Anime Review: Erased Part 2

By Drew Hurley 14.05.2018

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Erased Part 2 (UK Rating: 15)

This adaptation of Kei Sanbe's dark time-travelling tale saw a young boy named Satoru with a special ability reliving his childhood in an effort to change the present. Originally hitting screens in Japan in Winter 2016, fans in the West had to wait until August 2017 to get their hands on a physical release… of the first part… It was sadly one of those anime that got split into two six-episode parts. Worse still, it received a seven month gap between the two parts. The first part was utterly gripping and left the story on a heck of a cliffhanger; now the conclusion is finally here. The conclusion to this story comes courtesy of All the Anime and is available on DVD and Blu-ray now.

The first part of this contained episodes 1-6 and introduced the audience to Satoru, a man almost in his thirties with a very special ability; an ability he dubs "Revival." It gives him the ability to get a small glimpse of the future. A feeling of déjà-vu overcomes him and he spots a glistening blue butterfly, and then he watches a few moments play out before being flung back to the beginning of his vision, back to the present. Satoru has the same level of integrity of a certain Peter Parker and believes that with great power comes great responsibility. Fitting since it only seems to happen when a tragedy strikes, like fate is giving Satoru a chance to right a few little wrongs in the world.

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While out shopping with his mother, Revival fires and the tragedy is something more sinister than the car accidents he's used to dealing with. It seems a man is attempting to abduct a small girl. Thankfully, the tragedy is averted thanks to Revival, but it touches a nerve with Satoru's mother. When Satoru was ten-years-old, a series of children were abducted and killed. Something that hit close to home as it was blamed on a man - the young Satoru had become friends with. The glance at the abductor made Satoru's mother realise who the man was and potentially who caused everything so long ago. She snaps a photo of the potential abductor's vehicle and this simple act changes everything. Taking this photo attracts the attention of the monster. Satoru returns home to find his mother murdered in his home and the trauma of walking in on that flings his body through time; it's not the usual Revival, though, as he doesn't get to go back a few moments to avert his mother's murder, and instead he finds himself thrown back 18 years and into his 10-year-old body.

It's a dream everyone must have had. The chance to relive their childhood, especially with the knowledge and wisdom they now have. For Satoru, though, it's not fun and games. If he hopes to change the horrors in his present, he has to solve the murders of his childhood. In particular, the killing of a young girl in his class called Kayo. As he begins to grow closer to her, he finds out the truth about her life, the systemic abuse she is subjected to every day. It's shocking and hard to watch. With his adult mind in his child's body, he has a chance try and do something about it. Not just saving her life but saving her from her monstrous parents.

In the first part of this story, it seemed Satoru had managed it; Kayo survived the day she had gone missing and he had built a budding romance with her. Then it was revealed he hadn't saved her, merely delayed her disastrous fate. When he realises the trauma throws him through time once again, this time back to present day, surrounded by sirens, the police are hunting him as the main suspect in his mother's murder. Worse still, as he's on the run, his only ally is a victim of an arson attack - a crime that's added to his rap sheet. The first part ended with Satoru being arrested and spotting a bespectacled gentleman - the same gentleman that crossed his path on the day his mother died… Once again Satoru is flung back in time, another chance to save Kayo, knowing even more now; he's getting closer and closer to the killer, but he doesn't realise at the same time the killer is getting closer to him. The work he has been doing to save Kayo and the other girls has put the target on his back.

The review of the first part said, "The story is insanely gripping. This isn't one to watch a single episode or two; the storytelling style, the tense moments and the pacing of each episode makes for compulsive binge watching, which makes this a difficult watch because of the split of the season. It's painful to see a twelve-episode series split in half but such are the woes of anime licensing. It ends at a fitting point, at least, delivering a suitable cliffhanger to leave viewers desperate for the second part." That would be very true if this had come out a good deal sooner. Viewers will need to give the first part a watch once again to reacquaint themselves with the story. This really deserved to be delivered in a single part and consumed as such.

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When it is, this is an utterly captivating tale - the type that deserves marathon watching. The time-travel aspect of the story is done fantastically, watching Satoru begin to remember the little aspects of his life that everyone all forgets, remembering and reliving little moments, reuniting with old friends. Satoru had friends and he was a nice enough kid but he never really showed his true self to his friends. This is the reason why he hasn't kept in touch in present day, why he has so few real friends as an adult. Now, with the benefit of wisdom, he can open up and change more than just the murders he went back to stop. This type of reliving a childhood is a wish-fulfillment fantasy rarely tackled and it's done with aplomb.

While Erased has been available on Netflix recently, it's only in Japanese, whereas this comes with the added option of an English dub. There are some bonus features here, too, although nothing more than what audiences have come to expect. There are the usual trailers and clean opening/closing animations, along with four episode commentary tracks with the English cast. As mentioned in the review of the previous part, the English cast includes major players from the English VA community, including Michelle Ruff. It's an excellent production and worth the price of picking this up instead of watching it on Netflix; although one thing definitely worth watching on Netflix is the Japanese live-action adaptation, which is available now.

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10
Erased is an absolutely superb story - the type of anime that can be used to introduce non-fans to the medium. It is gripping, riveting, captivating; a series to watch again and again. Quality in every aspect, prolific composer Yuki Kajiura providing emotive tracks, studio A-1 delivering fantastic art and animation, both English and Japanese voice actors performing at their best. One of the very best of recent years.

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