ERASED – Episodes 1-2

And reviews begin for the season’s big tentpole thriller! I’m really enjoying this one, and it’s frankly nice to actually be enjoying one of a season’s popular shows in general. ERASED deserves it – the direction and sound design are sharp, and the underlying storytelling is great so far. Not many shows manage to juggle the immediate entertainment value of a thriller with the long-term satisfaction of a thematic/character story, so I’m pleased this one is handling it so smoothly so far. It’s nice when you see such a clear intersection of adaptation talent and strong source material.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my episode two notes below!


The infinite potential and optimism of youth versus the constant looking back and regrets of adulthood

He jumps back to 1988, February 15th

The direction is excellent already. Smart tracking shots following the teacher, and shots at the MC’s new head level to impress his new perspective on the viewer

Great interpretive shots

And the music is actually quite restrained for a Yuki Kajiura score, and often used simply to enhance incidental noise. The echoing chant of the kids taking attendance

Lots of industrial-sounding strings, haunting single piano keys

Great visual palette, too

This show feels filmic

And the faces are so subtly expressive

Lots of shots that create depth in the frame

His feeling of happiness at seeing his old home. Staring at a hero mask, thinking about his mom. Dang

Great moments of warmth between the mother and son

It’s great that they established the relationship between mother and son so well in the first episode

“No way am I going to lose this time”

The past as a widescreen film

Kayo Hinazuki is the girl

She has a hidden bruise

Great transition to them meeting after school

“You and I are both fakes”

“Would you kill someone for my sake?”

“I was the same way my first time through elementary school. I played a version of myself to get along well with the people around me”

Shots through the bars of the seats to create a sense of claustrophobia in this conversation

It’s nice seeing the relative concerns and even intelligences of his fifth-grade buddies

His smart friend Kenya suspects something

“For some reason I think it’s really important that you keep your mind on Hinazuki”

Some really intimidating shots. Low angles and weird focus on looking at the characters through bars implies they’re always being watched

“The Town Without Me” by Hinazuki Kayo. The original show title

Hinazuki talks about wanting to escape her childhood, while Satoru sees it as an idyllic time

“When I think about the town without me, I feel a sense of relief” The show goes to full screen for her lovely dream

This great little bit of character animation of Mom plotting out the party as he thinks about saving Hinazuki

“What did I write about again?”

“Did I just think she was weird before?” Now seeing the cracks of childhood

“I can’t see you, Fujinuma”

“Let’s try liking everyone” is his performance directive

“While I’m performing, it feels like it will become real somewhere along the line”

“That’s because I decided not to lie to you”

6 thoughts on “ERASED – Episodes 1-2

  1. Wow, that second episode was something else.

    Maybe it is because I was born in 88, but I was left so nostalgic for my own childhood when listening to Satoru and his friends talk about Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.

    The voice has

    • Meant to say, the voice acting has been fantastic. According to MAL, this is the first major role for Satoru’s voice actor. However, it feels like he’s a seasoned professional. There’s been so much nuance and emotion in his delivery.

      Really looking forward to see where this one goes.

      • Yeah, apparently Satoru’s voice actor is traditionally a live action actor, and this is his first voice acting role. That definitely adds a very unique dimension to his performance!

  2. I agree. This series has been exhibited a high level of detail and complex ideas. I think it is on track to be the best of the season. I think Satoru is mature enough to keep the show on track so it doesn’t fall apart. cough Charlotte cough

  3. Episode 2 was fantastic. Got some goosebumps on that last scene in the park and the effective use of the tree as a sort of “point of no return”. The use of a lamp post – something that wasn’t their in his earlier recollection – illuminates a deeper depth beyond the camera to which Kayo runs out from the frame, highlighting Satoru’s journey into the past he failed to pay attention to before.

    I might be coming off as creepy at this point, but I think I’m enjoying this show way more than I would have hoped now that I read your blog on a regular basis. You rock, dude.

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