Erased (S01E04) "Episode 4"

The episode picks up directly after Satoru notices that Kayo hasn’t arrived for class – and what follows is a time-hopping ride that has its fair share of action and character drama.

As with most episodes of the adaptation thus far, the first half is slow and uneventful, but sets up a more thrilling second half: time passes and Kayo is declared missing, while another girl (the second victim) also goes missing. Frustrated and feeling helpless when he sees Kayo’s mom throwing out her daughter’s clothes a week after the disappearance, Satoru runs off in near-tears but is warped back to the present; where he is given time to evade police and is soon rescued by fellow delivery-person Airi Katagiri. Not believing that he could every murder his own mother, Airi lets Satoru stay with her for some time, and shortly after she is targeted by the killer  – who we are led to believe is, or is connected to, the ominous looking fellow seen chatting to the Pizza store manager. Airi defends herself for a while but is pushed off a second story building and injured, and then while an ambulance is called, Satoru escapes again. Feeling like he’s out of options, he looks to the note that was found in his dead-mother’s hand (which has a phone number written on it), and presumably decides to give it a call.

While this episode may seem to unleash a handful of losses on Satoru, he learns something extremely important. While back in the present he sees a book of Japanese disappearances and cases that he had looked at earlier – but this time Kayo’s disappearance takes place on March 3rd in the past, not March 1st. This is a cathartic moment which really shows Satoru that he can change the past, and also means that if he is given another chance at a time-jump, he’ll know that it might be possible to save Kayo or even all three victims.

I’ve also changed my mind about Mio Yuki’s performance as Airi. While initially I believed she was trying too hard to be the energetic and optimistic person that Airi is, some quieter moments where Airi is given brief monologue show that Yuki is capable of more than I gave her credit for – the over-exaggerating was purposefully done to demonstrate how Airi behaves around Satoru. I take back all I said.

It was a good episode that, like predicted, is heading more into thriller-territory. I expect a time-jump again soon. I’m enjoying the series, but if it’s hoping to be more than the anime was, it hasn’t succeeded as of yet. While it’s enjoyable to see how they’ve translated the anime to live-action, it feels more that the show-runners are trying to appeal to a wider audience, than to build on the strengths of the anime and make something which adds value. Nevertheless, it’s enjoyable.

Side Thoughts and Observations:

  • Baka Nano count: 5 (6, if one counts the whispered one shown in a brief flashback) – in fact, screw it, we’ll say it’s 6!
  • It’s sad that they didn’t adapt the scene where Airi’s residence is burned down, but I guess that would have required a larger budget and/or some special effects which could have ruined things. Also, the trailer shows an explosion on the bridge which should happen later, so I suppose all the special effects are being saved for that.
  • I only noticed now that they’ve changed the name of the Pizza company from Oasi Pizza to Yocker Pizza – which is an actual brand in Japan! That’s some sneaky product placement, I’ll give them that.