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.
I've longed to read the manga since the moment I had finished watching the anime. I had the feeling something wasn't right about the way anime ended. Fortunately, I was right.
The story begins quite smoothly and slowly giving the time to get to know the characters, their way of thinking and living.
There are some things which are just given to a reader without any further explanations. You just have to assume them. I wouldn't say I liked it but that's not the most important part here so let it be.
The story tells us about a "detective game", involving time traveling. The most
part of it is dedicated to monologues of the main character which makes the story very engaging. There's not much action in it, but that's for the greater good.
It's smartly constructed. There are in general 3 large parts of the story which are deeply connected with each other. Lots of minor details which seemed to have no significance eventually turned out to be very important.
You'll think with Satoru. You'll analyze with Satoru. You'll find the culprit with him. You'll feel yourself in his shoes.
To be honest, art isn't something to admire here. It has its own style which I would call as "a bit edgy". It makes a good job of conveying emotions, actions and thoughts. So I wouldn't count it as bad either. Also, there are some frames which are just great.
It makes its job in a proper way.
I guess you would never forget Satoru, Kayo, and Satoru's mom at least. They became quite real for me. Besides them, lots of another cool characters out there. Characters are a core of the manga. Everything's based on them. A reader has the opportunity to see how they grow supporting each other. Such thing as a "friendship" is showed here in a right way. It's not that pretentious as it might be in some shounen manga, yet very gorgeous and simply a nice thing.
To add more, few characters have their own philosophy. I've found some interesting thoughts.
The antagonist deserves some praise. I didn't understand to the end his philosophy but it was the interesting one without a doubt.
I like stories like this one. Very much do. It's not perfect. To some degree, it may be even absurd. But, what's more important, it gives a reader something to think about. Something to live with.
It's sincerely kind.
I would recommend it to anyone. Especially to those, who are, alike me, unsatisfied with the way anime ended. You'll find a gap and a proper ending right here. And don't forget about additional 5 chapters, please note, they are very important!
Well it was certainly different from the anime ending, but good nevertheless.
Actually, it was great with lots of flaws.
Story - 7 (good)
It was a little failure in my opinion. The time travel aspect was never explained. The mystery part was rather obvious. But the storytelling was beautiful and engaging.
The characters -8 (very good)
I liked them all, even the bad guy. Satoru was likable, Airi was brave, Mother was badass, Kenya was clever (too clever for his age), Kayo was sweetheart, Sensei was too nice to be true.
And I liked killer's motives, he was a real psychopath. The only unlikable character was Kayo's abusive
The art -7 (good)
Though I didn't liked the character designs that much, the art was smooth and clear, so that's a plus.
Enjoyment-8 (very good)
Overall-8 (very good)
Overall, I enjoyed the manga very much
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.
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!