Anime Review: Erased (Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi)

I’m always a sucker for a good mystery and — as there is a number of good crime/mystery anime out this season — the Anime producers out there seem to have gotten that.

Erased is a murder mystery with a super-powered twist. The premise is this: the main character is forcibly sent back in time every time a violent crime/accident occurs in front of him in order to prevent that crime/accident from occurring. Accordingly, a new murder sends him further back in time than he has ever gone (about two decades I think) to the time when he is an elementary school student and the protagonist must prevent the murder he witnessed in the present day while living his life as an elementary school student with the memories and life experiences of an adult.

It’s science-fiction combined with crime-mystery. It’s science fiction in that people often day dream about what they would do in their lives if they could go back in time and do things with the knowledge they have now. It’s crime-mystery in that the protagonists powers always send him to the point in time where he can prevent the violence, so the protagonist must follow the clues in order to save the victims who have already died in the prior timeline and find out the killers identity.

Erased is fun and emotional. Many parts choked me up. Many parts had me on the edge of my seat. As with many time travel stories, there is always a scene where the protagonist goes to a potential future where everything is wrong and somehow can’t find a way to time travel back to fix things. Of course — as in other time travel stories — the protagonist does find a way to go back and does fix things.

The ending was bitter sweet, but definitely left me satisfied. Throughout the season, I was often reminded of other time travel stories, especially The Butterfly Effect (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0289879/). Even considering the predictable trajectory of the story, I enjoyed this series very much.

Score: 7.8/10 Additionally, it was fun to see the intro to each episode change with the plot, as if the timeline was changing along with the protagonist’s actions.

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