In the large reservoir of anime it is surprising just how few titles focus on the concept of time travel. There are of course titles which feature time travel but few that make it the core focus. So here we have Boku Machi or ERASED, a tale about a mangaka time traveling to his childhood to prevent the deaths of children at the hands of a series killer. This series has some great presentation and direction though it does make it somewhat predictable in how it highlights what’s to come. Predictable does not mean boring though and this tale has a lot of heart. There are a number of great scenes that can play with your emotions and each episode does leave a feeling of dread for a tragedy to come. Though those episode cliffhangers do build up expectations which the ending fails to deliver.The female cast is ridiculously strong with Satorus mother being one of the best parenting figures one could have. Especially seeing as her initial impressions make her seem like a deadbeat parent. What is a shame is that one girl(Airi) in the cast is neglected despite having a great personality.
This is very much a slow paced show and a large amount of the shows runtime is devoted to one of the victims of the killer(Kayo) and Satoru’s efforts to free her from an abusive household. The tale is a moving one but it does push the main plot to the sidelines for quite a while. The mystery while not particularly deep provides the right level of intrigue to keep a viewer on their toes and a motive to keep a close eye on proceedings. There is a good bit of misdirection to keep you thinking and there are nice small touches throughout like the synchronisation of Satorus dialogue and monologue as well as the letterboxing of the past to give the feeling of being an outside observer. Some admittedly is a bit too forward in its execution but there is a lot of minor details that makes the story more interesting.
It does have its weaknesses as a show. Yuki Kajura provided a ill suited and uninspired soundtrack, the pacing can be too fast at times, the “villains” are exaggeratedly evil and to those looking for a smart mystery you will be disappointed. However I believe it’s positives do outway its negatives. Ultimately what decides your enjoyment of this show is your level attachment to the characters. The focus is clearly character driven and if you find yourself not caring for them, I am afraid the plot will not hold anything to compensate. But if you find yourself getting drawn into these character then I believe your experience with this show will be a positive one but remember to walk into it with the right expectations.