Thursday at 12:30 pm EST on Crunchyroll
Hinazuki has disappeared. Failing in his mission, Satoru is flung back to the present. Still wanted for his mother’s murder, he tries to find help wherever he can. The only person on his side is Airi, who shows cunning beyond her years. With the true killer still free, is anyone safe?
It’s surprising that we’ve been given so much information this early in the story. I suppose the reveal of the true source of Hinazuki’s disappearance does create a fantastic dramatic irony. Watching Satoru slowly become more and more despondent as her trail becomes more and more cold is heart wrenching. He can do nothing but spin his wheels trying to understand how she disappeared, when she had never done so in the first place. It does actually deepen the mystery much further. From this point, we know even the true killer of Satoru’s mother was himself used as a scapegoat by Hinazuki’s parents. Just as it seems like Satoru is putting the pieces together, he has to put the entire investigation on hold.
His flash-forward does seem to make the rules of his time travel powers a bit confusing, but I think we can see his failure to prevent the kidnapping case from starting may have just kicked him back to where the revival started. He’s never talked about faililng a Revival, so all bets are off to how its power work in that scenario. As long as that’s the case, I’m willing to accept this hard narrative shift back to his own time. Airi’s appearance really tugs at your heart, having her use Hinazuki’s line gives you that millisecond of hope before remembering we’d already seen her dead.
A big theme of this show seems to be appearances. In the beginning, Hinazuki becomes more willing to open up to Satoru because she believes they are both putting up appearances to try and hide things about themselves or their lives. Hinazuki’s mother dresses up her daughter in pretty clothes in an effort to make her appearance better. Here, we see a single person through two lenses, and the appearance could not be more different. The manager starts off a cool guy. We had already established he had a good working relationship with Satoru back in the beginning, and his actions in trying to give Satoru up are perfectly reasonable. He seems like a guy just trying to do the right thing, both for Satoru and his community. However, the second we see him from Airi’s eyes, things change dramatically. He is a creepy pervert that can’t go a sentence without seeming like the sketchiest motherfucker alive while talking to her. His pathetic whining after being caught at her house didn’t help. In fact, the strangely pleading way he tried talking to her was fishier than if he’d honestly told her he was trying to protect her.
From his scenes we get the most powerful question of this episode: Who is Nishizono-Sensei? He didn’t seem to share the scant features we saw of Sachiko’s killer, but his identity is obviously something the show is trying to hide. While this might be common information to the Japanese audience watching this, the Ace Attorney-esque badge he wears on his jacket designates him as a member of the Japanese Diet. Is ERASED hinting at a bigger conspiracy behind these disappearances? Was the manager really just trying to find Satoru for the police, or does he know more about what’s happening? With another casualty of Satoru’s search for the truth, it looks like it won’t be long until we’re thrown back into the past once again.
- I get the effect they were going for, but it was a little silly that the days on the page calendar were just flying off on their own. Would it have been that hard to just animate his mother ripping them off?
- I really don’t get the information muzzling thing, but I suppose it’s more emblematic of the time period. Nowadays, disappearances are given national headlines, and news agencies cannot afford to lose coverage on gruesome murders. Plus, there’s little threat of kids having to be exposed to that stuff if you just sit em in front of Nickelodeon. Not so if there’s only a dozen or so channels like in the pre-cable days.
- She has enough strength to almost cold-cock a full grown man, and knows that the police can track your cell-phone by GPS at age 17? There has to be more to Airi’s story. I really hope it’s not too long until we see it.