Erased #9 – Closure (Spoiler-Filled Discussion)

I talked about Erased a while back when I was about 4 episodes in. I’m all caught up now with the latest episode of Erased – I also mentioned it entering top five territory (and admittedly, top five territory is relatively foggy but includes Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Steins;Gate, One Piece, Hunter x Hunter and now Erased). Fact is, not only has it penetrated my top five, but it’s also made MyAnimeLists top five, which, while it’s not the ultimate decider of what’s good or not, is generally a good indication, it nudged out Hunter x Hunter to land in 5th. False achievements out of the way, let’s talk Erased.

Admittedly, after last week’s relatively warm ending, I was worried something bad would happen this time around but I was glad to discover things were actually looking up for Satoru and Kayo. A lot of criticism that has been directed to Erased has been so-called “forced drama,” that is, the child abuse Kayo’s mother deals to her. It felt unsubstantiated and used simply for feels-effect (or so the criticism goes). The obvious flaw in that criticism is that, this sort of thing does happen in real life, without reason. Nevertheless, the show fittingly closed that discussion by delving into Kayo’s mother’s backstory. An abusive husband, and a mother that left her saw Kayo’s mother direct all her anger towards Kayo. That doesn’t mean she’s worth forgiving but it nevertheless adds layers to an otherwise rather one-dimensional ‘villain’. Kayo goes away to live with her grandmother and it’s all thanks to the help of Professor Yashiro.

Professor Yashiro’s suspect number one in this case, let’s not even put that into question. The show intentionally puts that at the forefront too. The red irises that seem synonymous with the serial killer. The suspicious motivations. The too-good outwardly appearances. It’s almost perfect writing because it works really well in two ways. On one front, we’re wondering if this is all a red herring because it’s almost too obvious that he’s the one responsible for it all. On the other hand, if he is indeed responsible which we all suspect, then it brings up the worry that Satoru is playing a game of chess with missing pieces. The biggest indication was Satoru telling the teacher where they hid and the evidence disappearing subsequently. It seems Professor Yashiro may have cut his losses on Kayo and intends on moving on to his next two targets, the girl from Izumi Academy and Satoru’s friend Hiromi. With only three episodes left, Satoru will have to discover who is the killer and stop both deaths (though that is if they don’t hold out on us for hopes of a second season).

This episode further built up the trust between Kenya and Satoru and by extension Hiromi since he’s the one they’re protecting. Feeling left out, his other two friends, Kazu and Osamu decide to follow after the trio and just as well, girl who’s name escapes me (the one who did not get along with Kayo) also seems a tad peeved by the whole incident which left me wondering what her involvement might be in this situation (perhaps a new replacement victim to Kayo, he worked in threes did he not?).

In any case, it was another great Erased episode and fortunately one that did not leave me stressing too much when all was said and done. It’ll be interesting to see rather Erased hopes to get another season or if it ties all its knots by the end of the 12th episode. I think the show can have a sort of must-watch-anime status if it sticks to the 12 episode threshold the way Steins;Gate has (though that goes to 25, it’s still a single arc).

I’ll probably review (more like discuss, this is less pointed criticism and more stream of thought) the last three episodes of the season when they come around now that I’m fully into it.

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