Satoru Fujinuma is a 29-year-old who works part-time as a pizza deliveryman in order to make ends meet due to his unsuccessful career as a mangaka. But there is more to this struggling adult than meets the eye, as he possesses a mysterious ability which takes him back in time right before a life-threatening incident occurs. When "Revival," as he calls it, triggers, it will continue to send him back again and again until he is able to save the lives of the individuals involved.
But Satoru's life is about to take a turn for the worse when a loved one is killed by an unknown man and he is framed for the crime. Desperate to get away so that he can assess his situation, he is inexplicably sent 18 years into the past—right before the disappearance and death of his classmate, Kayo Hinazuki, an event that has plagued him since childhood.
Satoru, now an elementary school student, must get his wits together and save the young girl from an untimely demise by figuring out the identity of the person responsible. But just how is Kayo's murder connected to the present?
Boku dake ga Inai Machi was nominated for the 7th, 8th, and 9th Manga Taisho Award, where it ranked 2nd, 4th, and 4th again, respectively. The series was also nominated for the 18th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Reader Award and appeared on the Kono Manga ga Sugoi! rankings in the male readers category from 2014 to 2016 where it ranked 16th, 9th, and 10th, respectively.
A live-action movie adaptation was released in Japan on March 19, 2016. A spin-off novel, Boku dake ga Inai Machi: Another Record, written by Hajime Ninomae was serialized in Kadokawa's Bungei Kadokawa digital magazine between October 2015 to January 2016.
The series has been published in English as ERASED by Yen Press in 2-in-1 omnibuses since February 21, 2017. It has also been published in Spanish as Desaparecido by Norma Editorial since September 25, 2015 and in Argentina by Editorial IVREA since October 2016.
This manga is one of those rare gems that you sometimes stumble across. To be honest, I did not expect much, especially because the title isn't particularly catchy nor is the artwork especially powerful or elaborate. But within the first five pages, this manga had me hooked: I had this uncanny feeling that I was reading something that was bigger than life. Boku Dake ga Inai Matchi reads like a Greek tragedy; by going back to save lives, to save himself, the protagonist destroys his own future.
Although the panels are very clean, almost to the point of being bare, the mangaka managed to keep the
speed in the story, without relying on dazzling effects. It is the dialogue that cuts into you like a sharp razor.
This is one of the best mystery/crime stories I've read in a while - because despite the fact that you know the identity of the culprit (because it just had to be that person, in an ugly, hopeless way), it is still a gripping read. Unlike in other mysteries, I cannot find any fault with the protagonist for not figuring it out earlier... there is a reason, a very human reason for him not making the connection. Because it hurts to be betrayed by those that you look up to. At the same time, the story makes you feel guilty for judging a person without any evidence other than this horrible premonition. And, of course, Satoru doesn't have any time to stop and think things through... he is unable to realize that with each person that he "saves", he is painting a large target on his own back. Due to that, the reader begins to feel the noose tighten around their own neck.
The last selling point of this incredible manga is its depiction of women. I've read lots of manga, and I am fairly used to Japanese stereotypes. Despite the fact that this is essentially a story about a guy saving girls from being preyed on, it doesn't feel like the female characters are weak at all.
At first, the protagonist, Satoru, is merely a struggling mangaka, working part-time as a pizza delivery boy. But then it is introduced that he has a peculiar, interesting ability. Specifically, before something like a 'preventable crime' or 'preventable death' is about to occur, the scene will replay in his mind several times, in which he has to find what is out of place and save the situation if he can. Key words 'if he can'--this is a chance, not a prerequisite.
Okay, cool. So, is this going to be some episodic story dealing with all the people he meets after saving them with this ability
of prevention? Nope. Instead, Satoru is hurtled back into his elementary years just before a series of kidnappings occurred that resulted in the death of three young children--two of which were his classmates. This is another result of his 'replay' ability--proving that these deaths are three that he is capable of preventing.
Despite how it seemed, Boku Dake ga Inai Machi has nothing to do with the protagonist being a mangaka, but instead a murder mystery that Satoru has to solve--and perhaps even prevent altogether.
Let me start by saying that this is the first review i've ever done and that I do not consider myself as an expert in this, plus, english is not my native language so there might be some mistakes in the redaction. Well, despite everything written above, I think my thoughts on this manga could be useful for someone who is planning whether to start reading it or not. “No shit sherlock, I guess that's why you're writing this!”
The following review contains some minor spoilers, but anything that may impair significantly the experience of reading the manga:
If you like mystery mangas you should give it
a try, because Boku dake ga Inai Machi IS a mystery manga, and a good one. Regarding the story, to be honest, I didn't like how it started, and I'm sure that some people drop it or may drop it just because of that, I don't know what it is or if it is intentional or not but the way the author presents the main character at the beginning feels kinda unnatural and a bit cliche, at least to me, as if the whole thing of being a frustrated mangaka is just an excuse to introduce the thoughts of the main character, ergo start the manga. The story begins showing us a moment in the life of the mc, a guy in his late-twenties, when nothing in his life seems to move forward, he has a part-time job as a pizza delivery guy and his dream is to become a good mangaka, however editorials refuse to publish his mangas due to his inability to express his emotion through his characters and stories (Like an analogy of what i feel about the beginning of this manga). As the story continues, we discover that the protagonist experiences a supernatural phenomenon that occurs when someone dies or something very bad will happen, the time rewinds again and again until he finds out what is wrong and tries to fix it. So far there is no indication that the story will have more mystery than this supernatural phenomenon, right?, But something unexpected happens, the protagonist gets involved in a crime and his life reaches an impasse, well, I guess you already know what happens... he goes back in time, but a little further back than he thought, to be exact, to his elementary school years. HERE is where the manga gets interesting and the story starts to get better and better, in order to avoid the dead end in his future, he begins to investigate about a series of murders that occurred in his village at that time of his life and that probably are related to the crime in the future. The story is quite dark, although sometimes has its comic moments.
I like the characters, most of them have a rather unique personality that changes throughout the story, and some personalities are very important to the plot. I also like the way the author uses the age of the characters to get a bit of comedy when the story gets too dark.
The art is ok, it doesn't have anything special, although sometimes the landscapes really get you into the story, i think it fits the theme of the manga very well. The only thing I do not like about the art style at least at first is that sometimes, you cannot differentiate one character from another, or you can't know their age just by looking at them.
Despite all its flaws is a good manga, although for me, it loses its charm with the ending of 1988's arc.
Let me say this that I had no other expectations from this because I saw the trailers of the anime before reading this.
This manga is simply legen... DARY! First of all, the art was amazing and played in tune with the mood of the story. When the story went to the past, the art looked very nostalgic. Next, the story, is great as the build-up is fills you with suspense and the characters were mostly great. What I liked in this story was that the women actually played a very important role in this story and weren't exactly damsel in distresses. The suspense was amazing
as twists and turns filled every chapter. Although the mystery was already solved when a certain character had candies in his car. The heart of the entire story is Satoru's development and his relationship with Kayo because it gives the reader hope for a better ending and their romance/close friendship was fully developed which makes me love it if they have a romance.
I love the characters as Satoru provided the backbone to this story and throughout the series showed development. Kayo, was just amazing and I really felt for her and I hope she will be with Satoru in the end. Airi was amazing and she's a badass just like Satoru's mom. My favourite character is Kenya because he is the perfect sidekick and can become the main character.
This manga does have some flaws, (SPOILERS AHEAD!!!)
The teacher being the serial kidnapper and killer was very very VERY expected. He is just psychotic with the strings and he didn't give any reason for me to like or hate him because he's one-sided. Also I didn't like it when the author made Satoru go into a coma and he wakes up because it felt rushed and HE DIDN'T SAY THE TEACHER'S NAME.
Anyways the story was great and I hope that there will be a good ending but if it doesn't happen at least Satoru and Kayo end up together because their story is the heart of the entire story.
Do you love detective stories? Ones that keep you guessing who the criminal is? Action filled clashes between good and evil? Or maybe it's a battle of the mind between detective and criminal that gets you going. Whatever your bias, read on for some great recommendations!