Erased is one of those mystery animes/manga that makes it to the popular list of 2016 releases with a memorable plot. The supernatural, psychological mystery has a great concept that was documented in 9 volumes of the manga. Later the anime production was released as a 2016 winter series. Widely loved series comes with the list of these Top 20 Reasons to Watch/Read Boku Dake ga Inai Machi/Erased.
Alternatively Erased is also known by the title The Town Where Only I am Missing makes it a story laden with nostalgia. So, let’s travel back to 2016 and explore the reasons to invest time in Boku Dake ga Inai Machi or Erased.
Made in Memory (Plot Overview)
The premise of Boku Dake ga Inai Machi/Erased is a mystery supernatural, time travel. Satoru Fujinuma is struggling to survive life as a 29-year-old. He flips back in time in the dark alleys of the past to change something that has haunted him for years. Until he is convicted for the end of someone he loved with all his heart.
Sleek Suspense story
Top read Boku Dake ga Inai Machi or Erased holds the spot as a sleek suspense story with some supernatural intervention. The suspenseful series of childhood events that Satoru experienced is somehow interconnected with later parts of his life. The gripping suspense of the story is one of the main reasons why Boku Dake ga Inai Machi (Erased) manga sold millions of copies.
Works on the sci-fi fantasy typecast
The Boku Dake ga Inai Machi/Erased works primarily on the typecast sci-fi fantasy. The mangaka has used the typecast fantasy with the interesting twist of fighting an unknown enemy by going against time. Within twelve episodes the story has enough twists. Despite using the typical thriller with a second chance it engages the audience.
The murder mystery in the story is very dark and unexpected. The murder mystery is engaging but falls short of suspects. At each instance, something unexpected happens that erases the possibility of foreshadowing the story in any way. In a couple of areas though the story blindly looks like following the previously created works in the same genre.
Unlike the stereotypical time travel anime stories Boku Dake ga Inai Machi/Erased follows an upfront narrative technique. The story goes in a largely linear fashion that makes it easier to make sense of things. The narrative tones down the suspense by showing up one piece of the puzzle at a time. Manga Boku Dake ga Inai Machi/Erased does not heavily meddle around with clues that create a fit for all thrillers.
Strings of the mystery are attached to both the present and past. Peculiarly the action of the story does not only delve in past but brings along the monstrous killer face to face with his Satoru in present too. The 3 large chunks of the mystery are tightly interwoven into the narrative structure.
Main Character juggles roles
Before introducing the main character in detail, we have an overview of his social life. To start with 29-year-old Satoru is a struggling mangaka who works part-time as a pizza delivery boy. Later in the time-travel trope, he moves on to uncover the identity of a killer. The shift of him from a dull, loser persona to an attentive detective-like person.
Character introduction is Op
Boku Dake ga Inai Machi/Erased has a great kind of character introduction. The mystery anime gives us an insight into the life of characters in such a way that we cannot keep our interests out of them. The trauma of Satoru and the story of his past instantly capture the audience with depth. Even Satoru’s mother and kayo do not go unnoticed and make the viewers or rather the readers intrigued about their back story.
Hues of character-building
One thing that Erased does differently is it does not have a set pattern of character building. All the characters have a different progress style. For example, Satoru goes on to become stronger and creeps out of his traumatized self to make things better. Whereas his mother is portrayed with minimal realistic qualities as she is the figment of his past perception in the story.
Concept of Revival
Satoru’s ability that sends him back in time a couple of minutes before a tragedy is an interesting concept. Although the time travel anime have you used this kind of trope in some other stories but here it works as a chance of revival for the character’s acquaintances.
The hero or protagonist of Boku Dake ga Inai Machi has lost himself to trauma. Usually, the main characters are weak physically and the challenges they face make them stronger. However, in the case of Satoru things go on an emotional level. This hero grossed in trauma has to shed the wall of victimhood and guilt to embrace courage.
Focus on interactions
Satoru’s tale and experiences from childhood focus on giving the lesson about building bonds. Although many of his friends seem lost and socially awkward yet they are comforting. The comfortable interaction of the main character with children makes him an easy target to be convicted for murdering kids in the story.
Memorable female side-character
Kayo’s back story and bond with Satoru are very much shipped by the fans. Kayo is one of those side characters that add a lot of action to the story. Satoru’s efforts to save the girl have the power to make the audience invested in the story till the end. Kayo is the true motivation behind Satoru’s journey back in time the rest of the mystery follows after it.
Taking a look, at the story of Boku Dake ga Inai Machi from the philosophical lens we can find how the past affects the present. Being held back by past add guilt only adds to Satoru’s struggle. There are many dark and loveable philosophical themes.
Hitting Subject matter
First of all, taking up the dark subject matter of kids’ killing is a brave decision when it comes to making it in anime. Erased touches the subject in depth. Other than that the condition of Kayo adds to the darkness. She is a socially-awkward character because she is bullied, lacks communication skills, and is subjected to abuse at home. It is heartbreaking to watch.
The on and off switching of timelines in the story does well for the structure. Boku Dake ga Inai Machi’s narrative moving back and forth between Satoru’s present and past help the readers keep a track of clues. Alongside it shows justified character growth.
Erased has some really strong psychological points to trigger the question of the flawed existence of humanity. This short series has human drama that involves psychology and emotion in the mystery in the best possible way. The psychology of guilt and trauma is nicely summed up through the experiences of Satoru.
Seinen for sure
Unpopular opinion: Boku Dake ga Inai Machi might have failed as a mystery but it has a powerful story. We count it as a seinen animanga series because it has many themes. Time travel, mystery, psychology, emotional events, and dark as well as light subject matters, all of it. Erased simply gives all of it a memorable story.
Visual extravaganza with good music
Erased synonymously titled as The Town Where Only I am Missing loots away the heart of people. From grim to awe, the art style used in the manga and anime creates a stand-out point in all. The frames are so mesmerizing that whether you hate them or love them, you cannot ignore them. The cinematography also stands out with pretty skylines.
About the music, it has enjoyable OSTs and an up-beat op that is simply bliss…
Very unlikely for a murder mystery is to be called heartwarming. But Erased (The Town Where Only I am Missing) with its philosophical themes like a mother’s love for the child, young love, abuse, loneliness, and the tendency of humans to run away from problems; makes the viewer or reader feel something.