ERASED – Episode 4

ERASED remained relatively consistent this week, offering way too many cute moments with Hinazuki just in time to drop the hammer. I knew it was coming, but man, that birthday party was just a step too far. He gave her fuzzy mittens, ERASED. HE GAVE HER FUZZY MITTENS.

The rest of this episode was more dedicated to articulating the weaknesses of Satoru’s position, which I certainly appreciated. Though the show can get over-the-top in its overt dramatic peaks, the ways it’s reflecting on Satoru’s issues are actually quite subtle, and come through more in the overall context of the story than any overt lines. It’s a good place to be.

You can check out my full writeup over at ANN, or my notes below!


February 25th. March 1st approaches

Satoru from the current time can still be lead around by his mom assuming he’s the young Satoru. Satoru’s still a kid in the context of his mom (among other contexts)

You’d think it’d be unusual how easily Satoru fits back into his middle school dynamic, but Satoru’s still a kid at heart in all sorts of ways, so

Already living in stasis

Shots framed so we can see the other kids watching Satoru, including the girl he made cry

Satoru tries to treat the girl like a kid relative to himself, but she actually sees through him. Kids see a lot

His friends duck out for his date, and Satoru bluntly tells Hinazuki that they’re going on one

A meeting between Kenya and the teacher. Uh oh

“When it comes to saving a friend, there are no gains or losses!” Satoru outright says this to her mother, which is a terrible line. It’s incredibly presumptuous of him and a bad tactical call

More of those great rising single notes, industrial noises

And Satoru’s mom to the rescue

“My son shows motivation in everything he does. And I want to help him.” Ouch. This is painful given what we know about his future

“What am I embarrassed for? I’m 29 years old!” Right

“Don’t abandon her now.”

Oh wow, we’re already to Saturday, the 27th

Satoru seems earnestly excited about visiting the museum

It’s like his childhood was the last time his present and future were clear

Once again, Satoru finds himself unable to change the way things happened the last time. His instincts lead him to the same situations. He hasn’t really grown up

And he realizes he ran into her by chance here, eighteen years ago. He’s not escaping the same rail

There are also other time-travel related risks – he’s repeating this multiple times, or is adjusting his memories to match his current actions. But those seem out of step with the style of storytelling – those are purely mechanical twists, not ones that would be meaningful/satisfying in an emotional/thematic sense

“I can change a lot through my own behavior. Believe it.”

He keeps fretting about changing the long-term, but Hinazuki is happy right now, and he needs to consider that as well

He just blurts out “you’re pretty.” Welp

Her mom has the red eyes

Satoru has absolute confidence

A story about what we can and cannot control, but put in these incredibly stark terms

Satoru is treating Hinazuki like something he can control and save

“With this one day, I definitely changed history”

Their teacher actually collaborated in creating a surprise birthday situation

A great warm moment at the party, shared with friends

Running across the screen, as if racing ahead of time. “I changed history!”

6 thoughts on “ERASED – Episode 4

  1. So…. is it safe to assume that the very somber and foreshadowing shot of the teacher talking with Satoru’s friend at the last episode’s cliffhanger was just them planning the surprise party?…Because if so, that was a pretty stupid way to keep the audience in suspense.

  2. The main problem with his “method” isn’t that much about whether the future can be changed or not (the time travel s here as a story device, nit the heart of the show), but that he thought he was the only one able to change anything and was too high on his White Knight fantasy.
    His knowledge of what will happens don’t makes him superior (the fact his knowledge is actually really limited adds to this.).
    He didn’t trusted the other enough (both his friends (treating them as nothing more than kids) and the adults (his mother and his teacher)) and wasn’t able to rely on them (the museum scene is a great demonstration of this : he’s still a solitary kid at heart, and he’s forcing himself into a role only because he thinks he’s the only one able to take action)

    • Well, knowledge of what will happen DOES make him a bit superior/more aware than the others – just not that much, given the enormous odds stacked against him. And frankly asking for help in his situation would have been… unlikely to end well. What was he to do, exactly? Say “hey, look, this is actually my 29 year old mind gone back in time, I know the future and need your help to prevent it”? Without that, anything he could have said would have been considered as either guesswork or the product of an hyperactive child’s fantasy. He also has to actively avoid the risk of being considered weird/crazy and being put under stricter supervision, which would limit his possibilities of action even further. He’s actually done quite a bit in the direction of trying to involve adults in indirect ways – and even so, no one seems willing to intervene even with Kayo’s obvious case of domestic abuse. I don’t really know what he could have done more. It’s a pretty nightmarish situation, knowing what’s coming and not having a realistic way to prevent it. Sure, Satoru not being the best at social skills doesn’t help, but it would take someone with abilities way below the average to actually make something useful out of it (and possibly with more knowledge of the facts).

      • Presenting it this way clearly won’t work. But there are other ways to introduce it. (And to be honnest, he has actually let his desire to help Kayo pretty clear to everyone.
        This is a pretty good reason to give for his actions.)
        He was sent in this situation completely unprepared (he just know what will happens, and not how, for once), and tried his best with his limited ressources, so you can’t really blame him for his actions.

        Then, indeed, the main problem with trusting adults is that any male adult/young man in his entourage is potentially the killer. That’s the reason his mother is killed in his future after all.

        • That too. Though he’s probably too quick to discount his friend Yuuki based on his emotions alone. But in general, it’s really a situation without exit. If he could rewind at will, at least, he could try gathering information before resetting the timeline and try again, but like this, he’s really in complete darkness.

          Again, yeah, he could have made up something, like “I’ve seen a suspicious man looking at Kayo-chan, I’m worried for her” and maybe someone would look into it because with these things better safe than sorry. But usually you’d expect the people most susceptible to this kind of hints would be her parents, and in this case they’re not exactly supportive. Not being able to find an ally in Kayo’s mom makes things tremendously harder, because no other adult could have a good reason to keep an eye on her 24/24.

          • And mainly : he compeletely changed his original goal to makes it fits with his abilities. To save Kayo to just have her pass the day of her original death as if History/Fate/Whatever will just solve everything from there, while, as long as the killer is able to act, nothing will change.
            Even if he was able to somehow protect Kayo forever, the killer wil just takes another victim (like, you know, the girl who is now all alone, since everyone sees her as a dirty thief.)
            Kayo is “only” the first victim after all.

            Though obviously, confronting such a person would already be hard for it’s 29 years old self, so as a kid it’s seemingly impossible.

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