“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.