Looks like ERASED may truly be out of the woods at this point. Not only was this episode very strong, but it was strong in a way the show hasn’t consistently been, and really needed to express more of. This episode was understated and warm, focused largely on articulating the specificity of Hinazuki’s feelings, and it went a very long way towards giving the show a necessary emotional grounding. Satoru’s an alright character, but he can often feel more like the protagonist of a genre vehicle than an individual; he’s goal-oriented in a way that makes him feel too much like a narrative force. But Hinazuki is a person with a variety of feelings, and this episode gave her a chance to express them. I really enjoyed this one, and I hope the show stays at least close to this strong through the end.
You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below!
Opening with basically a horror sequence from Hinazuki’s perspective. Really strong stuff
“Who are you meeting and what are you doing this early in the morning?
She trusts him. It reminds me of the great Madoka conversations
She knows what he’s doing, and helps out in the ways she can
More about having people to rely on, and people who trust you. A social network is so important
Aya Nakanishi, an elementary schooler. Is she one of the victims? And she talks of courage as well
“If I called the police now, wouldn’t it cause someone trouble?” Evil teacher is evil
Lots of shots framing these characters from far away or through awkward angles, implying surveillance
Mr. Yashiro continues to keep the situation from escalating
“You’ll be separated from your mother.” “Nothing could make me happier.” Cutting flat expression on her face when she says this
She gives him his present. “This moment… I feel like I’ve waited forever.” Nice intimate shot of the gloves exchanging hands
Yep, the second victim. And this is the killer’s backpack
“It will work out”
So he brings Hinazuki directly to his own home
His mom figured out everything already, and even expected guests
Satoru’s mother calls Mr. Yashiro
Satoru’s mother being very supportive here
“We don’t use a nightlight at my house”
Satoru’s mother whacks him, and Hinazuki is briefly frightened by this, before realizing they’re just playing. Her slight expressions of abuse are pretty painful
And Hinazuki just stares at the breakfast. Seeing Hinazuki be repeatedly shocked by expressions of love in a good family home is heartbreaking. Definitely the core strength of this episode
And again, it’s all about trust. Trusting your home
The show has oversold expressions of her abuse before, but this is incredible. Great, great stuff. Letting the music largely overpower her sobbing is also good