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Boku Dake ga Inai Machi – 02 »

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi – 01

「走馬灯」 (Soumato)
“Flashing Before My Eyes”

One of the more highly anticipated series this season delivers on its premiere. I try not to overhype myself when it comes to high acclaimed sources for anime (whether that be a visual novel, manga or light novel), but it’s hard not to after this first episode. Boku Dake ga Inai Machi‘s premise can easily be explained in a couple of words – time-travel, murder, and mystery. We’re first introduced to Funjinuma Satoru (Mitsushima Shinnosuke) who is like any other struggling manga artist working at a fast-food restaurant. He lives by himself, works hard to earn a buck and doesn’t seem to have much of a social life. What makes him special though, is this ability (which he labels as the “revival”) which transports Satoru a few moments back in time before a tragic accident occurs. This happens several times in the episode and he even rescues a little boy at the beginning from a truck driver whom suffered a heart attack. One day, Satoru’s mother, Sachiko (Takayama Minami) visits him in town and while shopping one day, an incident occurs which reminds her of a cold case 18 years ago. Scratch that… it’s technically not a cold case if someone was condemned for the murders/kidnappings. This cold case involved missing/murdered children in the neighborhood which Satoru lived in. Sachiko starts doing a bit of investigating on her own while being trailed by a mysterious stranger. She comes to the conclusion that the man that was condemned for being the serial killer might have been innocent and whomever was the actual killer was still at large. In the same day, Sachiko is murdered right in Satoru’s apartment and the police quickly turn to Satoru as the murderer. Before the police can catch him though, Satoru experiences one of his “revivals” and is sent back in time. Normally he’s only sent back in time moments before the incident but this time… he’s sent back to 1988 (the same year the kidnappings and murders started).

And cliffhanger. Bum bum bum…

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi definitely stands out on its own purely based on the story and plotline. Just reading the synopsis peaks my interest enough to give it a shot so if mysteries and psychological thrillers are your thing, this is right up your alley (I seem to be blogging a lot of these series these days). There are some odd coincidences in the first half of the series, but if this is the its only flaw, then it’s a small complaint in the grand scheme of things. For example, I found it odd that after all these years, Sachiko would suddenly see this mysterious man kidnapping a young girl which happens to be the same guy that kills her (speculation of course! Could have been someone different!) who may or may not have been the same guy from 18 years ago. Like really?? Talk about bad luck. Our story has to start somewhere though, and I think it gets the ball rolling. The premiere provides just enough information for us to get involved in the case, but not enough so that it’s easy to solve; plus, there are key characters we haven’t met yet. I have my own predictions for what’s going to happen (versus what happened in the past), but with all the floating pieces, I’ll need more information before gathering it into a cohesive story. For everyone who has read the manga, please remember to keep spoilers in spoiler tags! I cannot stress this enough (having blogged many spoiler-ific shows) so thank you for being considerate. I’ll be keeping my eye out on the comments.

So asides from the plot, what has got everyone so hyped up for Boku Dake ga Inai Machi? Well the source manga has been nominated for several awards (several times) and the director for this series happens to be Tomohiko Itou (the director of Gin no Saji and Sword Art Online) and script writer is Kishimoto Taku (who also worked on Haikyuu!!, Gin no Saji and Usagi Drop). I’m someone that almost never pays too much attention the staff, but when something is so highly accredited, it has to come with the backup to support it. I’ve enjoyed every single one of these anime so I have no fear that this team will deliver once again. Just in this one episode, I think the premise has been on point and especially the ending – my gosh, it truly makes me feel like I’m watching from Satoru’s perspective (with the black bars, it’s like a movie!). And he probably feels like he’s in a dream too – having been pulled back 18 years. These are just the subtle ways that the creators have set a tone and atmosphere for the anime. It’s truly made me feel scared, excited, nervous and yet hopeful that Satoru will manage to change his fate. When the staff can make me feel so attached and anxious for the characters, you know they’re doing a good job.

Keeping in mind that the manga is incomplete, I see this anime going in many different directions. I see it being completely anime original with its ending – which is the unlikely scenario. And then I see it ending off on a cliffhanger to entice the audience to read the manga or wait for a sequel. This is going to be a one-cour show folks so let’s hope they make the most of it. From the get-go, this already reminds me so much of Steins; Gate with the dying friend and Satoru being unable to do anything about it so he attempts to save her. Or maybe he does and his life changes in another way which he never expects. The thing about time travel is that it’s such a tough topic with all the consequences surrounding it. If Satoru is really a 29-year-old in a 11-year-old body, there are so many things that could go wrong… and so many things he could take advantage of. I can’t wait to see how Satoru handles the situation and who he discovers to be the murderer. I love murder mysteries!

Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: Went into #BokuMachi #僕街 trying not to hype myself up… but who am I kidding?! I don’t want to jinx it but I’m so excited for this one! The setup was too coincidental for me but the ending has me hooked! I’m a sucker for cliffhangers. I loved the ending. They played it like a movie with the black bars; it’s really like an outsider POV.

January 8, 2016 at 9:12 am
35 comments »
  • January 8, 2016 at 9:31 amJunglepenguin

    I’m sorry such an irrelevant and undeserving post has to take this coveted first spot on the page but I must shout it from the rooftops: For years and what seemed like eons I’ve felt that this particular song deserves its spot as an opening or closing piece for an anime somewhere. Just how it was arranged that made it fit like a glove in those imaginary 1 1/2 minutes that kept on recreating itself in the form of different amalgamations in my mind. I just knew it deserved a place. AND HERE IT IS, RE;RE BY AKFG ON WHAT COULD BE THE BEST SHOW OF THE SEASON! Wow, I am just so strangely exhilarated by this I think I’m contracting violent heart murmurs. HARGHASDFASD I HEART AJIKAN

    That aside, what a premiere. The source material just picks up and propels the series into masterpiece territory, and all A-1 has to do is stay faithful to the source. Felt like so much information was being unloaded but not for a moment did I feel bogged down by it. This is plain and simple good storytelling and remarkable adapting and directing combined. I’ve been utterly won over.

  • January 8, 2016 at 9:37 amrochichan

    Another shout out to the staff– YUKI KAJIURA! The music set the mood really, really well. This may be my anime of the season. Looking forward to more posts of this series!

    • January 8, 2016 at 9:54 ambelatkuro

      I didn’t know Kajiura was involved here until I checked the staff list. No wonder the music during the truck scene and the last part was so good.

  • January 8, 2016 at 9:40 amPega

    The first ep was a bit rushed compared to the manga, but I guess they just wanted to catch all viewers with the “whole” picture of the story – so it’s ok.

    For those who don’t know the manga – get ready for a great story and for more nice cliffhangers. ^_~

  • January 8, 2016 at 9:54 amklark

    Am I dreaming? A legitimately good (and proper) mystery (in terms of first episode) this season? Wake me up. This looks like Stein’s;Gate the non-VN version. I like it. Just don’t go overly pretentious like the Perfect Insider did last Fall and I am fine with you.

    So.. about his revival.. I think it works on a certain diameter and I would love to bet that it manifested due to the MC-kun’s regrets. I was confused as to how on Earth did that knife got there in an instant as his mother was stabbed from the back. So I’ll just assume that Killer-kun stabbed MC-kun’s mother twice then put it there to make sure she’s really dead.Oh well.

  • January 8, 2016 at 9:55 amAki-Chan

    As someone who is reading the manga, I was really pleased with the way this episode turned out. I’ve been excited about this for AGES!!!!
    It seriously hit all the right notes as far as I was concerned and I really enjoyed it. (( and seeing those glimpses of the ten-year-old Satoru crying about how he could have saved her are even more heart-tugging animated)) I do hope that the rest of the adaptation will be just as solid.

    Anyway, I really hope that this ends up getting covered for all the episodes :)

    ((as a random side note, everyone’s all hyped about the OP song but I’m just sitting here casually waiting for the ED song XD. It feels weird))

  • January 8, 2016 at 9:59 ammac65

    Excellent premier! His mom attacked was unexpected (though, looking
    back I can see the flags), but I thought she’d encounter that person
    again and maybe stop another abduction / have him arrested. And when
    the “butterfly” showed up after his mother’s death, at first, I thought
    he’d be transported back in time to save his mother, but I was trolled
    proper by the writer(s).

    Well, we know that when he travels back, his age physically reverses as
    well but he keeps his memories.

    Also, the premise is that he’s transported back in enough time to stop
    the disaster, so was his mother’s death the disaster or was there something
    beyond her death that he’s supposed to change (and thereby save his mother
    as well)? Dunno…

    But being transported back 18 years means that his challenge is gotta be
    much more than saving the girl at the park – and I’m intrigued as to
    the potential this Anime can reach and the path it’ll take to get there…

    Definitely on my watch list!

    • January 8, 2016 at 10:52 amkonart

      It’s obvious that his mother’s death connected to the kidnaping from the past, so he must save this girl classmate to save both her and his mother. (saving his friend from prison too)

  • January 8, 2016 at 10:03 amPerlaNemesis

    That was a great episode! I’m definitely looking forward for more! So far, the best premiere of the season.

  • January 8, 2016 at 10:09 amzeroyuki92

    It’s been a long time I’m not getting a hype for a series, but this series got all the notes right.

    Please don’t suck. Please be AOTY. You have potential for it.

  • January 8, 2016 at 10:12 amAndré

    I used to read the manga… It’s nice manga, but I dropped it anyways. It gets to point that thinfs get too ridiculous. It’s decent, but nothing more than that. The hype is just hype.

  • January 8, 2016 at 11:07 amgigas

    It’s already been officially confirmed that the manga is going to end while the show is running, and that the anime will end shortly thereafter with the manga’s ending.

  • January 8, 2016 at 1:09 pmshiningninja

    on the promo poster with kid satoru and kayo on a bus(?), who’s that girl in front supposed to be? Airi?

  • January 8, 2016 at 2:28 pmShirocat

    wow, didn’t expect this show to be so interesting. I hope that my patience will let me not read manga, before this show ends :D btw. this screen with dead mother kinda spoilered me :( it shouldn’t be on the main page of RC

    • January 8, 2016 at 8:01 pmCherrie

      Satoru’s mother dying is part of the synopsis on ANN and Wikipedia so I thought it was general knowledge going into the show. Sorry if I spoiled you >_< but I’m glad you watched it =D

  • January 8, 2016 at 2:30 pmAmiluhur

    Now that was the kind of pacing that i always wanted from this series, because honestly the manga moves at an absolute crawl. It’s often too slow and too uneventful for my taste to the point that i had to put it on hold few times already due to sheer impatience. By cramming the whole tankoubon into one episode, and showing me what needs to know (instead of what’s need to be shown), it became a much, much more enjoyable watch.

    • January 8, 2016 at 8:32 pmCherrie

      I haven’t read the manga but I’m actually okay with the pacing. It’s a bit too quick at certain parts but I rather have the story get to the point than wait around for something to happen. Given how long the manga is, they’ll have to adapt more than a chapter an episode so yes, the speed is quick.

  • January 8, 2016 at 2:45 pmTopbanana

    • January 8, 2016 at 8:05 pmCherrie

      Thanks for letting us know. I was not aware when I wrote this post o_o lol

  • January 8, 2016 at 3:57 pmOne Pinch Man

    That’s how you do psychological thriller, A-1 Pictures! If done well, this anime will become the “Death Parade” of the season.

  • January 8, 2016 at 4:51 pmPeanutbutter

    The driver was not sleeping right? Didn’t he had a heart attack?

    Anyway, I love a good story and I sense one coming here. I’m staying for the ride.

    • January 8, 2016 at 6:56 pmAegd

      No the driver had a heart-attack and was dead at the wheels. the word used in show was 心臓発作 (heart-attack). Our main-character managed to avert tragedy though, since the only one hurt in the accident was our MC and the already deceased driver. Another useful word that popped up during the talk at the hospital was 死傷者 (dead and injured) also revealed that the only person injured was the MC and the only person to die was the driver.

      I think this one simulcasts on crunchy-roll too, and it’s probably out subtitled already.

    • January 8, 2016 at 7:56 pmCherrie

      Yes – it was a heart attack. My bad =X

  • January 8, 2016 at 7:36 pmcvsr117

    • January 9, 2016 at 10:22 amIreneSharda

      Considering that they are going to do this in only 1 cour, it’s going to be rushed no matter what they do. However, I honestly wouldn’t have minded an anime original ending. The manga itself is very good, though I haven’t really cared for the last few chapters as of late.

  • January 8, 2016 at 10:37 pmFahmieyz

    My first thought after see the first episode was..

    This is great plotline for 2 hours movie.

    Hope some hollywood people make this into movie

    • January 12, 2016 at 9:56 amAki-Chan

      There is actually a live-action of this in the works. It’s due in the spring of this year, I believe.

  • January 9, 2016 at 12:41 amCalrin

    This show was surprisingly good!

  • January 9, 2016 at 11:28 amKhalid

    The MC’s voice actor did a wonderful job, the way he talks is very distinctive, it conveys that “tired” state, like Hachiman does sometimes.
    It was heartwrenching to see Octolips Mom get stabbed, and that’s coming from a guy who rarely feels anything for characters, especially one we’ve barely got to know. Seeing Satoru coming back home was pure torture.

  • January 10, 2016 at 6:59 ambrajt

    Even if, as you say, some synopsis mention that the mother dies, plenty of people who watch anime don’t read and don’t want to know the synopsis, they prefer to enter the show with empty mind. Showing them a picture of dead mother on main page of RC just isn’t fair. :(

  • January 11, 2016 at 11:06 amsaphina

    will there be romance between kid satoru and the kayo girl? if so after the time thing is over will he find her again as her adult self

  • January 13, 2016 at 12:25 amMiyuki

    The first half of the episode felt slow partially because I found difficulty in liking Satoru’s seiyuu voice acting (I heard many people praised him…hmmm….looks like I get myself on-board of minority boat lol).
    The episode got better in the second half. It got me excited even when I already knew what would happen.
    I’m still not sure whether I will watch it as the show airs or marathon all episodes later.

  • January 14, 2016 at 9:14 amwiddershins

    piques*

  • January 29, 2016 at 10:00 pmBongle

    I love that the aspect ratio changes when after the backwards time jump, gives it a nostalgic flavor :)

  • February 4, 2016 at 4:20 amxClueless

    Oh Cherrie I’m so happy you’re blogging this show!!! I just finished watching the first two episodes and came on RC to see if anyone was blogging it, and was so glad to see that it was! :D Really really enjoying the mystery so far…