Boku dake ga Inai Machi 06-12 [END]


And time goes on…

Last time! On Erased…


spring15-irenesThese last seven episodes have thrown us into overdrive as we hurtled forward towards the final conclusion of ERASED.  Last we met, a fire was raging as a murderer continues his carefully laid out and devastatingly damning plan to frame Satoru. Airi finds herself in the middle of this plot of foul play, the killer has set his sights on her, and this could very well be the third time that a woman in Satoru’s life has been killed because of their connection with him. But no more! Satoru once more is the hero as he dashes into a burning building in order to save Airi as he is so tired of this crap happening to him. Yet, he’s still a fugitive and so while he is able to get to her, it’s actually her manager, who while still wary of him, allows him a chance to get away while he get’s the teen out of the burning inferno.

As we see the events play out, we, like Satoru, begin to realize that life is giving him another chance to try to fix this entire mess. However, in his present time as an adult, things have become quite dangerous for both himself and those that are close to him. Yet, as he’s on the run, he’s able to use resources to investigate the past and put everything into perspective. Meeting with an old reporter friend of his mother’s, he discovers that the perpetrator that is responsible for framing both Yuuki and himself, is quite an expert at framing others for his crimes.


I think it’s safe to say that we have a serial killing psychopath on our hands. A man who has for years, been able to meld seamlessly with society, and is charismatic enough to be able to convince just about anyone to trust him. Using the knowledge that he gathers in every area that he makes his hunting ground, he chooses a person who he can very easily (a little planted evidence here, an anonymous hint to the police there) use as a patsy for his own crimes, makes sure they look guilty beyond belief, gets them arrested, and then moves on to his next prey in another town.

Satoru uses the clues he has to try to piece together what’s going on, but while he’s figuring out the modus operandi, he’s still no closer to figuring out the person’s identity. And unfortunately, his time has run out…

Airi escapes her police “protection” with a little help from her mother in order to find Satoru again, only to end up leading the police right to him! It seems this is the end for our hero, as he has been outdone by his elusive nemesis. And that is when that insatiable angel decides to once again intervene.


Back to the Past!

Satoru is thrown headfirst back into the past once again, and to both his and our overwhelming joy, the very first face both he and we see, is a both very clueless, but also very alive, Kayo Hinazuki. We all had a feeling that despite never fully know what was going to happen next in the plot, that Satoru’s adventures in the year 1988, weren’t quite done, and this time, armed with the knowledge of two timelines, he’s determined to go balls to the wall and do whatever is necessary to keep Kayo alive this time around, even if he must destroy, steal, or even kill…

Yes, I liked how they made Satoru so determined to save Kayo, that he doesn’t give a crap about how he would look or what is going on in the world around him. Tip-toeing around only caused him to delay rather than stop, and he’s determined to tame fate and bend it to his will, whatever the cost. Not only is Kayo’s life on the line, but if he fails here, there will be no more do overs. In his own present time, his fate is doomed, sealed and delivered. There is no future there, not for him, his mother, Airi, or Kayo. This is his last revival…his last chance.

Even the MC is a suspect.

This leads to him make drastic changes in the past, from “kidnapping Kayo” after their birthday party, to destroying Yuuki’s window in order to give him an alibi, to even attempting to kill Kayo’s mother in order to prevent her from doing anymore damage to her daughter. However, desperation can come with it’s own problems, and while Satoru was willing to pay the price, there are those who care, who don’t have his insider knowledge and so serve to keep him in check.

Kenya has been an interesting presence in the story so far. He is a character that went from being a rather shifty, quiet kid who you wished you could read the thoughts behind his concerned eyes, to being Satoru’s best friend. All of his friends begin to be pulled closer into the story as Satoru learns that he doesn’t have to shoulder everything on his own. Young Aya, who was to be the second victim after Satoru, is even brought into their fold. And you begin to see that as Satoru is changing other people’s lives, he’s actually beginning to change his own.

Kayo’s Story



Oh, little Kayo, you are the best loli this season. You are such a different little girl from most that we see in anime, such a rare breed, that it’s hard to really even call you such a term as “loli”. You’ve been through so much as a 10 year old girl. In just this short series, you have endured in abuse that no one should endure, much less a child. But more than that, to have been murdered by a psychopathic and cold-blooded killer, not once but twice?

You have to wonder how Kayo would ever be able to smile again? But smile she does, with the help of Satoru and his friends, Kayo is able to find a new environment to bloom and grow. Separated from her mother, the one who should have loved and cared for her, is the little boys with help from Satoru’s mom and their teacher, Yashiro, that we finally are able to give some semblance of a loving home to Kayo. And despite it being normal to us and Satoru, you can feel it sense of newness to Kayo and thus you smile when she smiles and you cry when she cries. And it’s not some misty eyes welling up, it’s real tears of emotion that you shed for this little girl.


Baby mine, don’t you cry…

In the end climax of Kayo’s arc, we learn the not surprising fact that Kayo’s mother herself was abused by her ex-husband and in turn took out her frustrations on her daughter. I can’t say that most of us probably didn’t see that, but it doesn’t make me any less sad or disgusted. You do feel sorry for what the mother went through, but your sympathy ends there. There is nothing she or the grandmother can say that can excuse what she did, and I sincerely hope that she endured quite a few years of jail time for what she did.

I have to say that I was quite proud of Kayo and Satoru’s response to the mother’s eventual breakdown. Many times in anime and manga the abused child with tearingly forgive their parents when the entire situation ends up boiling over, revealing the reason for the abuse, be it trouble at work, alcohol, or past trauma and somehow everything will be alright. But thankfully, that doesn’t happen here. Kayo has no time for her mother’s sob story, she’s seen what real maternal love is and with the help of her new friends, she began to develop esteem and confidence in herself, giving her a newfound sense of self-worth. And instead she turns her back on her mother, and takes a step forward into a new life that’s waiting for her.


Tragedy begets tragedy


Time to Pull the Mask Off




At the end of any Scooby-Doo mystery, they usually reveal the villain at the end by pulling off the mask or disguise and revealing that it was Old Man Smithers the whole time. But what happens when that villain’s mask, isn’t made of plastic and latex, but flesh and blood?

If it hasn’t been obvious by now, the killer that has been shadowing the series since the beginning, is quite the intelligent, cruel, cold-blooded textbook-level psychopath. The thing about psychopaths is that majority of them can function just fine in normal society, working right beside you and you would never know it. They are incredibly intelligent and know how to portray the everyday man very well. However, if you were to ever see the real person underneath that “mask”, it might just chill your blood. Anime has had some very terrifying psychopaths, some famous examples being Bleach’s Sousuke Aizen and Monster’s Johan Liebert.

Well, we can now add another name to that list: Yashiro Gaku.


Evil incarnate

Now, I have heard a small amount of conflict regarding this reveal, mostly around the fact that the murderer actually being the teacher is “too easy”. However, that’s the beauty of what I like to call the “double red herring” technique in mysteries. We have been arguing and discussing for weeks on who the antagonist could possibly be, and Yashiro was one of the first people suspected. However, what happens with the double herring technique is that the writer makes the villain so guilty looking that, of course, the more genre savvy audience actually begins to doubt it and looks elsewhere. Also the the writer might even throw in some scenes that may change your entire perception of the villain, which leads you to double down on your decision to begin to look elsewhere. In a way, the real antagonist becomes his own red herring, twice.  And this is what happened with Yashiro.

I have of course known that he was the murderer since the beginning as I fell into the manga’s trap. However, It was wonderful watching everyone else debate back and forth. When it was finally revealed in the series, I have to admit that they did a wonderful job. I was honestly shocked when he revealed himself in that car. His nice demeanor and easy going, supportive mannerisms (and the lack of the show’s tonal and artistic hints) had fooled me as much as they had fooled Satoru. In the manga they even drew him a few times in chibi form, you don’t see psychopathic murders drawn in chibi form! I had even begun to ship him and the mother together after that car lollipop scene.


Wolf in a father’s clothing

So when it was finally revealed what type of person he really was, I wasn’t totally crushed, but I was angry with myself for missing it. I was crushed by how he had fooled me, and I felt the very real danger for Satoru who had found himself in a killer’s grasp.

The fact that after everything that has happened and how he was able to save everyone else, that it is Satoru himself that ends up being the victim. The coma plotline was a surprise to me, and the fact that he is in it for sooo long, makes it all the more tragic. In fact, because of the nature of the series, its rules and its tone, I wasn’t actually sure if our young hero was going to make it at all. The series had progressed so differently that I would have accepted the MC dying ⅘ of the way through the story.


All evil masterminds come with a patented smirk included.

I love the way that the opening changed to fit Satoru’s unknown state, in fact, I liked the way the OP had evolved along with the show, and the way that Satoru’s mental film reel had stopped and burned  when he had been taken out of commission for 15 long years. And in the meantime life goes on without him.


When the last couple of episodes aired, they had me on the edge of my seat since this was the point in which I stopped in the manga. I love how the tension continued to build while seeing Yashiro and Satoru’s final confrontation. I honestly was afraid for him as he was being led up on the elevator to the deserted and rainy roof. The tension and suspense in that scene, especially as the killer tapped his fingers against the wheelchair were wonderfully done.


Battle of wits 

Yet, I have to say, that everything after that, was rather, well, underwhelming for me. I felt that the end confrontation between the two to be short and unsatisfying considering all that the series had been building up. I at first got excited as it seemed that Yashiro, being extremely intelligent, had figured out all of Satoru’s tricks. But I also knew that the minute they revealed that he had regained his memories long before, that it was really the end game for Yashiro. It really took away from the suspense that had been previously built. Also, the end scene regarding the whole “without me” factor I thought was a little cheap considering that this is a psychopath we are talking about and that he seemed to fall apart rapidly there at the end at the behest of the plot. It’s not unusual for a show to fall to the “weak third act” failing, and ERASED did better than most especially considering the expectations. But believe me, the pacing was actually done worse in the manga, so the series did the best it could and actually the anime, in my opinion, actually did a better job than the original material.


Sometimes change can be good.

So, in the end, it’s revealed that what we had been realizing since the beginning, was actually very true. The reason for this big revival had nothing to do with his mother, Kayo, or Yashiro. It all had to do with him. He was the one that required rescuing, from the pathetic life that he had been drowning in. This experience gave him the determination and vitality that he had been missing ever since he was a boy in 1988. He indeed was now able to grab life by the horns and now has a fulfilling career doing what he dreams, strong relationships with his family and many friends that he can count on. He’s a different man than he was at the start of this journey. A better man, a wiser man–a happier man…


A new man



I can say that I enjoyed my time with Erased. It wasn’t my favorite of the season, but it was definitely the best written of all the series of the Winter that I was watching. I think the writer stumbled a bit in the series a bit near the end, but the anime did a good job cutting out some of the extraneous clutter that was in the manga. They didn’t cut out the most egregious mistake of the manga, being the conclusion of Satoru and Kayo’s relationship (I never understood the writer’s desire to pair Satoru with Airi considering the two share very little time or chemistry  with each other in either medium, and she is way too young for him besides), but I have to think it was because of the writer’s idea to make Satoru a sort of self-insert for himself. Anyway….

Other than that rather large hiccup, I have to applaud the series for a good job well done. It handled its themes well and did a very good job balancing suspense, mystery, and human drama. I’m happy to have gotten a chance to experience it.


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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5 Responses to “Boku dake ga Inai Machi 06-12 [END]”

  1. zztop says:

    I have to say, that everything after that, was rather, well, underwhelming for me.

    The anime at least maintains the manga’s essence and themes of the final confrontation between Satoru and Yashiro.

    The live action movie version with Fujiwara Tatsuya used a movie-original ending which was criticized as sloppy and nonsensical. Spoilers in the review.

  2. zztop says:

    A translated interview with the anime director, Ito Tomohiko and Boku Dake’s mangaka, Sanbe Kei:

    Some interesting points:
    Q: In terms of the anime, did you want to include as many of the manga’s elements as possible?

    Ito: That’s right. We tried not to leave too much out. Even if the way it’s conveyed is different, we wanted to end the story in the same place. And in the end, I think we somehow managed to get there.

    Q: And the manga is now heading towards its final chapter.

    Sanbe: I’ve had a lot of difficulty trying to decide how to end it. I have to fill a certain number of pages…but the anime doesn’t have the time to cover it all, so they have to be more straightforward. But I also think that we’re effectively covering the same ground.

    Looking back, the director never did say he was going to adapt the events leading to the ending exactly to the manga.

  3. Highway says:

    I think you’re a bit off base with Satoru and Kayo’s “relationship”. If she has to move away, then that’s done. Plus, they were in 4th grade. That’s not the basis of a serious relationship. It also would work against Satoru’s purposes in saving Aya if he’s still supposed to have a grade school crush with Kayo. Plus, that’s a lot of onus to put on a 4th grade kid: is Kayo supposed to wait for him to come out of a coma 15 years later? That would be completely unrealistic. So by breaking off their relationship there, it frees Kayo up to be with Hiromi, which is good for both of them.

    I personally felt that the relationship of Airi and Satoru is an interesting one and worked in terms of the show. At the end of the show, she’s certainly not too young for him, by any measure of too young (interesting move, to make the end of the show be 5 years later than the previous ‘present’, probably for that exact purpose). It also brings that circularity in storytelling to a close.

  4. SherrisLok says:

    This really should have been a show about Satoru and Yashiro. Seeing the train of thought of a (would-be) serial killer on his road to redemption is just far more interesting than yet another ‘gotta-save-them-all’ time travel story.

  5. BlackBriar says:

    Calling ERASED a great show doesn’t seem to do it justice. It easily was the best of the Winter 2016 season with its nicely done and subtle storyline. Nothing was over the top but adequate sense anxiety made for an impressive atmosphere as we follow Satoru in his ambition to save a number of people who deserved a better fate.

    I really felt a huge swell of pity when Satoru had a near 2 decade coma. It threw a wrench into my expectation since once there was confirmation Kayo was in the clear, I thought she and Satoru would eventually get together. Maybe his current state isn’t so bad since he still retains his adult understanding. At least it seems he has a chance with Airi.

    As for Yashiro, it’s sickening to stomach how irredeemable wretches like him could evade well-deserved retribution so long. They will get it but it’s too long for my taste. Where his personality is concerned that drives his motivation, the guy can mingle with the fruit cakes in Criminal Minds. Both he and Kayo’s mother got off too easily in my opinion.

    The voice acting was well done. No reason to doubt Aoi Yuuki would deliver lending her voice for Kayo and for a voice acting newbie, Shinnosuke Mitsushima did a good job in his very first role playing the adult version of Satoru.

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