Where we left off, Satoru and Yashiro are on the hospital roof, alone – Yashiro bubbling over with murderous intent and Satoru having allegedly just gotten his memories back.
Actually, the reality is that he got them back a while ago – when he touched Kayo and Hiromi’s son Mirai’s hand, as a matter of fact, but decided to play dumb for a little longer.
Yashiro explains to him the rest of his Dastardly Plan, how even if Satoru wins he can not do anything about his old child murders he had committed in previous towns before his attempt to murder Kayo was thwarted ,as the statute of limitations on those cases have long passed. Now, he has set in motion a plan to murder little Kumi the cancer patient via a poisoned IV drip, which he would frame Satoru for and disguise his subsequent murder as a suicide of regret.
However, Satoru isn’t the least bit afraid because now he sees right through Yashiro and tells him that he can not kill him, because his existence means too much to him. After all, he had waited out this whole fifteen years, watching over his comatose body, with Satoru’s awakening being the only thing he had to live for. Which is apparently true, and in the most ridiculous scene of the entire goddamn series so far Satoru falls off the building, prompting Yashiro to nearly kill himself out of grief until he realizes – pscyhe! – Satoru’s fall was broken by a very large mattress held by everyone who loves him.
Yashiro is then arrested for attempted murder and everyone lives happily ever after. Satoru becomes a successful manga artist and never experiences his Revival power ever again.
Man it’s going to be hard to be succinct with this, so I’m not even going to try. Prepare for lots of words.
The previous episode of Erased was so bad I probably would have ragequit the show if it hadn’t been the second-last episode, but this episode was so bad that it looped back around to being hilarious. I haven’t laughed so hard at a non-comedy anime in a really long time. This was all so goddamn ridiculous that I actually forgive Erased now, because making me laugh is a lot better than making me angry and I’m glad that it went out in a massive trainwreck instead of a disappointing fizzle.
What puzzles me is that I seem to be relatively alone in my opinion, because all over the internet people were absolutely gushing about how beautiful and heartfelt this episode was. It was even trending on twitter. I’m completely bamboozled by this because there was barely a single second of it that I could take seriously at all and the climactic scene with Yashiro and Satoru was just…seriously, what the hell. It was really hard writing that synopsis because I at least tried to make it not sound completely stupid but…it was. Now, I understand that the apparent implication is supposed to be more like Yashiro started to think of Satoru as like a son, to mirror the fact that Satoru was thinking of him as surrogate father right up until he went all evil anime-face on him…but. That’s really not what it look like. Yashiro speaks and acts like he is actually ragingly in love with Satoru, and the hamfisted reveal of this with such ridiculous lines as ”you filled the hole in my heart” and “i cannot go on living without you” after his weird tsundere ”NUH-UHHHH” fit had me cackling like an idiot because how could anyone have taken this seriously? We then get treated to all these flashback scenes of how Yashiro was acting while Satoru was still in a coma, such as hiding behind trees like a creeper and gazing longily at him like a schoolgirl with a crush as a nurse walks his comatose body around the garden in a wheelchair, but there is also one scene where he comes into his room, lifts a razor to his neck and…lovingly strokes and then shaves his face. That scene is going to haunt me for the rest of the year. Everyone is talking about the beautiful ending with Satoru going back to Sapporo to hang out with his buddies and reconnect but I’m sitting here unable to get over this goddamn hilarious scene with the tender coma face-shaving. In terms of hamfistedness I cant quite decide if the coma face-shaving or the dramatic ”IF SATORU IS DEAD THEN I, TOO, MUST NOW DIE!”scene where Yashiro lifts his arms up against the dramatic sunshine like he thinks he’s Jesus or something wins the ‘ridiculously over the top scene” award for this episode. It kind of just all goes together. Everything in this scene is just one giant mass of over-the-top, hilarious dialogue and it just dominates the entire episode to the extent that I really have no idea why no one else seems to be talking about it.
Putting aside the twist about Yashiro’s apparent Satoru-lust (if it’s at all possible for me),the whole ‘plan’ Satoru had really didn’t make much sense either. Basically, he had a phone in his pocket on call to Kenya so that Kenya would be able to hear (and record) a confession from Yashiro, because as dumb as Satoru is, he thankfully is at least smart enough to remember that Yashiro is the kind of scooby doo villain that talks at length about his dastardly plans and how he’s totally getting away with them. Obviously, he has nothing to fear from falling off the roof because he knows everyone is waiting to catch him. The problem is…I have no idea how he knew this. It was Yashiro’s decision to take Satoru to the roof, not his. Satoru had no contact with Kenya et al while he was on the roof, so even if they had deduced where he was and prepared the mattress…how did Satoru know they were there?! It made a big deal of showing that he intended to live as he tells Sachiko this with passion, which is how Sachiko would know that the ‘suicide text’ Yashiro sent from Satoru’s phone was fake. So it all being a fluke and Satoru accepting a roof-fall death only to be caught is out of the question too…especially considering that goddamn wink he gives Yashiro as soon as he sees him on the mattress. Either I missed something or there’s a glaring plothole here but I was too busy laughing at the whole stupid scene I stopped caring.
After all that nonsense, the ending is admittedly rather nice. The scenes of Satoru back in Hokkaido with the others as the credits roll are cute, and even though it’s a little forced, it is kind of nice that he ends up having that chance meeting with Airi after all, given that the ‘new’ future erased his previous method of meeting her – he had only been working at the pizza chain because he couldn’t make enough money off of drawing manga, but now he’s successful enough to live of it.
But, it really does drive home how after a certain point this entire show really did stop caring about characters that weren’t Satoru. Even Hiromi and Kayo are barely even shown next to each other, despite being married with a kid now, because the narrative simply doesn’t care about them enough anymore. Look, I dont expect a flashback about how they fell in love or anything, but some indication of the fact beyond Kayo having to actually say ”oh i married hiromi’ would be nice is all I’m saying. I did kind of like the reveal that the title ”a town where only I’m not there’ turned out to be referring to the other characters lives going on without Satoru for fifteen years – literally a town where he doesn’t (consciously) exist, but it’s still just a far too convenient way of not having to bother to tie up their stories. It’s weird to me that this show starting off as though it was going to be a really character-driven piece with Kayo at the centre, only for it to abruptly abandon that and become a murder mystery, only for it to abandon the ‘mystery’ aspect of that entirely and then become…whatever the fresh hell kind of hero story this is. I mean, it definitely could have ended worse with a lot more Satoru worship, but in all, this show really turned into a major disappointment. At least I laughed.
Out of 5,
I have no idea. This episode was pretty bad, but it was also absolutely hilarious so I can not say I didn’t enjoy watching it. Instead of a rating, have a screenshot of the tender coma face-shaving.
Erased could have been one of the best shows of the year, and instead it landed smack in the middle of the running for biggest disappointment. Like I said, the type of show it seemed to be trying to be kept changing, and in the end I honestly have no goddamn idea what it was trying to say. Despite it being about Satoru trying to save people, it somehow manages to make them all so secondary to the narrative about how amazing he is that it fails as a character piece, it fails utterly dismally as a murder mystery for the reasons I already outlined in the episode 10 review, and the last two episodes were just so ridiculous in execution that I couldn’t take anything seriously at all. Looking back, it’s hard to believe how good the show actually was up until about halfway through. It’s not Samurai Flamenco levels of flying off the rails by any means, but if we’re going by that metaphor it’s more like it just kind of changed tracks and then crashed. I feel like it’s supposed to be about a guy with a shitty life who gets the opportunity for a redo and through actually opening up to multiple people and maintaining friendships, achieves a much happier present…although the whole cop-out with the 15 year coma giving the writer the easy way out on avoiding any character development or having to think up pesky reasons for circumstances kind of sours all of that too.
I’ve seen multiple people now saying that the anime didn’t do the manga justice, both because it was far too rushed and because it apparently both cut out and changed some ‘important things”. I’d really like to know what these are so I’m going to read the manga, but if the manga really is a much better experience I’m going to be pretty sad and disappointed that I ruined the story by watching the anime first.
Half of the episodes were good enough, and the last episode stupidly funny enough, that I don’t regret watching Erased, which is probably the best praise I can give it. It was not the show I wanted it to be, but at least I don’t entirely feel like I wasted my time watching it.
Grading something with such a vastly different first and second half is insanely difficult so all I can really do is give it a half grade.
Out of 5,