Erased (S01E02) "Episode 2"

There’s not much to say about episode 2 – it follows the plot (faithfully) and mainly sets up the rest of the season by introducing Satoru’s hometown, his friends, and his mission. Altogether, it’s a decent episode that explores some important themes while hinting as to what’s to come.

After recovering from the realization that he’s been sent 18 years into the past (and that his mom is still alive and well), Satoru decides that he needs to befriend Kayo Hinazuki; a reclusive girl from an abusive household, and the first child to be murdered in the serial killings that took place that year. The episode ends with him discovering that they share the same eleventh birthday – March 2nd – and that she was murdered in March, but while she was still ten – which means that she must have been murdered on March 1st, and that Satoru has 10 days to save her. He invites her to his birthday party, and has a harrowing encounter with her abusive mother.

This is identical to the happenings of the second episode of the anime, and I like how they’ve kept older-Satoru’s voice the narration of events. It nails down the point that this is a man in a boy’s body, and it allows for analytical moments where Satoru can step back and carefully look at the clues he’s found, while also ruminating on his next step.

The themes of nostalgia and the struggles of growing up are well presented, and a good deal of time is spent on Satoru looking around his childhood home, taking a nap, and waking up to the smell of his mom preparing some home-cooked dinner. It sent a lovely feeling through me, and I’m sure most adult-viewers will be cast back into their own memories of growing up, and of the simple days. Some might argue that the pacing here is slow, but I think it was important to focus on this particular material, and hopefully the pace will pick up next episode and thereafter.

Check back tomorrow for my Episode 3 thoughts and review!

Side Thoughts and Observations:

  • I loved when Hinazuki said ‘Baka nano‘ (What, are you Stupid?) – I presume there will be plenty more of those to come, and they always provide some comic relief.
  • Apparently Satoru plays the flute now (maybe he always did).
  • Hinazuki’s mom is still as terrifyingly cold as in the anime.
  • I wonder whether Satoru will start calling his mom ‘Yōkai’ (Demon) at some stage. Come on, they’ve got to do it…