Is ‘Erased’ Worth The Watch?

‘Erased’ (2016) is a twelve-episode gem that almost attains perfection, leaving the audience on the precipice of awe. This anime isn’t merely a “good watch”; it demands attention, particularly as anime gains prominence in the United States.

Nestled in a more distinguished category than the typical seasonal fare, ‘Erased’ takes viewers on a journey through time, unravelling a plot filled with suspense, redemption and the complexities of human connection.

At its core, ‘Erased’ follows the story of Satoru, a 29-year-old aspiring mangaka endowed with the unique ability of ‘Revival.’ This power thrusts him into a premonition-driven mission to prevent impending disasters, a duty that often transports him back in time.

Image Courtesy: IGN

The narrative takes a poignant turn when Satoru discovers that his abilities inadvertently led to the death of someone he loves, compelling him to travel back 18 years to 1988. This sets the stage for a captivating storyline centred around the kidnapping and murder of three children, notably focusing on a young girl named Kayo.

What makes ‘Erased’ exceptional is its gripping narrative right from the opening episode. Unlike many series that take time to find their footing, ‘Erased’ grabs the viewer’s attention immediately, showcasing the depth of its characters and the complexity of their relationships. The seamless blend of suspense and emotion creates a compelling atmosphere that persists throughout the series.

Image Courtesy: Anime Planet

The core of the anime evolves into a detective story, where Satoru not only endeavours to solve a cold case but also strives to rescue Kayo from a harrowing domestic situation. The series navigates dark themes, portraying Kayo’s struggles with an abusive household and Satoru’s determination to alter her fate. This relationship, while unconventional due to the age difference, is handled with sensitivity, focusing on Satoru’s altruistic motives rather than romantic undertones.

However, the series encounters a rough patch in its final episodes when the identity and motives of the kidnapper are revealed. While the conclusion is satisfying, it falls short of the potential established in earlier episodes. The anime’s brevity, while a testament to its efficiency, leaves some character arcs feeling underexplored, notably Kayo’s, whose prominence diminishes after her initial arc.

Image Courtesy: Crunchyroll

Despite this flaw, ‘Erased’ remains a formidable series that tackles serious subjects without overwhelming its audience. It demonstrates anime’s ability to transcend preconceived limitations, leaving viewers on the edge of their seats with each episode. While the ending is commendable, there’s a lingering sense that certain character arcs, particularly Kayo’s, could have been further developed.

Though it narrowly misses the mark of being deemed “incredible,” it unquestionably solidifies its place as a must-watch for enthusiasts seeking a narrative that transcends the boundaries of conventional storytelling.