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ERASED Episode #03 Anime Review

4 min read

Erased Episode 3Supporting someone who truly needs it is the greatest purpose most could wish for.

What They Say:
Satoru is determined to prevent Kayo from getting kidnapped before her birthday. He goes to her place to see her, but… is he too late?

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Satoru has made contact with Kayo and mustered up the courage and charisma to invite her to his birthday party as the first part of his plan to save her, ideally saving his mother and the freedom of Yuuki, an important adult figure from his childhood, in the process. He’s racked his brain to remember everything he had ever been aware of regarding Kayo’s disappearance from eighteen years ago and piece together what he can in order to formulate the best plan. The only problem is that he needs Kayo’s cooperation, and it can be hard to get the sense of urgency across when you’re pushing thirty and forced to play the part of a ten-year-old. Satoru accepts this challenge, always seeking out the best way to connect with Kayo and put her down a path that would protect her from a vulnerability that would render this eighteen-year rewind pointless.

This episode is not for the faint of heart. For that matter, any who can find the act of watching this episode a wholly pleasant experience are not among those I would choose to associate with, unless the concept of empathy for the fictional is foreign, in which case I’d question the choice to consume fiction in the first place. For the rest of us, this episode hurts to watch. Child abuse is depicted with disturbing realism, visceral and powerful but not glorified or sensationalized. The writing again makes it so effective; seeing these reprehensible actions through the eyes of a full-grown man trapped in the body of a child carries a sense of helplessness, to say nothing of the broken little girl who has been the victim of this torture since before she could comprehend it. It’s a sure bet to get every viewer on the same page of celebrating the catharsis that this should eventually lead to, but it also reminds us that the Kayo of the original timeline found mercy only in death, a horrific thought for any, but especially for someone so young. Good fiction makes us think about reality, and the most tragic thing about these scenes is how true to life this all is, a cruel but essential memo that this happens all the time without magical anime powers to stop it.

Seeing that Kayo’s situation is even worse than he anticipated and experiencing firsthand just how little a ten-year-old can do about that alone, Satoru accepts that he’ll need to confide in others, while omitting obvious parts that would lose any trust others would place in him. His teacher is someone he feels a connection to, being the same age (in that weird way that only works in this time-reset scenario) and clearly being very smart. He seems like the saint that Satoru needs by his side to save Kayo from her first problem before even considering her second, but there’s a suspicious air that surrounds him, especially near the end of the episode. Satoru’s childhood friend Kenya similarly seems like the greatest friend one could ask for and even appears to be more mature than Satoru despite presumably being an actual child, but the final scene of the episode puts him in the same questionable category. Yuuki is just as enigmatic, far too sketchy to bestow with Satoru’s faith. The suspense is as gripping as the disgusting acts of violence displayed, making this the best mystery anime in some time on top of everything else.

In Summary:
How this series continues to get better at this rate is baffling. This time, it goes for material that elicits very strong emotion but doesn’t take it lightly or use it cheaply. The mystery is building up all around the cast, helping the connection with Satoru to become even more solid for the viewer.

Grade: A-

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Roku 3, Sceptre X425BV-FHD 42″ Class LCD HDTV.

Erased Episode 3-1