Boku Dake ga Inai Machi (僕だけがいない街 a.k.a The Town Where Only I am Missing)
WARNING: Contains spoilers
Struggling manga author Satoru Fujinuma is beset by his fear to express himself. However, he has a supernatural ability of being forced to prevent deaths and catastrophes by being sent back in time before the incident occurred, repeating time until the accident is prevented. One day, he gets involved in an accident that has him framed as a murderer. Desperate to save the victim, he sends himself back in time only to find himself as a grade-schooler one month before fellow classmate Kayo Hinazuki went missing. Satoru now embarks on a new quest: to save Kayo and solve the mystery behind her disappearance. (Source: MAL News via MyAnimeList)
I first watched its 12-episode anime series and it was interesting enough for me to read the manga for a more in-depth understanding of the story. In the anime version, the production altered some parts of the story especially the last few episodes but at least the major parts were retained. The art and animation of the characters and the background were drawn incredibly.
But it was the intense and fast pacing of the scenes that got me hooked into it. The first episode already provided a brief explanation of the character’s “revival/rerun” ability and it was exhibited right away. Every scene was crucial to the progress of the story and its mixture of psychological and mysterious ambiance added to its overall appeal since I am really into those genres. It has an element of time traveling as it also addresses more realistic and darker themes about kidnapping and child abuse. It had me playing like a detective though it was easy for me to pinpoint the true kidnapper just within the first three episodes, so the only suspense left for me was whether Satoru would be able to pull off his plans and save his mother and friends from the murderer. The manga itself is short; it only has 44 chapters but despite its brevity, the author managed to conclude everything accordingly. (I am still a bit disappointed though that Satoru did not end up with Kayo. My ship has sunk 😥 )
ERASED resembles Detective Conan since the plot revolves around finding the real culprit, and if you are a fan of time travel stories, then you must surely watch this one! I also do recommend reading the manga after (or before) watching the anime to give you a better understanding of the characters’ backgrounds as well as its ending.
Boku Dake ga Inai Machi is definitely one of the best anime series this year and in fact, a live-action film was also released just last month featuring Tatsuya Fujiwara.
My rating: 7.5 out 10
Here’s the anime’s trailer to give you a taste of what ERASED is all about.