Satoru Fujinuma is a young man with a supernatural ability that he has called ‘Revival’ – whenever something very bad is just about to happen when he is around, he will go back in time a minute or so. When this happens, he has to quickly look for something that seems off in order to prevent what ever tragedy is about to occur.
The first example of this we see when en route to deliver a pizza – he determines that the thing that isnt right is a truck with an unconscious driver which he manages to chase down in order to prevent it from running over a young boy. The boy is safe but Satoru is injured and wakes up in hospital.
He does make a miraculous recovery, however his mother Sachiko comes to live with him from Hokkaido out of apparent concern. But that might not be her only reason for visiting. While they are together, she reminds him of an incident that happened during his childhood where a classmate named Kayo Hinazuki was kidnapped and murdered. The culprit was determined to be an older man who regularly hung out with the child Satoru…or was it? For whatever reason, Sachiko has become suspicious that the case was never properly solved – which is just as well, because it seems like the true culprit is still out there, and what’s worse, he seems to know that Sachiko knows.
When Satoru comes home one day to find Sachiko murdered, the panic sets him into Revival mode again. Only this time, instead of only travelling back a few minutes he travels all the way back to his childhood…
It might be a little too early to declare the best of the season yet, but Boku Dake ga Inai Machi sure is in the running. I’d been looking forward to this show and it doesn’t disappoint. The synopsis may seem a little convoluted, and it was difficult to simplify it as best as I could – however the episode itself is very well written and my summary doesn’t quite do it justice.
At the heart of the plot is a mystery and a tragedy, and I’m interested to find out if Satoru’s time slip is ‘permanent’ or if he will be jumping between timelines. After all, his original reality is a world in which Kayo Hinazuki has not existed since 1988, and his time slip at the end of the episode is most likely leading to how he can prevent that (as well as the eventual murder of his mother.) Very little is revealed about Kayo in this episode but she’s certainly going to be the most important character in the show, and her continued existence if her life is saved is likely going to greatly affect the ‘present’ time. (While the official english title of the show is ‘Erased’, the Japanese translates to ‘a town where only I’m not there’ – but at this point it’s hard to tell who the ‘I’ is referring to. ‘Boku’ is usually masculine, but if Kayo is a tomboy it makes more sense to be about her. But it also raises the possibility of Satoru having to die in her place.)
I feel like I’ll have a better judge of the characters in the show in the next episode when we get to see more of child-Satoru and especially Kayo, but so far I really like Sachiko. It’s rare that we get to see such an awesome anime mum who is this important, cool and intelligent. Her death in this episode could easily just be one of those annoying ‘catalyst for another characters development’ things that happen to nearly every anime mum relevant to a plot, yet it’s also hard to call her ‘dead’ when Satoru has just gone back in time to prevent everything. Whatever happens to her, I really look forward to seeing how her 1988 self differs from her present self. The only character I’m confused about now is Satoru’s highschool-age workmate Airi, who is presented as though she is an important character. Does she tie into his past somehow, despite likely not being born yet? Could she be a relative of Kayo’s? Only time will tell.
This is a strong start to what could be an amazing show, and I’m really excited to find out what’s going to happen. Whether I blog it or not it’s on the watch list for sure.
Out of 5,