Last week we were introduced to Satoru Fujinuma, a 29 year old, struggling manga artist who was at a dead end as far as his life was concerned. This week we met his eleven year old self as he was transported back in time to February 15, 1988, eighteen years ago, thanks to a “revival,” an event in which he can go back in time and stop something bad from happening. This is the first time that we’ve been taken back further than five minutes, and the first time for Satoru too.
MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD! If you haven’t seen this episode, I suggest you stop here. If you haven’t watched the series, please have a look at my first impression of the show (Spoiler Free).
I saw something from the first episode that I hadn’t noticed until they did a brief playback of it in the beginning of this week’s episode: during the first “revival” we see, and before Satoru discovers the fate of his mom, there is a teal, sparkling butterfly. This appears to be a signal of some sort, and it seems to me that this is associated with Satoru’s gift and the mysterious stranger—well I won’t get into that.
I think one of the things that really stood out about this episode was the fact that Satoru was still 29 years old—meaning he had the mind of his current self within the body of a sixth grader. This introduces a whole new element to the show, the “what if I could go back with all the knowledge I have now” factor. We’ve all wondered this, and to see it play out on the screen in front of you is a little bit of a trope, but not so much that it “breaks” the show. I had a feeling that’s where it was going to go, and I have faith that the shows creators are going to use this tool to their advantage, in what ways we’ll have to wait and see.
Episode 2 did an even better job of dropping hints about the mystery surrounding Satoru. We were introduced to one of the classmates that was abducted and murdered: Kayo Hinazuki. Kayo was immediately shown as a girl who is of the antisocial sort. She is isolated, isn’t very conversational, and often spends time alone in the local park avoiding the idea of going home. This is the girl that has been plaguing Satoru’s mind for eighteen years and we see how much her disappearance affected him in this episode mainly because of what happened at the end of episode 1. We now see him taking a more proactive path in this episode which is exactly what I wanted to see, and they delivered.
Satoru was determined to make sure that he can change the future, he didn’t want to have to go back to that world if he can help it. The fact that they’ve fused his 29 year old brain with his eleven year old body, though a bit of a trope, really does work here as he was forced to become this proactive person. We saw him making efforts to befriend Kayo, something he didn’t do before and regretted it, and he’s making strides socially with his friends. It was the first meeting with Kayo in which we notice that she is definitely a child that is calling out for help. Satoru (having the perception of a 29 year old now) notices bruises on Kayo’s leg. As he read her essay, he saw it not as a normal essay, but as an S.O.S, as she wrote about flying away to a deserted island. His first encounter with her definitely told him that she’s in need of help. After he offered to be her friend she said “Would you kill for me?” She later brushes this off as just a joke, but I wonder if she wasn’t serious. Children who suffer from abuse tend to wish harm on their abuser. However, we don’t really know if that’s the case as the show does a really good job with keeping you on your toes.
The pacing of the show continues in the same format: the way life itself is paced. It’s what I like to refer to as “Goldilocks” pacing: Not to fast, not to slow, but just right. It fits this type of show because if the pacing were any slower they would give too much away, they’re counting on you to miss a few things so you can go “HOLY FREAKING CRAP” when the big reveal is shown.
Episode 2 does a great job of dropping little morsels for your brain to chew on, especially when we are introduced to one of Satoru’s friends Kenya. Kenya is Satoru’s age, but is seen as one of those kids who is extremely intelligent and perceptive for his age. He’s the one that subtly suggested that Satoru read Kayo’s essay, and he said things like “You’re right to be worried about Hinazuki” and “You can talk to me about anything.” He has a part to play in all of this I am sure of it, but I could be wrong—that’s known to happen sometimes 😉
ERASED episode 2, continues the strength of its predecessor by constantly dropping more and more information that the audience just can’t get enough of. Will Satoru change the past? What will happen to Kayo now that Satoru has befriended her? What is Kenya’s role in all of this? Okay I’ll stop with the tropey questions for now, but I can’t wait to see what this show has in store for us.
I give this episode a four in a half out of five stars. What did you guys think? Let’s discuss!
(Screenshot Credits: QTPieCaps)
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