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Boku Dake ga Inai Machi – 04 »« Boku Dake ga Inai Machi – 02

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi – 03

「痣」 (Aza)
“Birthmark”

I didn’t want to make it too obvious last week, but given all the comments and the discussions, Yashiro Gaku (Miyamato Mitsuru) is being way too conspicuous as a villain. All we need are the neon lights and flashing signs that point to him! Anyway, besides that very abrupt scene, I thought they really played him well in terms of being the nice guy in front of Satoru while teasing the audience about what he’s really up to. It’s like watching a crime where the viewer knows the villain already and waits for dooms day to happen. I don’t know how, but we do know when, especially after Satoru narrows down Kayo’s kidnapping date to March 1st. We technically don’t know how or if Gaku is literally the person who kidnaps Kayo… but I think it’s a good guess. 29-year-old Satoru should know better. He’s clearly being tricked by Gaku and his talk of “protecting Kayo” by taking her away. Is this his way of kidnapping Kayo without Satoru getting suspicious? She’s going to disappear and Satoru won’t know any better! Of course, I can say all this as a member of the audience so I shouldn’t blame Satoru for trusting his teacher.

Then there’s Kobayashi Kenya (Tachi You) who might be the one who helps Gaku kidnap Kayo. Once again, many people brought up the fact that Kenya looks and acts very suspiciously and I can’t agree more. Especially meeting up with the teacher after hours? That’s not looking good for Kenya. I don’t want to believe that an 11-year-old boy can be involved in kidnapping and murder, but you really don’t know what’s going on in kids’ minds. Maybe Gaku is blackmailing Kenya. We’ll have to wait to see.

Kayo’s family finally comes to light this week, specifically her mom and stepdad (or actually dad?). I don’t want to jump to conclusions, because I never want to lead readers down the wrong path for these types of thrillers, but it’s heavily implied that Kayo gets domestic abused by her mother. It’s funny though, because her mom is also the one trying to hide all the bruises by dunking Kayo’s head in cold water afterwards. I find it ironic that she would want to hide all of Kayo’s bruises after being the one to beat her; why beat her and then bother to hide it? If you’re so worried about being caught, then don’t leave evidence on her (obviously…). That brings me to the conclusion that her mother isn’t the one to beat her, but the stepdad (or real dad). He’s the one that probably drinks a lot and while intoxicated, beats Kayo. It wouldn’t be a stretch, but it also doesn’t really explain how that leads up to her kidnapping other than her desire to run away home.

I wanted to bring up two new characters that we saw in action this week. Both of whom I think are innocent people but don’t know how they’ll play out in later episodes. The first is Satoru’s friend, Yuuki or Shiratori Jun (Mizushima Takahiro) who invites 29-year-old Satoru back into his house and notices that Satoru has “matured”. Obviously, he’s a 29-year-old in a 11-year-old body, how do you not suddenly change? I don’t believe that Yuuki was the murderer, but I do think he was at the wrong place at the wrong time and circumstantial evidence put him on death row. It’s unfortunate, but perhaps he also knows more than he leads on and doesn’t say anything because it makes him look guiltier. The other is Sugita Hiromi (Kito Akari) who is actually one of the kidnap/murder victims! We only see her for a brief moment but that’s her right? (confirmation anyone?) Hard not to notice, but we haven’t seen her connection to either Kayo or Gaku so far. I’ll wait a bit longer but deciding her fate in the story, but I would hope that Satoru is a little more observant than that. He knows two victim! Come on!

Before this post gets too long, I thought I’d talk about something a little more positive and heartwarming this episode (plus, it was beautifully animated). It’s incredible just how this episode could be thrilling, scary and lovable all in 20 minutes. I loved the ending where Satoru opens up to Kayo and they go on a “date”. He invites her to see a “Christmas tree” in February and they share a moment where Kayo starts to trust Satoru and hopefully see him as a friend. It’s quite cute and I don’t necessarily see their relationship as “romantic” (since they are young) but it does touch my heart to see Kayo finally have someone reach out to her. Especially seeing all this after hearing about Kayo’s past with the other students and how much they pick on her. I’m such a sucker when it comes to seeing such kind people in the world that help the less fortunate. That’s probably why I cry at all war and family focused movies.

Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: Seeing Satoru and Kayo become friends is so heartwarming. Not “romantic” but very sweet (or bittersweet). Another great episode of #BokuMachi. So misleading with the eyes, the teacher & Satoru’s friends. Who do you trust?!

January 22, 2016 at 8:55 pm
74 comments »
  • January 22, 2016 at 8:59 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    I hope that “mother” gets what’s coming to her…

    • January 23, 2016 at 3:42 amOkadam

      She looks a lot like Haruko from FLCL and she never did. Maybe this time.

    • January 23, 2016 at 4:36 amMi-Chan

      When I read the setting is in ’1988′, somehow ‘hitting’ children was.. seen differently, the ‘perspective’ on child treatment at the time is different from today. The people born between 1969 – 1979 probably suffered from what we call ‘abuse’ but what their parents called ‘discipline’, the concept was often referred to as ‘tried and true’ not caring for physical consequence. That’s why I somehow like the 1988 setting there lol

      With that said though, these parents wanted to ‘discipline’, what why would her mother just , let’s say ‘abuse’, her and why? that intrigues me, ‘just plain evil’ is an option. I read too much into this anime, I need to stop thinking about it -.-’

      • January 23, 2016 at 5:34 amDio

        Not at that level. That kind of violence would have never flown past the radar in 1988. I am a child of that age and while the occasional discipline, as you call it, was commonplace at the time, that kind of beating would clearly have called for police intervention.

        That’s why the teacher’s story does not fly. I don’t know how it was in Japan, but where I am from, that kind of injuries would have caused the school to call the police and not release the kid until the mother had a talk with an officer.

      • January 24, 2016 at 2:48 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

        Even back in 1988, hitting in terms of discipline was usually only as far as things like a single slap (cheek or back of the head) or a spanking (and even then, it was only really used if the child to be acting really problematic in some way), not beating to the point of bruises all over the body and needing to be dressed up to look like nothing serious happened.

  • January 22, 2016 at 9:08 pmhibiki

    I don’t think this is spoiler. Sugita Hiromi is a boy. He is in Satoru friend group.

    • January 22, 2016 at 9:25 pmCherrie

      That’s a good catch! I didn’t notice at all last week because he barely got a speaking line.
      Interesting… >_> but I won’t change my post in case it’s not supposed to be obvious yet.

    • January 22, 2016 at 9:25 pmYukie

      Just because she plays with a group of guys doesn’t mean Hiromi is a boy. Judging by the kanji of Hiromi, I think it’s pretty clear Hiromi is a girl.

      • January 22, 2016 at 10:50 pmMarina2

        @Yukie No,Sugita Hiromi is a boy. The character info page on the official website also says that Hiromi is a boy who look like a girl.

        http://bokumachi-anime.com/character/#hiromi

        Don’t worry I also thought he was a girl before. His face, his voice, his actions are all girl-like. Haha.

      • January 22, 2016 at 11:24 pmSaburau

        Yeah he is actually a boy. And if you want some serious spoiler bomb, here it is;Show Spoiler ▼

      • January 22, 2016 at 11:33 pmYukie

        Wow you’re right. I was completely fooled lol. Because the second character in his name is beauty (and thus often used in girl names; the male version hiromi usually has a different character), I was thrown offtrack…not that boys can’t be named that way and I guess it fits him lol.

        It kind of bothers me that Hiromi is kind of an afterthought for Satoru (compared to Kayo) or is that because Kayo was the first victim?

    • January 23, 2016 at 3:08 amMi-Chan

      I just realized Hiromi was one of the victims too.. ouch, Satoru must have seen that too right? why only focus on Kayu!

      • January 23, 2016 at 10:06 amCherrie

        I think he’s focused on Kayo because she’s the first victim. Satoru should definitely be investigating all the kidnapped children though.

  • January 22, 2016 at 9:36 pmRyan Ashfyre

    http://randomc.net/image/Boku%20Dake%20ga%20Inai%20Machi/Boku%20Dake%20ga%20Inai%20Machi%20-%2003%20-%2020.jpg

    Let it be known forevermore that I hate this bitch; this wretched excuse of a human being with eyes that perfectly epitomize those timeless words in a way that not even that lovable psychopath, Koko Hekmatyar (“Loco” Koko to her friends) could:

    “If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

    Really though, kill her. Kill her with fire.

    • January 23, 2016 at 12:56 pmpokpokza

      You can call Rena from Higurashi ; she is expert in this kind of thing

  • January 22, 2016 at 9:56 pmzztop

    Boku Dake’s director amusingly said he’d rejected numerous VAs for the role of child Satoru, because they sounded too much like typical Shonen Jump leads.

    In the directors’s words:

    “The role of Fujinuma Satoru is not that of a hero but that of someone who escapes. I looked for people who could fulfill that role and came upon two names.

    I couldn’t feel much anger from (Tsuchiya Tao-san as child Satoru)even when she strained her voice, and I thought that part of her was very much like Satoru. It was the sort of performance that evoked a defeatist attitude…[and] had a good balance when it came to sounding like a child.
    As for (Mitsushima Shinnosuke-san as adult Satoru), he’s done a lot of narration and commercials along with his wide breadth of acting roles, such as his live-action films and so on. Satoru is a character who performs a lot of monologues… I’ll consider it a big success if people can connect Satoru’s growth as a character with what the two actors came up with in the recording sessions. I’m looking forward to the payoff.”

    • January 22, 2016 at 10:42 pmZen

      Interesting, so he’s supposed to be a nihilist who runs away from everything? Kind of ironic considering that his power quite literally lets him hit the rewind button and right virtually any wrong with the world that he comes into contact with…

  • January 22, 2016 at 10:32 pmqwert

    I have this horrible feeling… I swear if this ends up being the kind of situation where no matter what happens Kayo is destined to die and all he accomplishes is raising her spirits/expectations right before her inevitable death just so he learns enough to prevent events in the present I’m going to die a little inside.

    • January 22, 2016 at 11:49 pmSynic

      I’m a little hesitant to say this but holy hell that would be amazing. Not because it’s tragically heartbreaking, but because after going through his revival multiple times and failing each time, we can flesh more out of his character. Get him to hit rock bottom until finally he actually sees what’s wrong. I’m still mad about the live action preview because if what was shown is true, i’m going to be extremely upset.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • January 23, 2016 at 3:25 amHalfDemonInuyasha

        And this would also play similarly to The Butterfly Effect. While Satoru can’t willingly go back to various points in time to try to change things, he still tries to take the opportunity to try to correct a certain wrong each time his mysterious ability manifests, but for each wrong that gets (presumably) corrected (how do we even know that what gets corrected is actually “correct”?), there’s an infinite number of things that could go wrong, perhaps even as a direct result of that initial wrong being corrected (or at least how it gets corrected), that could make things even worse than before.

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • January 23, 2016 at 4:12 amqwert

        I don’t see him getting more than one shot here. If they went down that route you’re pretty much just remaking Steins;Gate staring elementary schoolers.

      • January 23, 2016 at 5:47 ammmahouka

        about live action trailer last part
        Show Spoiler ▼

    • January 23, 2016 at 8:17 amDwarg

      It’s going to be a bit like Show Spoiler ▼

      Oh and prepare for some Show Spoiler ▼

      :-)

  • January 22, 2016 at 10:56 pmZen

    The first other show that came to mind while watching episode one of this was Mirai Nikki. Although not due to any similarities of substantive content, but rather because it’s another rather obscure manga that I randomly happened upon one day and thought “Oh, this is pretty good, shame it doesn’t look like it’s mainstream enough to get animated…” I’m eating my thoughts, as I did for Mirai Nikki. Happily, of course…

  • January 22, 2016 at 10:59 pmIchigeaux

    Another important scene to take note of is the race. Satoru is capable of making the same mistakes over and over again because although he’s “matured”, he’s still the same person fundamentally— character flaws and all.

    • January 23, 2016 at 12:33 amyoloalchemist

      That race also served as a hidden lesson, explained to Satoru by Yashiro-sensei: Some of the things that happened in Satoru’s original past, like losing the race and Kayo’s death, happened because he lacked the willpower to prevent them, so unless he gathers the willpower to do what needs to be done, none of his past will change, and he will fail in his mission….which technically did benefit Satoru in his revival attempt while making Yashiro-sensei seem even more suspicious.

    • January 23, 2016 at 10:10 amCherrie

      Great insight from both of you. I think although he’s “matured”, he hasn’t changed and you’re right, he’s still making the same mistakes as the first time (or rather, when he was growing up). In a lot of ways, I guess he’s still a child stuck in a 29-year-old body. He wants to make a difference and the only thing different this time is how he approaches Kayo. He’ll probably need to do a lot more than that to change the future. Rather than just going to the teacher for help, he should actually call the police or report the abuse himself. He’s just scared of the repercussions which Gaku pointed out.

  • January 22, 2016 at 11:20 pmMi-chan

    It took a 5-second scene to make me forget about the whole episode. That scene in the classroom with sensei and Kenya had thrown me off balance. I cannot really believe 10-11 year old kids can be involved in crime but I can’t help but think whether the sensei brought him to tell him about Kayo’s situation in case he can help or use him to ‘lure’ the victim. Kenya of all the kids is the most perceptive and perhaps the smartest, so if sensei is the murderer, this all hurts my head. Where is this going?

    I can only formulate a relation between Kayo’s mother and the sensei from the opening, though, from sensei’s words he’s pretty much trying to catch her in a crime and save Kayo. (My fingers still point at him for me.)

    Anyway, it is hard to fight off the urge to read the manga at this point but I’ll try to survive. I hated that the episode that put a smile on my face when Kayo smiled ended leaving me feeling like hitting my head on the wall.

    Ty for your review, M.

    • January 23, 2016 at 10:12 amCherrie

      After every episode, I also want to read the manga o_o But I want to enjoy it this way rather than always comparing it to the source. So far there hasn’t been massive cries about it being a bad adaptation so that’s great!

  • January 22, 2016 at 11:39 pmGuile

    I remember I kept hoping Kayo was related to Satoru’s high school coworker in the future somehow. Like this was all going to come full circle on that girl’s character arc as well as the Kayo thing, because I really liked her.

    Doesn’t make any sense, of course, she’s like a decade younger than any of the kids back in ’88. And yet, here’s me hoping.

    • January 23, 2016 at 10:21 amCherrie

      That’ll be a huge gap to try and guess that relationship. Here’s my prediction >_> … honestly just a stab in the dark (don’t throw rocks at me if I’m wrong or right >_<). I think Airi (Satoru’s coworker in the future) is not related to Kayo but to the kidnapper/murderer instead. She could be the daughter of the murderer/kidnapper which would mean that she would never be born if Satoru sends her father to jail. Then Satoru saves one girl but loses another in the future which is an interesting twist. It depends on how old Airi is in the future though… I’m guessing she’s 16? (13 years younger than Satoru) so she hasn’t been born in 1988 yet.

  • January 22, 2016 at 11:39 pmSynic

    http://randomc.net/image/Boku%20Dake%20ga%20Inai%20Machi/Boku%20Dake%20ga%20Inai%20Machi%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2021.jpg
    The hardest part of this episode was this scene here where Kayo straight lies to Satoru about how she got hurt. The amount of power he lacks as a child in this moment is devastating and it damn near breaks my heart. I imagined the 29 year old version of himself manifesting and giving this women a well needed slap in the face so she wakes the hell up from the dream she’s currently living in.

    http://randomc.net/image/Boku%20Dake%20ga%20Inai%20Machi/Boku%20Dake%20ga%20Inai%20Machi%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2024.jpg
    And this asshole. “Save some ice for me.”- Craig “Needs a haircut and an axe to the face” Johnson

    I also believe that he is responsible for the beatings as currently all we’ve seen are depictions of abuse in Satoru’s mind.

    Is it wrong that i want these characters to be met with a horrific death? Call Rena over and just tell her that they are liars. Kayo and Satoru can just stand under that tree and grow old together for all i care because i just want that to happen.

    My thursday afternoons have recently been spent watching Divine Gate, that super emotional version of Sword Art, Rakugo, and searching for plot in Phantom World (ha, plot) but seriously all i can think about now is this show.

    • January 27, 2016 at 12:34 pmHunter-Wolf

      Yeah, i wanted to teleport into the show and punch Kyo’s mother in the face, then drag her father/step-douche/mother’s boy friend and lock him in the refrigerator with all the ice he wants since he likes ice so much, i have ZERO tolerance when it comes to abusing children, anyone who does that real or fictional is human trash to me.

      Also Divine Gate turned out to be way better than i expected, sheeesh .. i didn’t expect that much tense drama and poetic moments from a shonen show that uses color-coded characters who are even named after their respective colors like power rangers XD

      • January 27, 2016 at 12:52 pmSynic

        Lock him in the fridge…hahaha! We think alike, kindred spirit!

        And yea divine gate turned out pretty good so far. But I definitely get ultron/power ranger vibes from bubuki buranki. Just wish the main character had a bit more backbone. That and the spear dude to chill the hell out.

  • January 22, 2016 at 11:41 pmWanderer

    I find it ironic that she would want to hide all of Kayo’s bruises after being the one to beat her; why beat her and then bother to hide it? If you’re so worried about being caught, then don’t leave evidence on her (obviously…).

    I… have to conclude from this that you’re probably not that familiar with actual cases of child-abuse? Practically no abuser wants to tell the world “hey I beat my kid into a bloody pulp because: I went into a rage/was drunk and took suppressed emotions out on her/got high and did the above/just felt felt like it.” When someone is in the state of mind where they’re abusing their child to begin with, they aren’t thinking right then “I’d better not leave any marks on them, so there won’t be any evidence.” They’re probably not rational, either due to actual insanity, or mental impairment from alcohol or drugs, and they’ll do all sorts of damage to the child without thinking about it right then.

    Later, however, they don’t want everyone else to know what they’ve been doing. It is very common for them to force their child to clean up and cover up bruises and cuts, wear long-sleeve shirts in the middle of summer to cover bruises on arms, etc.

    The fact that Kayo’s mother makes her clean up does not eliminate the mother as the abuser at all. That is common behavior for an abuser.

    • January 23, 2016 at 3:38 amOkadam

      Plus even if she is just an onlooker to her husband’s deeds. She is an accomplice. What’s there to talk about.

    • January 23, 2016 at 7:45 amTokiko-taichou

      I think it’s pretty clear that she’s the abuser. She wasn’t trying to get rid of the bruises because she felt sorry for her daughter at all, quite the oposite. Specially when getting rid of bruises involves almost drowning your own daughter…

    • January 24, 2016 at 12:02 amKaio-chin

      Like mother like daughter – you think Kayo is very different from your mother, Kayo and your Mother are like two peas in a pod.

      The main character get’s NTR’ed

      • January 24, 2016 at 1:55 pmScruffy

        Can you stop berbling rubbish about NTR. There is no NTR in the manga. It’s only in the heads of people who have read way too much porn.

        Since you have obviously read some of the manga (MASSIVE SPOILERS FOLLOW)
        Show Spoiler ▼

  • January 23, 2016 at 12:00 amAmiluhur

    I was initially worried that Satoru running into Yuuki would turn out to be a mundane, run of the mill “reminiscing good ol’ days with old buddy” kind of meeting. But very fortunately, just as Yuuki starts speaking, Satoru’s got sudden flashbacks about him being interrogated by the cops which directly correlates to Yuuki’s gestures and speech patterns, indicating that there’s more to him than meets the eye and significantly adds more depth and insight into his character. It’s this delicate addition to things, which makes an otherwise mundane situation feels powerful, that i really appreciate from this series.

  • January 23, 2016 at 12:10 amAllnighter

    Seems mighty suspicious that Gaku knows about Satoru’s birthday invitation to Kayo. I don’t recall Satoru ever mentioning that to anyone, let alone his mother.

    That little date scene of Satoru and Kayo near the end. Just when I thought they couldn’t top the “feels” scene when Satoru has having dinner with his mother in the previous episode.

    • January 23, 2016 at 3:45 amMi-Chan

      He did? I will have to rewatch to know if he knew. With that said, I once paused at the wrong moment of the opening (or maybe the right moment?) and the face of the villain is so clear lol but well, still dk who it is.. xD

  • January 23, 2016 at 12:13 amyoloalchemist

    Kayo….my god! I mean, it was already assumed that she was domestically abused but even so, seeing it with my own eyes couldn’t be any more horrendous. Just why those horrible human beings are treating her this way is beyond me and frankly, I don’t give a damn. This is beyond inexcusable, it’s basically murdering her soul. But, as awful as that was, even more awful was how Kayo was very ashamed when Satoru found her that way. And that “I fell”, and how Satoru reacted to it, made the entire situation feel desperate. Which is why, it’s really heartfelt how Satoru is genuinely there for her, and that he’ll never let her feel lonely or hated ever again. One can feel their bond beginning to blossom at the end of episode, where Kayo’s “Are you stupid?” almost feels more like a sign of trust and affection rather than mockery. And the episode did a wonderful job with portraying their “date”, with the foxes and the tree all fascinatingly animated and drawn. Just beautiful.

    This episode clearly shows how very good Yashiro-sensei is at looking out for his students’ well-being. Too good to be true, that really at this point he is one of the prime suspects, even if Satoru doesn’t suspect him yet. What puzzles me about it is how Kenya fits into all this. Really, the thought that an 11-year old kid can be an accomplice in kidnap and murder is….not fathomable to say the least. One possible explanation is that Kenya had a terrible childhood when he was very young, and it may also explain why he’s so smart, the intellect of a child criminal. Just thinking about it like that is not good for my brain.

    At this point, it’s pretty much an understatement to say this anime delivers on every front. This is officially my favorite new anime of the season. So naturally it puts a smile on my face to know that you will be blogging this show Cherrie. Thank you so much :)

  • January 23, 2016 at 2:16 amDeanna

    This is officially the most anticipated anime I’m watching on a weekly basis! The writing and animation is downright beautiful.

    On another note, does anyone know what they say when they’re saying goodbye? “Shitake?” “Shidake?” I’ve never heard it before! My intrigue is more than piqued.

    • January 23, 2016 at 7:44 amMei

      したっけ!(Shitakke) is see you in Hokkaido dialect, actually a lot of characters speak in dialect starting from episode 2, Satoru’s mom too while in episode 1 she didn’t.

      You can also notice that they end their lines with a da be/da be sa instead of your more common da na/desu/desu yo.

      Hope it helps!

      • January 24, 2016 at 3:57 amAki-Chan

        Yeah, this is actually very helpful, as I was wondering about this myself :). Thank you!

  • January 23, 2016 at 3:28 amSmokex365

    All I can say is if they give us a bad ending tables will be flipped! And then set on fire! In a table factory!

    • January 23, 2016 at 3:43 amMi-Chan

      I’m right behind you, I will not accept it!!

  • January 23, 2016 at 3:38 amkrabbypatty

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this before but this anime reminds me a lot of the movie, ‘ The Butterfly Effect’ with Ashton Kutcher. I have a feeling this anime will end with an ultimatum between saving Kayo or his mum. No matter how many times he uses ‘revival’; although he may end up saving both the people he loves, only one will be alive to remember him.

  • January 23, 2016 at 4:34 amWorldwidedepp

    so this here is about Child abuse through their own parents

    • January 23, 2016 at 4:37 amWorldwidedepp

      and perhaps in the end, this Boy is himself the father? Time Paradox ahoy

  • January 23, 2016 at 4:43 amboingman

    Since nobody mentioned it: I was very impressed by this episode’s animation and “camera work”. A lot of very nice looking camera panning/shots that I don’t remember seeing in the first two eps.

  • January 23, 2016 at 5:16 amthedreamer

    I’m quite impressed with the series so far. It’s striking right notes but I do personally have a fear were looking at depressing or bittersweet ending. The Rewinds while ‘Good’ overall seem to be actually bad in result for Satoru personally – which would explain his personality on them. Which to me is concern with such a massive rewind – he’s redoing his life basically considering the influence this had on him. I do wonder if he’ll ‘save’ Kayo and the other children that died, catch the murderer and then….be alone or such. Even the title is concerning in that regard.

    As to the Mom
    Show Spoiler ▼

  • January 23, 2016 at 5:17 amGH

    Satoru should have called the police about the abuse scene. I understand if a kid would be too afraid to do it, but he’s 29 years old. He should know better, specially since he knows she will eventually be kidnapped. Even if the teacher said the authorities has already been involved in the past, calling the police is a legal obligation, or at least in my country…

  • January 23, 2016 at 5:23 ammac65

    A little confused about the money – why would the teacher have waited so long
    to announce that Kayo was in charge of the money? I’m thinking this was simply
    dialog to show that Satoru would take a stand on Kayo’s behalf. Weakest part
    of the story – a slight blemish in the story, IMHO.

    Also, there’s a lot of circumstantial evidence that Kayo’s mother is beating her.
    However, other than flashbacks from Satoru’s imagining that it’s her mother,
    no hard evidence is shown that that’s the case. I think it’s the man in the house.
    I saw the mother’s reaction as more of a defensive terror when she is met by
    Satoru. I think the man beat Kayo, and left her in the shed, and Kayo’s mom
    is beyond her wits end to protect her daughter – and the look on that man’s face…

    So I agree with Cherrie that it may be the man in their home who’s abusive,
    but I don’t see it as a stretch.

    Also, much of the story so far has focused on Kayo’s predisposition to be the
    victim of a murder; but there were other children too and the story hasn’t touched
    on their story at all. On thing I did think was interesting was that all of the
    victims were 11 (I believe Kayo was 11 as well when she was originally murdered).
    There was a lot of dialog about that; I think it’s important, but don’t know why.

    Such good writing – a brilliant play on words with the teacher discussing the shared
    birthday. Did the teacher “know” about the party invitation, or was it meant solely
    as a helpful comment / suggestion / idea to help Satoru grow his friendship with Kayo?
    A coincidence?

    I’ll have to re-watch this ep again to pick up on other things I may have missed.

    • January 23, 2016 at 2:41 pmboingman

      From the first minute of the latest episode, she was the only victim that was still 10.

  • January 23, 2016 at 8:27 amklark

    Well, this is good but…

    … the last part was unnecessary.

    First things first, this anime is very good, even great yet. I was getting relieved that A-1 has finally delivered a proper mystery show. I just cannot believe that an eleven year old would be connected with a series of murder especially when the show is baiting us to believe that he might be the culprit.

    Another beef,I cannot help but feel eh? as the whole premise “I will go back to my childhood to save someone who might be related to what has happened today” is the strongest selling point of Erased. Well, not that it’s bad or anything but I am kinda wishing that we have strong characters which can carry the plot. Oh well. I am wishing for too much but believe me, I really like this show.

  • January 23, 2016 at 12:55 pmmasselle

    This show continues to prove that crazy stuff like abuse has been happening for years not just now in the 2000′s. Also this show proves what happens when an author is grounded in reality and not some dumb fantasy that is based on copying others works.

  • January 23, 2016 at 1:28 pmBeorn4200

    Come on Japan… Why is this 29 year old getting all doki-doki with this 11 year old girl. Where is his head at? I’m so sad that every time I find an anime that is this good, and try and show it to my girl friend, something like this always ruins it for her. I love this anime so far and will keep watching regardless, like most of you here. Guess it will be alone. Again…

    • January 23, 2016 at 6:26 pmGuile

      Well, she’s a little cutie and he’s biologically 11. Even when he was 29, Satoru always seemed very bad at actually expressing/feeling emotion, in part because of the events of ’88.

      I don’t think he’s REALLY going doki doki, that is, there’s never going to be a smooch or anything.

  • January 23, 2016 at 2:03 pmDarthtabby

    A poster on Animesuki was wondering to what extent the portrayal of abuse in this episode was dramatized and whether its portrayal of child services as ineffective was fair. That poster’s findings provide some very useful context for framing the events of this episode:

    http://forums.animesuki.com/showthread.php?p=5761287#post5761287

    • January 28, 2016 at 5:40 pmZora

      Interesting. So Japan had no proper laws requiring reporting of child abuse in 1988, hence the relative ineffectiveness of the authorities.

  • January 23, 2016 at 11:15 pm45335345

    I think people are holding very easily to KayoNTR character.
    probably in episode 9, these same people will be disappointed regan to feel anger and hatred because whenever we have the present NTR element, the feeling of anger and hatred are present in them.

    • January 23, 2016 at 11:52 pmKaio-chin

      Perfect

      The main character get’s NTR’ed and the story get’s worse and quite predictable around the end.

  • January 24, 2016 at 12:31 amAudacity

    I dunno but the reveal about Kenya talking to the teacher after school left a very bad aftertaste on me when it was shown IMMEDIATELY after that very heartwarming ‘Christmas tree’ scene. Really now A-1 Pictures, it could’ve better as a stinger scene.

  • January 24, 2016 at 3:32 amJeffers

    i dont like the teacher and i smell some fish in his character… he was way too friendly to the MC and his reaction (during that MC’s busted “look in student record” scene) is not something you could see to a normal japanese teacher (if i were to base from other anime for normal teacher reactions) which is normally reprimanding the student or probably even calling his parents for that. and heck, he could be even suspected for stealing since that is the faculty and there are no teachers in the room side from him. so if there is an item lost, he could get blamed for that. so conclusion, teacher’s reaction upon busting his student action is not normal.

    and also, most manga i have seen who have this ala-meitantei conan genre of mystery and psychological stuffs who have a teacher as a one of the characters, the teacher often have a real deal significant role (sometimes later it was revealed the teacher was the killer). and given that teachers are a model of respect in japan, watchers would drop their suspicions against the teacher. and as an otaku who have already watched and read tons of anime related stuffs already, i am pretty sure, that is what the writer wants (greater suspicions to other characters and lesser to THE TEACHER). and if i am to base this facts, this teacher is surely a character to watch out.

    one might ask what about those damn parents of kayo and kenya (who have red eyes)? those are misleading flags for sure. if the parents of kayo would want to kill their child, they could have done it already (kayo only have bruises and is still alive given the fact that the abuse might have been happening already way in the past). kenya on the other hand, his character seems like he would be involved in the crime (his mysterious character) but in his age, he would be in no way could commit a crime. more likely he could be a part of it but not the one who did it.

  • January 24, 2016 at 3:38 pmShirocat

    Sorry for stupid question ( or maybe it’s not? ), but when Satoru after losing the race thought ‘i made the same mistake I did 18 years ago’ he meant that he losed by purpose, when he was ‘kid’ too? Why then? He didn’t have to worry that time that he won not fair, because he is not truly a ‘kid’, so it would be a fair race…

    • January 24, 2016 at 5:15 pmcryarc

      Because as a kid back then he also thought that his friend deserved the victory, it is a part of his natural reflex. In the present he only add the excuse of “I have the mind of an adult”.

    • January 24, 2016 at 6:34 pmChromeNova

      To follow up what cryarc said, his line of reasoning as a kid was that the person he was up against actually put in effort to be that fast, yet satoru didn’t really train for it yet he was still better. He didn’t want to ruin the other kid’s pride by beating him, so he lost on purpose. After all this time, his adult self still believed that was the right thing to do.

  • January 25, 2016 at 3:35 pmweasl

    One of my favorites of the season so far, didn’t need 3 episodes to tell, but who knows how it will turn out in the end.

  • January 25, 2016 at 8:33 pmNeunzehn

    The first 3 episodes were really quite impressive. It piqued my curiosity and I decided to read the 7 volumes of manga that are available. I came away with an appreciation for how A-1 improved the presentation of the events compared to the manga but also with disappointment over the direction the manga moved the story in. It’s a shame really.

  • January 29, 2016 at 11:19 amiron2000

    Was already hooked on the mystery from episode 1.
    Hearing that familiar Asian Kung-Fu Generation song as the OP is a plus :P

    The anime got me thinking about Steins Gate, Detective Conan and Another.

    Red eyes. Is that a clue?
    Or does it just mark people with malicious intent at that moment?

    From ep 1, it seems like Satoru’s mum knows the mastermind.
    The mastermind doesn’t look that old.
    Is it Kenya then?
    But Satoru’s mum did suspect the person using the same method to abduct children since 1988.
    So not Kenya?

    Maybe its the teacher and Kenya?
    Kidnapper the first and Kidnapper the second?

    12 episodes, won’t be long.
    Can’t hurt to peek into the wiki….:P

  • February 2, 2016 at 4:48 pmBranislav

    Is it just me or that Teacher is suspicious… like really suspicious…. He has that grin on his face. Just look at his face. http://randomc.net/image/Boku%20Dake%20ga%20Inai%20Machi/Boku%20Dake%20ga%20Inai%20Machi%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2010.jpg