ERASED: Episode 4

erased4a “Accomplishment”

Thursday at 12:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll

Satoru continues to try and change the future, but senses he may just be playing through what has already happened. With an overzealous devotion to getting Hinazuki past March 1st untouched, he becomes more bold in dealing with her and her mother. Will the strike of midnight change the world?

Marlin’s thoughts

ERASED continues to be the standout show of the season. Episode 4 combines every one of this shows strengths: the pacing, the tension, Satoru and Hinazuki’s growing relationship, and takes it to the next level. I like this idea that different events can still have a similar trajectory. It’s really never a hypothetical brought up in time travel stories, that small changes might actually not affect things in the bigger picture. I love how that spurs on his actions for the rest of the episode, making him bolder as well as smarter in how he deals with her.

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It’s interesting how in the context of this story, Satoru’s actions have a very clear intent, but it still seemed like a very realistic relationship. To that effect, in any other context, Satoru basically comes across as clingy. Hearing a male character tell his girlfriend “don’t be like that” would be a cringeworthy moment anywhere else, but here we see the clear reasoning behind it. His singular focus on keeping Hinazuki alive also just makes him seem like the White Knight her mother accuses him of being. Sure, the two share a few cute moments, but we see that the moment he believes he’s in the clear, he relaxes, and that lapse is what costs him. In all honesty, it’s very short-sighted on his part that he thinks changing one day would stop the entire chain of events. What would stop this kidnapper from targeting her another day? He still hadn’t even thought about how he would prevent the other two girls from succumbing to that same fate as well.

To that point, the ending to this episode was fantastic in its execution. I never bought for a second that things were actually going to turn out right. Every single second after midnight just felt like a coming dread, knowing something was going to happen to Hinazuki but not knowing when or how. When the other shoe dropped I felt like I was having the same thoughts and feelings as Satoru. When was she taken? How? Did something happen with her mother at night, or was she abducted on the way to school? Now that the stakes are raised, I can’t wait to see how Satoru deals with trying to track her down, something where being a child will really start to hamper him.

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Random observations

  • Satoru is still mentally a 29 year old, and yet he calls Hinazuki pretty. Is there a latent part of Satoru’s child psychology that still effects him?
  • Seeing Yuuki’s alibi vindicated makes for a great addition to the fist-pumping scene of Satoru’s wait for midnight.
  • We haven’t seen it come back into play for a while, but I wonder what the rules are on Revival. Must the person in danger be saved before it works again, or is it possible Satoru can fail and have to save Hinazuki all over?
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