Boku Dake ga Inai Machi / ERASED Episode 11 – Circling Forward

I was really curious where they’d go with the show after last episode. As I wrote about that episode, it didn’t really feel like a climax, because of the delivery, and I wondered what they’d do now that they’ve done away with the protagonist and us still having two episodes left. Then after Yashiro’s monologue at the beginning, I actually thought that after Satoru’s proclamation, he saved him from drowning, like the hamster, and kept him in a cage, to ply him from his knowledge. Well, the reveal about 6 minutes in worked. They dragged it on and on, and it was effective, so good job there.

Boku dake ga Inai Machi / ERASED anime Episode 11 notes - Crying Fujinoma Sachiko

Speaking of effective versus non-effective, or rather “Effective versus overbearing,” look at Sachiko’s tears. A heart-felt moment, I teared up myself. When it comes to tears, less really is more. Unlike what we got when Satoru was crying, which had me chuckling a bit, because, I mean, just look at it :P Also in that scene, I can’t really tell if adult Hinazuki is voiced by Yuuki Aoi or not. Half the time she sounds like her, and half the time not. I like this voice. I wish anime voice acting were more naturalistic in general, y’know? Just as I like Hayami Saori a lot more when it’s natural.

Ok, moving from production to themes, an interim spot that continues directly from voice acting is the voice. Up until now we’ve had adult Satoru’s voice for adult Satoru, and his thoughts, whether as a child or as an adult. But now we’ve got the reverse, an adult body with the child’s inner voice. The show is telling us that it really is child Satoru inside that body now. Not child Satoru that grew up and was trapped in his adult body all along (because him never having grown up is quite a theme in this show), but truly the child. Helpless and weak. The use of the coma is also interesting, because it’s as if he’s traveled 15 years into the future, eh?

Boku dake ga Inai Machi / ERASED anime Episode 11 notes - Fujinoma Satoru acquiescing to his mother's wish to forget

Falling back into the same dangerous pattern.

And like any story about time-travel, or any generational story, it’s all about everything repeating itself. We’ve had Yashiro’s monologue at the start (also, note what it says about his world-view, surviving at the expense of another),and then him taking Satoru on a ride, and making sure to put his gloves on before pressing a button, and then having Satoru press the button to the roof, so his fingerprints would go there. Yashiro’s monologue last episode made it clear that to him it’s all about the cycle, that he has to repeat these actions each time because it’s the best moment of his life, anew. And we’ve known it, since Satoru’s mother identified him in 2005. So, that’s one cycle repeating, and one of the least interesting ones.

The more interesting cycle is where Satoru is still himself. On the simplest of levels, he sees a lonely girl (whom Yashiro notices as well), and he befriends her. Simple as that. But look at his interactions with his mother, “mother was trying to avoid the topic of my past,” came first, and then we’ve had the capitulation to this request, “If that’s what mom wants, then maybe I don’t have to remember.” And this is the show’s original sin all over again. This all started with Satoru having a hole within himself because he was told to forget about the murders that went on when he was a child. Because he was told to remain ignorant and a child, so he couldn’t move on.

Boku dake ga Inai Machi / ERASED anime Episode 11 - Adult Fujinoma Satoru tells adult Hinazuki Kayo he's where he ended due to his own decisions.

And moving past, by accepting responsibility.

So here we are, with Satoru being told to just take it easy and forget once more. But there is a different, the “revival” was a time-leap fueled by Satoru remembering, and then becoming unwilling to forget and let bygones be bygones. We see that change carry over to the present, with him being determined to walk forward on his own, even if it hurts. It’s time to join the land of the living, not hide as a delivery-guy in a pizza joint.

And of course, a combination of all of the above, Satoru still sees himself as a hero of sorts, and is definitely a child inside. I mean, how else would you explain that really dumb move he’s pulled as the show ended, where he’s alone with a serial kidnapper-killer on the roof, and he tells him he remembers his true nature? I mean, really, Satoru? Though I guess this could be explained in one of two ways. The cynical way would be to say, “This is the penultimate episode’s cliffhanger, so they wanted to end on a crazy note,” so he’s acting stupid because this is what moves the plot forward, raises the stakes the most. The second way takes his decision to move forward using his own power, on his own, and having him face the killer as he always intended to. And yes, he’s a naive child, but the show hammered that long enough for it to be believeable. Believeably unbelieveably stupid of Satoru.

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

20 comments on “Boku Dake ga Inai Machi / ERASED Episode 11 – Circling Forward

  1. Ran says:

    Just wanted to chime in to say the second half of the episode was entirely anime-original. The manga handled Satoru getting back his memories so much better. It was a whole process that lasted like three chapters, not just one scene, and the key character who helped him unlock his memories wasn’t Yashiro. I won’t spoil who it was because you should read the manga yourself after the anime is done. But the whole development was so much better.

    Anyway, with the changes in this episode, it’s clear we’re in for an anime-orignal ending. I just hope they know what they’re doing.

    • Guy says:

      I probably won’t read the manga, and I really doubt the anime will get an anime-original ending, since they said they’ll release them concurrently and that the anime will cover the end of the manga (though it could happen). Rather, they just had a lot of chapters and not many episodes, so they did what an adaptation says right on the cover that it’s going to do – they adapted.

      And yes, it’s very clear Satoru’s physiotherapy didn’t happen this quickly, and that we received a mini-montage. I don’t think spending an entire episode or episode and a half (most episodes are 2-3 chapters) on his recovery would’ve done much good to the show as a thriller, and I’m not sure the themes the relationships in such a lengthy segment would’ve really merited it. This is a big difference between anime and manga, where in manga you can read at your own pace, and can write as much as you want to, but in anime, the audience can’t fast forward, alongside the fact it has to adhere to a strict episode-count limit. No more, and no less. Which means sometimes things are stretched, and sometimes they’re compressed.

      P.S. Yashiro didn’t help him remember in the anime either, he was just the person around when it happened.

      Also, it’s very rare that a manga reader ever says the anime did better than the manga. My eyes gloss over when manga readers say it.

      • gedata says:

        The anime will likely have the same ending as the manga, but if so, then the director is certainly making some pretty big short-cuts to get there.

      • Ran says:

        I was really criticising the anime, okay? You seem to think I did, considering your defensive tone.

        Also, the anime will definitely have an anime-original ending. They already diverted from the manga in the second half of the episode. That wasn’t an adaptation. It was just a completely different direction.

        • gedata says:

          To adapt doesn’t mean to copy/paste storylines necessarily dude.

        • Guy says:

          I’m not being defensive. Quite the opposite, which is to say if anything, I’m being overly aggressive.

          I’m fine with people criticizing the anime, with interesting points, or even “non-interesting” points that go anywhere. “It’s not as good as the manga!” or “It’s not the same as the manga!” isn’t really critique, and it’s boring, because it comes around Every. Single Time.

          So I hate seeing it. It’s a discussion-killer, unless done right, which is rarely the case.

          As for an anime-original ending, we’ll talk next week, once we see one way or the other. On that note, an anime-original ending isn’t inherently better or worse than a faithful one, but I still doubt it’d be anime-original. But hey, what do I know.

          Also:

          That wasn’t an adaptation. It was just a completely different direction.

          It’s an adaptation, of the manga. As to “different direction,” this is one of the reasons source material fans are rarely happy with adaptations – each of us values different things in the source material. The director’s understanding of the material isn’t necessarily better than our own. But it’s different. So when the director chooses to emphasize on one thing and give some stuff less, you think it took “the wrong direction”, but it just emphasized different things.

          So it goes.

  2. megaroad1 says:

    It’s interesting to see/read people’s reactions to this show. Manga readers regard it as an abomination that cuts out the best bits, while those who are anime only viewers are enjoying themselves crazy. The classic book/adaptation scenario again and again.

    • proper1420 says:

      My impression is that the folks most upset are the non-manga readers who shipped Kayo+Satoru. Then it’s a subset of the manga readers for various reasons.

      As one tailing the anime in the manga (I’m at the end of chapter 36, which is the chapter following the point at which the anime diverged from the manga), I’d say the most regrettable change is the material cut from Yashiro’s backstory. What we got is nice, but in the end it’s just an evil boy became an evil man. The cut material includes themes the story has touched on before: (effectively) absent parents, chain of abuse, and broken trust.

      As for the divergence from the manga, if chapter 36 is any indication, I’d say A-1 made a good choice.

      • Guy says:

        My impression is that the folks most upset are the non-manga readers who shipped Kayo+Satoru. Then it’s a subset of the manga readers for various reasons.

        I wonder how many manga fans would be upset about the Kayo x Satoru thing as well, and had been, when they first read those chapters, and aren’t mad now just because they got to it.

        And you’re right, plenty of manga readers are unhappy they cut off, as I put it below, romantic overtones between a 27 year old man with a 12 year old boy’s mind with a 15 year old girl. Much better ;-)

      • Sephyxer says:

        You’re really on point about the upset we had as shippers of kayo x satoru! Man am I salty, I even made an entirely blog post about it! But I think that everyone felt it a little, be it manga readers or not.
        After all, it was all just flavor text: this sure isn’t a romance anime, and as long as Kayo is happy, I’m also happy. And we’ll all move on, browsing through all of the good fanart made by fans of the series, weeping at the departure of the ship that never was, but still is in our hearts.

  3. Sephyxer says:

    Since we’re approaching the end, I can say that I’m a little sad the author decided to put the thriller and just didn’t make the entire story about Kayo. Since the end of episode 9, the series has taken a completely different direction and I’m completely losing my head with the cruelty of this new world, like waking up from a really good dream. I guess I also gotta move forward and fill this emptiness in my heart. With Rakugo.

    Also, totally useless to say, but I’m ready to bet that the little girl in the hospital is the little sister of Airi.

    • Guy says:

      I wonder. Would I have been as engrossed had the thriller elements been removed entirely? I doubt it. The thriller elements did heighten the tension that kept us glued to the screen, and then Kayo’s moments came as pay-off. It’s an interesting question, but it’s hard to answer without inserting ourselves into an alternate universe and watching this very different show.

      I also don’t think the show went in a new direction after episode 9, though it did lean on the thriller elements that are weaker. This is half of the direction the show was taking during episodes 5-6, when Satoru went back to the present day.

      As for Airi, could be. Since apparently the manga had Airi in those segments, so the manga readers are all sad about it. Cause a 12-year old boy in a 27 year old’s body hitting it off with a 15 year old girl is the best.

  4. Anon says:

    The manga finished a couple of weeks ago. And the second half of this episode didnt happen in the original story. The anime is heading to anime original ending.

    Which isn’t bad but we manga readers noticed way, way back when key plot points got sped by.

    When it comes to animated adaptations, I like to think of them as alternative universes otherwise a reader would get annoyed at all the little changes and whatnot.

    Ps: Writing this on phone. Sorry if I come across blunt.

  5. Artemis says:

    My favourite part of this episode was the altered OP. That’s not intended as an insult to the overall episode (on the contrary, I thought this episode was much better than the previous couple in terms of how well it worked on an emotional level), but it’s that kind of attention to detail which really sharpens my appreciation of a story.

    • Guy says:

      Some of BokuMachi’s greatest strengths are indeed all about the attention to detail, in cinematography and shot composition, so that works.

      You know, I actually only watched the OP this time because I heard it’d be changed, because I usually listen to the OP in the background while I use the time to jot down some notes on other things, so if an OP changes I need someone to point it out for me, heh.

      • Artemis says:

        If I like the OP enough then I normally watch it every time – it plays a major part in getting me in the mood for whatever I’m about to watch. I get why people might prefer to skip them (or use the time to do something else like make notes) though.

        • Guy says:

          I can see that. I listen to the OPs I like, rather than watch them. Though the visuals in this OP are pretty great too. But I am somewhat bored when I actually have to watch them, which is why I skip even OPs I like while watching TV, or use the time to grab a drink.

          Then again, most OPs aren’t actually all that interesting to look at, and it’s different when you marathon and when you don’t, too.

        • Artemis says:

          Yeah, I’m more likely to start skipping an OP if I’m marathoning a show. Assuming I’m watching weekly though, unless I actively dislike the music then I nearly always watch it.

        • King Marth says:

          I always watch the OP as well (even when marathoning, though if I’m a couple minutes off from a time limit I might skip to fit another episode in). I usually just listen to the ED, though. It is nice when there are little changes.

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