What if I asked you the question: “Would you like to go back and relive your childhood, if you were able to?” I think everyone would probably have a different reason to maybe go back, while others would not go back at all. For myself, the answer would maybe surprise you, as I would answer with no. One of the main reasons my answer is no, is that especially in the early schoolyears I got bullied…a lot. So I don’t really have particular fond memories of those days. One of the things that helped me get through all that, were my parents. I am really, really blessed with them, and on that front I really have no complaints whatsoever. As I grew older, things definitely improved, and I have enough happy memories to look back on. Hmm, why this pretty dark and sad opening you might wonder? Well, the Anime series Erased also deals with childhood, but treads the path of something even more terrible than bullying.
Satoru Fujinuma is a 29 year old Manga artist, who has trouble getting the right things on paper. However, he also has a very unique and special power: travelling back short periods in time to prevent death and other tragedies from happening. One day Satoru becomes the suspect of a terrible crime of which he is innocent, but while escaping from the police, his power activates and he is sent back farther in time than ever before. When he wakes up he discovers that he is 10 years old again, but his memories are still those of his 29 year old self. When heading to his high school he meets up with his old classmates including a girl called Kayo. Satoru remembers that Kayo is heading for a very sad and terrible fate, and now he has a chance to maybe change it all in this new timeline. But things become more complicated as he finds out that Kayo’s fate might be tied to his own in the future…
Erased is simply put:a masterpiece. It is almost impossible to mention everything that is great about it, but here are some highlights. People who say that animation is just for kids, will hopefully be silent after seeing this series. One of the subject matters the show deals with is child abuse, and it doesn’t shy away from it either. There were some truly heartbreaking scenes that were at times very hard to watch, but made the story all the more powerful because of it. The story was put together in a very clever way, and is maybe best described as The Butterfly Effect, meets Groundhog Day, with a small blend of the Orange anime series added for effect. Even though the series runs for only 12 episodes you feel an attachment to the characters, that you at times don’t even get from series that have a longer run. Ultimately though, despite the heavy subject matter, what it comes down to is that nobody needs to do things alone. Treasure friends that you have, and be grateful that you have them. Don’t despair though and think that you might need therapy after watching this. Yes there is a lot of heavy stuff going on, but it is also a wonderful, exiting and heartwarming tale, that I dare you to not finish in one run. It really is that good.
Before I give the final grade (which probably won’t be much of a surprise) I want to thank AnnmarieMCQueen for pointing out this gem. She is an up and coming blogger who has a lot different and cool things going on at her blog, so it is worth checking it out, if you haven’t already.
I give Erased a 10 out of 10 score.