Posted on 31 March 2016 with categories: Anime Reviews, Boku dake ga Inai Machi, Reviews by AidanAK47

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.

Posted on 27 March 2016 with categories: Boku dake ga Inai Machi

As I said before, an ending can change your entire perception of a series and in Boku machi’s case the ending is …decent. I can’t say I have any problems with it and I could consider it good. In all honestly it was hard to imagine a case where we could get an ending better than this considering the circumstances of how the last episode ended. A bombastic showdown between Satoru and Yashiro would be uncharacteristic of the show so far and Satoru’s current state stops them from having any real confrontation. So what it all boils down to is Satoru giving him a mental probing and egging him on to push him off a ledge. All to incriminate him so they can arrest him. Presentation wise, I like it. But when looking at it from a closer perspective I admit that Satoru’s plan looked to require a lot of assumptions. For one, how did he know Yashiro would push him off the roof? How did Yashiro manage to poison one of the medicines used in that girl’s surgery? How did they prevent that from happening? How did Satoru’s friends manage to inflate a cushion without drawing suspicion and where did they get one? There was also issues with the large amount of padding in this episode as it flashed back to scenes that happened not all that long ago.Lastly, no matter how it’s presented, having friendship be shown as the reason Satoru beats Yashiro is cringe worthy. Friends and connections are great and everything but when you outright state that your victory is owed to a little help from your friends then it always sounds lame. The biggest issue of all was the feeling of padding through this episode. The pacing has always been fast but for this episode things slowed down to a crawl as we go back to how Satoru got his memories back, have several sappy unnecessary speeches and reiterate what has already happened in the series. When looking over the episode you can see that not a lot actually happened in it and if this was the case I would have preferred to forgo the speeches and flashbacks for more scenes of the epilogue. One thing in particular that I felt needed much more fleshing out was Airi. It was an odd decision for Airi to be given such limited screentime if in the end she was to emerge the “Victor”. To someone watching the series, Satoru’s reaction to Airi looks to be a major overreaction so putting some extra time in the end for the two to bond under the bridge would have made a better conclusion than ending on an emotional reunion between our main and a character with very little screentime.

As per usual, I tend to check episode reviews on a show before writing these in order to gain an idea on the consensus of what was presented. The end of this show looks to have caused a division in the fanbase. Some express disappointment while others feel satisfied. I went out of my way to watch a youtube video from someone(Who I shall not name) who actively disliked the show. It was interesting to say the least as there were aspects of his argument I argeed with but didn’t see quite as detrimental to the series as he believed. What I found most fascinating was when this person made a comparison between this series and Steins Gate as he looked to deem that flawless while many of his problems he had with this series reflected my problems with Steins Gate. Such as a beginning which made it hard to invest myself in the story or some rather arbitrary rules for time travel.(One of the particularly amusing things I find about Steins Gate is that it’s explanation for Time travel isn’t time travel. It is in fact sliding as Okabe is traveling between alternate realities. Not traveling through time.) Through when thinking about this I noticed that the two shows do hold similarities. Now, I am aware that if you break down a show to it’s base components you can find similarities between virtually anything but still. Both shows hold a lie in its premise. Steins gate being that it alludes to be about a ragtag group taking on a elusive corporation with aid of a makeshift time machine. What it is actually about is a more traditional tale of someone trying to right a wrong after abusing time travel. Boku Machi in turn alludes to a tale about a mature man returning to his childhood to have a cat and mouse game with a serial killer. What it is actually about is more a character drama and thriller with Satoru attempting to right the wrongs in his past. In this regard I believe I see how there are those who were disappointed in how this all ended. Cliffhanger endings of each episode keep building up expectations the show wouldn’t deliver so I think what will determine your enjoyment of this series will depend on which aspects you focus on. I could go further but if I was to be perfectly honest I would state Boku Machi is the stronger of the two; simply because it took less time to get to it’s point. Say what you will but I am sure much of the praise for Steins Gate is for it’s second half and not it’s rather story light first half.

Certainly through all my moaning and complaining you might believe that I am discontent with this series now that it has finished; with that you would be incorrect. I may be acting overly critical but I am still quite pleased with how the series turned out. This may be because I lost interest with the manga over time and found the series kept that interest better than reading the story on paper. If I had a problem with the series it would be with Yuki Kajura because she really did not try with this soundtrack. It didn’t match the series in the slightest. Honestly Yuki; you can do better than this. I also consider this ending to be better to the manga equivalent which was disappointingly anti-climatic. You may consider this ending anti-climatic as well but in the manga we had over ten chapters building up a showdown between Satoru and Yashiro that ultimately gets resolved in a second. I found it rather dull and would swear that the manga was axed at just how quickly it all resolved. In that regard I think the anime did it better. Was there a better way to end this series? Maybe, but I pick the ending that didn’t set up the finale to be more than what it was.

Posted on 18 March 2016 with categories: Boku dake ga Inai Machi, Currently Watching:

When Satoru was almost killed I expected him to survive and I thought that it was likely going to result in him getting pulled out or time travel. What I didn’t expect was a time skip. Satoru was indeed pulled out of the car; however because of the incident he was put into a coma for fifteen years. All the while Sachiko was once again proving she’s likely the best mother in anime; what with her not only taking care of him all those years but even going out of her way to exercise his limbs so that that his muscles aren’t dead from underuse. This isn’t in the episode but there was a point where doctors attempted to convince her to pull the plug on Satoru and her answer was a short and resolute “Fuck you”. Well we are back in a new future and with it we have a massive change in characters and the narrative. A large part of this episode was dedicated to Satoru attempting to regain his now scrambled memory. A nice touch to the episode is that his inner monologue is now narrated by his child self rather than being narrated by his older self. Another nice touch was removing Satoru from the opening. Showing that he hasn’t quite regained his standing. What is likely to scorch many a viewer was the revelation about Kayo who is now happily married and with a child. I admit that even myself am not entirely unscathed by the revelation; especially when the series hinted heavily at them becoming an item. Though personally it makes sense that Kayo wouldn’t wait for a guy she knew only for a short period during childhood and while I don’t look at it this way, it removes the thought that Satoru “won” Kayo. I am sure there are those who could look at this as a Genji Monogatari situation if Kayo ended up becoming Satoru’s wife so at least that notion can be tossed aside and we can see that Satoru truly is just happy to see her living a full life.

Due to hearing that this episode diverged quite a bit from the manga, I made it a point to read up on how the manga dealt with the events in this episode and I can confirm that the anime has more or less gone anime original. Is that a bad thing you wonder? Well truthfully I am uncertain. The manga does expand upon questions of what went on while Satoru was in a coma and the process of him reclaiming his memory is a much more gradual process than the almost instant revelation at the end of this episode. One particular thing I wish was kept was Yashiro’s backstory which a small part was given during this episode’s opening but their is much more to his past. If you are interested then you can read chapter chapter 32 of the manga as it is dedicated to detailing his past. Another thing I wish they hadn’t changed was the change of having Yashiro prevent the photographers from deframing Satoru instead of Airi. Airi encountering Satoru was a big part of helping him regain his memory though I believe the reason it was left out was because it also caused him to slip into a coma again for another year. That and Airi hasn’t had much of a presence in the anime series. But as I said before, this doesn’t mean I think the manga did it better. It is true you get more detail and a more gradual recovery from Satoru but it’s very uneventful. When watching this episode I was already getting impatient with Satoru as it really was just a waiting game of him realizing what the audience already knows. The manga is ten thirty page chapters which are mainly about Satoru recovering his memory. It is long, drawn out and I found myself getting bored as I read. This is good moments in this but if animated I could certainly see people getting frustrated with the almost agonizingly slow pace. I can only imagine how manga readers felt as each monthly chapter moved the plot along at a snail’s pace. The anime pretty much trimmed the fat and gave us the cliffs notes on what happened though the final confrontation is different.

We missed a small cat and mouse game between Yashiro and Satoru as they prevent him from taking another victim and skip right to a head on conflict which is a little bit of a shame. But we do have tension as Yashiro gets closer to Satoru as a friend to likely keep an eye on him. I find it engaging as it tempts the situation of Yashiro saying something to trigger Satoru’s memories or the potential possibility of him deciding to silence Satoru for good. The anime’s pacing is faster and more to the point, perhaps too fast. So you may understand my indecisiveness in deciding which handled the story better. On one side you have a fast to the point version of events which leaves out the finer details and on the other you have a far too slow version which gets boring at points but has far more of a build up. I guess the deciding factor on which approached it the best will be the next episode of the anime as I certainly have no idea what Satoru has planned considering he revealed that he has his memory back to the killer when he’s in no position to fight back. That isn’t the only thing the next episode decides as I have said once before on the finale of Madoka. This last episode is what decides Erased/Boku Machi’s status for the future. Either a must watch classic every anime fan needs to see or it being that show that was really good up until the ending. An ending can change your entire outlook on an anime and I certainly hope that this one doesn’t disappoint.

Posted on 12 March 2016 with categories: Boku dake ga Inai Machi, Currently Watching:

Satoru and friends have saved Kayo and now with very little effort; have saved the other two targets as well. I am a little disappointed at how quickly and easily this was resolved when you consider how long it took to save Kayo. I originally considered this a victim of the anime adaption trimming the manga down to fit the runtime but after having read the manga up to this episode I found that is not the case. The problem was fixed just as fast there and the only major difference is more focus on Kayo which I am glad they cut out. A lot of it was really unnecessary and was more just an additional unneeded epilogue. So one target is saved when she gets a crush on one of Satoru’s friends and starts hanging out with them. The other is saved simply by them hanging out with him more. In regards to this the other two victims feel like an afterthought. Though Satoru is well aware that taking away the murderers targets isn’t going to stop him and one of his friends brings up that thanks to his previous actions; a new girl is now a new perfect target for the killer. So he decides that he will save her as well.

Then we have the wham moment; the point we have all been waiting for. The murderer is revealed to be…Yashiro, Satoru’s teacher. I would shout in glee that I called it if it wasn’t so obvious that many others would be doing the same. If you have been watching close enough it would have been clear that the murderer couldn’t be anyone other than Yashiro and so the obvious suspect from the start turns out to be the murderer. Now, I don’t like beating a dead horse but I must bring up another anime which did this exact same thing in order to get my feelings across; Subete ga F ni Naru. That too had a mystery that ended up with a murderer that was completely obvious. It spent a majority of its time dangling a carrot in front of the viewer when any average person’s logical deduction could figure out just what the carrot was. So why is it that when Subete revealed its obvious murderer I was immensely disappointed; yet when Boku Machi does essentially the same thing why am I am not angry? Well I believe it’s a matter of substance. With Subete, everything depended on the mystery. Truly it had nothing else and if I was willing to rewatch it I would be bored as with the mystery revealed all that remained would be pretentious dialogue and a romance with no payoff or investment. With Boku Machi that isn’t the case. There are plenty of great characters and moments I would love to see again; the reveal doesn’t devalue the events before it. Sure, it’s predictable but boring? No. Ultimately this wasn’t a show that was primarily about the mystery aspect but rather more about the people surrounding it. If anything I am glad they decided to pick someone who makes sense as opposed to making it some background character with little screentime solely for shock value. There is also value in that despite being so sure it was him; this show actually made me unsure momentarily about it at times. As others have said, he was so obvious that many had concluded that he couldn’t be the killer and was just a red herring. Like Satoru we had the facts staring us in the face but the teacher was such a likable guy that we didn’t really want to believe it.

From the moment Satoru entered the car it felt ominous. Really with the nervous tapping of Yashiro on the steering wheel and his increasingly worrisome statements getting a bit extreme you could tell the reveal was coming. It was only a matter of when Yashiro would say the words and when he did, it hit Satoru like a truck. On the reveal I feel the manga’s version of Yashiros face as he unveils it trumps his anime counterpart. The anime made his triumphant smile a bit too much like a scumbag; his smile in the manga was more constrained and with that a lot more disturbing. Admittedly what follows is essentially a villainous monologue about how he couldn’t believe that Satoru was anticipating all his moves and that he may just know that Satoru came from the future. Saying that he respects Satoru for beating him and thanks to his efforts the town is now safe from Yashiro. Though now Satoru pays for that victory with his life which gives some context to the title “A town only without me”. The cliffhanger this week isn’t much of one as it suggests Satoru might die drowning in Yashiros car. We have two episodes left, Satoru has time travel powers that could kick in at any moment and he shouted a line at Yashiro which would certainly have him considering pulling him out to hear what he has to say. I am hoping they elaborate on just why Yashiro is doing all this; they gave hints with him speaking about using illegal methods to fill up the hole in his life but I would like more concrete reasoning. But with the limited time left and a lot of manga to cover that could be a tall order.

Posted on 5 March 2016 with categories: Boku dake ga Inai Machi, Currently Watching:

We come to the climax of Kayos arc and the time when that mother of hers gets what’s coming. Admittedly I would have preferred that the payback was a little more forceful as they essentially cornered her and killed her with kindness. A character like Kayos mom is a difficult one to make deep, as many writers just resort to the minimum effort of characterisation. An abusive parent whose abusive because they are. By making a character unapologetically evil and them being unaware of the right of their actions just spurs a feeling of wanting to slap some sense into these idiotic simpletons. While this shows efforts didn’t quite make Kayos mom a more complex individual; at least it tried to give some logic behind her actions. I truly appreciate that it recognised that Kayos mom had gone too far to become sympathetic by showing the onlookers to be largely unaffected by Kayos breakdown into tears. I now understand just how she came to beat Kayo; namely because of the stress of being a single mother and that Kayo was a reminder of a previous incredibly abusive relationship she had with her husband. But while I understand why she came to do what she did; that doesn’t excuse the fact that she’s beating the crap out of her daughter. I feel her plight is even more apathetic when you consider that we have a perfect example of a single mom in Sachiko to contrast her with. Cry all you like; I am not going to forget that just minutes ago you nearly took Sachiko’s head clean off with a snow shovel. I admit that this resolution to Kayos problem is a little too quick and clean. Though having this all done does serve to benefit the story seeing as the heavy focus of Kayo put the main plot to the sideline a bit too much.

On that note this show certainly is making an effort to remove suspicions from the teacher being the murderer and I find myself questioning it. Before I was dead set that he was the one but now he has become so suspicious that I begin thinking he’s a red herring. He remains prime suspect due to the fact that there is no other characters who fit the bill but that would make Satoru’s view as a father figure quite tragic. The big reveal of a stash of candy in his car compartment almost seems like a dead giveaway but his explanation behind it is so quirky that I find myself believing it. So with Kayo out of the way we have moved on to the other two victims of the killer and I fear Satoru is making a big mistake. He’s continuing as through the pattern of murderers will follow the same path but he has interfered with it. The episode ends with an ominous shot of the girl who previously attempted to fame Kayo for stealing money following Satoru’s friends. Heavily hinting that she may be the next victim. Personality this looks like a fake out as it’s likely the animators thought they needed to carry the tread of ending every episode with a cliffhanger. Chances are she will follow the boys and get involved with what’s going on. Though the chance of her ending up as a new target is quite high. It would act as a perfect wake up call for Satoru to realise how his actions have consequences.

As this episode ends the ever looming question remains. Just how do they plan to cover the rest of the manga in the remaining episodes. We have reached a point where they have too much to cover and yet have gone through the story so much that there’s not enough left for a second season. As I see it we have two outcomes to this. One is that they plan on announcing  a OVA or movie at series end to conclude the series. The other is that they plan to rush the remainder of the content at mach speed. Considering the level of care that has gone into this adaption; outcome two seems unlikely. There is no way they planed out these episodes and didn’t see the issue of the remaining content. That would just be a densely grave oversight. A movie seems like the most likely option and the best one. It would give them the remaining time they need to conclude the story and up the production values. Boku Machi is a show that deserves a worthwhile ending.

Posted on 27 February 2016 with categories: Boku dake ga Inai Machi, Currently Watching:

A calm episode of Boku Machi this week but certainly a very strong one. The teacher looked to be removing suspicions on him this episode with his efforts to get child services to finally catch Kayos mom. However my prime suspect remains him and if anything I think hes proving his guilt. Removing the camera shots that make him look suspicious; we have some things here linking him to the killer. For one, the kids discovered that the bus they were keeping Kayo in was also being used as the killer’s hideout. Kenya mentioned that the bus was used by the school and abandoned. Which stands to reason that the killer knew that the bus wasn’t being used as well and is connected with the school. The teacher is the one calling social services on Kayos mom; which stands to reason that he’s the perfect person to tip her off about the visits. But then why get social services to investigate in the first place? Well it looks like he isn’t the only one concerned with Kayos situation and Sachiko is involved as well. He might be doing it for the sake of appearance. His knowledge that Satoru had hidden Kayo is also suspicious; it’s possible to come to that conclusion but I feel he was so certain because he knew that they were using his hideout as a place to hide her. You can’t fool me, mister teacher. You are still my prime suspect.

Satoru thankfully takes my advice and decides to trust in his mother after the base is compromised. If Sachiko hasn’t won the award for best mother in anime before this; she certainly has now. Taking Kayo in and giving her all the care in the world made the second half of this episode truly heartwarming. Also a bath scene that wasn’t pandering fanservice. See anime? You can do it if you try. It could be argued that we are spending too much time on Kayo and putting the main storyline to the wayside. Especially as we are reaching the end of the series and still have a large amount of material to cover. I do have my concerns about that but frankly this was an excellent episode. In particular the scene with Kayo crying at the sight of a lovingly made breakfast was truly powerful and moving. Truly masterfully done. The thing that makes it all the more effective is that Kayo up till this point had been very mature child. She never cried at being abused by her mother, or at anything she would have every right to cry about. But when faced with genuine unconditional love, all the barriers she set up melted away and she became a kid once again. I am impressed by that scene and particularly annoyed when Yuki Kajiura wormed her piano song into in and started get me thinking how it’s too damn similar to Fate/zero and that using piano for this scene is so damn lazy and goddamn it Yuki! Gah! Personal gripes with that aside it was well executed scene.

I remain in a strange position with this show. For you see I do think this has been done wonderfully so far and I want to lavish praise on it. But part of me is reserved on doing so because this show isn’t over and I feel if I begin to push it as anime of the season I risk jinxing the remainder of its run. Then there is the big worry, the fact that this anime has been confirmed to portray the manga ending, yet it has only covered about half the manga so far and we have only four episodes left. I am praying in my heart that there is a second season in the works or at least a small series of OVA episodes because no matter how good the execution has been so far, I cannot see the situation of shoving twenty one thirty page chapters of manga into a short time frame ending well. Of course, I want to be wrong on that, I want this to all work out. Well in coming back to the episode we have Kayos mom getting antsy now that Kayo isn’t around to let her take out her frustrations. But this episodes cliffhanger looks like she will finally be getting some just desserts.

Posted on 23 February 2016 with categories: Boku dake ga Inai Machi, Currently Watching:

From back to the future to back to the past and not a moment too soon. Satoru’s plan is something I find a little strange as despite his efforts to save Hinazuki’s it making it easier for her to get killed. Taking Hinazuki away from her mother is a good call, leaving Hinazuki alone in an abandoned location is not the right call. It’s a little bit of pity that Satoru was stopped before pushing Hinazuki’s mom down the stairs, even if Kenya made a good call in stopping him. That fall could very likely kill her and as satisfying as that would be, it wouldn’t put Satoru in the best position. This time around it’s nice to see the little details as this is Satoru’s third third going through all this and he’s a bit more in control. One really interesting detail is that when the surprise party happened, the reaction from Satoru was more forced than his initial reaction the first time. When looking at his eyes you could tell he was expecting it.

Satoru’s plan this time around was far from perfect and I believe his first mistake was trusting Kenya. Due to my suspicions of the teacher I never quite trusted Kenya, especially with his unusual level of maturity. Also he was eagerly forward to help Satoru this time around and while he did talk with Satoru many times after Hinazukas disappearance last time, I feel like Kenya is aware that this isn’t the first time they have been through this. Personally I believe Satoru has a perfect allie around who would prove to be far more trustworthy and useful than Kenya. That of course is Sachiko, Satoru’s mom. If Satoru sat down and explained everything to her I am sure Sachiko would believe him. She’s had his back before when facing off against Hinazuki’s mother so I have full confidence that she would be behind him if he said it was for Hinazuki. However it is possible that our mystery visitor at the end of the episode is Sachiko. She was aware of Satoru leaving in the middle of the night and she does have a tendency to follow him if she’s worried about him.

I hope so as to see Hinazuki die a second time would be heartbreaking. Over the years I may have found myself distancing my feelings for characters if I was under the slightest suspicion that they would be killed off but Hinazuki holds that factor that makes her endearing. He definitely gives you the feeling of wanting to protect her and I am aware that’s generally a moe character thing but Hinazuki does not hold the traits that often make moe characters very irritating. I would say I good example of this would be the female characters in a Jun Maeda work. Often to make the tragic twist hit all the harder, he makes his female characters as innocent as possible. As a result the girls in his works don’t really act like teenage girls, they act like kindergarteners. Hinazuki is at the age where it would be justifiable to make her act like a Jun Maeda heroine but she holds a much higher level of maturity and intelligence. She doesn’t try to act cute, she’s just loveable the way she is.

Posted on 14 February 2016 with categories: Boku dake ga Inai Machi, Currently Watching:

Before I begin to talk about this episode, let me soapbox a little about the English title for this series. The English title for this series is ERASED and I really dislike it. It has a rather lazy feel to it and sounds like it was designed to be noticeable instead of having any connection to the story itself. After all this story is not about Satoru trying to erase his past but rather change it for the better. You could argue it could stand for Satoru erasing the current present but that stretching it. The English translation of “Boku dake ga Inai Machi” is “The Town Where Only I am Missing” which is obviously referencing Hinazuki’s essay from episode 2. I feel that’s a better title than ERASED but I understand that it’s not very marketable. So what could be a better title? I am hardly the best at naming things but maybe something like say “String Theory”? There is a theory that could relate to time travel known as Cosmic String Theory and the nature of things being made up of strings instead of particles does seem to match the stories themes of connections to the past and people. However I am absolutely no physicist so the above could be completely misunderstood. I just feel that there could be a better English title for this, even if I struggle to find one. If any of you have a good name, feel free to put it in the comments below.

Well that’s enough of that. First the good news, Airi is not dead! She was saved from the fire thanks to the timely intervention of Satoru and..the manager. I guess it’s nice to show that he’s not a complete villain by having him rescue Airi and even letting Satoru go. But his timing is a little convenient. I can buy Satoru arriving on time but the manager also happening to be around is very suspicious. I mean was he staking out her house just in case? He shows up right on time just to take all the credit and we do know he has a connection to our red eyed glasses friend. Perhaps his timing wasn’t just coincidence? But well maybe he’s just a creepy stalker. After that Satoru is now accused of arson and murder, and Airi is determined to help him no matter what. Which is rather unfortunate considering the episodes end. Airi still proves herself an excellent character, telling Satoru to not get discouraged and see thing through till the end.

We have a new suspect to the list, hinted by the red eyes that seem to appear on various people. Sachiko’s co-worker and freelancer investigator. I am not sure what to make of this guy yet. He’s suspicious in how he was the final person Sachiko talked to about finding out who was responsible for the murders. He’s a likely person to rat her out to the murderer. Or murderers in this case. I am fairly certain that this case is the work of multiple people. That being the reason why the red eyed glasses man’s name wasn’t in the list of suspects on Sachikos friends computer. Our glasses man looks to be the one to cover things up but he doesn’t resemble the abductor featured in episode 1. There could be two or three people involved in this, and I am still betting the teacher in the past is one of them.

Things couldn’t look worse, Satoru is in handcuffs and getting escorted to prison. This episode actually looked to foreshadow this as we have Satoru earlier helping kids fix a paper plane which bring a resemblance to Yukki. And of course we have onlookers immediately assume that he could be a potential pedophile. That’s the problem with being a man sometimes, if you act remotely nice to a kid then people automatically assume you are a pedophile. Of course, we have certain individuals to thank for that social prejudice, don’t we? It does bring a parallel though, as Yukki was branded just the same. He also see him recognising the red eyed glasses man amount the police and there’s a familiar blue butterfly that seems to signal another time travel trip.

Posted on 8 February 2016 with categories: Boku dake ga Inai Machi, Currently Watching:

When it rains it pours and Boku dake isn’t pulling any punches. Hinazuki is gone and the only hint of her we see is what looks to be her dead body in front of her parents, one of whom is panicking. With this we have two possibilities. Either they happened upon Hinazuka’s dead body or her mother went too far with a beating and accidentally killed her. Her later actions seem to point to the latter as she throws out the gloves Hinazuki was knitting for Satoru with a dark sneer. It seems that Satoru’s efforts in the past didn’t bear much fruit, though it did delay Hinazuka’s death. He looks to be taking hope in that fact while I personally am more pessimistic about it.

We have our long awaited return to the future and Satoru is right back where he started. Satoru has escaped the police for now and tried to hide out at his manager’s place. It was pretty obvious what was going on when the camera showed a painting of the last supper. Though we have Airi show up to save him after with her saying Hinazukis favorite phrase. Her reasons for helping Satoru are strange to say the least. I understand Japanese culture is different in these matters but it’s really hard to take something seriously when a man loses his job, wife and livelihood all over a misunderstanding about shoplifting a chocolate bar. I mean it’s pretty clear he didn’t do it as he’s a grown adult with a job, the very notion that he would need to shoplift a chocolate bar is absolutely ludicrous. But the smart route to this problem would be to write it off as a mistake, buy the bar and be on their merry way.

I am sorry Airi, you are great but you dad had plenty of ways he could have handled that better without sacrificing his pride. I truly pity the Japanese if something so rudimentary is enough to ruin your life. Strange back story aside, it’s nice to see Airi stand on Satoru’s side. It was especially satisfying to seeing her Punch out the manager for trying to rat Satoru out to the police yet again. This manager really has it out for him, maybe because he happens to have a crush on Airi or maybe because he has a connection to the killer. We briefly see him talking to a man whom the camera is very reluctant to show us his face. All we really know about this man is that he’s clearly in a position of power and obviously connected with the murder and serial kidnappings. There’s a big chance that more than one person is to blame for these incidents and whoever they are I wish they would stop killing off all the best female characters of the series.

Posted on 3 February 2016 with categories: Boku dake ga Inai Machi, Currently Watching:

There certainly is a layer of dread from this episodes beginning as we see happy events unfold. Things are looking up, history is changing, Kayo is finally getting out of an abusive relationship with her mother and finding happiness. But much like Satoru is feeling, there is a unease at these developments. Things are going too perfectly, it’s all working out a little too well. But most importantly, Satoru is getting the feeling that he may indeed be retreading his old steps. Despite Kayo not minding, Satoru clings to her more often. Walking with her to school, practically dogging her every step. Because much like Satoru, we feel the exact same uncertainty. The death flags are getting tripped and we are all waiting for the wham moment. Then just when you think it might be alright, Kayo disappears and never returns.

Its lucky that Satoru happens to have a great mom. Sachiko may have just become a fan favourite with this episode as she happened to defuse Kayos mother with relative ease. She’s cool and caring in a motherly way which is a big turnaround from her first appearance, where you could easily mistake her for a deadbeat parent. But much like the cruelty of this episode we have the knowledge that in the future she is fated to be stabbed to death in Satoru’s apartment. Why must we build an attachment to characters destined to die? The strength of this series rains but this episode may be the start of things feeling a little bit rushed. While not necessarily detrimental, this episode felt fast at points.

Yuki’s soundtrack also happens to be distracting me at some points as well as there are tracks which are a far too overpowering and melodramatic for the visuals. It was rather aggravating to hear a loud violin as Satoru ran home after believing everything was set right. A moment like that calls for something more subdued, not an orchestral symphony like he defeated the demon king. But that aside the mystery deepens as Satoru seems to have effected the day that Kayo was abducted, in other words something Satoru did caused the murderer to change his mind. Or our murderer may have powers similar to that of Satoru’s. On the night we have a montage of all the adult characters, Kayos mother in particular suspiciously not being at home. I am still hedging my bets on the teacher but this mystery may have more layers to it that I first thought.

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