ERASED – Episode 5

ERASED finally had an episode where its weaknesses sadly overwhelmed its strengths. That likely comes down to the fact that this was apparently an outsourced episode – left to a new studio with very few credits to its name, it’s very easy for ERASED’s delicate balance between atmosphere and theatrics to lean into either melodrama or monologue-heavy doldrums. So I guess the good thing about this episode is that it reminded me how difficult it is to actually pull off a show like ERASED when it’s working? That’s an awkward silver lining, but I’ll take it.

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


Hinazuki is late!

Satoru goes to her house, but no one answers. She’s not in the shed, but an adult male visited it at some point. It seems like she’s dead, and her body’s inside with her parents

The kids playing in the snow, in contrast to the world around them

“We don’t know who did it yet, but we better do everything in our power to prevent it from happening again.” The adult world acts after the horrible thing has happened. They were unable to intervene in Hinazuki’s life even though they knew her family was abusive, and now it’s just “we’ll catch them”

“The kids shouldn’t have to remember something like this.” What childhood “should” be

“I didn’t make a difference”

“Thinking it’s your fault after the fact is just pointless.” Satoru’s power is actually a kind of curse – in real life, you have to accept what happens, and grow past it, and do better next time. Satoru’s power is the embodiment of “if only I’d done better the first time, everything would be alright.” But it’s not alright – that’s not the world we live in

“There’s only so much one person can do.”

“She moved to her grandmother’s home for personal reasons”

“There are differences in details, but we’ve definitely begun to go down the same flow of time as eighteen years ago”

It feels like this show is proposing almost a buddhist take on life. Things will happen. So much is outside of your control. You must be able to achieve peace and move forward in spite of that

The show is really hammering on this “everyone lies to the kids” thing

This scene with the mittens goes way too hard. Evil smile, screeching strings, bulging eyes, and a scream

And Satoru returns to his present moment. “That’s the reality I’m faced with”

“Getaway.” This show sure does know how to work as a thriller, though

“In the end, I’m under a bridge.” Sitting in a cardboard box under a bridge. The textbook dead end

“Let’s eat up first.” and then a cut to a picture of the last supper. Oh come on

Airi shows up to rescue him

Because Airi knows him and his mother, she trusts he didn’t do it. Personal connections

A social network you can trust, versus the general cultural mood, where people keep to themselves and don’t make a fuss, even when others are obviously in danger

Satoru changed Hinazuki’s death to March 3rd. A great victory

Looks like Airi either has a stepfather or is adopted

Intimidating city council guy meets with the pizza manager. So maybe the actual formal system is being positioned as at fault

Yeah, this episode’s direction is totally flat

“We’re all on the same side, so contact me too if you see him!” DUN DUN DUN

“If you’re worried about me, don’t call the police over to my house”

“My mom’s big brother and his wife live there. My parents live out in the country”

“How can I believe in you?” “It’s not that I ‘can.’ I want to believe in you.”

Airi’s father’s life was ruined by a chocolate bar, apparently

Aw dang, Airi’s house is on fire!

5 thoughts on “ERASED – Episode 5

  1. Sorry if this might sound stupid, but how do you know if an episode was outsourced to another studio? And does this mean that this episode in particular was not supervised by Tomohiko Ito?

    • You can see it in the credits. I can’t read Japanese myself, but I have friends who keep close tabs on this stuff, so they let me know.

      • I see. Interesting. Just looked it over myself and noticed that some of the usual names aren’t there, although the storyboard directors change over each episode. Would that explain the difference in quality?

        I know that these studios often outsource key frames and other aspects of production to other studios, but you’d think that’d just affect the visual quality/consistency.

        Sorry if there are too many questions. I just agree with you in that the second half felt a little dull. Airi’s story/flashback was also a little dull and made the whole “I trust you” think feel a little contrived. Anyway, here’s to hoping they pick things up a little and don’t rely solely on thriller effects just to push the narrative forward.

  2. I don’t think the show is proposing a ‘just accept it’ philosophy; instead it seems framed as a relatively straight up thriller, where Satoru has failed his first easy attempt to solve the problem and now has an even bigger motivation to keep trying and fight apparent fate (which we’ve found out can be changed). It also feels like kind of a letdown for the show to flip to what it’s doing now, because it’s suddenly gone to an action mode with overt (even cartoonish) violence and problems.

    As for the city council guy, well, I think we’re going to find out that he’s the culprit. Although I’m not great with matching up voices, I also think we can already guess who he is.

    (Some of the ease of guessing comes from the limitations on the story structure of mysteries, especially mysteries that are trying to play fair, as I think this one is.)

    • Funny thing is that you can actually catch a glimpse of the face of the culprit in the opening credits (the part where a bullet grazes Satoru’s face before the camera plummets down the side of the building – you can see the full frame of a man reflected in the glass shards).

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