Before watching Boku Machi, or ‘Erased’ as it will be known on Crunchy Roll and other western media outlets, I had decided to write a first impression of sorts.
After watching the first episode, I have decided to write a review considering how amazed I was by the work that was put into this anime.
BOKU MACHI: EPISODE ONE REVIEW
The protagonist of the series was introduced in a very subtle manner. Not much was mentioned directly but indirectly we see a lot. We see how he is older than the crowd, we see how he is struggling with his dream to become a manga artist and we see how miserable he seems all the time, unable to laugh with his co-workers in regards to simple jokes.
In other words, he seems very depressed with life. He is a troubled man who has reached middle-age without having accomplished anything and it is very relatable.
Everything seems ordinary until his mysterious gift of ‘Déjà vu’ shows up. This took me by surprise and I was amazed. He has the ability to fix wrongs that happen around him, yet nobody knows what is doing. However, being the good guy that he is, he knows that with power comes responsibility and despite it not wanting to get involved in anything, he has to put his life in danger to save those around him.
He’s a modern day superhero where he is very normal but his actions and reactions to his instinct like ability allows him to help others around him on a day-to-day basis.
I thought this girl was very charming and cute and I shipped them together immediately in my head because this is the type of girl he needs in his life. She can talk to him on a level, she can make him smile even though he is always miserable and she he even claims she respects him. Unfortunately, she has placed him in the friend-zone considering there is an age gap between them.
The scene in which she has taken him to the hospital where she mentions how she has sorted the matter with the boss despite it not being her responsibility was very cool. The whole scene was very interesting as it is the first time the two characters actually get to know a little about each other and it is all just great dialogue. There is no music in the background, no gimmicks; nothing of the sort. It is simple and beautiful and I really appreciated this scene and it stood out to me for some reason.
Perhaps it was the quote:
“If you say the words over and over, it’ll actually happen somewhere along the line.”
Introducing the Mother
I love how the mother was introduced out of nowhere after it was implied that he had no family. Mind you, she wasn’t a conventional mother you see every day in Japanese anime and drama-series. She was a realistic modern day mother and they had a very realistic relationship.
The mother was smart, understanding and knows how lame her son can be so tries to guide him in the right way. She knows he is smart and has more potential than to the standard he is living at. I love how she even tried playing match-maker in the most subtle of manners.
Introducing the Mystery
Notice how the plot was introduced so casually that the mystery had developed before we even knew it. We knew something was supposed to happen as the déjà vu with the flying balloons occurred. Satoru saw nothing but his mother grew suspicious of the man with the child.
Suddenly she decided to mention Satoru’s childhood trauma, the one she had tried to ‘erase’ from his mind. It was so traumatic that he had decided to supress his own memory but it was later revealed in the form of a flashback and boy was that flashback brilliant.
A figure in his childhood whom he adored who is shown as a great role model to Satoru and then being locked away for being a serial kidnapper and murderer. Children from his class in school having being abducted and killed. The anime became very dark all of a sudden and darker still as it is revealed the killer is still alive and the wrong man had taken the fall for it.
And then the murder; the murder that was coming but we were all hoping it wouldn’t. It was brilliantly executed and I believe there is a lot more to this plot than what meets the eye.
I love how the mother was such a strong figure that even in death she wanted to let Satoru know that he was right, his friend ‘Yuuki’ was not the killer and she should have believed him.
It is time for Satoru to revisit his past and find out what really happened in order to fix things in the future.
Introducing the Anime
The whole first chapter was simply an introduction to the anime but my word what an introduction. If I wanted to be introduced to anybody, this is the way I want it to be. So subtle and intriguing that I would be seen as this mysterious and interesting guy that people would pay attention to. Not that I like being the centre of attention or anything but it is nice to be seen in such light.
The story is set, the characters introduced and the audience has been drawn in. I will predict it now; this will be the greatest anime of this season. I can’t see how you can beat that first episode. Nothing to this date can top this episode for me. Not even Attack on Titan.
Overall I believe the concept of the show is great. There is mystery, there is murder, there is suspense and there is time-travel. What more can a guy like me ask for? Psychological, time-travel thrillers are the best types of anime!