Boku dake ga Inai Machi 04-05


la tensión, tensione, Spannung, 張力, whatever language you use, these past couple of episodes have been full of it.

spring15-irenesThis entirety of episode 4 was really a 25 minute waiting game, as the spring continued to get wound tighter and tighter and you were just sitting there waiting for somebody to finally take their finger off and let it go. Last week we were enjoying the calm before the storm as Kayo and Satoru’s relationship continues to deepen. But instead of the storm arriving with a bang, we are instead treated to an even greater round of tension and hair-splitting suspense.

After having gotten to know Kayo and having become closer and closer to her, the two even forming a singular bond over knowing the truth regarding her mother’s treatment, our young/old hero is determined to save her from her fate.


Guardian angel

He reasons that the best way to do this is to make sure that she is no longer alone when not necessary, making her less of a target for the unknown serial killer. It makes sense to think this way, since Kayo was abducted while she was alone in a park, creating a perfect window for the villain. And history has proven that a large majority of abductions happen when children are alone, and make a habit of being so. So, he launches forward in his plan to make sure that the murderer doesn’t get the opportunity to strike.

And yet, we also can’t forget the danger at home as Satoru has to attempt to outmaneuver Kayo’s witch of a mother, and also deal with the limited time and resources that are available to an elementary school kid. He knows that D-day is fast approaching and he will do anything to make sure that she lives past that day. And yet, it’s more than that. Kayo has been mistreated in one way or another, and if fate has it’s way, misery is all the young girl will ever know. But Satoru knows about her secrets now, he knows about her pain, and so he works to bring what joy he can to a girl who more than deserves it.


He decides to become her knight, her chivalrous gentleman, he walks her home hand in hand from school, and arrives in the morning at her doorstep to do the same. He fights for her against the dragon that is her mother and takes to some of his favorite hangout locations, sharing his interests with her.His mother and friends help as well, but this is truly Satoru’s crusade. Is it simply the drive to save her life, to save his mother, to help a friend in need, that pushes our hero…or is there more? Remember that he and Kayo are the exact same age. Had she lived would their relationship have continued to grow. Will the changes that Satoru is making be enough to create such a possibility?


Or is fate determined to have its way?

“A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.”

– Jean de La Fontaine

From Oedipus to Anakin to Rintarou, tragic protagonists have learned the truth behind the poet’s immortal warning. When events that Satoru didn’t even remember happening in his childhood begins to repeat themselves, despite his desire to change the future’s path, both he and the audience begin to wonder if he too is in a useless struggle to avoid fate. And that’s where the tension comes in. We can only watch the events building and pray. Satoru keeps his eye on his girl everyday as their birthday approaches, making sure to make his presence known, to let the killer–whoever it is–know that he’s there and that Kayo is not some lonely prey just waiting to be snapped up. She has someone to look after her now.


Someone to watch over me…

I love how the music soars over the scene as simple as it is, of him taking her home, and we get to see every suspect we’ve considered so far and where they are at that particular moment. None of them, from Yuuki, to Yashiro-sensei, to even Kenya, are in any position to have committed the abduction that night. The series continues to not make it any easier on us, or on our protagonist.


So many suspects…

On the day she is to be murdered, he even gets up in the middle of the night and sneaks over to her house to watch over her, and we sit and watch over her with him and midnight finally comes and goes and Kayo indeed makes it to her next birthday with her life intact.



Satoru’s tension begins to unwind. He again spends the day with Kayo before having a wonderful surprise birthday party that evening with all his friends and his mother. This is undoubtedly the best day of Kayo’s life, and you smile  just to see her so happy. I even got slightly teared up because of all that you know that she went through, and how her mother probably has never really given her a birthday party of her own. And on top of that, she is mostly just upset that she didn’t get a chance to finish Satoru’s birthday present, and at this point, you just want to hug and snuggle her.


Simple treasures

But the party itself is a joyous affair, full of family, friends, fun, and affection, all things that both Satoru, and especially Kayo, have been without for some time. By the time our MC walks Kayo home and they say a happy goodbye, all the tension that the boy has held has seeped out and he literally skips home in glee at his success in protecting Kayo. He goes to bed that night, happily exhausted, with not a care in the world.


Unfortunately, the tension only continues to mount for us as the audience. We want to be able to join Satoru in his relaxed happiness, and yet we can’t since unlike him, we know only 4 episodes have gone by and we still have ⅔ rds of the story left to go, and that it can’t be this easy. And indeed to our ultimate heartbreak–it’s not.

For the next day…Kayo doesn’t show up at school, nor does she come the next…or the next….or the next…



It becomes quite clear that Kayo has become a victim of foul play, and in typical Japanese small town fashion, the citizens do whatever they can to hush it up while a behind the scenes investigation occurs. We as the audience see a glimpse of Kayo’s corpse, once again harshly beaten and now quite lifeless. We are not quite sure how Kayo was killed, if her mother was responsible and went much too far this time around or if something completely different happened, but I do know that no matter what exactly happened, it’s obvious that the mother feels very little for her own child’s death, and it makes me want to throttle her myself.


What have you done…?

Satoru is distraught and doesn’t know what to do next. He tried to battle with fate and lost, only shifting the date but not preventing the overall outcome. Perhaps he should indeed ask himself if this is really what he was meant to do? Was he really sent back to this time to save Kayo’s life? I’m not so sure, since it’s almost two weeks pass after her death, and Satoru’s revival powers aren’t sending him back in time to try again.

There must be something more to this, but in the meantime, Kayo’s murder continues to hit hard, especially when she’s joined by the disappearance of the second victim from a separate school. Perhaps Satoru should concentrate on the other two victims after Kayo, one of them being his other friend Hiromi, and yet, you can see how much this death has hit him and how he has basically fallen into a depression in regards to his failure.


But that wingless angel has other plans, and as he observes Kayo’s mother taking of the trash with a disturbing smile on her face. He looks into the trash bag, with the ravens that have been ever-present looking on, only to see the hand-knitted mittens that Kayo had slaved over on her last night on Earth, just so she could present them to him as a birthday gift to her first real friend. This was a scene that pierced me right in the chest, both when I had first read it in the manga, but also seeing it on screen. And it’s Satoru’s abject despair and anguish that results from what he sees, and the final realization that she’s gone, that hit hardest for both us, and for Revival, because this time travel power of his is persistent, and it’s try, try, try again, until you get it right.

Back to the Future

Satoru finds himself back in 2006 and back in his older body and right where he started as if time had stood still in this timeline. He of course has just escaped from his own apartment and is now a fugitive from the law. But this time, there is no Tommy Lee Jones that he can appeal to. Satoru is all on his own, he’s on the lam, and he has no idea what he’s supposed to do now.

We see the return of the characters we had to leave behind in the beginning, from Satoru’s boss, to his coworker, the schoolgirl Airi. While both offer to help him, only one actually means it, and our protagonist is able to find an ally.


While we stay with Airi and see her through the episode, we see why she decides to help a known fugitive. It seems that her past with her father and a very damning piece of chocolate caused her to have a very high sense of justice and that she can’t just stand aside while her co-worker and friend is being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Her sense of integrity even leads her to go and punch her own boss in the face when she finds that he lied to her in order to get to Satoru!

Airi is an interesting character, she’s a nice girl, a little high strung and naive like many a teenage girl, but she does have a good heart. It’s even through her, that Satoru learns that while he didn’t make the big change he wanted to, he was able to change the events ever so slightly, which actually makes this not the same timeline from before, but an entirely new one! So it reasons that, if he can go back again, he should be able to try again to create a drastic enough change that the new timeline he would return to, would be completely divergent from any of those previous.



Yet, Satoru must realize the danger that surrounds him, doesn’t come just from the police, but also from a very intelligent murderer that won’t simply leave anything to chance. The killer murdered Sachiko because she happened to get a glimpse of him and recognized him. We find out this episode that he also sent in a tip long before Satoru had discovered his mother’s body, so that the police would be waiting for him. Do you really think the killer’s sinister shadow won’t come over the place where you work?


Danger continues to follow.

We see the murderer meet with Satoru’s manager and not only does he show to have had a long term relationship with the establishment management, but he also has a position in politics if the pin on his lapel tells us anything. So, our killer is someone with means and position, with both a fake name and VA. And he’s determined to take away all of Satoru’s options as he frames him for his mother’s murder.

It’s not just in the anime, but the manga itself in all it’s black and white glory, made the scene of Airi receiving a text from “Sachiko Fujinuma” more than a day after her death, creepy as heck. And then you realize how far the killer is willing to go to continue to frame Satoru and how he seems to be an expert at arson, knowing how to start the fire in such a way that it was unnoticed for some time, and yet directly on Airi’s side of the house so that by the time she got that text, she would already be done for.


The smoke (the most dangerous part of any fire) has already overcome our young heroic girl, and the fire is hungrily consuming everything in its path. What shall happen to her now, we’ll just have to wait on baited breath to see.


I have to say that I have been nothing but amazed with how this series has gone so far. The attention to detail as we try to solve this mystery as well as the emotional punches we have been receiving, it’s in some ways just too much, and yet I can’t help but love it. The epic music knows when to hit you and when to be quiet. And not to mention that we have red herrings crawling out of the woodwork.

It made sense that we’d have to go back to the future eventually. We still had characters and clues there (his mother’s note!) that needed to be looked at, and most detectives need to go back to “the place it all began” in order to make sense of everything. However, in order to do this, it cost the life of a precious little girl who we had all fallen head-over-heels in love with. How many people are going to die before this is all over? Can the power of time travel save all thing, or will fate continue to have its way? We’ll even I don’t know the full answer to that question, so we’re all just going to have to wait and see.


A Chicagoan biochemist, teacher, and an aspiring virologist, with a love for science only rivaled by my love for movies, animation, and anime. Both a lover of action/adventure and romance, I'm a girl who walks the entire spectrum. Mecha, Sci-Fi, Psychological Thriller, Romantic Period Piece, if it's has a good story, I'm there.
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20 Responses to “Boku dake ga Inai Machi 04-05”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    Anime News: Boku dake ga Inai Machi/ERASED Manga Ends in March (Anime adaptation will portray ending of manga)

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Anime News: Production I.G Makes Anime of Korean Vampire Comic Noblesse

    Here’s a download link to the episode.

    Wow, this came out of nowhere and was surprisingly good. I wonder if any of you guys are going to blog it.

  3. Highway says:

    Don’t they teach basic fire safety in Japan? I was told repeatedly growing up “if there’s a fire in your house, don’t open the door. Get low, touch the door to see if it’s hot, and find another way out if it is.”

    It’s a bit odd to me that the killer is going to such lengths. If this is the same killer as in 1988, and he’s gotten away with it for so long, it would seem that killing mom would be sufficient, and continuing to go after so many people would just be risking more exposure.

    I do get annoyed watching a series about crimes where there is no presumption of innocence, and hearsay and circumstance rules the day.

    • IreneSharda says:

      I’ve been reading up on it, and it is the actually part of the culture in Japan to have a “guilty until proven innocent” mindset. The was in article in the BBC about how there is such a incredibly high number of wrongful convictions because many people just admit to the crime rather because of not only how the people see criminals, but also because of how it will effect their standing in society and their family. Trying to prove incredibly “guilty” men innocent can also make it hard to get a lawyer, since with their culture, the lawyer will be thought of as “bad” if he’s defending a person who is obviously “bad”, which causes his reputation to take a hit.

      As for the killer, whatever has been working for him has been working well for almost 20 years or more, so he seems to be incredibly intelligent and knows what he’s doing. Also, we know that whatever he’s trying to do is indeed working as Satoru is their number one suspect. And with Japan’s society, a man who killed both his mother and a young high school girl, and destroying the house with fire that could potentially spread to other people’s houses? Yes, there would be a manhunt for Satoru and when caught, they would basically throw away the key.
      The killer is one who doesn’t leave anything to chance. He killed the mother, but now he has to make sure that everyone’s eyes are on someone else. That’s his MO from the looks of it. Do the crime, but have someone to take the wrap, lock, stock, and barrel.

    • IreneSharda says:

      Oh and as for the fire thing…well, perhaps Airi is another one of those dumb teens that don’t pay attention in class? 😛

  4. zztop says:

    I’ve been told the final source manga chapter this March is an epilogue that properly concludes the story. The base plot and mystery have already been solved in the previous chapter.

    • BlackBriar says:

      So, basically it’s serving to be the series’ proper send-off.

    • IreneSharda says:

      The mystery was really solved a little bit ago in one of the 30-something chapters. Right now, it’s really just the final climax.

  5. BlackBriar says:

    Poor naïve Satoru. He noticed but should’ve been more concerned that things were going too smoothly in his attempt to change Kayo’s fate. When it comes to time travel, two possibilities exist: Either the person who tries to alter history unconsciously helps the incident for which they intend to change come to pass or they give leeway for an even worse outcome to take place.

    However, the difference in details show he can pull it off but of course there’s guarantee Satoru will get another return to the past.

    I’m glad Airi made her judgment defending Satoru based on her personal knowledge of him as opposed to automatically believing he did something out of his character. A gamble, yes, if she was mistaken but she did good. Which only makes it harder to absorb if she dies right here.

    In my mind, the killer will continue knocking off anyone with close ties to Satoru in order to cover his tracks. At the same time, it will increasingly make our framed lead look all the more guilty in front of the public.

    • IreneSharda says:

      Satoru really just didn’t make a big enough change to correct over 18 years of a problem. Also, like what we were discussing last week, is Satoru’s real mission to save Kayo, or is that just a byproduct? I would think that if saving Kayo was the real reason, he would have been sent back the moment she died having failed and then he would have to try again.

      Also, interestingly, this Revival is different in many ways from any other time he’s tried. It’s going back much further, and it wasn’t triggered sporadically but seemingly from his own emotional state and will, and also, it doesn’t continuously put him in a cycle in order to fix the issue, but instead sends him back and forth between two points in the timeline. So, it’ll be interesting to see what will come next.

  6. ProtoSovereign says:

    So I just picked up this series yesterday, and I wanted to wait until the post for ep 6 was up before saying this but, is it just me or does Yashiro-sensei remind you of Colonel Guren from Owari no Seraph.

    • BlackBriar says:

      As a frequent manga reader and having watched both seasons of Seraph of the End/Owari no Seraph, I’d say “not exactly”. It’s a so-so matter. If not for the choice of animation for each respective series, you can say that Guren Ichinose and Yashiro have the same type of hair but the facial features are very different and distinctive.

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