Boku Dake ga Inai Machi / ERASED Episode 10 – No Climax

(The order of the two main topics in this post have been switched around, so the big spoiler will be after the “Read more” tag, rather than before.)

Theme-wise, this episode really started by hitting things right at the point I’ve been discussing all along, of the twin themes of superheroes and naivete (or childishness), with Aya telling them that they are playing at being superheroes. And this episode was exactly proof of what happens when you play at it – there are repercussions. The theme of “The superhero’s sacrifice” also came here, through Yashiro’s mouth, as he’s telling Satoru he won, but is also presenting him with the bill of saving everyone else – his own life.

Boku dake ga Inai Machi / ERASED anime Episode 10 - Nakanishi Aya on boys playing at being superheroes

Direct and concise.

And this is a common theme, to save everyone, you must give up your own life. I mentioned it in last week’s write-up, how impossible it is to actually save everyone, to make sure absolutely no one is ever alone. Even trying will quite literally cost you your whole life, every single moment of it. And we can all think of stories, time-travel or otherwise, anime or otherwise, where the cost for saving one person is one’s life, or at least one’s happiness. Plenty of superhero stories are like this as well, with them ending up clutching the corpse of their loved ones, as they went to save the world. So, Satoru’s getting a crash course.

Yashiro also pulled a very Joker / Samurai Flamenco moment, but again something that is quite common in superhero stories, especially in Batman’s, the mirroring between superheroes and villains, though I think it could be applied to most people and most actions – actions that interact with others, actions that change our lot in the world, are all about trying to fill in the holes we’re unhappy with in our own lives. And just as Yashiro went on to say, “The most enjoyable moment in our lives keeps shifting,” there’s always something else to chase – there’s always someone else to save. Being happy, according to these two, is impossible, without paying the cost of one’s own life. Or, the inability to be content is exactly the source of motivation. Which is almost a tautology. It’s all about how you channel said motivation, and motivation is what Satoru lacked up to this point in his life. And here he regained it, by becoming discontent, and ended up paying with his life. If the show were to end here, the message would be, “Be content with your lot,” but it’s not over just yet, is it? Cause that’d be a terrible message, one to leave us rotting in our cubicles.


Well, they really had someone say “Keikaku dori” in this episode, didn’t they? (TL Note: “Keikaku Dori means “Just as planned”.)

This episode shocked and surprised me. No, not about the reveal, but about how it’s handled. This show’s music is done by Yuki Kaijura, and up to now when the show wanted us to feel the tension, or the mounting dread, it knew how to bring her signature style of music to bear for those moments. But this episode? When we’ve had the camera focus on Yashiro’s gloves, and then on his tapping finger, and most of all after the “After all, this is not my car” moment, I expected the music to start wailing, but alas, it was quiet. Yes, we got a very muted drum beating after the last one, but it wasn’t what I expected.

Boku dake ga Inai Machi / ERASED anime Episode 10 - Teacher Yashiro Gaku tells Fujinoma Satoru this is not his car

Yes, we had the dread mounting with the visual cues I mentioned above, and with the way the discussion went around the topics that the killer would have interest in, but that’s what the manga has to bear. A lot of what made BokuMachi such a great production up to now has been exactly its attention to detail, with careful and beautiful shot-framing everywhere (speaking of which, here is the weekly collection of important/beautiful shots), but this is all what the manga already had to offer – plot and visuals. Anime, aside from movement, has sound to play with, and this episode didn’t do that, which I found unfortunate.

It’s interesting to try and guess what’s going on from a meta-production perspective, by which I mean, this episode really didn’t feel like a climax. It wasn’t as cathartic as Kayo’s homecoming to Satoru’s house sort of thing, and this show, well, it really does know how to pull cliffhangers, even mid-episode, right? So here we are, just seeing everyone else looking around, together, in the warmth. It feels almost normal. The only thought I’m having then is that this episode isn’t actually meant to be a climax, but the climax is to come.

This sort of fits what I’ve said all along, that the show is a thriller, not a mystery. We’ve all “sort of knew” who the killer was up to now, because the show has been really unsubtle about it all along. So the reveal of the murderer’s identity was never really what this was all about. What it’s about at this point is two things: The first, the mounting dread as we see Satoru get into the car, and spend time with the killer. We can all see the noose, but he can’t. That’s a source of tension. The other is, what will Satoru actually do once he finds the killer? Now he found him (well, sort of!), so what will he do? And what about the present?

Boku dake ga Inai Machi / ERASED anime Episode 10 - Teacher Yashiro Gaku tells Fujinoma Satoru about good and evil, and filling the defects

This episode felt sort of weak, and not just about Yashiro’s villain face, but because it really did feel like the show could’ve made much more of it. So, this was a non-climax. Makes me really curious what the climax will look like, but still think that even if it’s intentionally a non-climax, it could’ve done with a more dramatic delivery.


Two small asides:

  1. I did like how Satoru spoke of turning Misato into bait, while Yashiro was the one who turned her into bait for Satoru.
  2. When Satoru said his very lengthy goodbye to his friends, with “See you tomorrow!”, I did find it a bit silly, but their words later on made me realize what’s going on (and he later did the same with his mother) – for him, each time he sees his friends, and his mother, could very well be the last. He doesn’t know whether he’ll get pulled back to the present, and thus not meet them again, perhaps forever in case of his mother. So he makes these goodbyes count.

Return to the Boku dake ga Inai Machi / ERASED Episodic Notes page.

4 comments on “Boku Dake ga Inai Machi / ERASED Episode 10 – No Climax

  1. ksaraf23 says:

    Geekorner,

    I have to admit, I spoilered myself with the manga a week before I saw this episode, and while I appreciate your criticisms of this episode, which were not completely unfounded, I have to disagree this time.

    While I had a feeling Yashiro was the killer, even before I read the manga, I was not prepared for how well they would handle the reveal. The realization that that wasn’t Yashiro’s car, the shattering screen upon Satoru realizing how f***** he is, right to the ending of the film strips being cut…everything about this episode was just perfection…at least in regards to its delivery of the plot point, which wasn’t all that compelling.

    Love your work as always! Can’t wait to see you on Reddit again!

    • Guy says:

      I’m glad to hear you liked the episode and the sequences within it, and do truly wish I had enjoyed them as much as you did. I like to enjoy what I watch fully, but alas.

      I don’t think this episode was “terrible”, but it was underwhelming, because it could’ve been so much more. A lot of it wasn’t about the content, but the delivery, which I found flat and uninspiring, alas. I really do wish I enjoyed it as much as you did.

      • ksaraf23 says:

        No problem. The ending, TBH, leaves a lot to be desired.

        Always nice to talk to my favorite blogger!

      • Anon6032 says:

        Sure the archetype for Satoru does fill in the space of him being the universal theme of every naivete superhero archetypes. And i agree. However, correlating Yashiro to Joker and Samurai Flamenco’s villain themes/characters is just out of context in this sense. They’re similar, but nothing is essentially comparable between them. Other than them being a villain or antagonist of the story, while being disparate, thanks to their individualism. They’re distinct in character with a very distinct beliefs and theme/maxim. While Joker and Samurai Flamenco’s villain are the comical villain characters. Yashiro is different in this sense of the context of theme and its representation of his character into the story itself. Generalizing all heroes and villains or people is like saying, everything in accordance to every existing entity with your very own minuscule knowledge is and can be consider as an apodictic truth, since i believe that it’s. As you’ve mentioned, it’s indeed a thriller anime. However, the very definition of a mystery genre content does fits with the show itself. As you’ve stated, “We’ve all “sort of knew” who the killer was up to now”. That isn’t always true for other people who doesn’t think like you and always look for other suspects/alternatives at all times. Since they knows that their subjective reasoning isn’t equivalent to the truth itself. From all live reactors, there’re a vast majority of people who didn’t suspected the teacher either. While at the same time, the minority of them does, but in a hesitant and indecisive manner. Which they would later changes their mind throughout the episode that they’ve watched each and every week. It’s a subjective beliefs, but to see you asserted as if it was an apodictic truth and with a fallacious thought of having a consensus along with it. It just goes to tell you how much of that ego is affecting your archetypal criticism about this episode with dilettante attitude towards how other might view or should consider thinking based on what you’ve thought about the episodes there. Nevertheless, your summary of the story in this episode, summary of the character’s philosophy and reflecting onto how you feels about the episode with a connection to how the build up towards the climax with a wrongful uses and timing of the OST are pretty agreeable as well. It was pretty well done.

        Incidentally, you can’t technically re-define the word climax into your very own assertion to how you feel whether or not, this word would be able to fit into the episode or not. In term of the definition, rather than feels, It’s technically the equilibrium point of the story towards where this is going on this anime. Or the beginning of the climax itself. If you would’ve reworded that, this wasn’t the best climax that i was expecting from this show. Then it would’ve made alot of sense. And it’s agreeable, the mood controlling OST aren’t being used efficiently. So it’s not the best climax that we’ve see or expected from this episode either. While the voice acting are little bit too monotonous in tone for Yashiro, which also kinda ruin the climax itself alittle bit as well.

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