ANIME & MANGA - Article
09:58 - 1st July 2016, by NEO Staff

Anime Exposé: Erased

What would you give for a chance to re-do your life, putting right everything that once went wrong? Satoru Fujinuma is about to get that chance – but it’s not just his life that he has to change.

You Can Redo

The manga business is tough. The insane workload and Japanese workplace culture means that if you’ve not ‘broken in’ young, you’re considered past it. Such is the fate looming for Satoru Fujinuma – at 29, the aspiring artist is seen as too old. Constant editorial rejection is affecting his outlook, leaving him detached and emotionless. Between pitches, Satoru works an unremarkable job as a fast food delivery driver, while caught between intrigue and annoyance towards his teenage coworker, Airi Katagiri.

Erased is no Woody Allen-style existential crisis though – our sullen lead is anything but “unremarkable”. Satoru has powers. Seemingly at random, he’ll find himself pulled back in time – only a few minutes, but with a sense of something being amiss. Calling the déjà vu-like phenomenon ‘Revival’, he realises each incident precedes a tragedy; one Satoru can try to prevent.

Yet despite this incredible ability, one that he even acknowledges has helped him save numerous lives, Satoru doesn’t see himself as anything special. “In most cases, negative incidents just come out even,” he says. “Once in a while, it turns negative for me.” After one such effort lands him in hospital, things turn really negative – his mother comes to visit.

Sachiko Fujinuma is in her 50s but drinks and parties like she’s in her 20s. Satoru calls her “yokai”, and only reluctantly tolerates her presence. But behind the bluster, Sachiko is on a mission. Mother and child are both haunted by an incident years earlier, the tragic death of Kayo Hinazuki, a girl from Satoru’s primary school. A man named Jun ‘Yuuki’ Shiratori was arrested, and found guilty of a series of similar abductions and murders.

Case closed? Not yet. Sachiko is tracking down other leads, convinced of a darker, hidden truth – a hunt that costs her her life. Accused of the murder after discovering the body, Satoru’s Revival kicks in, pulling him back farther than ever before – all the way to 1988.

With his adult mind trapped in his younger body, Satoru is faced with a chance to redo his entire life and alter the course of history. His first stop is saving Kayo, but changing the strange, quiet girl’s fate is only the beginning of a mystery he and his mother are closer to than either ever suspected.

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