regular background music to me but it does it's role, for what it's worth. The voice acting is rather impressive as everyone had a great performance. Seeing as both of Satoru's seiyuu never done any previous work, regarding anime at least impressed me quite a bit. I especially like the guy that does the adult version, his voice is very soothing. Aoi Yuuki was also really good at portraying Hinazuki's character but that is to be expected.
The characters in Erased are for the most part incredibly lackluster - from the protagonist to the supporting cast. Because most of the series takes place in the past, a lot of the characters are just 10 year olds, which leads me to my next point - Most of these kids don't even act their age! At parts they act like full-grown adults which really derives from the show, why even bother making them kids in the first place? Looking at you, Kenya, Hinazuki.
Satoru, while being more interesting than your harem protagonist doesn't have that much going for him, which is fine to a point because the characters aren't really where the series shines but his character could have definitely been more solid or maybe had a stronger personality. He doesn't seem like he particularly enjoys the time resets, but he still decides to help out. What a nice guy! The series has a much heavier focus on the past than the present, so for the most part we just get kid Satoru. Well, he's just a normal 30 year old man who's trying to save his 10 year old girlfriend from her seemingly inevitable demise. Sounds about right.
Hinazuki is a very reserved and closed off girl but she opens up more and more as the series progresses. She gets abused by her parents for some unknown reason aka SHOCK FACTORRRRR. She suffers from the same problem as Satoru, as she doesn't have a personality that defines her either. Instead (for the most part) we are simply supposed to feel sorry for her and like her because of the predicament she's in. She is pretty cute though - good character.
The supporting cast is also very lacking, filled with 1-dimensional characters. The reasoning of a lot of characters can be pretty unreasonable and even ludicrous at times - people getting divorced because of a chocolate bar, etc. Then you have characters like Hinazuki's mother who, every time she is on screen tends to turn this show into a misery porn galore.
Kenya is another instance of wasted potential. They done as much as they could to make us understand that he is incredibly intelligent and by the end of it all, he barely does anything and his character is awfully utilized. I feel the same way about the killer as I've heard his reasoning is a lot clearer and better explained in the manga. It's not that surprising though as they did try to bash 8 volumes into a 12 episode series. All in all, the characters aren't done very well.
I can sit here all I want and point out the flaws of the show, but truth be told, I had quite a lot of fun with it! I think this is mostly due to how the pacing was handled as it is very fast for pretty much the entirety of the series, yet tends to not feel rushed for the majority of the first half. Only at about the halfway point does the pacing start to affect my outlook on it and turns for the worst. Despite this, I was still entertained for most of the show. The two major downfalls here are the tremendous amount of plot conveniences all throughout the story and the (in my opinion) poorly done mystery.
Erased is mediocre in every sense of the word. Despite that, I'd still argue that it's one of the better titles of the season. Does it deserve the hype, praise and to be ranked higher than LotGH? NO. The characters are awfully lackluster + the story is not that great as it has to rely on an iffy plot device and a ton of plot conveniences throughout. I wanted to say that it has more good than bad but A-1 stayed true to their nature and managed to ruin a promising show for me, once again.
In the end, I don't think Erased is neither as good as some praise it to be nor as bad as others make it out to be, it's simply average. It's like a rollercoaster and the further you go down, the messier it becomes. However, if you're not a critical watcher and just want to have some fun, Erased is definitely your go-to this season. Sorry in advance if this review gives you suicidal tendencies for not giving it a perfect score.