Oh-so rarely in all entertainment forms do you get a series that’s good from beginning to absolute end. Erased, is an exception to that tendency. I was afraid that it might end in a way that might make the show sour on me, apparently the live-action movie had a ‘weird’ ending and the series it’s adapted from goes on longer so we could’ve easily got some sort of unsatisfactory cliff-hanger but thankfully none of that was present.
Erased has a tendency of anticipating questions viewers might have about the plot, I once wrote about the ‘forced-drama’ criticism that I’d seen in regards to the child abuse, we got a satisfying answer to that not long after. Last week, I was curious as to what Satoru intended on doing when he revealed to Yashiro all alone on top of the building that he had regained his memories and my goodness was that entire scene tense as hell.
As is typical of Erased, we went back in time to discover that he had regained his memory much earlier and was convinced by Kenya and Hiromi to ask for their help. That was punctuated in the end when he reflected on his journey, from a boy trying and failing to be a hero on his own and realizing he’d needed help to accomplish what he sought to do. Yashiro and Satoru both had their big-reveal monologue, and though it had me puzzled a bit, perhaps the delivery wasn’t perfect-perfect, it was still solid.
Satoru came to the conclusion that Yashiro was hyper-dependent on him, a thought too complex for my simpleton mind to really explain. But I might accord that to Yashiro never meeting someone that could match him, but when you consider that Yashiro preyed on lonely girls (or feminine type) and dipped after three preys with little more reason than a twisted mind, then he wasn’t the real complex villain in a Joker-type way, where the relationship between the protagonist and antagonist is real dynamic.
Nevertheless, Satoru still ultimately needed to find a way to convict Yashiro and thus he staged Satoru’s attempt at murdering him. I have to admit, there was a moment where I genuinely thought Yashiro had killed Satoru, in fact, Satoru’s sudden-overconfidence in regards to Yashiro’s over-dependence almost made me want Yashiro to let go, I must admit. I also thought for a moment that Satoru was satisfied with his victory and indifferent as to if Yashiro had him killed or not.
Ultimately, I was pointlessly gullible and Satoru’s over-confidence was very reasonable, he had means of survival down below and his friends backing him. Yashiro realized Satoru had a clean checkmate on him just before his own suicide attempt, I’m not entirely sure if his demise was satisfying considering he was rescinded to it but at the very least in this timeline he’s failed in all his murders, and perhaps that is a more important satisfaction than his demise.
What carried the series to the end was not the final confrontation but the sort-of quasi-epilogue. We got to see everyone, including his two other friends who were sort of destined to end up marrying/dating Aya and Misato (Aya being the girl from the other school and Misato the one who had accused Kaya of stealing money). Unburdened by the hole in his heart, Satoru also got to truly realize his dream of being a mangaka. I still am a bit pained that Kaya and Satoru did not end up together, but I can’t complain at the very end.
I wasn’t sure what would happen when he went to the bridge but then we saw the Re:Re graffiti on the wall and the Revival butterfly. For a second I was afraid we might get a twisted dark ending, or that maybe this was a sign of a second season. I was glad to see that it was instead a final parting with Revival and instead we got to see Airi Katagiri at the end. And Airi was literally the only person I was wondering about throughout the entire epilogue. I mean, it’s no KayaxSatoru considering the age difference between Airi and Satoru but it’s still a terrific ending to see the two together, in particular, to see Satoru at near tears. On talk of tears, it was a terrific touch in the flashback reunion between Satoru as a kid and all his friends to see Kenya himself tearing up, and him beckoning Misato into the circle.
If ever I were to compile a list of must-watch anime series, Erased would be among my early suggestions. A terrific short series that begs to be watched. I said when I introduced this on here that it was a discomforting yet heartwarming series and I stick by that definition when I recommend it. It’s discomforting, and thriller like, both heartpounding at the end of every episode but heartwarming when you see the interwoven relationships between Satoru and his mother, friends, and the people he’s trying to save, a bit saddening to that the kindest people in our lives can sometimes be the worst, in the case of Yashiro.
Spring season of anime is coming which means we’ll be getting a fuckton of series up in here that both Funimation and Crunchyroll will be bringing to the international viewing pleasure. Some might be dropped along the road but the best ones a la Erased will be seen through to its end.